Grace Gems for May 2001


The one true resting place!
("Words to Winners of Souls" by Horatius Bonar)

The one true resting place where doubt and
weariness, the stings of an accusing conscience,
and the longings of an unsatisfied soul can all
be quieted, is Christ himself.

Not the church, but Christ.

Not doctrine, but Christ.

Not forms, but Christ.

Not ceremonies, but Christ.

Christ, Christ alone is the vexed soul's refuge,
its rock to build on, its home to abide in till
the great tempter be bound and every conflict
ended in victory.

It is not opinions that man needs: it is Truth.

It is not theology: it is God.

It is not religion: it is Christ.

It is not literature and science; but the
knowledge of the free love of God in the
gift of His only begotten Son.

All other things are hut opiates, drugs,
quackeries; this is the divine medicine;
this is the sole, the speedy, the eternal cure.
 

The infinite tenderness of Jesus!
"He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding
 them close to his heart." Isaiah 40:11 (nlt)

"He shall gather the lambs with his arm,
 and carry them in his bosom." Isaiah 40:11 (kjv)

(the following is by Spurgeon)

Who is he of whom such gracious words are
spoken? He is the good Shepherd. Why does
he carry the lambs in his bosom? Because He
has a tender heart, and any weakness at once
melts his heart.

The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the
little ones of his flock draw forth his compassion.

He is considerate of the weak of his flock.

He purchased them with blood, they are his
property: he must and will care for that which
cost him so dear.

He is responsible for each lamb, bound by
covenant engagements not to lose one.
They are all a part of his glory and reward.

"He carries the lambs in his bosom."
Here is boundless affection. Would he put them
in his bosom if he did not love them much?

Here is tender nearness. So near are they,
that they could not possibly be nearer.

Here is hallowed familiarity. There are precious
'love passages' between Christ and his weak ones.

Here is perfect safety. In his bosom who can
hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first.

Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort.
Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of
the infinite tenderness of Jesus!
 

Are You Serious!?
 (by Horatius Bonar)

Our whole habits of thought, feeling,
speaking, and doing, too much resemble
the flippancies of a heedless, lighthearted
world, whose maxim is, "let us eat, drink,
and be merry." 

"And you yourself must be an example to
 them by doing good deeds of every kind.
 Let everything you do reflect the integrity
 and seriousness of your teaching." Titus 2:7
 

I am not my own.
(by Don Fortner)

I am not my own.

I belong to the Son of God.

He chose me in everlasting love.

He made me for himself.

He bought me with his own precious blood.

He saved me by his almighty grace.

He subdued my heart by his mercy
and causes me to surrender myself
voluntarily to his dominion.

I have nothing of my own.

I am his.

All that he has put into my hands; my time,
my talents, my property, even my family,
he has put into my  hands to use for him,
his kingdom, his people, his glory.

 
The humblest, poorest, and most despised child of God.
 Spurgeon, "Faith & its Attendant Privilege" #1212.

"Note the inconceivable honor of being
 a child of God!  Ah, if all the degrees,
 dignities, honors, and titles that were
 ever conferred by men could be put in
 a heap, they would not make enough of
 real honor to be seen by a microscope;
 compared with the glory that belongs
 to the humblest, poorest, and most
 despised child of God."
 

A filthy and deformed thing!
(by Spurgeon)
Is it not delightful to look forward to the time
when every stain of sin shall be removed from
the believer, and he shall be presented faultless
before the throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or
any such thing?

The Church of Christ then will be so pure,
that not even the eye of Omniscience will
see a spot or blemish in her!

Oh, what a marvelous salvation!

 Christ takes a worm and
transforms it into an angel.

He takes a filthy and deformed
thing and makes it clean and
matchless in his glory, peerless
in his beauty, and fit to be the
companion of seraphs!

O my soul, stand and admire this marvelous salvation!

 
A certain cure for every ill
(by Spurgeon)

"Abide in Me."  John 15:4

Communion with Christ is
a certain cure for every ill.

