We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Temptation To Come Down From The Cross

Lastly our Lord was tempted to come down from the cross."Let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him" Matt. 27:42. 

When these voices broke upon His ear, were they not fraught with terrible temptation? 

Think of the agony He was enduring in His so sensitive and sinless frame. 

Think how the very passion of His heart was that these men and women should believe in Him. 

And as these cries rang upon His ear did they not carry with them the suggestion that in one instant He might escape His torture, and doing it win the allegiance of His own?

Tempted in every prospect of the cross, our Lord was tempted on the cross itself.

By one swift action might He not end His agony and win the great ambition of His life?

And the wonderful thing is that on the cross as in the desert at the opening of His ministry, He steeled Himself against these tempting voices. 

They said "Come down, and we will believe in you." 

We believe, because He did not come down. To us the glory is in His hanging there till He cried in a loud voice "It is finished." 

And when we are tempted, as we so often are, to release ourselves when "crucified with Christ," what a comfort that we can quietly say, "He was tempted in all points like as we are."

~George H. Morrison~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blessed Is The One Who Waits

Dan 12:12  Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

Waiting may seem like an easy thing to do, but it is a discipline that a Christian soldier does not learn without years of training.

Marching and drills are much easier for God’s warriors than standing still.

There are times of indecision and confusion, when even the
most willing person, who eagerly desires to serve the Lord, does not know what direction to take.

So what should you do when you find yourself in this situation?

Should you allow yourself to be overcome with despair?
 

Should you turn back in cowardice or in fear or rush ahead in ignorance?

NO, you should simply wait—but wait in prayer.

Call upon God and plead your case before Him, telling Him of your difficulty and reminding Him of His promise to help.

Wait in faith. Express your unwavering confidence in Him.

And believe that even if He keeps you waiting until midnight, He will come at the right time to fulfill His vision for you.

Wait in quiet patience. Never complain about what you believe to be the cause of your problems, as the children of Israel did against Moses.

Accept your situation exactly as it is and then simply place it with your whole heart into the hand of your covenant God.
 

And while removing any self-will, say to Him,“Lord,‘Not my will, but yours be done’ [Luke 22:42].

I do not know what to do, and I am in great need. But I will wait until You divide the flood before me or drive back my enemies.

I will wait even if You keep me here many days, for my heart is fixed on You alone, dear Lord.

And my spirit will wait for You with full confidence that You will still be my joy and my salvation, Psa 61:3  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 


~From Morning by Morning~

Wait, patiently wait, God never is late; Your budding plans are in Your Father’s holding, And only wait His grand divine unfolding.

Then wait, wait, Patiently wait.

Trust, hopefully trust, That God will adjust Your tangled life; and from its dark concealings, Will bring His will, in all its bright revealings.

Then trust, trust, Hopefully trust.

Rest, peacefully rest On your Savior’s breast;

Breathe in His ear your sacred high ambition, And He will bring it forth in blest fruition.

Then rest, rest, Peacefully rest!

~Mercy A. Gladwin~

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blessed Is The Man Who Says "I Will Not"

There is a perilous progress in sin! 

At first I content myself with walking in the counsel of the wicked. It is an occasional companionship. 

It is a meeting only now and again. For a little while I am with them,

And then some better influence calls me away...a remembrance of my mother's prayers, a sentence in a letter from a friend, a verse of Scripture shot suddenly into my mind.

But by and by I am found standing in the way of sinners. They have gained a greater power over me, and a completer fascination.  

I have learned to love them too well. I linger much longer in their society, and it is hard for me to tear myself from them.

The poison is working, the leaven is spreading...my condition is more fixed and more hopeless by far! 

And, at last, where do you see me? I am sitting in the seat of the scornful. I am at home among those who laugh at God and Christ and Heaven and Hell. 

You cannot see any difference between me and them. I have joined their ranks. I am one of their number. 

Their resorts are mine; their sneers and sarcasms are mine; their seared conscience and withered heart are mine!

