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

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Release From The Bondage To Self

Joh 5:1  After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Joh 5:2  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

Joh 5:3  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

Joh 5:4  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

Joh 5:5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

Joh 5:6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

Joh 5:7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

Joh 5:8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

Joh 5:9  And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

In this story of the impotent man the heart of the matter is in verse five: "And a certain man was there, which had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity."

What is the Jewish background?

There is very little doubt that it was Israel's journey in the wilderness, the thirty-eight years of their wanderings.

What cripples they were!

They could have made the journey from Egypt to Canaan in eleven days, but it took them thirty-eight years and during that time they were really making no progress at all.

They were in bondage to their own self-life.

They were impotent, helpless cripples because the self-life was in the place of mastery.

You have no need for me to tell you how that self-life governed them in the wilderness.

They never looked at anything in the light of how it served God and how far it satisfied His interests.

They looked at everything in the light of how it affected them.

All their murmuring and rebellion was because THEY were not getting what THEY wanted.

It was never what God wanted.

They were just a self-centered people, and the self-life was their bed, and they were cripples lying on that bed.

They were never really able to get up and march straight forward into God's purpose.

Well, that is the Jewish background, and Jesus takes up an illustration of that right in the presence of the Jews when He puts this man on his feet.

The members of the new heavenly Israel are people who have been delivered from self-interest into God's interest, who have been put on their spiritual feet by Jesus Christ and are walking in strength in the way of the Lord.

Do you not think it is a very significant thing that the first miracle after the Day of Pentecost was the raising of an impotent man at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem? 

These are not just pretty stories put together to make an interesting book.

God knows what He is doing, and when He makes the first miracle of the Christian era the raising of an impotent cripple, He is saying that the people of this new Israel are people who have been delivered from this impotence and put on their feet spiritually.

There are a lot of Christian cripples about! 

They cannot get on their own feet, nor can other people put them there. 

You try to pick them up! They may take a step or two, and then down they go again. 

There are many like that, and you can spend your life trying to get them up on their feet. 

What is it that is eating the very life out of them? 

What is it that is making them such helpless cripples that they cannot walk?

It is self-centeredness. 

Make no mistake about it, it is self in some form. 

It is self that wants to be taken notice of. 

It is self in the form of pride. 

This poor man was delivered because he knew his own helplessness and he believed what Jesus said. 

He believed on to Jesus Christ, which means that he believed out of himself. 

Yes, that is the secret - that we shall turn from our miserable selves and cease to be occupied with them, saying once and for all: 'I am done with you, wretched self. I throw myself on to Jesus Christ. 

I take the one great step of committal.

Jesus never lets such a person down. 

~T. Austin Sparks~

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why The LORD Deals With Us

The Cross is a painful process, but it is a blessed issue;

And those amongst us who may have had the greatest agony along this line would, I believe, testify that what it has brought to us of the knowledge and riches of the Lord Jesus has made all the suffering worthwhile.

So the work of the Lord for us and the work of the Lord in us, by the Cross, is only intended in the Divine thought to make room for the Lord Jesus.

The brazen altar of the Tabernacle, as that of the Temple, was a very big altar.

Yes, the altar has to be a big one; there has to be a big place for Christ Crucified.

He is to fill all things and He is to be the fullness of all things, and there is going to be no room for us in the end.

Does that strike you with dismay?

Surely not.

So the Cross, the work of redemption through that Cross, has for its explanation just this, that Christ may be all, and in all; that in all things He may have the preeminence.

This, then, is the explanation of our experiences why the Lord deals with us as He does;

Why believers go through the experiences that they do go through;

Why they go through things that no one else seems called upon to go through;

Why sometimes they almost envy unbelievers the easy time that so many of them have.

This explains the Lord’s dealings with Israel in the wilderness.

Even after their deliverance from Egypt’s bondage and tyranny, there was heart-break and agony.

Why this chastening?

In the wilderness they still hark back to Egypt.

The work the Lord is doing in them is in order that He may be everything in and to them.

If He cuts off their natural supplies, it is only to show what their heavenly supplies are.

If He cuts off their natural power, it is that they may come to know the power of the heavens.

Whatever He may take them out of or lead them into is with a view to taking them out of themselves and that He Himself may be all, and in all.

This is the explanation of our difficulties.

The Lord knows how best to deal with each one of us, and He does not use standardized methods.

He deals with you in one way and with me in another.

He knows how to lead us into experiences which are most calculated to bring us to where the Lord is all, and in all.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This, And Nothing But This, Is True Christianity!

1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

All that you are and have...Are His.

You owe Him your whole selves!

The Lord Jesus Christ, who created you and redeemed you from eternal damnation is your Proprietor, Master, and King.

Whom else then should you serve?

To whom else should you devote your lives?

