Friday, July 20, 2018

You Have Not Yet Come To The Rest

These words were addressed to the people of Israel in reference to their entrance into Canaan. A better rest and a more glorious inheritance are in reserve for the people of God and they are freely bestowed. As Canaan was given to the Jews so is Heaven, with all its joys, given to believers! God has, in unspeakable grace, given His only begotten Son and with Him, He freely gives all things.

Christian pilgrim, you have not yet come to the rest and inheritance which the Lord your God will give you. You have yet a little longer to tread the wilderness course:  your work is not yet done,  your battles are not all fought,  your trials are not all endured.  But praise your God and take courage!

"He who has helped you hitherto Will help you all your journey through!"

You have not yet come to your rest but you are coming to it! It is a little nearer now, than it was yesterday.

You are not yet in possession of your eternal inheritance but Christ is in possession, and you are a joint heir with Him. Where the forerunner is there all His followers will be!

[Author Unknown]

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Deuteronomy 12:9 … For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you.

1 Peter 1:3-4 … Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Our Blessed Hope!

Yesterday a funeral passed our home. The solemn procession moved slowly onward toward the cemetery gate a few squares away. The muffled sounds of the passing cars of a funeral cortege as they pass my window, always tell a melancholy tale. A beloved voice is silent forever to earth. A heart has ceased to beat. A life has reached its end. Solemnly the words "Dust to dust, and ashes to ashes" are spoken. The mourning friends go their way. Only a newly made mound in the cemetery remains to tell the story.

What, is this all? Is dust to dust and ashes to ashes the final end of the being who was once vibrant with life and joyous with vigorous energy? To every soul there comes the age-old inquiry, "If a man dies shall he live again?" Time summons all, both rich and poor, both high and low, both great and small, to stand before the open grave and to answer in their inmost souls this old query. Let us follow the quiet procession, and let us inquire of each comer, what is his hope for the future? 

Here comes a modern Sadducee. He is a materialist. He does not believe in spiritual realities. To him, man is only brother of the beast. Death ends all. As one such said to me, "A man is just like a horse; when he dies, that is the end." The open grave closes above the form beloved to him, and leaves him bereaved of hope. To him, life comes to its end upon a great cliff, beyond which there is nothing but space. To him the grave is a melancholy place. It is the end of all his plans and dreams, of all his hopes and expectations. When those whom he loves go from him at the call of death it leaves only a measureless void which nothing can ever fill, and which he never expects to be filled.

Behind the materialist comes the atheist, with eyes downcast. To him there is no God, no power which can say to death, "Stand back." For him there is no voice of consolation or of comfort. Hope is dead her voice is no longer heard. Next in order comes the deist. He believes in God, but the God in whom he believes is a faraway, unknown being who has no part in the life or death of man, who has no interest in what concerns him, a God who has gone off and forgotten mankind. The deist pauses beside the newly made grave. This to him is the end of all. He also is without hope beyond it.

After him an agnostic draws near. He does not know; he cannot find out. Perhaps life has not come to its final conclusion; he does not know. There may be something beyond the grave; he cannot tell. He knows nothing for certain. He is in doubt about everything. He knows no way to resolve his doubts. And so he stands before the newly made grave, and the wreath that he places upon it, is bewildering question.

Next comes the infidel. Perhaps there is a sneering smile upon his face. Frankly, he does not believe. He knows the Bible says that there will be a resurrection, but in his judgment, the Bible is not God's book. So he believes only what it pleases him to believe of the present or the future. Perhaps he believes in immortality, but what does he believe of it, and upon what grounds does he believe it? If he believes in the resurrection, he does not know why he believes it. His hope has no true basis. He rejects the only basis that is given him, and so if he will but admit it, he must, like the agnostic, only question.

Next comes the philosopher. His philosophy may show him there is a life beyond the grave. It may say to him that since the race believes in immortality, since they have an inner consciousness of immortality, and since so many things in nature seem to argue from analogy that there shall be a resurrection he may conclude there is a resurrection, that there is a life beyond the grave. But what that life is like, or whether it is a certainty he cannot tell. His philosophy falters. It is insufficient. And he, like those before him, he is left to question.

