Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Isaiah 53:1-11

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do nothing that you would not like God to...

J.C. Ryle: "Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like God to say, 'What are you doing?'" 

What we see at the cross

David F. Wells: “What we see at the cross is the white-hot revelation of the character of God, of his love providing the price that holiness requires. The cross was his means of redeeming lost sinners and reconciling them to himself, but it was also a profound disclosure of his mercy. It is, in Paul’s words, an ‘inexpressible gift’ that leads us to wonder and worship, to praise and adore the God who has given himself to us in this way.”
 The Courage to be Protestant (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 2008), 129

Monday, November 22, 2010

Whatever it takes, make me like Christ

I'll Be Honest: Father, whatever it takes, make me like Christ. - He will always answer this prayer, and it will hurt, but the joy's of knowing the Lord more and more are worth it all. To be broken is to be fixed, to be lost and unable to find yourself is to be found in Christ.

Patience to live

John Flavel: "Most men need patience to die, but a saint who understands what death admits him to should rather need patience to live." 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Freedom from Pornography, James' Testimony

     Oh, the heart of someone who has been genuinely born again. I absolutely love this brother whom I have never met. If you want to hear what a real born again testimony sounds like please take time to listen to James' testimony. This young man has been such a blessing to me personally with his obedience to the Savior. His website is responsible for so many wonderful videos that promote Christ and Him crucified. Please, visit his website and be blessed. 

How do truly spiritual people behave?

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21 ESV)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Insulting the Cross of Christ

 Bob Jennings: “Really what your doing, by putting up, by tolerating a besetting sin in your life. In a measure your blaspheming, your insulting the Cross of Christ.”

C.H. Spurgeon talks about Zombies

Spurgeon: “There are in this world . . . those who are dead in sin and those who are alive unto God.  There is no state between. A man either lives or is dead; you cannot find a neutral condition.  There is no state between being converted and unconverted between being quickened and being dead in sin. . . .God has given to the preacher two hands, that he may set the people on each side, and deal out the truth to two characters and no more.  Be not deceived about it, you are either in the way to heaven or on the road to hell.”

Faith is refusing to be...

Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Faith is refusing to be burdened because we have cast our burden upon the Lord. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Valley of Vision: Fifth Day Evening Prayer ~ Protection

O Thou Most High, 
Creator of the ends of the earth, 
Governor of the universe, 
Judge of all men, 
Head of the church, 
Savior of sinners;

                        thy greatness is unsearchable, 
                        thy goodness infinite, 
                        thy compassions unfailing, 
                        thy providence boundless, 
                        thy mercies ever new.

We bless thee for the words of salvation. 
How important, suitable, encouraging 
              are the doctrines, promises, and invitations of the gosple of peace!

We are lost: but in it thou hast presented to us a fell, free and eternal salvation; 
             weak:but here we learn that help is found in one that is mighty 
             poor: but in him we discover unsearchable riches 
             blind: but we find he has treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

We thank thee for thy unspeakable gift.

Thy Son is our only refuge, foundation, hope, confidence;

We depend upon his death, rest in his righteouosness, desire to bear his image;

May his glory fill our minds, his love reign in our affections, his cross inflame us with ardour.

Let us as Christians fill our various situations in life, escape the snares to which they expose us, discharge the duties that arise from our circumstances, enjoy with moderation their advantages, improve with diligence their usefulness,

And may every place and company we are in be benefited by us.

Calculated to bring about a revival

A.W. Pink: It is true that many are praying for a worldwide revival. But it would be more timely, and more scriptural, for prayer to be made to the Lord of the harvest, that He would raise up and thrust forth laborers who would fearlessly and faithfully preach those truths which are calculated to bring about a revival.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The great mistake

A.W. Pink The great mistake made by most of the Lord's people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone.

Abstain from EVERY form of evil Abstain from EVERY form of evil. - 1 Th 5:22 - To abstain is to refrain. Are you refraining from every form of evil or letting a secret idol rule your heart? - Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21

Three indispensable disciplines

Paul Washer: 'For the young Christian -There are three indispensable disciplines -the Word, Prayer, and Separation.'

