The following is a collection of teachings that I have accumulated in my personal Bible study and quiet time with the

Lord over the years. They are the key points that He has impressed upon me as being important to have in our root system as we walk with Him. I hope they bless you! Mike Wilhoit, Dothan, Alabama, USA. Also, I keep this file updated in the links section at: http://www.soundclick.com/mikewilhoit 1. Every act of God builds on the past with a view towards the future. Henry Blackaby 2. God reveals the truth about Himself to those who search for it. Henry Blackaby 3. The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. 4. In your walk with God —it’s not about achieving a higher level, it’s about developing a deeper root system. 5. The look saves, the gaze sanctifies. 6. Then said Good–will, alas poor man! Is the celestial glory of so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it? John Bunyan (From The Pilgrim’s Progress) 7. We must learn that Jesus always commands the impossible. The reason is obvious. He intends to do the work Himself. 8. Open yourself up for failure so God can take control. 9. Heaven’s great refuge is all–prayer; thousands of weather–beaten vessels have found a haven there, and the moment a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with all sail. Charles H. Spurgeon 10. Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor. 11. Jesus knew His own reason for being and His purpose for living. His mission statement was crystal clear in His mind. His actions consistently reflected His purpose. (May this be said of us). 12. Stop putting your trust in human rules, devotional exercises, and acts of penance. Instead exercise a living, obedient faith in God. Live as though He were beside you and with you all the time– as

indeed He is. Seek to do what He wants, as and when He commands it, and make His command your joy and chief pleasure. The person who lives like that will be fully human, completely Christian and genuinely happy. 13. From his first sermon to his last, Paul preached Christ, and nothing but Christ. He lifted up the cross, and extolled the Son of God who bled thereon. Follow his example in all your personal efforts to spread the glad tidings of salvation, and let Christ and Him crucified be your ever recurring theme. Charles H. Spurgeon 14. He who knows Jesus shall never want. Going in and out shall be alike helpful to him; in fellowship with God he shall grow, and in watering others, he shall be watered. Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus. His soul shall be as a watered garden, and as a well of water whose waters fail not. Charles H. Spurgeon 15. If John had tried to attract attention to himself, he would have been unfaithful to his appointed task. He pointed men to Jesus and not himself. William MacDonald. 16. But our priority must be to present Jesus Christ crucified– to lift Him up all the time. Every belief that is not firmly rooted in the cross of Christ will lead people astray. If the worker himself believes in Jesus Christ and is trusting in the reality of redemption, his words will be compelling to others. What is extremely important is for the worker’s simple relationship with Jesus Christ to be strong and growing. His usefulness to God depends on that, and that alone. Oswald Chambers. 17. The secret to success, as Paul knew, was pressing on —never giving up —working always toward the goal that is set before you. The high calling of Christ requires dedication, determination, and an intense desire to accomplish it. Close your ears to detractors, forget past failures, and press on to accomplish what God has given you. Alice Thomas 18. (From The Interpreter’s Bible) The process by which Nehemiah developed into the leader and savior of his people involved the

initiative and cooperation of others besides himself. The significant part played in it by his kinsman Hanani —so often repeated in the life history of leaders who themselves are guided into their high calling by other hands that history barely remembers, or more often forgets—was a role that doubtless seemed outwardly insignificant but was inwardly indispensable. As L.W. Batten describes it: “Hanani apparently had not been in Judah himself, but he heard tidings from a company of returning pilgrims, and brought them to the cup–bearer, because of his high position and commanding influence, as well as his known interest in the welfare of Jerusalem. The visit was scarcely accidental, and so Hanani deserves credit for starting the important mission of Nehemiah”. Hanani reminds us therefore that many of us in every generation exert our greatest influence through other people more highly gifted or strategically placed than ourselves, the switch of whose life history at some critical moment we are in a position to throw toward some main track that leads them to usefulness greater than we ourselves can ever match, or may ever even know about afterward. In the pages of scripture we think at once of what Eli did for Samuel, Andrew for Peter, Phillip for Nathanael—and John the Baptist for Jesus himself. 19. To know God’s will is life’s greatest knowledge, to do God’s will is life’s greatest achievement! 20. When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Charles H. Spurgeon 21. Our greatest achievements take place when God blesses us beyond our own abilities and enables us, through His power, to succeed. No challenge is too great for us when we seek to do the will of God in the power of God for the glory of God! 22. Our talents and abilities are a gift from God. What we do with them is our gift to God. 23. The peace our Lord gives is not dependent on circumstances but on His presence in those circumstances. Be assured God is with you.

