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Showing posts from February, 2009

"Their God Was Their Belly"

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."

Phl 3:18-19

First, 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 of the heathen, and there indulge in gluttony and drunkenness; others indulged in lusts of the flesh, enjoying those pleasures (so miscalled) which, afterwards, bring unutterable pain even to the body itself, and are disgraceful to men, much more to professors of religi…

Is this your understanding?

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God" 2 Timothy 3:16

The word "inspire" signifies to in-breathe, and breath is both the means and evidence of life; for as soon as a person ceases to breathe he is dead. The Word of God, then, is vitalized by the very life of God, and therefore it is a living Book. Men's books are like themselves—dying creatures; but God's Book is like Himself—it "lives and abides forever" (1 Peter 1:23).

Yet, let it be pointed out that, unless we are on our guard, our belief of this fact is liable to lead us into error. Because the Scriptures are a living Book, some seem to think they possess, abstractly, some magical virtue of their own. Have you never heard one say, "Give them the Word of God—it will do its own work"; he meant well—but expressed himself inaccurately.

More than the Scriptures are needed to bring a sinner out of darkness into God's marvelous light—namely, the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. …

I found this facsinating...

CERTAIN DIVINES have doubted the inspiration of Solomon's Song; others have conceived it to be nothing more than a specimen of ancient love-songs, and some have been afraid to preach from it because of its highly poetical character.

The true reason for all this avoidance of one of the most heavenly portions of God's Word lies in the fact that the spirit of this Song is not easily attained. Its music belongs to the higher spiritual life, and has no charm in it for unspiritual ears. The Song occupies a sacred enclosure into which none may enter unprepared. "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground," is the warning voice from its secret tabernacles.

The historical books I may compare to the outer courts of the Temple; the Gospels, the Epistles, and the Psalms, bring us into the holy place or the Court of the priests; but the Song of Solomon is the most holy place: the holy of holies, before which the veil still hangs to …

Will you remember? (part ten)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

Today we conclude our journey down this river of Christ's love. As I looked back to part one and two, I realized how soon I have forgotten the beauty and joy of the scenary that flooded my eyes, heart, and soul at the beginning of this journey. Oh, Lord, I pray that You will ever increase the capacity of my mind, heart and soul to retain within the love of Christ.

When any of you meet together, it is always a good thing to make Christ the theme of your conversation. Oh, what a deal of idle gossip there is even on Sundays. Many people do not go out on Sunday afternoon, so they must talk about something. They do not like to talk about their trade; that would be too secular, they fancy. They do not like to talk about strictly sacred things; that might appear hypocritical, they think. So they begin, "Have you ever heard so-and-so preach?” "Yes, I did once.” "Did you like him?” S…

Will you remember? (part nine)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

Let me give you a little practical advice as to how you may keep constantly in your mind a remembrance of Jesus Christ's love.

One of the first things I would recommend to you is, "frequent meditation". See if you cannot more often get a quarter of an hour all alone, that you may sit down, and turn over and over again the love of Christ to you. Remember that souls grow more by meditation than by anything else.

The cattle go round the fields, and crop the grass; that is like hearing the Word. But, afterwards, they lie down in a quiet corner, and chew the cud; that is like meditating upon what we have heard. Get a quarter of an hour, if you can, to masticate and digest the Word. "A quarter of an hour!” says someone; "why, I could not get five minutes!” I would not be hard with you, dear brother, but I do you think could; days can sometimes be lengthened out, eithe…

Will you remember? (part eight)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

Lastly, I would put before you A FEW PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS AS TO PRESERVING A DEEPER AND MORE SINCERE REMEMBRANCE OF CHRISTS LOVE than you have hitherto done.

The old Puritanical divines frequently compared their hearers to the Egyptian dog that ran to the Nile, and drank, and then ran away; they came up to the meeting-house, and heard the minister, took a little sip of the gospel, which sufficed them, and then they were off. One preacher said that he wished they were like the fishes; not come and lap at the stream, as the dog did; but swim in it, and live in it.