Whose interest should you rather seek?

Rom 14:7  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Rom 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Our religion is exactly in proportion as we cease to live for ourselves-and live for God alone. 

We have just as much religion-as we have of self-denial.

The only evidence of attachment to Him on which we can rely-is that we make it our design and care to promote His glory and the accomplishment of His benevolent purposes, not now and then, but in the general tenor of our lives.

To live for God, is to regard His will as the rule and ground of our conduct, and His glory as our supreme object.

Not merely one day in a week-but in our general course to act from a reference to His authority.

To live for God, is to choose our calling, to pursue our business, to frame our habits, to regulate our actions from hour to hour-from a regard to His will and honor.

To live for God, is to feel and act as those who are not at liberty to live to themselves, but have their work daily assigned them by a heavenly Master.

To live for God, is to live under a sense that we are not our own-not our own masters, not our own proprietors, not at our own disposal.

To live for God, is to live as though our time, talents, influence, property, and all that we are and have-are God's.

To live for God, is to hold everything in readiness to use for Him, or resign all things to Him as He shall direct.

To live for God, is to to be submissive under afflictions, and willing to be at His disposal in all our trials.

To live for God, is to to be ready to deny ourselves for Him in every way which His Word or Providence may point out.

To live for God, is to desire life chiefly that we may serve Him.

To live for God, is to make Him the center in which all the lines of our life shall meet.

To live for God, is to make it the business of our lives to please Him and not ourselves.

The very core of all true religion, is not to live for ourselves-but for God; not to consider ourselves our own-but the property and the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ; 

Not to feel as though we are set up in the world to work for ourselves, to spend the most of our time in pursuing what is termed our innocent gratifications-but to hold our time, powers, influence, and property as talents entrusted to us to be used for Christ...

Keeping our eye on His Word to learn His will, and aiming habitually to please and honor Him.

This, and nothing but this, is true Christianity! 

Whatever our creed is-if this is not our character-then all our religion is vain!

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

~Edward Griffin~

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Commit Thy Way Unto The LORD"

Seldom have we heard a better definition of faith than was given once in one of our meetings by a dear old colored woman, as she answered the question of a young man how to take the Lord for needed help.

In her characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great emphasis: "You've just got to believe that He's done it, and it's done."

The Great Danger with most of us is, that after we ask Him to do it, we do not believe that it's done...

But we keep on helping Him, and getting others to help Him; superintending God and waiting to see how He is going to do it.

Faith adds its amen to God's yea, and then takes its hands off, and leaves God to finish His work.

Its language is, "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He worketh."

Lord, I give up the struggle...

To Thee commit my way...

Trust Thy word forever...

And settle it all to-day...

~A. B. Simpson~

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Preserved To Work's End

Act 23:11  And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Are you a witness for the LORD, and are you just now in danger?

Then remember that you are immortal till your work is done.

If the LORD has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it.

Who is he that can break the vessel which the LORD intends again to use?

If there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home and put you where you will be beyond the reach of adversaries. 

Your witness-bearing for Jesus is your chief concern, and you cannot be stopped in it till it is finished: therefore, be at peace.

Cruel slander, wicked misrepresentation, desertion of friends, betrayal by the most trusted one, and whatever else may come cannot hinder the LORD's purpose concerning you. 

The LORD stands by you in the night of your sorrow, and He says, "Thou must yet bear witness for me." Be calm; be filled with joy in the LORD.

If you do not need this promise just now, you may very soon. 

Treasure it up. 

Remember also to pray for missionaries and all persecuted ones, that the LORD would preserve them even to the completion of their lifework. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

God's Hornets

Exo 23:28  And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

What the hornets were we need not consider. 

They were God's own army which He sent before His people to sting their enemies and render Israel's conquest easy. 

Our God by His own chosen means will fight for His people and gall their foes before they come into the actual battle. 

Often He confounds the adversaries of truth by methods in which reformers themselves have no hand. 

The air is full of mysterious influences which harass Israel's foes.

We read in the Apocalypse that "the earth helped the woman."

Let us never fear.

The stars in their courses fight against the enemies of our souls.

Oftentimes when we march to the conflict we find no host to contend with.

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

God's hornets can do more than our weapons. 

We could never dream of the victory being won by such means as Jehovah will use. 

We must obey our marching orders and go forth to the conquest of the nations for Jesus, and we shall find that the LORD has gone before us and prepared the way; 

So that in the end we will joyfully confess, "His own right hand and his holy arm, have gotten him the victory." 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Grow In His Strength

Deu 32:12  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.  

Our Almighty Parent delights to conduct the tender nestlings of His care to the very edge of the precipice, and even to thrust them off into the steeps of air, that they may learn their possession of unrealized power of flight, to be forever a luxury; 

And if, in the attempt, they be exposed to unwonted peril, He is prepared to swoop beneath them, and to bear them upward on His mighty pinions.