24. It’s not about what you do for God —It’s about what God does through you. 25. He who blesses others cannot fail to be blessed himself. Charles H. Spurgeon. 26. Faith is the ear which has heard God say what He will do and the eye which has seen Him doing it. Andrew Murray. 27. Girdle the earth with your praises; surround it with an atmosphere of melody, and God Himself will hearken from Heaven and accept your music. Charles H. Spurgeon 28. He who bids us let down our nets, will fill it with fishes. Charles H. Spurgeon 29. Invest in people! —Invest in eternity! 30. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life. Oswald Chambers. 31. Cowardly, wayward and weak, I change with the changing sky. Today so eager and strong, tomorrow not caring to try. But He never gives in, and we two shall win, Jesus and I. Anonymous. 32. My Gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread thro’ all the earth abroad the honors of Thy Name. Charles Wesley (O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing) 33. There is never a day so dreary, there is never a night so long, but the soul that is trusting Jesus will somewhere find a song. Wonderful, wonderful Jesus, in the heart He implanteth a song: A song of deliv’rance, of courage, of strength; in the heart He implanteth a song. Anna B. Russell 34. If you have never been amazed by the fact that you exist, then you are squandering the greatest fact of all. 35. “I felt as if I was walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial”. Winston Churchill. Proper preparation is the key to success- God prepares well!

36. Jesus Christ was a Minister that lived up to His doctrine: His life and doctrine harmonized in all things. He pressed to Holiness in His doctrine, and was the Great Pattern of Holiness in His Life, Matthew 11:28 “Learn of Me, I am meek and lowly”, and such His ministers desire to approve themselves, Phillipians 4:9 “What ye have heard and seen in Me, that do”. He preached to their eyes, as well as ears, His life was a comment on His doctrine. They might see holiness acted in His life, as well as sounded by His lips. He preached the doctrine and lived the application. John Flavel 37. So true life begins with knowing God. It begins when a man, oppressed by doubt and uncertainty, hears His voice saying, “Reach hither thy hand and thrust it into My side!” It begins when, standing under the cross, he realizes, as Luther did, “He died for me, for me!” Then the day breaks and the shadows flee away. Love conquers doubt, and the soul, beholding the unveiling of the Infinite in the passion of Christ, cries out, “My Lord and my God!” David James Burrell 38. “David the king is the great figure of this Book; and, when walking in the Light, presents a rich type of Messiah the King. The first part of the Book records the victories which accompanied his life of faith and conflict; the second part relates the defeats he suffered when prosperity had seduced him from the path of faith and had opened the door to self-will.” George Williams on Second Samuel 39. It is only he who prays that can truly preach. Many a sermon that has shown no intellectual genius and has violated all homiletic rules and standards has had dynamic spiritual force. Somehow it has moved men, melted them, molded them. The man whose lips are touched by God’s living coal from off the altar may even stammer, but his hearers soon find out that he is on fire with one consuming passion to save souls. Arthur T. Pierson 40. God’s great corrective for this disastrous inversion and perversion of the true relation of things is prayer. “Enter into thy closet.” There all is silence, secrecy, solitude, seclusion. Within that holy of holies the disciple is left alone —all others shut out, that the suppliant may be shut in —with God. The silence is in order to the hearing of the

still, small voice that is drowned in worldly clamor, and which even a human voice may cause to be unheard or indistinct. The secrecy is in order to a meeting with Him who seeth in secret and is best seen in secret. The solitude is for the purpose of being alone with the One who can fully impress with His presence only when there is no other presence to divert thought. The place of seclusion with God is the one school where we learn that He is, and is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. The closet is “not only the oratory, it is the observatory,” not for prayer only, but for prospect —the wide reaching, clear-seeing, outlook upon the eternal! The decline of prayer is therefore the decay of piety; and, for prayer to cease altogether, would be spiritual death, for it is to every child of God the breath of life. Arthur T. Pierson 41. When a man’s chief business is to serve and please the Lord, all his circumstances become his servants. Robert C. Chapman 42. Let God work out all that He intends, but have patience till He has put the last Hand to His works and then find fault with it, if you can . . . .I reckon that business as good as done, to which we have got Christ’s leave, and engaged His presence to accompany us. John Flavel 43. I must needs go home by the way of the cross, there’s no other way but this; I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light, if the way of the cross I miss. Jessie Brown Pounds from “The Way of the Cross Leads Home” 44. If you know God’s thoughts and seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit, He will say out of your mouth the right word at the right time, both to ward off an assault and to strike a telling blow for the truth. And amidst all this warfare, the light and love and gentleness of Jesus Christ will so shine out in your bearing and manner that they will be convinced of your sincerity, and God will give you the victory. George F. Pentecost 45. I think of my blessed redeemer, I think of Him all the day long; I sing, for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song. I know I shall see in His beauty the King in whose law I delight; who lovingly

