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Grace Gems

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by nChrist, Oct 14, 2016.

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  1. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    How to conquer the world!

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ!")

    Perhaps the world--the smiling world or the frowning world, the tempting world or the persecuting world--lies as a heavy stone or burden upon your heart, as it does upon the hearts of thousands in these days. Witness their attempting anything to get the favors, honors and riches of this world! Ah! how many have turned their backs upon God, and Christ, and Heaven--to gain the world!

    Men may hear many sermons--and yet remain worldly.
    They may pray like angels--and yet live as if there were no Heaven nor Hell.
    They will talk much of Heaven--and yet those who are spiritual and wise, smell their breath to stink strongly of earth.

    All their endeavors can never cure them of this soul-killing disease--until faith breaks forth in its glorious actings. A man may hear sermons and pray many years--and yet remain as carnal, base, and worldly as ever! There is no way under Heaven to remove this burden--but by the exercise of faith!

    "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:4-5

    Faith presents the world to the soul under all those notions which the Scripture holds forth the world unto us by. The Scripture holds forth the world as . . .
    an impotent thing,
    as a mixed thing,
    as a mutable thing,
    as a momentary thing.
    Now faith comes and sets this home with power upon the soul--and this takes the soul off from the world.

    Faith causes the soul to converse with those more glorious, soul-satisfying, soul-delighting, and soul-contenting objects! Now when faith is busied and exercised about soul-ennobling, soul-greatening, soul-raising, and soul-cheering objects--a Christian tramples the world under his feet! In Hebrews 11, it was the exercise of faith and hope upon noble and glorious objects, which carried them above the world . . .
    above the smiling world,
    above the frowning world,
    above the tempting world,
    and above the persecuting world!

    Faith conquers the world, by assuring the soul of enjoying of better things. Men may talk much of Heaven, and of Christ, and religion, etc.; but give me a man who really and clearly lives under the power of divine faith--and I cannot see how such a one can be carried out in an inordinate love to these poor transitory worldly things.
     
  2. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    Do not judge a minister . . .

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ!")

    "If you point these things out to the brethren, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed." 1 Timothy 4:6

    It is sad to see how many preachers in our days make it their business to enrich men's heads with lofty, empty, airy notions--instead of enriching their souls with holy truths.

    Fix yourself under that man's ministry who makes it his business, his work--to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the fancy. This age is full of such light, vain souls--who dislike everything but what is empty and airy.

    Do not judge a minister . . .
    by his voice, nor
    by the multitude who follow him, nor
    by his affected tone, nor
    by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
    but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness of his teaching!
    Many ministers are like empty orators, who have a flood of words--but a drop of matter!

    Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions, and so shoot their arrows over their hearers' heads--instead of bettering their hearers' hearts.

    Mirthful things in a sermon are only for men to gaze upon and admire.

    He is the best preacher, not who tickles the ear--but who breaks the heart!

    "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power!" 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
     
  3. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    We should be content with His daily allowance!

    (Charles Spurgeon)

    "Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes--and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king--a portion for each day, for the rest of his life." 2 Kings 25:29-30

    Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king's palace with a 'supply' to last him for months, but his provision was given to him as a daily pension.

    Herein he well pictures the happy position of all the Lord's people. A daily portion is all that a man really needs. We do not need tomorrow's supplies; for that day has not yet dawned, and its needs are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June--does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet. If we have enough for each day as the days arrive--we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day--is all that we can enjoy.

    We cannot eat or drink or wear more than the day's supply of food and clothing; a surplus gives us the care of storing it, and the anxiety of watching against a thief. "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them!" Matthew 6:31-32

    One staff aids a traveler--but a bundle of staffs is a heavy burden.

    Enough is not only as good as a feast--but is all that the greatest glutton can truly enjoy.

    Enough is all that we should expect--a craving for more than this is ungrateful.

    When our Father does not give us more--we should be content with His daily allowance.

    Jehoiachin's case is ours--we have . . .
    a sure portion;
    a portion given to us by the King;
    a gracious portion;
    and a perpetual portion.
    Surely here is ground for thankfulness.

    Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of grace. Day by day you must seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance--that a daily portion is provided for you. In the Word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God--you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus, all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance!

    Never go hungry--while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy!

    "Give us each day, our daily bread." Luke 11:3

    "As your days--so shall your strength be." Deuteronomy 33:25
     
  4. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment

    (Charles Spurgeon)

    "I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

    These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. Grumbling, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man--as weeds are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and weeds; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. Just so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.

    "Ill weeds grow quickly." But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener's care.

    Now, contentment is one of the flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it--then it must be cultivated, as it will not grow in us by nature. It is the new nature alone which can produce contentment--and even then we must be especially careful and watchful, that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.

    Paul says, "I have learned... to be content;" as much as to say, that he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mastery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, "I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content," he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave--a poor prisoner shut up in Nero's dungeon at Rome.

    We might well be willing to endure Paul's infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him--if we too might by any means attain unto his high degree of contentment. Do not indulge the notion that you can learn contentment without discipline. It is not an ability that may be exercised naturally--but a grace to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be--and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Contentment.
     
  5. nChrist

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    We have actually out-sinned thousands!

    (Thomas Brooks)

    "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6

    "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" Romans 5:8

    "When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son!" Romans 5:10

    Sit down in astonishment at this matchless love of God!

    Oh! what is in us--that should cause the Lord to give such gifts to us as He has given? We were all equal in sin and misery; nay, doubtless, we have actually out-sinned thousands, to whom these precious gifts are denied. Oh! we were once poor wretches sitting upon the ash-heap, yes, wallowing in our blood, and yet behold--the King of kings, the Lord of lords, has so far abounded in His love, as to bestow Himself, His Spirit, His grace, and all the jewels of His royal crown upon us! Oh! what heart can conceive, what tongue can express, this matchless love!

    Says Christ:
    "I will be yours forever,
    and My Spirit shall be yours forever,
    and My grace shall be yours forever,
    and My glory shall be yours forever,
    and My righteousness shall be yours forever!
    All that I am and all that I have--shall be yours forever!"

    O what incomparable love is this!

    Oh! what a precious Christ is this!

    "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us--that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1
     
  6. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    The reason why He is contending with you!

    (Charles Spurgeon)

    "Show me why You contend with me." Job 10:2

    Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop your graces.

    There are some of your graces which would never be discovered, if it were not for your trials.

    Do you not know that your faith never looks so grand in summer weather, as it does in winter?

    Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light unless it is in the midst of surrounding darkness.

    Hope itself is like a star--not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, but only to be discovered in the night of adversity.

    Afflictions are often the black foils in which God sets the jewels of His children's graces, to make them shine the better.

    Real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.

    God often takes away our comforts and our privileges, in order to make us better Christians.

    He trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury--but by forcing them into difficult marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs.

    Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing?
    Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow?
    Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?

    "Trials make the promise sweet;
    Trials give new life to prayer;
    Trials bring me to His feet,
    Lay me low, and keep me there!"
     
  7. nChrist

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    The Midas touch!

    (Thomas Brooks)

    Faith is the most useful grace--it is the Christian's . . .
    right eye, without which he cannot see for Christ;
    right hand, without which he cannot act for Christ;
    tongue, without which he cannot speak for Christ;
    strength, without which he cannot live for Christ.

    It is fabled of King Midas, that whatever he touched would be turned into gold.
    I am sure that whatever faith touches, it turns into gold; that is, into our good.

    Whatever faith lays its hand upon, it appropriates to itself, and turns it into the soul's good!

    If our faith touches the promises, it turns them into our good.

    If faith looks upon God, it says, "This God is my God forever and ever--He shall be my guide unto death!"

    When it looks upon Christ, it says, "My Lord and Redeemer!"

    When it looks upon the crown of righteousness, it says, "This crown is laid up for me!"

