God’s Beautiful Love

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(Charles Spurgeon)

“Having loved His own who were in the world–He loved them to the very end!” John 13:1

Christian, God’s love to you is always the same. He cannot love you more–and He will not love you less!

Never, when afflictions multiply, when terrors frighten you or when your distresses abound–does God’s love falter or flag. Let the rod fall ever so heavily upon you–the hand that moves, like the heart that prompts the stroke, is full of love! Judge not the Lord by feeble sense–but trust Him for His grace. Whether He brings you down into the depths of misery, or lifts you up into the seventh Heaven of delight–His faithful love never varies or fluctuates–it is everlasting in its continuity!

His faithful love endures forever!” Psalm 136:1

“I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love! Jeremiah 31:3

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!” Lamentations 3:22 

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Turn or Burn!” by Spurgeon, 45 minute audio.
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Being In Debt

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Therefore, brethren, we are debtors!” Romans 8:12

Christian, stop and ponder for a moment, what a debtor you are to divine sovereignty! God could have destroyed you, if He had pleased–it is entirely of His own good pleasure that you are made one of His beloved children, while others are allowed to perish.

Consider, then, how much you owe to His sovereignty! If He had willed it–you would have been among the damned! If He had not willed your salvation–then all you could do would have been utterly powerless to deliver yourself from perdition!

Remember how much you owe to His sovereign love, which tore His own Son from His bosom–that He might die for you! Let the Cross and bloody sweat remind you of your obligation.

Consider how much you owe to His forgiving grace–that after ten thousand affronts, He loves you as infinitely as ever!

Consider what you owe to His power–how He has raised you from your death in sin; how He has preserved your spiritual life; how He has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path–He has upheld you on your way!

Consider what you owe to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times–He has not changed once. Though you have shifted your intentions–yet He has not once swerved from His eternal purpose, but still has held you fast.

Christian, consider that you are as deep in debt as you can be to every attribute of God. To God you owe yourself, and all that you have! “Brethren, we are debtors!”

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“Election!” by Charles Spurgeon, 60 minutes
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The Restless Mind Is The Devil’s Play-ground

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“The more the heart is replenished with holy meditation, the less will it be pestered with worldy and carnal thoughts.  The mind of man is restless, and cannot lie idle; therefore it is good to set it awork upon holy things.  It will be working upon somewhat; and, if you do not feed it with holy thoughts, what then?  All the imaginations of the heart will be evil, only evil, and that continually (Gen. vi.5)”  — Thomas Manton “Psalm 119 – Vol. 2” v. 97

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/the-mind-is-restless/

We Can’t Even Imagine!

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(John Newton, “The Present and Future Rest of True Believers“)

Our most enlarged ideas of our future glory are faint and imperfect.  Who can describe or conceive the happiness of Heaven? It will be as unlike as possible–to this wilderness of sin and sorrow where we are now confined. Here on earth, we are in a warfare–but then we shall enter into perfect rest. We now cry out, “O that I had wings like a dove! For then would I flee away and be at REST.” (Psalm 55:6)

Heaven will be a rest from all SIN. No ‘unclean thing’ shall ever defile or disturb us forever! We shall be free from all indwelling sin. This alone would be worth dying for! Indwelling sin is a burden under which all the redeemed must groan, while they sojourn in the body.

And those who are most spiritual–are most deeply affected with shame, humiliation, and grief, on account of their sins–because they have the clearest views . . .
of the holiness of God,
of the spirituality of His law,
of the love of Christ, and
of the deceitfulness of their own hearts!
Therefore the Apostle Paul, though perhaps in grace and talents, in zeal and usefulness, was distinguished above all saints–accounted himself the ‘chief of sinners,’ (1 Timothy 1:15) ‘less than the least of all saints,’ (Ephesians 3:8) and cried out under the disparity he felt between what he actually was–and what he desired to be, “O wretched man that I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin!” (Romans 7:24)

But we shall not carry this burden of sin beyond the grave. The hour of death shall free us from our inbred enemies (the inseparable attendants of this frail perishing nature) which now trouble us, and we shall see them no more forever!

