Monday, January 31, 2011

A place called Calvary

“Every time we look a the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”
   ~ John Stott

Do you realize that most men play at religion

"Do you realize that most men play at religion as they play at games? Religion itself being of all games the one most universally played. The Church has its "fields" and its "rules" and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all. As an athlete uses a ball so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace-and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. In the games men play there are no moral roots. It is a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing, at last. Sadly, in the religious game of pious words, after the pleasant meeting no one is basically any different from what he had been before!"

- A.W. Tozer, Renewed Day by Day

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What an evil and abominable thing is the flesh:

What an evil and abominable thing is the flesh: at variance with the Holy One, a rebel against His Law! It is therefore our enemy, yea, it is far and away the worst one the believer has. The Devil and the world without do all their mischief to the souls of men by the flesh within them.
-A.W. Pink, “Practical Christianity”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man's state in the sight of God

I have learned by mournful experience that the last thing a man finds out and understands, is his own state in the sight of God. Well says the Holy Spirit, that we are all by nature "blind," and "deaf," and "dumb," and "asleep," and "beside ourselves," and "dead!" Nothing, nothing will ever convince man of his sin but the power of the Holy Spirit. Show him hell, and he will not flee from it; show him heaven, and he will not seek it; silence him with warnings, and yet he will not stir; prick his conscience, and yet he will remain hard. Power from on high must come down and do the work. To show man the sinner which he really is - is the special work of the Holy Spirit of God.
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, January 28, 2011

To mortify the lusts of the flesh...

"to mortify the lusts of the flesh, to be crucified unto the world, to overcome the Devil, to die daily unto sin and live unto righteousness, to be meek and lowly in heart, trustful and obedient, pious and patient, loving and gentle is a task far, far beyond the poor resources of fallen human nature."- A. W. Pink

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Value of Christ

"Christ is not valued at all, unless he is valued above all" ~ Augustine

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unity in the Cross of Christ

Does a man really and sincerely boast in the cross of Christ? That is the grand question. If he does, he is my brother - we are traveling on the same road; we are journeying towards a home where Christ is all, and everything outward in religion will be forgotten. But if he does not boast in the cross of Christ, I cannot feel comfort about him. Union on outward points only, is union only for a time - union about the cross is union for eternity. Error on outward points is only a skin deep disease - error about the cross is disease at the heart. Union about outward points is a mere man-made union - union about the cross of Christ can only be produced by the Holy Spirit.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just how dependent are you on Jesus for your salvation?

“When you realize just how dependent you are on Jesus for your salvation — his death for your sin, his life for your righteousness — you understand why the Bible is so insistent that salvation comes only through faith in him. There is no other way, no other savior, nothing and no one else in the world on which we can rely for salvation, including our own efforts.”
~ Greg Gilbert

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Price of Sinning Against God’s Son

 If Christ be the beloved darling of the Father’s soul, think what a grievous and insufferable thing it is to the heart of God, to see his dear Son despised, slighted, and rejected by sinners: verily, there is no such cut to the heart of God in the whole world. Unbelievers trample upon God’s darling, tread under foot him that eternally lay in his bosom, Heb. 10: 29. Smite the Apple of his eye, and how God will bear this, that parable, Mat. 21: 37, to 40, will inform you, surely he will miserably destroy such wretched sinners. If you would study to do God the greatest despight, there is none like this. What a dismal word is that; 1 Cor. 16: 22. “If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” (i. e.) let the great curse of God lie upon that man till the Lord come. O sinners! you shall one day know the price of this sin; you shall feel what it is to despise a Jesus, that is able to compel love from the hardest heart. O that you would slight him no more! O that this day your hearts might fall in love with him! I tell you, if you would set your love to sale, none bids so fair for it as Christ.”
John Flavel

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The world's theology

The world's theology is easy to define.It is the view . . .that human beings are basically good, that no one is really lost, that belief in Jesus Christ is not necessary for salvation.

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."
Romans 1:22
~ James Montgomery Boice

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The cross and Christ and the care of God

“God provided the solutions to man’s sin and rebellion by sending Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem. Incredibly, God placed that condemnation on His Son, Jesus Christ, who totally bore the wrath of God and the justice of God against sin in His death on the cross. If God exercised such unconditional love to us then, why would we ever question His intervention in our lives now?”
~ John Murray

Friday, January 21, 2011

I may be called Antinomian or Calvinist for preaching a limited atonement; but...

"I may be called Antinomian or Calvinist for preaching a limited atonement; but I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it." ~Spurgeon

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The World is Watching the Christian

Let us often ask ourselves whether we are doing good or harm in the world. We cannot live to ourselves, if we are Christians. The eyes of many will always be upon us. Men will judge by what they see, far more than by what they hear. If they see the Christian contradicting by his practice what he professes to believe, they are justly stumbled and offended. For the world's sake, as well as for our own, let us labor to be eminently holy. Let us endeavor to make our religion beautiful in the eyes of men, and to adorn the doctrine of Christ in all things.
~ J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catholics are taught to believe...

