Grace Gems for JULY, 2019

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Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"O Lord, we are covered with shame—because we have sinned against You!" Daniel 9:8

A deep sense and clear sight of sin—its heinousness and the punishment which it deserves—should make us lie low before God's throne. As Christians—we have sinned! Alas! that it should be so. Favored as we have been—we have yet been ungrateful. Privileged beyond most—we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. What Christian is there—who will not blush when he looks back upon his past sins?

As for our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we have sinned against light and against love—spiritual light which has really penetrated our minds, and the love of Jesus which we have experienced.

Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply—when compared with the sin of one of God's redeemed ones, who has had communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus' bosom.

Look at David! Many will talk of his sin—but I beg you to look at his repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground, and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his harp! We have erred—let us, therefore, seek the spirit of penitence.

Look, again, at Peter! We speak much of Peter's denying his Master. But remember that it is written, "He wept bitterly!" Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears?

Alas! these sins of ours would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire—if it were not for God's sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning! My soul, bow down in humility under a sense of your natural sinfulness, and worship your God. Admire . . .
  His grace which saves you;
  His mercy which spares you;
  His love which pardons you!

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Lascivious temptresses!

(Arthur Pink)

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart!" Matthew 5:28

If lustful looking is so grievous a sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with desires to be looked at and lusted after are not less, but even more guilty! In this matter it is only too often the case that men sin, but women tempt them so to do.

How great, then, must be the guilt of the great majority of the modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of our young men. And how much greater still is the guilt of most of their mothers for allowing them to become lascivious temptresses!

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness." 1 Timothy 2:9-10

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The Sovereignty of God

(Arthur Pink)

"Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases!" Psalm 115:3

"Whatever the LORD pleases, He does—in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps!" Psalm 135:6

The Sovereignty of God
may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of Heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, He is absolutely independent. God does . . .
  as He pleases,
  only as He pleases,
  always as He pleases.
None can thwart Him—none can hinder Him.

God's sovereignty is not the sovereignty of a tyrannical Despot, but the exercised pleasure of One who is infinitely wise and good!
Because God is infinitely wise, He cannot err.
Because He is infinitely righteous, He will not do wrong.
Here then is the preciousness of this truth. The mere fact itself that God's will is irresistible and irreversible fills me with fear—but once I realize that God wills only that which is good, my heart is made to rejoice.

God's purpose cannot fail.
God's plans cannot miscarry.
God's will must be done.

A "god" . . .
  whose will is resisted,
  whose designs are frustrated,
  whose purpose is checkmated,
possesses no title to Deity—and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt!

"All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" Daniel 4:35

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When the creature failed, he flew to the Creator!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Help, Lord! For the godly are no more." Psalm 12:1

The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, seasonable, pithy, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of godly men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication. When the creature failed, he flew to the Creator! He evidently felt his own weakness—or he would not have cried for help.

There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent:

  In providential afflictions, how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them.

  In doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of "Help, Lord!" to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher.

  Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request.

  Workers in heavenly labor may thus obtain grace in time of need.

  Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication.

In fact, in all cases, times, and places, this prayer will serve the turn of needy souls.

"Help, Lord!" will suit us . . .
 living and dying,
 suffering or laboring,
 rejoicing or sorrowing. 

In Him our help is found—let us not be slack to cry to Him.

The answer to the prayer is certain, if it is sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord's character assures us that He will not leave His redeemed people; His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing. His promise stands sure, "Fear not—I will help you!" Isaiah 41:13

"I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you!" Psalm 88:13

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Walk in the Spirit!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18

"Walk in the Spirit (let your steps be guided by the Spirit,) and you will not gratify the evil desires of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

Rich would the blessings of this day be, if we were filled with the Holy Spirit. The consequences of this sacred filling of the soul, would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort, light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings are inseparable from the Spirit's gracious presence.

As sacred oil—He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his duties aright.

