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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 9

Favorite Pastor Quotes 9

That time has arrived! 

(Arthur Pink)

"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth, and turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:1-4

That time has arrived! Church-goers today will not endure "sound doctrine." Those . . .
   who preach the total depravity of man, 
   who insist upon the imperative necessity of the new birth, 
   who set forth the inflexible righteousness and holiness of God, and 
   who warn against the eternal and conscious torment awaiting every rejecter of Christ,
find it almost impossible to obtain a hearing! Such preachers are regarded as puritanic pessimists, and are not wanted. 

In these degenerate times, the masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins--and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road which leads to eternal destruction! The multitude is affected with "itching ears" which crave novelty and that which will amuse them.

Not only are many of our Seminaries cesspools of spiritual corruption, 
not only are hundreds of our pulpits now filled by traitors to the cause they profess to champion, 
not only is every cardinal doctrine of the faith attacked and denied by the very ones paid to defend them--
but the evil effects of such teaching from our religious leaders have influenced multitudes of souls committed to their care. 

The man in the pew, following the lead of his teachers, has lost faith in the Bible as a Divine revelation, and in consequence, no longer submits to its authority. 


Sick-bed Vows

Francis Bourdillon
Psalm 78:34-42.
"Whenever God slew them — then they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return. How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland! Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power —  the day he redeemed them from the oppressor."
This Psalm is about the people of Israel. It sets forth God's dealings with them and the return which they made; it declares, on the one hand, the wonderful things which He did for them: His kindness and long-suffering, His chastisements and His forgiveness; and, on the other hand, their many backslidings, their repeated ingratitude and rebellion. In this particular part of the Psalm we see how the people turned to God when He laid His hand upon them in affliction, but forgot Him again when His hand was removed. This happened again and again. Many a time did they seem to repent, and yet they again returned to their sins. Many a time did God forgive their backslidings.
How often may this be seen still! "When He slew them — then would seek Him." When a man feels the hand of God upon him in sickness or trouble, then he seeks God. His pride is brought down, he is careless no longer; for his strength is gone from him, and outward comforts are fled, and perhaps death itself seems near. Now he seems in earnest. He shows much zeal in inquiring after God, and pays attention to reading and prayer. His thoughts go back to the past. He remembers God's dealings with him — he thinks over his life, counts up the mercies he has received, considers how he has been borne with in his carelessness, and how the means of grace have not been withheld from him, though he has made so poor an use of them. He sees now the vanity of the world. He remembers that God is his Rock, and the most high God is his Redeemer. He will be a different man for the future. He will never again live as he has lived. If it pleases God to raise him up, he will never more forget Him, but will strive to serve Him truly all his days.
These are his thoughts and purposes. Suppose it please God to restore that man to health and prosperity — does he still remain in the same mind? Does he really lead a new life and care for his soul and serve God? Alas, not in every case. Often the sick-bed vow is broken — and the sick-bed thoughts are forgotten. With returning health, old thoughts come back, and old ways are followed. There is little change.
The words come true, " But then they would flatter Him with their mouths, lying to Him with their tongues." Not that they did not mean what they said. The people of Israel were sincere perhaps at the moment; but "their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant." There was no depth in their repentance, no steadfastness in their purposes — and so, as soon as God's afflicting hand was removed, they provoked Him afresh.
In like manner, the man who forgets his sick-bed vows was no hypocrite perhaps when he made them. He did not say one thing — and mean another. He meant to keep to what he said, and thought that he would. But he did not know his own heart, his weakness, his proneness to forget God, his need of grace. He did not know that the Holy Spirit alone could work a real change in him and make his heart right with God and lead him to be steadfast in His covenant. Had he but known this, and sought the Spirit accordingly — how different would his after-life have been!
Affliction, pain, and sickness — do not in themselves work a change of heart. They are often used as instruments by God, but they are only instruments — the power is His. It is only sanctified affliction which leaves a blessing behind it. We should pray therefore, when we are sick or in trouble, that the Holy Spirit may be given to us, and that our affliction may be sanctified and turned to the good of our souls.
Prayer is the way by which afflictions may be turned into blessings. Prayer will give us cause to say with David, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted!" (Psalm 119:71). God is full of compassion and mercy.
Though Israel so often sinned again — yet God repeatedly forgave them. He is still the same — the same to us, as He was to them. He looks in mercy upon our shortcomings and backslidings, our broken vows and forgotten resolutions. He remembers that we are but flesh — poor, weak, sinful creatures. The precious blood of Christ has been shed for us, and "He ever lives to make intercession for us" (Hebrews 7:15).
For His sake, God is still ready to receive us; and, notwithstanding all that is past, He will forgive and save all who seek Him through Jesus Christ. Thus He is indeed their Rock and their Redeemer. Happy are all who seek Him and know Him thus!
But let none presume on God's compassion and mercy and think that because He bears long and forgives often — they may go on in their sins and yet escape. It cannot be. There is every encouragement to turn to God in Christ now. No one shall now be refused; no one shall now find the door of mercy shut.