Catholics are taught to believe a miracle has occurred when the inner essence of the host (wafer) is changed into the body and blood of Christ even though it still looks and tastes like a wafer. Can you think of any miracle in the Bible that never appeared to happen?
- Mike Gendron

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Cure For Self-Righteousness

The true cure for self-righteousness is self-knowledge. Once let the eyes of our understanding be opened by the Spirit, and we shall talk no more of our own goodness. Once let us see what there is in our own hearts, and what the holy law of God requires, and self-conceit will die. We shall lay our hand on our mouths, and cry with the leper, "Unclean, unclean." (Lev. 13:45)
~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, January 17, 2011

Women: What To Wear To Church

The fault is excessive concern and eagerness about dress. Paul’s wish is that their dressing should be regulated by modesty and moderation, for luxury and extravagance come from a desire to make a display, which can spring only from vanity and wantonness…. Paul attacks by name certain kinds of immoderation, such as curled hair, jewels and golden rings—not that jewels or gold are completely forbidden but, whenever there is a shining display of them, they tend to bring with them all the evils… which spring from self-concern or unchastity. ~John Calvin

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A man who fears not God

A man who fears not God, will break all his laws with an easy conscience, but one who is the favorite of heaven, who has been indulged to sit at royal banquets, who knows the eternal love of God to him, cannot bear that there should be any evil way in him that might grieve the Spirit and bring dishonor to the name of Christ. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a truly awakened Christian.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Self-Humbling and Selfsearching," delivered January 15, 1871.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

They are all Calvinists there

They are all Calvinists there, every soul of them. They may have been Arminians on earth; thousands and millions of them were; but they are not after they get there, for here is their song, “Salvation unto our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” ~Spurgeon

The Benefits of the Lord's Supper

The Lord's Supper was ordained for a continual remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ's death, until He comes again. The benefits it confers are spiritual, not physical. Its effects must be looked for in our inward man. It was intended to remind us, by the visible, tangible emblems of bread and wine, that the offering of Christ's body and blood for us on the cross, is the only atonement for sin, and the life of a believer's soul. It was meant to help our poor weak faith to closer fellowship with our crucified Savior, and to assist us in spiritually feeding on Christ's body and blood.
It is an ordinance for redeemed sinners, and not for unfallen angels. By receiving it we publicly declare our sense of guilt, and need of a Savior - our trust in Jesus, and our love to Him - our desire to live upon Him, and our hope to live with Him. Using it in this spirit, we shall find our repentance deepened, our faith increased, our hope brightened, our love enlarged, our besetting sins weakened and our graces strengthened. It will draw us nearer to Christ.
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, January 14, 2011

If the Holy Spirit withdrew

"If the Holy Spirit withdrew from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on & no one would know the difference" AW Tozer (Ouch!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some people do not like to hear much of repentance

"Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it." - Matthew Henry

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whoever has been truly humbled...

Whoever has been truly humbled will not be easily angry, nor harsh or critical of others.  He will be compassionate and tender to the infirmities of his fellow-sinners, knowing that if there is a difference – it is grace alone which has made it!  He knows that he has the seeds of every evil in his own heart.  And under all trials and afflictions he will look to the hand of the Lord, and lay his mouth in the dust, acknowledging that he suffers much less than his iniquities have deserved.
- John Newton

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The truth of the Gospel

“The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine.… Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.”
~ Martin Luther

Monday, January 10, 2011

The utmost end of all the works of God

“When God designed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man, and the saving of sinners, to the praise of the glory of his grace, he appointed, in his infinite wisdom, two great means thereof: The one was the giving his Son for them, and the other was the giving his Spirit to them.
And hereby was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole blessed Trinity; which is the utmost end of all the works of God.”
~ John Owen

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Adoption is a greater mercy than Adam had in paradise

Adoption is a greater mercy than Adam had in paradise; he was a son by creation, but here is a further sonship by adoption. To make us thankful, consider, in civil adoption there is some worth and excellence in the person to be adopted; but there was no worth in us, neither beauty, nor parentage, nor virtue; nothing in us to move God to correct us, but nothing to move him to adopt us, therefore exalt free grace; begin the work of angels here; bless him with your praises who has blessed you in making you his sons and daughters.
Taken from Thomas Watson, author of, A Body of Divinity (1692)

Saturday, January 8, 2011 a flash of lightning. But alas! it will be too late.

We may settle it in our minds, that there will be an entire change of opinion one day as to the necessity of decided Christianity. At present, we must all be aware, the vast majority of professing Christians care nothing at all about it. They have no sense of sin. They have no love towards Christ. They know nothing of being born again. Repentance, faith, grace and holiness, are mere words and names to them. They are subjects which they either dislike, or about which they feel no concern. But all this state of things shall one day come to an end. Knowledge, conviction, the value of the soul, the need of a Savior, shall all burst on men's minds one day like a flash of lightning. But alas! it will be too late. It will be too late to be buying oil, when the Lord returns. The mistakes that are not found out until that day are irretrievable.
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, January 7, 2011

This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel.