guardeth my footsteps and giveth me songs in the night. Fanny J. Crosby from “Redeemed, How I Love To Proclaim It” 46. Prayer prepares us for the proper use of the answer. Warren Wiersbe 47. What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Westminster Shorter Catechism 48. If I am to be a true branch, if I am to bear fruit, if I am to be what Christ as Vine wants me to be, my whole existence must be as exclusively devoted to abiding in Him, as that of the natural branch is to abiding in its vine. Andrew Murray on John 15:4 49. The solemn work with which the Christian ministry concerns itself demands a man’s all, and that all at it’s best. To engage in it halfheartedly is an insult to God and man. Charles H. Spurgeon 50. The camp is, superficially at least, an attractive place, full of gaiety and revelry, with every possible device to delight the eye and gratify the mind of the flesh. By keeping the bright things as much as possible in evidence, and pushing the wretchedness, suffering and misery into the background, the camp manages to keep up appearances, particularly as its occupants are quite willing to be deceived, and are pretty well agreed that it is the duty of every dweller therein to be an “optimist”. Having led the Christ of God outside the gate, and put Him to death, the leaders of this “present evil age” have devoted their great talents and energies, under the superb direction and management of the “god of this age,” to the one object of making such “progress,” and developing such a glorious “civilization,” as will demonstrate that the world has no need of Christ. In carrying out this great undertaking the “leaders of this age” are sufficiently astute to provide a place inside the camp even for those “who profess and call themselves Christians,” making them welcome in the world, and even giving them positions of prominence therein, upon the single easy condition that they will accept the age’s gospel of progress, and subscribe heartily to the doctrine that “the world is getting better every day.” This condition the aforesaid “Christians” are for the greater part quite ready, not only to accept, but even to make it an article of religion, changing the Scriptures so

far as necessary to that end. Philip Mauro from “The Fundamentals” originally published in 1917. 51. No man preaches his sermon well to others if he doth not first preach it to his own heart. John Owen 52. Talent is God-given, so be thankful. Praise is man-given so be humble. Conceit is self-given, so be careful. 53. Of all I would wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, preach CHRIST, always and evermore. He is the whole gospel. His person, offices, and work must be our one great, all-encompassing theme. The world needs still to be told of its Savior, and of the way to reach Him. Justification by faith should be far more than it is the daily testimony of Protestant pulpits; and if with this master truth there should be more generally associated the other great doctrines of grace, the better for our churches and our age. If with the zeal of Methodists we preach the doctrine of Puritans a great future is before us. The fire of Wesley, and the fuel of Whitfield, will cause a burning which shall set the forests of error on fire, and warm the very soul of this cold earth. We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man’s fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through an atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-axe and weapons of war. We have enough to do to learn and teach these great truths, and accursed be that learning which shall divert us from our mission, or that wilful ignorance which shall cripple us in its pursuit. More and more am I jealous lest any views of prophecy, church government, politics, or even systematic theology, should withdraw one of us from glorying in the cross of Christ. Salvation is a theme for which I would fain enlist every holy tongue. I am greedy after witnesses for the glorious gospel of the blessed God. Oh that Christ crucified were the universal burden of men of God. Charles H. Spurgeon from “Lectures To My Students” 54. Did Christ finish His work with His own hand? How dangerous and dishonorable a thing is it to join any thing of our own to the

righteousness of Christ, in point of justification before God. Jesus Christ will never endure this; it reflects upon His work dishonorably; He does not (in this case) affect social glory: not I, and my God; I, and my Christ, did this; He will be all, or none, in your justification. If He has finished the work, what need of our additions? And if not, to what purpose are they? Can we finish that which Christ Himself could not? But we would fain be sharing with Him in this honor, which He will never endure. Did He finish the work by Himself, and will He ever divide the glory and praise of it with us? No, no, Christ is no half Savior. O it is an hard thing to bring these shroud hearts to live upon Christ for righteousness: we would fain add our penny to make up Christ’s sum. But if you would have it so, or have nothing to do with Christ, you and your penny must perish together. John Flavel on John 19:30 55. Why do some person’s “find” God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course, the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us. Pick at random a score of great saints whose lives and testimonies are widely known. Let them be Bible characters or wellknown Christians of post-biblical times. You will be struck instantly with the fact that the saints were not alike. Sometimes the unlikenesses were so great as to be positively glaring. How different, for example, was Moses from Isaiah; how different was Elijah from David; how unlike each other were John and Paul, St. Francis and Luther, Finney and Thomas a’ Kempis. The differences are as wide as human life itself—differences of race, nationality, education, temperament, habit and personal qualities. Yet they all walked, each in his day, upon a high road of spiritual living far above the common way.