As the only truly purifying water—He cleanses us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness, working in us to will and to do of the Lord's good pleasure.

As the holy light—He reveals the Lord Jesus to us, and guides us in the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray, we are no longer walk in darkness—but in the light of Scripture truth.

As purifying fire—He both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature ablaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God.

As heavenly dew—He removes our barrenness and nourishes our lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early hour! Such morning dew would be a sweet commencement for the day.

As the heavenly Dove, with wings of peaceful love—He broods over the souls of believers; and as a Comforter He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His beloved ones. He descends upon His chosen people, and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial spirit by which they cry Abba, Father!

As the wind—He brings the breath of spiritual life to men. He performs the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is animated and sustained.

O that we might feel the Spirit's presence and influence this day and every day!

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Christ's garden!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"I have come into My garden—My sister, My bride!" Song of Solomon 5:1

The heart of the believer is Christ's garden. He bought it with His precious blood, and He enters it and claims it as His own.

A garden implies separation. It is not the open common, nor is it a wilderness. A garden is walled around, or hedged in. Would that we could see the wall of separation between the Christian and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, "Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that," thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul, which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity!

A garden is a place of beauty, it far surpasses the wild uncultivated fields. The genuine Christian must seek to be more excellent in his life than the best moralist, because Christ's garden ought to produce the best flowers in all the world. Even the best is poor—compared with Christ's deservings. Let us not put Him off with withered and dwarf plants. The rarest, richest, choicest lilies and roses—ought to bloom in Christ's own garden!

The garden is a place of growth. The saints are not to remain undeveloped, always mere buds and blossoms. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Growth should be rapid where Jesus is the Gardener, and the Holy Spirit is the dew from above.

A garden is a place of retirement. So the Lord Jesus Christ would have us reserve our hearts as a place in which He can manifest Himself, as He does not unto the world. O that Christians were more retired, that they kept their hearts more closely shut up for Christ! We often worry and trouble ourselves, like Martha, with much serving—so that we have not the room for Christ that Mary had, and do not sit at His feet as we should.

Lord grant the sweet showers of Your grace to water Your garden this day!

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The practice of truth is the most profitable reading of it!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Immediately they forsook their nets, and followed Him." Mark 1:18

When Simon and Andrew heard the call of Jesus, they obeyed immediately and without hesitation.

In the same way, if we would always punctually and with resolute zeal put in practice what we hear—then our attendance at preaching, and our reading of Scripture and good books, could not fail to enrich us spiritually.

He will not lose his bread, who has taken care at once to eat it. Neither can you be deprived of the benefit of the teaching you read or hear, if you immediately put it into practice.

Most readers and hearers become moved so far as to purpose to amend. But, alas! their resolution is a blossom which never buds, and therefore no fruit comes of it. They wait, they waver, and then they forget.

That fatal tomorrow is blood-red with the murder of fair resolutions!

We are very concerned that our little book of devotions should not be fruitless, and therefore we pray that readers may not be readers only—but doers of the Word.

The practice of truth is the most profitable reading of it! Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these devotionals, let him hasten to fulfill it before the holy glow has departed from his soul. Do not give place to the devil by delay! Hasten while opportunity and desire are in happy conjunction. Happy is the writer who shall meet with readers resolved to carry out his teachings—his harvest shall be a hundredfold, and his Master shall have great honor. Would to God that such might be our reward upon these brief devotional meditations. Grant it, O Lord, unto your servant!

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!" James 1:22

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God is now punishing me for my sins!

(Arthur Pink)

When the believer is smarting under the rod let him not say, "God is now punishing me for my sins!" That can never be. That is most dishonoring to the blood of Christ. God is correcting you in love, not smiting in wrath. Nor should the Christian regard the chastening of the Lord as a sort of necessary evil to which he must bow as submissively as possible. No, it proceeds from God's goodness and faithfulness, and is one of the greatest blessings for which we have to thank Him.