“This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is something — someone — worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of nondiscipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him.”
~ David Platt

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The atheist, who thinks there is no God

The atheist, who thinks there is no God, thinks there is no sin against him. Nothing in world will tell us so plainly and powerfully of the evil of sin, as the knowledge of the greatness, wisdom goodness, holiness, authority, justice, truth, etc. of God. The sense of his presence, therefore, will revive our sense of sin’s malignity.
~Richard Baxter

Our Desperate Need For A Mediator

Let us strive to know more and more, every year we live, our need of a mediator between ourselves and God. Let us seek more and more to realize that without a mediator our thoughts of God can never be comfortable, and the more clearly we see God the more uncomfortable we must feel. Above all, let us be thankful that we have in Jesus the very Mediator whose help our souls require, and that through Him we may draw near to God with boldness, and cast fear away. Out of Christ, God is a consuming fire. In Christ, He is a reconciled Father. Without Christ, the strictest moralist may well tremble, as he looks forward to his end. Through Christ, the chief of sinners may approach God with confidence, and feel perfect peace.
~ J.C. Ryle

Repentance and the Real Gospel

Let no man ever persuade you that any religion deserves to be called the Gospel, in which repentance toward God has not a most prominent place. That is no Gospel in which repentance is not a principal thing. It is the Gospel of man - not of God. It comes from earth - not from heaven. It is not the Gospel at all - it is rank antinomianism and nothing else. So long as you hug your sins, and cleave to your sins, and will have your sins - your sins are not forgiven.
So long as you do not repent of sin, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is no Gospel to your soul. Christ is a Savior from sin - not a Savior for man in sin. If a man will have his sins, the day will come when that merciful Savior will say to him, "Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity! Depart into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. 25:41.)
~ J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Divine authority is missing from many pulpits

"The divine authority is missing from many pulpits. We have "tabby cats" with their claws carefully trimmed in the seminary, so they can paw over the congregations and never scratch them at all! The Holy Spirit will sharpen the arrows of the man of God who preaches the whole counsel of God!"

- A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Without faith, without Christ!

How painfully self–righteous are many! They can talk complacently about having "done their duty," and being "kind to everybody," and having always "kept to their church," and having "never been so very bad" as some, and therefore they seem to think they must go to heaven! And as to deep sense of sin and simple faith in Christ’s blood and sacrifice, it seems to have no place in their religion. Their talk is all of doing and never of believing. And will such self–righteousness as this land anyone in heaven? Never! Without faith, without Christ!
~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, January 3, 2011

Consider the call of the Throne above

Consider the call of the Throne above, “Go ye,” and from round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.”
Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers.
American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.
- Jim Elliot
1927 – 1956

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We are such fools

 "We are such fools as to dream that we are better because others are worse, and we talk as if we could get up by pulling others down." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Intercession of Christ For You

Would you know the secret of daily comfort in all the toil, and business, and distractions we have to go through? We all know that they who have to do work in any secular calling, find the work oftentimes a sore burden to their souls. Oftentimes in the morning they feel, "How can I get through this day without a defiled conscience, without being sorely troubled and tempted to forget my God?" How shall a man get through the day with comfort, fill his office in the world, do his duty in the position to which God has called him? Let him lay hold upon the intercession of Jesus Christ. Let him grasp the great thought, that Christ not merely died for him, but rose again, and still lives for him.
~ J.C. Ryle

George Muller's New Year Words

George Muller's Words, spoken at a New Year's Service, 1859

We have, through the goodness of the Lord, been permitted to enter upon another year, and the minds of many among us will no doubt be occupied with plans for the future, and the various fears of our work and service for the Lord. If our lives are spared, we shall be engaged in many things--the welfare of our families, the prosperity of our business, and our work and service for Christ, which may be considered the most important matters to be attended to.

But according to my judgement, the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things, see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, and the Lord's work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled condition for the last thirty-five years. For the first four years after my conversion, I knew not its vast importance, but now after much experience, I especially commend this point to the notice of my younger brothers and sisters in Christ: the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, and having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.

But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How shall we obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in Him, as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ.

In the Scriptures, by the power of the Holy Ghost, He makes Himself known unto our souls. . . . Therefore the very earliest portion of the day we can command should be devoted to the meditation on Scriptures. Our souls should feed upon the Word. . . . This intimate experimental acquaintance with Him will make us truly happy. Nothing else will. In God our Father and the blessed Jesus, our souls have a rich, divine, imperishable, eternal treasure. Let us enter into practical possession of these true riches; yea, let the remaining days of our earthily pilgrimage be spent in an ever-increasing, devoted, earnest consecration of our souls to God.
- George Mueller