Whether it be the wormwood of woe,
or the cloying excess of earthly delight,
close fellowship with the Lord Jesus
will take bitterness from the one, and
satiety from the other.

Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter
of secondary importance whether you live on the
mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation.

Living near to Jesus, you are covered with the wings
of God, and underneath you are the everlasting arms.

Let nothing keep you from that hallowed
communion, which is the choice privilege
of a soul wedded to the 'well beloved'.

Do not be content with an interview now and then,
but seek always to retain His company, for only in
His presence have you either comfort or safety.

Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us
now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore.

You have a difficult road before you: see, O traveler
 to heaven, that you go not without your guide.

You have to pass through the fiery furnace; enter it
not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
you have the Son of God to be your companion.

You have to storm the Jericho of your own
corruptions: attempt not the warfare until,
like Joshua, you have seen the Captain of the
Lord's host, with His sword drawn in His hand.

You are to meet the Esau of your many
temptations: meet him not until at Jabbok's
brook you have laid hold upon the angel,
and prevailed.

In every case, in every condition, you will
need Jesus; but most of all, when the iron
gates of death shall open to you.

Keep you close to your soul's Husband,
lean your head upon His bosom, ask to
be refreshed with the spiced wine of His
pomegranate, and you shall be found of
Him at the last, without spot, or wrinkle,
or any such thing.

Seeing you have lived with Him, and lived in
Him here, you shall abide with Him forever.
 

Sham difficulties!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon on John 1:47
"Nathaniel, The Man Needed for the Day"  #2068.

The objections which most unsaved people
raise are not their real objections, but only
pretended difficulties to hide their real
reasons for opposition.

Most scorn Christ because they
do not want to give up their sin!

They pick up some technical question; some
difficulty raised by geology or evolution, or
something or other, and they make a fuss
over it; while the real impediment is that
they are living  an unclean life and do not
want to give up their evil ways!

This is where the true difficulty lies.

But they do not care to mention the real
impediment to their coming to Christ, and
therefore they pretend that they are the
victims of some awful mystery, or terrible
dogma which frightens them out of their
salvation.

We know the bugbears which these deceivers
set up. They deceive themselves more than
they deceive anybody else.

He is the sincere seeker who does not play
at sham difficulties but who speaks out at
once and tells what the point is that hinders
him from coming to Christ.

Alas, men do not find Jesus, for there is
deceit in their hearts and they do not really
desire to find Him. They do not really want
to know Him, and so they remain ignorant.

Let there be no trifling, no mocking God.

In the Last Great Day, when that curtain
shall be drawn back which hides from our
eyes all souls that are lost; if we are
permitted to look into that dreadful place;
we shall not find there a soul that ever
sincerely cried to God for mercy through Jesus.

Hell is filled through that deceitfulness of
the natural heart which will not let them
receive Jesus and His salvation. They blind
their own eyes to the light of God.
"...The light from heaven came into the world,
 but they loved the darkness more than the light,
 for their actions were evil.  They hate the light
 because they want to sin in the darkness. They
 stay away from the light for fear their sins will
 be exposed and they will be punished." John 3:19-20

 
The most prominent object in heaven
Charles Spurgeon, "The Lamb in Glory" #2095.  Revelation 5:6.

"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne"

Jesus, in his 'sacrificial' character, is the most prominent object in heaven. So far from 'substitution' being done with, and laid aside as a temporary expedient, it remains the object of universal wonder and adoration. In all his present glory, Jesus disdains not to appear as the Lamb that has been slain. This still is his chosen character. Jesus, as the Lamb, is the center of the wonderful circle which makes up the fellowship of heaven. As the Lamb slain, he is the object of heavenly worship.

He who became a Lamb that he might take away the sin of the world, is not ashamed of his humiliation, but still manifests it to adoring myriads, and is, for that very reason, the very object of their enthusiastic worship. They worship the Lamb that sits upon the throne and say, "Worthy is the Lamb," because he was slain and redeemed his people by his blood. His atoning sacrifice is the great reason for their deepest reverence and their highest adoration.

