Grace Gems for SEPTEMBER, 2019

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They are preaching up the devil's old, favorite doctrine!

(J.C. Ryle)

There is such a place as Hell. Let no one deceive you with vain words. What people do not like—they try hard not to believe. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge the world, He will punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment!

All who are found unrepentant and unbelieving;
all who have clung to sin;
all who have set their affections on worldly things;
all who are without a saving relationship to Christ—
all such shall come to a dreadful end! "Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life, was thrown into the Lake of Fire!" Revelation 20:15

1) I know that some people do not believe that there is any Hell at all. They think it impossible that there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with the mercy of God. They say that it is too awful an idea to be really true. The devil of course, rejoices in the views of such people. They help his kingdom mightily. They are preaching up the devil's old, favorite doctrine, "You shall not surely die!" Genesis 3:4

2) I know furthermore, that some do not believe that Hell is eternal! They tell us that it is incredible that a compassionate God will punish people forever. They imagine that He will surely open the prison doors of Hell at last. This also is a mighty help to the devil's cause.

3) I know also that some believe that there is a Hell, but never allow that anybody is going there! They imagine that . . .
  all people are good,
  all are sincere,
  all mean well, and
  all, they hope, will go to Heaven when they die!
Alas! what a common delusion is this!

If I never spoke of Hell—I would think I had kept back something that was profitable, and would look on myself as an accomplice of the devil.

Reader, I beseech you, in all tender affection—beware of false views of the subject on which I have been dwelling. Beware of new and strange doctrines about Hell and the eternity of punishment. Beware of manufacturing a god of your own:
  a god who is all mercy—but not just;
  a god who is all love—but not holy;
  a god who has a Heaven for everyone—but a Hell for none;
  a god who will make no distinction between the godly and the ungodly in eternity.

Such a god is an idol of your own imagination! It is as truly an idol, as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple! The hands of your own imagination and sentimentality have made it! It is not the God of the Bible—and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

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The more the Bible is studied!

(Frederick Marsh)

My conviction is that the more the Bible is studied—the more there is found in it to be studied.
Fresh light, strength, joy, help, grace, and blessing—break out from it!

Scripture is like . . .
  the dawn—ever new in its light;
  the air—ever fresh in its vitality;
  spiritual food—ever nourishing to our soul;
  the flowers—ever beautiful in their variety.

Our God and Father in Christ, I thank You that You have given Your Holy Word for my instruction.
Enable me in the grace of the Holy Spirit . . .
  to love Your Word supremely,
  to believe it wholly,
  to live it out truly,
  to follow it earnestly,
  to rest on it contentedly,
  to follow it continually,
  to practice it consistently,
  to obey it unhesitatingly,
  to hear its voice attentively,
  to handle it reverently, and
  to enter into its spirit devotedly.
In His Name, who alone is worthy, I pray. Amen.

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Oh, comforting truth!

(Octavius Winslow)

"The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer." Psalm 6:9

"You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted" Psalm 10:17

"This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles" Psalm 34:6

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles" Psalm 34:17

"Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice" Psalm 55:17

God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer" Psalm 66:19

"I love the LORD, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy" Psalm 116:1

"I call on the LORD in my distress, and He answers me" Psalm 120:1

"He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them." Psalm 145:19

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their prayer"
1 Peter 3:12

Christian! God is near at hand whenever you approach Him in prayer.
Oh, comforting truth! You have a God at hand . . .
  to listen to the softest breath of prayer,
  to listen to every confession of sin,
  to listen to every cry of need,
  to listen to every utterance of sorrow,
  to listen to every wail of woe,
  to listen to every appeal for counsel, strength and support!

Arise, O my soul! and give yourself to prayer, for God is near at hand to hear and answer you!

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

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The holiness of a Christian!