Their differences must have been incidental and in the eyes of God of no significance. In some vital quality they must have been alike. What was it? I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to Heaven, something which urged them Godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis, I shall simply say that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response. They were not disobedient to the Heavenly vision. As David put it neatly, “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My Face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy Face, Lord, will I seek”. A. W. Tozer From “The Pursuit of God” 56. The greatest service that we can render to the world is to keep our hearts open to God. The great and distinctive contribution that we as Christians are called to make to the life of mankind is to be sure of God and by the contagion of our faith to help others to believe in Him; never to doubt that His love and power are sufficient for our own need and for the need of the world; to be full of hope, because our expectation is measured not by what we are in ourselves, nor by former failure, but by what God can be in us and accomplish through us. For every human life God has a plan; our supreme task is to find that plan and to yield ourselves to its fulfillment. What our work is to be cannot be left to chance or to the drift of circumstances. It must be a solemn and a sacred choice, in which our whole being, quickened and inspired by God’s Spirit, finds its fullest expression. One of our greatest needs, if we are to meet the demands of the time, is a renewed sense of the reality of God’s call to each individual. “It is almost impossible,” said one writer, “to conceive the effect on any community, large or small, of such a genuine belief in

vocation. It would revolutionize education. It would uplift the standard of service in every department of human labor. It would bring God into the very heart of life, where indeed He should ever be. There would cease to be higher and lower, secular and sacred callings, save in a limited sense. For the highest and most sacred sphere of service for anyone must be that he should find himself within the holy will of God.” For the secular life is also God’s, and if He is to be acknowledged and honored in it, as He should be, His servants must be in the heart of it—meeting its difficulties, battling its evils, bearing witness to His truth, proving that this earthly life is not sufficient in itself but has its meaning in that which lies beyond and above it. For all, whatever the particular calling, there is the same supreme calling—to live as the children of God, to be disciples and servants of Jesus Christ. One supreme ambition: to be wellpleasing in His eyes, to fight the good fight, to hear at the end from the lips of Him whom above all others we love and worship, the words, “Well done.” This complete surrender, this perfect devotion, is something too high for our mortal nature. In ourselves we cannot attain to it. But it may become ours because it too is included in the gift of the Gospel. The prize of constancy and faithful service is within reach of all of us, because it is the gift of God, freely given to those who seek it in a child like spirit. From “To Be A Child Of God” By J.H. Oldham (Decision Jan, 1996) taken from “The World and the Gospel.” 57. Satisfaction is the grave of progress. 58. Excel also in one power, which is both mental and moral, namely, the power of concentrating all your forces upon the work to which you are called. Collect your thoughts, rally all your faculties, mass your energies, focus your capacities. Turn all the springs of your soul into one channel, causing it to flow

onward in an undivided stream. Some men lack this quality. They scatter themselves and fail. Mass your battalions, and hurl them upon the enemy. Do not try to be great at this and great at that, to be “everything by turns, and nothing long;” but suffer your entire nature to be led in captivity by Jesus Christ, and lay everything at His dear feet who bled and died for you. Charles H. Spurgeon 59. Christianity is a missionary faith. The very nature of God demands this, for God is love and God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). Our Lord’s death on the cross was for the whole world. If we are the children of God and share His nature, then we will want to tell the good news to the lost world. Warren Wiersbe 60. Then, brethren, you will see that worship does not begin when you go to church. This is a very valuable part of worship, but it is secondary worship, symbolic worship. This is the day in which we cease the worship that perfectly glorifies Him in order that in song and praise and prayer we may remind ourselves of the perpetual and unending truth that life lived within His will, and according to His law, the life of holiness is the beauty that glorifies God. This service is but a pause in which in word and attitude we give expression to life’s inner song. And if there be no such inner song, there is no worship here. Worship is the perpetual poetry of Divine power and Divine love expressed in human life. Angels worship not merely when veiling their faces they sing of His holiness, but when ceasing their singing at His bidding, they fly to catch the live coal from the altar, and touch the lips of a penitent soul who sighs. It is true “they also serve who only stand and wait.” But it is equally true that they also worship who serve, and serve perpetually. And it is in the service of a life, not specific acts done as apart from the life, not because I teach in Sunday school, or preach here, that I worship. I may preach here today, and never worship. But because my life is found in His law, is answering His call, responsive to His provision and arrangement, so almost, without knowing it, my life has become a song, a praise, an anthem.

