Thursday, September 17, 2020

May this be our Happiness.

 "May ours be the happiness of him who,

content with less than little,
pleased with whatever pleases the Father,
anxious for nothing,
thankful for anything,
prayerful in everything;
can say with Paul,

 'I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.' Philippians 4:11-12"
Thomas Guthrie

Daily Collection of Quotes

 The Lord sometimes suffers his people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary he is to them. Whatever our morning’s need may be, let it like a strong current bear us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, he delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to him while he waits to meet us.


C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).

Repentance and faith are both necessary and inseparable. Spurgeon beautifully said, “Repentance is the tear in faith’s eye.” Conversely, we might say, “and faith is the gleam of hope in the wet eye of repentance.” (Beeke quoting Spurgeon.)

“As Thomas Brooks (1608–1680) said, “A family without prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of heaven.”
― Joel R. Beeke, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life

Head knowledge is not evil in and of itself. Most of our Reformed and Puritan forefathers were highly educated. The Reformers never tired of stressing the value of Christian education. But this education must be empowered by the Holy Spirit and applied to the heart. Head knowledge is insufficient without the Spirit’s application to the inward man. -- Joel Beeke

"Look steadily at Jesus on the cross, if you want to feel inward peace. Look to anything of your own, and you will never feel comfortable. Your own life and doings, your own repentance, your own morality and regularity, your own church-going, your own Bible-reading and your prayers, what are they all but a huge mass of imperfection? Rest not upon them for a moment, in the matter of your justification. As evidences of your wishes, feelings, bias, tastes, habits, inclinations, they may be useful helps occasionally. As grounds of acceptance with God they are worthless rubbish. They cannot give you comfort; they cannot bear the weight of your sins; they cannot stand the searching eye of God. Rest on nothing but Christ crucified, and the atonement He made for you on Calvary. This, this alone is the way of peace." ~ J.C.Ryle

“Jesus calls all sinners to repent. True repentance is not a nebulous response of sorrow; it requires definite actions. Repentance so transforms the mind that it results in a changed life. Repentance does not merely say “I’m sorry” (similar to what we say when we accidentally step on someone’s foot). Rather, true repentance says from the heart, “I’ve been wrong and grieve over my sin, but now I see the truth, and I will change my ways accordingly.” ― Joel R. Beeke,

“Prayer is thus a means ordained to receive what God has planned to bestow.[22]” ― Joel R. Beeke

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Glass is Refillable Romans 15:13


 

John Newton on Regeneration

 "Regeneration, or that great change without which a man cannot see the kingdom of God, is the effect of the Almighty power. Neither education, endeavors, nor arguments can open the eyes of the blind.

It is God alone, who at first caused light to shine out of darkness, who can shine into our hearts, "to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." People may attain some natural ideas of spiritual truths by reading books, or hearing sermons, and may thereby become wise in their own conceits; they may learn to imitate the language of an experienced Christian; but they know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm, and are as distant from the true meaning of the terms, as a blind man, who pronounces the words blue or red, is from the ideas which those words raise in the mind of the person who can distinguish colors by his sight.

And from hence, we may infer the sovereignty, as well as the efficacy, of grace; since it is evident, not only that the objective light, the word of God, is not afforded universally to all men; but that those who enjoy the same outward means, have not all the same perceptions.

There are many who stumble in the noon day, not for want of light, but for the want of eyes; and they who now see were once blind, even as others, and had neither power nor will to enlighten their own minds. It is a mercy, however, when people are so far sensible of their own blindness, as to be willing to wait for the manifestation of the Lord's power, in the ordinances of His appointment.

He came into the world, and sends forth His Gospel, that those who see not, may see; and when there is a desire in the heart for spiritual sight, it shall in due time be answered."