(Letters of John Newton)

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells." Romans 7:18

The depravity of our fallen nature is, and will be, universally and always felt during our present earthly state. It insinuates into, and mixes with all our thoughts, and all our actions. It is inseparable from us, as the shadow from our bodies when the sun shines upon us.

The holiness of a Christian does not consist in a deliverance from depravity—but in being sensible of it, striving against it, and being humbled under it; and taking occasion from thence to admire our Savior, and rejoice in Him as our complete righteousness and sanctification.

The grace of God puts a great deal into the heart—but it takes nothing out. Nature and grace, flesh and spirit, will antagonize each other to the end of life. Therefore the life of a believer, while in the body, is a continual state of warfare.

The apostle felt a law in his members warring against the law of his mind. He would do good, but evil was present with him. He groaned, being burdened.

When we first set out, we hope to be spiritually rich—but the Lord's purpose is to make us sensible of our extreme poverty. We wish to be something—but He is teaching us that we are nothing.

When indeed we are willing to be nothing, that He may be all in all, in us and for us—then I think we reach the very acme of holiness. Then, while we feel that we have no sufficiency of ourselves, we shall be enabled to do all things that occur in the line of duty, through Him strengthening us.

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You may as well throw your Bible away at once!

(J.C. Ryle, 1878)

"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape the damnation of Hell?" Matthew 23:33

Is Hell real?

There is but one point to be settled, "What does the Word of God teach?"
Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it, Hell is real and true.
Hell is a true as Heaven, as true as the fact that Christ died upon the cross.

Disbelieve Hell, and you unscrew, unsettle, and unpin everything in the Scripture.
Disbelieve Hell, and you may as well throw your Bible away at once!

From "no Hell" to "no God" is but a series of steps!

Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it, Hell will have inhabitants.

If I never spoke of Hell, I would think I had kept back something that was profitable, and would look on myself as an accomplice of the devil!

A flood of false doctrine has lately broken in upon us. Men everywhere are telling us, "that God is too merciful to punish souls forever—that all mankind, however wicked and ungodly will sooner or later be saved." We are to embrace what is called "kinder theology," and treat Hell as a pagan fable.

This question lies at the very foundation of the whole Gospel. The moral attributes of God—His justice, His holiness, His purity, are all involved in it. The Scripture has spoken plainly and fully on the subject of Hell. If words mean anything, there is such a place as Hell. If texts are to be interpreted fairly, then most people will be cast into it. The same Bible which teaches that God in mercy and compassion sent Christ to die for sinners—also teaches that God hates sin, and must from His very nature punish all who cleave to sin and refuse the salvation He has provided.

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If Jesus is not loved above all!

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

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me;
 anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me!"
Matthew 10:37

If Jesus is not loved above all—He is not sincerely loved at all.

There might be love of other things subordinate to the love of Christ, but not equal with it, much less superior to it. You might love your friends, and love your enjoyments, and love the comforts of your life—but you must love Christ above all. The love of these must be swallowed up in the love of Christ, and be subordinate unto it.

A man who does not love Christ more than sin, and more than pleasures and profits—has no sincere love to Christ, nor shall he be saved by Him.

"Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:25-27

That is, a true disciple of Christ must and ought to love these things less than Christ—and Christ with prevailing degrees of love. True love in the heart to Christ makes it incline more to Christ, than to all other things!

"Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love!" Ephesians 6:24

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I need to be daily kept!

(James Smith's autobiography, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862)

The following in an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:

April 16, 1854.
During the past week I have had one of the most severe asthmatic attacks I ever experienced. How painful to labor and gasp for breath, as I then did. How different the things of time appear under such circumstances! How soon one feels willing to spread the wings and fly away. May I daily live under the impression I then felt.

How I long . . .
  for closer communion with God,
  to feel more of the sweet power of piety in my own heart,
  to walk with God in confidence,
  to lean upon Him,
  to cast every care upon Him,
  to leave everything with Him,
  to aim always, and in everything to glorify Him,
  to walk through the world as if one was walking straight home to God—to dwell with and to enjoy Him forever!

