Grace Gems for FEBRUARY, 2014


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Father knows best!

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light")

"He
led them forth by the right way." Psalm 107:7

God leads every one of His children by the right way. He knows where and under what influences, each particular life will mature best.

One tree grows best in the sheltered valley, another by the water's edge, another on the bleak mountain-top swept by storms. Every tree or plant is found in the precise locality where the conditions for its growth exist.

And does God give more thought to trees and plants, than to His own children?

He places us amid the circumstances and experiences in which our life will grow and mature into Christlikeness. The peculiar discipline to which we are each subjected, is the discipline we each need to bring out in us the beauties and graces of true spiritual character. Our heavenly Father knows what is best He makes no mistakes!

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son!" Romans 8:28-29

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God crowns faithfulness

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light")

"She has done what she could!" Mark 14:8

"It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:2

It is not great things that God requires of us unless our mission is to do great things. He only asks that we be faithful in the duties that come to our hand in our commonplace days. That means:
1. that we do all our work as well as we can;
2. that we serve well in all of our varied relationships of life;
3. that we stand heroically in our lot, resisting temptation and continuing true and loyal to God;
4. that we fulfill our mission in all ways according to the grace given unto us, using every gift and talent for the glory of God and the good of others.

The world crowns success.
God crowns faithfulness.

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Matthew 25:23

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The human interpretation

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"
Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

Every Christian life is beautiful so far as it fairly and truly represents Christ. Anything in a believer's life which is not beautiful is not a just or adequate expression of our precious Lord Jesus. Holiness of character is simply the reproduction of the likeness of Christ in our life. Any feature that is not lovely and winning is not truly Christlike, and misrepresents Christ. It is not the Christian religion itself that is unlovely in any case but the human interpretation of it in disposition and conduct.

"He who says he abides in Him, ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

How to read the Bible

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them!" John 13:17

It is necessary to read the Bible, not just to know the will of God but that we may do it. If Scripture is not the practice of our life it is nothing to us.

Its truths are to be applied. If we read the Beatitudes, we are to compare ourselves with their Divine requirements, and seek to be conformed to them. If we come upon a verse that rebukes any habit or sin of ours we are immediately to make the needed amendment.

We are to accept its promises, believe them and then act as believing them.

We are to allow its comforts to enter our hearts and support us in sorrow.

There is nothing written in the Bible merely for ornament or beauty. Every word is practical! There is no truth in Scripture which has not some bearing upon actual living. When we come to it eager to know how to live, and ready to obey its precepts we shall find it opening its inmost meaning
to us!

"If you love Me, you will obey My commandments." John 14:15

"We know that we have come to know Him, IF we obey His commands. The man who says, 'I know Him,' but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him!" 1 John 2:3-4

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

True consecration

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"It is the Lord's will. Let Him do what He thinks best." 1 Samuel 3:18

The heart of consecration is not devotion to this or that kind of service for Christ but devotion to the Divine will, whatever God may ordain. It may not be any form of activity sometimes it is quiet waiting.
Consecration is not bringing a great many souls to Christ, attending a great many religious meetings, or teaching or preaching.

Some weary one, shut away in the darkness, in the chamber of pain, may be illustrating true consecration far more beautifully than those whose hands are fullest of Christian activities in the bustling world.

Consecration is devotion to the will of God. It is readiness to do, not what we want to do in His service but what He gives us to do.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away! Blessed be the name of the LORD!" Job 1:21

"Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Nevertheless, I want Your will to be done, not Mine!" Luke 22:42

"Let the Lord's will be done!" Acts 21:14

Your way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be,
Lead me by Your own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

I dare not choose my lot,
I would not, if I might;
Choose for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright!
Horatius Bonar


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The happiest homes in the world!

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"Godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Nothing is lovelier in life, than the spirit of contentment.

Fretting
mars the beauty of many a face. Discontent spoils all one's world. Out of whatever window he looks, the discontented person sees something that is not pleasing.

But to a contented person, there is only good seen everywhere. The happiest homes in the world are not those in which are the finest carpets, the costliest pictures, the most luxurious furniture but those in which glad, peaceful hearts dwell. A contented heart beautifies the plainest surroundings, and even the hardest conditions.

