Friday, January 30, 2015

Something Big

God often uses small matches to light up great torches.  No matter how small you feel in this world, he has something big in store for you.
[John Hagee]
Joel 3:10 ... Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
1 Corinthians 1:27 ... But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Corinthians 2:9 ... But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wonderful Mystery!

1 Timothy 3:16 ... And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Matthew 1:23 ... Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
1 John 4:9 ... In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
God was manifest in the flesh!
Our Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate, lived, acted, obeyed, suffered, died and rose again—for His people.

He came down to earth—that they might go up to heaven.

He suffered—that they might reign.

He became a servant—that they might become kings and priests unto God.

He died that—they might live.

He bore the cross—that their enmity might be slain, and their sins expiated.

He loved them—that they might love God.

He was rich and became poor—that they, who were poor, might be made rich.

He descended into the grave—that they might sit in heavenly places.

He emptied Himself—that they might be filled with all the fullness of God.

He took upon Him human nature—that they might be partakers of the divine nature.

He made Himself of no reputation—that they might wear His new name, and obtain eternal excellency.

He became a worm, and no man—that they, who were sinful worms, might be made equal to the angels.

He bore the curse of a broken covenant—that they might partake of all the blessings of the everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.

Though heir of all things, He was willingly despised of the people—that they, who were justly condemned, might obtain an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and which fades not away.

His death was a satisfaction to divine justice, a ransom for many, a propitiation for sin, a sweet smelling savor to God—that we, who were an offence to God, might become His sons and daughters.

He was made sin for His people—that they might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Though Lord of all, He took the form of a servant—that they, who were the servants of sin, might prevail like princes with God.

He had no where to lay His head—that they who otherwise must have lain down in eternal sorrow, might reach the mansions in His Father's house.

He drank the cup of God's indignation—that they might forever drink of the river of his pleasures.

He hungered—that they might eat the bread of life.

He thirsted—that they might drink the water of life.

He was numbered with the transgressors—that they might stand among the justified, and be counted among His jewels.

Though He existed from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth was, yet He became a helpless infant—that creatures of yesterday, sentenced to death, might live forever.

He wore a crown of thorns—that all who love His appearing, might wear a crown of life.

He wept tears of anguish—that His elect might weep tears of godly repentance.

He bore the yoke of obedience unto death—that they might find His yoke easy and His burden light.

He poured out his soul unto death, lay three days in the heart of the earth, then burst the bars of death, and arose to God—that they, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage, might obtain the victory over the grave and become partakers of His resurrection.

He exhausted the penalty of the law—that His redeemed might have access to His inexhaustible treasures of mercy,wisdom, faithfulness, truth and grace.

He was matchless in grace—that they might be matchless in gratitude.

Though a Son, He became a voluntary exile—that they, who had wickedly wandered afar off, might be brought near by His blood.

His visage was so marred more than any man—that His ransomed ones might be presented before God without spot, or blemish, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

For a time He was forsaken of his Father—that they, whom He bought with His blood, might behold the light of God's
countenance forever.

He came and dwelt with them—that they might be forever with the Lord.

He was hung up naked before His insulting foes—that all who believe on His name, might wear a glorious wedding garment—a spotless righteousness.

Wonderful mystery! God was manifest in the flesh! Blessed is he who loves the incarnate mystery, and rests upon it. It is a mystery   of love,  of truth,  of grace,  of wisdom,  of condescension,  of power,  of salvation! It is the great study of the inhabitants of heaven, and shall be while immortality endures!
[William S. Plumer]

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Earth's Saddest Failure

Matthew 12:20-21 ... A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Psalm 34:18 ... The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
1 Corinthians 1:27 ... But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken people. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the whole in building their kingdoms. But God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filled with earth's broken lives, and there is no bruised reed whom Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take a life crushed by pain and sorrow, and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth's saddest failure up to Heaven's glory!

[J. R. Miller]

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wave Upon Wave of Grace

1 Corinthians 15:10 ... But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

O God of grace, Teach me to know that grace precedes, accompanies, and follows my salvation; that it sustains the redeemed soul, that not one link of its chain can ever break!
From Calvary's cross, wave upon wave of grace,   reaches me,  deals with my sin,  washes me clean,  renews my heart,  strengthens my will,  draws out my affection,  kindles a flame in my soul,  rules throughout my inner man,  consecrates my every thought, word, work,  teaches me Your immeasurable love.

