Bedridden Saints!

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(Charles Spurgeon)

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

I bear my witness that some of the best things I have ever learned from mortal lips–I have learned from bedridden saints!

There is no greater mercy that I know of on earth than good health–unless it is sickness. Sickness has often been a greater mercy to me than health!

It is often worth while being afflicted, in order to experience the great loving kindness of God which He bestows so abundantly on us in the hour of trouble and perplexity. Yes, God turns our fasts into feasts–and we are glad in the midst of our sorrow!

A whole-hearted consecration,
a child-like confidence,
a deep-toned submission–
these will make us ready for suffering, whatever it may be.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1 Peter 1:6

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For further reading: J.R. Miller’s practical short article, “The Duty of Forgetting Sorrow“.

Shall You Desire To Belong to Another?

10002915_848099571873093_113731360_n(Charles Spurgeon)

“He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1:4-5

Whatever may be said about the doctrine of election, it is written in the Word of God as with an iron pen, and there is no getting rid of it–there it stands!

Long before time had begun, God loved His chosen ones, and predestined them unto eternal life.

I can never understand why a man should cavil at another’s being chosen–when he himself does not himself wish to be saved!

Some men cannot endure to hear the doctrine of election. I suppose they like to choose their own wives–but they are not willing that Christ should select His bride, the Church!

Those who cavil at the doctrine of election should answer this question: “Why is it that God has left devils without hope–and yet has sent His Son to redeem mankind? Is not divine sovereignty manifested here?” Answer me, you that deny God’s sovereignty, and hate His election–how is it that angels are condemned to everlasting fire–while to you, the fallen children of Adam, the gospel of Christ is freely preached? The only answer that can possible be given is this: God wills to do it.

If the Lord should choose to show mercy to only one man in the world–He has the perfect right to do so.
If He chooses to show mercy to a few, or if He chooses to show mercy to all–He has the right to do so.

How is it that some of us who were once drunkards, swearers, and the like–are now sitting here to praise God this day? Was there anything good in us which moved the heart of God to save us? God forbid that we should indulge the blasphemous thought! I never met with any Christian who ever thought that he deserved to be chosen unto salvation; the very fact of the choice, proves that it must have been all of grace.

Electing love has selected some of the worst–to be made the best!

I shall never understand, even in Heaven–why the Lord Jesus should ever have loved me!

There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election–none more promoting of gratitude, and, consequently, none more sanctifying. To me, election is one of the sweetest and most blessed truths in the whole of Revelation–it is one of the highest notes of heavenly music!

The man who is not willing to submit to the electing love and sovereign grace of God, has great reason to question whether he is a Christian at all–for the spirit that kicks against election is the spirit of the devil, and the spirit of the unhumbled, unrenewed heart.

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13

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For further reading: J.R. Miller’s helpful short article, “The Beatitude for Sorrow“.

The Religion of Sinners!

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(Matthew Henry)

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9

We must beware of deceiving ourselves in denying or excusing our sins. The more we see them–the more we shall esteem and value the remedy.

The Christian religion is the religion of sinners–of such as have sinned, and in whom sin in some measure still dwells.

The Christian life is a life of . . .
continued repentance, humiliation for and mortification of sin,
continual faith in, thankfulness for, and love to the Redeemer, and
hopeful joyful expectation of a day of glorious redemption, in which the believer shall be fully and finally acquitted, and sin abolished forever!

“He will save His people from their sins!” Matthew 1:21

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For further reading: J.R. Miller’s uplifting short article, “Sorrow in Christian Homes“.

We Are Being Watched

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“If Christians were well informed and wise they would greatly comfort themselves with the remembrance of God’s omniscience, [Psalm 69:19].  Often it is the chief source of consolation to them. Tholuck: ‘It is one of the most potent consolations that the earthly struggles of the pious are as it were performed on a stage while the Eternal with his angels and the host of perfected saints are the spectators.’ ” — William S. Plumer “Psalms” p. 687

