Sunday, September 24, 2017
Here, Lord, I have "no continuing city." I would not desire to live here always. Change is the portion of my earthly pilgrimage. Lord, wean me from this uncertain world!
Bring me to live under the influence of eternal realities. I rejoice to think of the happy myriads already in glory, safe in the presence of the Master they love, with every tear drop wiped away. May the thought of that endless, sinless, sorrowless immortality reconcile me to all of earth's severest discipline.
Let me not murmur under the heaviest cross in the prospect of such a crown. Let me not refuse to pass cheerfully through the hottest furnace which is to refine and purify me for this exceeding and eternal weight of glory! Allow me to bear with calm serenity, whatever cross You see fit to lay upon me.
Psalm 30:5 ... For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Revelation 21:3-4 ... And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Isaiah 25:8 ... He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.❤
Saturday, September 23, 2017
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. 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!
John 13:7 ... Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Psalm 25:10 ... All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psalm 77:19 ... Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.❤
Friday, September 22, 2017
Oh what earthly-mindedness, what indulging of the flesh, what sinful extravagance are now seen among professing Christians today!
How practical godliness has waned; how the denying of self has disappeared; how covetousness, pleasure and worldliness now possess the great majority of those calling themselves the people of God.
Yet as great as the sin of the people is far greater is that of most of the preachers, who, instead of warning, admonishing, rebuking, and setting before their people an example of sobriety and contentment criminally remain silent upon the crying sins of their hearers, while they themselves encourage the reckless indulgence of worldly lusts.
[A. W. Pink]
Hosea 8:4 ... They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
Galatians 5:19-21 ... Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:24 ... No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.❤
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Joy is like a tiny seed in the human heart that grows as we maintain it. Pulling the weeds of negative thoughts is a process, but bathing in the light of the Son is the focus. Fresh water cleanses the heart that abides in the rich soil of God's presence. Beauty and Joy will fill the mind that stewards 'the seed'.
[Troi Nelson Cockayne]
Psalm 16:11 ... Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.❤
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
What is man that God should even look in his direction? Who am I that the infinite, glorious, triune God should glance my way much less be mindful of me?
Beloved in Christ, understand that your God is without a doubt ever-mindful of you. He has numbered every hair on your precious head, appointed the bounds of your habitation, and determined the very second of your death. He bottles your every tear, knows your every sorrow, records your every work, and remembers every cup of cold water given in His name. He is deeply concerned for your immortal soul, has purposed to do you good, and has staked His glory on your everlasting salvation. Your God is more mindful of you, your soul, your life, and your welfare than you will ever understand in this life.
In the light of such staggering knowledge who God is, and what you are do you not ask yourself in utter astonishment, "Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?"
As mere creatures such a thought is beyond profound but as guilty sinners the thought surpasses the unthinkable! Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated! (Romans 9:13) God loved Jacob, and hated Esau. Who am I that I should be identified with the former, and not the latter? Christ died for His elect and put away their sins forever by the sacrifice of Himself and the rest of humanity He leaves to themselves.
Who am I that my name should be written in the Lamb's Book of Life from the foundation of the world? The Sovereign dispenser of all grace and all blessedness has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. Who am I that I should be a vessel of honor prepared for glory and not a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction?
Who are we, brothers and sisters, that we should partake of the boundless provision of grace in Christ be redeemed, justified, and forgiven, should live forever with Him in glory? Who are we that the incomprehensibly glorious God would be so mindful of us, that He not only took on our nature, but lived a perfect life for us, that we could never live, died a sin-atoning death for us, that we could never die, and satisfied a Law for us, that we could never satisfy? By the grace of God I am what I am! (1 Corinthians 15:10)
The only difference between a saved sinner and a lost sinner is the difference that God makes by His distinguishing grace! It is not our decisions, lives, prayers, or works that make the difference, but God and God alone. Though all who read these lines deserve to be in Hell for their sin, God has been pleased to save some freely by His grace. Though all are equally sinful, equally guilty, and equally deserving of everlasting torment, God has been pleased to save some for no other reason than His own glory.
Psalm 8:4 ... What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?❤
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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.
Blessed are those who live like pilgrims and strangers in this life, their best things are all to come!
The surest mark of true conversion, is humility.
Nothing so hardens the heart of man as a barren familiarity with sacred things.
Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct!