Yet I feel that I need to be daily kept—to have the Lord's eye constantly upon me, and His everlasting arms always beneath me!

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

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If you attempt to enthrone the creature!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659)

O Christian! God has removed one of your sweetest mercies, comforts or enjoyments! It may be that you have . . .
  over-loved them,
  over-prized them, and
  over-much delighted yourself in them.
It may be they have often had your heart—when they should have had but your hand.
It may be that care, that concern, that confidence, that joy—which should have been expended upon more noble objects, has been expended upon them!

Your heart is Christ's bed of spices, and it may be that you have bedded your mercies with you—when Christ has been made to lie outside! You have had room for them—when you have had none for Him! They have had your best—when your worst have been counted good enough for Christ!

It is said of Reuben, that he went up to his father's bed, Genesis 49:4. Ah! how often has one creature comfort, and sometimes another—been put in between Christ and your souls! How often have your dear enjoyments gone up to Christ's bed! Your near and dear mercies have come into Christ's bed of love—your hearts!

Now, if you take a husband, a child, a friend into that room in your soul which only belongs to God—then He will either embitter it, remove it, or be the death of it.

If once the love of a wife runs out more to a servant, than to her husband—the husband will remove that servant; though otherwise he was a servant worth gold.

Now, if God has stripped you of that very mercy with which you have often committed spiritual adultery and idolatry—have you any cause to murmur?

There are those . . .
  who love their mercies into their graves,
  who hug their mercies to death,
  who kiss them until they kill them!

Many a man has slain his mercies—by setting too great a value upon them!
Many a man has sunk his ship of mercy—by overloading it.
Over-loved mercies, are seldom long-lived.
The way to lose your mercies, is to indulge them!
The way to destroy them, is to fix your minds and hearts upon them.
You may write bitterness and death upon that mercy, which has taken away your heart from God.

Christian! Your heart is Christ's royal throne, and in this throne Christ will be chief! He will endure no competitor! If you attempt to enthrone the creature, be it ever so near and dear unto you—Christ will dethrone it! He will destroy it! He will quickly lay them in a bed of dust—who shall aspire to His royal throne!

"This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to desecrate my sanctuary—the stronghold in which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection. The sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword!" Ezekiel 24:21

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It is not a loss to die!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"The day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth!" Ecclesiastes 7:1

"I do not want to live forever.
" Job 7:16

It is the very joy of this earthly life, to think that it will come to an end.

The best moment of a Christian's life is his last one, for then he is nearest Heaven.

The only people for whom I have felt any envy have been dying Christians.

It is not a loss to die—it is a lasting, perpetual gain.

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

"My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better!" Philippians 1:23

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I do not believe that our heavenly Father will ever forget His redeemed children

(Hudson Taylor)

"Can a mother forget the baby at her bosom and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" Isaiah 49:15

It is not difficult for me to remember that my little ones need breakfast in the morning, dinner at midday, and something before they go to bed at night. Indeed I could not forget it.

In the same way, I find it impossible to suppose that our heavenly Father is less tender or mindful than I am.
I do not believe that our heavenly Father will ever forget His redeemed children

I am as very poor father, but it is not my habit to forget my children.
God is a very, very good Father. It is not His habit to forget His children.

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you!" Isaiah 46:4

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine!
 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
 When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!"
Isaiah 43:1-3

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Why do we love Jesus?

(Charles Spurgeon)

"You whom my soul loves." Song of Solomon 1:7

Why do we love Jesus?

"We love Him, because He first loved us!" 1 John 4:19

We love Him, because He "gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own!" Titus 2:14

We love Him, because we have life through His death, and forgiveness through His blood.

We love Him, because "though He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, so that we through His poverty might become rich!" 2 Corinthians 8:9

We love Him, because of the excellency of His person. We are filled with . . .
 a sense of His beauty,
 an admiration of His charms,
 a consciousness of His infinite perfections!