Next comes the scientist. His science has not found the human soul. He does not know it as an entity. He cannot weigh it or measure it. The laws of chemistry do not reveal it. He finds strange things in man which he cannot explain. But they do not tell him of immortality. He does not know from his science, whether there is anything beyond the grave.

Behind him comes the worldling, who finds his all in self, or pleasure, or riches, or fame. He lives for this world alone. He has not stopped to inquire about eternity. He has been quite content to occupy himself with the things of the present life. He has scarcely thought about anything beyond the grave. Indeed, he will not let the thought of the grave come into his mind when he can help it. Perhaps he believes in immortality in a casual way, but it seems as nothing to him. It is unreal, uncertain; and if he has a dim, vague hope, it is a hope based on nothing trustworthy, nothing that can be the real basis of a hope. And he, like those before him, is one of those whom the Bible pictured as "having no hope."

Look again at this company and you will see them all silent before the newly made grave. No voice comforts them; they have no words to comfort another. For them, death is a leap into the dark. Beyond is only the great unknown. Only the Christian has hope in his death. His hope in death is not a hope in himself. His hope is in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ he who was dead, but is alive forevermore. He believes in him who said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And this hope is called our "blessed hope," it is the one great hope of the Christian. 

As we have this hope, death has no terrors for us, and we can say, "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" And so it comes that believing this, so many Christians go down into the valley of the shadow of death, with a smile of joy upon their countenances and with an unwavering faith in their hearts. Only the eye of faith sees beyond the grave. Only the tongue that speaks through faith, has words to break the silence with the clear joy tones of triumph. Faith stands before the newly made grave, and falters not. And the Christian, though sorrowful, is always rejoicing for with the eye of faith he sees beyond the present into the glorious eternity, and his heart doubts not.
The Christian hope looks forward in expectancy of the coming of Jesus our Lord (Titus 2:13). We have hope in him, not merely for the present life, but for the life which is to come (I Corinthians 15:19; Acts 24:15). Through him we look forward to being "children of the resurrection," hoping and believing that it shall be according to his word that we shall nevermore die and that we shall be equal to the angels, that we shall possess everlasting life through the eternal ages and dwell at the right hand of God.

This hope of eternal life is not a new thing. It is older than the world. Paul speaks of the "hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2). God planned eternal life for us. He promised it to us before we had an existence. And so we look forward with eager expectancy goes beyond the grave, and rejoices in the eternal ages of God. This is the blessed hope, the anchor of the Christian soul!

[Charles Naylor]


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

God Did Not ...

God did not tell you to leave your spouse and marry another.

God did not tell you something which ran counter to his word.

God did not tell you it's okay to stay in your sinful lifestyle.

God did not instruct you to follow a ministry or person whose clearly false.

God did not promise a life full of prosperity and ease.

God did not approve of sowing any dollar amount to any preacher on T.V., with expectations of getting something back in return.

God did not call every person into ministry regardless of their claims. 

God did not call certain individuals his prophet regardless of their claims. 

God did not say we are to have a covering by fallible men.

God did not say that only his elect will be saved.

God did not endorse titles, degrees and ranks of education as proof of ones calling in ministry.

God is not speaking 24/7.

God does not endorse someone's commentary over his word - ever. 

God did not give one man or one woman revelation of all things.

God did not say his gifts, nor signs and wonders were over.

God did not state that your method, beliefs and traditions were his.

[Christopher Gregory]

Romans 3:4 … God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Naylor Quotes

You and I have access to the same God. The power of a living faith in God in us will be the same as in those illustrious examples of past ages. 

Our God is all powerful, and he loves us with a love that never grows cold; that is, he is never indifferent to our welfare. 

There is no feeling of bitterness when things do not go as we think they should, if we are trusting. Bitterness comes from rebellion, and there is no rebellion in trust. Trust can always say, "Not my will, but may your will be done."

Suppose God had been satisfied with the world-conditions before Christ came. We would now have no Savior and no salvation. He was dissatisfied, thoroughly dissatisfied, and so he made the greatest sacrifice that he could make to change existing conditions. 