But the time will come when that door will be closed forever, and when those who have slighted God's warnings and turned a deaf ear to His invitations — will find too late that they have let the day of salvation slip by. Now is the time to profit by God's chastisements, to turn to Him and to seek Him. Even while His hand is upon us and we hear His gracious voice calling us in His Word — let us turn unto Him who smites us; let us seek the Lord Almighty! (Isaiah 9:13).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 8

Favorite Pastor Quotes 8

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them… Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:9,10 NLT)

"He loved them unto the uttermost." And I think in that statement, there is the most wonderful thing that ever came into this world. Jesus had had a lot of trouble with those men. They had often misunderstood Him. They had often disappointed Him. They were really a very poor lot of men.... He knew what a poor lot of men they were, but He loved them unto the uttermost. That is the first thing about this love. It is not offended by our failures. He does not withdraw His love because we make mistakes. We may often disappoint Him, we may often fail Him, we may often grieve His heart, but He goes on loving us. He loves us unto the uttermost, right to the end. He is not offended by our failures. That is a very different kind of love from our love. This is God's love in Christ....
You know, it is so easy to talk about love, to pretend to love, to use the language of love, to sing hymns about love, and it can all be sentimental; perhaps we all know people who have told us that they love us, but very often they are the very people who have hurt us most. Now, the love of Jesus was not sentimental, it was practical. He did not go in with His disciples and say, 'Brothers, I do love you very much.' He showed that He loved them by what He did for them. It was not sentimental love, it was practical love. And this is the love with which He loved them unto the uttermost.... These things which characterize the love of Christ for His own ought to characterize us in love for others. That is why the Holy Spirit has come. So that as He loved us to the uttermost, so ought we to love one another.

~T. Austin-Sparks~


The providences of God are often dark and mysterious!

(James Smith, "The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion")

"Your way is in the sea--and Your path is in the great waters. Your footsteps may not be known." Psalm 77:19

The providences of God are often dark and mysterious. It is not easy to ascertain why the Lord acts as He does--or to find out the precise object which He has in view. He carries on His work according to His eternal and pre-ordained plan--and He accomplishes His purposes often by the most unlikely means. He works all things after the counsel of His own will--and He works leisurely, having no cause to hurry. We are naturally hasty, and want to know what God means at once. But He says, "Be still. Wait. Watch. Let patience have her perfect work." 

We may not be able to account for our trials, troubles, losses, and crosses--but all will be made plain by-and-by. "Jesus said to him: You do not understand now what I am doing--but you will understand later on." John 13:7 

We now know in part--but we shall soon know even as also we are known. And until then, we may well be patient--assured that God is acting wisely, lovingly, and is consulting our good in all that He does. 

O wonder-working God, Your dealings with us are often dark, and difficult to be understood! Give us faith to believe Your promises--when we cannot understand Your providences. Let us be assured of Your love to us--when we cannot ascertain the design of Your dealings with us. Preserve us from a repining, complaining, and unbelieving spirit--and grant us grace that we may rest satisfied that You are acting rightly. May we learn, in whatever state we are--therewith to be content. With patience may we do and suffer Your will at present--being fully assured that all will be explained and opened up to us at length. O to be enabled . . .
  to rest on Your covenant love,
  to trust Your faithful promises, and
  to commit all of our ways unto You!

"All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth--to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies!" Psalm 25:10 


Look to the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross--and then go and set your affections on the world if you can!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The Gospel was not meant merely to reside in our intellect, memories, and tongues--but to be seen in our lives.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Happiness does not depend on outward circumstances--but on the state of the heart.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Health is a good thing. But sickness is far better--if it leads us to God.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The beginning of the way to Heaven--is to feel that we are on the way to Hell.
   ~  ~  ~  ~

There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough. It is a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice--which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.

J.C. Ryle Gems #1

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

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A Christian is a walking sermon. Christians preach far more than a minister does--for they preach all week long!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

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

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Nothing is so offensive to Christ, as lukewarmness in religion!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

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 everybody--but a Hell for none;
  a God who will make no distinction between godly and ungodly in eternity.
Such a God is an idol of your own--as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple! The hands of your own imagination and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible--and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Pride is the oldest and most common of sins.
Humility is the rarest and most beautiful of graces.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 7