We love Him, because His greatness, goodness, and loveliness, in one resplendent ray—combine to enchant our soul until it is so ravished that it exclaims, "Yes, He is altogether lovely!"

We love Him, because His love binds our hearts with chains more soft than silk, and yet stronger than iron!

"To you who believe, He is precious!" 1 Peter 2:7

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New methods, new plans, new organizations!

(E.M. Bounds)

The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, style, and beauty of his sermon as an oratorical performance.

We have thereby cultivated a worldly taste in the church and raised the clamor for . . .
  talent, instead of grace;
  eloquence, instead of piety;
  rhetoric, instead of revelation;
  brilliancy, instead of holiness.

What the Church needs today is not more or better machinery, nor new organizations, nor novel methods—but men whom the Holy Spirit can use, men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.

The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men.
He does not anoint church machinery, but men, men of prayer.   

We are constantly straining to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel.

The Church is looking for better methods—God is looking for holier men.

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A sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2

The best sermons are the sermons which are most full of Christ.
A sermon without Christ it is a horrible thing! It is . . .
  an empty well;
  a cloud without rain;
  a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots.

It is abominable to give men stones for bread, and scorpions for eggs—and yet they do so who preach not Jesus.

A sermon without Christ! As well talk of a loaf of bread without any flour in it. How can it feed the soul? Men die and perish because Christ is not there, and yet His glorious gospel is the easiest thing to preach, and the sweetest thing to preach—there is most variety in it, there is more attractiveness in it than in all the world besides!

The sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the top and the bottom—is a sort of sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

The mark of true Gospel preaching is where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where salvation is all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.

"We preach Christ crucified!" 1 Corinthians 1:23

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Subdued by sovereign love!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"All whom the Father gives Me, shall come to Me." John 6:37

Christ's declaration involves the doctrine of electionthere are some whom the Father gave to Christ.

Christ's declaration involves the doctrine of effectual callingthose who are given, must and shall come. However stoutly they may set themselves against it—yet they shall be brought out of the darkness of sin, into God's marvelous light.

Christ's declaration teaches us the indispensable necessity of faith—for even those who are given to Christ are not saved unless they come to Jesus. Even they must come, for there is no other way to Heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All whom the Father gives to our Redeemer, must come to Him. Therefore none can come to Heaven—unless they first come to Christ.

Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words "shall come." He does not say that they have power to come, nor they may come if they wish—but they "shall come."

The Lord Jesus does by His messengers, His Word, and His Spirit—sweetly and graciously compel men to come in, that they may eat of His marriage supper. And this He does, not by any violation of the free agency of man—but by the power of His grace. Jehovah Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of His Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul—so to subdue the whole man, that whereas he was once rebellious, he now yields cheerfully to His government, subdued by sovereign love.

But how shall those whom God has chosen be known? By this result—that they do willingly and joyfully receive Christ, and come to Him with simple and sincere faith, resting upon Him as all their salvation and all their desire.

Reader, have you thus come to Jesus?

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Saving grace makes a man willing to leave his lusts!

(Thomas Brooks)

Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a . . .
  slave is willing to leave his galley,
  or a prisoner is willing to leave his dungeon,
  or a thief is willing to leave his chains,
  or a beggar is willing to leave his rags!

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works!"
Titus 2:11-14

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The sin before us is a very old one!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858)

"Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them." Luke 22:24

We see in this passage how firmly pride and love of preeminence can stick to the hearts of Christian men. The strife was one which had been rebuked by our Lord on a former occasion. The Lord's Supper which the disciples had just been receiving, and the circumstances under which they were assembled—made the strife particularly inappropriate.

And yet at this very season, the last quiet time they could spend with their Master before His death—this little flock begins to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest!

Such is the heart of man—ever weak, ever prideful, ever ready, even at its best times, to turn aside to what is evil!