God's book written in the rocks is old, exceedingly old but God's book the Bible reaches back still farther. It goes back not only to the "beginning" of this terrestrial world, but into eternity. From past eternity, its majestic sweep covers the whole range of being and reaches into the future eternity. It is, in fact, the book of eternity, and within its folds lie the grandeur and sublimity of the great unknown future. 

There are many enemies about, but "he makes me to lie down." I am in quietness. My heart is not afraid. 

Every truly saved heart longs to serve. The redeemed heart loves, and love finds its joy in service. How much there is to be done all around us and how eagerly we would take up the task of doing it! How much we want to accomplish for the Lord! But ah, how little we do really accomplish! How many blossoms of desire we possess! But how little fruit of real accomplishment! 

We are certain to have trials. The important thing is that we meet them properly. 

Get rid of your doubts. Look to God, believe in him, trust in him and the victory will be yours. 

The Bible is to the Christian, what the forest is to him who delights in nature. He who walks through the forest laughing and talking does not hear the sweet notes of the songster nor see the wild beauties. He who would see and hear the things that delight the nature-lover, must steal softly and silently along and thus he may see nature as she is.

Fellowship is natural and spontaneous. It cannot be forced. If you are straight and true and your heart is open and unprejudiced then you will usually have fellowship with whatever is of God.

There is one thing and just one that stands out above all other things in the human life and that is faithfulness. No matter what our life may be, nor where we may be, nor what is our situation if we are just faithful it is sure to count, and to count a great deal. 

[Charles Naylor]


Monday, July 16, 2018

A Short Time

God has given to man a short time here on earth and yet upon that short time, eternity depends!

Psalm 90:5-6 …  Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.  In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

Psalm 90:10 … The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Psalm 90:12 … So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.❤

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Spurgeon Quotes 2

We hear, sometimes, a great deal said about possessing a full assurance of being a child of God; and then, every now and then, we hear of a doubt, a hope. As good Joseph Irons used to say, "They keep hope, hope, hoping, hop, hop, hopping all their lives, because they can't walk." Little faith is always lame.

Do not harm the bodies of men and women; but destroy their sin with a stout heart and with a strong arm. Kill both the little sins and the great ones; let nothing be spared that is against God and His truth; but we have no war with the bodies of poor mistaken men and women.

If we could see things as they are if we were not deceived by the masquerade of this feeble life, if we were not so easily taken in by the masks and dresses of those who act in this great drama, be it comedy or tragedy if we could but see what men and women are behind the scenes, penetrate their hearts, watch their inner motions, and discern their secret feelings, we would find only a few who could bear the name of "blessed."

Deal gently, deal kindly, deal lovingly and there is not a wolf in human shape that won't be melted by kindness; and there is not a tiger in woman's form that won't break down and beg for forgiveness, if God should bless the love that is brought to bear on her by her friend. 

The river of God is full of water; but there is not one drop of it that comes from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His own battles but the strength which He himself imparts; and I would not have you that are now distressed to be the least discouraged by it. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled; and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

People who have no brains are always great persons; but those who think, must think their pride away, if God is with them in their thinking. 

There was never a saint yet, that grew proud of their fine feathers, that the Lord didn’t plucked them out one by one. There never was an angel yet, that had pride in his heart, that didn’t lose his wings, and fall into Hell, as Satan and those fallen angels did; and there will never be a saint who indulges in self-conceit, pride, and self-confidence, that won’t have the Lord spoil their glories, and trample their honors in the mud, and make them cry out, "Lord have mercy on me." 

Don't keep back any part of your life. Make a full surrender of every inclination of your heart; work to have but one purpose, and one aim. And for this purpose give God complete control of your heart. 

Any person who trusts in their works, even in the smallest amount, is a lost soul. They who trust in the smallest fragment of their works, though it is so small that they themselves cannot discern it, will be lost.

How easy it is for you and I to boast in ourselves! How hard it is to be humble! That demon of pride was born with us, and it will not die one hour before us. It is so woven into our very natures, that we will never hear the last of it until we are dressed in our grave clothes and lying in our coffin.

Now a person's heart has only enough life in it to fully pursue one object. You must not give half of your love to Christ, and the other half to the world. No person can serve God and money, because there is not enough in the heart to serve the two.