There are too many, in this age, who are content with hearing a little of Christ's love; a sip by the way is all that they seem to need. But it would be far better if you could come up to Rutherford's ideal, "I would have my soul sunk over its masthead in a sea of love to Christ. I would be sunken fifty fathoms deep i…

Will you remember? (part seven)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

(part seven)

The next effect will be, "holy practice". When we remember the love of Christ to us, we shall hate sin. Feeling that he has bought us with his precious blood, we shall abhor the very name of iniquity. When Satan tempts us, we shall each one say, "Get gone; for I will have nothing to do with you; I remember Christ's love to me.”

Have you never heard the story of the Indian woman, who, when she was enticed by some great chief, who wished to lead her astray made to him this noble answer, "I know no one in the world to be beautiful or attractive but my husband"? So will the believer say, when he is tempted, "I know of nothing that is good but Christ; I know of no one who is so fair as he is; so begone, black Satan, my heart is given wholly to Christ, and I will have nothing to do with you.”

Another effect of remembering the love of Christ will be,…

Will you remember? (part six)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

(part six)

I have to hurry over these different points; but if you enjoy hearing about this subject as much as I delight in preaching upon it, you would not mind listening to me all night long, and I should not mind preaching right through the night. Surely, this is a theme that sets one's tongue at a happy liberty. "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” if I can but feel the love of Christ shed abroad in my heart.

Now, thirdly, I am to speak of THE PRACTICAL EFFECTS OF REMEMBERING CHRIST'S LOVE.

If we remember the love of Christ to us, the first practical effect will be that "we shall love him". Can I remember your love to me, O my sweet Lord, and not love you in return? Surely, Dr. Watts was right when he wrote,

"Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all your quickening powers,
Come, shed abroad a Savior's love,
And that shall kindle ours.”


True is it, O Jesus, …

Will you remember? (part five)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

(Part Five)

Earthly comforts, too, like wine, leave but a mingled impression. In this 'cup of joy' there is always a 'dash of sorrow'. There is nothing we have here below which is not somewhat tainted with grief. Solomon has warned us against the sparkling wine: "Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it gives it's color in the cup, when it moves itself aright. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder.” Even "friendship", the very cream of joy, trembles on the confines of disappointment, as it is written, "Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm.”

But in Christ's love there is nothing for you ever to regret; when you have enjoyed it to the full, you cannot say that there has been any bitterness in it. When you have come forth from the secret chamber of communion with your Lord, you have realized the purit…

Will you remember? (part four)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

(Part four)

I think, my dear friends, I might give you twenty reasons why it would be impossible for the children of God to forget the love of Christ to them; but above and beyond every other reason is this one-

'Christ will not let his people forget his love'. If, at any time, He finds them forgetful, He will come to them, and refresh their memories.

If all the love they have ever enjoyed should be forgotten by them, He will give them some fresh manifestations of love. "Have you forgotten my cross?” He asks; "then I will cause you to remember it afresh, for at my table I will manifest myself to you as I have not done of late.

Do you forget what I did for you in the council chamber of eternity? Then I will remind you of it, for you still need a Counselor, and I will come to your relief just when you are at your wits' end, and I will give you wisdom.

Have you forgotten that I…

Will you remember? (part three)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

(part three)

Thus, then, in the summary of Christ's loves, which I will now humbly endeavor to pass in review, it will be necessary for me to mention, not only the love we have heard about, but the love we have felt and enjoyed.

Do not suppose, dear brothers and sisters, that I am able to refresh your memories upon this sacred subject. It is the Holy Spirit's work to assist you in that matter; but I do trust that the resolution contained in our text will be formed in the heart of every one of you, "We will remember your loves more than wine,” and that you will have the grace to carry out that resolution.

Here then, beloved, we have A RESOLUTION POSITIVELY EXPRESSED: "We will remember your love.”