Chastisement evidences our Divine sonship. The father of a family does not concern himself with those on the outside—but those within he guides and disciplines to make them conform to his will. Chastisement is designed for our good, to promote our highest interests. Look beyond the rod, to the all-wise hand that wields it!

Let us not conclude when we see a fellow-Christian under the rod of God, that he is necessarily being taken to task for his sins.

Oftentimes God's chastenings are corrective. They are sent to empty us of self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. They are given to reveal to us hidden transgressions, and to teach us the plague of our own hearts.

Or again, chastisements are sent to strengthen our faith, to raise us to higher levels of Christian experience, and to bring us into a condition of usefulness.

Still again, divine chastisement is sent as a preventative, to hinder pride, to save us from being unduly elated over success in God's service.

There is a threefold distinction between divine punishment and divine chastisement:

First, the character in which God acts.
  In divine punishment, God acts as a Judge.
  In divine chastisement, God acts as a Father.

The second distinction lies in the recipients of each.
  The objects of divine punishment, are His enemies.
  The objects of divine chastisement, are His children.

A third distinction is seen in the design of each.
  Divine punishment is retributive
  Divine chastisement is remedial.

  Divine punishment flows from His anger
  Divine chastisement flows from His love.

"No chastening seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

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A sight of God!

(James Smith, "Food for Hungry Souls")

"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear—but now my eye sees You!
 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes!" Job 42:5, 6.

Job now saw God in another manner than he had ever done before. He saw more . . .
  of His greatness and glory,
  of His power and majesty,
  of His holiness and sovereignty,
  of His grace and mercy.

The effect of seeing God: "Therefore I abhor myself." Job had disgusting and humiliating views of himself. Having a clearer and more correct view of his God—led him to despise himself, and he turned from himself with loathing! He now abhorred . . .
   the rashness he had displayed,
   the impatience He had manifested,
   the complaints he had uttered,
   the self-righteousness he had indulged,
   and the aspersions he had cast on his God.

Now he says, "I repent." My mind is changed, and I am sorry for my misconduct. According to the custom of the country, and the times in which he lived—he sat down on ashes, put dust on his head, humbling himself before God—loathing himself in his own sight for all his abominations.

A sight of God always humbles us!

It humbled the prophet Isaiah, who when he saw God, cried out, "Woe to me, for I am ruined! For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!"

It humbled the apostle Peter, who when he perceived the dignity and glory of Jesus, exclaimed, "Depart from me—for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"

It humbled the beloved John, who when Jesus appeared to him in Patmos, fell at His feet as dead!

God's glory always lays the believer in the dust of self-abasement.

Those who know the most of God—think the least of themselves.

Pride cannot live in the presence of God. His glory . . .
  consumes our self-righteousness,
  dries up our self-admiration, and
  spoils all our supposed moral beauty.

The higher we rise in our knowledge and enjoyment of God—the lower we shall sink in our estimation of ourselves.

"Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes!"
True repentance is always attended with self-abhorrence.
We abhor not only sinful self; but righteous self!

The more we understand God's love to us—the more we mourn over our sin and sinfulness. The tear of penitence will drop from the eye of faith, on the crystal threshold of the gate of the New Jerusalem. And then the light of glory will extinguish the light of faith—and there shall be no more sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain—for the former things will have passed away!

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Liquid prayers!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"The LORD has heard the voice of my weeping!" Psalm 6:8

Is there a voice in weeping? Does weeping speak?

In what language does it utter its meaning? Why, in that universal tongue which is known and understood in all the earth, and even in Heaven above. When a man weeps, whether he is a Jew or Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free—it has the same meaning in it.

Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is a wordless orator, needing no interpreter, but understood by all.

Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood by God, even when words fail?

Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will surely trickle its way into the very heart of divine mercy.

My God, I will "weep" when I cannot plead—for You hear the voice of my weeping.

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If you feel your tongue itch to talk nonsense!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"To the Law and to the Testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20

Take care never to impute the vain follies of your imagination to the Holy Spirit. I have seen the Spirit of God shamefully dishonored by people—I hope they were insane—who have said that they have had this and that revealed to them.

