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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Classic Christian Authors # 1

Classic Christian Authors # 1


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined!

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

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined--what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9

The lovers of Christ have great preparations made by God Himself, for their happiness in the eternal world. 

For all the lovers of the world, and sin, and vanity--wrath and Hell are prepared! 

But for the lovers of Christ, such things are prepared as transcend . . .
  the most refined mind to conceive, 
  the most eloquent tongue to express, 
  or the ablest pen to describe!

The eye of man has seen admirable things, coasts of pearl, golden mines, stately monuments, kingly palaces--but never has eye seen such things as God has prepared for those who love Him.

The mind of man can conceive more than the eye has seen, or the ear has heard. It can imagine . . .
  all pebbles to be pearls,
  all the earth to be a silver heap, 
  the sea to be liquid gold, 
  the air to be transparent crystal, 
  and every candle to be a star!
And if all these were so--they would be but as . . .
  a grain of sand, compared to a mountain,
  a beam of light, compared to the sun, 
  a drop, compared to the ocean, 
  a grain, compared to a golden mine--
when compared with the things that are prepared for such as love God and Christ! For those things are . . .
  so great--that they cannot be measured; 
  so many--that they cannot be numbered; 
  so precious--that they cannot be valued; 
  so durable and lasting--that they can never be ended!

They exceed our faith! They are beyond our hope--and above our desires! They might be possessed hereafter--but they cannot be comprehended here, because . . .
  for sublimity--they are incomprehensible, 
  for transcendence--they are inexplicable, 
  for glory--they are unutterable, 
  for sweetness--they are inconceivable, 
  for sureness--they are unquestionable, 
  for fullness--they are immeasurable, 
  for firmness--they are unmovable, 
  for lastingness--they are unchangeable!

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Oh, what a blessed formula for us! 

(John MacDuff)

"Nevertheless, at Your Word!" Luke 5:5

Oh, what a blessed formula for us! 


This path of mine is dark, mysterious, perplexing! Nevertheless, at Your Word I will go forward.

This trial of mine is cutting, sore for flesh and blood to bear! It is hard to breathe through a broken heart, "May Your will be done!"But, nevertheless, at Your word I will say, "Even so, Father--for this is Your good pleasure!"

This besetting sin or bad habit of mine--is difficult to crucify. It has become part of myself--a second nature! To be severed from it would be like the cutting off of a right hand, or the plucking out of a right eye! Nevertheless, at Your Word I will lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles me! This idol, I will utterly abolish! 

"You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed!" Psalm 119:4

"Help me understand Your instruction--and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart!" Psalm 119:34 

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When the knife cuts deep and the pain is sore!

(J.R. Miller)

"My Father is the gardener!" John 15:1 It is comforting to think of trouble, in whatever form it may come to us--as a heavenly messenger, bringing us blessing from God. In its earthly aspect, it may seem hurtful, even destructive; but in its spiritual outworking, it yields blessing. 

Many of the richest blessings which have come down to us from the past, are the fruit of sorrow or pain. We should never forget that redemption, the world's greatest blessing--is the fruit of the world's greatest sorrow. 

In every time of sharp pruning, when the knife cuts deep and the pain is sore, it is an unspeakable comfort to read, "My Father is the gardener!"

One tells of being in a great hothouse where luscious clusters of grapes were hanging on every side. The owner said, "When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines unless he could cut them clean down to the stalk. He did, and we had no grapes for two years--but this is the result."

There is rich suggestiveness in this illustration of the pruning process, as we apply it to the Christian life. Pruning seems to be destroying the vine, the gardener appears to be cutting it all away; but he looks on into the future and knows that the final outcome will be the enrichment of its life and greater abundance of fruit.

In the same way, there are blessings we can never have--unless we are ready to pay the price of pain. There is no way to reach them, but through suffering.

"Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:2

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Put it into practice!

(Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice!" Philippians 4:8-9

You see the perfection of the Apostle's method. In verse 8 he has dealt with the realm of thought. Ah, but the Apostle knows the subtle danger that is always confronting us . . .
  the danger of being content with theoretical knowledge,
  the danger of being satisfied with doctrine only,
  the danger of failing to put into practice, that which we know.

You can be a great student even of the Bible--and live a life that is utterly contrary to it!


It is the masterpiece of Satan to make us put theory and practice into separate watertight compartments--to make men so interested in the Book, that they forget to apply its teaching. "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me," says Paul, "put it into practice!"