The doctrine of Atonement is the first and foremost teaching of Scripture, the greatest well of the believer's comfort, the highest hill of God's glory.

Rev. 5:12    In a loud voice they sang:  "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Rev. 7:17    For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;  he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
 

O sinner!
(adapted from Jonathan Edwards)

"O sinner!  The God that holds you over the
pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some
loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and
is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you
burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of
nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is
of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight;
you are ten thousand times more abominable in
his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent
is in ours.

O sinner!  You have offended him infinitely more
than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet
it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling
into the fire every moment.

O sinner!  It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that
you did not go to hell the last night; that you were
allowed to awake again in this world, after you
closed your eyes to sleep; and there is no other
reason to be given, why you have not dropped
into hell since you arose in the morning, but that
God's hand has held you up.

O sinner!  There is no other reason to be given why
you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here
in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes
by your sinful wicked manner of attending his
solemn worship.

O sinner!  Yes, there is nothing else that is to be
given as a reason why you do not this very moment
drop down into hell.

O sinner!  Consider the fearful danger you are in!

O sinner!  It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide
and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath,
that you are held over in the hand of that God,
whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much
against you, as against many of the damned in hell.

O sinner!  You hang by a slender thread, with
the flames of divine wrath flashing about it,
and ready every moment to singe it, and burn
it asunder; and you have no interest in any
Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save
yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath,
nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have
done, nothing that you can do, to induce God
to spare you one moment.
 

The wheels of divine justice grind slowly; but they grind to powder.
Be Warned! There is a day of reckoning to come.
Soon you too must do business with God himself.
The God of the Bible is the God of Justice and of Judgment.
1. The Judgment of God is Sure.
2. The Judgment of God will be Sudden.
3. The Judgment of God is Just.
4. The Judgment of God is Endless.
5. The Judgment of God will Cause No Sorrow to the Redeemed. (Rev. 19:1-6).
6. Your Religion will not save you from The Judgment of God (Matt. 7:22-23).
7. The Only One who can save you from the Judgment of God is Jesus, who bore the
Judgment of God for Sinners!  (Don Fortner)

 
Form  or  Power?
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Form
of Godliness Without the Power" #2088.  2 Timothy 3:5.

"Having a form of godliness but denying its power."

A mere form of godliness joined to
an unholy heart is of no value to God.

The swan, although its feathers are
as white as snow, yet its skin is black.

God will not accept that 'external morality'
which conceals 'internal impurity'.  There
must be a pure heart as well as a clean life.

The power of godliness must work within,
or else God will not accept our offering.

There is no value to man or to God in
  a religion which is a dead form.

Sad is that man's plight who wears the
name of Christian but has never been
quickened by the Holy Spirit.

There is no use in a mere formal religion.
If your religion is without spiritual life, what
is the use of it? Could you ride home on a
dead horse? Would you hunt with dead dogs?

Is false religion any better?

In the depth of winter, can you warm
  yourself before a 'painted fire'?

Could you dine off the 'picture of a
  feast' when you are hungry?

There must be vitality and substantiality,
or else the form is utterly worthless; and
worse than worthless, for it may flatter
you into deadly self conceit.

How shameful will such a fruitless, lifeless
professor be in eternity, when the secrets
of all hearts shall be revealed! What shame
and everlasting contempt will await him when
his falsehood shall be detected, and his
baseness shall fill all holy minds with horror!

What will be the hell of the false professor!

"Having a form of godliness but denying its power."
 

Christian, shall I tell you a secret?
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"God's Own Gospel Call" #2092 Isaiah 55:3.

Christian, shall I tell you a secret?
Before you were born, and before this round
world was made, the Lord thought of you.
Your name was in his book. You were on his
heart. The Lord loved you, and chose you
unto himself before the beginning of time.
Do you hear that?  You are his elect.  He
ordained you to eternal life, and that life
he freely gives.

