Monday, December 31, 2012

The Measure of Days and Years

(Photo by letoirina)

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

"The Holy Ghost expresseth himself according to the manner of men, to give us some notion of an infinite duration, by a resemblance suited to our capacity. If a thousand years be but a day to the life of God, then as a year is to the life of man, so are three hundred and sixty-five thousand years to the life of God: and as seventy years are to the life of man, so are twenty-five millions five hundred fifty thousand years to the life of God. Yet still, since there is no proportion between time and eternity, we must dart our thoughts beyond all these, for years and days measure only the duration of created things, and of those only that are material and corporeal, subject to the motion of the heavens, which makes days and years."

~ Stephen Charnock

As the Lord has been our stay for 2012, may He again be so for 2013. Have a blessed and Christ-filled New Year.

Friday, December 21, 2012

He Will Yet Deliver Us

Believers daily Remembrance - james smith
"He will yet deliver us." 2 Cor 1:10

HOW many times has our God delivered us, from how many dangers, in how many ways; and He who hath delivered, doth deliver, and in Him we trust that He will yet deliver us. He delivered us from spiritual death, by the operations of His Holy Spirit, and from eternal death, by the sacrifice of His Son. We were dead, but we are now alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord; and He who delivered from the greatest evil, spiritual death, will not refuse to deliver us from any lesser danger. Let us trust in Him, rely upon Him, and expect Him to deliver. It is written, " Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." He knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation. Let us triumph with Paul, "The Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion; and the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." If He had not intended to carry on the work, He would not have begun it, for He well knew what opposition it would meet with: but He that began will perfect it in the day of Jesus Christ.

Yet I must fight, if I would reign:
Increase my courage, Lord!
I'II bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.

Friday, December 7, 2012

He'll Keep Us

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. John 17:15

Painting by Stanley M. Brice

If we have any hope that we are Christ's true disciples, let us be satisfied that Christ knows better than we do what is for our good. Let us leave "our times in His hand," and be content to abide here patiently as long as He pleases, however hard our position, so long as He keeps us from evil. That He will so keep us we need not doubt, if we ask Him, because He prays that we may be "kept." Nothing, we may be sure, glorifies grace so much as to live like Daniel in Babylon, and the saints in Nero's household, -- in the world and yet not of the world, --tempted on every side and yet conquerors of temptation, not taken out of the reach of evil and yet kept and preserved from it's power. ~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Enter Into His Gates

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalm 100:4

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving" . . . So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy.  

"And into his courts with praise." Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs.

"Be thankful unto him." Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs.

"And bless his name." He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person. Whatever he does, be sure that you bless him for it; bless him when he takes away as well as when he gives; bless him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider him.

~ From The Treasury of David, Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Godly Fear

Believers daily Remembrance - James Smith
"Happy is the man that feareth alway." Prov 28:14

GODLY fear flows from grace, and is always connected with spiritual knowledge. It is the fear of a tender child, who would not on any account grieve a kind and loving parent. It is a covenant blessing. Our God bestows it on all whom He loves; and they consequently fear to offend Him, their Father; dishonour their gracious Saviour, or grieve the Holy Comforter. They fear lest they should be led astray from God by their own hearts, by Satan, by professors, by the world, or any of the dispensations of providence. They fear to trust their own judgments, they reverence God's word, and dread a lukewarm state. Happy is the man who thus feareth alway; he happily preserves a tender conscience, a humble mind, and a consistent walk. He proves his interest in all new-covenant blessings; has much to do with the blood of atonement; and enjoys a solid peace. He is in a happy state, standing high in the favour of God, walking in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, and keeping himself unspotted from the world. Oh, for godly fear to rule my heart, and preserve my goings!

This fear's the spirit of faith,

A confidence that's strong;
An unctious light to all that's right,
A bar to all that's wrong.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Highest Authority

 (Art by Juliette Aristides)

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Romans 13:1 [NKJV]

Just wanted to share a couple of thoughts from our pastor's sermon this morning on the subject of government. The sermon was a needed one at the time we're in right now with the current election coming up in nine days. It wasn't a political message, because at our church the pastors do try to stay away from any involvement in politics, refraining from telling us who or what we should vote for on any given level. But they do rightfully try to impress the Word of God on our hearts, so that when we do whatever we do, including exercising this important privilege as citizens, that will be foremost in our minds.

I've been thinking a lot about this election so it was good to be reminded of some things. I've been listening to the "much talking" coming from both sides, everybody accusing everybody else of being liars, among a host of other things. Actually, it's getting exhausting to tell the truth. So the reminders from today's sermon were so welcome. I won't outline the entire sermon, which I appreciated so much as it was so sober, sensible, and practical. But I don't want to ever forget what was he said about the highest authority that exists:

Every human government has its credentials. It has a name, an ideology, a capital, a cabinet, a sphere of rule, intelligence, and the rest. But the highest authority has a Name, which is "the Most High God;" an Age, which is Eternal; a Capital, which is Heaven; Ministers, who are the Angels; a Realm, which is the Universe; Intelligence, which is Omniscient; Experience, which is Infinite; a Record, which is Impeccable; Character, which is Unimpeachable; and a Purpose, which is Benevolent. ~ Pastor J.R.