For some years there has not been a single week in which I have not been pestered with the revelations of hypocrites or maniacs. Semi-lunatics are very fond of coming with "messages from the Lord" to me. It may spare them some trouble if I tell them once for all that I will have none of their stupid messages!

Never think that events are revealed to you by God—or you may come to be like those idiots who dare impute their blatant follies to the Holy Spirit. If you feel your tongue itch to talk nonsense—then trace it to the devil, and not to the Spirit of God!

Whatever is to be revealed by the Spirit to any of us, is in the Word of God already. He adds nothing to the Bible, and never will. Let people who have revelations of this, that, and the other thing—go to bed, and wake up in their senses. I only wish they would follow Scripture and no longer insult the Holy Spirit by laying their nonsense at His door!

"A prophet who presumes to speak in My name anything I have not commanded him to say . . . must be put to death!" Deuteronomy 18:20

"The prophets are prophesying lies in My name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds!" Jeremiah 14:14

"Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: Hear the Word of the LORD!" Ezekiel 13:2

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Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

(Charles Spurgeon)

"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!" Romans 8:28

The Christian does not merely hold this truth as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet.

The poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions, have worked the cure.

The sharp cuts of the lancet, have cleansed out the infected flesh and facilitated the healing.

In every event of your life, God has always worked out the most divinely blessed results.

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil—the believer's heart is comforted, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine! Send me what You will, my Father, so long as it comes from You!"

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The Weaver!

(J.R. Miller)

The life that is given up to God in true devotion, need fear nothing. We may have our sorrows, our disappointments, our losses, but all of our life is in the hands of God—and no real harm can come to us. In all the events and experiences of our most difficult days—God is developing our graces and character!

Very beautiful is the figure of the loom. God is the Weaver. He has before Him the pattern into which He would fashion our lives. Some threads are white, some are dark—but the great Weaver will blend them so that the finished work will be beautiful.

The Weaver!
(Author unknown)

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper
And I the under-side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

"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." Romans 8:28

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If you had been gifted with unerring wisdom!

(Charles Spurgeon)

God is wonderful in His designs, and excellent in His workings.

Believer, God overrules all things for your good.

The needs-be for all that you have suffered, has been most accurately determined by God. Your course is all mapped out by your heavenly Father!

Nothing will take Him by surprise. There will be no novelties to Him. There will be no occurrences which He did not foresee, and for which, therefore, He has not provided. He has arranged all, and you have but to patiently wait, and you shall sing a song of deliverance.

Your life has been arranged on the best possible principles, so that if you had been gifted with unerring wisdom, you would have arranged your life exactly as the one through which you have passed.

Let us trust God's heart, where we cannot trace His hand!

"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." Romans 8:28

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It is your duty to assure him that he is not saved

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven." Matthew 7:21

"I will tell them plainly: I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!" Matthew 7:23

If a professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will, but does not mean to obey it—then you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved.

Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified, by going to religious worldlings and telling them that they are saved—while they are still wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so, I . . .
  tell them a lie,
  pervert the Gospel,
  insult Christ, and
  turn the grace of God into a license for sin!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

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Sin, a little thing?

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Avoid every kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Sin, a little thing?
Is it not poison? Who knows its deadliness?

Sin, a little thing?
Do not little foxes spoil the grapes?
Do not the tiny coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy?
Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks?
Will not continual droppings wear away stones?

Sin, a little thing?
It girded the Redeemer's head with thorns, and pierced His heart!
It made Him suffer unfathomable anguish, bitterness, and woe!
Look upon all sin as that which crucified your Savior, and you will see it to be utterly sinful!

If you could but weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity—you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil.

Not only do great sins ruin the soul, but lesser sins will do the same. Dallying with temptation, leads to sad consequences.