Oh dreary ending of a dreary journey!

As I would escape that lowest depth of all...let me not look over the precipice, nor set my feet on the fatal slope.

Blessed is the man who says, "I will not!" to the first allurements of sin. 

Blessed is the man who will not so much as walk On the Enchanted Ground. 

~Alexander Smellie~

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"Oh Man Of Desire"

Dan 10:11  And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
 

Oh, man of desire---This was the divine character given to Daniel of old. It is translated in our version, "O man, greatly beloved." But it literally means "O man of desires!" This is a necessary element in all spiritual forces.

It is one of the secrets of effectual prayer, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them." The element of strong desire gives momentum to our purposes and prayers. 

Indifference is an unwholesome condition; indolence and apathy are offensive both to God and nature.

And so in our spiritual life, God often has to wake us up by the presence of trying circumstances, and push us into new places of trust by forces that we must subdue, or sink beneath their power. 

There is no factor in prayer more effectual than love. 

If we are intensely interested in an object, or an individual, our petitions become like living forces, and not only convey their wants to God, but in some sense convey God's help back to them.

May God fill us to-day with the heart of Christ that we may glow with the Divine fire of holy desire.

~A. B. Simpson~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sanctified Souls Are Satisfied

Jer 31:14  And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
                 
                                                             

Note the "My" which comes twice: "My people shall be satisfied with My goodness."

The kind of people who are satisfied with God are marked out as God's own.

He is pleased with them, for they are pleased with Him. They call Him their God, and He calls them His people; He is satisfied to take them for a portion, and they are satisfied with Him for their portion.

There is a mutual communion of delight between God's Israel and Israel's God. These people are satisfied. This is a grand thing. 

Very few of the sons of men are ever satisfied, let their lot be what it may; they have swallowed the horse-leech, and it continually cries, "Give! give!"

Only sanctified souls are satisfied souls. 

God Himself must both convert us and content us.

It is no wonder that the LORD's people should be satisfied with the goodness of their LORD. 

Here is goodness without mixture, bounty without stint, mercy without chiding, love without change, favor without reserve.

If God's goodness does not satisfy us, what will? 

What! are we still groaning?

Surely there is a wrong desire within if it be one which God's goodness does not satisfy.

LORD, I am satisfied. Blessed be Thy name.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Walk Without Stumbling

If the LORD will not suffer it, neither men nor devils can do it. 

How greatly would they rejoice if they could give us a disgraceful fall, drive us from our position, and bury us out of memory! 

They could do this to their heart's content were it not for one hindrance, and only one: the LORD will not suffer it; and if He does not suffer it, we shall not suffer it. 

The way of life is like traveling among the Alps.

Along the mountain path one is constantly exposed to the slipping of the foot. 

Where the way is high the head is apt to swim, and then the feet soon slide; there are spots which are smooth as glass and others that are rough with loose stones, and in either of these a fall is hard to avoid. 

He who throughout life is enabled to keep himself upright and to walk without stumbling has the best of reasons for gratitude.

What with pitfalls and snares, weak knees, weary feet, and subtle enemies, no child of God would stand fast for an hour were it not for the faithful love which will not suffer his foot to be moved.

Amidst a thousand snares I stand Upheld and guarded by thy hand;
 

That hand unseen shall hold me still, And lead me to thy holy hill.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, November 7, 2014

True Humility Rewarded

Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

It ought not to be difficult for us to humble ourselves, for what have we to be proud of? 

We ought to take the lowest place without being told to do so.

If we are sensible and honest, we shall be little in our own eyes. 

Especially before the LORD in prayer we shall shrink to nothing.

There we cannot speak of merit, for we have none; our one and only appeal must be to mercy: "God be merciful to me a sinner."

Here is a cheering word from the throne. We shall be exalted by the LORD if we humble ourselves.

For us the way upward is downhill. 

When we are stripped of self we are clothed with humility, and this is the best of wear. 