Favorite Pastor Quotes 7

The Secret of Contentment

In today's reading, the apostle Paul says he has learned the secret of experiencing contentment in all circumstances, good or bad. Does it surprise you that he wrote this when he was in prison, unsure of his future?
We're often discontent even when all is going well. Consequently, we wonder how it's possible to be truly content during our most difficult trials, especially when there's no end in sight. So what is genuine contentment? Paul is speaking of a freedom from worry and frustration about everything in life--even unfulfilled desires.
It's usually when we cannot control or change our situation that we feel discontentment. As long as our satisfaction depends on whether certain things actually work out, we'll allow circumstances to cheat us out of peace. I'm not saying there's some spiritual stage where you will never again experience anxiety or frustration. But what matters is how we respond when those feelings grip us.
This is something that the apostle had to learn. Paul endured amazing suffering, from shipwrecks and hunger to unjust imprisonment and beatings (2 Cor. 11:24-30). He had gone through countless situations that were uncertain, extraordinarily painful, and seemingly hopeless. But he finally discovered that contentment could not be dependent upon his circumstances.
How do you respond when circumstances are out of your control? Do you get angry? Do you try to escape? Does despair make you want to give up? Paul chose to give his anxieties to Jesus in exchange for peace that "surpasses all comprehension" (Phil. 4:7). That same peace is available to you!

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Daniel 9:8
O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face . . . because we have sinned against Thee.
A deep sense and clear sight of sin, its heinousness, and the punishment which it deserves, should make us lie low before the throne. We have sinned as Christians. Alas! that it should be so. Favoured as we have been, we have yet been ungrateful: privileged beyond most, we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. Who is there, although he may long have been engaged in the Christian warfare, that will not blush when he looks back upon the past? 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-light which has really penetrated our minds, and love in which we have rejoiced. Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply compared with the sin of one of God's own elect 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 pray you 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. Remember, it is written, "He wept bitterly." Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears? Alas! these sins of ours, before and after conversion, would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire if it were not for the sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning. My soul, bow down under a sense of thy natural sinfulness, and worship thy God. Admire the grace which saves thee-the mercy which spares thee-the love which pardons thee!

~Charles Spurgeon~

How is Jesus the “Glory of God”?

by R.C. Sproul

The book of James has an unusual sentence construction that links the word glory with the name of Jesus: “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1). In this verse the words Lord of glory have alternate renditions. Some translations read, “Our glorious Lord.” Still another possible translation reads, “Jesus Christ, who is the glory.”
B. B. Warfield, in his book The Lord of Glory, says, that Jesus was the glory of God, the shekinah. According to the Old Testament, the shekinah was the visible manifestation of the invisible God. The shekinah was a radiant cloud or brilliant light within a cloud that signaled the immediate presence of God. For Jesus to be identified with the shekinah was to be equated with the presence of God Himself. In Jesus we see the full manifestation of the majesty of God.
That the New Testament writers ascribed glory to Jesus was a clear indication of their confession of His full deity. Glory, in the sense it is used with reference to Jesus, is a divine attribute. It is the glory of God that He refuses to share with any man.
The angels sang “Glory to God” at Christ’s birth. The heavenly elders give glory to God around His throne. Why don’t you follow their example and give God glory today in every circumstance of your life?

Today's ReadingEzra 9Acts 1  

Today's Thoughts: Times and Seasons

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority. Acts 1:7

A close friend of mine was recruited to go to Iraq. The Navy told him that he would be in Iraq from six to eight months. He communicated with us via email and it was evident from his emails that it did not matter how long the Navy said he would be there, he was taking each day as it came--praying that another day would come for him. There were days that he was not sure if he would make it.
We think that knowing the dates, times and seasons would help us to focus. Jesus instructed us that it is not for us to know those things. If the disciples knew that Jesus would not return until after 2000 years, I am sure their focus and convictions would have been different.
For my friend, his focus could not be fixed on staying alive to return to his family. Instead, he said that he focused on the tasks that he was equipped to do for the Navy and for the purposes of Americans. The times and seasons did not matter as much as his focus for the day. That is what Jesus is asking of us today. Live a life that is fixed on Jesus each day. He has equipped us through His Spirit and asked us to do a work for the purposes of God. Those purposes include prayer, fellowship, reading the Word and loving others. It does not matter when He will return if we stay busy with the things He has asked us to do until He returns.
My friend was in Iraq for exactly seven months. The Navy told him one afternoon that he would be leaving for home that night. No advanced notice, no time to call home--just time to go. Jesus' return for us will be the same. It is not about the times or seasons but about each day. Pray that you can keep your eyes fixed on the Author and Finisher of your faith, knowing that at any day, we will soon be going home to Him too.

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:32)

Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.
Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God’s messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?
Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith.
But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt my soul and Heaven. Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?
Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?
Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
—C. H. Spurgeon

We boast of being so practical a people that we want to have a surer thing than faith. But did not Paul say that the promise was, by FAITH that it might be SURE? (Romans 4:16)
—Dan Crawford.

Faith honors God; God honors faith.

~L. B. Cowman~

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 6

Favorite Pastor Quotes 6

How may I pass through life with the least inconvenience?

(John Newton)

If I am redeemed from eternal misery by the death of Jesus; and if He is now preparing a glorious mansion for me near Himself, that I may drink of the rivers of pleasure at His right hand for evermore--then the question is not (at least ought not to be), "How may I pass through life with the least inconvenience?"