"If you know these things--blessed and happy are you if you DO them."
 John 13:17

"It is not the knowing, nor the talking, nor the reading man, but the doing man--who at last will be found the happiest man!" Thomas Watson

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The Almost Christian!

(Matthew Mead, "The Almost Christian Discovered; Or, The False Professor Tried!")
"You almost persuade me to become a Christian!" Acts 26:28

How far a man may go in the way to heaven--and yet be but almost a Christian? This shown in twenty various steps:

1. A man may have much knowledge--and yet be but almost a Christian.

2. A man may have great and eminent spiritual gifts--and yet be but almost a Christian.

3. A man may have a high profession of religion, be much in external duties of godliness--and yet be but almost a Christian.

4. A man may go far in opposing his sin--and yet be but almost a Christian.

5. A man may hate sin--and yet be but almost a Christian.

6. A man may make great vows and promises, strong purposes and resolutions against sin--and yet be but an almost Christian.

7. A man may maintain a strife and combat against sin--and yet be but almost a Christian.

8. A man may be a member of a Christian church--and yet be but almost a Christian.

9. A man may have great hopes of Heaven--and yet be but almost a Christian.

10. A man may be under visible changes--and yet be but almost a Christian.

11. A man may be very zealous in matters of religion--and yet be but almost a Christian.

12. A man may be much in prayer--and yet be but almost a Christian.

13. A man may suffer for Christ--and yet be but almost a Christian.

14. A man may be called by God and embrace his call--and yet be but an almost Christian.

15. A man may have the Spirit of God--and yet be but almost a Christian.

16. A man may have faith--and yet be but almost a Christian.

17. A man may have a love to the people of God--and yet be but almost a Christian.

18. A man may obey the commands of God--and yet be but almost a Christian.

19. A man may be sanctified--and yet be but almost a Christian.

20. A man may do all the external duties and worship which a true Christian can--and yet be but almost a Christian.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

How To Live A Beautiful Christian Life # 2

How To Live A Beautiful Christian Life # 2

And the same is true in spiritual life. God adapts His grace to the peculiarities of each one's necessity. For rough, flinty paths - He provides shoes of iron. He never sends any one to climb sharp, rugged mountainsides, wearing silken slippers. He always gives sufficient grace. As the burdens grow heavier - the strength increases. As the difficulties thicken - the angel draws closer. As the trials become sorer - the trusting heart grows calmer. Jesus always sees His disciples, when they are toiling in the waves - and at the right moment comes to deliver them. Thus it becomes possible to live a true and victorious life - in any circumstances. Christ can as easily enable Joseph to remain pure and true, in heathen Egypt - as Benjamin in the shelter of his father's love. The sharper the temptations, the more of divine grace is granted. There is therefore, no environment of trial, or difficulty or hardship - in which we cannot live beautiful lives of Christian fidelity and holy conduct.

Instead, then, of yielding to discouragement when trials multiply and it becomes hard to live right, or of being satisfied with a broken peace and a very faulty life - it should be the settled purpose of each one to live, through the grace of God - a patient, gentle and unspotted life - in the place and amid the circumstances He allots to us. The true victory is not found in escaping or evading trials - but in rightly meeting and enduring them. The questions should not be, "How can I get out of these worries? How can I get into a place where there shall be no irritations, nothing to try my temper or put my patience to the test? How can I avoid the distractions that continually harass me?" There is nothing noble in such living. The soldier who flies to the rear when he smells the battle is no hero; he is a coward.

The questions should rather be, "How can I pass through these trying experiences, and not fail as a Christian? How can I endure these struggles, and not suffer defeat? How can I live amid these provocations, these reproaches and testings of my temper, and yet live sweetly, not speaking unadvisedly, bearing injuries meekly, returning gentle answers to insulting words? This is the true problem of Christian living.

We are at school here. This life is disciplinary. Processes are not important: it is results we want. If a tree grow into majesty and strength, it matters not whether it is in the deep valley or on the cold peak, whether calm or storm nurtures it. If character develops into Christlike symmetry, what does it matter whether it be in ease and luxury - or through hardship? The important matter is not the process - but the result; not the means - but the end; and the end of all Christian nurture is spiritual loveliness. To be made truly noble and godlike - we should be willing to submit to any discipline.