    Faith is . . .
    bread to nourish us,
    wine to cheer us,
    a cordial to strengthen us,
    a sword to defend us,
    a guide to direct us,
    a staff to support us,
    a remedy to heal us,
    a friend to comfort us, and
    a golden key to open Heaven unto us.

    Faith, of all graces, is the most useful grace to the soul of man.
    All those services are lost, wherein faith has not a hand.
    You may write 'loss' . . .
    upon all the prayers you make, and
    upon all the sermons you hear, and
    upon all the tears you shed, and
    upon all the alms you give,
    --if all are not managed by a hand of faith.
    "Without faith it is impossible to please God!" Hebrews 11:6
     
  8. nChrist

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    Optimum maximum!

    (Thomas Brooks)

    Christians serve a wonderful Master.
    They serve Him who is . . .
    all ear to hear them,
    all hand to uphold them,
    all power to protect them,
    all wisdom to direct them,
    all goodness to relieve them,
    all mercy to pardon them.

    They serve that God who is optimum maximum--the best and greatest!

    God has . . .
    all dignity,
    all glory,
    all riches,
    all treasure,
    all pleasure,
    all delight,
    all joy, and
    all beatitudes.

    God is . . .
    all goodness,
    all beauty,
    all power,
    all wisdom,
    all justice,
    all mercy, and
    all love itself!

    God is one infinite perfection in Himself!

    "He has all--who has the Haver of all!" Αugustine
     
  9. nChrist

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    A faithful minister

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ")

    "Let the elders who rule well be accounted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the Word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17

    The which is here rendered labor, signifies not simply to labor--but to labor with much travail and toil, to labor even to exhaustion, as he does who chops wood, or who fights in a battle.

    Oh what an honor is it to a faithful minister, when he has . . .
    found the people dark and blind--but left them enlightened;
    found them dead--but left them alive;
    found them a proud people--but left them humble;
    found them a profane people--but left them holy;
    found them a carnal people--but left them spiritual;
    found them a worldly people--but left them heavenly;
    found them a wavering people--but left them settled and rooted.

    Oh, it is an honor to faithful ministers, when their people are like them . . .
    in knowledge,
    in wisdom,
    in love,
    in humility,
    in holiness!

    "Watch your life and doctrine closely." 1 Timothy 4:16

    A preacher's life should be a commentary of his doctrine.

    His practice should be a counterpart of his sermons.

    Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life!

    "Be an example to all believers . . .
    in what you teach,
    in the way you live,
    in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12


    "We preach to people who must live forever . . .
    in Heaven--or Hell;
    with God--or devils;
    in an eternity of joy--or of torment!" Thomas Doolittle
     
  10. nChrist

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    The cross has not become obsolete!

    (Horatius Bonar, "The Surety's Cross")

    "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

    The whole world looked with contempt--indignant at the audacity of a few humble Christians, thus . . .
    affronting and defying the "public opinion" of nations and ages;
    assailing the religions of earth with the cross as their only sword;
    striking down their idols with this as their only hammer; and
    with this, as their one lever, proposing to turn the world upside down!
    From that day the cross became "a power" in the earth; a power which went forth, like the light--noiselessly yet irresistibly--smiting down all religions alike, all shrines alike, all altars alike--sparing no superstition nor philosophy.

    This power remains--in its mystery, its silence, its influence, it remains. The cross has not become obsolete! The preaching of the cross has not ceased to be powerful and effectual!

    There are those who would persuade us that, in this modern age--the cross is out of date and out of fashion, time-worn. But this does not shake us. It only leads us to clasp the cross more fervently, and to study it more profoundly, as embodying in itself that gospel which is at once the wisdom and the power of God.

    Yet the cross is not without its mysteries:

    It illuminates--yet it darkens.

    It is life--yet it is death.

    It is honor--yet it is shame.

    It is wisdom--but also foolishness.

    The cross is . . .
    both pardon, and condemnation;
    both strength, and weakness;
    both joy, and sorrow;
    both love, and hatred;
    both medicine, and poison;
    both hope, and despair.