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/we-are-being-watched/

Be Friends With Israel, Or Be Destroyed

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Because Barack Obama has cursed Israel at the United Nations, America is now under a curse. Friday’s stunning betrayal of Israel at the UN Security Council is making headlines all over the planet, but the truth is that what Obama has just done is far more serious than most people would dare to imagine.
Over the past several decades, whenever the U.S. government has taken a major step toward the division of the land of Israel it has resulted in a major disaster hitting the United States.
This keeps happening over and over again, and yet our leaders never seem to learn. And despite the fact that President-elect Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and prominent members of both parties in Congress strongly urged Obama to veto Security Council resolution 2334, he went ahead and let it pass anyway.
Because the United States has veto power on the UN Security Council, nothing can get passed without our support. And it has been the policy of the U.S. government for decades to veto all anti-Israel resolutions that come before the Security Council.
But this time around, it appears that the Obama administration was working very hard behind the scenes to get this resolution pushed through the Security Council before the end of Obama’s term. At least that is what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming…
“From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This is, of course, in complete contradiction of the traditional American policy that was committed to not trying to dictate terms for a permanent agreement, like any issue related to them in the Security Council, and, of course, the explicit commitment of President Obama himself, in 2011, to refrain from such steps.”
I am sure that there will be a tremendous amount of debate about to what extent the U.S. was involved in creating and drafting this resolution, but there is one thing that is exceedingly clear.
The ultimate decision as to whether or not this resolution would be adopted was in the hands of one man. Barack Obama knew very well that he had this power, and in the end he ultimately decided to betray Israel.
And now that our government has cursed Israel at the UN, our entire nation will be cursed as a result.
In the Scriptures we are repeatedly told that God will bless those that bless Israel and will curse those that curse Israel.
When Barack Obama blocked a similar resolution that France wanted to submit for a vote in September 2015, it resulted in America being blessed, and we definitely have been blessed over the past 16 months.
But now that Barack Obama has reversed course and has betrayed Israel, we will most assuredly be cursed. In the days ahead we will see how this plays out, and perhaps we can get some hints about what may happen by reviewing recent history.
There have literally been dozens of instances in recent decades when the U.S. has been hit by some sort of immediate disaster when it has made a move toward the dividing of the land of Israel.
The following are ten of the most prominent examples that stand out to me…
#1 The last time the U.S. government refused to veto an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council was in 1979. On March 22nd, 1979 the Carter administration chose not to veto UN Resolution 446.
Four days after that on March 26th, the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington. As a result of that treaty, Israel gave up a tremendous amount of territory. Two days later, on March 28th, the worst nuclear power plant disaster in U.S. history made headlines all over the globe. The following comes from Wikipedia…
The Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown that occurred on March 28, 1979, in reactor number 2 of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station (TMI-2) in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was the most significant accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.[2] The incident was rated a five on the seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale: Accident With Wider Consequences.[3][4]
#2 On October 30th, 1991 President George H. W. Bush opened the Madrid Peace Conference which brought Israelis and Palestinians together to negotiate for the very first time.
In his opening speech, Bush told Israel that “territorial compromise is essential for peace”. At the exact same time, “the Perfect Storm” was brewing in the north Atlantic.
This legendary storm traveled 1000 miles the wrong direction and sent 35 foot waves slamming directly into President Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
#3 On August 23rd, 1992 the Madrid Peace Conference moved to Washington D.C., and the very next day Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Florida causing 30 billion dollars in damage. It was the worst natural disaster up to that time in U.S. history.
#4 On January 16th, 1994 President Clinton met with President Assad of Syria to discuss the possibility of Israel giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, the devastating Northridge earthquake hit southern California. It was the second worst natural disaster up to that time in U.S. history.
#5 On January 21st, 1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House but received a very cold reception. In fact, President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright actually refused to have lunch with him. That exact same day the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, sending the Clinton presidency into a tailspin from which it would never recover.
#6 On September 28th, 1998 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was working on finalizing a plan which would have had Israel give up approximately 13 percent of Judea and Samaria. On that precise day, Hurricane George slammed into the Gulf Coast with wind gusts of up to 175 miles an hour.
#7 On May 3rd, 1999 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was supposed to hold a press conference to declare the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital.
On that precise day, the most powerful tornadoes ever recorded in the U.S. ripped through Oklahoma and Kansas. At one point one of the tornadoes actually had a recorded wind speed of 316 miles an hour.
#8 On April 30th, 2003, “the Road Map to Peace” that had been developed by the so-called “Quartet” was presented to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer.
Over the next seven days, the U.S. was hit by a staggering 412 tornadoes. It was the largest tornado cluster ever recorded up to that time.
#9 In 2005, President George W. Bush (the son of George H. W. Bush) convinced Israel that it was necessary to remove all of the Jewish settlers out of Gaza and turn it over entirely to the Palestinians.
According to the New York Times, the very last of the settlers were evacuated on August 23, 2005. On that precise day, a storm that would be given the name “Katrina” started forming over the Bahamas.
The city of New Orleans still has not fully recovered from the damage that storm caused, and it ranked as the costliest natural disaster in all of U.S. history up to that time.
#10 On May 19th, 2011 Barack Obama told Israel that there must be a return to the pre-1967 borders. Three days later on May 22nd a half-mile wide EF-5 multiple-vortex tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri. According to Wikipedia, it was “the costliest single tornado in U.S. history.”
The UN Security Council resolution that was passed on Friday is the biggest betrayal of Israel in modern history. As I explained in my last article, I believe that America’s reprieve is now over and all hell is about to break loose in this country.
When Barack Obama blocked the UN Security Council from dividing the land of Israel in September 2015, according to the Word of God we should have been blessed as a nation as a result, and we were blessed.
But now Barack Obama has cursed Israel by stabbing them in the back at the United Nations, and according to the Word of God we should be cursed as a nation as a result.
And as surely as I am writing this article, we will be cursed.