Every obstacle to true living should, then, only nerve us with fresh determination to succeed. We should use each difficulty and hardship,as a leverage to gain some new advantage. We should compel our temptations to minister to us - instead of hindering us. We should regard all our provocations, annoyances and trials, of whatever sort - as practice lessons in the application of the theories of Christian life. It will be seen in the end - that the hardships and difficulties are by no means the smallest blessings of our lives. Someone compares them to the weights of a clock, without which there could be no steady, orderly life.

The tree that grows where tempests toss its boughs and bend its trunk, often almost to braking - is more firmly rooted than the tree which grows in the sequestered valley, where no storm ever brings stress or strain. The same is true in life. The grandest character is grown in hardship. Weakness of character, springs out of luxury. The best men the world ever reared - have been brought up in the school of adversity and hardship.

Besides, it is no heroism to live patiently - where there is no provocation, bravely where there is no danger, calmly where there is nothing to perturb. Not the hermit's cave - but the heart of busy life, tests, as well as makes character. If we can live patiently, lovingly and cheerfully, amid all our frets and irritations day after day, year after year, that is grander heroism than the farthest famed military exploits, for "he who rules his own spirit - is better than he who captures a city."

This is our allotted task. It is no easy one. It can be accomplished only by the most resolute decision, with unwavering purpose and incessant watchfulness.

Nor can it be accomplished without the continual help of Christ. Each one's battle must be a personal one. We may decline the struggle - but it will be declining also the joy of victory. No one can reach the summit - without climbing the steep mountain path. We cannot be born up on any strong shoulder. God does not put features of beauty into our lives - as the jeweler sets gems in clusters in a coronet. The unlovely elements are not magically removed and replaced by lovely ones. Each must win his way through struggles and efforts - to all noble attainments. The help of God is given only in cooperation with human aspiration and energy. While God works in us - we are to work out our own salvation. He who overcomes, shall be a pillar in the temple of God. We should accept the task with quiet joy. We shall fail many times.

Many a night we shall retire to weep at Christ's feet - over the day's defeat. In our efforts to follow the copy set for us by our Lord - we shall write many a crooked line, and leave many a blotted page blistered with tears of regret. Yet we must keep through all, a brave heart, an unfaltering purpose, and a calm, joyful confidence in God. Temporary defeat should only cause us to lean on Christ more fully. God is on the side of everyone who is loyally struggling to obey His divine will, and to grow into Christlikeness. And that means assured victory, to everyone whose heart fails not.

~J. R. Miller~

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Christ's Sympathy To Weary Pilgrims # 1

Christ's Sympathy To Weary Pilgrims # 1

What A Boundless, Fathomless Ocean!

Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish heaven for earth; a diadem for a Cross; the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature; by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin. Oh, the infinite love of Christ! What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred - if there ever was love like His!

What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the richest, the costliest, the heaven could give! He gave Himself for us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL - as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father - He paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the Cross influence us? Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?

Lean Hard!

"Cast your burden upon the Lord - and He shall sustain you" (Psalm 55:22)

It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith that we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier's spear!

But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing for me?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, "Cast your burden upon Me - and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty! I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary; and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then - is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard! Let me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden,child! I shaped it - I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My bosom. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"

The Flaming Sword of Justice Quenched In the Holy, Loving Bosom of Jesus!

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24)

The most significant and appalling demonstration of God's holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other - is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The Cross of Calvary exhibits God's hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath,could never have done!

Behold the most solemn display of God's hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Saviour- the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! Finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son - God emptied upon His holy soul, all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound, Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!

But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son - but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the Cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church. He gave Himself for us!

What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners! Man's sin - and God's love; the indescribable enormity of the one - and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the Cross of Christ as nowhere else.

Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts: sin's infinite hatefulness - and love's infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a sacrifice so divine, so holy, and so precious!

~Octavius Winslow~

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 10

Favorite Pastor Quotes 10

The less you think of yourselves--the more will you esteem Christ!

(Thomas Guthrie)

I wish you to think little, very little of yourselves. Why? 
Because the less you think of yourselves--the more will you esteem Christ.
Because the humbler you are in your own eyes--the higher you will stand in God's eyes. 

The guest, who, coming modestly in, takes the lowest place at the table--is called up to the seat of honor. 
None are so sure to lie in Jesus' bosom--as those who have been lying lowest at Jesus' feet.

Hence, brought by grace to see sin's vileness, and to feel its exceeding evil . . .
  the holiest men--have always been the humblest, 
  the strongest men--have always felt the weakest in themselves, 
  the best men--have always thought the worst of themselves.