Rather it should be: "How may my little span of life be made most subservient to the praise and glory of Him who loved me, and gave Himself for me?"

"Live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers--but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect!" 1 Peter 1:17-19 


George Mylne 

 What a word it is — a word of many-headed woes! A word telling . . .
of families made desolate;
of wounded hearts;
of weeping eyes;
of closest bonds abruptly torn asunder;
of social fellowship extinguished;
of life's fondest hopes destroyed;
of earth becoming one large graveyard.
There is no domestic bliss secure against deaths inroads. There is no promise of long companionship so flattering, but in a moment the dream may vanish, and nothing be left but the hard reality of woe.
Bereavement! Yes, it is a word of anguish. It says . . .
that hearts are broken,
that the iron enters into the very soul;
that the axe is laid at the root of life's romance;
that the sky of former joys is clouded over with the mantle of distress.
How many tales of sorrow does bereavement tell! Yet, it is a word fraught with importance to the soul; a word, for purposes of good, framed in the vocabulary of Heaven, God's mind and will impressed upon it. Bereavement is . . .
the exponent of God's judgments;
the expression of His love in chastening;
the verbal embodiment of His good pleasure.
Bereavement is His voice in action; speaking in facts; preaching in visitations; the Lord himself walking abroad in His realities.
Bereavement speaks of Death. This is the head and substance of its teaching. It tells how "Sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).
It is not only a solemn word — but also a searching word — a word speaking its volumes to all who hear it! Moreover, it is a special word to you. It says, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). It says, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Who may say to him, "What are you doing?" (Ecclesiastes 8:4). Then, why are you struck dumb, as though God dealt strangely with you? Was He bound to grant your friend a lease of life — to leave the family bond unbroken, as long as it suited you — or to give you warning of what He meant to do? Must the tide of death be stayed, that it should not rob you of your cherished one?
Ah no! We are brought through sin into harsh contact with confounding providences; yes, face to face with sudden painful visitations! How often are we made to "drink the wine of astonishment," by the stern realities of a fallen world — nature diverted from its normal course by sinful contrarieties, calling for exceptional and sharp strokes — bereavement suddenly coming to wound the circle of our satisfactions!
This is the method that the Lord adopts to arrest our notice; to bring to mind, that there is a God who rules in Heaven and earth — a truth too often overlooked. It is as though He said, "Mourner, are you prepared to die? Prepared to balance your final account with Me? Are you ready — if I should send for you next?" And thus He brings before us all the realities of an unseen world — the facts of death, of judgment, and eternity!
Then, is there not mercy in bereavement — mercy, not in disguise, but manifest — not silent, but speaking plainly? Is it not mercy to be led to see our sins — and to see our need of Jesus, and His precious Blood — and through grace, to be at peace with God through Jesus? Thus God has ordered it, that joy and sorrow should be linked together in His providential visitations. And thus "the valley of Achor" (in other words, the valley of trouble) is made "a door of hope." And thus "vineyards" are filled with fruits of peace. And thus mourners are made to "sing as in the days" of youth, from blessings found where least expected.
So wondrous are God's dealings with a fallen world. No sorrow but has its mate — its appropriate and true consolation — the very grief leading to consequences, if rightly followed out, involving peace — solid, well-grounded peace.

Afflicted friend, I hope you know the secret. If not, may God reveal it to you. Receive, I beg you, this word of exhortation, kindly intended, and, I trust, not heedlessly expressed. May you be comforted, not with earth's flimsy consolations, but with the solid verities of Heaven. Accept the following pages which now I dedicate to your perusal. And if therein you find anything suited to your need — then give God the glory. And may your sore affliction of bereavement be duly sanctified, and gilded with His grace.

