Saturday, January 20, 2018

You Choose

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee? 

"Well because someone bumped into me, of course!"

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

*Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.*

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It's easy to fake it, until you get rattled.
*So we have to ask ourselves... “what's in my cup?"

When life gets tough, what spills over?

Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?

Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions? 

You choose! 

Today let's work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

Galatians 5:22-23 ... But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.❤

Friday, January 19, 2018

God's Governance

God's sovereignty is but another name for the unlimited exercise of wisdom and goodness and power. Nothing can hinder Him.

Every drop of rain hits its appointed target and every particle of dust is carried by the wind to its appointed resting place.

If we could but grasp this in the depth of our being, our souls would be liberated to depend fully on God's governance over our lives, and to learn to count trials, all joy!

[John Newton]

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Psalm 135:6 ... Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Psalm 115:3 ... But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psalm 103:19 ... The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Daniel 4:35 ... And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The One Indispensable Book

The Bible is the oldest and the newest of books. 

The Bible surveys the whole field of time and it looks farthest into the infinite depths of eternity.

The Bible lends the most vivid and absorbing interest to the scenes and events of the past and it keeps us in the most active sympathy with the time in which we live.

The Bible gives us the most reliable record of what has been and it affords us our only means of knowing what is yet to be.

The Bible is holy enough to denounce the very shadow and semblance of sin and it is merciful enough to save the chief of sinners.

The Bible is full of God and must therefore be read with a pure heart, or its true glory will not be seen.

The Bible is full of man and must therefore always be interesting and instructive to all who would know themselves.

The Bible is the plainest of books and yet it has depths of wisdom which no created mind can fathom.

The Bible is set up as a beacon to show all wanderers the safe way and yet its light shines forth from thick clouds of mystery, and from abysses of infinite darkness.

The Bible describes all conditions of life and it gives utterance to all desires and emotions of the soul.

The Bible has a song of triumph for the overcomer and a wail of defeat for the overcome.

The Bible sparkles with the fervor and gladness of youth, celebrates the strength and glory of manhood, bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age.

The Bible exults in the mighty deeds of kings and conquerors, sympathizes with the poor and lowly, lifts up the fallen, delivers the oppressed, and breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life.

The Bible describes with startling clearness the seductions of temptation, the conflicts of doubt and the miseries of skepticism.

The Bible searches the secret chambers of the heart, brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, reveals its highest joy and its deepest grief.

The Bible compasses the utmost range of thought and feeling and desire and it sounds the utmost depth of motive and character and passion.

Thus in the Bible, God and man, earth and heaven, time and eternity speak with one voice and teach the same truth.

The Bible sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths in the lights and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters.

Thus the Bible is the one indispensable book for all ages and all nations, for all classes of men and all states of society, for all capacities of intellect and all necessities of the soul!

[Daniel March]

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. ❤

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Refer it Back to Him

It was an excellent reply that a Christian mother once made to a friend when her beloved and only child lay in a dangerous sickness at the point of death.

The friend asked the mother, "What would you now ask of God, in reference to your child? Would you beg Him for your child's life?"

The mother answered, "I refer that to the will of God."

"But," said her friend, "if God would refer it to you, what would you choose then?"

"Why truly," said she, "if God would refer it to me, I would refer it back to Him again!"

[John Flavel]

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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.

Luke 22:42 ... Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Acts 21:14 ... And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Sunday School Teachers Grave

It has no costly monument. There are only a few plain, simple flowers growing upon it. But there is a monument to her memory, not sculptured in marble which shall never crumble. There are flowers of sweetness and beauty growing in many a heart which shall never fade, and which God shall some day gather in his hand and entwine into a wreath for her glorified brow.

She was in the fullness and freshness of youth when she went out from us at the close of a sweet Sabbath never to return to us again. When we look at the dead form of one cut down so early in life, and in the midst of such usefulness we think that death came too soon.

Oftentimes in cemeteries we see, over the graves of the young, the sculptured symbols of incompleteness. But there are no such symbols in Heaven, for everyone is immortal, until his work is done. The Master takes none of his servants home, until every task is fulfilled. Even the babe of an hour that merely opens its eyes to gladden the mother's heart, and then closes them again  finishes the work God gave it to do. This teacher's work was done.

Thirty moons have waxed and waned since her gentle, tired hands were folded to rest but her memory is fresh as ever; and her work is going on. The noblest work which God gives to mortals was hers fashioning the hearts and lives of little children. The artist's canvas will crumble but it was her blessing, to paint hues of fadeless beauty in immortal spirits.

She was one of earth's lowly ones, but in Heaven bright honors will be hers, when God gathers up all the lessons she taught, all the good words she spoke, all the blessings she left in infant hearts, all the beautiful things she did, and all the children's tears, and all their love and weaves all together into an immortal crown of glory for her head. She is resting from her labors and her works are following her!