MURDERED!

1901393_10151854067646744_505889740_n(From Spurgeon’s autobiography)

There was a day, as I took my walks abroad, when I came by a spot forever engraved upon my memory, for there I saw this Friend, my best, my only Friend . . . MURDERED!

I stooped down in sad affright, and looked at Him. I saw that His hands had been pierced with rough iron nails, and His feet had been torn in the same way. There was misery in His dead countenance so terrible that I scarcely dared to look upon it. His body was emaciated with hunger, His back was red with bloody scourges, and His brow had a circle of wounds about it–clearly could one see that these had been pierced by thorns.

I shuddered, for I had known this Friend full well. He never had a fault–He was the purest of the pure, the holiest of the holy.

Who could have injured Him?

For He never injured any man–all His life long He “went about doing good.” He had healed the sick, He had fed the hungry, He had raised the dead–for which of these works did they kill Him? He had never breathed out anything else but love–and as I looked into the poor sorrowful face, so full of agony, and yet so full of love–I wondered who could have been a wretch so vile as to pierce hands like His. I said within myself, “Where can these traitors live? Who are these that could have smitten such a One as this?”

Had they murdered an oppressor–we might have forgiven them; had they slain one who had indulged in vice or villainy–it might have been his desert; had it been a murderer and a rebel, or one who had committed sedition–we would have said, “Bury his corpse–justice has at last given him his due!”

But when You were slain, my best, my only-beloved–where did the traitors hide? Let me seize them, and they shall be put to death! If there are torments that I can devise–surely they shall endure them all. Oh! what jealousy–what revenge I felt! If I might but find these murderers, what I would do to them!

And as I looked upon that corpse, I heard a footstep, and wondered where it was. I listened, and I clearly perceived that the murderer was close at hand! It was dark, and I groped about to find him. I found that, somehow or other, wherever I put out my hand, I could not meet with him, for he was NEARER to me than my hand would go.

At last I put my hand upon my bosom. “I have you now!” said I–for lo, he was in my own heart–the murderer was hiding within my own bosom, dwelling in the recesses of my inmost soul!

Ah! then I wept indeed, that I, in the very presence of my murdered Master, should be harboring the murderer! I felt myself most guilty while I bowed over His corpse, and sang that plaintive hymn,
“Twas you, MY SINS, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were!
Each of my sins became a nail,
and unbelief the spear!”

Amid the rabble 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 grief–cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die–but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn.

MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned those bleeding brows 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.

If Christ has died for me, as ungodly as I am, without strength as I am–then I cannot live in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me.

I cannot trifle with the evil which slew my best Friend.

I must be holy for His sake.

How can I live in sin–when He has died to save me from it?

For further reading: J.R. Miller’s insightful and helpful short article, “Nevertheless, Afterward“.

You Cannot Reach Paradise Without a Cross

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All the children of God have a cross to carry. They have trials, troubles, and afflictions to go through for the Gospel’s sake. They have trials from the world, trials from the flesh, and trials from the devil.

They have trials of feeling from relations and friends – hard words, hard conduct, and hard judgment. They have trials in the matter of character – slander, misrepresentation, mockery, suggestion of false motives – all these often rain thick upon them. They have trials in the matter of worldly interest. They often have to choose whether they will please people, and lose glory; or gain glory and offend people. They have trials from their own hearts. They have each generally their own thorn in the flesh, which is their worst foe. This is the experience of the children of God. Some of them suffer more, and some less. Some of them suffer in one way, and some in another. God measures out their portions like a wise physician, and cannot err. But never, I believe, was there one child of God who reached paradise without a cross.
~ J.C. Ryle

Full of Head-Knowledge

220px-migraineWhen knowledge only sticks in a man’s head, and has no influence over his heart and life, it becomes a most perilous possession.

And when, in addition to this, its possessor is self-conceited and self-satisfied, and imagines he knows everything, the result is one of the worst states of soul into which man can fall. There is far more hope about him who says, “I am a poor blind sinner and want God to teach me,” than about him who is ever saying, “I know it, I know it, I am not ignorant,” and yet cleaves to his sins. The sin of that man “remains.”
Let us use diligently whatever religious knowledge we possess, and ask continually that God would give us more. Let us never forget that the devil himself is a creature of vast head-knowledge, and yet none the better for it, because it is not rightly used. Let our constant prayer be that which David so often sent up in the hundred and nineteenth Psalm. “Lord, teach me your statutes give me understanding – unite my heart to fear Your name.”
~ J.C. Ryle