So I worship! I join the angels, and all nature, in worship when I become what God intends I should be. G. Campbell Morgan 61. We must by some means secure uninterrupted meditation, or we shall lose power. Charles H. Spurgeon 62. There is something in the very tone of the man who has been with Jesus which has more power to touch the heart than the most perfect oratory: remember this and maintain an unbroken walk with God. You will need much night-work in secret if you are to gather many of your Lord’s lost sheep. Only by prayer and fasting can you gain power to cast out the worst of devils. Let men say what they will about sovereignty, God connects special success with special states of heart, and if these are lacking He will not do many mighty works. Charles H. Spurgeon 63. Brethren, we must plead. Entreaties and beseechings must blend with our instructions. Any and every appeal which will reach the conscience and move men to fly to Jesus we must perpetually employ, if by any means we may save some. Charles H. Spurgeon 64. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, allsufficient, shall be thy supply: The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine, thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine. From “How Firm A Foundation” 65. When I consider how the goodness of God is abused by the greatest part of mankind, I cannot but be of his mind that said, The greatest miracle in the world is God’s patience and bounty to an ungrateful world. If a prince hath an enemy got into one of his towns, he doth not send them in provision, but lays close siege to the place, and doth what he can to starve them. But the great God, that could wink all His enemies into destruction, bears with them, and is at daily cost to maintain them. Well may He command us to bless them that curse us, who Himself does good to the evil and unthankful. But think not, sinners, that you shall escape thus; God’s mill goes slow, but grinds small; the more admirable His patience and bounty now is, the more dreadful and unsupportable will that fury be which

ariseth out of His abused goodness. Nothing is smoother than the sea, yet when stirred into a tempest, nothing rageth more. Nothing is so sweet as the patience and goodness of God, and nothing is so terrible as His wrath when it takes fire. William Gurnall 66. How often in the trials of life we are prone to imitate the faithless disciples and cry out, “Lord, don’t You care?” Of course, He cares! He arose and rebuked the storm, and immediately there was a great calm. But Jesus did not stop with the calming of the elements, for the greatest danger was not the wind or the waves: it was the unbelief in the hearts of the disciples. Our greatest problems are within us, not around us. This explains why Jesus gently rebuked them and called them “men of little faith.” They had heard Him teach the Word and had even seen Him perform miracles, and yet they still had no faith. It was their unbelief that caused their fear, and their fear made them question whether Jesus really cared. We must beware of “an evil heart of unbelief.” Warren Wiersbe 67. Seldom was any knowledge given to keep, but to impart. Joseph Hall 68. After all, why do you think this world is so important? This world has never treated you like a friend. You owe it little love. Why should you go courting after it? The world will never be a faithful partner to you. Never seek warm fire under cold ice. This is not a field where your happiness grows; it is up above, where there are a great multitude, which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands (Rev. 7:9). What you could never get here you shall find there. Consider how in all these trials (and truly they have been many) your Lord has been loosening you at the root from perishing things, and hunting after you to grip your soul. Madam, for the Son of God’s sake, do not weaken His grip on you, but stay and abide in the love of God, as Jude says (Jude 21). Letter to Lady Kenmure from Samuel Rutherford September 1634 69. If Christ has our love, He has our all; and Christ never has what He deserves from us, till He has our love. True love withholds