David, the man after God's own heart, said, "I was as a beast before You!"

Job, the most remarkable character of his own or any age for piety and uprightness, said, as he shrank from his own image, "I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes!" 

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The journey which our Divine Lover took

(Thomas Guthrie)

The story of Christ's redeeming love surpasses anything related in the pages of the wildest romances. These tell of a prince, who, enamored with a humble maiden, assumed a disguise. Doffing his crown and royal state for the dress of common life, he left his palace, traveled far, faced danger, and fared hard--to win the heart of a peasant's daughter, and raise her from obscurity to the position of a queen!

Facts are more wonderful than fables. The journey which our Divine Lover took was from Heaven to earth. To win His bride, He exchanged the bosom of the eternal Father--to lie, a feeble infant, on a woman's bosom. The Son of God left the throne of the universe, and assumed the guise of humanity--to be cradled in a feeding trough and murdered on a cross! 

In His people, He found His bride deep in debt--and paid it all. Herself under sentence of death--He died in her place. A lost creature, clad in rags--He took off His own royal robes to cover her. To wash her--He shed His blood! To win her--He shed His tears! Finding her poor and miserable and naked, He endowed her with all His goods--and heir of all things. Everything that He possessed as His Father's Son--she was to forever enjoy and share with Himself!

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:19 

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Every groan of your wounded heart; your every sigh, and cry, and prayer!

(Thomas Guthrie)

Were Jesus Christ a mere man--how could He guard the interests, and manage the affairs of His innumerable people, scattered far and wide over the face of the habitable globe?
What heart would be large enough to embrace them all?
What eyes could see them all?
What ears could hear them all?

Think of the ten thousand prayers pronounced in a hundred different languages that go up at once, and altogether, to His ear! Yet there is no confusion; none are lost; none are missed in the crowd.

Nor are they heard by Him as, standing on yonder lofty crag, we hear the din of the city that lies stretched out far beneath us, with all its sounds of cries, and rumbling wheels, and human voices--mixed up into one deep, confused, hollow roar--like the boom of the sea's distant breakers.

No! every believer may feel as if he were alone with God--enjoying a private audience with the King in His presence-chamber! Be of good cheer. Every groan of your wounded heart; your every sigh, and cry, and prayer--falls as distinctly on Jesus' ear as if you stood beside His throne, or, nearer still, lay with John on His bosom, and felt the beating of His heart against your own!

"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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In His humblest works!

(Thomas Guthrie

"The earth is full of His unfailing love!" Psalm 33:5

The British Museum possessed in the Portland Vase--one of the finest remains of ancient art. It may be remembered how, some years ago--the world of culture was shocked to hear that this precious relic had been shattered by a maniac's hand.

Without disparaging cultured taste, or this exquisite example of it--I venture to say that there is not a poor worm which we tread upon, nor a sere leaf which dances merrily in its fallen state to the autumn winds--but has superior claims upon our study and admiration. The child who plucks a lily or rose to pieces, or crushes the fragile form of a fluttering insect--destroys an intricate work which the highest human art could not invent, nor man's best skilled hand construct!

There is not a leaf which quivers on the trees of the forest--which does not eclipse the brightest glories of the painter's brush or the sculptor's chisel! A simple flower has no rival among the triumphs of invention, which the silly world flocks to see.

Yes, in His humblest works, God infinitely surpasses the highest efforts of all created skill.
"How many are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures!" Psalm 104:24 

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge!" Psalm 19:1-2

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Dance and dine with the devil!

(Thomas Brooks, "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us--for we are not ignorant of his evil schemes." 2 Corinthians 2:11 

Sin is but a bitter sweet. That seeming sweet which is in sin will quickly vanish--and lasting shame, sorrow, horror, and terror will soon come.

Forbidden profits and pleasures are most pleasing to vain men, who count madness to be mirth. Many long to be meddling with the murdering morsels of sin, which do not nourish--but rend and consume the soul which receives them. Many eat that on earth, which they digest in Hell.

Sin's murdering morsels will deceive those who devour them!
Adam's apple was a bitter sweet;
Esau's bowl of stew was a bitter sweet;
the Israelites' quails were a bitter sweet;
Jonathan's honey was a bitter sweet;
Adonijah's dainties were a bitter sweet.
After the meal is ended--then comes the reckoning!

Men must not think to dance and dine with the devil--and then to sup with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven!

Men must not think to feed upon the poison of asps--and yet that the viper's tongue should not slay them!
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Turn aside and see this great sight!

