Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy is that Christian

Our Lord has . . .
many weak children in his family,
many dull pupils in his school,
many raw soldiers in his army,
many lame sheep in his flock. ...
Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away.
Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren.--- JC. Ryle

60 Minutes will not replace 6 days of Neglience

Even a 60 minute sermon will not make up for 6 days of personal negligence. Yes, 30 minutes is not a long enough sermon, but really it takes 6 days of personal investment to be maturing spiritually;  to be personally in the Word for 6 days;  to be praying personally for 6 days, Spiritual Maturity cannot happen by passively listening to a sermon, even if the sermon was 60 minutes long.

Showing up at the Charlotte Chess Center for a 60 minute lecture will not transform your chess game, you must go home and study the game for yourself, each day on a personal level of investment and attention.  5 minutes of Blitz chess will not improve your chess game, and 5 minutes of blitz devotions will not improve your Spiritual maturity.

RESTATED.

Spiritual Maturity cannot happen by passively listening to a sermon, even if the sermon was 60 minutes long. Yes, God does use the preaching of His Word, but He brings His disciples to 7 days of personal investment to seek Him in prayer and Scripture. A pastor cannot "repair" 7 days of a persons own negligence with even a sermon, even if it is over 60 minutes long. In years past, I have enjoyed preaching long sermons, because I enjoy the Word. 

Most golfers do not limit their golfing to 30 minutes, because they really enjoy golfing and time is not a factor. People do not go Snow Skiing and limit their time to 30 minutes on the slope. People enjoy shopping and all types of endeavors in which they are willing to put in more than 30 minutes into the activity; so likewise we should enjoy the Word of God. 

But to my original point, it is wrong to think that even a 60 minute sermon could make up for someone's own personal negligence in seeking God daily.

7 Years of Jogging

7 years of weekly jogging, still requires weekly jogging to maintain one's physical fitness. Even though one has repeated "the same" activity for 7 years. Likewise as Christians, we may review passages on prayer, faith, love, joy, generosity, labor, and godliness for 7 years; and from a mental capacity think that this is "old information" (like jogging), yet to maintain spiritual health and fitness we continue our weekly studies of God's Word. (our continued jogging, so to speak.). May we run the race with endurance.

Monday, July 31, 2017

GRACE MULTIPLIED

"May grace and peace be multiplied unto you."
     2 Peter 1:2

When we see and feel how we need grace every
moment in our lives
, we at once perceive the beauty in
asking for an abundant, overflowing measure of grace.

We cannot walk the length of the street without sin.

Our carnal minds, our vain imaginations, are all on the
lookout for evil. Sin presents itself at every avenue, and
lurks like the prowling night-thief for every opportunity
of secret plunder. In fact, in ourselves, in our fallen nature,
except as restrained and influenced by grace, we sin with
well near every breath that we draw. We need, therefore,
grace upon grace, or, in the words of the text, grace to be
"multiplied" in proportion to our sins. Shall I say in
proportion? No! If sin abounds, as to our shame and sorrow
we know it does, we need grace to much more abound!

When the 'tide of sin' flows in with its muck and mire,
we need the 'tide of grace' to flow higher still, to carry
out the slime and filth into the depths of the ocean,
so that when sought for, they may be found no more.

We need grace, free grace . . .
  grace today,
  grace tomorrow,
  grace this moment,
  grace the next,
  grace all the day long.

We need grace, free grace . . .
 
healing grace,
  reviving grace,
  restoring grace,
  saving grace,
  sanctifying grace.

And all this multiplied by all our . . .
  wants and woes,
  sins,
  slips,
  falls, and
  unceasing and aggravated backslidings.

We need grace, free grace . . .
  grace to believe,
  grace to hope,
  grace to love,
  grace to fight,
  grace to conquer,
  grace to stand,
  grace to live,
  grace to die.

Every moment of our lives we need . . .
  keeping grace,
  supporting grace,
  upholding grace,
  withholding grace.

"May grace and peace be multiplied unto you."
     2 Peter 1:2

Sunday, July 16, 2017

MAN CAN DO THE ONE

To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other. If you have then, been "born again," your acknowledgment will be, "O Lord Jesus, the everlasting Father, Thou art my spiritual Parent; unless Thy Spirit had breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual life, I had been to this day 'dead in trespasses and sins.' My heavenly life is wholly derived from Thee, to Thee I ascribe it. 'My life is hid with Christ in God.' It is no longer I who live, but Christ who liveth in me." May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned, without God, and without hope.

Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

GOD IS OUR CONSOLATION

Such a God have we, such a God do we worship, to such a God do we pray, at whose command all created things sprang into being. Why then should we fear if this God favours us? Why should we tremble at the anger of the whole world? If He is our dwelling-place shall we not be safe though the heavens should go to the wrack? For we have a Lord greater than all the world. We have a Lord so mighty that at His word all things sprang into being. And yet we are so fainthearted that if ...the anger of a single prince or king, nay, even of a single neighbour, is to be borne, we tremble and droop in spirit. Yet in comparison with this King, all things beside in the whole world are but as the lightest dust which a slight breath moves from its place, and suffers not to be still. In this way this description of God is consolatory, and trembling spirits ought to look to this consolation in their temptations and dangers.

Martin Luther