Shall I tell you further of that secret?
He gave you to his Son, to be his portion, his
reward, his Bride; and that divine Son undertook
to redeem you, to save you, and to bring you
safely to his eternal glory!

He has made you his child; and, as his child, you
shall be an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ!

You think yourself to be the lowest of the low,
and least deserving of men, and so you may be.
But the infinite grace of God will put you among
the royal children; for he takes the beggar from
the ash heap and sets him among princes, even
the princes of his people.

The Lord determines to do nothing less for you
than to set you on his throne, in the image of
Christ, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing!

Oh that you would learn how deep the mines
of Jehovah's love, and how high the blessings
of his favor!

I, an unworthy sinner, shall dwell with the Lord God in the glory!

I am a monument of grace, a trophy of all conquering love!
 

Holy amazement at His unspeakable love!
"We are never nearer Christ than when we
 find ourselves lost in a holy amazement
 at His unspeakable love."    John Owen
 

A love surpassing thought!
(by Spurgeon)
If we are children of God, we are dearly beloved
by God. Did you ever try to get that thought into
your mind, that God loves you?

I can understand that God 'pities' me; that is a
feeling which so vastly superior a being might
well feel to so inferior an existence.

But that he loves me is scarcely conceivable,
  although it is most sure and certain.

Who can drink this well dry? Who can bear
home this fruitful sheaf of delights, this
purple cluster of Escol?

Children of God are loved by their Father
  with a love surpassing thought!

As his children, we have access to God at
all hours, the father's door is never locked
against his much loved children.

Our cry he knows even as a father knows
his child's cry, from every other sound.

All our needs are provided for, and our
Father's loving heart watches over all our
wanderings, and forgives all our offenses.
 

The dying love of the Lamb!
(the following is by Don Fortner)

Nothing in all the universe is more wonderful
and magnificent in the eyes of God than the
death of his dear Son.

Never did the Father more fully love
his Son than when he was heaping
upon him the fury of his wrath.

The death of our Lord Jesus Christ is the
most wonderful, astounding, magnificent
event in the history of the universe. Nothing
that is, has been, or shall hereafter be, can
be compared to it.

He was suffering the wrath of God, bearing
the sins of his people, dying as the voluntary
Substitute for guilty, hell deserving, hell bent
sinners such as we are.

Redeemed sinners on the earth cherish nothing,
delight in nothing, marvel at nothing, like we
do the death of our Lord Jesus Christ for us.

The ransomed in glory appear to think of nothing
and speak of nothing except the dying love of the
Lamb in the midst of the throne.

May we become so totally consumed with the
crucified Christ, that our hearts, our lives, every
fiber of our souls may be constantly dominated
by the death of Christ as our sin atoning Savior!
 

Your  beloved?
(by Henry Mahan)
Every soul has a beloved; something or
someone in which to glory, rejoice, and enjoy.

With some it is THE WORLD (its vanity,
 materialism, and honors) .

With others it is THE FLESH. They live
to entertain the flesh, to satisfy the
flesh, and to pamper the flesh.

With others it is THE FAMILY. Close and distant
relatives, family trees, family reunions make
up their past, present, and future.

With others it is RELIGION and works of
righteousness. Their religion is not a PERSON;
it is a CAUSE to which they are devoted in
hope of a suitable reward.

And with some it is SELF, pure and simple;
what can we do for me?

To a believer, it is CHRIST!  He worships,
loves, rejoices, and glories in the Lord Jesus
above all things.

Christ is my Beloved and I am His.

Christ; His fellowship, His love, and His
approval, are preferred above people,
possessions, pleasures, or pursuits. Could One
so illustrious and supreme deserve any less?
"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there
is none upon earth that I desire beside You!" (Ps. 73:25)
 

The Great Commandment
(by Thomas Watson)

"You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart."

God will have the whole heart.

We must not divide our love between Him and sin.

The true mother would not have the child
divided, nor will God have the heart divided;
it must be the whole heart.

We must love God for Himself,
for His own intrinsic excellencies.