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength!" Philippians 4:11-13


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
 

I cannot be so unreasonable as to expect two Heavens!

(Joseph Hall, "Contemplations" 1574-1656)

Every man has a Heaven and a Hell.

Earth is the ungodly man's Heaven. His Hell is to come.

The godly have their Hell upon earth, when they are vexed with afflictions and temptations. Their Heaven is above in endless happiness!

If it is difficult for me on earth it is well that my afflictions are so short and easy. I cannot be so unreasonable as to expect two Heavens!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Our only refuge in sorrow

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them: Sit here while I go over there and pray." Matthew 26:36

We see the Master at prayer in Gethsemane. It was here that He prepared for His Cross. We should notice that His refuge in His exceeding sorrow, was prayer; and that as the sorrow deepened, the refuge still was prayer. "Being in an agony He prayed more earnestly."

Just so, prayer is our only refuge in sorrow.

The lesson from the garden prayer, is that we should take . . .
    all the hard things,

    all the anguishes,
    all the insufferable pains,
    all the bitter griefs of our lives
  to God in prayer.

We may be sure, too, that God will answer. If He does not relieve us of the suffering He will strengthen us so that we can keep it, and still go on trusting and singing!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One of you is a devil!

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!" John 6:70

In studying the character and the sin of Judas, the following lessons may be brought out:

1. We must not be surprised if some unregenerate men enter the Church, for even among the twelve apostles, was one Judas.

2. It is no proof that Christianity is untrue, when some of its professors prove hypocrites. The defection of Judas did not leave a stain on the name of Christ, nor did it disprove the loyalty and fidelity of the other disciples.

3. One may be very near to Christ and yet not be made holy in character. Judas was three years with Christ, heard His words, lived in the atmosphere of His love and remained unchanged. An empty bottle, tightly sealed, may lie long in the ocean and continue perfectly dry within. Just so, a heart sealed to Christ's love, may lie in His bosom for years and not be blessed.

4. Sin grows, and we never can know to what terrible extent a wicked thought or desire may reach!


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The afflictions of the godly!

(The following choice excerpts have been gleaned from the writings of Thomas Watson. Today's post is longer but it will be much appreciated by God's afflicted people. Be sure to meditate on each one suck the honey out of these uplifting gems!)

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's people have no charter of exemption from trouble in this life.
While the wicked are kept in sugar the godly are often kept in brine

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
 

A sick bed often teaches more than a sermon.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We can best see the ugly visage of sin, in the looking-glass of affliction.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What if we have more of the rough file if we have less rust!
Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
 

Time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29). If our lives are short then our trials cannot be long. 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Afflictions quicken our pace in the way to Heaven.
Though the cross is heavy we have but a little way to carry it. 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Affliction is the touch-stone of sincerity. "You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us as silver is tried . . . You laid affliction upon us" (Psalm 66:10, 11). Hypocrites may embrace religion in prosperity but he is a true Christian who will keep close to God in a time of suffering. "All this is come upon us yet have we not forgotten You!" (Psalm 44:17).

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The stones which are cut out for a building are first hewn and squared. The godly are called "living stones" (1 Peter 2:5). God first hews and polishes them by affliction that they may be fit for the heavenly building. The house of bondage prepares for the house not made with hands.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Afflictions on the godly make them better but afflictions on the wicked make them worse. The godly pray more (Psalm 130:1). The wicked blaspheme more, "Men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God" (Rev. 16:9). 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Affliction of the godly is like bruising spices, which are most sweet and fragrant.
Affliction of the wicked is like pounding weeds, which makes them more unsavory.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When affliction or death comes to a wicked man, it takes away his soul.
When it comes to a godly man, it only takes away his sin, "We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Corinthians 11:32).
Affliction works out sin and works in grace.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It is one heart-quieting consideration, in all the afflictions that befall us, that God has a special hand in them: "The Almighty has afflicted me!" (Ruth 1:21).
Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission than the axe can cut of itself without a hand.
Job eyed God in his affliction he does not say, "The Lord gave and the devil took away;" but "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away." Whoever brings an affliction to us, it is God who sends it.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Afflictions work for good. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted" (Psalm 119:71). Joseph's brethren throw him into a pit; afterwards they sell him; then he is cast into prison yet all this worked for his good. "You thought evil against me but God meant it unto good!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