There is not a spider hanging on the wall that doesn't have a purpose; there is not a weed growing in the corner of the church lot that doesn't have a reason for being there; there is not a single insect fluttering in the breeze that does not accomplish some divine decree; and I will never believe that God created any man or woman, especially any Christian man or woman, to be a blank, and to be a nothing. He made you for a purpose.

Now, the heart is the reservoir of a person, and our life is allowed to flow in its proper season. That life may flow through different pipes—the mouth, the hand, the eye; but still all the actions of the hands, the eyes, and the lips, derive their source from the great fountain and central reservoir, the heart; and therefore, there is no problem showing the great need that exists for keeping this reservoir, the heart, in a proper state and condition, since otherwise that which flows through the pipes would be polluted and corrupt. 

When the sunlight of God's mercy rises upon our needs, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain; or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies, He Himself shines behind them, and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may have confidence, if we are in prayer, that our prayers are the shadows of mercy.

[Charles H. Spurgeon]


Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Best For Last

The world gives its best first and the worst comes afterwards!  It is so in all sinful pleasures: first exhilaration and then bitter remorse.  It is so in the chase for wealth, power, and fame: gratification first and then painful disappointment. At first money brings gladness, a sort of satisfaction. But as time rolls on and wealth increases, cares multiply, anxieties thicken, burdens grow heavier, and at last the rich man finds that in all his riches, he has less satisfaction than he had in the days when he was just a poor boy!  It is so in all mere worldly ambitions: the first cups of fame are sweet but soon they pall upon the taste.  This truth holds especially in the sinful life: we need not deny that at the beginning, sin is sweet but bitterness is found at the bottom of the cup!

In grace, however, this is reversed, the good wine is kept to the last! Christ Himself first had humiliation, darkness, and the shame of the cross and then exaltation, power, glory!

In the Christian life, the same law holds:  First there comes bitterness but out of the bitterness, sweetness flows.  There is first the deep sorrow of penitence but this gives way to the blessed joy of forgiveness.   First comes self-denial and cross-bearing but out of these experiences comes a holy peace which fills all the heart.   Sorrows are to be endured but the good wine of comfort is poured into the emptied cup.

There is also a constant progression in the blessings of the divine life. We never get to the end of them! Indeed, we never get to the best! There is always something better yet to come. Christ keeps the really best wine until the very last in Heaven! As sweet as Christ's peace now is to the Christian, he will never know the fullness of the love of God, until he gets home to the Father's house!

[J. R. Miller]

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John 2:10 …  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Matthew 25:46 … And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17 … For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Friday, July 13, 2018

Stealing The Sunshine

It is related that it was the custom of the teacher of a certain kindergarten to have one of her pupils mark on the blackboard each day to represent the weather. She had colored crayons, and different colors represented the different kinds of weather: white for snow, gray for cloudy, yellow for sunshine, etc. A child was permitted, as a reward of good conduct, to go each day and make the drawing on the board to represent that day's weather.

One day a little boy was permitted to go to the board for this purpose. In looking in the crayon box, he failed to find the yellow crayon, which represented the sunshine. After looking vainly, he cried out, "Somebody has stolen the sunshine."

Somebody had taken away that which represented the sunshine. And so there are "somebody's," and all too many of them in the world, who take away the sunshine from someone's life. Many lives are dark and sad, not because of what the people themselves do but because of what others do.

It is true that we often shut out our own sunshine. Our own conduct often plunges us into darkness, sorrow and grief if we do not follow God's will. But there are many who do right themselves and who might have sunshine if others would give them an opportunity. How many families are unhappy, where they might be happy! How many husbands and wives make their companions unhappy, and often very miserable when there is no need of it! How many parents darken the lives of their children! How many children bring sorrow and suffering to their parents! How often brethren and sisters in the church cast a shadow over someone's life!

They become sunshine thieves! They steal someone's sunshine, and worst of all they are no better for it themselves, but worse. If a man steals because he is hungry or has not sufficient clothing, we can more easily excuse him than we can the one who steals when he has no such need. So the one who takes the sunshine from any life by any act that is not necessary or that serves no good purpose, is entirely inexcusable. Not a thing can be said in approval of his conduct.