What is Your Burden?
George Mylne
Who has not a burden to bear in this world of burdens? All men have some burden or another — and they have the heaviest burden who think that they have none to bear.
Do you ask me, reader, what I mean? Why, is not sin a burden —  unpardoned sin? What man has such a heavy load upon his back, as he whose transgressions are not forgiven, whose sins are not covered — as he, who walks about with a burden on him which will sink him into the bottomless pit, if he has it not taken off him? And yet, for the most part, those are the very men, who do not feel the burden.
They don't see their sins — they don't see their danger. They are full of earthly pleasure — their heart is as light as a feather. What do such men know of the burden of sin? How can they value the Savior's words, "Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest?" (Matthew 11:28.) Poor souls, may God have mercy upon them! May He open their eyes to see their sin! May He cause them to feel their burden, before they sink under it, never more to rise! May He show them the way to Jesus, that the burden that is upon them may be taken off, and all their sins be cast into the depths of the sea!
Reader, shall I tell you what led me to write this tract? I was reading lately to some sick people in the fourth chapter of Nehemiah, and there I read, "The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed" 5:10. I spoke of it to them, and I thought it would be a good subject for you and I. You must have some burden to bear. Perhaps you feel it sorely — perhaps your strength is decayed. Let us see whether we can encourage one another out of the Word of the Lord.
Reader, what is your burden? Are your sins become heavy to you? Once you did not feel them — you did not know you had them. You carried them about with you wherever you went, but the Prince of the power of the air did not let you feel them — He made you walk with lightness of heart. He made you trip merrily along, as though you had no burden to bear. But oh, how things are changed! Now your "transgressions are with you, and as for your sins, you know them." (Isaiah 59:12.) "The yoke of your transgressions is bound upon you; they are wreathed, and come up upon your neck." Therefore you say, "He has made my strength to fail" — therefore your "sighs are many, and your "heart is faint." (Lam. 1:14, 22.)
Oh, reader, are you looking to Jesus? If so, why is your burden still upon you? Did He not bear your sins in His own body on the tree? (1 Peter 2:24.) Cannot you say, "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all"? (Isaiah 53:6.) Why then do you take upon you what Jesus has taken from you? If He has borne the burden, why do you bear it too? Friend, this is not the way of grace — this is not the way that Jesus saves you. He saves you to free you — to take your burden from you. Walk, then, in your liberty — and go lightly in your grace. But if you cannot rejoice in your liberty, if you will bear your own burden still — no wonder that your strength is decayed — no wonder that your heart is gone. Don't you know that the weight of your sins made Jesus sweat drops of blood — it weighed Him to the ground? How then can you seem to bear the burden; and not faint beneath its load? Be wise, my friend — be hopeful, and believing. Open your eyes wide, and read the promises. Open your ear, and hear all that Jesus says to you — so shall your burden fall from your back. In the Cross you shall find liberty — in the Cross you shall have peace.
Reader, perhaps you know that God has had mercy upon you, and yet you feel a great burden upon you — the body of sin and death. Paul felt this burden. It made him cry out, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24. You feel your body a constant weight upon you. How often it makes your soul heavy! How much longer you would pray, and meditate on the word of God, if your body would only let you! How much it keeps you down! Sometimes you are sick — sometimes you are drowsy — you cannot do the things that you would. Your sinful body is like a great black curtain hung up between you and your God. Oh how often the strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed! How often you faint beneath the load!
And then there is the fleshly mind. The mind, that will go after the world, when you wish it to go after God — the soul which will cleave to the dust, when you desire to feel that you are risen with Christ — sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Then there are your tempers — your evil passions — that are ever at work  — refusing to be brought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. Oh, my friend, all these things are indeed against you. How often they worry you! How much they wear you out! The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed — you are ready to faint.
Paul said, "Oh wretched man that I am!" But Paul said something more: "I thank God through Jesus Christ." (Romans 7:25.) He knew that God was able to help him — that He had helped him before — that he was ready to help him again. Paul looked to Jesus, who was strong to help — mighty to save. He felt the thorn in the flesh — it was a great burden to him. He thrice besought the Lord that it might depart from him. And what said God? "My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:7-9.) This was how Paul bore his burdens. Christian reader, this is how you must bear yours.
Oh how many burdens there are in life! Are you the father of a family? How many cares this brings with it! All your children to think of — to clothe and to feed, and to put out in the world — and if you are a Christian, their souls to think of — their sins to grieve you — their ignorance to instruct. This, no doubt, is a great burden. Are you fainting under it! Is your strength decayed?
Are you a widow with many children? How desolate you felt in the first days of your widowhood! How desolate it may be — you still feel! Have you much ado to find your children bread? How hard you work for them! In how many ways are you tired for them! Is the strength of the bearers of burdens decayed? Are you likely to faint?
Perhaps your time is occupied in teaching — you have many young scholars under your care. You have dull ones to bear with — idle ones to reason with — backward ones to bring on — mischievous ones to correct. What a worry you live in! How much is there to try your patience! You think you must give it up — that you can bear it no longer!
It may be your lot to work a shop — from morning to night to wait upon your customers — or yet to grow weary because no one comes to buy. Sometimes you are tired — often you are anxious — some customers are tiresome and hard to please — you often shut up shop with a fainting body, and a heavy heart — the strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed.
Are you a servant in some family — the only one to do all the work! Up late, and rising early — to cook — to wash — to sweep — to scour — the bell to answer — the table to spread. All to be done by you alone — all to come out of your own strength! Who can tell how weary you feel — how often you are likely to drop, from too much work!
Reader, you may be tried in some of these, or in many other ways. You may have a burden of sickness — of pain — of weakness — of depressed spirits — who can tell all the burdens? Who can count all the cares? But, whatever your burden may be, I hope you know how to bear it — and where to look for help. "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him." (Psalm 25:14.) There is a secret strength laid up for God's people, that the world knows not of.
Oh, my heavy-laden friend, are you looking to Jesus? Is His name precious to you? Have you washed in His blood? Have you brought the burden of your sins to His cross — have you left the burden there? Then, bring to Him the burden of your sorrows — your weariness — and your cares. Will He not care for you? Will He not help you? Will He not put strength in you? Oh yes, Jesus is a true Helper — there is none like Him — all power is His — all kindness too.
Oh, you bearers of burdens, is your strength decayed? Lo "He gives power to the faint; and to those who have no might He increases strength." "Those who wait upon Him shall renew their strength." (Isaiah 40:29, 31.) Then cast your burden upon this mighty Jesus! He is pledged to sustain you — fear not, neither be afraid. (Psalm 55:22.)
Reader, there is a yoke that is easy, and a burden that is light. (Matthew 11:30.) I mean the cross of Christ. And why is Christ's yoke easy and His burden light?
1. Because it takes away the heaviest burden of all — the load of your sins. What is taken away, is surely light to bear.
2. Because it gives you strength to bear every other burden — so that the burden becomes no burden — Christ bears it for you.
3. He bids you do many things that flesh cannot do — He gives you many things to bear that flesh does not like — but then He Himself gives all the strength — so that it is not you that bear the burden, but Christ that bears it for you.
4. Because all the while He can fill your heart with joy and gladness.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A. W. Tozer Quotes

