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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Listen For The Signal

2Samuel 5:24  And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.
 

There are signs of the LORD's moving which should move us. The Spirit of God blows where He listeth, and we hear the sound thereof.

Then is the time for us to be more than ever astir. We must seize the golden opportunity and make the most we can of it.

It is ours to fight the Philistines at all times; but when the LORD Himself goes out before us, then we should be specially valiant in the war.

The breeze stirred the tops of the trees, and David and his men took this for the signal for an onslaught, and at their advance the LORD Himself smote the Philistines.


Oh, that this day the LORD may give us an opening to speak for Him with many of our friends! Let us be on the watch to avail ourselves of the hopeful opening when it comes.

Who knows but this may be a day of good tidings; a season of soul-winning. Let us keep our ear open to hear the rustle of the wind and our minds ready to obey the signal.

Is not this promise, "Then shall the LORD go out before thee," a sufficient encouragement to play the man? Since the LORD goes before us, we dare not hold back. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

God Finishes His Work

                                                    
Psa 138:8  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. 

He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul.

The LORD is concerned about everything that concerns me.

All that is now good, but not perfect, the LORD will watch over, preserve, and carry out to completion.

This is a great comfort.

I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day and have only held on so long as I have because the LORD has helped me.

If the LORD were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way.

But the LORD will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my lifework. He will do this because He has begun a work in me.

He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations, He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him.

He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world and the devil all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise.

He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him forever. LORD, let Thy gracious work make some advance this day!

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, April 25, 2016

Seekest Thou Great Things For Thyself?

Jer 45:5  And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest. 

Whatever schemes and projects the LORD'S people may devise that they may prosper and get on in the world, he rarely suffers their plans to thrive.

He knows well to what consequences it would lead; that this ivy creeping round the stem would, as it were, suffocate and strangle the tree.

The more that worldly goods increase, the more the heart is fixed upon them; and the more the affections are set upon idols, the more is the heart drawn away from the LORD.

He will not suffer his people to have their portion here below. 

He, therefore, says to them in his providence, as well as in his word, "Seek them not."

But you will perhaps say, "What are we then to seek?" I will tell you in one word, - Realities.

What are these great things that you are seeking after? say in religion.

Could you see them in their right light, you would see that they are but shadows.

You feel, for instance, your deficiency in gift in public when you are called upon to pray, or in private when you converse with those who possess readier speech,

And you want what are commonly called gifts, such as a greater fluency of utterance, more ability to quote Scripture, and a more abundant variety of expressions, so as to make a deeper impression on the hearers...

The real want being that you might stand higher in their estimation.

But what would these gifts, if you had them to the fullest extent, so that men might almost worship you for them, do for you when you shall be called upon to lie upon a death-bed--when eternity is in view, and your soul has to deal with GOD only? 

You will want no gifts then. Grace will be the only thing which can do you any good.

~J. C. Philpot~

Monday, April 18, 2016

He Refines Them

                                                         
They were living to themselves; self with its hopes, and promises and dreams, still had hold of them; but the LORD began to fulfill their prayers.

They had asked for contrition, and had surrendered for it to be given them at any cost, and He sent them sorrow;

They had asked for purity, and He sent them thrilling anguish; they had asked to be meek, and He had broken their hearts; 

They had asked to be dead to the world, and He slew all their living hopes;

They had asked to be made like unto Him, and He placed them in the furnace, sitting by "as a refiner and purifier of silver," until they should reflect His image;

They had asked to lay hold of His cross, and when He had reached it to them it lacerated their hands.

They had asked they knew not what, nor how, but He had taken them at their word, and granted them all their petitions.

They were hardly willing to follow Him so far, or to draw so nigh to Him.

They had upon them an awe and fear, as Jacob at Bethel, or Eliphaz in the night visions, or as the apostles when they thought that they had seen a spirit, and knew not that it was Jesus.

They could almost pray Him to depart from them, or to hide His awfulness.