One way of stealing people's sunshine, is to criticize them. When a person feels that he has done his best, he naturally feels that what he has done merits approval. But if, instead of this he receives criticism, if someone makes light of his work or sneers at what he has done he feels discouraged. He feels like not trying again. All the pleasure he had in his work, has gone. The critic has stolen his sunshine, and the critic is not helped thereby.

It is true that some things must be criticized. Some people's conduct must be criticized. But there is always a way to do this that will be encouraging instead of discouraging. If we must criticize someone's work, let us do it in a helpful way. Let us first point out the good qualities in it. Let us say what we can in praise of it. Let us give our approval as far as approval can be given. Then let us suggest that it might have been done better another way; or, "You can improve on this particular part thus." Or, "Do you not think it would be better to do this part of it thus?" or, "Did you ever try doing it this way?"

This is constructive criticism. This is criticism that does not discourage. This is being helpful, rather than hindering. So if you must criticize people, be sure not to take their sunshine from them in doing it. Approval encourages. Condemnation discourages.

Another way that sunshine, is stolen from people is by whispering forebodings. Some people are always looking forward to the future with the expectation that something bad will happen. There will be trouble; there will be sickness; something bad is going to happen what gloomy prophecies they make. They are always throwing cold water on everything. They are always saying, "Look out now, you have to watch people."

Oh, yes, reader, you know people of this sort. They are always croaking like a raven; they are always prophets of evil. The atmosphere about them is always discouraging. No matter how bright the prospect before them or anyone else, they are always ready to say: "Oh, yes, but just wait, something bad will happen." This, that, or the other will spoil things, and they are ready with their gloomy prophecies at any moment. Some of these people are glad to do something to make their prophecies come true. They take pleasure in making things more difficult for others.

We cannot afford to take any of the brightness or joy out of the life of anyone not even a little child. Let us increase the sunshine, instead of diminishing it. Let us add to the sum of joy in the world. Let us lift up, and not cast down.

[Charles Naylor]

Ephesians 4:31-32 … Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:   And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Are We Christians or Worldlings?

What do we say to our self-indulgence, our spiritual sloth, our love of ease, our avoidance of hardship, our luxury, our pampering of the body, our costly feasts,
our silken couches, our brilliant furniture, our gay attire, our expensive jewelry,
our idle mirth, our voluptuous music, our jovial tables, loaded with every variety of rich viands?  Are we Christians or are we worldlings?

Where is the self-denial of the New Testament days? Where is the separation from a self-pleasing luxurious world? Where is the cross, the true badge of discipleship, to be seen except in useless religious ornaments for the body, or worse than useless decorations for the sanctuary?

"Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!" Is not this the description of multitudes who name the name of Christ? They may not be "living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry." But even where these are absent, there is 'high living' luxury of the table or the wardrobe in conformity to this present evil world.

"At ease in Zion!" Yes! there is the shrinking from hard service; from spending and being spent; from toil and burden-bearing and conflict; from self-sacrifice and noble service; for the Master's sake.

There is conformity to the world, instead of conformity to Christ! There is a laying down of the cross, instead of a taking up of the cross.  Or there is a lining of the cross with velvet, lest it should gall our shoulders as we carry it! Or there is an adorning of the cross, that it may suite the taste and the manners of our refined and intellectual age.  Anything but the bare, rugged and simple cross!

We think that we can make the strait gate wider, and the narrow way broader so as to be able to walk more comfortably to the heavenly kingdom. We try to prove that modern enlightenment has so refined 'the world and its pleasures', that we may safely drink the poisoned cup, and give ourselves up to the inebriation of the siren song.  "At ease in Zion!" Even when the walls of our city are besieged, and the citadel is being stormed!

Instead of grasping our weapons, we lie down upon our couches! Instead of the armor, we put on the silken robe!  We are cowards, when we should be brave! We are faint-hearted, when we should be bold!  We are lukewarm, when we should be fervent!  We are cold, when we should be full of zeal!  We compromise and shuffle and make excuses when we should lift up our voice like a trumpet! We pare down truth, or palliate error, or extenuate sin in order to placate the world, or suit the spirit of the age, or 'unify' the Church.  Learn self-denying Christianity. Not the form or name, but the living thing.