A. W. Tozer Quotes

Created for Eternity

"Having made peace through the blood of the Cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself...whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" Colossians 1:20

Men and women without God are helpless and hopeless human beings. We do will to remember that sin is to the human nature what cancer is to the human body!

Who can argue with the fact that sin has ruined us?

Our feverish activity is only one sign of what is wrong with us - sin has plunged us into the depths and so marked us with morality that we have become brother to the clay - but God never meant it to be so.

Men and women may argue and make excuses, but it does not change the fact that in our human society we are completely surrounded by three marks of the ancient curse: Everything is recent, temporal, and transient! That is why the Holy Spirit whispers faithfully, God Almighty come to live among us and to save - actually to give us eternity!

This we know: When we turn our faces toward the Eternal One, asking, "God have mercy on me, a sinner," we are finally being what God intended us to be in the first place!

Almighty God and Eternal Father, help me to journey through the coming year with a new set of eyes. Enable me to see life from Your lofty, eternal perspective. Amen

Man Has Lost God

The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search and struggle throughout his lifetime. He does not really know what he is doing here. He does know where he is going.

The sad commentary is that everything is he doing is being done on borrowed time, borrowed money and borrowed strength - and he already knows that in the end he will surely die! It boils down to the bewildered confession of many humans that they have lost God somewhere along the way.

Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave - reflecting only his own sinfulness.

Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that love has gone from man's heart. Beyond that, light has gone from his mind. Having lost God, he blindly stumbled on through this dark world to find only a grave at the end!

Dear Lord, thank You for the hope I have found in Christ. And thank You for giving meaning and purpose to my life. Help me to glorify You today. Amen

Saviour and Lord

"For by grace are ye saved through is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)

God chose His only begotten Son as the channel for His grace and truth, for John witnesses that "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

The Law was given by Moses - but that was all that Moses could do. He could only "command" righteousness. In contrast, only Jesus Christ produces righteousness.

All that Moses could do was to forbid us to sin. In contrast, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin.

Moses could not save anyone - but Jesus Christ is both Saviour and Lord.

Grace came through Jesus Christ before Mary wept in the manger stall in Bethlehem. It was the grace of God in Christ that saved the human race from extinction when our first parents sinned in the Garden.

It is plain in history that God forgave Israel time and time again. It was the grace of God in Christ prior to the Incarnation that made God say: "I have risen early in the morning and stretched out my hands to us!"

Dear Lord, I want to be a reflection of Your grace and truth in the lives of my family, friends and coworkers today. Amen

Our Charter Is From God

"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18)

While we are right to thank God in appreciation for all of the great and good men in the history of the Christian church, we actually "follow" none of them. Our charter goes farther back and is from a higher source. They were rightly looked upon as leaders, but they were all servants of God, even as you and I are.

Luther sowed. Wesley watered. Finney reaped - but they were only servants of the living God.

In our local assemblies, we are part of the church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and perpetuated by the mystery of the new birth. Therefore, our assembly is that of Christian believers gathered unto a Name to worship and adore the Presence. So, in that sense, the strain is gone. The strain and pressure to abide by traditional religious forms all begin to pale in importance  as we function in faith as the people of God who glorify His Name and honor His Presence!

If all of this is true - and everything within me witnesses that it is - we may insist that God is able to do for us all that He did in the days of the apostles. There has been no revocation of our charter!

