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Showing posts from August, 2009

In Name Only...

It's one thing to live after the flesh; it is an all together different thing to do so while wearing the precious name of Christ! How can a man drag Jesus' name along with him as he wallows in the mud and filth of this world? Live as you will--but, if you choose to indulge your flesh - please leave Christ and His name out of it. If you flatter yourself a "Christian" and yet "fornicate" with the world and find pleasure in doing so - please keep your delusion (that you are one of His) to yourself.

"Paul wept on account of the GUILT of those persons who, having a name to live, were dead, and while uniting themselves with a Christian church, were not walking as they should do among men and before God. Notice the sin with which he charges them. He says, "Their God was their belly;" by this I understand that they were sensual persons. There were those in the early church who, after they sat at God's table, would go away and sit at the feasts…

Q & A with Watson

A corrupt heart loves the comforts of the Word, but not the reproofs: "They hate the one who rebukes in the gate." (Amos 5:1O). "Their eyes flash with fire!" Like venomous creatures that at the least touch spit poison, "When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth." (Acts 7:54). When Stephen touched them to the quick, they were mad and could not endure it.

Question: How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?

Answer 1: When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry. Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work upon his conscience.

Answer 2: When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If there is any traitorous lust in our heart, we would have it found out and executed. We do not want sin covered, but cured. We can open our breast to the bullet of the Word and say, "Lord, smite this sin."

Answer 3: …

O' Lord I beseech You: Let us see...

Whole congregations bowed at the same moment beneath the mighty power of Divine truth, looking as with a single eye upon the realities of eternity, and feeling, as with a common emotion, the powers of the world to come; so that a thoughtless stranger, coming into the assembly, is made to feel as if, by stepping over the threshold of the house, he had passed the boundary-line between things seen and temporal and things unseen and eternal, and entered a region where though surrounded by thronging multitudes, he was left alone with God and his conscience—of scenes where hundreds of heart-stricken, anxious inquirers after salvation, just awakened from the long deep slumber of an unregenerate state, and musing on thoughts too deep for utterance, were asking by their looks, rather than their words, what they should do to be save.

Whole churches blending their common and fervent supplications at the footstool of the divine throne, with such oneness of intense desire as caused them to feel tha…

Thank you, Thomas Watson!

I cannot tell you how often I have sat in bible study groups or Sunday School classes where sin was discussed and the conclusion was (basically) that "All sins are equal in the eyes of God". There is such confusion over "sin". I believe that this confusion is a result of not understanding the difference between: 1) the sin (even the most minuscule) that separates us from God and places us in an hopeless eternal condition in need of a Savior in order to be reconciled to God; and, 2) sin in general--whether committed by regenerate or unregenerate persons. Let us listen to Thomas Watson as he helps clarify this topic. (More to come. The following is just a taste):

Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

‘He that delivered me unto thee, has the greater sin.’ John 19:11. The Stoic philosophers held that all sins were equal; but this Scripture clearly holds forth that there is a gradual difference …

A Fresh Heart Towards Humble Service

"He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples' feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him." John 13:4-5

When the Lord Himself would stoop to the humblest and lowest act of service, and teach His disciples to do the same--the washing of feet was the one He chose. During His earthly walk--Jesus saw all humble deeds in both their present and future dignity. He knew how and why it was, that he who would be greatest--must be the servant of all. He connected service and reward together. In His mind--all humble deeds of service were invested with great dignity.

Jesus never did a humble deed, or took up a menial position, or uttered a lowly speech, without a consciousness of the true nobility attached to them. Therefore, with great joy did He perform all His humble service!It is just here that we fail.

We have little power of association. We isolate our humble servic…

He who overcomes will inherit all things!

He shall have peace and plenty, profit and pleasure, everything desirable--full satisfaction of his most enlarged desires! Let the expectants of heaven, then, lift up their heads with joy. Let them gird up their loins, and so run that they may obtain; trampling on everything that may hinder them in their way to the kingdom. Let them never account any duty too hard, nor any cross too heavy, nor any pains too great--so that they may attain the unfading crown of glory.