-- John Newton

Sobering Post from John Newton

 I know this is a long post, so don't feel obligated to read it; I'm just saying it was sobering material that very few sermons today will remotely resemble. More from John Newton below (who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace"):


Many, who have heard the Gospel once or a few times, will hear it no more; it awakens their scorn, their hatred, and rage. They pour contempt upon the wisdom of God, despise his goodness, defy His power; and their very looks express the spirit of the rebellious Jews, who told the prophet Jeremiah to his face, "As to the word which you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken to you at all." Those ministers who preach it, are accounted as men who turn the world upside down; and the people who receive it, fools or hypocrites. The word of the Lord is a burden to them, and they hate it with a total hatred. How strongly is the disposition of the natural heart manifested by the confusion which often takes place in families, where the Lord is pleased to awaken one or two in a house, while the rest remain in their sins! To profess, or even to be suspected of, an attachment to the Gospel of Christ, is frequently considered and treated as the worst of crimes, sufficient to cancel the strongest obligations of family or friendship. Parents, upon such a provocation, will hate their children, and children ridicule their parents: many find, agreeable to our Lord's declaration, that from the time a sense of his love engaged their hearts to love him again, their worst foes have been those of their own household; and that those who expressed the greatest love and tenderness for them before their conversion, can now hardly bear to see them.

The bulk of a people will perhaps continue to hear, at least now and then; and to those who do, the Spirit of God usually, at one time or other, bears testimony to the truth: their consciences are struck, and for a season they believe and tremble. But what is the consequence? No man who has taken poison seeks more earnestly or speedily for an antidote, than those do for something to stifle and smother their convictions. They run to company, to drink, to anything, for relief against the unwelcome intrusion of serious thoughts; and when they succeed, and recover their former indifference, they rejoice as if they had escaped some great danger. The next step is, to ridicule their own convictions; and next to that, if they see any of their acquaintance under the like impressions, to use every art, and strain every nerve, that they may render them as obstinate as themselves. For this purpose, they watch as a fowler for the bird; flatter or revile, tempt or threaten: and if they can prevail, and are the occasion of hardening any in their sins, they rejoice and triumph, as if they accounted it their interest and their glory, to ruin the souls of their fellow-creatures.

By frequent hearing, they receive more light. They are compelled to know, whether they will or not, that the wrath of God hangs over the children of disobedience. They carry a sting in their consciences, and at times feel themselves most miserable, and cannot but wish they had never been born, or that they had been dogs or toads, rather than rational creatures. Yet they harden themselves still more. They affect to be happy and at ease, and force themselves to wear a smile when anguish preys upon their hearts. They blaspheme the way of truth, watch for the faults of professors, and with a malicious joy publish and aggravate them. They see perhaps how the wicked die, but are not alarmed; they see the righteous die, but are not moved. Neither providences nor ordinances, mercies nor judgments, can stop them; for they are determined to go on and perish with their eyes open, rather than submit to the Gospel.

But they do not always openly reject the Gospel truths. Some, who profess to approve and receive them, do thereby discover the evils of the heart of man, if possible, in a yet stronger light. They make Christ the minister of sin, and turn his grace into licentiousness. Like Judas, they say, Hail, Master! and betray him. This is the highest pitch of iniquity. They pervert all the doctrines of the Gospel. From election they draw an excuse for continuing in their evil ways; and contend for salvation without works, because they love not obedience. They extol the righteousness of Christ, but hold it in opposition to personal holiness. In a word, because they hear that God is good, they determine to persist in evil. "Lord, what is man!"

Thus willful and impenitent sinners go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. The word which they despise becomes to them a savor of death unto death. They take different courses, but all are traveling down to the same pit; and, unless sovereign mercy interposes, they will soon sink to rise no more. The final event is usually two fold. Many, after they have been more or less shaken by the word, settle in formality. If hearing would supply the place of faith, love, and obedience, they would do well; but by degrees they become sermon-proof; the truths which once struck them lose their power by being often heard: and thus multitudes live and die in darkness, though the light has long shone around them.

Others are more openly given up to a reprobate mind. Contempt of the Gospel makes Infidels, Deists, and Atheists. They are filled with a spirit of delusion to believe a lie. These are scoffers, walking after their own lusts, for where the principles of true religion are given up, the conduct will be vile and abominable. Such people sport themselves with their own deceivings, and strongly prove the truth of the Gospel while they dispute against it. We often find that people of this cast have formerly been the subjects of strong convictions; but when the evil spirit has seemed to depart for a season, and returns again, the last state of that person is worse than the first.