Dear Lord, thank You for the people in my life who have helped to shape me spiritually. And thank You that You alone are still the Source of new life. Amen

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4


(John Mason's Spiritual Sayings)

*The goodness of God satisfies our emptiness,
  the mercy of God satisfies our sinfulness, and
  the grace of God satisfies our unworthiness.
*What sin is there, which grace cannot pardon?
  What heart is there, which grace cannot soften?
  What soul is there, which grace cannot save?
*The more God's justice was magnified in His Son--
  the more was His grace magnified in the sinner.
*God humbled His holy Son--to exalt His saving grace.
*God's faithfulness performed what His grace promised.
  Grace drew the covenant--faithfulness keeps it.
  Grace called us--faithfulness will not cast us off.
*Abusers of God's grace--are treasurers up of His wrath!
*There is grace in the desire for grace
  --as there is sin in the desire for sin.
*Though God in grace has done great things for you--yet consider what in justice He might have done to you.
*While we carry a sense of grace in our conscience to comfort us
  --let us carry a sense of sin in our memory to humble us.
*We can never thank God enough for His patience--which has kept us so long out of Hell;
  nor for His grace--which so earnestly invites us to Heaven.
*All who are elect--are vessels of grace;
  all who are regenerate--are patterns of grace;
  all who are saved--are monuments of grace;
  all the work of Heaven--is to sing the loud praises of grace.
*It melts the heart to think that God is as full of grace--as I am as full of sin!
  He is as free to forgive--as I am to offend.
  He has daily grace--for my daily sins.
*The heart of man is such a barren soil that no good can grow--there unless almighty grace plants it.
 Grace is an immortal seed, cast into an immortal soil, which brings forth immortal fruit!

In wondrous contrast--and yet with consistent harmony!

(Frederick Marsh)

In the floral kingdom, the flowers have many hues. A number of different colored flowers in a bouquet will enhance the beauty of each other by their contrast.

Just so, in the cross of Christ, the attributes of God are brought out in wondrous contrast--and yet with consistent harmony. There we see . . .
  His name glorified,
  His love manifested,
  His majesty upheld,
  His justice satisfied,
  His truth vindicated,
  His law magnified, and
  His righteousness displayed in the putting away of our sins!

"He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."Romans 3:26 

"Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other!" Psalm 85:10

Thread for a Web Begun
J. R. Miller

There is a secret of victorious living which, if people knew it, would make all life easier for them. It may be stated thus—that as we take up any duty and go forward with it, we shall receive the strength we need to do it. There are several Divine promises that give this assurance. One reads, "As your days—so shall your strength be." Deuteronomy 33:25. This seems to mean that the help which God gives, varies according to the necessity of the particular day.
When we have abundance of ordinary human strength, we do not need so much special Divine help, and God then gives less. Really, it is always God's strength that we have, whether it is what we call natural, or whether it comes in a supernatural way. When we have human friends about us, with sweet companionship, we do not need so much the revealing of the Divine presence and the companionship of the unseen Friend; but when we lose the human aide, then we need the Divine more deeply; and in the loneliness, God makes Himself known to us as never before. So it is in all our experiences. God fits His blessing--to our days.
When we are faint--He increases strength.
When we are sorrowful--He gives comfort.
When we are in danger--He grants protection.
When we are weary--He gives rest.
"As your days--so shall your strength be."
Another of Christ's promises reads, "My grace is sufficient for you." Every word of this assurance shines with radiant light.

"My grace is sufficient for you." It is Christ's grace that is sufficient. We know that He has all Divine fullness, and therefore we are sure that no human need can ever exhaust His power to give help!

"My grace is sufficient for you." It is Christ's grace that is sufficient. If it were anything else but grace, it might not give us such comfort. Grace is undeserved favor, goodness shown to the unworthy. We deserve nothing, for we are sinners. But it is Christ's grace which is sufficient, and so we can claim it.

"My grace is sufficient for you."
 It is present tense--IS sufficient. Christ is always speaking personally to the one who is in any need, and saying, "My grace IS sufficient for you."

"My grace is sufficient for you." The word "sufficient" is one whose meaning expands and amplifies with the measure of the need. No necessity is so small as not to be included; and none is so great as to go beyond the capacity of the blessing that is promised.