Why does the spouse speak so positively? Because she is inspired; she is not like Simon Peter when he said, "Although all shall be fall away, yet I will not.” She is speaking the …

Will you remember? (part two)

"We will remember thy love more than wine."
Solomon's Song 1:4

(part two)

Though we ought to recollect what we have heard, and what we have been taught, I think the spouse means more than this. "We will remember your loves,"-not only what we have been told, but what we have felt.

Come, dear hearers, let each one of you speak for yourselves; or, rather, do you think of this for yourselves, and let me speak of it for you.

I will remember your love, O Jesus; your love to me when I was a stranger, wandering far from God; the love which restrained me from committing 'deadly' sin, and withheld my hand from self-destruction!

I will remember the love which tracked me in my course- "When Satan's blind slave, I sported with death.”

I will remember the love which held back the axe when Justice said, "Cut it down; why does it cumber the ground?”


I will remember the love that took me into the wilderness, and stripped me there of all my self-righteousness, and…

Will you remember? (part one)

I have often been moved to tears while hearing a sermon preached from the pulpit; but, I have rarely been moved to tears while reading a sermon transcript. This is one of those rare times.

Today, while waiting for my Tax software to download (I'm on dial-up and the dialog box read "45 minutes remaining"), I decided to pull a book off the shelf and pass the time by reading. I flipped to page 303 of volume III of "The Treasury of the Bible" by C.H. Spurgeon. The sermon title was "A Refreshing Canticle" and the text was:

"We will remember thy love more than wine." Solomon's Song 1:4

It is eleven pages long. As I started reading, it was as if the words were being lifted off the page in rapid motion and sent straight to my heart. I will be reproducing it on this blog over the course of this coming week, in little bite size pieces. I hope you will stay and graze a little each day on this magnificent proclamation of "LOVE":

The Hebrew wor…

Has your "Will" been turned around, reconditioned, and made a new thing?

“Three Kinds of Men”--which kind are you?

The first class is of those who live simply for their own sake and pleasure, regarding Man and Nature as so much raw material to be cut up into whatever shape may serve them.

In the second class are those who acknowledge some other claim upon them – the will of God, the categorical imperative, or the good of society – and honestly try to pursue their own interests no further than this claim will allow. They try to surrender to the higher claim as much as it demands, like men paying a tax, but hope, like other taxpayers, that what is left over will be enough for them to live on. Their life is divided, like a soldier’s or a student’s life, into time “on the job” and “off the job”, “in school” and “out of school”.

But the third class is of those who can say, like St Paul, that for them “to live is Christ”. These people have got rid of the tiresome business of adjusting the rival claims of Self and God by the simple expedient of rejecting the cl…

Thought Provoking...

I found this to be quite thought provoking. Have you ever thought about this?

There is such a thing as unconditional love in God, but it's not what most people mean by it.

It's not a saving love that he has for everybody. Else everybody would be saved, since they would not have to meet any conditions, not even faith. But Jesus said everybody is not saved (Matthew 25:46).

It's not the love that justifies sinners since the Bible says we are justified by faith, and faith is a condition (Romans 5:1).

It's not the love of working all things together for our good because Paul says that happens "to those who love God" (Romans 8:28).

It's not the love of the most intimate fellowship with the Father because Jesus said, "He who loves me will be loved by my Father" (John 14:21). And James said, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

It's not the love that will admit us into heaven when we die because John says, "…

A Pretty, Cultured Sort of Evangelism

Legh Richmond, January 6, 1825)

For the most part, we are a nation of Christians by profession--and a nation of heathens in practice.

There is to be found in the religious world--what may be termed--a pretty, cultured sort of evangelism, which too well combines luxurious ease, and serving of the world, and the flesh--not to say of the devil also. But such kind of religion will not prepare the soul for sickness, death, and eternity. At best, it will leave the soul a prey to the most fearful delusions of false peace. The way that leads to eternal life is much more narrow than many of our modern professors are aware of--the gate is too straight to allow all their trifling, and self-will, and worldliness, and carnal-mindedness, to press through it.