King Manasseh was bound in chains; this was sad to see a crown of gold, exchanged for fetters. But it wrought for his good, for, "So the LORD sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the LORD listened to him and was moved by his request. So the LORD brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the LORD alone is God!" (2 Chr. 33:11-13)
Manasseh was more indebted to his iron chain, than to his golden crown!
The one made him proud the other made him humble.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God sweetens outward pain, with inward peace.
"Your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20).
God's afflicting rod has honey at the end of it.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

David says, "My times are in Your hand" (Psalm 31:15).
If our times were in our own hand we would have deliverance too soon.
If they were in our enemy's hand we would have deliverance too late.
But my times are in God's hand and God's time is ever best.
Deliverance may tarry beyond our time; but it will not tarry beyond God's time.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Afflictions work for good, as they conform us to Christ. His life was a series of sufferings, "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). He wept, and bled.
Was His head crowned with thorns and do we think to be crowned with roses?
It is good to be like Christ though it be by sufferings.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God loves a thankful Christian. Job thanked God when He took all away: "The Lord has taken away blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). Many will thank God when He gives, Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew God would work good out of it.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Every bird can sing in spring but some birds will sing in the dead of winter.
A Christian will bless God, not only in the spring but in the winter of affliction.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"His mercies are new every morning" (Lam. 3:23). Mercy comes in as constantly as the tide; nay, how many tides of mercy do we see in one day!
We never eat but mercy carves every bit to us;
we never drink but in the golden cup of mercy;
we never go abroad but mercy guards our steps;
we never lie down in bed but mercy draws the curtains of protection close around us.
Shall we receive so many good things at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10)

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Our mercies far outweigh our afflictions.
For one affliction we have a thousand mercies!
The sea of God's mercy swallows up a few drops of affliction!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Affliction quickens the spirit of prayer. Jonah was asleep in the ship but at prayer in the whale's belly! Perhaps in a time of health and prosperity we pray in a cold and formal manner, we put no coals to the incense; we scarcely minded our own prayers, and how should God mind them?
Then God sends some cross or other affliction to make us take hold of Him. "They poured out a prayer, when Your chastening hand was upon them!" (Isaiah 26:15); now their prayer pierced the heavens! In times of trouble, we pray earnestly and fervently.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When God puts His children to the school of the cross, He deals with them tenderly.
He will not lay a giant's burden upon a child's back.
Nor will He stretch the strings of the instrument too much, lest they should break.
If God sees it good to strike with one hand He will support with the other.
Either He will make our faith stronger or render the yoke lighter.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God loves His people, when He is giving the bitter drink of affliction.
God's rod and God's love they both stand together.
Let us feel God's hand so that we may have His heart.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Afflictions add to the saints' glory.
The more the diamond is cut the more it sparkles.
The heavier the saints' cross is the heavier shall be their crown!

 


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The devil's apple has a bitter core!

(Thomas Watson)

Sin puts . . .
  a worm into conscience,
  a sting into death,
  and a fire into Hell!
Did men meditate of this, that after all their dainty dishes, death will bring in the reckoning in Hell, they would say as David in another sense, "Let me not eat of their dainties!" Psalm 141:4

The devil's apple has a bitter core!

"That none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness!" Hebrews 3:13

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Yes, and worse than a dog!

(Thomas Watson)

Christian, you cannot believe that evil which is in your heart, and which will break forth suddenly if God should leave you!

"You will burn their strongholds, slay their young men with the sword, dash their infants in pieces, and rip up their pregnant women. And Hazael answered: What is your servant, only a dog, that he should do this monstrous thing!" (2 Kings 8).

Hazael could not believe he had such evil in his heart, that he should rip up women with child. Is your servant a dog? Yes, and worse than a dog when that corruption within is stirred up!