Sicknesses, losses, crosses, anxieties and disappointments are absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful and spiritually-minded. They are as needful as the pruning knife to the vine and the refiner's furnace to the gold.
Surely it is better to enter into eternal life with a few than to go to Hell with a great company!
[J. C. Ryle]
Monday, September 18, 2017
The vast majority of the churches are in a sorry state! Those that are out-and-out worldly are at their wits end to invent new devices for drawing a crowd. Others which still preserve an outward form of godliness often provide nothing substantial for the soul; there is little ministering of Christ to the heart, and little preaching of sound doctrine without which souls cannot be built up and established in the faith.
The great majority of the pastors summon to their aid some professional speaker, who puts on a high-pressure campaign and secures sufficient new 'converts' to take the place of those who have 'lapsed' since he was last with them.
[A. W. Pink]
2 Timothy 4:3 ... For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Acts 20:29 ... For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
2 Peter 2:1-2 ... But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.❤
Sunday, September 17, 2017
He came from the tribe of Judah just as Jacob had predicted almost two thousand years earlier (Genesis 49:10). In his first coming he arrived as a helpless baby in the manger. But before long he confounded his teachers, baffled his parents, enraged the power brokers, challenged the hypocrites, and at the same time he welcomed little children, touched the lepers, healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed the storms, cured the blind, and he even raised the dead. As he was dying, he uttered words of forgiveness for his murderers. The Bible sums up his life by saying he “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38).
The Lamb who died is the Lion who prevailed over death.
But that is not the end of the story. He came the first time as the Lamb of God.
He will come again as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He is the Lamb who is a Lion, the compassionate Savior who will one day rule the world.
Let us learn from this what it means to follow Jesus. Put on the meekness of the Lamb and you will have the strength of the Lion. Follow the Lamb and the Lion will protect you from all your foes. Lord Jesus, may we be meek today so that Your mighty strength may flow through us. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:8 ... Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. ❤
Saturday, September 16, 2017
The presence of Jesus, is the life and the joy of the saints. When we enjoy it, we dread the thought of losing it; and when we have lost it, we cannot rest until we have regained it. That is a gloomy day in which the presence of Jesus is not enjoyed; and that is a dreary night when Jesus is absent from us.
Reader! have you enjoyed the presence of Jesus today? Has He communed with your spirit, thereby strengthening your faith, exciting your hope, and deepening your comfort?
If so, I know that your prayer tonight will be, "Abide with me! Yes, precious Lord Jesus, we do beseech You to visit us, converse with us, open up the Scriptures to us, and abide with us. Let us feast our eyes on Your glory and our hearts on Your grace. With You, we can feel at home, we can be happy anywhere. Without You, we cannot rest, we cannot feel satisfied, we cannot enjoy repose, let us have whatever we may.
You have won our heart's love. You have made yourself the center and source of our comfort. Come, then, and abide with us this evening and then a blessed evening it will be. Your presence will free us from all our cares, and raise us above all our troubles. Your presence will feast us, refresh us, and make us satisfied with our lot, be it what it may!"
Luke 24:29 ... But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
John 15:4 ... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
1 Corinthians 7:24 ... Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.❤
Friday, September 15, 2017
People are badly cheated in this world. They often imagine that gold, silver, houses, lands, and stocks are the real treasures. So they toil for these things and gather them into their possession, and pile up what they suppose to be wealth. Thus they live like princes in their fine houses, and call themselves millionaires.
But one day their supposed riches take to themselves wings and fly away like eagles to the skies. Or they may keep their wealth, perhaps, and die at last in the midst of it, and have a great funeral. But then they find that they cannot carry a penny of it with them!
"How much did he leave?" was asked about a rich man who had died.
"He left all of it!" was the answer.
If men only knew that there are other things far more worth setting eyes and heart upon things which will never fly away, they would pass by these glittering unrealities to lay hold of the true riches!
[J. R. Miller]
Proverbs 23:5 ... Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
1 Corinthians 2:9 ... But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Colossians 3:2 ... Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.❤
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Oh, yes, there is a 'glory side' to every problem, affliction, perplexity, misunderstanding and loss. It is God's point of view. When we look at things the way He does, our suffering becomes a servant, our trials become treasures, our loss becomes gain, and our pain becomes blessing.
1 Peter 4:13 ... But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
James 1:2-4 ... My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Romans 9:21-23 ... Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,❤