(Hugh Dunlop, "Altogether Lovely!")

"When all the people who had gathered to witness that sight saw what took place, they beat their bosoms and went away." Luke 23:48

There have been . . .
  many wonderful sights upon the earth,
  many sad and sorrowful sights,
  many grand and awe-inspiring sights
--but never before or after in all the world's history, such a sight as was seen by the group that gathered around the cross. What a strange and motley group it was! How many kinds of sinners were represented there!

There were the hardened Roman soldiers who gambled for His clothes. There were the mockers, the revilers, the chief priests and scribes who hated Him--the rulers who derided Him--the people who wagged their heads saying, "If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"

There were also the weeping women, the trembling disciples, and--best of all--the penitent thief who trusted in Him for salvation in that dread hour, and gave Him a sweet foretaste of the "joy that was set before Him," for which "He endured the cross, despising the shame."

Other spectators also, unseen by human eyes, were doubtless there--Satan and all his horrid hosts, the Victor's baffled foes, watching Him with malignant hate; the holy angels, too, looking on with silent awe; and God Himself, Who was about to "bruise Him and put Him to grief" and "make His soul an offering for sin"--Whose voice even then shook the deep, "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd and against the Man who is My Fellow!"

As Moses took his shoes from off his feet, when he drew near to see the burning bush--let us also with reverence and adoring love, now turn aside and see this great sight!

That was a sight of WONDER. What do we see?
The Lord of glory--put to open shame!
The Creator of Heaven and earth--nailed to a cruel cross of wood!
The King of kings and Lord of lords--treated as the vilest malefactor!
The holy Son of God--crucified!
He who was the very Fountain of life, whose life was the light of men--dying!

That was a sight of SORROW. We live in a world of sorrow, a valley of tears. "Man who is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." "Man is born to trouble--as the sparks fly upward." "The whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now."

But, of all men, Jesus was "a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief." He saw His Father's law broken, His Father's name dishonored, His Father's love despised. "Rivers of water run down My eyes--because they keep not Your law." How His soul must have turned with loathing, from the defilement in the midst of which He walked--while His heart was bursting with pity for the sinners whom He had come to save! Now was the culmination of His woe. His holy nature shrank from the slightest touch of sin--yet now "He bore our sins in His own body on the tree"--and what that meant, God alone can tell.

That was a sight of SIN! What is sin? Its very essence is revolt against the Most High God. And here we see the crowning manifestation of this revolt. God's law had been broken, His commandments disobeyed, His name dishonored by a rebellious world--but never was the enmity of the human heart so intensely shown as when they crucified His beloved Son!

Oh, the malignant hate with which sinners cried "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him, crucify Him!" The awful wickedness with which they closed around His cross, "breathing out cruelty!" The madness that cried, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" They mocked, they wagged their heads, they railed, they scoffed--and in their puny impotence, defied the God of Heaven!

That was a sight of WRATH. If the crucifixion of the Son of God was the most awful manifestation of the sin of man--so was the cross also the most terrible revelation of divine wrath--the righteous wrath of a holy God! Not all the woe of the lost--not the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, of which God in His compassion warns us in His Word--not all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth of those upon whose heads God's righteous judgments fall--can reveal to us, as does the cross of Christ, the attitude of God toward sin!

In the cross of Christ, we see the burning holiness of God, Who is "of purer eyes than to behold iniquity and cannot look upon evil."

Here we see the inviolable righteousness of God, who "can by no means clear the guilty."

And here we see the terrible fierceness of His anger, the sword of His justice, the tempest of His wrath! "God is angry with the wicked every day"--but here the whole of His wrath against sin was gathered up and burst forth with relentless fury!

But, hearken!
Against whom did God's anger burn?
Against whom did God's sword awake?
Upon whose head did God's storm of wrath burst?
Not upon the heads of the guilty sinners--but upon the sinless One, the Holy One, the spotless Lamb of God!

That was a sight of LOVE!
What pen can write,
what tongue can tell,
what heart can comprehend
--the infinite love of God? Behind the awful wrath and righteous judgment--was the eternal love. Back in the counsels of eternity "God so loved the world." Why, we cannot understand; only we have heard of "the great love with which He loved us"--and we know of the great redemption which He planned for us. Yes, it was out of the infinite depths of that deep, mysterious love for the souls whom He had made, that the cross of Christ grew! 

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. 

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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~

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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 

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

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

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

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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.

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