Wednesday, March 24, 2010


"I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous,
and in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
Psalm 119:75

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now
I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67

God's corrections are our instructions,
His lashes are our lessons,
His scourges are our schoolmasters,
His chastisements are our admonishments.

By afflictions, troubles, distresses and dangers—the
Lord teaches His people to look upon sin as the most
loathsome thing in the world; and to look upon holiness
as the most lovely thing in the world. Sin is never so
bitter, and holiness is never so sweet—as when our
troubles are greatest and our dangers highest.

By affliction, the Lord teaches His people to sit loose
from this world, and to be prepared for eternity.

By affliction, God shows His people the vanity, vexation,
emptiness, weakness, and nothingness of all created
things; and the choiceness, preciousness and sweetness
of communion with Himself.

It has been the lot and portion of God's dearest
children, to be exercised with very great and
grievous afflictions; in order . . .
to the discovery of sin,
to the embittering of sin,
to the preventing of sin,
to the purging away of sin; and
to the discovery of grace,
to the trial of grace,
to the exercise of grace,
to the increase of grace; and
to the weaning of them from this world; and
to the ripening of them for heaven; and
to the completing of their conformity to Christ,
the captain of their salvation, "who was made
perfect through sufferings," Hebrews 2:10; and
to work in them more pity and compassion to
those who are in misery, and who sigh and
groan under their Egyptian taskmasters.

By Thomas Brooks, London, 1675

From A Word in Season to Suffering Saints

I received this in an email today from a man who knows the truth of these words. For years, Johnny Farese has been afflicted with a condition that has left him bedridden, unable to even feed himself. What a blessing this man has been to so many people, managing to minister through the computer even in affliction. What we could learn from him!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Finale and Crescendo

Our pastor has been preaching through 1 Thessalonians which, of course, brings us to the second coming of Christ. We've been looking at many Scriptures on the topic, including passages in Matthew and Revelation. I always get a little lost when the subject of eschatology comes up and our church as a whole does not focus on it, but we do know He IS coming again! And Pastor R. read this passage to conclude his sermon the last time, saying it was like the finale of a fireworks exhibition or the crescendo of a huge musical piece. When both those events happen, you know that "this is it;" this is the end and everything culminates in the majesty of it all. Can't you just here the boom, boom, boom of the sound? Don't the following words make you feel like standing and applauding, raising your arms in victory? Or do they bring fear to your heart, making you want to run away and hide? I hope the former. If not, please get that matter settled today.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. . . And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev. 19:11-13, 16.