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Serve God with integrity

C.H.Spurgeon "Serve God with integrity, and if you achieve no success, at least no sin will lie upon your conscience." 

Monday, November 15, 2010

I am not what I ought to be

John Newton:I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be — soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God I am what I am."

quite willing to be saved by Christ, but...

C.H. Spurgeon: Thousands of people are quite willing to be saved by Christ, but when it comes to the very first step, namely, that Jesus must be accepted as ruler, lawgiver, master, king, and Lord, then they start back and reject eternal life. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

If there is no fruit of sanctification, we may be sure there is no election.”

“Election is always to sanctification. Those whom Christ chooses out of mankind, He chooses not only that they be saved, but that they may bear fruit, and that it can be seen. All other election beside this is a mere vain delusion and a miserable invention of man. Where there is no visible fruit of sanctification, we may be sure there is no election.”
~ J.C. Ryle

The everlasting punishment of hypocrites

MATTHEW HENRY: “Christ himself preached often of hell-torments, as the everlasting punishment of hypocrites; and it is good for us to be often reminded of this awakening, quickening truth.”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Make men tremble

JOHN MURRAY: Our age needs the ministry that will make men tremble before the awful majesty and holiness of God and in the conviction of the reality of his holy wrath.”

He will have us preach

MARTIN LUTHER: For he will have us preach hell-fire to the proud and haughty, and paradise to the godly . . .”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The same sun which melts wax hardens clay

"The same sun which melts wax hardens clay. And the same Gospel which melts some persons to repentance hardens others in their sins" - Spurgeon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Warn men of their danger

“It is the duty of God’s servants to warn men of their danger. . . . It
is their duty to rebuke wickedness wherever it be found. . . . This
will not make for their popularity, for it will condemn and irritate
the wicked, and such plain speaking will seriously annoy them.
Those who expose hypocrites, resist tyrants, oppose the wicked,
are ever viewed by them as troublemakers.

That he might be the firstborn among many brethren

“That he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29
THE Son of God sustains to us the relation of the Elder Brother. He is emphatically the “Firstborn.” In another place we read, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.” He is the “Brother born for adversity.” Our relation to Him as our Brother is evidenced by our conformity to Him as our model. We have no valid claim to relationship which springs not from a resemblance to His image. The features may be indistinctly visible, yet one line of holiness, one true lineament, drawn upon the heart by the Holy Spirit, proves our fraternal relationship to Him the “Firstborn.” And how large the brotherhood!—“many brethren.”
What the relative proportion of the Church is to the world—how many will be saved—is a question speculative and profitless. But this we know—the number will be vast, countless. The one family of God is composed of “many brethren.” They are not all of the same judgment in all matters, but they are all of the same spirit. The unity of the family of God is not ecclesiastical nor geographical, it is spiritual and essential. It is the “unity of the Spirit.” Begotten of one Father, in the nature of the Elder Brother, and through the regenerating grace of the one Spirit, all the saints of God constitute one church, one family, one brotherhood—essentially and indivisibly one. Nor is this relationship difficult to recognize.
Take an illustration. Two brethren in the Lord of widely different sections of the Church, and of much dissonance of sentiment on some points of truth, meet and converse together. Each wonders that, with the Word of God in his hand, the other should not read it as he reads it, and interpret it as he interprets it. But they drop the points of difference, and take up the points of agreement. They speak of Christ—the Christ who loves them both, and whom they both love. They talk of the one Master whom they serve; of their common labors and infirmities, trials and temptations, discouragements, failures, and success; they talk of the heaven where they are journeying; of their Father’s house, in which they will dwell together for ever; they kneel in prayer; they cast themselves before the cross; the oil of gladness anoints them; their hearts are broken, their spirits are humbled, their souls are blended; they rise, and feel more deeply and more strongly than ever, that they both belong to the same family, are both of the “many brethren,” of whom the Son of God is the “Firstborn,” the Elder Brother.
Oh, blessed unity! What perfect harmony of creed, what strict conformity of ritual, what sameness of denominational relation, is for a moment to be compared with this? Have you, my reader, this evidence that you belong to the “many brethren”?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The more we become what we shall be, the more will compassion rule our hearts.

