Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Investigation

David ends his well known Psalm 139 with the phrase, “lead me in the way everlasting.” For most Christians this is a prayer they would claim for themselves. Christians desire to follow God’s direction and leading. Rightfully so. God’s way is the right way, so listening and discerning His movement is vital for fulfilling His desire for your life.
 
But what gets lost when we throw out this desire as our end goal is the difficult process it takes to get there. Just previous to the “lead me” statement David says, “See if there is any offensive way in me.” As if to give the idea that God must search us before we can fulfill His plan. And this squares well with the previous verse:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”



 I’m all for listening to God and allowing Him to direct my path, but the whole “search me” piece is a bit invasive for me to get excited about.

In order to allow God to truly lead you in the way everlasting you must first go through an intense investigation of your heart and soul. With an army of God’s soldiers burrowing deep within, the process will be tedious and grievous. I find it easier to follow a God who pats me on the back rather than a God who wants to invade the depths of my being.
 
In my studying of the opening chapters of Genesis a theme of suffering and glory is coming through. Genesis 2 is a picture of glory. God and man thriving in the garden of Eden. Genesis 3 is a picture of suffering. Sin. Curses. It’s ugly. Often we want the glory experienced in Genesis 2 without dealing with the suffering of Genesis 3.
 
Daniel Montogomery and Mike Cosper speak to this in their book Faithmapping:
“Crossless Christianity wants the glory without the suffering. It wants access to God (Genesis 2) without acknowledging the ravaging effects of sin in our hearts and in our world (Genesis 3). Jesus calls his followers to deny themselves and take up a cross; a share in the kingdom means a share in suffering (pg. 52).”
The same theme is at play in our lives. We want to follow in the way everlasting, but we’d rather not deal with the difficulty of allowing God to search us and know us.

[Tyler Braun]
 
Man Of Depravity

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Horticulture of The Heart

I pray that in my heart and life, God Almighty may find a garden of His own planting, where He can talk with me in the cool of the day.

Let my "winter of adversity" grow submissiveness and patience and prayer.

Let my my "spring of promise" abound in hope.

Let my my "summer of attainment" show the blossoms of thanksgiving and humility.

Let my my "autumn of fruit" be dedicated to God's glory and praise.
 
I would acquire skill in the horticulture of the heart   by meditating much in His Book,  by sincere communing with Himself,  by keeping company with my Master's friends,  and by kissing His chastening rod.

I must reverence God's hedges:  the restraints of His providence,  the warnings of His Word, the bounds imposed by an enlightened conscience,  the forbiddings of the Holy Spirit. I must have no wish for the profane wasteland outside.

If the garden of the soul is to maintain beauty and fragrance must not the waters of my spiritual life be constantly renewed? Must I not return daily to the Well from which the living streams flow ever forth?

There should be no weeds in the garden of a regenerated life. May the Lord the Spirit fill me to overflowing, that my holiness may be spontaneous, enthusiastic, exuberant--not fettered and checked by the weeds of sin.

So I shall walk in peace and pleasantness; and in the garden God will talk with me.


 
[Alexander Smellie]
 
 
 
 
Song of Solomon 4:12 ... A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
 
 
Song of Solomon 6:2 ... My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
 
 
 
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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Above All

Christ rises above all things. We see Him in the very act of ascending, as we do not in the actual resurrection. With hands and lips engaged in blessing, He gently parts from His disciples. So simply, so unostentatiously, He has brought heaven near to our common life.
 
We, too, must ascend, even here. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above (Colossians 3:1). We must learn to live on the heavenly side and look at things from above.
 
To contemplate all things as God sees them, as Christ beholds them, overcomes sin, defies Satan, dissolves perplexities, lifts us above trials, separates us from the world and conquers fear of death. Such a perspective enables us to view them as we shall one day look back upon them from His glory, and as if we were now really seated with Him, as indeed we are, in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
 
Let us arise with His resurrection and, in fellowship with His glorious ascension, learn to live above.
 
[A.B. Simpson]





Ephesians 1:20-21 ... Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
 
 
John 17:2 ... As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
 
 
John 3:31 ... He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
 
 
Colossians 1:16 ... For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

 
 
Ephesians 4:6 ... One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What a Wonderful Person!