Heaven will also be a rest from all outward AFFLICTIONS, which, though necessary, and, under the influence of Divine grace, are profitable–yet they are grievous to bear. But in Heaven, they will no more be necessary. Where there is no sin–there shall be no sorrow. Then, “God will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever!” (Revelation 21:4)

Heaven will also be a rest from SATAN’S TEMPTATIONS. How busy is this adversary of God and man–what various arts and schemes he employs! What surprising force, what constant assiduity does he employ to ensnare, distress, and terrify those who by grace have escaped from his servitude! He says, like Pharaoh of old, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will destroy!” (Exodus 15:9) He follows them to the last stage of life–but he can follow them no farther. The moment of their departure out of the body–shall place them beyond his reach forever!

Heaven will also be a rest from UNSATISFIED DESIRES. Here on earth, the more we drink–the more we thirst. But in heaven, our highest wishes shall be crowned and exceeded! We shall rest in full communion with Him whom we love, and shall no more complain of interruptions and imperfections, and a careless heart.

Here on earth–we obtain a little glimpse of His presence, when He brings us into His banqueting-house, and spreads His banner of love over us! And how gladly would we remain in such a desirable frame! How unwilling are we to ‘come down’ from the mount! But these pleasing and holy seasons are quickly ended, and often give place to some sudden unexpected trial, which robs us of all that sweetness in which we lately rejoiced. But when we ascend the holy hill of God above–we shall never again ‘come down’! We shall be forever with the Lord, never offend Him, and never be separated from Him again! “I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be fully satisfied with Your presence!” (Psalm 17:15)

Here on earth–we find a mixture of evil in our most holy moments! When we approach nearest to God, we have the liveliest sense of our defilement, and how much we fall short in every branch of duty, and in every temper of our hearts. But when we shall see Jesus as He is–we shall be fully transformed into His image, and be perfectly like Him!

“Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when He comes–we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is!” 1 John 3:2

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined–what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9

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For further reading: You may want to read the whole of John Newton’s uplifting article, “The Present and Future Rest of True Believers“.

Training Children To Pray

1924756_362917790512963_797200242_n“Parents, if you love your children, do all that lies in your power to train them up to a habit of prayer. Show them how to begin.

Tell them what to say. Encourage them to persevere. Remind them if they become careless and slack about it. Let it not be your fault, at any rate, if they never call on the name of the Lord.”
~ J.C. Ryle
The Upper Room, “The Duties of Parents”, 294.

Contemplating God’s Greatness!

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“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place–what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

Lift up your eyes, behold the heavens, the work of God’s fingers–behold the sun guided in his daily march! Go forth at midnight, and behold the heavens–consider the stars and the moon! Look upon these works of God’s hands, and if you are men of sense, and your souls are attuned to the high music of the spheres–you will say, “What is man that You are mindful of him?”

My God! When I survey the boundless fields of ether, and see those ponderous orbs rolling therein; when I consider how vast are Your dominions–so wide that an angel’s wing might flap to all eternity and never reach a boundary–I marvel that You should look on insects so obscure as man!

When I behold the Almightiness of Jehovah–I am so little that I shrink into nothingness! I am so little, that the difference between the molecule and man dwindles into nothing–when compared with the infinite chasm between God and man.

Let your mind rove upon the great doctrines of the Godhead; consider the existence of God from before the foundations of the world; behold Him who is, and was, and is to come, the Almighty.

Let your soul comprehend as much as it can of the Infinite, and grasp as much as possible of the Eternal–and I am sure if you have minds at all, that they will shrink with awe.

The tall archangel bows himself before his Master’s throne–and we shall cast ourselves into the lowest dust when we feel what base nothings, what insignificant specks we are, when compared with our all-adorable Creator.

Labor, O soul, to know your nothingness–and learn it by contemplating God’s greatness!

Sickness, Trials and Disappointments!

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JC Ryle

Sickness helps to remind men of death. Most live as if they were never going to die. They follow business, or pleasure, or politics, or science–as if earth was their eternal home. They plan and scheme for the future, like the rich fool in the parable–as if they had a long lease of life. A heavy illness sometimes goes far to dispel these delusions. It awakens men from their day-dreams, and reminds them that they have to die, as well as to live. Now this I say emphatically is a mighty good.

