Our Thorn – J. R. Miller / Christian Audio Devotional

Christian Praise and Worship in Sermons and Songs

Our Thorn – J. R. Miller / Christian Audio Devotional

2 Corinthians 12:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!

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OUR BELIEFS

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1. The BIBLE alone is the inspired Word of God, and the only authoritative rule for faith and practice. Scripture alone is able to make a man wise unto salvation; and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2. GOD is sovereign in creation, providence and salvation.

3. JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God, willingly died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of His people.

4. At the time of salvation, all Christians receive the indwelling and fullness of the HOLY SPIRIT, and are baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. As he lives by the power of the Spirit, the believer is enabled to live a godly life in this present evil world.

5. All MANKIND are born in a state of total sinful depravity. Therefore, no person has the will or the ability to come to God in his own strength.

6. SALVATION cannot be merited by our ‘good works’–but is entirely a gift of God’s free grace. We are accounted righteous before God, only by the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith–and not for our own works and deservings. We maintain that in the matter of our justification, our own goodness and holiness have nothing whatever to do. Salvation, once received, cannot be lost.

7. GOOD WORKS, which follow after justification, spring necessarily out of a true and living faith. We maintain that a living faith may be as evidently discerned by the good works which spring from it–as a tree is discerned by its fruit; and that, consequently, the man in whom no good works and holiness can be seen–is not yet a converted man. God requires man to repent of his sins, and commit himself by faith to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. All true believers will persevere in the faith, and in a holy lifestyle–God preserving them.

8. In ETERNITY the saved shall enjoy everlasting life–and the lost shall suffer everlasting punishment.

9. The CHURCH consists of all who are . . .
chosen by the Father,
redeemed by the Son, and
born again by the Holy Spirit.

We hold and teach that the above doctrines are the primary and principal beliefs in true Christianity. We maintain that other points of doctrine, however important and valuable they are in their due place–are by comparison, things of secondary importance. On these secondary issues, true Christians may disagree. As had been said:

“In essentials, UNITY.
In non-essentials, DIVERSITY.
In all things, CHARITY.”

“When we eat an apple–we usually first cut out the blemishes, then eat what is good, and lastly throw the core away. Such a rule I would observe in reading human authors–the best may be defective, and the wisest may be mistaken. We are not only permitted, but enjoined, to call no man master.” John Newton


“Test everything. Hold on to the good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

“All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:15-16

The Diamond in that Ring!

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(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)

The whole of Scripture is but one entire love-letter, all written in golden letters, dispatched from the Lord Christ to His beloved spouse on earth. In it, there is so much to be read of . . .
the love of Christ,
the heart of Christ,
the kindness of Christ,
the grace of Christ, and
the glory of Christ,

that a holy heart cannot but love, and embrace, and endeavor to conform to every line.

The whole Word of God is a field–and Christ is the treasure which is hidden in that field!

The whole Word of God is a ring of gold–and Christ is the diamond in that ring!

“The Scriptures point to Me!” John 5:39

Then the Scum Appears

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(Thomas Brooks, “The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod” or, “The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes” 1659)

“I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

Few Christians see themselves and understand themselves rightfully.
By trials, God reveals much of a man’s sinful self to his pious self.

When the fire is put under the pot–then the scum appears! 
Just so, when God tries a poor soul, Oh! how does . . .
the scum of pride,
the scum of murmuring,
the scum of distrust,
the scum of impatience,
the scum of worldliness,
the scum of carnality,
the scum of foolishness,
the scum of willfulness
–reveal itself in the heart of the poor creature!

Trials are God’s looking-glass, in which His people see their own faults. Oh! . . .
that looseness,
that vileness,
that wretchedness,
that sink of filthiness,
that gulf of wickedness,
which trials show to be in their hearts!

“When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold!” Job 23:10

“Trials make the promise sweet,
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there!”

Providential Arrangement

Still They Speak

“We are taught by the Spirit to reverance all the natural ties which bind us together in society. Besides the common and universal one of humanity, there are others of a more sacred kind, by which we should feel ourselves attached to men in proportion as they are more nearly connected with us than others, by neighborhood, by relationship, or by professional calling, the more as we know that such connections are not the result of chance, but of providential design and arrangement.” –John Calvin, quoted p. 586 “Psalms” by William S. Plumer

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Murderer!

Charles Spurgeon)

“A great multitude of the people followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him.” Luke 23:27

Amid the rabble crowd which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations–fit music to accompany that march of woe!

When my soul can, in imagination, see the Savior bearing His cross to Calvary–she joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for my grief–cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed . . .
innocence–maltreated,
goodness–persecuted,
love–bleeding,
meekness–dying!

But my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn–MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned that bleeding brow with thorns!

My sins cried, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders! His being led forth to die, is sorrow enough for one eternity; but MY having been His murderer–is more, infinitely more grief, than one poor fountain of tears can express! Those women who loved and wept–could not have had greater reasons for love and grief, than my poor heart has!

The widow of Nain saw her son restored–but I myself have been raised to newness of life!
Peter’s mother-in-law was cured of the fever–but I myself have been cured of the plague of sin!
Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her–but a whole legion of devils were cast out of me! 
Mary and Martha were favored with visits from Jesus–but He dwells with me!

I am not behind these holy women in debt to Jesus–let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow.

“Love and grief my heart dividing,
With my tears His feet I’ll lave;
Constant still in heart abiding,
Weep for Him who died to save!”

“He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Infinite grief! amazing woe!
Behold my bleeding Lord!
Hell and the Jews conspired His death,
And used the Roman sword.

O, the sharp pangs of smarting pain
My dear Redeemer bore,
When knotty whips and ragged thorns
His sacred body tore!

But knotty whips and ragged thorns
In vain do I accuse;
In vain I blame the Roman bands,
And the more spiteful Jews.

‘Twere you, my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear!

‘Twere you that pulled the vengeance down
Upon His guiltless head;
Break, break, my heart! O burst, mine eyes!
And let my sorrows bleed.

Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,
Till melting waters flow,
And deep repentance drowns my eyes,
In sincere and bitter woe!
   Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

How to Become Full of Joy – Charles Spurgeon Sermons

Christian Praise and Worship in Sermons and Songs

How to Become Full of Joy – Charles Spurgeon Sermons

1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 January 31, 1892) was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages. Spurgeon was the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. In 1857, he started a charity organization called Spurgeon’s which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him after his death.

Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer, a…

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