When God brings any of His children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count upon Him to deliver them.

~The Song of Victory~

When God puts a burden upon you He puts His own arm underneath.

There is a little plant, small and stunted, growing under the shade of a broad-spreading oak; and this little plant values the shade which covers it, and greatly does it esteem the quiet rest which its noble friend affords. 

But a blessing is designed for this little plant.

Once upon a time there comes along the woodman, and with his sharp axe he fells the oak. 

The plant weeps and cries, "My shelter is departed; every rough wind will blow upon me, and every storm will seek to uproot me!"

No, no, saith the angel of that flower; "now will the sun get at thee; now will the shower fall on thee in more copious abundance than before; 

Now thy stunted form shall spring up into loveliness, and thy flower, which could never have expanded itself to perfection shall now laugh in the sunshine, and men shall say, 'How greatly hath that plant increased! 

How glorious hath become its beauty, through the removal of that which was its shade and its delight!

See you not, then, that God may take away your comforts and your privileges, to make you the better Christians?

Why, the Lord always trains His soldiers, not by letting them lie on feather-beds, but by turning them out, and using them to forced marches and hard service. 

He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long march with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs.

This is the way in which He makes them soldiers - not by dressing them up in fine uniforms, to swagger at the barrack gates, and to be fine gentlemen in the eyes of the loungers in the park. 

God knows that soldiers are only to be made in battle; they are not to be grown in peaceful times. 

We may grow the stuff of which soldiers are made; but warriors are really educated by the smell of powder, in the midst of whizzing bullets and roaring cannonades, not in soft and peaceful times. 

Well, Christian, may not this account for it all?

Is not thy Lord bringing out thy graces and making them grow?

Is He not developing in you the qualities of the soldier by throwing you into the heat of battle, and should you not use every appliance to come off conqueror?

~Charles Spurgeon.~

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Prayer, Thanksgiving, Praise

Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

No care but all prayer. No anxiety but much joyful communion with God. 

Carry your desires to the LORD of your life, the guardian of your soul. 

Go to Him with two portions of prayer and one of fragrant praise.

Do not pray doubtfully but thankfully. 

Consider that you have your petitions, and therefore thank God for His grace. 

He is giving you grace; give Him thanks, Hide nothing. 

Allow no want to lie rankling in your bosom; "make known your requests." 

Run not to man. 

Go only to your God, the Father of Jesus, who loves you in Him.

This shall bring you God's own peace. 

You shall not be able to understand the peace which you shall enjoy.

It will enfold you in its infinite embrace. 

Heart and mind through Christ Jesus shall be steeped in a sea of rest. 

Come life or death, poverty, pain, slander, you shall dwell in Jesus above every rolling wind or darkening cloud. 

Will you not obey this dear command?

Yes, LORD, I do believe thee; but, I beseech thee, help mine unbelief.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Do You Ask Why He Is Angry?

Psalm 7:11  God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. 

Do You Ask Why He Is Angry?

I answer:

He is angry to see rational, immortal and accountable beings spending twenty, forty, or sixty years in trifling and sin; serving numerous idols, lusts, and vanities, and living as if death were an eternal sleep!

He is angry to see you forgetting your Maker in childhood, in youth, in manhood and making no returns for all His benefits.

He is angry to see you casting off His fear and rebelling against Him-who has nourished and sustained you.

He is angry to see you laying up treasures on earth and not in Heaven.

He is angry to see you seeking everything in preference to the one thing needful.

He is angry to see you loving the praise of men more than the praise of God; and fearing those who can only kill the body, more than Him who has power to cast both soul and body into Hell.

He is angry to see that you disregard alike His threatenings and His promises, His judgments and His mercies. 

He is angry that you bury in the earth the talents He has given you, and bring forth no fruit to His glory.

He is angry that you neglect His Word and His Son, and perish in impenitency and unbelief.

These are sins of which every person, in an unconverted state, is guilty.

And for these things God is angry - daily angry, greatly and justly angry!

And unless His anger is speedily appeased, it will most certainly prove your everlasting destruction!

~Edward Payson~

Sunday, March 19, 2017

“Strong in faith.”

Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Christian, take good care of thy faith; for recollect faith is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings. 

If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith.

Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes. 

Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul and the Lord Jesus in glory.

Let that angel be withdrawn, we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers.

Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call he answers, and while we are yet speaking he hears us.

But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we receive the promise?

Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. 

Am I beaten about by the enemy?

My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith. 

But take faith away...in vain I call to God. 

There is no road betwixt my soul and heaven. 

In the deepest wintertime faith is a road on which the horses of prayer may travel...

Aye, and all the better for the biting frost; 

But blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great King? 