The LORD will exalt us in peace and happiness of mind; He will exalt us into knowledge of His Word and fellowship with Himself; He will exalt us in the enjoyment of sure pardon and justification.

The LORD puts His honors upon those who can wear them to the honor of the Giver. 

He gives usefulness, acceptance, and influence to those who will not be puffed up by them but will be abased by a sense of greater responsibility.

Neither God nor man will care to lift up a man who lifts up himself; but both God and good men unite to honor modest worth. 

O LORD, sink me in self that I may rise in Thee.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Complete Separation From Satan's Kingdom

The Lord was very explicit about Israel's exodus. 

He wrought and wrought for His rights, so completely, that He would not compromise to the degree of a hoof. "There shall not a hoof be left behind" (Ex. 10:26).

He was working for His rights over other rights, His authority, and He would not allow a fragment to remain outside of His own realm. 

That means that the Kingdom of the Son of His love is a Kingdom which claims all, which represents all, which means the most perfect separation from the kingdom, whatever its form and nature, over which Satan has rights and therefore power. 

God is not going to give His power, His glory, to any little fragment which lies within the domain of the prince of this world. 

The secret of spiritual power, of spiritual life, of spiritual fulness, of spiritual effectiveness, the secret of reaching God's full end, is found in the utterness of the dominion of the Lord Jesus, in His having His rights in the life.

Until, in type, that was established in the case of Israel, they were a floundering people.

They, although out literally from Egypt, were not out spiritually, and were weak, impersistent, unreliable, ineffective, inwardly divided.

They were not really out in an inward way. God could not commit Himself to them until they were established on the other side of Jordan. 

Then He could; He commenced to commit Himself at Jericho, and went on.

Israel was chosen, in the sovereignty of God, to be the instrument and vessel of blessing to all nations of the earth.

God intended to reach all through Israel. In them, Abraham's seed, all nations of the earth were intended to be blessed.

There is a sense, of course, in which that has been fulfilled, inasmuch as Jesus Christ of the seed of Abraham has been the blessing to all nations, but Israel as a nation was called to be a blessing and a channel of Divine blessing to all peoples, and Israel failed.

The Church has come in according to the word of the Lord Jesus "The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (Matt. 21:43).

And Peter says about the Church "an elect race... a holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9), to take the place of Israel with the same object - that the Church might be the channel of Divine blessing to all peoples.

Now, why is it that there is so much ineffectiveness, so much lack of power, so much defeat - that is, absence of victory; so much that does not count for God about us.

Let us ask ourselves in all honesty whether it may not be that, as yet, we do not know in a living way, the meaning of the Cross as it is here set forth.

The Cross represents that accomplishment of an utter going out from a realm where Satan has rights and therefore has power to spoil.

In Egypt, Pharaoh had rights. He was king of Egypt, that was his domain, he had a right to do what he would.

These people are in my domain, then they come under my rule and I can do as I like, as I will!

So he oppressed, he weakened, he limited, he afflicted.

And yet they are the elect, called sons of God, called sons of God even when they are there.

We are sons of God by calling. But what a terrible thing to think of sons of God in a state of defeat like this, all because they are in a realm where there are rights by which they are bound.

While they stay in that realm, and, mark you again, while there remains one hoof in that realm - they might have all gone out, flocks and herds and everything of their possessions might have gone out, and then just one hoof of one bullock left in Egypt - the whole thing would have been under arrest.

The Lord's attitude was, I want that last hoof before I move!

That is a very literal interpretation, but that is the Lord's attitude.

It means this, that our vocation cannot be fulfilled, the calling with which we are called, the power of God, cannot be realized while one fragment remains in the territory where Satan has rights.

We must get on to the ground, into the realm, where all those rights are destroyed and he has no authority at all; and God has secured that realm, that position, by the Cross of the Lord Jesus...

And if you and I will only come into line with the meaning of the Cross in its fullness, we have come into the way of power, fruitfulness, effectiveness.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trials Draw Us Closer To GOD

2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
  
God allowed the crisis to close around Jacob on the night when he bowed at Peniel in supplication to bring him to the place where he could take hold of God as he never would have done; and from that narrow pass of peril Jacob came enlarged in his faith and knowledge of God, and in the power of a new and victorious life.


