Monday, October 17, 2016

O child of suffering, be thou patient...

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in his providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, his heart beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of his family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not his grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that he loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, he has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.  -CH Spurgeon image

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How To Lose Your Zeal for Christ

The Bible
by Tim Challies

Are you zealous for Christ? Do you have a genuine zeal to live for him and to advance his cause in the world? Or have you lost the zeal that once marked you? Here, courtesy of Joel Beeke and James La Belle are 9 ways you may lose your zeal.

Major in speculative religion. Speculative religion is religion whose primary concern is that which is theoretical or conjectural. Look to the pastoral epistles and you will often find Paul warning Timothy and Titus that they must avoid anything like this—anything vain and unprofitable, anything obsessed with fables and genealogies (see 1 Timothy 4:2, 2 Timothy 2:14, Titus 3:9, etc). Christianity is meant to be an experiential religion, one that is meant to reach the heart and the will and to work itself out in action. “Christian faith begins with an experiential renovation of the heart and progresses by an experiential relationship that impacts all of life.”

Love the world. “How can we be zealous for heaven when our hearts are wrapped up in earthly things? How can we lift our spirits heavenward when our minds are weighed down with the cares of this life? How can we be zealous for God when our love is divided between Him and this world? Worldly mindedness will starve our zeal.” Jesus promised us that we can serve only one master; our zeal will diminish when our loyalties are torn between God and mammon, God and this world.

Be spiritually presumptuous. Some people start out in the Christian faith, but then assume that they have nothing more to do. They presume upon the riches and grace of Christ, but invest little effort in battling sin and putting sin to death. Some take an opposite view and claim that they are no longer sinful, that they have attained perfection. In either case, these people are dangerously presumptuous and will necessarily see their zeal decline and disappear. the rest image

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Cross of Christ...

The whole stream and drift of the Old Testament moves straight to the cross of Christ. The whole New Testament is nothing but the portrait of Christ. Let a man seek the true course of his own life in the Word, and inevitably it will land him at the cross, to seek mercy as a perishing sinner in the Saviour’s wounds; and let him, starting afresh from this point of departure, seek his true course still farther, and inevitably what he will see will be, rising upon him in the distance, astonishing and enchaining him, but drawing him ever on, the image of perfection in the man Christ Jesus. ...James Stalker image

Friday, August 12, 2016

As artists give themselves to their models...

As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.
...CH Spurgeon image

Saturday, August 6, 2016

O Wondrous Sight! O Vision Fair!

O wondrous sight! O vision fair
Of glory that the church shall share,
Which Christ upon the mountain shows,
Where brighter than the sun He glows!
From age to age the tale declares
How with the three disciples there
Where Moses and Elijah meet,
The Lord holds converse high and sweet.
The law and prophets there have place,
Two chosen witnesses of grace,
The Father’s voice from out the cloud
Proclaims His only Son aloud.
With shining face and bright array,
Christ deigns to manifest that day
What glory shall be theirs above
Who joy in God with perfect love.
And faithful hearts are raised on high
By this great vision’s mystery;
For which in joyful strains we raise
The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise.
O Father, with the eternal Son,
And Holy Spirit, ever One,
Vouchsafe to bring us by Thy grace
To see Thy glory face to face.
...from the Sar­um Brev­i­ary

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Go back! Back to that Upper Room...

Jerusalem - LastSupperRoom.jpg
Go back! Back to that Upper Room, back to your knees, back to the searching of heart and habit, thought and life; back to pleading, praying, waiting, till the Spirit of the Lord floods the soul with light, and you are endued with power from on high. Then go forth in the power of Pentecost, and the Christ-life shall be lived, and the works of Christ shall be done. You shall open blind eyes, cleanse foul hearts, break men’s fetters, and save men’s souls. In the power of the Indwelling Spirit, miracles become the commonplace of daily living. ...Samuel Chadwick image

How To Pray When Your Soul Is Bone Dry

Climbing Journal Mount Rinjani package
Tim Challies
July 21, 2016

You know you ought to pray. You know that God invites and even commands you to pray. He loves to hear from you, loves to know you. Yet there are times when your soul feels bone dry, when even opening your mouth to pray seems an impossibility. What do you do?

Just Pray

Perhaps the hardest thing to do in those times is to even make the effort to pray. Just pray. It is always the right thing to do. Pray short if you need to. Tell God you are struggling to pray. But somehow just pray.
  • And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:17-19)
the rest image

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Recovering the Priority of Personal Holiness

Prayer, Bible, Christian, Folded Hands, Religion, God
by Alistair Begg
July 18, 2016

“If the Word does not dwell with power in us,” wrote Puritan John Owen, “it will not pass with power from us” (The Works of John Owen, vol. 16, p. 76.). This godly minister personified this truth in his personal life and public ministry more than three centuries ago. For years he carried the message of Jesus Christ into the trenches of a culture as chaotic as our own while simultaneously dealing with the death of his wife and all eleven of his children. John Owen was no ivory tower theologian, but rather a zealous pastor who worked to the brink of exhaustion to further the work of the Reformers. He is remembered for shining gospel light into the spiritually dark arenas of politics and academia. And his love of Scripture was clearly and forcefully articulated from the variety of pulpits into which God called him.

Yet what gave John Owen success in ministry was not so much his oratory skill, nor his evangelistic zeal, nor even his love for the people he shepherded. John Owen was used mightily by God in all these ways because he was a man characterized by personal holiness. And in an age when the church is emulating the world, where it is no longer distinguishable from our pleasure-oriented culture, the example of John Owen shines like a beacon on a stormy night.

Let’s consider whether we have allowed contemporary culture to infiltrate our minds and hearts. Have we inverted Christ’s desire that the church be in the world by bringing the world into the church instead? If we take an honest look, perhaps we’ll discover that we are contributing to this trend. Rather than relying solely on the sufficiency of God’s Word, are we employing counselors in our churches who apply worldly methods of psychological analysis to address felt needs? Have we adopted worldly means to reach the seekers who sit skeptically in the back pews rather than offering them the truths of the Gospel and the Christian life? Faithful teaching of God’s Word is vanishing. Are we among the number that have replaced preaching with elaborate drama productions aimed at entertaining? In terms of covenantal relationships, the rate of divorce and remarriage reflects societal statistics. Where do we stand on this issue? The church has become tolerant of all kinds of biblical compromise, casting aside principles that Owen and his contemporaries would have given their lives to protect and defend... the rest image

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

“Let not your hearts be troubled. "

There will be no time
John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."
In seasons of uncertainty and turmoil, we are being asked to make a deliberate decision. We are being asked to not allow our hearts to be troubled. The only way I know how to do that is to spend copious amounts of time with God so I can walk through hard times from a place of peace... and that peace will impact those directly around me. It starts with me. ...Katherine Walden image

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

If we set out to serve God...

Sunrise Bird
If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence. Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives.  -Oswald Chambers image

Friday, May 20, 2016

A new Decalogue has been adopted...

A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads ‘Thou shalt not disagree;’ and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins ‘Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.’ It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. . . . Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences. ...AW Tozer image