They found it easier to obey than to suffer, to do than to give up, to bear the cross than to hang upon it.

But they cannot go back, for they have come too near the unseen cross, and its virtues have pierced too deeply within them.

He is fulfilling to them His promise, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32).

But now at last their turn has come. Before, they had only heard of the mystery, but now they feel it. 

He has fastened on them His look of love, as He did on Mary and Peter, and they can but choose to follow.

Little by little, from time to time, by flitting gleams, the mystery of His cross shines out upon them.

They behold Him lifted up, they gaze on the glory which rays from the wounds of His holy passion; and as they gaze they advance, and are changed into His likeness, and His name shines out through them, for He dwells in them. 

They live alone with Him above, in unspeakable fellowship; willing to lack what others own (and what they might have had), and to be unlike all, so that they are only like Him.

Such, are they in all ages, "who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."

Had they chosen for themselves, or their friends chosen for them, they would have chosen otherwise. 

They would have been brighter here, but less glorious in His Kingdom. They would have had Lot's portion, not Abraham's.

If they had halted anywhere-if God had taken off His hand and let them stray back-what would they not have lost?

What forfeits in the resurrection?

But He stayed them up, even against themselves. Many a time their foot had well nigh slipped; but He in mercy held them up.

Now, even in this life, they know that all He did was done well.

It was good to suffer here, that they might reign hereafter; to bear the cross below, for they shall wear the crown above; and that not their will but His was done on them and in them.

~Anonymous~

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Broken Things

                                                      
Job 41:25  When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. 

God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken. The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts.

It was the breaking down of Jacob's natural strength at Peniel that got him where God could clothe him with spiritual power.

It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses' rod that let out the cool waters to thirsty people.

It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries.

It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support.

It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death.

It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied in the very act of breaking, sufficient to feed five thousand.

It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house.

It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken to pieces by thorns and nails and spear, that His inner life was poured out, like a crystal ocean, for thirsty sinners to drink and live.

It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth by DEATH, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains.

And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS.

Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God's glory. "The lame take the prey," Isaiah tells us.

O break my heart; but break it as a field Is by the plow up-broken for the corn; O break it as the buds, by green leaf seated, Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn; Love would I offer unto Love's great Master, Set free the odor, break the alabaster.

O break my heart; break it victorious God, That life's eternal well may flash abroad; O let it break as when the captive trees, Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties; And as thought's sacred grove to life is springing. Be joys, like birds, their hope, Thy victory singing.

~Thomas Toke Bunch~

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sources Of Endurance: Vision

Lastly, there is vision. Moses endured as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb 11:27).

Heb 11:27  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

To see the invisible, when skies are dark, is always to have power to win through.

What inspired Robert the Bruce to endure? It was his vision of a liberated Scotland. What inspired Columbus to endure? It was his vision of a continent ahead.

Every inventor, every explorer, every artist wrestling with his dreams, endures as seeing the invisible. 

Never was there endurance like the Master's. It was radiant with peace and joy. It did not falter even in Gethsemane.

It was equal to the agony of Calvary. And at the back of it, from first to last, inspiring, animating, and sustaining it, was the unclouded vision of His Father's face.

We too can practice that same presence. We can do it when life is very difficult. We can do it when the way is dark.

We can do it when we cannot understand.

And, doing it, we come to be so sure that underneath are the everlasting arms, that endurance passes into joy.

~George Morrison~

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Cross Seeks To Remove Whatever Serves Satan


Why has the Holy Spirit come? Oh! Not that we might have blessings and what we call power and influence and opportunity and service.

No, He has come as Representative and Agent of the Christ, who has secured the rights of God in His own Person.

To bring about the recognition and realization of the rights in this earth, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.
 
The second thing that comes out of this is that the Holy Spirit always demands the ground of the Cross for His activity, if the glory of God is in view.

But then, the Cross registers the removal of all that serves Satan.

What was it that served Satan in Cain? Covetousness, personal ambition, jealousy, pride!

That worked itself out in the murder of Abel which was an expression of hatred for God.