    The cross is Christ's humiliation--yet it is His exaltation!

    The cross is Satan's victory--yet it is Satan's defeat!

    The cross is the gate of Heaven--and the gate of Hell!

    The cross is the key . . .
    to God's character,
    to God's Word,
    to God's ways,
    to God's purposes.

    The cross is the summary of all the Bible--the epitome of Scripture Revelation!
     
  11. nChrist

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    Look up today, O parched plant!

    (Charles Spurgeon)

    "I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26

    Here is sovereign grace, "I will send down showers." Is this not sovereign, divine mercy--for who can say, "I will send down showers," except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain. "Who sends down the rain upon the earth? Who scatters the showers upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord?"
    Grace is the gift of God--and is not to be created by man.

    It is also needed grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds--but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the divine blessing. In vain you labor, until God bestows the plenteous shower, and sends salvation down.

    Then, it is plenteous grace. "I will send down showers." It does not say, "I will send them drops," but "showers." So it is with grace. If God gives a blessing, He usually gives it in such a measure that there is not room enough to receive it. Plenteous grace! Ah! we need plenteous grace . . .
    to keep us humble,
    to make us prayerful,
    to make us holy,
    to make us zealous,
    to preserve us through this life,
    and at last to land us in Heaven!
    We cannot do without saturating showers of grace.

    Again, it is seasonable grace. "I will send down showers in season."
    What is your season this morning?
    Is it the season of drought? Then that is the season for showers.
    Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers.
    "As your days--so shall your strength be."

    And here is a varied grace. "I will give you showers of blessing." The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God's blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace--He will also give comforting grace. He will send "showers of blessing."

    Look up today, O parched plant, and open your leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering!
     
  12. nChrist

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    Nine evils which death will put an end to!

    (Thomas Watson, "The Saint's Desire to be with Christ")

    "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23

    It is the desire of a true saint to be gone from this present world, "I desire to depart." What a wicked man fears--that a godly man hopes for!

    The worldling desires to live in this present world forever; he knows no other heaven but earth--and it is death to him to be turned out of his heaven. A wicked man does not go out of this world--but is dragged out!

    But a soul enlivened and ennobled with a principle of grace, looks upon the world as a wilderness wherein are fiery serpents, and he desires to get out of this wilderness!

    The bird desires to get out of the cage, though it is made of gold. Just so, the saints of God have looked upon themselves as imprisoned in the body, and have longed for a jail-delivery. "Oh, that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!" Psalm 55:6

    It is no wonder that a true saint is so earnest to be gone from this present world--if we consider how beneficial death is to a child of God. Death puts an end to all his evils! In particular, there are nine evils which death will put an end to:

    1. Death will put an end to a believer's SINS.

    2. Death will put an end to a believer's TEMPTATIONS.

    3. Death will put an end to a believer's FEARS.

    4. Death will dry up a believer's TEARS.

    5. Death will put an end to a believer's TROUBLES.

    6. Death puts an end to a believer's CARES.

    7. Death will put an end to all our NATURAL imperfections.

    8. Death will put an end to the imperfections of GRACE.

    9. Death will put an end to a weary PILGRIMAGE.

    Though death is a bitter cup, there is sugar at the bottom!

    Death is the believer's best friend, for it brings him to Christ, which is far better!

    "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21
     
  13. nChrist

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    God is too kind to punish the ungodly!

    (A.W. Tozer)

    God's justice stands forever against the unrepentant sinner in utter severity!

    The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions! It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all kinds of iniquity--while damnation draws every day nearer, and the command to repent goes unregarded. As responsible moral beings, we dare not so trifle with our eternal future!

    "On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot!" Psalm 11:6

    "Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them!" Isaiah 3:11

    "They always heap up their sins to the limit. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost!" 1 Thessalonians 2:16

    "They called to the mountains and the rocks: Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" Revelation 6:16-17

    "He, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb!" Revelation 14:10
     
  14. nChrist

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    A corrupt heart was the source of all!