How great are my privileges in Christ Jesus!

Without Him I stand far off, a stranger, an outcast.  In Him I draw near and touch His kingly scepter!

Without Him I dare not lift up my guilty eyes. In Him I gaze upon my Father-God and friend!

Without Him I hide my lips in trembling shame. In Him I open my mouth in petition and praise!

Without Him all is wrath and consuming fire. In Him is all love, and the repose of my soul!

Without Him is gaping hell below me, and eternal anguish. In Him its gates are barred to me by His precious blood!

Without Him darkness spreads its horrors before me. In Him an eternity of glory is my boundless horizon!

Without Him all within me is terror and dismay. In Him every accusation is charmed into joy and peace!

Praise be to You for grace, and for the unspeakable gift of Jesus!

[A Puritan Prayer]

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Wonder of Wonders, The Miracle of Miracles

Yes, indeed, this is the wonder of wonders, the miracle of miracles, at which my mind will forever stand amazed! That the thrice Holy Savior should take the sinner's place, and, coming under the sinner's doom, should be smitten of God, this is a mystery past finding out!

Hell is horribly amazing but the death of Jesus is far more astounding, and especially that in death He should cry, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!" Only the Son of God could endure this great grief. Yet is it a mystery of mysteries, that so divine a person should be capable of enduring it.

The marvel is thought to be, that a man should be able to suffer so much. But the real marvel is that, being God, He should suffer at all. The being forsaken by the Father, was the very essence of His grief!

My soul, adore and love, you cannot understand it!

Behold the eclipse of your soul's Sun, and know that, had not this been, you would have been in the darkness of Hell forever!
[Charles H. Spurgeon]
Matthew 27:46 ... And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Romans 5:6 ...  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

1 John 2:2 ... And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Acts 4:12 ... Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.❤

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pity Me Indeed

Wickedness prevails and increases in our city to a dreadful degree! Our streets are filled with the sons of Belial, who neither fear God, nor regard man. I wish my heart was more affected with what my eyes see and my ears hear every day! I am often ready to fear lest the Lord should show His displeasure in some dreadful way!

And surely, if He were strict to mark all that is amiss, I myself would tremble! Oh, were He to plead against me, I could not answer Him one word! Alas! my dear friend, you know not what a poor, unprofitable, unfaithful creature I am! If you knew the evils which I feel within, and the snares and difficulties which beset me from without, you would pity me indeed!

So much forgiven—yet so little love to Jesus.
So many mercies—yet so few returns.

Such great privileges—yet a life so sadly below them.

Indwelling sin presses me downwards; when I would do good, evil is present with me! I can attempt nothing but it is debased, polluted and spoiled by my depraved nature! My sins of omission are innumerable. In a word, there is  much darkness in my understanding,   much perverseness in my will,   much disorder in my affections,   much folly and madness in my imagination!

In short, I am a riddle to myself; a heap of inconsistency!

Alas! when shall it be otherwise? I have a desire of walking with God but I cannot attain unto it. Surely it is far better to depart, and to be with Jesus Christ than to live here up to the ears in sin and temptation!

But, "We have an Advocate with the Father." Here my hope revives! Though wretched in myself, I am complete in Him! He is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. On this "Rock" I build, for time and eternity!

[John Newton]
1 John 2:1 ... My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Hebrews 7:25 ... Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Philippians 1:23 ... For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
1 Corinthians 10:4 ... And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ring of Glory

John 17:24 ... Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
2 Corinthians 13:12 ... For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Jude 1:24 ... Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Colossians 3:4 ... When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Christ can never rest satisfied until His gracious communion with His people here on earth, issues in their perfect and glorious communion with Him in heaven.

Christ is very desirous of His people's fellowship and company. It is a part of Christ's joy that they should be where He is. Christ will not be happy alone. As a tender father, He can enjoy nothing if His children may not have part with Him. Even now He is always with them, to eye their behavior,  to hear their prayers,  to guide their way,  to protect their persons,  to cheer their spirits, and  to delight in their presence.

The greatest part of the happiness which we shall have in heaven, lies in this  that then we shall be with Christ, and have immediate communion with Him. O sirs! the great end of our being in heaven, is to behold and enjoy the glory of Christ!

Certainly the glory and happiness of heaven to the elect, will consist much in being in Christ's company, in whom they delight so much on earth. To follow the Lamb wherever He goes, to enjoy Him fully, and to be always in His presence is the heaven of heaven, the glory of glory! This is the sparkling diamond in the ring of glory!