From the heart of this "Warrior"

I am often misunderstood in “Christian” circles. So, this is my attempt to share my heart with anyone reading this blog:

The delight of my heart is to see men who love the Lord so much that they spend more time in the Word of God and in prayer than they do with the TV remote in their hand.

The delight of my heart is to see God raise young men up (or revive the hearts of older men) in positions of leadership in such a way that they actually bring Him glory; equip the saints; and, usher more souls into the Kingdom of God.

The delight of my heart is to be used by God to encourage and equip (in a non-authoritarian way) men to better serve the body of Christ as leaders because there is nothing that delights me more than to see men being used the way in which God has ordained.

The delight of my heart is to see men of God who are well equipped to take on the roles and responsibilities that God intended for them—both in the home and in the local church.

As a single woman, I have been free to conce…

Being Proud of Grace?

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12

The following is an excerpt from a sermon that C.H. Spurgeon preached on the above text. I found it very unusual and quite thought provoking. I have never heard anyone talk about "being proud of grace". Something perhaps we should ponder.

Some have the pride of grace. That is a curious fact; but there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." " I have fervent love," says another man, "I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray; as for my brother over there, he is so cold and slow, he will fall, I dare say."

Says another, "I have a most burning hope of heaven, and that hope will triumph; it will purge my soul from sense and sin, as Christ the Lord is pure. I am safe." He who boasts of grace, has little grace to boast of. But there are some…

Why we do what we do (Part 3)

I started this string of posts with a particular point in mind. I am not going to conclude it, just yet. I will simply leave the reader to ponder this final question:


Why do we have such an easy time following the "rules" and obeying the "law" when there are immediate, temporal, negative consequences involved if we do not; and yet, think we have little to no control over things we do (that we know we should not do) which have no immediate, negative, temporal consequences?

Why we do what we do (Part 2)

In the last post, the question was asked: "Why do you put your foot on the break and bring the car to a stop, when you come to a red light at an intersection?"

I posed this question to several people and the same ultimate conclusions were expressed by everyone:

1) I don't want a ticket

2) I don't want to get into an accident

Some did begin by answering, "Because it is the law" To which I said, "That simply poses another question: "Why do you obey this law?" and then of course it came back to the reasons expressed in one and two above.

We do not actually go through that thought process every time we come to a red light. However, at some point we did ponder that and make a decision to obey that law and that decision (or choice) has now become habit (without actually thinking about it each time).

Clearly we choose to obey that law to avoid a negative (financial and/or physical) consequence. If you think about all of the decisions and choices you make,…

Why we do what we do...

This will be a three part post. I want us to think about what motivates us to make certain decisions and choices in life. So, think about this and then please share your answers in the comment section:

Why do you put your foot on the break and bring the car to a stop, when you come to a red light at an intersection?

Some "Love" Trivia

The following was written by a young man (19-years of age) on the front page of his grammar book about a girl he was falling in love with. Can you guess who this young man was?

"They say there is a young lady who is beloved of that great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him—that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always.

There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight forever…. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you…

Pondering the Passing of a Brother...

The following is a journal entry by a dear friend in the Lord, as he reflected on the passing of a beloved elderly brother-in-Christ:

As I stood outside this morning and my eyes beheld the two large oak trees next to Grandma’s--standing in their winter nakedness before the sunrise—I thought of the acorns that lay on the ground below (which had fallen below) providing food for the creatures of God and quite possibly the deer which come near the house from time-to-time.

My mind went to a question asked of me by Pastor Grant, months ago; when he was still in good health. As he is physically blind, and we had not much opportunity to speak—I approached him while he sat in one of the chairs at the welcome center at Beacon. Laying my right hand on his right hand, I introduced myself as Michael Wood. Being a little witty, and making reference to my last name, he asked me, “What kind of tree are you?”