    (Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")

    We have seen what man was as God made him--a lovely and happy creature.

    Let us view him now as he has unmade himself--we shall see him a sinful and a miserable creature. This is the sad state we are brought into by the fall. Man's nature is now wholly corrupted. There is a sad alteration--an astonishing overturning in the nature of man. Where, at first, there was nothing evil--now there is nothing good.

    "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

    All our wicked practices are here traced to the fountain and spring-head--a corrupt heart was the source of all.

    The soul, which was made upright in all its faculties--is now wholly disordered.

    The heart, which originally was made according to God's own heart--is now the reverse of it . . .
    a forge of evil imaginations,
    a sink of inordinate affections,
    and a storehouse of all impiety! Mark 7:21, 22

    Behold the heart of the natural man, as it is opened in our text:

    The mind is defiled.

    The thoughts of the heart are evil.

    The will and affections are defiled.

    The imagination of the thoughts of the heart, that is, whatever the heart frames within itself by thinking, such as judgment, choice, purposes, devices, desires, every inward motion--is evil. Yes, and every imagination--every frame of his thoughts, is evil continually.

    But is there not, at least, a mixture of good in them? No, they are only evil. Whatever changes may be found in them, are only from evil to evil; for the imagination of the heart, or frame of thoughts in natural men, is evil continually. Not one holy thought can ever be produced by an unholy heart.

    O, what a vile heart is this!

    O, what a corrupt nature is this!

    What can that heart be, whereof every imagination, every set of thoughts--is only evil, and that continually!

    Surely that corruption is ingrained in our hearts, interwoven with our very natures, has sunk deep into our souls, and will never be cured but by a miracle of grace. Now such is man's heart, such is his nature--until regenerating grace changes it!

    "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances!" Ezekiel 36:26-27
     
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    The chief dangers which will confront the church in the coming century!

    (William Booth, 1829-1916)

    The chief dangers which will confront the church in the coming century will be . . .
    religion without the Holy Spirit,
    Christianity without Christ,
    forgiveness without repentance,
    salvation without regeneration,
    Heaven without Hell.
     
  16. nChrist

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    One continued dream and delusion!

    (Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")

    "There is no one who understands." Romans 3:11

    "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

    "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts." Ephesians 4:18

    The natural man's apprehension of divine things is corrupt. The understanding, that leading faculty, is despoiled of its primitive glory, and covered over with confusion.

    Tell them how they may advance their worldly wealth, or how they may gratify their lusts--and they will quickly understand these things. But it is very hard to make them know how their souls may be saved, or how their hearts may find rest in Christ. They are very stupid and unteachable in the matters of God. What woeful delusions prevail over them! Do we not often see those, who in other things are the wisest of men--yet are notorious fools with respect to their soul's eternal interests?

    Many who are eagle-eyed in the trifles of time--yet are like owls and bats in the light of eternal realities. Nay, truly, the life of every natural man is but one continued dream and delusion, out of which he never awakes, until either, by a divine light darted from Heaven into his soul, he comes to himself--or, in Hell he lifts up his eyes in torment!

    Sin has closed the windows of the soul, and darkness covers the whole. The prince of darkness reigns there, and nothing but the works of darkness are framed there. We are born spiritually blind--and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace!

    "For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord!" Ephesians 5:8
     
  17. nChrist

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    God would be voted out of the world!

    (Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")

    "The world . . . hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." John 7:7

    "They have hated both Me and my Father!" John 15:24
    "They hated Me without a cause!" John 15:25

    "Haters of God." Romans 1:30

    "Crucify Him!" they shouted.
    "Why? What crime has He committed?" asked Pilate.
    But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify Him!" Mark 15:13-14

    Men set up for themselves an idol of their own imagination, instead of the true God--and then fall down and worship it.

    Every natural man is an enemy to God--as He is revealed in His Word. The infinitely holy, just, powerful, and true God--is not the God whom he loves, but the God whom he loathes! The Pagans finding that they could not be like God in holiness, made their gods like themselves in filthiness; and thereby they show what sort of a god the natural man would have. God is holy and just; can an unholy creature love His unspotted holiness?