It is not improbable that some of my readers may meet with their own characters under one or other of the views I have given of the desperate wickedness of the heart, in its actings against the truth. May the Spirit of God constrain them to read with attention! Your case is dangerous, but I would hope not utterly desperate. Jesus is mighty to save. His grace can pardon the most aggravated offenses, and subdue the most inveterate habits of sin. The Gospel you have hitherto slighted, resisted, or opposed, is still the power of God unto salvation. The blood of Jesus, upon which you have hitherto trampled, speaks better things than the blood of Abel, and is of virtue to cleanse those whose sins are scarlet and crimson, and to make them white as snow. As yet you are spared; but it is high time to stop, to throw down your arms of rebellion, and humble yourselves at his feet. If you do, you may yet escape; but if not, know assuredly that wrath is coming upon you to the uttermost; and you will shortly find, to your unspeakable dismay, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Lord is Compassionate

 It is important to understand that when a child of God sins, their Heavenly Father is not looking on them in wrath. A Christian should never think that God has even a single drop of wrath stored up for them. God only has glorious treasures stored up for us, and wrath isn’t one of them. Christ drank that cup dry. There wasn’t a drop of God’s wrath left for God’s elect when Christ Jesus finished that cup. To say otherwise is to say that Christ failed.

When a child of God sins, it is true that our Heavenly Father is displeased, and He will even surely chastise us severely if He sees it fit to do so, but He is also looking on us in deep pity. He looks on us with a tender heart. He looks on us with great compassion like a mother looks on her little child that is fighting cancer. His heart goes out to us. The only wrath involved is His wrath toward our Accuser, and the sin that burdens us.

And so if any child of the Most High God has stumbled recently, no matter how recent or severe it was, they must remind themselves of these truths. They must not think harsh thoughts about God. Do not think He is looking on you in disgust or wrath. Christ Jesus did not die for you when you hated Him so that you would think hard thoughts of Him, as though He didn’t do enough to prove His everlasting love for you. Hard thoughts of Him are lies, and they will only hinder you from running to Him and embracing Him.

The Lord knows the heart He has given you, He knows there are holy desires in it, He sees the Grace He planted in your heart even when you don’t, and He knows you are weak and still fail often. He knows that you hate sin. He is the one who put that love for Him and hatred for sin in you. The thorn in your flesh is there in order for you to draw nearer to Him, and to gain a greater sense of His grace. Yes, you are a failure, but His Son isn’t. He is not looking at what you’ve done, He is looking at what His Son has done.

Run to your loving and lovely Lord Jesus and enjoy your God. Do not withhold your love from the One who loves you more than anyone does. It should help you to know that He desires your love more than you desire His. -- Joshua Arnold.

Friday, September 11, 2020

BEATEN ON MY FEET

 When I was beaten on the bottom of my feet, my tongue cried. Why did my tongue cry? It was not beaten. It cried because the tongue and the feet are both part of the same body. And you free Christians are part of the same Body of Christ that is now beaten in prisons in restricted nations, that even now gives martyrs for Christ. Can you not feel our pain? -Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Bought, Brought, Sealed by Christ!

 By His substitutionary death, Jesus BOUGHT us for Himself. By His effectual call, He BROUGHT us to Himself. By His Holy Spirit, He SEALS us in Himself. -- Steve Lawson.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

BEWARE

 Beware of both undevotional theology and untheological devotion. --Mike Reeves.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Quotes of the Day

"God's glory is the end of our being and doing, for being and doing are both from him, and therefore for him alone." - Thomas Manton 

 "God sends every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest: he gives us our daily bread, but it is through our own labour." - C.H. Spurgeon

 Blessings at times come to us through our labors and at times without our labors, but never because of our labors, for God always gives them because of His undeserved mercy. - Martin Luther

 Everything is necessary that he sends. Nothing can be necessary that he withholds.--John Newton - 

 The duties God requires of us are not in proportion to the strength we possess in ourselves. Rather, they are proportional to the resources available to us in Christ. We do not have the ability in ourselves to accomplish the least of God’s tasks. This is a law of grace. When we recognize it is impossible to perform a duty in our own strength, we will discover the secret of its accomplishment. But alas, this is a secret we often fail to discover.--John Owen. 

 "Affliction does not rise out of the dust or come to men by chance; but it is the Lord that sends it, and we should own and reverence His hand in it." - Thomas Boston. 

 Far from being a history of a harsh God, the Old Testament is the record of a God who is patient in the extreme. —R.C. Sproul