The more we become what we shall be, the more will compassion rule our hearts. The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the pattern and mirror of perfect manhood, what said he concerning the sins and the woes of Jerusalem? He knew Jerusalem must perish; did he bury his pity beneath the fact of the divine decree, and steel his heart by the thought of the sovereignty or the justice that would be resplendent in the city’s destruction? Nay, not he, but with eyes gushing like founts, he cried, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings! and ye would not.”

If you would be like Jesus, you must be tender and very pitiful. Ye would be as unlike him as possible if we could sit down in grim content, and, with a Stoic’s philosophy, turn all the flesh within you into stone. If it be natural, then, and above all, if it be natural to the higher grace-given nature, I beseech you, let your hearts be moved with pity, do not endure to see the spiritual death of mankind. Be in agony as often as you contemplate the ruin of any soul of the seed of Adam.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Compassion For Souls," delivered February 5, 1871.

Monday, November 8, 2010

We have nothing, we are nothing, apart from him

We have nothing, we are nothing, apart from him. The past, the present, and the future are only bright as he shines upon them. Every consolation, every hope, every enjoyment we possess, we have received and still retain because of our connection with Jesus Christ our Lord. Apart from him we are naked, and poor, and miserable. I desire to impress upon your minds, and especially upon my own, the need of our abiding in him. As zealous laborers for the glory of God I am peculiarly anxious that you may maintain daily communion with Jesus, for as it is with our covenant blessings, so is it with our work of faith and labor of love, everything depends upon him.

All our fruit is found in Jesus. Remember his own words, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Our power to work comes wholly from his power. If we work effectually it must always be according to the effectual working of his power in us and through us.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Power Of Christ Illustrated By The Resurrection," delivered January 29, 1871.

Let us watch and pray against the love of money

Let us watch and pray against the love of money. It is a subtle disease, and often far nearer to us than we suppose. A poor man is just as liable to it as a rich man. It is possible to love money without having it, and it is possible to have it without loving it. Let us be "content with such things as we have." (Heb. 13:5.) We never know what we might do if we became suddenly rich. It is a striking fact, that there is only one prayer in all the Book of Proverbs, and one of the three petitions in that prayer is the wise request--"Give me neither poverty nor riches." (Prov. 30:8.)
~ J.C. Ryle

Sunday, November 7, 2010

God can forgive you

“The message of the gospel is this: God can forgive you, and He is willing to do so.”
- Sinclair B. Ferguson

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pray For the Success of the Gospel

Prayer is one of the best and most powerful means of helping forward the cause of Christ in the world. It is a means within the reach of all who have the Spirit of adoption. Not all believers have money to give to missions. Very few have great intellectual gifts, or extensive influence among men. But all believers can pray for the success of the Gospel, and they ought to pray for it daily. Many and marvelous are the answers to prayer which are recorded for our learning in the Bible. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16.)
~ J.C. Ryle

The Paradox of the Christian's Life in this World

I feeling like Laughing and Weeping at the same time ~ Bob Jennings

Faith and Assurance

Faith, let us remember, is the root, and assurance is the flower. Doubtless you can never have the flower without the root; but it is no less certain you may have the root and not the flower.

Faith is that poor trembling woman who came behind Jesus in the press and touched His garment. (Mark 5:27) Assurance is Stephen standing calmly in the midst of his murderers, and saying, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:5-6)

Faith is the penitent thief, crying, “Lord, remember me.” (Luke 23:42) Assurance is Job, sitting in the dust, covered with sores, and saying, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” (Job 19:25) “Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him.” (Job 13:15)

Faith is Peter’s drowning cry as he began to sink, “Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30) Assurance is that same Peter declaring before the Council in after-times, “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)

Faith is the anxious, trembling voice, “Lord, I believe: help Thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) Assurance is the confident challenge, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Who is he that condemeth?” (Romans 8:33-34)

Faith is Saul praying in the house of Judas at Damascus, sorrowful, blind, and alone. (Acts 9:11) Assurance is Paul, the aged prisoner, looking calmly into the grave, and saying, “I know whom I have believed. There is a crown laid up for me.” (2 Timothy 1:12, 4:8)

~ J.C. Ryle