The sin before us is a very old one. Ambition, self-esteem, and self-conceit—lie deep at the bottom of all men's hearts, and often in the hearts where they are least suspected! Thousands imagine that they are humble, who cannot bear to see an equal more honored and favored than themselves. Few indeed can be found who rejoice heartily in another's promotion over themselves.

If we make any profession of serving Christ, then let us live on our guard against this great evil. The harm that it has done to the Church of Christ, is far beyond calculation. Let us learn to take pleasure in the prosperity of others, and to be content with the lowest place for ourselves. The rule given to the Philippians should be often before our eyes, "In lowliness of mind—let each esteem others better than themselves." The example of John the Baptist is a bright instance of the spirit at which we should aim. He said of our Lord, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

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Enough to put them into a cold sweat!

(Thomas Watson)

"These will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life!" Matthew 25:46

The sinner takes liberty to sin; he breaks God's laws with greediness, as if he could not sin fast enough.

Remember—the pleasures of sin are but for a season, but the torments of the wicked are forever!

Sinners have a short feast—but a long reckoning!

Here is thunder and lightning to the wicked. God is eternal, therefore the torments of the wicked are eternal! God lives forever; and as long as God lives, He will be punishing the damned! Remember, one of God's names is Eternal, and as long as God is eternal, He has time enough to reckon with all of His enemies!

Origen erroneously thought that after a thousand years, the damned would be released out of their misery. But the worm, the fire, and the prison—are all eternal! 

Eternity is a sea without bottom and banks. After millions of years, the damned must be ever burning, but never consumed; always dying, but never dead. "They shall seek death, but shall not find it."

The fire of Hell is such, as multitudes of tears will not quench it; and length of time will not finish it! The vial of God's wrath will be always dropping upon the sinner! As long as God is eternal, He lives to be avenged upon the wicked.

Oh eternity! eternity! Who can fathom it? Mariners have their plummets to measure the depths of the sea; but what line or plummet shall we use to fathom the depth of eternity? The breath of the Lord kindles the infernal lake, and where shall we get buckets to quench that fire?

Oh eternity! If all the body of the earth and sea were turned to sand, and all the air up to the starry heaven were nothing but sand—and a little bird should come every thousand years, and fetch away in her bill but the tenth part of a grain of all that heap of sand; what numberless years would be spent before that vast heap of sand would be fetched away! Yet, if at the end of all that time, the sinner might come out of Hell—there would be some hope.

But that word "FOREVER!" breaks the heart!

What a terror is this to the wicked—
enough to put them into a cold sweat—to think, as long as God is eternal, He lives forever to be avenged upon them!

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There is a limit to our sickness!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"This sickness is not unto death." John 11:4

From our Lord's words, we learn that there is a limit to our sickness. In all sickness, the Lord says to the waves of pain, "Hitherto shall you go—but no further!" His fixed purpose is not the destruction of His people—but the instruction of His people. Divine wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the heat.

1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive.

The God of providence has limited the time, manner, intensity and effects of all our sicknesses.
Each painful throb is calculated,
each sleepless hour is predestined, and
each sanctifying result is eternally decreed.
Nothing great or small, escapes the ordaining hand of Him who numbers the hairs of our head!

2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the designed end, and to the grace apportioned.
Affliction does not come by chance—the weight of every stroke of the rod is accurately measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds and measuring out the heavens, commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of souls. We cannot suffer too much—nor be relieved too late!

3. The limit is tenderly appointed.
The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. "He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." A mother's heart cries, "Spare my child!" but no mother is more compassionate than our gracious God. When we consider how self-willed we are, it is a wonder that we are not chastised more severely!

The thought is full of consolation, that He who has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the bounds of our tribulation.

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The worst viper in the human heart!

Jonathan Edwards)

Pride is a person having too high an opinion of himself.

Pride is the worst viper in the human heart!
Pride is the greatest disturber of the soul's peace, and of sweet communion with Christ.