"My grace is sufficient for you." The grace is sufficient for each of His redeemed children--"for you" the promise runs.
There are Divine words, also, which imply that the supply of blessing that we receive—will depend upon ourselves. God's people in ancient times were commanded to cross the Jordan, the promise being that the stream would divide for them. Yet the waters would not have parted for them—if they had not gone forward in obedience and faith. As a matter of fact, it was only when the feet of the priests, walking in advance, were wetted in the rushing floods—that the stream began to sink away. When Jesus was ready to send forth His disciples to bear His gospel, His command was, "Go into all the world." Then came the promise, "And lo, I am with you all the days." The promise is very precious—but we cannot separate it from the command. We cannot have this blessed presence—unless we are, in our own way, to the measure of our own ability, seeking to make disciples of all nations. It is when we go out in His name—that He will be with us.
This is the unvarying law of spiritual blessing and good. Life lies before us, with its burdens, its duties, its responsibilities, its struggles, its perplexities. It does not come to us all in one piece. God breaks our years—into months and weeks and days, and never gives us more than just a little at a time—never more than we can bear or do for the day. Then if we take up the present duty or burden, we shall always have strength to do it. If we have enough of our own natural strength—and that is God's strength too—He does not need to give us special strength; for why should anything so precious as strength be wasted? But if we do not have strength of our own sufficient for the work or struggle, we need not falter—but should go on, just as if we had omnipotence in our arm; for the promise is that if we honor God by obeying Him, though the task be impossible to our ability, He will honor us by giving us all the help we need. The river will surely open when He has bidden us to cross it—if only we move on as if there were no river. The bread will surely be given when we enter the wilderness, following the Divine leading—if only we go on as if we had abundance of provision.
But we must not forget that the promised blessing depends upon our faith and obedience. If we do not begin the task that seems impossible, if we wait to receive the help before we will begin it—the help will never come. If we do not begin our march toward the river, waiting until it opens—it will not open at all. If we do not enter upon the struggle, waiting for strength to be given for the battle before we accept it—we shall never get the strength. An old proverb says, "Get your spindle and your distaff ready, and God will send the flax." Yes—but He will not send the flax—unless we get the spindle and distaff ready. We must do our part, thus proving our faith—or God will not do what He has promised, for His promise is conditional.
Another old proverb says, "For a web begun—God sends the thread." We must take up the scant bundle of threads we have, and begin our weaving, confident that the Lord will provide threads as we go on—enough to finish the web. He will never put His threads into folded, waiting hands.
There is a whole sermon in these lines. There are thousands of good people who do almost nothing with their life—because they are waiting for God to send the thread—before they will begin to weave the web of duty which He bids them to weave. They say, "I want to be useful; I want to do good; but God has not given me anything to work with." Now, the truth is, that God has given them enough to begin with, and that is all He will give at first. There were only five barley loaves, and there were five thousand hungry people. What were these among so many? But for the web begun—God sent the thread that day. There was only a little meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse, and there were years of famine yet to be passed through. But again for the web begun—God sent the thread.
The teaching is for us, and it is one of the most practical lessons we can learn. Put your hands to the tasks that are surely yours, never asking whether you are able to do them or not, and not waiting for God to provide all the strength or all the material you will need, before you begin to do them. Whatever is your duty must be done, no matter how far beyond your strength it may be. It is yours to begin; it is God's duty to help you through—and He will, if you honor Him by trusting Him.
Those who live lives of great usefulness—have always begun with the little they had. Ofttimes it was a very small capacity for helping others; but they began in a quiet way, doing what they could. Then as they used the gift they had—it grew in their hands, until they filled a large sphere of usefulness, touching many lives with the blessing of their helpfulness. For a web begun—God sent the thread.
The same law of human diligence and Divine blessing prevails in the building up of character. Ten lepers cried to Jesus for healing. He answered, bidding them go and show themselves to the priest. This was what the law required lepers to do, after they had been cured, when the priest would give them a certificate of health and cleanness, permitting them to return again to society. These lepers were not cured. Their bodies showed no mark of healing. But they promptly obeyed the Master's word, and "as they went—they were cleansed."
There are those who long for a beautiful life, for a transformed character—but it seems to them, they never can attain to such renewal, they are so full of faults and blemishes. But if they begin to follow Christ, starting with the little fragment of Christ-likeness which their hands can pick up—God will help them and they will grow at last into rich beauty of soul.
Just so, get the victory over the one temptation of the hour—and that will be the first thread in a web of complete victoriousness! Get one little line of loveliness into your disposition—and that will be the beginning of a spirit which at last will include "whatever things are lovely." For a web begun—God will send the thread.
There is a beautiful Eastern fable of a child walking beside the sea, who saw a bright spangle lying in the sand. She stooped down and picked it up, and found that it was attached to a fine thread of gold. As she drew this out of the sand there were other bright spangles on it. She drew up the gold thread, and wound it about her neck and around her head and her arms and body, until from head to foot she was covered with the bright threads of gold and sparkled with the brilliance of the silver spangles.
So it is when we lift out of God's Word an ornament of beauty to put into our life. We find that other fragments of loveliness, all bound together on the golden chain of love, and are attached to the one we have taken up! Then as we draw up the chain and entwine it about our neck, and weave it into a web to make a garment for our soul—we find that it is endless! Infinite as God Himself, is the abundance of the lovely things that we may draw out of the treasury of His grace—to deck our life with beauty. "For a web begun—God sends the thread."
This same law applies in the learning of all life's lessons. The Divine teaching is never lacking—but we must ever begin the lesson with the little we know. We must take the one step that is plain to us—and then God will make plain the next step for us, and the next, and the next. We must not demand to know all the way—before we will set out. We must trust Christ and go on—even in the dark. We must never falter when there seems to be no path; as we go on—it will open. As we do the will of God—we shall know the teaching. When we begin the web—God will send the threads to weave into the beautiful ending!