[J. R. Miller]

1 Corinthians 3:8 ... Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.


Monday, January 15, 2018

The Best Family Bible

In many houses you will see beautiful Bibles bound handsomely in morocco leather, with gilt edges, and full of bright pictures. I love to see a beautiful Bible in a home especially if it is not kept too clean and unsoiled. But the most beautiful form in which a household Bible can be bound, is in the holy life of godly parents. There is no tinted, gold-edged paper so fair as the pages God gives us on which to write our daily record.

The precepts and lessons of the inspired Word sound very sweetly, when read out of a richly-covered volume but they sound far more sweetly, when the child can spell them out of the parent's daily life.

It is well for a parent to read to his child from the inspired page, about the beauty of holiness; but it is better still when the child can see that beauty shining out transfigured in every feature of his parent's character.

It is well for him to read of the patience, gentleness, meekness, forbearance, and love of Christ; but it is better when he exemplifies all of these traits.

It is well for him to teach the child what the Bible says about lying, profanity, intemperance, and all sins; it is better when his life proclaims all these lessons.

No family Bible is so well printed and bound, as the one that is printed on the heart, and bound up in the life of a godly parent. I would recommend all parents to get this kind of Bible and to keep the dust off it always by constant use. This is the best kind for a lamp to the children's feet.

A beautiful Christian life is a living epistle written by the hand of God, which the youngest child can read before it has learned to spell out the shortest words of the language. It is a sermon that preaches Christ all day long seven days in the week.

There is no heresy so dangerous to childhood as heresies lived in the home!

[J. R. Miller]

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Psalm 119:105 ... Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

2 Samuel 22:31 ... As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Proverbs 30:5 ... Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

How God Prepares His Jewels

One of the many lessons I get from the life of Peter is the value of defeats, humiliations, and trials. None of the disciples had so rough a time, or so many hard knocks, as he had. He was always in trouble. He was always being defeated. None of the disciples received so many stern, humiliating rebukes from the Master's lips as he. Every little while, we find him covered with shame. Then on the night of the betrayal, he was terribly sifted by Satan!

There is a meaning in all this. Diamonds are dug out of the earth in a rough state, with no apparent beauty, and covered with a hard, ugly, crust. They are cut, sawn, split, and put upon the grinding-wheel, and ground, and ground, and ground, until they have the right form, until all the blemishes are ground out, and they shine in beauty fit for a king's crown!

Peter was a diamond, a great Koh-i-noor; but when the Lord found him, he was a very rough diamond, and had to be kept long upon the grinding-wheel, until every speck was ground off. It was through trials, humiliations, and defeats that he became such a noble Christian. The only way to break down a man's pride, is by defeats and mortifications. The only cure for self-confidence, is the cure Christ applied to him. He let him fall into the mire, and sink into the sea, and let Satan tumble him up and down!

There are some characters that are like summer fruits which ripen early in the season, under the warmth of the sun. But there are few such, except those whom God plucks and gathers, like early summer fruits, in the days of infancy, childhood, and youth.

There are other fruits that ripen not until the sharp autumn frosts come. All through the summer they are sour, bitter, and unfit for food. The keen frosts make them luscious and mellow.  In the same way, there are many of Christ's disciples who bear just such fruits. They are very unripe Christians. They are sharp, acrid men. They are severe, selfish, harsh, bitter, censorious. There is no sweetness, gentleness, kindness in them. They may be good men or women; they are good at heart but they are not beautiful. People cannot love them and yet they are God's dear children.

Then the frosts come, sharp, biting frosts. Afflictions enter their homes sorrows break in upon them. Bereavements turn the green leaves to sere and yellow. Humiliations come. They are defeated and crushed. God allows them to suffer great temptations. And out of these sad and painful experiences, these troubles and trials, these humiliations and failures they come, like the autumn fruits after the frosts mellow, luscious, rich, and ripe!

Frost opens the chestnut-burr, and the rich nut rolls out of its prickly envelope. In the same way, sorrows and trials strip off the burrs from many a beautiful soul.  Without these painful processes, many a man would never reach glory.   It was the rough knocks and sorry tumbles of his early discipleship, which made the Peter of the Gospels, the Peter of the Acts and Epistles.  It was scourging, imprisonment, and persecution which made Paul the brightest jewel of the world.  David learned his psalms in the wilderness, when hunted and chased.  Bereavement, loss, and sore sickness fitted Job to write that wondrous poem which bears his name.  John Bunyan got the "Pilgrim's Progress" out of prison walls, and from the clanking of chains.  It was a good thing that Satan sifted Peter, he winnowed out the chaff, and left only the pure wheat.