A small dagger thrust into the heart, will give as deadly a wound as a huge two-handed sword.
Just so, a little sin unrepented of, will be as fatal as living in gross transgressions.
Death can hide in a drop, and ride in a breath of air. Just so, our greatest dangers lie hidden in little things. The least sin may cause a great madhouse in your heart. It may conceal a host of evils, and a numerous hive of mischiefs, each one storing great harm.

Believer, beware of little sins! Watch and pray, lest you fall little by little.

Lord, save me from sins which call themselves little!

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Pride cannot live beneath the cross!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"He humbled Himself." Philippians 2:8

Jesus is the great teacher of 'humility of heart'. We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples feet! Follower of Christ—will you not humble yourself? See Him as the Servant of servants—and surely you cannot be proud!

Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography: "He humbled Himself." Was He not on earth, always stripping off first one robe of honor and then another—until, naked, He was fastened to the cross. There He not emptied out His inmost self, pouring out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, until they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave.

How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud?

Stand at the foot of the cross and count the scarlet drops by which you have been cleansed. See the thorny crown and His scourged shoulders still gushing with the crimson flow of blood. See His hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self mocked and scorned. See the bitterness, the pangs, and the throes of inward grief show themselves in His outward frame. Hear the chilling shriek, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me!"

If you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross—you have never seen it! If you are not humbled in the presence of the sin-atoning Savior—you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you, but the sacrifice of God's only begotten Son. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you—bow yourself in humility at His feet.

A realization of Christ's amazing sacrificial love has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt. May the Lord bring us in contemplation, to Calvary. Then our position will no longer be that of pompous pride—but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much, because much has been forgiven him.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross!
Let us sit there and learn our lesson.
Then let us rise and carry it into practice.

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

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Oh! that I could behold my bleeding Lord with a weeping eye!

(Thomas Doolittle, "Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!" 1693)

True hatred to sin must be mortal and destructive to sin. Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him; and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand—then will I slay my brother Jacob!" Genesis 27:41

Just so, the lover of Christ, who hates sin, is resolved to the destruction of it.

Shall not I aim at the death of that cursed sin—which was the death of my blessed Lord?

Shall I allow that sin to live in my heart—which would not allow Christ to live in the world?

Did sin shed my Savior's blood—and shall not I be avenged on my sin?

Did sin make my Savior groan, and sweat in a bloody agony—and shall I take delight therein?

My sins were . . .
  the nails that fastened Him to the cross,
  the spear that pierced His blessed side, and
  the thorns that crowned His sacred head!
And shall I lodge sin in my bosom? Did Christ in love unto my soul—die for my sin; and shall not I, in love unto my Lord—put my sin to death?

Reader! Can you indulge in sin—and your soul not sigh, nor sob, nor grieve, nor groan? Can you sin—and make a sport at it, like a fool? "Fools make a mock at sin!" Proverbs 14:9. Oh loveless sinner! Did Christ bleed for sin—and do you laugh at it? Was Christ serious, and His soul sorrowful even to the death for sin—and do you make a sport of it?

If the fire of love to Christ were kindled in your bosom—would not the waters of sorrow run down your cheeks, and make you say: "Oh! What have I done—that I so long have slighted my loving Lord? Oh! What did I mean—to stop my  ears against His calls of love and mercy; that I let Him stand outside my heart—when the world and Satan were admitted in? Did my Lord Jesus suffer for my sins—should I then continue sinning against my suffering Lord? Was He nailed to the tree for my sake—and must I yet wound Him more? Oh! that I could behold my bleeding Lord with a weeping eye! I am grieved, dear Savior, I am grieved—to remember how I slighted You, and trampled Your royal commands under my feet. O Lord, I blush and am ashamed, that I spurned Your tender compassion, that I undervalued Your invaluable love—and preferred the rubbish of this poor world, before such an incomparable Savior!"

Have you a sea of sin—and not a drop of sorrow for it? Surely you are the man who has not one ounce of sincere love to Jesus Christ!