He had to compel David, by a long and painful discipline of years, to learn the almighty power and faithfulness of his God, and to grow up into the established principles of faith and godliness, which were indispensable for his subsequent and glorious career as the king of Israel.
     
Nothing but the extremities in which Paul was constantly placed could ever have taught him, and taught the church through him, the full meaning of the great promise he so learned to claim, "My grace is sufficient for thee."

And nothing but our trials and perils would ever have led some of us to know Him as we do, to trust Him as we have, and to draw from Him the measures of grace which our very extremities made indispensable.

~A. B. Simpson~

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Maintain The Difference

Pharaoh has a people, and the LORD has a people

These may dwell together and seem to fare alike, but there is a division between them, and the LORD will make it apparent

Not forever shall one event happen alike to all, but there shall be great difference between the men of the world and the people of Jehovah's choice. 

This may happen in the time of judgments, when the LORD becomes the sanctuary of His saints. 

It is very conspicuous in the conversion of believers when their sin is put away, while unbelievers remain under condemnation. 

From that moment they become a distinct race, come under a new discipline, and enjoy new blessings. 

Their homes, henceforth, are free from the grievous swarms of evils which defile and torment the Egyptians.

They are kept from the pollution of lust, the bite of care, the corruption of falsehood, and the cruel torment of hatred, which devour many families.

Rest assured, tried believer, that though you have your troubles you are saved from swarms of worse ones, which infest the homes and hearts of the servants of the world's prince.  

The LORD has put a division; see to it that you keep up the division in Spirit, aim, character, and company.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nothing Escapes The Eye Of A Just And Holy GOD

Job 34:21  For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
     
The Christian has to prove that nothing escapes the eye of a just and holy God; that he lays bare every secret thought, searches every hidden purpose, and scrutinizes every desire and every movement of the mind.

He thus discovers and brings to light all the secret sins of the heart. 

Men in general take no notice of heart sins; if they can keep from sins in life, from open acts of immorality, they are satisfied. 

What passes in the chambers of imagery they neither see nor feel. 

Not so with the child of grace; he knows the experience described in Psalm 139.

He carries about with him the secret conviction that the eye of God reads every thought.

Every inward movement of pride and self-righteousness, rebellion, discontent, peevishness, fretfulness, lust, and wantonness, he inwardly feels that the eye of God reads all, marks all, condemns by his righteous law all, and because he is so intrinsically pure, hates and abhors all sin. 

Thus he proves, amongst the "all things" which are weighed up and measured in the inward court of conscience by the unerring standard of the word of truth, the light of the Spirit's teaching, and the workings of godly fear, that he is a sinner before God, and that of a deeper dye and more crimson hue than any other transgressor, for he sees and knows his own heart, which nobody else can see or know. 

He is indeed aware that many may have sinned more deeply and grossly as regards outward acts; but he feels that no one can have sinned inwardly more foully and continually than he; and this makes him say with Job, Job 42:5  I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Job 42:6  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

J. C. Philpot

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Indecision And Indefiniteness

One of Satan's tactics against God's full purpose is to press or ensnare God's people into indecision and indefiniteness.

And strangely enough, this is a peculiar peril of those who could not very easily be brought to turn right round on God in repudiation of Him. 

Those who really do mean to go on with God, those who in their hearts want God's best

Whom Satan would find very difficult subjects to get to forswear everything and say, I have done with it all! 

I have washed my hands of God and everything connected with Him, I am finished!

Those whom Satan would find very difficult subjects to get to take this line, he does with them what he did through Balaam. 

He could not bring the direct result. So he got round the back door and secured the same effect by paralyzing them.

What I mean is this, that if Satan cannot get God's people to positively and definitely repudiate Him, go back on everything, he will make those people the very objects of his continuous activity to get them into a state of indecision or indefiniteness, a sort of in between the two positions.