Pride is with the greatest difficulty rooted out.

Pride is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts!

Pride is a secret and subtle sin, and appears in a great many shapes which are undetected and unsuspected.

Pride often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion—even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself!

Pride is the first sin that ever entered into the universe, and the last sin that is rooted out.

Pride is the worst sin.

Pride is the most secret of all sins. There is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable.

Alas, how much pride the best have in their hearts!

Pride is God's most stubborn enemy!

There is no sin so much like the devil, as pride!

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

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The truths which we know will never affect our hearts

(Thomas Watson)

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Without meditation the truths which we know will never affect our hearts.

As a hammer drives a nail to the head, so meditation drives a truth to the heart!

Reading Scripture furnishes with matter—it is the oil that feeds the lamp of meditation.

Be sure your meditations are founded upon Scripture.

Reading without meditation is useless.
Meditation without reading is dangerous.

The reason we come away so cold from reading the Word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His Law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2

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What more can any Christian desire?

(Thomas Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

"As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!" Galatians 6:14

There is enough in a sin-atoning Christ, to fill us and satisfy us to the full. He has the greatest worth and wealth in Him. Look, as the worth and value of many pieces of silver is to be found in one piece of gold—just so, all the petty excellencies which are scattered abroad in the creatures, are to be found in a bleeding, dying Christ! Yes, all the whole volume of perfections which is spread through Heaven and earth—is epitomized in Him who suffered on the cross! A man cannot exaggerate, in speaking of the glories of Christ. Certainly it is easier to contain the sea in a sea-shell—as to fully relate the transcendent excellencies of a suffering Christ!

O sirs! there is in a crucified Jesus—something proportionate to all the difficulties, needs, trials, and desires of His poor people. He is . . .
  bread to nourish them,
  a garment to cover and adorn them,
  a physician to heal them,
  a counselor to advise them,
  a captain to defend them,
  a prince to rule them,
  a prophet to teach them,
  a priest to atone for their sin,
  a husband to protect them,
  a father to provide for them,
  a brother to relieve them,
  a foundation to support them,
  a head to guide them,
  a treasure to enrich them,
  a sun to enlighten them, and
  a fountain to cleanse them!

What more can any Christian desire
. . .
  to satisfy him and save him,
  to make him holy and happy,
  both in time and in eternity!

"Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God!"
Ephesians 5:2

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Pithy gems from J.C. Ryle

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It costs something to be a true Christian.
It will cost us our sins, our self-righteousness, our ease and our worldliness!

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According to the men of the world—few are going to Hell.
According to the Bible—few are going to Heaven.

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By affliction, Christ . . .
  shows us our emptiness and weakness,
  draws us to the throne of grace,
  purifies our affections,
  weans us from the world, and
  makes us long for Heaven.

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Nothing is so offensive to Christ as lukewarmness in religion!
"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold,
 I am going to vomit you out of My mouth!" Revelation 3:16

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Pithy gems from John Newton #4

Abominations, like nests of vipers, lie quietly in us—until the rod of affliction arouses them. Then they hiss and show their venom! This discovery is indeed very distressing; yet, until it is made, we are prone to think ourselves much less vile than we really are, and cannot so heartily abhor ourselves, and repent in dust and ashes.

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A deep sense of indwelling sin is essential to humble living.

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I have reason to praise Him for my trials, for most probably I would have been ruined without them!

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To see Him as He is, and to be like Him! This is worth dying for—and worth living for!

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People do their country more service by pleading for it in prayer—than by finding fault with things they have no power to alter!

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Prosperity may cause us to rise in the world—but affliction is needful to raise us above the world!

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Pithy gems from Arthur Pink #2

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Christ is the key which unlocks the golden doors into the temple of Divine truth!

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An ineffably holy God, who has the utmost abhorrence of sin, was never invented by any of Adam's descendants.

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Not one for whom Jesus died, can possibly miss Heaven!