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When the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm!

(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952)

The success of a counterfeiter depends largely upon how closely the counterfeit resembles the genuine article.

Heresy is not so much the total denial of the truth, as a perversion of it. That is why a half-lie is always more dangerous than a complete repudiation.

Hence when the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm it is not his custom to flatly deny the fundamental truths of Christianity; rather he tacitly acknowledges them, and then proceeds to give an erroneous interpretation and a false application.

False prophets are to be found in the circles of the most orthodox, and they pretend to have a fervent love for souls—yet they fatally delude multitudes concerning the way of salvation! These pulpit hucksters have wantonly lowered the standard of divine holiness and so adulterated the Gospel, in order to make it palatable to the carnal mind.

Any preacher . . .
  who adulterates God's Word,
  who denies repentance to be a condition of salvation,
  who assures the giddy and godless that they are loved by God,
  who declares that saving faith is nothing more mental assent
—is a false prophet, and should be shunned as a deadly plague!

It is only those who truly love Christ who are fitted to minister to His flock!
The work is so laborious,
the appreciation is often so small,
the response is so discouraging,
the criticisms are so harsh,
the attacks of Satan are so fierce,
that only the "love of Christ"—His love for us and our love for Him—can "constrain" to such work.

"Hirelings" will feed the goats—but only those who love Christ can feed His sheep!

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Nothing in this world is more beautiful

(J.R. Miller)

A ship is made to go in the water, and no matter how deep the sea nor how wild the tempest—all goes well as long as the water does not get into the ship. The problem of managing a ship, is not to keep the ship out of the water—but to keep the water out of the ship!

In this sinful world, we cannot avoid all cares and trials and temptations. The goal of of true Christian living is to keep these cares and trials and temptations from getting into our souls. Some people let all their frets and worries at once into their hearts—and they soon live out their lives in sourness, irritability, and discontent. They become thus miserable themselves—and they make all around them miserable. They cast, not cooling, healthful, refreshing shade on others—but melancholy, darksome, chilling shadows.

Learn to keep your cares in your hands—and out of your hearts. Nothing in this world is more beautiful than a Christian life with many trials and cares—yet remaining ever peaceful and joyous amid them all. This is the real goal of noble Christian living.

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God saves sinners apart from the preaching of the gospel

(Don Fortner)

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10:17

No one is saved apart from the hearing of the gospel.

Let no one deceive you in this matter. The issue is not whether or not God can save His people without the use of means. The issue is whether or not He will. We know that He will not, because He has revealed it plainly in His Word. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." It pleased God to save His elect by the foolishness of gospel preaching. All who are begotten of God, are begotten of Him by the gospel. All who are born again, are born again by the incorruptible seed of God's Word, which is preached to them in the gospel.

These things are so plainly revealed in holy Scripture that there is no excuse for error regarding them (1 Corinthians 1:21; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25). Those who teach that God saves sinners apart from the preaching of the gospel, fly in the face of holy Scripture. It is therefore no surprise to see them favor emotionalism, experiences, dreams, custom, and religious tradition above the Word of God.

The preaching of the gospel is God's chosen, ordained means of grace, by which He calls chosen, redeemed sinners to salvation in Christ by the irresistible power and grace of His Holy Spirit. The New Testament universally declares that the preaching of the gospel is vital to the salvation of God's elect.

Our message is always the same.
We do not have one message for children, and another for adults.
We do not have one message for one group, and another for another group.

The preaching of the gospel is a proclamation . . .
  of the unsearchable riches of Christ,
  of salvation by His grace,
  of peace with God,
  of pardon of sin,
  of righteousness, and life and salvation by Him.

The Scriptures plainly declare that no one will ever be saved who does not . . .
  hear the gospel (Romans 10:17),
  believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16),
  acknowledge and confess his sin (1 John 1:9),
  repent of his sins (Luke 13:5), and
  persevere in the faith (Matthew 10:22).

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The decrees of God!