If one had come to Peter and said, "Peter, within a few hours you will deny Christ," he would have said, "Is your servant a dog, that he should do such a monstrous thing?" But alas! Peter did not know his own heart, nor how far that corruption within would prevail upon him!

The sea may be calm and look clear; but when the wind blows how it rages and foams! Just so, though now your heart seems good, yet, when temptation blows how may sin reveal itself, making you foam with lust and passion! Who would have thought to have found . . .
  adultery in David,
  drunkenness in Noah,
  and cursing in Job?

If God leaves a man to himself how suddenly and scandalously may sin break forth in the holiest men on the earth!

"Hold me up and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We would be ashamed to look up!

(Thomas Watson, "The Mischief of Sin")

Were our sins engraved upon our foreheads
  we would be ashamed to look up!

"Who can understand his errors? Cleanse
 me from secret faults! Psalm 19:12

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Thomas Watson choice quotes on HEAVEN

(Thomas Watson)

One hour in Heaven will make us forget all our sorrows! As the sun dries up the water, so one beam of God's glorious face will dry up all our tears!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Heaven is the highest link of the saint's happiness. As there is no intermission in the joys of Heaven so there shall be no expiration of them. When God has once planted His saints in paradise, He will never transplant them, "they shall be forever with the Lord!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sea is not so full of water as the soul of a glorified saint is full of joy. There can be no sorrow in Heaven as there can be no joy in Hell.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

See how happy are God's saints at their death! They go to a kingdom! They see God's face, which shines ten thousand times brighter than the sun in its meridian glory! They enter eternal glory, which is the quintessence of all delights!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

In that Heavenly kingdom, the saints are crowned with perfection!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The desires of the glorified saints are infinitely satisfied!
There is nothing absent which they could wish might be enjoyed.
There is nothing present which they could wish might be removed.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

In Heaven, there is . . .
  knowledge without ignorance,
  holiness without sin,
  beauty without blemish,
  strength without weakness,
  light without darkness,
  riches without poverty,
  ease without pain,
  liberty without restraint,
  rest without labor,
  joy without sorrow,
  love without hatred,
  plenty without excess,
  honor without disgrace,
  health without sickness,
  peace without end,
  contentment without cessation!
Oh, the happiness of those who die to the Lord!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Heaven will make amends for all!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them! He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away! He who sits on the throne said: Behold, I am making all things new!" Revelation 21:3-5

 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Thomas Watson choice quotes on Scripture

(Thomas Watson)

The lines of Scripture are more valuable than mines of gold!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's Word is the star which directs us to Heaven!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Scripture is the field where "the Pearl of great price" is hidden.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scriptures are the richest jewels that Christ has left.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Word is so full of goodness, justice, and sanctity, that it could be breathed from none but God.
It bears His very image.
It has no errata in it.
It is a beam of the Sun of Righteousness.
It is a crystal stream, flowing from the Fountain of Life.
It commends to us whatever is "just, lovely, and noble."

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This "sword of the Spirit" cuts down vice!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Out of this tower of Scripture is thrown down a millstone upon the head of sin!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scripture is the Royal Law, which commands not only the actions but the affections.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Where is such holiness to be found as is dug from this Sacred Mine? Who could be its author but God Himself?

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's Word is the judge of controversies and the rock of infallibility!
All truth must be brought to the touchstone of Scripture. 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This blessed Book will fill the head with knowledge and the heart with grace!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God wrote the two tables with His own fingers.
If God took pains to write well may we take pains to read!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scripture is a rock of diamonds a chain of pearls adorning the Christian, and glorifying God.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scriptures are profitable for all things.
Is the believer cast down? Here are "comforts to delight the soul!"
Is he assaulted by Satan? Here is "the sword of the Spirit" to resist him.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scripture is the chart, by which the believer sails to eternity!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scripture is the Christian's Sundial, by which he sets his life!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scripture is the Christian's Balance, in which he weighs his actions!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Scripture is the Christian's Map, by which he daily walks!