It is the peculiar peril of a certain type of believer, and the enemy works hard with them, and strangely enough, it is the very dealings of God with us which Satan takes hold of to use to his end, to this end.

God is dealing with us. God is removing our own natural strength, forcefulness and determination, that which in us naturally would cause us to be very positive in a natural way. 


God is undercutting that and leaving us without that natural strength and Satan takes hold of that very work of God to bring us into a state of paralysis through indefiniteness. 

Now it is such a situation that we have got to look at because it is very true. 

We began by seeing the terrible peril of indecision, how indecision is just as capable of robbing us of God's full purpose as an entire repudiation.

That is what comes out in the Word. 

If God spews any people out of His mouth, you may take it for granted that they have missed God's end.

If, for this indecision and indefiniteness, God has to say, "I cannot go on with you in My purposes!"

Well then, the end is just as certainly secured by the enemy in defeating God's purpose in us of fulness as though we would have nothing whatever to do with it.

We are staying to think of the extra values to Satan of having children of God always in indefiniteness.


There are special values to him in that, but here is this tremendous peril of indecision, of an undecided position, something in between the two. 

There is this fact, that Satan works hard to get us there, to destroy everything by getting us in this neither-one-thing-nor-the-other position, always with one big question, that question hanging over us all the time never finally settled, never decided once and for all, in a state of a question mark, a note of interrogation. 

That is a condition of things which Satan is always trying to create and, when he has once created it, it is no easy thing to get out of it. He will hold us there as long as possible.

But then we must look at this matter. Do you notice that Hebrews 4:12 is connected with Israel in the wilderness? 


When you ask what is the meaning of this, you can go back and you get the answer in a Psalm. 

If you look at Psalm 78, you have got the explanation of Hebrews 4:12. 

Psalm 78:8 reads like this:-

And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God."

A generation whose spirit was not steadfast with God. This is referred to as Israel in the wilderness. 


Now in Hebrews 4 we have - "Let us fear, let us take heed, let us give diligence, that none of us fall into the same disobedience, fail to enter into the rest, His rest." That is Israel in the wilderness. 

Then this immediately follows - "For (what a significant 'for' that is) the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit".

"Whose spirit was steadfast with God".

"Dividing of soul and spirit".


~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Denying Ungodliness

Tit 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Let us say, "No," to the flesh, the world and the love of self, and learn that holy self-denial in which consists so much of the life of obedience. 


Make no provision for the flesh; give no recognition to your lower life.

Say "No" to everything earthly and selfish. 

How very much of the life of faith consists in simply denying ourselves.

We begin with one great "Yes," to God, and then we conclude with an eternal "No," to ourselves, the world, the flesh and the devil.

If you look at the ten commandments of the Decalogue, you will find that nearly every one of them is a "Thou shalt not." 

If you read the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, with its beautiful picture of love, you will find that most of the characteristics of love are in the negative, what love "does not, thinks not, says not, is not." 

And so you will find that the largest part of the life of consecration is really saying, "No."

I am not my own, I belong to Him.
      

I am His alone, I belong to Him.

~A. B. Simpson~

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

True Faith

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

True faith drops its letter in the post-office box, and lets it go.

Distrust holds on to a corner of it, and wonders that the answer never comes.
     

I have some letters in my desk that have been written for weeks, but there was some slight uncertainty about the address or the contents, so they are yet unmailed.

They have not done either me or anybody else any good yet.

They will never accomplish anything until I let them go out of my hands and trust them to the postman and the mail.
     
This is the case with true faith. It hands its case over to God, and then He works.
     

That is a fine verse in the thirty-seventh Psalm: "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He worketh."
 

But He never worketh until we commit.
     
Faith is a receiving, or still better, a taking of God's proffered gifts.

We may believe, and come, and commit, and rest, but we will not fully realize all our blessing until we begin to receive and come into the attitude of abiding and taking.

~A. B. Simpson~