Christians should behave suitably to their character and dignity--as heirs of the eternal glorious kingdom. Let your heart be in heaven. Let your souls delight in communion with God while you are on earth, since you look for your happiness in communion with Him in heaven. Let your speech and actions savor of heaven; and in your manner of life, look towards the heavenly country to which you are going.

Maintain a holy contempt of the world, and of the things of the world. Although others, whose earthly things are their best th…

"How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds"

John Newton wrote the following hymn in 1779 based on the passage in Song of Solomon: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

I am so pleased that Newton and so many of the other men of God did not hold this opinion (see the following quote) about the Song of Solomon or the Church would have never been blessed by God honoring, Christ exalting, soul enriching sermons, hymns, and poems that were inspired by men who could see Christ everywhere in this beautiful book of the Bible.

"I emphatically agree with those who say the Song of Solomon is not mere allegory. It is best understood when we take it at face value, like any other text of Scripture. Many interpreters whom I otherwise hold in high esteem (including Spurgeon and most of the Puritans) have unfortunatelydone more to confuse than clarify the Song's message by trea…

Rejoice in that which He creates

"Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people."—Isaiah 65:17-19.

I must confess that I think it a most right and excellent thing that you and I should rejoice in the natural creation of God. I do not think that any man is altogether beyond hope who can take delight in the nightly heavens as he watches the stars, and feel joy as he treads the meadows all bedecked with kingcups and daisies.

He is not lost to better things who, on the waves, rejoices in the creeping things innumerable drawn up from the vasty deep, or who, in the woods, is charmed with the sweet carols of the feathered minstrels.

The man who is altogether bad seldom delights in nature, but gets away into the artificial and the sensual. He cares little enough for the fields exce…

Supreme Selfishness

I found this very thought provoking.

Men may believe they possess the true spirit of Godliness and yet not possess it. They may suppose that Godliness consists in something which falls far short of true Godliness, and even if they suppose it to consist in that which the Scriptures represent it to consist, they may not possess it.

There is a love, a repentance, a faith, a hope, a joy, a self-denial, which are of mere human origin and spurious. The religious affections of many men are founded in supreme selfishness. They are willing to love and serve God just so far as they believe He is willing to love and serve them, and no farther, and this is “making him to serve with their sins” (Isa. 43:24).

The religion of such men consists in being very anxious about their own welfare, but very little concerned for the honor and glory of God. It is easy to say, “Pardon is mine; grace is mine; Christ and all His blessings are mine; God has freely loved me; Christ has graciously died for me; and the…

Wearing the Mask of Religion

And now the last question: When? When does God see us? The answer is, he sees us everywhere and in every place. O foolish man, who thinks to hide himself from the Most High! It is night! no human eye sees thee; the curtain is drawn, and thou art hidden. There are his eyes lowering at thee through the gloom. It is a far-off country; no one knows thee; parents and friends have been left behind, restraints are cast off. There is a Father near thee, who looks upon thee even now. It is a lone spot, and if the deed be done, no tongue shall tell it. There is a tongue in heaven that shall tell it; yea, the beam out of the wall, and the stones in the field, shall raise up themselves as witnesses against thee.

Canst thou hide thyself anywhere where God shall not detect thee? Is not this whole world like a glass hive, wherein we put our bees? and does not God stand and see all our motions when we think we are hidden? Ah, it is but a glass hiding-place. He looketh from heaven, and through stone wa…

Prevalent Problem: Fear of an Outward Display of Affections

God created us with emotions. If we are not moved by Him, we will be moved by something far less worthy and ultimately meaningless. I have seen so many churches turn into a mere lifeless formality because of the Pastors/Leaders fear of "false affections". I often feel alone in my observations and I am always encouraged to read that I am not alone and that the same problems have gone on throughout many stages of the history of the Church.