Jesus is my divine Savior!
His bounty will supply me,
His omnipotence will deliver me,
His omnipresence will protect me,
His omniscience will guard me,
His love will animate me,
His mercy will heal me,
His grace will support me,
His compassion will comfort me,
His pity will relieve me,
His goodness will provide for me,
His tenderness will soothe me,
His kindness will encourage me,
His patience will bear with me,
His justice will avenge me,
His faithfulness will embolden me,
His holiness will beautify me,
His anger will awe me,
His life will quicken me,
His light will illumine me,
His Word will regulate me,
His joy will delight me,
His blessedness will elevate me,
His long-suffering will lead me to repentance,
His immutability will secure the fulfillment of all the promises to me,
His truth will be my shield and buckler,
His sovereignty will raise my admiration,
His condescension will inspire me with gratitude and love,
and His all-sufficiency will satisfy me both in time and eternity!


[James Smith]


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Colossians 3:11 ... Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
 
 
 
Matthew 6:33 ... But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


Psalm 91:15-16 ... He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


Philippians 4:19 ... But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.❤

Saturday, September 27, 2014

That Heavenly Teacher

We do not learn that we are sinners merely by reading it in the Bible. It must be wrought, I might say, burnt into us. Nor will anyone sincerely and spiritually cry for mercy, until sin is spiritually felt and known   in its misery,  in its dominion,  in its guilt,  in its entanglements,  in its wiles and allurements,  in its filth and pollution, and  in its condemnation.

Where the Holy Spirit works, He kindles   sighs,  groans,  supplications,  wrestlings, and  pleadings to know Christ, feel His love, taste the efficacy of His atoning blood, and embrace Him as all our salvation and all our desire.

And though there may, and doubtless will be, much barrenness, hardness, deadness, and apparent carelessness often felt; still that heavenly Teacher will revive His work, though often by painful methods; nor will He let the quickened soul rest short of a personal and experimental enjoyment of Christ and His glorious salvation.
 
 
[Joseph Philpot]


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1 John 2:27 ... But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.


Psalm 34:11 ... Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.


Romans 8:26 ... Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.



John 14:26 ... But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wine of The Spirit

Wise leaders should have known that the human heart cannot exist in a vacuum.  If Christians are forbidden to enjoy the wine of the Spirit they will turn to the wine of the flesh.  Christ died for our hearts and the Holy Spirit wants to come and satisfy them.
 
[A. W. Tozer]
 
 
 
 
 
 
Acts 2:4 ... And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.


Titus 3:5-6 ... Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
 
 
Luke 3:16 ... John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
 
 
Ephesians 5:17-19 ... Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Best Friend

A friend is one of the greatest blessings on earth. Tell me not of money, love is better than gold; sympathy is better than lands. He is the poor man who has no friends!

This world is full of sorrow because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a lonely place. It is a disappointing place. The brightest sunbeam in it, is a friend. Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys!

A real friend is scarce and rare. There are many who will eat, and drink, and laugh with us in the sunshine of prosperity. There are few who will stand by us in the days of darkness, few who will love us when we are sick, helpless, and poor, few, above all, who will care for our souls!

Does any reader of this paper want a real friend? I write to recommend one to your notice this day. I know of One "who sticks closer than a brother!" (Proverbs 18:24.) I know of One who is ready to be your friend for time and for eternity, if you will receive Him. Hear me, while I try to tell you something about Him.

The friend I want you to know is Jesus Christ. Happy is that family in which Christ has the foremost place! Happy is that person whose chief friend is Christ!
 
[J. C. Ryle]
 
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Song of Solomon 5:16 ... His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
 
 
James 2:23 ... And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
 
 
John 15:15 ... Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
 
 
John 15:13 ... Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Psalm 144:15 ... Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.❤

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Sacred Dress

Every day, I must pass into my sacred shrine to be with God. With a set purpose, I must take off my earthly garments, and put on my sacred dress. I have to hush myself into quietness. I have to beseech the Holy Spirit for His empowerment. I have to steadfastly study the majesty, the purity, and the grace of the God to Whom I come. Much mental concentration is required of me. A sincere and honest heart is also required. I am called to earnest contemplation and prayer.

When the service of the priests is over in the inner sanctuary, they divest themselves of the robes of whiteness in which they stood before the Lord. They do not show themselves to the people in a garb so venerable. God keeps something to Himself, something which shall be known only to His servants and to Him.  Just so, I cannot disclose everything in my secret place with others. There are heights and depths in the truth I am being taught, in the mercy I have received which I do not yet comprehend, and over which I shall have to ponder all my life long.