Let us renounce the lazy, luxurious, self-pleasing, fashionable religion of the present day!  A self-indulgent religion has nothing in common with the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; or with that cross of ours which He has commanded us to take up and carry after Him renouncing ease and denying self.  Our time,  our abilities,  our money,  our strength are all to be laid upon the altar.

[Horatius Bonar]

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Amos 6:1 … Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

1 John 2:15 … Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Romans 12:2 … And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Spurgeon Quotes

You crippled ones! I don't fear; you will not be thrown out. Two snails entered the ark; how they got there, I don’t know. It must have taken them a long time. They must have started rather early, unless Noah took them part of the way. So, some of you are snails; you are on the right road, but it will take a long while, unless some blessed Noah helps you into the ark.

Jesus recognizes His family when their sins make them as black as the tents of Kedar, and He knows they will be as bright as the curtains of Solomon. He knows His children when they do not know themselves; when they believe they are lost beyond recovery, or when they foolishly conceive that they can save themselves.

Backsliders! fallen ones! God will have mercy on you if you are repentant. Glorious fact! the sorrowing backslider will not be left behind. Backsliders will sing above, as God's restored children, He has forever loved. Blind and crippled ones! believe in the Lord, and you will be found among the children of the Lamb at last.

You may erect little thrones for those whom you love; but God's throne must be the glorious high throne; you may set your loved ones on the steps leading up to His throne, but God must sit on the very seat itself. He is to be enthroned, the royal One within your heart, the king of your affections.

Hate the world, value its treasure at a cheap price, estimate its gems as nothing but fakes, and its strength as nothing but dreams. Do not think that you will lose any pleasure, but rather remember the saying of that early Church leader Chrysostom, "Despise riches, and you will be rich; despise glory, and you will be glorious; despise injuries, and you will be a conqueror; despise rest, and you will gain rest; despise the earth, and you will gain heaven!"

I gaze on beauty, and may myself be deformed. I admire the light, and may yet dwell in darkness, but if the light of the face of God rests on me, I will become like Him. 

Jesus recognizes His family when their sins make them as black as the tents of Kedar, and He knows they will be as bright as the curtains of Solomon. He knows His children when they do not know themselves; when they believe they are lost beyond recovery, or when they foolishly conceive that they can save themselves.

Oh! It is a glorious fact, that prayers are noticed in heaven. The poor broken hearted sinner, going into their bedroom, bends their knee, but can only utter their mournful cry in the language of sighs and tears. Look! that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has, been caught by God, and put into a vase made especially for tears, to be perpetually preserved. The tearful praying Christian, whose distress prevents his words, will be clearly understood by the Most High.

When I hear of a church where everyone is wealthy and members of the upper class of our society, then I always say farewell to them, for where there are no poor people, the ship will soon sink. If there are no poor, then, Christ will soon give them some, if they are a real Gospel church.

There are elect out of the elect, I will acknowledge, as to gifts and standing, and as to the works they may accomplish in this world; but there is no election out of the elect on the basis of a deeper extent of the love of God. They are all loved the same; they are all written in the same book of eternal love and life.

Without bread, I become thin like a skeleton; and, in time, I will die. Without thought, my mind becomes dwarfed, yes, and it deteriorates until I become an idiot, with a soul that just has life, but little more. And without Christ, my spirit must become a vague, shadowy emptiness. It cannot live unless it feeds on that heavenly manna which came down from heaven. Now the Christian can say, "The life that I live is Christ;" because Christ is the food on which he feeds, and the sustenance of his newborn spirit.

I am certain you need no exhortation to love yourself, you will take care of your body, your comfort will be your primary concern. You would line your own nest with downy feathers if you could. You will do these things for yourself. Well, then, as much as you love yourself, love your neighbor.

The great King, immortal, invisible, the Divine person, called the Holy Spirit: it is He that stimulates the soul, or else it would lie dead forever; it is He that makes it tender, or else it would never feel; it is He that imparts power to the Word preached, or else it could never reach further than the ear; it is He who breaks the heart, it is He who makes it whole; He, from first to last, is the great worker of Salvation in us, just as Jesus Christ was the author of Salvation for us.

[Charles H. Spurgeon]