(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952)

"But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations!" Psalm 33:11

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

"This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?" Isaiah 14:26-27

"I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please." Isaiah 46:10

The decrees of God relate to all future things without exception.

Whatever is done in time, was foreordained before time began.

God's purpose was concerned with everything, whether great or small, whether good or evil.

1. The divine decrees are Eternal. "According to His eternal purpose . . ." Ephesians 3:11. To suppose any of God's decrees to be made in time, is to suppose that some new occasion has occurred, some unforeseen event or combination of circumstances has arisen, which has induced the Most High God to form a new resolution.

2. The divine decrees are Wise. Wisdom is shown in the selection of the best possible ends and of the fittest means of accomplishing them. That this character belongs to the decrees of God is evident from what we know of them. They are disclosed to us by their execution, and every proof of wisdom in the works of God is a proof of the wisdom of the plan, in conformity to which they are performed.

3. The divine decrees are Free. God was alone when He made His decrees, and His determinations were influenced by no external cause. He was free to decree or not to decree, and to decree one thing and not another. This liberty we must ascribe to Him who is supreme, independent, and sovereign in all His doings.

4. The divine decrees are Unconditional. The execution of them is not suspended upon any condition which may, or may not be, performed. In every instance where God has decreed an end, He has also decreed every means to that end.

"In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." Ephesians 1:11

Don Fortner: "God does not permit things to happen. He purposed all that comes to pass in time, before time began (Romans 11:36; Isaiah 45:7). And all that He ordained from eternity and performs in time, is good."

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There can be no true progress in vital and practical godliness without it!

(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952)

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:2-3

Meditation upon the Word of God is one of the most important of all the means of grace and growth in spirituality. There can be no true progress in vital and practical godliness without it! Meditation on Divine things is not optional but obligatory, for it is something which God has commanded us to attend unto.

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful!" Joshua 1:8

To get the nourishment out of a text, turn it over and over in your mind, meditate upon it, pull it to pieces word by word! Scripture meditation is the strong meat on which holy men are nourished. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up into your very soul, until it saturates your heart! The more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate on it—the more you will be astonished with it!

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It always issues in the following

(Al Martin)

"First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also—I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds." Acts 26:20

Conversion begins with a radical turning to God in repentance that issues in a lifetime of living out the implications of that turning, by performing deeds in keeping with that repentance.

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

This describes the conversion of the Thessalonians as consisting in a radical turning to God from idols, issuing in a life of bond-service to the living God, and an eager waiting for the completion of salvation to be bestowed at the return of Jesus.

If any professed conversion is indeed God's saving work, it always issues in the following:
  a life of growing communion with Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9; Philippians 3:8-10);
  a life of increasing conformity to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18);
  a life of continuous abiding in Christ (John 15:1-11);
  and a life of principled obedience to Christ (John 14:21, 1 John 2:3-4).

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He is a bad preacher!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation." Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God's grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land. The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants.

This is our first duty—we are to begin at the family hearth. He is a bad preacher, who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched—but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord's arrangements.

To teach our children is a personal duty. We cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or to the church. These can assist us—but cannot relieve us from the sacred obligation. Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High God.

Parental teaching is a natural duty. Who is so fit to look to after child's well-being, as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish!

Family instruction is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots, atheism is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter.

It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has often saved the children through the parents' prayers and admonitions.

May every house into which this counsel shall come, honor the Lord in this matter and receive His smile!

"These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates!" Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

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I would rather have my soul soaking in a few verses all day

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long."
Psalm 119:97

Some people like to read so many chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather have my soul soaking in a few verses all day, than rinse my hand in several chapters.

Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up into your very soul, until it saturates your heart!

Set your heart upon God's Word! Let your whole nature be plunged into it as a cloth into a dye!

"His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night!"
Psalm 1:2

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We dwell in the palm of God's hand!
(Don Fortner)

"My times are in Your hand." Psalm 31:15

"My times". They change and vary from day to day, but they change only in accordance with His unchanging love. They vary, but only according to the purpose of Him in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning.