nothing from Christ, when it is sincerely set upon Him. If we actually love Him, He will have our time, and He will have our service, and He will have the use of all our resources, and gifts, and graces; indeed, then He shall have our possessions, freedom, and our very lives, whenever He calls for them. In the same way, when God loves any of us, He will withhold nothing from us that is good for us. He does not hold back His own only begotten Son, Rom.8:32. When Christ loves us, He gives us everything we need—His merits to justify us, His Spirit to sanctify us, His grace to adorn us, and His glory to crown us. Therefore, when any of us love Christ sincerely, we lay everything down at His feet, and give up all to be at His command and service: “And they loved not their lives unto the death,” Rev. 12:11. Thomas Doolittle 70. If once (like Hezekiah) we call in spectators to see our treasure and applaud us for our gifts and comfort, then it is high time for God to send some messengers to carry these away from us, which carry our hearts from Him . . . . Pride of gifts hinders the receiving of good from others. Pride fills the soul, and a full soul will take nothing from God, much less from man. Joseph’s coat made him finer than his brethren, but caused all his trouble; thus great gifts lift a saint up a little higher in the eyes of men, but it occasions many temptations which thou meetest not with that are kept low; what with envy from their brethren, malice from Satan, and pride in their own hearts, I dare say none find so hard a work to bear up against those waves and winds. While thou art priding in thy gifts, thou art dwindling and withering in thy grace. Such are like corn that runs up much into straw, whose ear commonly is light and thin. Grace is too much neglected where gifts are too highly prized; we are commanded to be clothed with humility . . . . Pride kills the spirit of praise: when thou should bless God, thou art applauding thyself. It destroys Christian love, and stabs our fellowship with the saints to the heart: a proud man hath not room enough to walk in company, because the gifts of others he thinks stand in his way. Pride so distempers

the palate that it can relish nothing that is drawn from another’s vessel . . . . Pride loves to climb up, not as Zaccheus, to see Christ, but to be seen himself. William Gurnall from “The Christian In Complete Armour” 71. Pray in prosperity, that thou mayest not be ensnared by it. Prosperity is no friend to the memory, therefore we are cautioned so much to beware when we are full, lest we forget God. You shall find, in Scripture, that the saints have had their saddest falls on the most even ground. Noah, who had seen the whole world drowned in water, no sooner was safe on shore, but himself is drowned in wine. David’s heart was fixed when in the wilderness, but his wanton eye rolled and wandered when he walked upon the terrace of his palace. William Gurnall 72. He hath engaged to answer the prayers of His people, and fulfill the desires of them that fear Him (Ps. cxlv. 19); but it proves a long voyage sometimes before the praying saint hath the return of his adventure. There comes often a long and sharp winter between the sowing time of prayer and the reaping. He hears us, indeed, as soon as we pray, but we often do not hear of Him so soon. Prayers are not long on their journey to Heaven, but long coming thence in a full answer. Never was faithful prayer lost at sea. No merchant trades with such certainty as the praying saint. Some prayers, indeed, have a longer voyage than others, but then they come with the richer lading at last. William Gurnall 73. Whoever loves much, does much. Thomas a‘ Kempis 74. Jesus had called these men to follow Him, and they knew that whatever happened to Him would happen to them. If there was a cross in His future, there would be one in their future as well. That would be reason enough to disagree with Him! In spite of their devotion to Him, the disciples were still ignorant of the true relationship between the cross and the crown. They were following Satan’s philosophy (glory without suffering) instead of God’s philosophy (suffering transformed into glory). Which philosophy you accept will determine how you live and how you serve. Warren Wiersbe on Mark 8:31-38

75. I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God is not after perfecting me to be a specimen in His show-room; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He likes. Oswald Chambers 76. Walk not according to the course of the most, but after the example of the Best. John Flavel 77. It is God’s word that does convert, quicken, comfort, and build up, or, on the other side, wound and beat down. What is the reason that there was so great an alteration made by the ministry of Christ and his disciples, by the apostles and others after them, indeed, by Luther, and other ministers of reformed churches? They did not preach traditions of elders like the scribes; nor men’s inventions like the Roman Catholics do. They preached the pure word of God. The more purely God’s word is preached, the more deeply it pierces and the more kindly it works. William Gouge 78. The flesh is not only the common idol, but the most devouring idol in all the world. It hath not, as subservient, flattered idols have, only a knee and compliment, or now and then a sacrifice or ceremony, but it hath the heart, the tongue, the body to serve it; the whole estate, the service of friends, the use of wit and utmost diligence; in a word, it hath all. It is loved and served by the sensualist, as God should be loved and served by His own, even “with all their heart, and soul, and might: “they” honour it with their substance, and the first fruits of their increase.” It is as faithfully served as Christ requireth to be of His disciples: men will part with father, and mother, and brother, and sister, and nearest friends, and all that is against it, for the pleasing of their flesh. Nay, Christ required men to part with no greater matter for Him than transitory earthly things, which they must shortly part with whether they will or no; but they do for the flesh ten thousand thousandfold more than ever they were required to do for Christ. They forsake God for it. They forsake Christ, and Heaven, and their salvation for it. They forsake all the solid comforts