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Chastisement is designed for our good, to promote our highest interests.
Look beyond the rod—to the All-wise hand that wields it!

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Sovereignty characterizes the whole being of God. He is sovereign in all His attributes.

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The severest self-denials and the most lavish gifts are of no value in God's esteem—unless they are prompted by love.

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

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Pithy gems from Matthew Henry #2

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We cannot expect too little from man—nor too much from God!

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A garment that is double-dyed, dipped again and again—will retain the color a great while. Just so will a truth which is the subject of meditation.

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A life spent in the service of God and communion with Him is the most pleasant life that anyone can live in this world.

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The Bible is a letter God has sent to us.
Prayer is a letter we send to Him.

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Nature is content with little;
grace is content with less;
lust is content with nothing!

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Christ's followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had.

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Whatever we have of this world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts—lest it come between us and Christ.

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Pithy gems from John Calvin #3

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Scripture is like a pair of spectacles, which dispel the darkness and give us a clear view of God.

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Our physical illnesses serve us for medicines to purge us from our vanity and love of the world.

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While all men seek after happiness—scarcely one in a hundred looks for it from God.

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The glory of God shines, indeed, in all creatures in heaven and earth—but never more brightly than in the cross!

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God works in His elect in two ways:
  inwardly, by His Spirit;
  outwardly, by His Word.

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A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked, and yet would remain silent.

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Every one of us is, even from his mother's womb, a master craftsman of idols!

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The Bible, the Word of God!

(John Mason's Spiritual Sayings)

The Word of God must be . . .
  nearer to us than our friends,
  dearer to us than our lives,
  sweeter to us than our liberty, and
  pleasanter to us than all earthly comforts.

Take the candle of God's Word and search the corners of your heart.

We speak to God in prayer.
God speaks to us in His Word.

All arguments against the Word of God are fallacies;
  all ideas against the Word are delusions;
  all derision against the Word is folly; and
  all opposition against the Word is madness.

When God threatens, that's a time to repent;
when He promises, that's a time to believe;
when He commands, that's a time to obey.

If a man believed the threatenings of the Word of God,
he would tremble and fly to the promises for refuge.

As Christ came out of His Father's bosom, so
the promises came out of Christ's riven side.

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Pithy gems from Spurgeon #3

(Charles Spurgeon)

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I feel that, if I could live a thousand lives, I would like to live them all for Christ.
Even then, I would feel that they were all too little a return for His great love to me!

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It is better to preach five words of God's Word—than five million words of man's wisdom!

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What sin is worth being eternally damned for?

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Let us never think that we have learned a doctrine, until we have seen its fruit in our lives.

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A large part of the professing church is nothing better than the world, wrongfully named with Christ's name.

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Anything that makes us pray is a blessing!

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Pithy gems from Hudson Taylor

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Many Christians estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt. All of God's giants have been weak men who did great things for God, because they reckoned on His power and presence with them.

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I am often so weak that I can't read my Bible or even pray.
I can only lie still in God's arms like a little child and trust.

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Whatever is your best time in the day, give that to communion with God.

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Depend on it! God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply!

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I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will—and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions, He must give me His grace; and in the most difficult, His grace is ever sufficient.

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Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.

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Pithy gems from John Trapp, 1601-1669

Pleasure, profit and preferment are the worldling's trinity!

Better be pruned to grow, than cut up to burn!

Conscience is God's spy in the bosom.

God casts away many in anger for their supposed goodness, but none for their confessed badness.

A circle cannot fill a triangle, so neither can the whole world fill the heart of a man.
You may as easily fill a chest with goodness, as the heart with gold.

He who will be angry and not sin, must not be angry at nothing but sin.

Be careful what books you read; for as water tastes of the soil though which it runs, so does the soul taste of the books that a man reads.

Truth must be spoken, however it is received.

It is in mercy and in measure, that God chastises His children.

A man may go to Hell with baptismal water upon his face!