Now that's quite enough to help me to press on and not be afraid, no matter who wins on November 6th.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What to Put On

 (Art by Elaine Vollherbst - Lane)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:12-14

Monday, October 8, 2012

Seven Thousand

 Art by Khodchenko Valeriy

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. 1 Kings 19:18

The comfortable information God gives him [Elijah] of the number of Israelites who retained their integrity, though he thought he was left alone. . .In times of the greatest degeneracy and apostasy God has always had, and will have, a remnant faithful to him, some that keep their integrity and do not go down the stream. It is God's work to preserve that remnant, and distinguish them from the rest, for without his grace they could not have distinguished themselves. God's faithful ones are often his hidden ones (ps.83:3) and the visible church is scarcely visible, the wheat lost in the chaff and the gold in the dross, till the sifting, refining, separating day comes. The Lord knows those that are his, though we do not; he sees in secret. There are more good people in the world than some wise and holy men think there are. . .

~ Matthew Henry

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The River called Death

The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate; to which they answered, Yes; but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path, since the foundation of the world, nor shall, until the last trumpet shall sound. The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all of a depth. They said, No; yet they could not help them in that case; for said they, You shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the King of the place. 

~ From The Pilgrim's Progress

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Unprofitable Servants

(Photo by Alina L.)

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do. Luke 17:10.

Yesterday's sermon from Luke 17:5-10 had many points that the Lord applied to my heart in a variety of ways. I'm thankful for that since I need as much help as I can get. This morning I went to check out what my old friend, J.C. Ryle, had to say on the passage and his following words on verse ten really hit home:

"At our best we can do our duty, and have nothing to boast of. And even when we do our duty, it is not by our own power and might that we do it, but by the strength which is given to us from God. Claim upon God we have none. Right to expect anything from God we have none. Worthiness to deserve anything from God we have none. All that we have we have received. All that we are we owe to God's sovereign, distinguishing grace." ~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He That Toucheth You

"He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye" Zech 2:8

HOW infinitely tender is Jehovah of His people! They had lately been visited with sore judgments; reduced to great straits; appeared to be neglected of God; were generally despised; had only just escaped from the enemy's land; and returned with weeping and supplication, like brands plucked from the burning, to their own country. And now the Lord says, "He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye." How wonderful the ways of God! As the wise physician, He will touch to cure; but He will not allow others to touch to hurt. Like the tender mother, He can correct His children Himself; but will not allow others to do so. How close the union! How peculiar the affection! How tender the sympathy! How kind the care! How constant the attention! How merciful the provision! How safe and how happy they are! Beloved, take encouragement under all your persecutions and trials; be comforted in all your afflictions; you are as near and dear to Jehovah as the apple of His eye; and you are hid under the shadow of His wings. Holy Spirit, help me daily to realize this truth!

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine.
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown thro' Christ my own.
The Believer's Daily Remembrancer by James Smith

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

To Be Born Again

"To be born again is to enter into a new existence, to have a new mind, a new heart, new views, new principles, new tastes, new affections, new likings, new dislikings, new fears, new joys, new sorrows, new love to things once hated, new hatred to things once loved, new thoughts of God, ourselves, the world, the life to come and salvation." 

~ J.C. Ryle

(Photo by Albert Williams)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Perseverance of Faith

photo by Татьяна Алёшина

We must run with patience, or we shall never obtain. There may be many things we cannot understand, much that the flesh could perhaps wish otherwise, but let us endure unto the end, then all shall be made clear, and God's arrangements shall be proved best. Think not to have your reward on earth, do not draw back because your good things are all yet to come. Today is the cross, but tomorrow is the crown. Today is the labor, but tomorrow are the wages. Today is the sowing, but tomorrow is the harvest. Today is the battle, but tomorrow is the rest. Today is the weeping, but tomorrow is the joy. And what is today compared to tomorrow? Today is but seventy years, but tomorrow is eternity. Be patient and hope unto the end. ~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Though I Be Nothing

"Though I be nothing." 2 Cor 12:11

THIS was Paul's estimate of himself: less than the least of all saints, and the chief of sinners. The more we know of ourselves and of Jesus, the more shall we be humbled in the dust before God; and the lower we lie before God, the happier and holier we shall be. Man will, MUST be something; this is his pride and his misery: the Christian is willing to be nothing, that Christ may be all in all. If we daily felt that we are nothing, how many mortifications we should be spared; what admiring views of the grace of God would fill and sanctify our souls. Apart from Christ we are less than nothing, but in Christ we are something. We are empty, but He fills us; naked, but He clothes us; helpless, but He strengthens us; lost, but He finds us; ruined, but He saves us; poor but He supplies us. All we are, is by Christ; all we have, is from Christ; all we shall be, is through Christ. Believer, thou art nothing: therefore beware of thinking too highly of thyself, or fancying that you deserve more than you receive, either from God or men. Humble souls are soon satisfied.

O could I lose myself in Thee,
Thy depth of mercy prove,
Thou vast unfathomable sea
Of unexhausted love!
I loathe myself when God I see,
Content if Christ exalted be.

The Believer's Daily Remembrancer by James Smith