of this life, and all the joys of the life to come for it. They sell all that they have, and lay down the price at its feet; yea, more than all they have, even all their hopes of what they might have to all eternity. They suffer a martyrdom in the flames of hell for ever, for their flesh. All the pains they take is for it. All the wrong they do to others, and all the stirs and rums they make in the world, is for it. And all the time they spend is for it: and had they a thousand years more to live, they would spend it accordingly. If any thing seem excepted for God, it is but the bones, or crumbs, or leavings of the flesh; or rather, it is nothing: for God hath not indeed the hours which He seems to have, He hath but a few fair words and compliments, when the flesh hath their hearts in the midst of their hypocritical worship, and on His holy day; and they serve Him but as the Indians serve the devil, that He may serve their turns, and do them no hurt. Richard Baxter 79. Faith without works cannot be called faith. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), and dead faith is worse than no faith at all. Faith must work; it must produce; it must be visible. Verbal faith is not enough; mental faith is insufficient. Faith must be there, but it must be more. It must inspire action. Throughout his epistle to Jewish believers, James integrates true faith and everyday practical experience by stressing that true faith must manifest itself in works of faith. Faith endures trials. Trials come and go, but a strong faith will face them head-on and develop endurance. Faith understands temptations. It will not allow us to consent to our lust and slide into sin. Faith obeys the Word. It will not merely hear and not do. Faith produces doers. Faith harbors no prejudice. For James, faith and favoritism cannot coexist. Faith displays itself in works. Faith is more than mere words; it is more than knowledge; it is demonstrated by obedience; and it overtly responds to the promises of God. Faith controls the tongue. This small but immensely powerful part of the body must be held in check. Faith can do it. Faith acts wisely. It gives the ability to choose wisdom that is heavenly and to shun wisdom that is earthly. Faith produces separation from the world and submission to God. It provides us with the ability to resist the

Devil and humbly draw near to God. Finally, faith waits patiently for the coming of the Lord. Through trouble and trial it stifles complaining. (From the introduction to James in the Nelson New King James Bible.) 80. Jesus made love the most important thing in life, because “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:8-10). If we love God, we will experience His love within and will express that love to others. We do not live by rules but by relationships, a loving relationship to God that enables us to have a loving relationship with others. Warren Wiersbe 81. What does it mean when a person is “not far from the kingdom of God”? It means he or she is facing truth honestly and is not interested in defending a “party line” or even personal prejudices. It means the person is testing his or her faith by what the Word of God says and not by what some religious group demands. People close to the kingdom have the courage to stand up for what is true even if they lose some friends and make some new enemies. Warren Wiersbe 82. It is character that makes a person valuable, and nobody can give you character: you must develop it yourself as you walk with God. Warren Wiersbe 83. Neptune had long been shining before he was discovered and named; and you and I, brethren, may remain unknown for years, and possibly the world may never discover us; but I trust that our influence, like that of Neptune, will be felt and recognized, whether we are seen of men, or only shine in solitary splendor to the glory of God. (Charles H. Spurgeon on the discovery of Neptune due to its effects on the orbit of Uranus). 84. Poor souls are apt to think that all those whom they read of or hear of to be gone to Heaven, went thither because they were so good and so holy . . . Yet not one of them, not any man that is now in Heaven (Jesus Christ alone excepted), did ever come thither any other way but by forgiveness of sins. And that will also bring us

higher, though we come short of many of them in holiness and grace. John Owen 85. A student may easily exhaust his life in comparing divines and moralists without any practical regard to morals and religion; he may be learning not to live but to reason . . . while the chief use of his volumes is unthought of, his mind is unaffected, and his life is unreformed. Samuel Johnson 86. Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the witness of an unfathomable peace, which is not natural, but the peace of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, tarry til it does or find out the reason why it does not. If you are acting on an impulse, or from a sense of the heroic, the peace of Jesus will not witness; there is no simplicity or confidence in God, because the spirit of simplicity is born of the Holy Ghost, not of your decisions. Every decision brings a reaction of simplicity. My questions come whenever I cease to obey. When I have obeyed God, the problems never come between me and God, they come as probes to keep the mind going on with amazement at the revelation of God. Any problem that comes between God and myself springs out of disobedience; any problem, and there are many, that is alongside me while I obey God, increases my ecstatic delight, because I know that my Father knows, and I am going to watch and see how He unravels this thing. Oswald Chambers 87. Let a clergyman but intend to please God in all his actions, as the happiest and best thing in the world, and then he will know that there is nothing noble in a clergyman but a burning zeal for the salvation of souls; nor anything poorer in his profession than idleness and a worldly spirit. William Law 88. We will have all of eternity to celebrate the victories, yet only a few hours before sunset in which to win them. Amy Carmichael 89. I have no doubt that historians will conclude that we of the twentieth century had intelligence enough to create a great civilization but not the moral wisdom to preserve it. A.W. Tozer