We live in such a lovely and pleasant world–we are so surrounded with so much that is smiling and mirthful–that if we were not often obliged to taste of sickness, trials and disappointments–we would forget our heavenly home, and pitch our tents right in this Sodom!

Therefore it is that God’s people pass through great tribulations. Therefore it is they are often called upon to suffer the sting of affliction and anxiety–or weep over the grave of those whom they have loved as their own soul.

It is their Father’s hand that chastens them!

It is thus He weans their affections from things below–and fixes them on Himself!

It is thus He trains them for eternity, and cuts the threads one by one which bind their wavering hearts to this poor earth.

No doubt such chastening is grievous for the time–but still it brings many a hidden grace to light; and cuts down many a secret seed of sin.

The purest gold is that which has been longest in the refiner’s furnace.

The brightest diamond is often that which has required the most grinding and polishing.

We shall see those who have suffered most–shining among the brightest stars in the assembly of Heaven.

The last night of weeping will soon be spent, the last wave of trouble will soon have rolled over us–and then we shall be at home forever with the Lord!

“Our light affliction endures but for a moment, and it works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath?

download-001Observing a Sabbath day of rest/non-work was a command in the Old Covenant law (Exodus 20:8; 31:12–18). Christians are not under the law but have traditionally set aside Sunday as a day of worship and rest in remembrance of the fact that Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday. Some view Sunday as the Christian Sabbath, essentially transferring the Old Covenant laws about not working from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday to Sundays. Even in an increasingly secular culture, many businesses are still closed on Sundays. Is this biblical?

It is important to understand that the New Covenant nowhere commands worship or restricts work on Sundays. Biblically speaking, Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath. The New Testament describes Christians worshiping on Sundays (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2), but this is descriptive rather than prescriptive. Christians are described as worshipping onSundays, but Sunday worship is nowhere prescribed or commanded. Nowhere in the New Testament are Christians even described as setting aside Sunday as a Sabbath day.

The Sabbath day was an important aspect of the covenant between God and Israel. Exodus 31:17 states, “It [the Sabbath day] is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” Prior to God giving the nation of Israel the Mosaic Law, God nowhere required Sabbath observance. After Jesus’ death on the cross perfectly fulfilled the Law, God nowhere requires Sabbath observance. Biblically speaking, Christians are not commanded to observe a Sabbath day on Saturday or Sundayor any other day of the week.

At the same time, following the creation pattern of six days of work followed by a day of rest is a good thing. Further, setting aside a day of the week to focus on worship in undeniably biblical (Hebrews 10:25), although we are to worship God every day, not just one day per week. And, ultimately, Jesus is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4).

In conclusion, no, Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath. There is no biblically commanded Christian Sabbath. But it is perfectly acceptable to set aside Sunday as a day for worship in light of Christ’s resurrection occurring on a Sunday. Also, making Sunday a day of rest to coincide with its being a day of worship seems a logical and, more importantly, biblically sound thing to do.

Got Questions

A Life-Time to Work Out

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“The more secure in their own minds the wicked are, the greater will be their surprise and amazement when their downfall shall come.  The ruin which they have taken a life-time to work out, will come upon them as in a moment, and they will be consumed with terrors.

The Bible brings this life and the next, time and eternity, human conduct and the last judgment, the sinner’s career and the sinner’s end into view at once.”  –William S. Plumer from Psalm 73 “Psalms” p. 717, 713

https://stilltheyspeak.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/a-life-time-to-work-out/

Be Patient and Endure

87dec81797506402d8b06427d2f0a10cWe must run with patience, or we shall never obtain. There may be many things we cannot understand, much that the flesh could perhaps wish otherwise, but let us endure unto the end, and all shall be made clear, and God’s arrangements shall be proved best.

Think not to have your reward on earth, do not draw back because your good things are all yet to come. Today is the cross, but tomorrow is the crown. Today is the labor, but tomorrow is the wages. Today is the sowing, but tomorrow is the harvest. Today is the battle, but tomorrow is the rest. Today is the weeping, but tomorrow is the joy. And what is today compared to tomorrow? Today is but seventy years, but tomorrow is eternity. Be patient and hope unto the end.
~ J.C. Ryle