I often wonder how a Pastor, who looks out upon a sea of predominately dead faces each and every week, as he is expounding the beauty and wonder of the very Word of God, must feel. Many of the same people sitting in the pews lifeless; seem to have little problem expressing a great deal of joy and excitement while watching a football game or attending a baby shower. Perhaps they have been told (or have ascertained from things said by their very own pastor from the pulpit) that such outward expressions (such as a joyful smile, a hardy "A…

Echo of My Heart (Part Three)

May God help us to see that we are ourselves were dead and others were dead also. What that will do for us is make us extremely humble as far as the work of ministry is concerned, because each time we go to minister, God says to us, “Can these bones live?” In our hearts, we will say, “Lord, you know?” For with us it is impossible, and the only reason why I speak is because you have called me to prophesy. It is like a fire burning in my bones. I must speak out of the glories of my God and King and the triumphs of His grace.

It will also keep us humble. When God does a work of grace, we will not be going around strutting like peacocks. Even when men and women have showered us with praises, in our heart of hearts those praises are going through us to the One who rightly deserves them, God Himself.Because we were all dead. Every one of us.

Is that the faith you presently have? Are your eyes seeing the sophisticated, educated, computer-wise, wealthy American as dead? Are we still believing o…

Echo of My Heart (Part Two)

Let us learn from this this basic fact. If you are Christian today, you are a product of God. It is not because of your cleverness. It is not because of your Christian upbringing. It is not because of the eloquence of the one who preached when you became a Christian or the ambiance present when you became a Christian. It is because of God and Him alone that you are a Christian! We must become convinced of this because if not, we will put a wrong emphasis in the wrong place. Unless you are born from above, you are spiritually ignorant. The words slipping from Nicodemus’ mouth speaks to his ignorance. This is the point. Flesh gives birth to flesh. It is the Spirit alone who gives birth to Spirit. Every preacher must recognize this- there is nothing that I can do in my own strength to bring one single soul across the gates of heaven and into the presence of God. All my eloquence and education and everything else to my name means nothing. It is absolutely impossible.

At a funeral, sure yo…

Echo of My Heart (Part One)

When speaking about the miracle of conversion, we are not speaking so much of the final act of repentance and faith, but the entire process of conversion. This begins with regeneration and ends with our response at conversion (turning from our sin and clinging to the cross). It is conversion in totality preachers of the gospel are looking for as we have many individuals coming before us hearing the gospel. Surely you are looking for something and praying daily that God would bring them to Himself. What it is, indeed, is a miracle.

It is turning men and women from blindness to sight, bondage to freedom, sin to holiness and from enmity against God to a true love for God. That is what our calling is even today in the 21st century as preachers of the gospel. We are not to entertain or inform human beings, but to see this profound miracle take place in their lives. Surely by now you should know that it is an impossible calling, to be taken by human strength.

In Ephesians 2:5, the apostle Pau…

Let there be Light!

The limits of our understanding

We must now explain what the power of human reason is, in regard to the kingdom of God, and spiritual discernments which consists chiefly of three things - the knowledge of God, the knowledge of his paternal favour towards us, which constitutes our salvation, and the method of regulating of our conduct in accordance with the Divine Law. With regard to the former two, but more properly the second, men otherwise the most ingenious are blinder than moles. I deny not, indeed, that in the writings of philosophers we meet occasionally with shrewd and apposite remarks on the nature of God, though they invariably savour somewhat of giddy imagination. As observed above, the Lord has bestowed on them some slight perception of his Godhead that they might not plead ignorance as an excuse for their impiety, and has, at times, instigated them to deliver some truths, the confession of which should be their own condemnation. Still, though seeing, they saw not.

Their disc…

At the age of 17...

My dear father,

I am very comfortable here, and I may say, happy. Were it not for my vile heart--I might rejoice. I am the least of God's people--and I am sure I am the worst. But yet I am one--I believe in Jesus and trust in Him.

Conviction of sin, I take it, is the evidence of true spiritual life. I can fall into His arms, though I cannot rest on my own merits, for I have none. Jesus, and Jesus alone--is my sure defense. I must bless the Lord for making me His son--it is of His own sovereign mercy. Not one good thing has failed. I have felt corruptions rise, and the old man is strong--but His grace always comes in just at the critical time--and saves me from myself! The Lord alone keeps me! I have no hope of persevering--but by His power. I know that His almighty arm is all-sufficient.

I want to feel "less than nothing," but this is a very great attainment.

Sometimes, I pour my heart out sweetly and freely; at another time, I can hardly bring up a petition. What a contrast…