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Showing posts from April, 2010

Surer Bread

Strong consolation is that which is not dependent upon the excitement of public services and Christian fellowship. We feel very happy on a Sunday when we almost sing ourselves away to everlasting bliss, and when the sweet name of Jesus is like ointment poured forth, so that the virgins love it. But when you are in colder regions, how is it?

Perhaps you are called to emigrate, or go into the country to a barren ministry where there is nothing to feed the soul. Ah, then, if you have not good ground for your soul to grow in, what will ye do?

Those poor flowers which depend altogether upon being watered, how soon they fade if they are forgotten for a little while! May we have root in ourselves and drink of the dew of heaven, and be like the “tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, whose leaf also shall not wither.” This is to have strong consolation.

Ministries are blessed, but oh! we must live on surer bread than ministries if we would have…

Voices from the Past

"Salvation is a free gift, but an empty hand must receive it, and not a hand which still tightly grasps the world!" - A.W. Pink

"Many souls do not only perish praying, repenting and believing after a sort, but they perish by their praying and repenting while they carnally trust in these. If we are to be saved, we must come naked to Christ in regard to our duties; we cannot flee to Christ in truth while trusting in them. Some are so locked into them, that they cannot come without them, and so in the day of temptation are trampled under the foot of God's wrath and Satan's fury." - Gurnall

“The Law is for the proud and the Gospel for the brokenhearted.” - Martin Luther

Multitudinous Thoughts And Sacred Comforts

If man were a mere animal, his joy and sorrow would depend entirely upon outward things. Let but the trough be full, and the swine are happy; let the pasture be abundant, and the sheep are content. In the sunshine every sparrow will be twittering on the trees; let the heavens weep, and every wing is drooping. In long drought, or severe frost, or pinching famine, the animal creation languishes and pines. You cannot, however, be sure of making a man happy by surrounding him with abundance, nor can you plunge a Christian man into wretchedness by any deprivations which you may cause him. Man’s greatest joy or sorrow must arise from inner springs. The mind itself is the lair of misery or the nest of happiness. Thoughts are the flowers from which we must distil the essential flavorings of life. Paul and Silas sing in the stocks because theft minds are at ease, while Herod frets on his throne because conscience makes him a coward....

Happiness lies not in the outward, but in the inward; the f…

There is a Knowledge of Truth that is Cold

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Cor. 4:6

There is a vast difference between a conviction of the doctrines of grace in the head, and an adoring the grace of those doctrines in the heart. A speculative knowledge of gospel truth, that goes no further than a mere outward notion of it, may be found in a natural man. This knowledge of truth is a cold, unaffecting, and unattracting knowledge, that leaves the will and affections just where it found them. A natural man, indeed, may have some natural pleasure in getting some new notions of truth, but he experiences no soul-attraction to the things known.

A spiritual discernment of gospel truths is very different from a bare speculative knowledge of them; in that the glory of truth shines into the mind, which produces a sweet and strict adherence thereto, by all the inward powers of the soul. The u…

A Few Questions

Are you proud of the brilliancy of your genius, the extent of your learning, the splendor of your imagination, the acuteness of your understanding, your power to argue or speak publicly?

Do any of these things form the object of self-esteem and the reasons of that disdain which you may pour upon all who are inferior to yourself in mental endowments?

Do you admire yourself as a member of the only true church, and as the covenant people of God?

Do you boast inwardly of belonging to the true church and look with contempt on all who belong to a different ecclesiastical order?

Do you pride yourself on the greater purity of your ecclesiastical order?

I see some of these characteristics taking hold and growing in some of the most highly gifted men of our time and it concerns me. When I attempt to sound a warning call, I am told things like, "You should not criticize him. God is using him to help and encourage many".

This attitude of defending a man against criticism is dangerous and act…

Even if we fall deeply in love....

The truth is that nothing in this earth can finally satisfy us. Much can make us content for a time but nothing can fill us to the brim. The reason is that our final joy lies “beyond the walls of this world,” as J.R.R Tolkien put it. Ultimate beauty comes not from a lover or a landscape or a home, but only through them. These earthly things are solid goods, and we naturally relish them. But they are not our final good. They point to what is higher up and further back…Even if we fall deeply in love and marry another human being, we discover that our spiritual and sexual oneness isn’t final. It’s wonderful, but not final. It might even be as good as human oneness can be, but something in us keeps saying “not this” or “still beyond”…What Augustine knew is that human beings want God…God has made us for himself. Our sense of God runs in us like a stream, even though, because of sin, we divert it toward other objects. We human beings want God even when we think that what we really want is a…

"Then HE opened their understanding"

Luke 24:45


Knowledge of spiritual things is well distinguished into intellectual and practical: the first has its seat in the mind, the latter in the heart. This latter, divines call a knowledge peculiar to saints; and, in the apostle's dialect, it is "The eminency, or excellency of the knowledge of Christ."And indeed, there is but little excellency in all those petty notions which furnish the lips with discourse, unless by a sweet and powerful influence they draw the conscience and will to the obedience of Christ.

Light in the mind is necessarily antecedent to the sweet and heavenly motions and elevations of the affections: For the farther any man stands from the light of truth, the farther he must needs be from the heat of comfort. Heavenly quickening are begotten in the heart, while the sun of righteousness spreads the beams of truth into the understanding, and the soul sits under those its wings; yet all the light of the gospel spreading and diffusing itself into the m…

Do these words seem to you an idle tale?

"... on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But…

Pondering the Death of Christ

"...Christ's expiatory death is no more an object for our imitation than is the creation of the world. For in His death He took man's place and rendered to divine justice a satisfaction which man himself was utterly unable to render. That Christianity is not primarily a social movement, but a redemptive religion, setting forth a way of escape from sin, is as plain as it is possible for words to make it. "

As Jesus hung on the cross He was, in His human nature, the true sin-offering for His people, and as such, it was necessary that He suffer alone. God can have no association whatever with sin, since in His sight it is infinitely heinous. And, as in the Old Testament ritual for the sin-offering, this was symbolized by the burning of the flesh of the bullock outside of the camp (even the offering itself being treated as offensive and polluted since in the mind of the offerer it stood representative of and was in some way associated with his sin), so Jesus, as He bore…

As I Prepare to Worship This Evening

http://songsandhymns.org/player/?hymn=ah-holy-jesus-how-hast-thou-offended



The Lyrics to read as you listen:

Ah, Holy Jesus
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty?
Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
’Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied Thee.
I crucified Thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For our atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee.
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

This IS NOT Christianity

Paul instructs Timothy to be certain to pray for all types of people (1 Tim 2.1). He is specific to include even the leaders whom we may not agree with such as kings (1 Tim. 2.2). We should note that the types of leaders who governed the early churches were far less sympathetic towards the ministry of the gospel.
Furthermore, Paul instructs Timothy and the churches that they are to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2.2). This is part of the motive to pray for the leaders. We want to be about reflecting Christ.
And still more, there is the fact that there is really only one King. There is one Savior. There is only one Mediator (1 Tim. 2.5). And it is God’s desire that men come and fall down before him and worship him. This desire is for all types of people that they would all bow before the one King, Jesus Christ.
Now, let me just reset this. Paul instructs a pastor to lead prayer meetings and model personal prayer for all types of people (regardle…