What was it that served Satan in Balaam? Greed, covetousness, world-gain.

The Cross registers the removal by destruction of all that served Satan, and for us it is gathered up in one word: SELF.
 
What a wide word that is - what a comprehensive word! The stronger term is “the flesh”.

Some people do not know what you mean when you talk about the “flesh”.

They begin to think of positive vices and iniquities of deep dye. But the “flesh” is only another term for “self”.

Self is a very subtle thing, a many-sided thing.

It includes self-interest, self-glory, self-preservation, self-realization, self-advancement - all those considerations of influence and good-standing and prestige and following, and being understood and spoken well of.

The phases of “self” are legion, and they, every one of them, serve Satan.
 
Moreover, they serve him in this other sense, that they divide the rights of God and usurp the place of God: and therefore, wherever there is the slightest suggestion or insinuation of self, the Glory of God is obscured and the Cross has got to be applied there.

The Cross is not applied in the work of God just because God wants us out of it for the sake of having us out of it, to humble, to crush, to break us; no, it has this great end in view - HIS GLORY.

The Cross, dear friend, means utter devotion to God’s glory.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Saturday, April 2, 2016

When The Simplicity Of Faith Is Gone

Once more, when the child-spirit dies, then the simplicity of faith is gone.

There is an exquisite purity about the faith of children; sometimes they make us blush...they trust us so.

Intensely eager, inquisitively curious; why? why? from sunrise, to sunset-but all the time how they are trusting us!

Ah, if we had only trusted God like that!

It is something to be trusted, if only by a helpless babe, and even God is happier when we trust Him.

But better than to be trusted, is to trust; to walk by faith and not by sight; and when the spirit of the child dies out, it is not possible to walk that way again.

For when we cease to be childlike we grow worldly, and to be worldly is always to be faithless;

And one great danger of this commercial city is to develop faithless, worldly men.

I have no doubt you call me an idle dreamer because I plead for the child-spirit in the city.

But it is better to be a dreamer than a coward, and woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.

Of such is the kingdom of heaven-minister!

Of such is the kingdom of heaven-merchant !

Of such is the kingdom of heaven-schoolmaster, doctor, workman, servant!

Are you of such?

It is not my question. I only pass it on from Jesus Christ!

~George Morrison~

Thursday, March 31, 2016

In Me

John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  

There is a vast difference between happiness and blessedness. 

Paul had imprisonments and pains, sacrifice and suffering up to the very limit; but in the midst of it all, he was blessed. All the beatitudes came into his heart and life in the midst of those very conditions.

Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one.

He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin.

He stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it, but discovered that some one had stolen his and left that old second-hand one in its place.

He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said:

Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul.

And he played as he had never played before; and out of that second-hand instrument, the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that music was not in the machine but in his own soul.

It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all earth and Heaven that the music is not in conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life is in your own soul.

If peace be in the heart, The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty, The midnight flash but shows the path of duty, Each living creature tells some new and joyous story, The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory, If peace be in the heart.

~Charles Francis Richardson~

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wonderfully Made

Psa 139:1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Psa 139:2  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Psa 139:3  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  

Psa 139:4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

Psa 139:5  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Psa 139:6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Psa 139:7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

Psa 139:8  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Psa 139:9  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Psa 139:10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Psa 139:11  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Psa 139:12  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Psa 139:13  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

Psa 139:14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Psa 139:15  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Psa 139:17  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

Psa 139:18  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Psa 139:19  Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

Psa 139:20  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

Psa 139:21  Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

Psa 139:22  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
 

Psa 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

Psa 139:24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Avoid That Slip

                                                   
That is to say, if we follow the ways of wisdom and holiness we shall be preserved in them.

He who travels by daylight along the highway is under some protection.

There is a way for every man, namely, his own proper calling in life, and if we devoutly walk therein in the fear of GOD He will preserve us from evil.

We may not travel luxuriously, but we shall walk safely.

We may not be able to run like young men, but we shall be able to walk like good men.