"My times". That is to say . . .
  my ups and my downs,
  my health and my sickness,
  my prosperity and my adversity,
  my wealth and my poverty,
  my happiness and my sorrow
—all of these are in the hands of my Lord and Redeemer, who arranges and appoints the length of my days and the darkness of my nights according to His wise and holy will.

"My times". All of them, in the beginning of life, in the course of life and in the end of life, "are in Your hand"—and I am glad that it is so.

The close of my life is no more at the disposal of fate, or chance, or Satan than the beginning of my life. My life will not close until the hand of my Father's love closes it. I shall not die before my time, and I shall not be forgotten and left on the stage of time too long.

Not only are we in the hand of the Lord, but everything that surrounds us is in His hand. All the people, things and events which make up the environment of our existence are in the hand of our God.

Child of God, this should bring comfort and joy to your heart.

We dwell in the palm of God's hand!

We are absolutely at His disposal.

Everything that concerns us is arranged by His hand.

May the Lord graciously enable us to enter into the peaceful realization of His good providence!

"Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

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His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good!

(Don Fortner)

As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine—so our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good.

Too much joy would intoxicate us.
Too much misery would drive us to despair.

Too much sorrow would crush us.
Too much suffering would break our spirits.

Too much pleasure would ruin us.
Too much defeat would discourage us.

Too much success would puff us up.
Too much failure would keep us from doing anything.

Too much criticism would harden us.
Too much praise would exalt us.

Our great God knows exactly what we need.

His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good!

Let God send and do whatever He wills—by His grace, if we are His, we will face it, bow to it, accept it, and give thanks for it. God's Providence is always executed in the 'wisest manner' possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God.

"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." Romans 8:28

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Short pithy gems from Spurgeon! #1

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There is enough dust on some of your Bibles, to write "Damnation!" with your fingers!

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The joys of Heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth.

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An unholy church! It is useless to the world—and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, Hell's laughter, and Heaven's abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world—have been brought upon her by an unholy church!

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Does the world satisfy you? Then you have your reward and portion in this life. Make much of it—for you shall know no other happiness.

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Short pithy gems from Spurgeon! #2

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The best of our good works are but a painted pageantry for your soul to go to Hell in!
You may as surely go down to the bottomless pit by the religious road, as by the way of the wicked.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Nine times out of ten, spiritual declension from God begins in the neglect of private prayer.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Some of you will not like it to be said, but I believe that it is anti-Christian to live with the objective of accumulating wealth!

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If the wooings of Christ's wounds cannot make you love Christ—do you think the flames of Hell will?

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Short pithy gems from Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

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Hell is the best reward that the devil can give you for being his servant!   

   ~  ~  ~  ~

There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I suppose this is because He is infinitely beyond all that any one name could express.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The fellow that has no money, is poor.
The fellow that has nothing but money, is poorer still.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Whiskey and beer are all right in their place, but their place is in Hell! The saloon is the sum of all villainies. It is worse than war or pestilence. It is the crime of crimes. It is parent of crimes and the mother of sins. It is the appalling source of misery in the land, and the principal cause of crime. To license such an incarnate fiend of Hell is the dirtiest, low-down, damnable business on top of this old earth!

Spurgeon: "Drunkenness is the devil's back door to Hell and everything that is hellish. For he who once gives away his brains to drink is ready to be caught by Satan for anything!"

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Short pithy gems from John Newton #3

The Lord Jesus, and the world that crucified Him—are competitors for our hearts.

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The storms of our life are guided by the hands which were nailed to the cross!

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We have work to do in the world, more to do in the Church and in our homes—but most of all, in our own hearts.

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Wonderful are the effects when a crucified, glorious Savior is presented to the eye of faith.
This sight destroys the love of sin!

Short pithy gems from John Newton #1

Short pithy gems from John Newton #2