My mind went to Psalm 1 (and especially versus 2 and 3) and the immediate answer that came out o…

Okay...I'm in big trouble, now!

This is amazing. The Yale Edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards (26 Volumes) which would cost over $3,000 to purchase, is now available online for FREE!

From John Piper's blog:

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University has fulfilled a dream I did not expect to see.

With the 26 volumes of the Yale paper edition of the Works of Edwards selling for over $100 each, I never expected to see every word of Edwards freely available to read, search, and quote on line.

But there it is, like an ocean of hidden treasures and no fees for the diving gear. Amazing. This is a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Yale who dreamed and labored to make this happen.

The agony and the ecstasy of Jonathan Edwards is laid bare in this breathtaking availability of all of that remains of him. From the bill of sale for a slave named Venus (the agony) to 68 titles on Heaven in the Miscellanies (the ecstasy), you can find it with the search engine built into the website. All the printed volumes are availabl…

"...too, too often,..."

The tender dew which falls in the silent night makes the grass and herbs and flowers to flourish and grow more abundantly--than great showers of rain which fall in the day.Just so, secret prayer will more abundantly cause the sweet flowers of grace and holiness to grow and flourish in the soul, than all those more open, public, and visible duties of religion, which too, too often, are mingled and mixed with the sun and wind of pride and hypocrisy.

Thomas Brooks

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2

Prosperity Preaching?

You just gotta love these guys!

"The Lord has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." Psalm 35:27

What is "prosperity?" Is it threads of life weaved into a bright outcome? a full cup? ample riches? worldly applause? an unbroken circle? No, these are often a snare; received without gratitude; dimming the soul to its nobler destinies.

It rather means God taking us by the hand into the lowly Valleys of Humiliation; leading us as He did his servant Job of old; out of his sheep, oxen, camels, health, wealth, children; in order that we may be brought before Him in the dust, and say, "Blessed be His holy name!"

Yes! The very reverse of what is known in the world as Prosperity (generally) forms the background on which the Rainbow of Promise is seen. God smiles on us through these rainbows and teardrops of sorrows! He loves us too well. He has too great an interest in our spiritual welfare to permit us to live on in what is misnamed "Prosperity.&qu…

Do You Have An Honest and Good Heart?

Before one can answer that question; it is of prime importance we should seek to ascertain exactly what is connoted by “an honest and good heart” (Luke 8:15), and diligently search ourselves whether or not we possess such.

Clearly the terms used here by Christ (in Luke 8:15) are in designed contrast from Jeremiah 17:9—“the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” which describes that which every descendant of Adam is born with.

“An honest and good heart” then is not the natural heart, but one which Divine grace has imparted.

“The preparation (or disposing) of the heart in man...is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:1). It is by the regenerative operations of the Holy Spirit that the heart is made honest. Honesty of heart is the grand distinction between the genuine Christian and all other men. We do not regard it as a separate grace, like purity or humility, but rather is the regulator of all the graces: thus we read of “unfeigned faith” (2 Tim. 1:5) and “unfeigned lov…

Speaking of Pondering and Journal Keeping...

Have you ever heard of Whitmore Winslow? Probably not. He was the son of Octavius Winslow. His family found his journals, after his unexpected death in 1856 at the age of 21 years old.

He wrote the following journal entry at 14 years of age. As you read it, keep in mind he was 14 years old when he wrote this!:

"How frail the thread! How short is time, and what a small portion is allotted to man to prepare for another world! And yet how careless is he of that time! How frail the thread upon which life hangs! A few hours' illness may carry him away into a world of endless happiness or of endless woe!

What a vain world it is! What a fallen creature is man! Day by day calls forth more hidden depravity of his heart; and yet his whole affections are set upon the very object which is fostering and encouraging that depravity. His great ambition is to win the approbation of the world; a world that slew the King of kings; a world full of sin and sorrow, the medium by which Satan endeavors…