We must love Him for His loveliness.

It is a harlot's love to love the
 pay more than the person.

Hypocrites love God because He gives
them food and wine: we must love God
for Himself; for those shining perfections
which are in Him.

Love to God must be active in its sphere.
Love is an industrious affection; it sets the
head studying for God, hands working, and feet
running in the ways of His commandments.

It is called the labor of love. 1 Thess. 1:1-3

Mary Magdalene loved Christ, and poured her
ointments on Him. We think we never do
enough for the person whom we love.

If we love God, our desire will be after Him.

He who loves God, breathes after communion
with Him. "My soul thirsts for the living God."

People in love desire to be often together.
He who loves God, desires to be much in His
presence.

He who loves God cannot find contentment
in any thing without Him. Lovers faint away
if they have not a sight of the object loved.

A gracious soul can do without health,
  but cannot do without God.

If God should say to a soul that entirely loves
Him, "Take your ease, swim in pleasure, solace
yourself in the delights of the world; but you
shall not enjoy My presence:" this would not
content him.

No, if God should say, "I will let you be taken
up to heaven, but I will retire into another room,
and you shall not see my face;" it would not
content the soul.

It is hell to be without God!

There can be no golden joy in the soul
without God's sweet presence and influence.

He who loves God, weeps bitterly for His absence.
Mary comes weeping, "They have taken away my Lord."

One cries, "My health is gone" another, "My
estate is gone" but he who is a lover of God,
cries out, "My God is gone! I cannot enjoy
Him whom I love." If Rachel mourned greatly
for the loss of her children, what can shadow
out the sorrow of that Christian who has lost
God's sweets presence?

Let us be persuaded to love God with
all our heart and might. O let us take
our love off from other things, and
place it upon God!

Love is the heart of Christianity, the fat of
the offering; it is the grace which Christ
inquires most after. "Simon do you love me?" John 21:15.
 

"Yes, He is altogether lovely!" Song of Songs 5:16
(by Samuel Rutherford)

Put the beauty of ten thousand thousand worlds of
paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put in
    all pleasant trees,
    all pleasant flowers,
    all pleasant smells,
    all pleasant colors,
    all pleasant tastes,
    all joys,
    all sweetness, and
    all loveliness, together into one.

Oh, what a lovely and excellent place that would be!

And yet it would be less in comparison to that
lovely and dearest 'Well Beloved', Christ, than
one drop of rain to all the seas, rivers, lakes,
and fountains of ten thousand earths.
"Yes, He is altogether lovely." Song of Songs 5:16
 

"The religious world is more dangerous by
 far than the sensual world; it wears the
 sheepskin, but it has all the fierceness of
 the wolf. Many who profess godliness are
 tainted with the spirit of the world."
Spurgeon, "Grace for Grace" #2087. 1 Cor. 2:12.
 

The throne of universal dominion!
"He that once was hung upon the tree
 of shame now sits on the throne of
 universal dominion!  Instead of the
 nail, behold the scepter of all worlds
 in His most blessed hand."
(from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Gospel of
 the Glory of Christ"  #2077. 2Cor.4:4)
 

NATURE OF MAN & SIN

Slaves of lust, pleasure, self, and Satan!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Truth Stranger than Fiction" #2081. Joel 2:25.

None toil harder than those who are the
slaves of lust, pleasure, self, and Satan.

The way of transgressors is hard.

They have to toil and slave, and tug and
strive; for the yoke of the world is not easy,
and its burden is not light. But nothing comes
of it; and this is the gall of the bitterness.

One does not mind working when there is
good reward for it; but to plough and sow,
and then to reap nothing, this is misery.

The wage sweetens the toil; but when
the wages is death, the toil is horrible.

Yet this is the way of unregenerate men:
they spend years in laboriously rebelling,
and the harvest is not after their desire.
They toil under the impulse of some strong
desire, and their desire perishes. They work,
they slave, but nothing comes of it.

The ungodly man, the man who has no faith
in Christ, is often charmed with the prospect
of a happiness which he never reaches.