And I ought not to disclose everything. To unveil my most sublime spiritual experiences, will injure me. It would lessen humility, and foster pride. It would rub the delicate bloom from off my character. It would make my secret place a beaten path. My sanctuary clothing is not for the public outer court.

Yet mine is a God who is never distant and inaccessible. The priests of old, left the shrine and went out into the world. But the Lord abides in the Holy Place still. We need only to return, and to clothe themselves anew in our holy vestments, and we will find Him the same as before a God  Who rejoices to hear our cry,   Who delights in our sincere, yet poor and disappointing services,    Who will lift up His countenance on us and give us peace.

When I call upon Him, withdrawing myself from all others and all else, He is near as my strong Refuge and and my ever-present Help in times of trouble. The doors of His Holy Place are never barred; and, within the doors, His gracious welcome awaits me.

May He be the Temple that is the dearest spot on earth to me. May I be priest to serve Him day and night!

[Alexander Smellie]


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Ezekiel 42:14 ... When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall lay their garments wherein they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.
 
 
 
Psalm 91:1-2 ... He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 
 
Matthew 6:6 ... But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
 
 
Revelation 19:14 ... And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This Incomparable Book!

The whole of Scripture is but one entire love letter, dispatched from the Lord Christ, to His beloved spouse!

Oh! the mysteries, the excellencies, the glories which are in this incomparable book! There are none so useful, none so needful, none so delightful, none so necessary to make you happy and to keep you happy as this!

Ah! the Word of the Lord is   a light to guide you,  a counselor to counsel you,  a comforter to comfort you,  a staff to support you,  a sword to defend you,   a physician to cure you!

The Word is   a mine to enrich you,  a robe to clothe you,   a crown to crown you.   bread to strengthen you,   wine to cheer you,   a honeycomb to feast you,   music to delight you,   a paradise to entertain you!

Oh! therefore, before all and above all:  search the Scripture,  study the Scripture,  meditate on the Scripture,  delight in the Scripture,  treasure up the Scripture!

There is   no wisdom like Scripture wisdom,  no knowledge like Scripture knowledge,  no experience like Scripture experience,  no comforts like Scripture comforts,  no delights like Scripture delights,  no convictions like Scripture convictions,  no conversion like Scripture conversion!

I exhort you to a speedy, serious, diligent, and constant study of the Scripture. Ah! you do not know how soon   your blind minds may be enlightened,  your hard hearts may be softened,  your proud spirits may be humbled,   your sinful natures may be changed,  your defiled consciences may be purged,  your distempered affections may be regulated,  and your poor souls may be saved by searching into the Scriptures,    by reading the Scripture, and     by pondering upon the Scripture.

Ah! if you do not in good earnest, give yourself up   to the reading,  to the studying,  to the pondering,   to the believing,  to the practicing,  to the applying, and  to the living up to the Scripture.  Satan will be too hard for you, the world will be too hard for you, your lusts will be too hard for you, temptations will be too hard for you, deceivers will be too hard for you, and in the end you will be miserable!
 
[Thomas Brooks]

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Luke 8:11-15 ... Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 
Matthew 4:4 ... But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.


Hebrews 4:12 ... For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.❤

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Law of Your Mother

A mother's influence is great; a mother's love is strong. Every mother therefore should endeavor to use her influence wisely, and for her child's eternal good. A very great responsibility rests upon godly mothers, which they should realize, and realizing should act under a sense of it. The mother's life should be the child's lesson; and the mother's words should be the child's law. The authority of the mother is essentially the authority of love; and the teachings of the mother should be the teachings of love. With these thoughts in the mind, we want to enforce the inspired admonition to the young, for

The OBJECT to Be Regarded. A godly mother's law. O what a privilege to have a godly mother! One who knows   the value of the soul,  the person of the Savior,  the way of salvation, and  the power of vital piety in her own heart.

Such a mother will teach her child   to value what is really important and spiritual;  to secure a saving interest in eternal felicity;  to avoid the sinful and the dangerous;  to do the necessary and the moral;  to enjoy the lawful and the profitable;  to prepare for the future and eternal.

In a word, she will enforce on her child the advice of the Savior, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." The salvation of the child's soul will be nearest her heart. The early and entire consecration of her child to God will be the object at which she aims. For this she will teach, and pray and act. Nor will less than this, ever satisfy her maternal mind.
 
[James Smith]
 
 
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Proverbs 1:8 ... My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
 
 
Proverbs 22:6 ... Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


Ephesians 6:1-3 ... Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.