Faith links me with divinity.

Faith clothes me with the power of God. 

Faith engages on my side the omnipotence of Jehovah.

Faith ensures every attribute of God in my defense.

It helps me to defy the hosts of hell.

It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. 

But without faith how can I receive anything of the Lord? 

Let not him that wavereth who is like a wave of the Sea expect that he will receive anything of God! 

O, then, Christian, watch well thy faith; for with it thou canst win all things, however poor thou art, but without it thou canst obtain nothing. 

If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Leaning Sides

Son 8:5  Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Some one gained a good lesson from a Southern prayer meeting. 

A brother asked the Lord for various blessings as you and I do, and thanked the Lord for many already received as you and I do; 

But he closed with this unusual petition: "And, O Lord, support us!"

Yes support us Lord on every leanin' side!

Have you any leaning sides? 

This humble man's prayer pictures them in a new way and shows the Great Supporter in a new light also. 

He is always walking by the Christian, ready to extend His mighty arm and steady the weak one on every leanin' side.

Child of My love, lean hard, And let Me feel the pressure of thy care;

I know thy burden, child. I shaped it; Poised it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion In its weight to thine unaided strength...

For even as I laid it on, I said, I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, This burden shall be Mine, not hers;

So shall I keep My child within the circling arms Of My Own love.

Here lay it down, nor fear To impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds. 

Yet closer come: Thou art not near enough.

I would embrace thy care; So I might feel My child reposing on My breast. 

Thou lovest Me?

I knew it. Doubt not then; But Loving Me, lean hard.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Remember The Way The LORD Has Led You

Deu 8:2  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

When you look back upon the way the Lord has led you these many years in the wilderness, can you not see how circumstance after circumstance, and event after event arose, to prove what was in you; whether godly fear, whether simplicity and sincerity, whether a desire to fear God, whether a dread to offend him, whether the life and power of vital godliness, or whether little else than an empty profession without the life-giving power of God in the soul?

What a mercy for you to be able to look back and see how the Lord appeared for you, when without him you must have sunk; when you can feel, to your soul's comfort, that the Lord did uphold you in the trying hour, did appear for you in distressing circumstances, did make bare his right arm when you had no strength of your own, did guide you when you had lost all clue, did bring you safe through all when, without his help, you must have been utterly lost.

What a mercy it is to be able, by the actings of living faith (and sure I am, there must be faith in exercise), to look back upon the way, and believe that indeed the grace of God was in your heart, that the Lord proved it, and shewed it to be genuine by every circumstance that has taken place.

~J. C. Philpot~

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Have Faith In GOD!

Mark 11:22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments.

Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul.

Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily.

With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God.

If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. 

Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. 

Poor Little-faith could not have fought “Apollyon;” it needed “Christian” to do that.

Poor Little-faith could not have slain “Giant Despair;” it required “Great-heart's” arm to knock that monster down.

Little-faith says, “It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;” 

But Great-faith remembers the promise, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be: and so she boldly ventures. 

Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; 

But Great-faith sings, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:” and she fords the stream at once. 

Would you be comfortable and happy? 

Would you have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom?

Then “have faith in God.”

If you love darkness, and are satisfied to dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith; 

But if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing, covet earnestly this best gift, “great faith.”

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Christlikeness Does Not Exempt Us From Being Misunderstood

Again, we should always bear these words in mind in seasons when we are misunderstood.

To be misunderstood is always bitter.

Nothing so adds to the joy of spiritual service as to be certain that it is appreciated.

Appreciation, from the right kind of people, is always a spur to more devoted toil.

But to toil on, as so many have to do, misunderstood even by those they love, is one of the heaviest crosses in the world.

It is so apt to blight all that is most delicate, so swift to sour the milk of human kindness. 

Why should God permit this chilling atmosphere to surround many of His finest toilers? 

Then one remembers that He who came to earth to embody the ideal of life and character breathed that pestilent atmosphere all the time.

He was misunderstood when He wrought His deeds of mercy-He casteth out devils by Beelzebub.

He was misunderstood when He hung upon the cross-they thought He was calling on Elias.

And with that spirit of His, so exquisitely sensitive, that increasing and deep misunderstanding was sorer than the piercing of the nails.

One of our novelists speaks of "Kingdom of Heaven kindness." 

Have not many practiced it, and been misunderstood?

A little gratitude would have made all the difference, but gratitude was noticeable  by its absence.

It is in such hours, and they come to everybody who has practiced the secret of the "cup of water," that there is a gospel in the word enough.

Enough is as good as a feast.

Enough is satisfaction. 

More than enough would be a spiritual excess, and excess leads to disease.

He who knows us and what is best for us, just as He knows what is in store for us, says it is enough that the servant be as his Lord.

~George H. Morrison~