A 'little more', and he will be content.

He gets a little more; and this increases his
thirst for yet another draught from the golden
cup. Earth's cups, when they seem most sweet,
only hold brine draughts, which beget a growing
thirst; an insatiable craving follows.

The years of sin are years of labor,
and years of bitter disappointment.
 

A liquid petition
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
 "Jesus Wept"  John 11:35.  #2091

No prayer will ever prevail with God more
surely than a liquid petition, which, being
distilled from the heart, trickles from the
eye, and waters the cheek. Then is God won
when he hears the voice of your weeping.
If you want to win in prayer, you must weep
in prayer. Let your soul arouse itself to
eager desire, and trouble itself to anguish,
and then you will prevail. "Jesus wept" to
teach us how to baptize our prayers unto
God in a wave of heart grief.
 

The only difference!
(by Don Fortner)
The only difference between those who are saved and
those who are lost is the difference that grace has made!
The only thing that distinguishes you who are saved from
the multitudes who are damned is the grace of God.
  Electing Grace!
  Redeeming Grace!
  Regenerating Grace!
  Preserving Grace!
"For who makes you different from anyone else?
 What do you have that you did not receive?" 1 Cor. 4:7
"But by the grace of God I am what I am...." 1 Cor. 15:10
 

The grace of God!

The following is from Jonathan Edwards sermon,
"The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners"

Christian, consider the freeness and wonderfulness
  of the grace of God towards yourself.

You had such a wicked heart, you lived such a
wicked life, and it would have been most just
with God to have cast you off forever. But he
has had mercy upon you; he has made his
glorious grace appear in your eternal salvation.

You had no love to God; but yet he has
 exercised unspeakable love to you.

You have despised God, and set light by him;
but so great a value has God's grace set on
you and your happiness, that you have been
redeemed at the price of the blood of his own Son.

You chose to be with Satan in his service; but yet
God has made you a joint heir with Christ of his glory.

You were ungrateful for past mercies; yet God
not only continued those mercies, but bestowed
unspeakably greater mercies upon you.

You refused to hear when God called;
 yet God heard you when you called.

You abused the infiniteness of God's mercy
to encourage yourself in sin against him;
yet God has manifested the infiniteness of
that mercy, in the exercises of it towards you.

You have rejected Christ, and set him at
nothing; and yet he is become your Savior.

You have neglected your own salvation;
  but God has not neglected it.

You would have destroyed yourself;
but yet in God has been your help.

God has magnified his free grace towards
you, and not to others; because he has chosen
you, and it has pleased him to set his love upon you.

Christian, you shall never open your mouth in
boasting; but lie the lower before God for his
mercy to you. You have abundant reasons to
open your mouth in God's praises, that they
may be continually in your mouth, both here
and to all eternity, for his rich, unspeakable,
and sovereign mercy to you, whereby he, and
he alone, has made you to differ from others.
 

SINCERE, BUT SINCERELY WRONG
(by A. W. Pink)

It is greatly to be feared that there are
multitudes in Christendom who verily
imagine and sincerely believe that they
are among the saved, yet who are total
strangers to a work of divine grace in
their hearts.

It is one thing to have clear intellectual
conceptions of God's truth, it is quite
another matter to have a personal, real
heart acquaintance with it.

It is one thing to believe that sin is the
awful thing that the Bible says it is, but
it is quite another matter to have a holy
horror and hatred of it in the soul.

It is one thing to know that God requires
repentance, it is quite another matter to
experimentally mourn and groan over our
vileness.

It is one thing to believe that Christ is the
only Savior for sinners, it is quite another
matter to really trust Him from the heart.
It is one thing to believe that Christ is the
'sum of all excellency', it is quite another
matter to LOVE HIM above all others.

It is one thing to believe that God is the
great and holy One, it is quite another
matter to truly reverence and fear Him.

It is one thing to believe that salvation
is of the Lord, it is quite another matter
to become an actual partaker of it through
His gracious workings.