Our greatest danger lies in ourselves: our feeble foot is so sadly apt to stumble.


Let us ask for more moral strength that our tendency to slip may be overcome. Some stumble because they do not see the stone in the way: divine grace enables us to perceive sin and so to avoid it.

Let us plead this promise and trust in Him who upholds His chosen.

Alas! Our worst peril is our own carelessness, but against this the LORD Jesus has put us on our guard, saying, "Watch and pray."

Oh, for grace to walk this day without a single stumble!


It is not enough that we do not actually fall; our cry should be that we may not make the smallest slip with our feet but may at the last adore Him "who is able to keep us from stumbling." 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, March 18, 2016

Blow Upon My Garden That The Spices Thereof May Flow Out

Song of Solomon 4:16  Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Some of the spices mentioned in this chapter are quite suggestive.

The aloe was a bitter spice, and it tells of the sweetness of bitter things, the bitter-sweet, which has its own fine application that only those can understand who have felt it.

The myrrh was used to embalm the dead, and it tells of death to something. It is the sweetness which comes to the heart after it has died to its self-will and pride and sin.

Oh, the inexpressible charm that hovers about some Christians simply because they bear upon the chastened countenance and mellow spirit the impress of the cross, the holy evidence of having died to something that was once proud and strong, but is now forever at the feet of Jesus.

It is the heavenly charm of a broken spirit and a contrite heart, the music that springs from the minor key, the sweetness that comes from the touch of the frost upon the ripened fruit.

And then the frankincense was a fragrance that came from the touch of the fire. It was the burning powder that rose in clouds of sweetness from the bosom of the flames.

It tells of the heart whose sweetness has been called forth, perhaps by the flames of affliction, until the holy place of the soul is filled with clouds of praise and prayer.

Beloved, are we giving out the spices, the perfumes, the sweet odors of the heart?

~The Love-Life of Our LORD~

Monday, March 14, 2016

Wait Quietly

Heb 6:15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Abraham was long tried, but he was richly rewarded. The Lord tried him by delaying to fulfill His promise.

Satan tried him by temptation; men tried him by jealousy, distrust, and opposition; Sarah tried him by her peevishness.

But he patiently endured. He did not question GOD'S veracity, nor limit His power, nor doubt His faithfulness, nor grieve His love;

But he bowed to Divine Sovereignty, submitted to Infinite Wisdom, and was silent under delays, waiting the LORD'S time.

And so, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

GOD'S promises cannot fail of their accomplishment.

Patient waiters cannot be disappointed.

Believing expectation shall be realized.

Beloved, Abraham's conduct condemns a hasty spirit, reproves a murmuring one, commends a patient one, and encourages quiet submission to GOD'S will and way.

Remember, Abraham was tried; he patiently waited; he received the promise, and was satisfied.

Imitate his example, and you will share the same blessing.

~Selected~

Friday, March 11, 2016

What Wilt Thou Have Me Do, LORD?

This represents a new position and a new relationship with Christ. How very different from that of the old Saul!

Hitherto his life and activity had been out from himself...what he thought he would do, what he proposed, purposed, planned, determined, and desired.

Self-determination had been his way of life, although he would have said that it was done in a good cause-even done for GOD.

What an example Saul was of the fact that a man’s very best intentions and devotions, in what he believes to be God’s interests, may yet be doing GOD the greatest disservice and he himself be totally blind to the fact.

We see here, then, that one thing is a clear evidence of a life truly acceptable to GOD; it is the absolute LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ.

Paul first used that word, “LORD”, at his conversion; it came out spontaneously when he realized that Jesus lives!

From that moment Jesus was his LORD, his Master.

We know from his life afterward how utter was that surrender and change of government.

Everything from that hour was on the basis of “What wilt Thou?”

Yes, it is the hall-mark of a true Christian life when, with the same inward realization and abandonment, we say to Jesus, “LORD”, and thenceforth have our whole lives governed by Him as Master.

~T. Austin Sparks~