 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Thomas Watson's choice quotes on SIN

(Thomas Watson)

There is more evil in a drop of sin than in a sea of affliction!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The natural heart is . . .
  the nursery of sin,
  the magazine where all the weapons of wickedness lie,
  full of antipathy against God,
  a lesser Hell!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Morality is but nature refined old Adam put in a better dress. The garnishing of man with moral excellencies, is but adorning a dead man with a garland of flowers!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Civility is not grace, although it is a good wall against which to plant the vine of grace.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If a wicked man seems to have peace at death, it is not from the knowledge of his happiness but from the ignorance of his danger!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's long forbearance in not punishing of sin, is not forgiveness!
The longer God delays the blow the heavier it falls when He strikes!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sinner may live in a calm but he will die in a storm of wrath!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sin makes the soul red with guilt and black with filth!


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The love of sin makes sin taste sweet this sweetness beguiles the heart, and ruins the soul. It is worse to love sin, than to commit it. The love of sin . . .
  hardens the heart,
  keeps the devil in possession, and
  freezes the soul in impenitence.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

View sin in the looking-glass of Christ's sufferings.
The least sin cost His blood!


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Read the greatness of your sin in the greatness of the Savior's sufferings, and in the depth of His wounds!
 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Thomas Watson's choice quotes on PRAYER

(Thomas Watson)

Prayer keeps the heart open to God but shut to sin.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer is the key which unlocks God's treasures of mercy!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer is the arrow, and faith is the bow, by which our requests go up to Heaven. A faithless prayer is a fruitless prayer: "The father of the child cried out and said with tears: Lord, I believe!" When his tear dropped to the earth his faith reached Heaven!

It is a saying of one of the ancients, "The saints carry the keys of Heaven at their belt."
Prayer opens the door of Heaven, and takes the blessings from God's hand!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God comes down to us by His Spirit and we go up to Him by prayer.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The tree of the promise will not drop its fruit, unless shaken by the hand of prayer.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

That prayer is most likely to pierce Heaven, which first pierces one's own heart. Prayer without fervency is no prayer. Lifeless prayer is no more prayer than the picture of a man, is a man.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A godly man will as soon live without food, as without prayer.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer . . .
  delights God's ear;
  melts His heart;
  and opens His hand.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"We cry, Abba, Father!" Romans 8:15
"We cry" there is the fervency.
"Abba, Father!" there is the faith.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fervency in prayer is as fire to the incense it makes it ascend to Heaven as a sweet perfume. To induce believers to pray in faith, let them remember the bountifulness of God. He often exceeds the prayers of His people:
Hannah asked a son God gave her not only a son, but a prophet.
Solomon asked wisdom God gave him not only wisdom, but riches and honor besides.
Jacob asked that God would give him food and clothing, but the Lord increased his riches to two bands.
The woman of Canaan asked but the life of her child, but Christ not only gave her that but the life of her soul also!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer is the key of Heaven, and faith is the hand that turns it!

 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The believers' graces

(Thomas Watson)

Saving grace is the infusion of new and holy principles into the heart, whereby it is changed from what it was, and is made more and more into Christ's image. Grace infuses . . .
  light into the understanding,
  tenderness into the conscience,
  consent into the will, and
  harmony into the affections.
Yes, grace is like leaven, pervading the whole man, until all is leavened.

Grace is a string of pearls, with which the Church (Christ's Bride) is adorned.

The heart inlaid and enameled with grace, is like the "king's daughter, all glorious within." A gracious soul is the image of Christ, skillfully drawn with the pencil of the Holy Spirit. A heart beautified with grace is God's lesser Heaven, "I dwell in the high and lofty place and also with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit." Grace humbles yet elevates.

Grace is the flower of the soul, which fragrance Christ delights to savor. Grace is to the soul, what . . .
  the eye is to the body,
  the sun is to the world,
  the diamond is to the ring.

Grace makes the heart a spiritual temple, which has this inscription on it, "Holiness unto the Lord!"

The believers' graces are . . .
  weapons to defend them,
  wings to elevate them,
  jewels to enrich them,
  spices to perfume them,
  stars to adorn them,
  cordials to revive them, and
  evidences for Heaven, when death is near.