    There is not a man, who is wedded to his lusts, as all the unregenerate are--but would desire to blot out the God of justice. Can the malefactor love his condemning judge? Can a heinous sinner love a just and holy God? No, he cannot!

    Men naturally would rather have a blind idol--than the all-seeing God! They no more love the all-seeing, everywhere present God--than the thief loves to have the judge witness to his evil crimes. If it could be carried by votes, God would be voted out of the world; for the language of the carnal heart is, "Leave us alone! We have no desire to know Your ways!" Job 21:14

    "The carnal mind is a mass of downright, undiluted enmity to the Most High God. Such a mind is opposed, not merely to the things of God, the laws of God, and the truth of God--but to God Himself!" Spurgeon
     
  18. nChrist

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    The secret desire of every unconverted heart!

    (Robert Murray M'Cheyne, 1813-1843)

    "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God!' They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good." Psalm 53:1

    It is in his heart that he says this. This is the secret desire of every unconverted heart. If the bosom of God were within the reach of men, it would be stabbed a million times in one moment!

    When God was manifest in the flesh, He was altogether lovely. He did no sin, and went about continually doing good. Yet they they mocked Him and spat upon Him and crucified Him on the accursed tree! Unconverted men would do the same with God again--if they could.

    Learn the fearful depravity of your heart. I venture to say that there is not an unconverted man present, who has the most distant idea of the monstrous wickedness that is now within his bosom. When you are in Hell, it will break out unrestrained.

    Yes, you have a heart that would kill God if you could. If the bosom of God were nor within your reach, and one blow would rid the universe of Him--you have a heart fit to do the heinous deed!
     
  19. nChrist

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    A lion! a dragon! a serpent!

    (Henry Law, "Gleanings from the Book of Life")

    "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish!
    No one can snatch them out of My hand!" John 10:28

    Many and mighty are their foes--yet the good Shepherd protects all of His sheep.

    In themselves they are as weak and tremulous as a broken reed.

    The wild boar out of the forest marks them as his prey.

    The roaring lion watches to devour.

    Savage dogs would mangle.

    The wind, the rain, the tempest, threaten to destroy.

    The Good Shepherd knows these perils, and protects from all.

    Satan is the arch enemy of the flock:
    for strength--he is a lion,
    for fierceness--he is a dragon,
    for twisting deviousness--he is a serpent.

    His might almost reaches almightiness.

    His many vassals, as legion, are a universal swarm.

    His vigilance never slumbers.

    His skill is barbed by world long experience.

    His wrath is vehement, because his time is short. He wars with desperation because a hopeless doom is near.

    How is it that the sheep are not all driven to Satan's prison cell?

    There must be a Shepherd almighty to protect.

    He who delivered David "from the paw of the lion, and from the paw of the bear" is the same rescuing Lord.

    Paul seemed to be in the jaws of ruin, but he testifies, "The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, and I was delivered from the lion's mouth."

    In direst extremity let the believer cry, "Rescue me from the mouth of the lion; save me from the horns of the wild oxen!"

    A protecting arm will speedily be outstretched.

    Thus His sheep never perish, and no one can snatch them out of His hands!
     
  20. nChrist

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    Short pithy gems from John Newton!

    (John Newton)

    They are the happiest Christians, who have the lowest thoughts of themselves, and in whose eyes Jesus is most glorious and precious!

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    My heart is vile, and even my prayers are sin. My soul is very sick--but my Physician is infallible!

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    How unspeakably wonderful it is, to know that all our concerns are held in hands that bled for us!

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Our sea may sometimes be stormy--but we have an infallible Pilot, and shall infallibly gain our port.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Our work is great--our time is short--and the consequences of our labors are infinite!

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Lord, save us from our golden calves!

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Abominations, like nests of vipers, lie quietly in us--until the rod of affliction arouses them. Then they hiss and show their venom!
     
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