Christian! God must burn out your dross, winnow out your chaff, mellow your fruits by sharp frosts, and grind off the roughness of your character on the wheel of affliction.  Some day, when you get through, and shine in the glory of Heaven loudest amid your praising, will be thanksgivings for your trials. A diamond lay sleeping quietly in its dark bed in the earth. A pick, plunging into its pillow, disturbed its slumber. "What does this mean?" cried the little stone in terror, as it was crudely torn out.   But the workman heeded not its cry. It was carried away into a strange room, and there it was cut and sawn, and then put upon the wheel and ground.

"Why is all this? Why are they destroying me? Why are they cutting and grinding me all away?" Thus groaned the stone, but the men heeded not its complaining.   It is a grand day in the palace, it is a coronation day. The king is to be crowned. Amid the shouts and acclamations of the multitude, the new crown is brought forth and put upon his head. It is all aglitter with diamonds. But there is one stone that is brighter than all the rest. Its beam flashes out like a ray of glory.

"Now I understand it!" says the little stone. "Now I know why I was dug out, and cut, and ground, and polished. They were not destroying me. They were only preparing me to adorn this crown!"  In the same way, God knows how to grind his jewels. He knows how to prepare them for his own eternal crown!

[ J. R. Miller]

Isaiah 48:10 ...  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Malachi 3:3 ... And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

Job 23:10 ... But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Regulation of All Our Conduct

"You shall meditate on it day and night."  Only thus will its injunctions be fixed in the memory; only thus shall we be able to ascertain our duty; only thus shall we discern the rightful application of the Divine precepts to all the varied details of our daily lives.

The more I am regulated by the Divine Rule, the more I shall be preserved from the mistakes and follies which characterize those who follow a course of self-pleasing. But in order to do God's commandments, I must be conversant with them; and in order to perceive their breadth and specific application unto any problem or decision confronting me, I must "meditate on it day and night." Meditation stands to reading as mastication does to eating. Spiritual prosperity eludes the slothful and careless.

"That you may be careful to do everything written in it." This must be the dominating motive and object. God's Word is to be appropriated and masticated fed and meditated upon not for the purpose of understanding its prophecies, or obtaining an insight into its mysteries but in order to learn God's will for myself, and having learned it to conform thereunto. God's Word is given to us chiefly not to gratify curiosity or to entertain our imagination but as  a lamp to our fee and a light unto our path in this dark world. 

It is a Rule for us to walk by it is a heavenly standard for the regulation of all our conduct. It points out the things to be avoided the things which would harm us. It tells of the things to be followed and practiced the things which are for our good and our peace. It contains not only good advice but is clothed with Divine authority, commanding implicit and unqualified obedience.

[A.W. Pink]

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Joshua 1:8 ... This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success

Psalm 119:105 ... Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Friday, January 12, 2018

She Left Her Heart Behind Her

Lot's wife went far in religious profession. She was the wife of a "righteous man." She was connected through him with Abraham, the father of the faithful. She fled with her husband from Sodom, in the day when he escaped for his life by God's command.

But Lot's wife was not really like her husband. Though she fled with him, she left her heart behind her! She willfully disobeyed the strict injunction which the angel had laid upon her. She looked back towards Sodom and was at once struck dead! She was turned into a pillar of salt, and perished in her sins! Remember her says our Lord, "Remember Lot's wife!"

Lot's wife is meant to be a beacon and a warning to all professing Christians. It may be feared that many will be found like her, in the day of Christ's second coming. There are many in the present day, who go a certain length in religion. They speak the "language of Canaan." They use all the outward ordinances of religion. But all this time, their souls are not right in the sight of God. The world is in their hearts and their hearts are in the world. And by and bye, in the day of sifting their unsoundness will be exposed. Their Christianity will prove rotten at the core! The case of Lot's wife will not stand alone.

Let us remember Lot's wife, and resolve to be real in our religion. Let us never rest until we have the true grace of God in our hearts and have no desire to look back to the world.

[J. C. Ryle]

Luke 17:32-33 ... Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. ❤

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Behold Him!

Behold the beloved Jesus, perfectly spotless and holy yet made an example of the severest justice.   Behold Him prostrate and agonizing in the garden; enduring the vilest insults from wicked men; torn with whips, and nails, and thorns; suspended, naked, wounded, and bleeding upon the cross, forsaken by God!

Sin was the cause of all His anguish. He stood in the place of sinners, and therefore was not spared.   Not any, or all, the evils which the world has known afford such proof of the dreadful effects and detestable nature of sin, as the knowledge of Christ crucified!

[John Newton]

2 Corinthians 5:21 ... For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

John 19:17-18 ...  And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:  Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Ephesians 2:16 ... And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:❤