When grace flourishes sin cannot thrive.

Grace is Christ's portrait drawn on the soul.


The river of grace can never be dried up, for the Spirit of God is the spring which feeds it.

Here on earth, Christ puts His graces upon His spouse in Heaven He will put His glory upon her.

 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A proud sinner and a humble Savior

(
William Gurnall, "The Christian in Completer Armor")

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart! Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished!" Proverbs 16:5

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A man may be very zealous and painstaking in preaching and all the while pride is the master whom he serves, though in God's livery.

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It is hard starving this sin of pride it can live on almost anything!

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Nothing is so sacred, but pride will profane it.

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

So far as pride prevails, the proud man prays and preaches to be thought good by others to enthrone himself, rather than Christ, in the opinion and hearts of his hearers.

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pride loves to climb up, not as Zaccheus, to see Christ but so that others may see himself!

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"God resists the proud" (James 4:6). The humble man may have Satan at his right hand to oppose him; but the proud man shall find God Himself there to resist him. We must either lay self aside or God will lay us aside.

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A proud sinner and a humble Savior will never agree! Christ is humble and lowly, and so resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.


   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"If God," says Augustine, "did not spare the angels when they grew proud; will He spare you who are but dust and sin?"

 


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Choice gems from William Gurnall

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The gospel is God's heart in print!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

That book must be worth reading that has God for the author!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Do not say that  you love Christ, so long as you can lay those sins in your bosom which plucked His heart out of His bosom! It were strange if a child should keep, and delight to use, no other knife but that with which his mother was stabbed to death!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The pleasures of sin must needs be short, because life cannot be long and they both end together.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Cease to pray and you will begin to sin.
Prayer is not only a means to prevail for mercy but also to prevent sin.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To forsake sin, is to leave it without any thought reserved of returning to it again.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sheep may fall into a ditch but it is the swine that wallows in it!
Take heed of deliberate sins!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"He who is his own teacher, is sure to have a fool for a master!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Of all men out of Hell, none more to be pitied than he who hangs over the mouth of it, and yet is fearless of his danger.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A Christian should deny himself of the world's carnal joys and delights, lest the ungodly say, "These Christians draw their joy out of our cistern!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He who has God's heart cannot lack His arm!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It is impossible for an evil heart, to think well of an afflicting God.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:6 God's wounds cure sin's kisses kill.



  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Think seriously of this, and be thankful!

(Thomas Brooks)

"Throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!" Matthew 13:50

Afflicted saint, when you are fretful and desponding think what a lost soul, who had been in Hell but an hour, would give for a drop of that grace which you have in your heart! Think seriously of this, and be thankful!

"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 1 Thessalonians 5:9

"Heaven will make amends for all!"

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

 

Choice quotes from the writings of Thomas Watson

There is more evil in a drop of sin than in a sea of affliction!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

True faith will trust God's heart where it cannot trace His hand!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ is never sweet until sin is felt to be bitter.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To render evil for evil, is brutish;
to render evil for good, is devilish;
to render good for evil, is Christian.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ will not throw away His pearls, for every speck of dirt!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The world is a flattering enemy, it kills by embracing. Whom the world kisses, it betrays.
Is Heaven in your eye, and Christ in your heart, and the world under your feet?

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Do not so look upon your troubles as to forget your mercies.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He who is proud of his knowledge the devil cares not how much he knows!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ shed tears, for those who shed His blood!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God loves a broken heart not a divided heart.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

'Tis vain to speak of hopes of salvation and yet have the marks of damnation!
It will be so much the worse to go to Hell, with hopes of Heaven.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An idle person is a fit subject for the devil to work upon.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Look upon a humble Savior and let your plumes of pride fall off.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Such sheep as have most wool, are soonest fleeced.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The higher the lark flies the sweeter the songs.
Did our thoughts dwell above we would live sweeter lives.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Heaven is a place where sorrow cannot live, and joy cannot die.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Immorality begins with infidelity.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer keeps the heart open to God, and shut to sin.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Prosperity exposes to much evil.
It is hard to carry a full cup without spilling and a full estate without sinning.
Many pray Agur's first prayer, "Give me not poverty."
Few pray his last prayer, "Give me not riches" (Proverbs 30:8).