The day is coming wherein believers shall be completely happy in a sight of Christ's glory, and shall visibly and immediately behold and enjoy Him!

[Thomas Brooks]

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Very Great Attainment

1 Samuel 3:18 ... And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.

Job 1:21 ... And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Acts 21:14 ... And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Luke 22:42 ... Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Psalm 40:8 ... I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Matthew 6:10 ... Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
It is a very great attainment to lie passive in God's hands, and know no will but His.
[William Plumer]

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tender Kisses

Song of Solomon 1:2 ... Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

Song of Solomon 7:10 ... I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
Psalm 73:25 ... Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
Isaiah 43:1 ... But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
Hosea 2:20 ... I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.

John 15:5 ... I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.


Of all the relationships that we as believers share with our blessed Savior, perhaps none is more intimate and comforting than that of marriage. Jesus has betrothed us to Himself in holy matrimony and covenant grace. We are His beloved bride,  the apple of His eye,  the darling of His heart; and He is the gracious Husband of our immortal souls! We are, by sovereign grace, forever one with Jesus our Husband!

Oh what a glorious privilege it is to be joined to Jesus in the blessed bond of marriage! He loves me! He cares for me! He defends and protects me! He provides for my every need! He comforts, supports, and cherishes me! I have His heart and He has mine!  I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine! I belong to Him and He belongs to me!

Oh that my Beloved would "kiss me with the kisses of His mouth," that He would embrace my soul,  draw me to Himself,  caress my heart ever so gently with His merciful touch,  and grant me sweet tokens of His love for me.

Oh how I long for Him to express His love and affection to me with the tender kisses of sovereign love,  free grace,  immutable faithfulness,  and undying compassion, "for His love is better than wine!"

Wine makes glad the heart, but His love is better than the finest wine! His love causes my broken heart to rejoice,   renews my strength,  brightens my vision,  causes me to walk uprightly in the paths of righteousness, and  moves my heart to take flight through the heavens with wings as an eagle.

Excess wine intoxicates men, and is forbidden by God. Too much wine will ruin a man. It alters the state of men's minds, seizes control of men, dulls their senses, and destroys their ability to exercise sound judgment and reason.

But Jesus' love is better than wine! It is not possible to overindulge in the intoxicating love of Jesus, nor is it forbidden. Indeed, the gospel encourages love to Jesus. The wine of His love doesn't ruin men, it transforms them!

His love for us, invigorates our love for Him  intoxicating our hearts,  seizing control of them,  overpowering our wills and our senses,  giving us sound reason, and spiritual judgment.

Oh blessed Lord, we beg you, give us this wine! Fill our cups full! Cause them to overflow! Pour into our hearts the intoxicating love of Jesus the Lord!

The desire of a believer's soul can be summed up in one word, JESUS! We desire Him;   His person,  His love,  His glory,  His grace,  His will,  His salvation,   His righteousness,  His way. All we want is in Jesus!  All we need is in Jesus!  All we have is in Jesus!  
Jesus is all and Jesus is better! Better than the treasures of kings!  Better than all earthly possessions! Better than passing pleasures and prestige! Indeed, He is better than all earthly delights combined!

If we don't have Jesus, then we have nothing! If we have Him, then we have everything!


[Frank Hall]

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heart Affecting Views

Ah, who can grasp the thought of never-ending joy, or everlasting woe! The mind labors to conceive, and yet can never reach beyond the first impression of eternity. Numbers, years, ages, all, all are lost in the immeasurable, unfathomable abyss!

The riches of grace are the only durable riches, without which the mightiest monarchs of the earth are poor. When earth with all its glories shall have passed away, the lowly followers of Jesus will abide forever, and shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.

How difficult it is to get heart affecting views  of sin, of Christ,  of hell, and of heaven. We talk about them, but alas! how little are we practically affected by them.  Nothing but the Spirit of Christ can open our eyes to see the deformity of sin, the preciousness of the Savior, the misery of hell, the bliss of heaven.
"Quick as the apple of an eye;
O God my conscience make;
Awake my soul, when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.
O may the least omission pain,
My well-instructed soul;
And drive me to the blood again
Which makes the wounded whole."

[Thomas Reade]
Matthew 13:43 ... Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Psalm 146:8 ... The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous:
Psalm 25:14 ... The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

1 John 1:7 ... But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
John 16:13 ... Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.