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

At Christ's death "the rocks split." Not to be affected with Christ's dying love, is to have hearts harder than rocks!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He who believes not in the blood of the Lamb must feel the wrath of the Lamb.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sin unrepented of, ends in a tragedy. It has . . .
   the devil for its father,
   shame for its companion,
   and damnation for its wages!

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A sinner's heart is the devil's mansion-house.
"I will return unto my house" (Matthew 12:44).

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A true Christian carries Christ in his heart, and the cross on his shoulders.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ and his cross are never parted, for it is too much for the Christian to have two heavens one here, and one hereafter.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Those who bear the cross patiently, shall wear the crown triumphantly.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ sweetens all our comforts, and sanctifies all our crosses.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's power makes Him mighty,
His mercy makes Him lovely but
His holiness makes Him glorious. "Glorious in holiness."
Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of Jehovah's diadem!

 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We would all be incarnate devils!

(Thomas Brooks)

There is the seed of all sins, of the vilest and worst of sins in the best of men!

Did God leave us to act according to our sinful natures we would all be incarnate devils, and this world would be an absolute Hell!

"The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time!" Genesis 6:5

 

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The easiest cross for each one to bear!

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." Matthew 10:38

It is his cross, and not some other man's that each one is to take up. It is the particular cross that God lays at our own feet, that we are to bear.

We are never to make crosses for ourselves but we are always to accept those which are allotted to us by God.

Sometimes we think our lot is peculiarly hard, and we compare it with the lot of this or that other person, and wish we had his cross instead of our own. But we do not know what other people's crosses really are. If we did, we might not want to exchange. The cross that seems woven of flowers if we put it on our shoulders, we might find filled with sharp thorns under the flowers! The cross of gold that seems so bright we would find so heavy that it would crush us! The easiest cross for each one to bear, is his own!

"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The one game most universally played!

(Adapted from A.W. Tozer)

Most church people play at religion, as they play at their games!

Religion itself, is the one game most universally played.

The Church has its "fields" and "rules" and its "equipment" for playing the game of religion.

It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all!

As an athlete uses a ball so do many of us use religious words. We throw them swiftly across the field and learn to handle them with dexterity and grace. We gain as our reward, the applause of those who have enjoyed the game.

In the secular games which people play, there are no moral benefits. They simply are a pleasant activity which changes nothing, and settles nothing of any importance.

Sadly, it is much the same in the game of religion. After the pleasant meeting, no one is basically any different from what he had been before!

"How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will not accept your offerings!" Malachi 1:10

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

No Christian is where he ought to be spiritually

(A.W. Tozer)

No Christian is where he ought to be spiritually
, until the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ is being reproduced in his daily life!

Yet even though a person has become like Christ, he will not know it because humility and meekness are also a part of the transformation of true godliness!

"Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did!" 1 John 2:6


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We might as well sing Mother Goose rhymes!

(A.W. Tozer)

"My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
 For Thee all the follies of sin I resign."

We sing that but we might as well sing Mother Goose rhymes, because we do not mean what we are singing!

If God Almighty compelled us to be entirely 100 percent honest, we simply could not sing the the average hymn because their words would not be true of us!

"All to Jesus I surrender,
 Humbly at His feet I bow,
 Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
 Take me, Jesus, take me now.

 I surrender all,
 I surrender all,
 All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
 I surrender all."


  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The evangelistic methods of our present golden-calf Christianity!

(A.W. Tozer)

Any objection to the evangelistic methods of our present golden-calf Christianity, is met with the triumphant reply, "But we are winning the lost!"

And what are you winning them to?
To true discipleship?
To cross-carrying?
To self-denial?
To separation from the world?
To crucifixion of the flesh?
To holy living?
To nobility of character?
To a despising of the world's treasures?
To total committal to Christ?
Of course, the answer to all these questions is NO!