90. The honor of this world doesn’t last, it is transient, it passes away; and I don’t believe any man or woman is fit for God’s service that is looking for worldly preferment, worldly honors and worldly fame. Let us get it under our feet, let us rise above it, and seek the honor that comes down from above. D.L. Moody 91. All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education. Sir Walter Scott 92. I am positive that much that passes for the gospel in our day is very little more than a mild case of orthodox religion grafted onto a heart that is sold out to the world and its pleasures and tastes and ambitions. A.W. Tozer 93. Waiting for God, then, means power to do nothing save under command. This is not lack of power to do anything. Waiting for God needs strength rather than weakness. It is the power to do nothing. It is the strength that holds strength in check. It is the strength that prevents the blundering activity which is entirely false and will make the true activity impossible when the definite command comes. G. Campbell Morgan 94. I have thus shown what it is to walk with God, the blessed consequences, and the means. May I not now, my Christian brethren, urge upon you this delightful duty? It is what you owe to the blessed God, your Father and Savior, who has astonished heaven by His kindness to you, and whose mercies, if you are not deceived, will hold you entranced to eternity. It is what you owe to Him, and it will secure you a happy life, more than all the wealth and honors of the world. It is heaven begun below. Do you not wish to be happy? Bend all your cares then to walk with God. Be not satisfied with a general desire to do this, but fix systematically on the means prescribed. Pursue those means hourly, daily, yearly. Reduce your life to a system under the regulation of these rules. Good old Enoch could walk with God three hundred years. And he has never seen cause to repent it. Could you have access to him in his glory, would he express regret for the pleasant mode of spending the last three

hundred years of his life? We are apt to think that we are not expected to aim at the superior piety of the ancient saints. But why paralyze every power by such a stupid mistake? Are we not under as great obligations? Is not God as worthy of obedience now as in the days of old? Have the increased displays of His mercy in the Gospel impaired His claims? Has the affecting scene of Calvary rendered Him less lovely in the eyes of sinners? Are the means used with mankind less than in the patriarchal age? Or are the happy consequences of a walk with God worn out by time? Why should we then content ourselves with being scarcely alive, when so many saints have been through life rapt in communion with God? Do we thirst for honors? What honor is so great as to be the companion and son and favorite of the everlasting God? Do we wish for riches? Who is so rich as the heir of Him who owns all the treasures of the universe? Do we prize the best society? What better society can be found than Enoch had? Does any valuable consideration move us, or any ingenuous motive, O let us never cease to walk with God. Amen. 95. Although tares, or impure vessels, are found in the church, yet this is not a reason why we should withdraw from it. It only behooves us to labor that we may be vessels of gold or of silver. But to break in pieces the vessels of earth belongs to the Lord alone, to whom a rod of iron is also given. Nor let any one arrogate to himself what is exclusively the province of the Son of God, by pretending to fan the floor, clear away the chaff, and separate all the tares by the Judgment of man. This is proud obstinacy and sacrilegious presumption, originating in a corrupt frenzy. St. Cyprian 96. In comparing one ministerial identity with another he reminded other pastors that at the last supper there was a chalice for drinking the wine and there was a basin for washing feet. Then he said, I protest that I have no choice whether to be the chalice or the basin. Fain would I be whichever the Lord wills so long as He will but use me . . . .So you, my brother, you may be the cup, and I will be the basin; but let the cup be a cup, and the basin a basin, and each one of us just what he is fitted to be. Be yourself, dear brother, for, if you are not yourself, you cannot be anybody else; and so, you see, you

must be nobody . . . .Do not be a mere copyist, a borrower, a spoiler of other men’s notes. Say what God has said to you, and say it in your own way; and when it is so said, plead personally for the Lord’s blessing upon it. John Piper on Charles H. Spurgeon 97. God’s purposes often ripen slowly and if the door is shut, don’t put your shoulder to it, wait till Christ takes out the key and opens it up. John Stott 98. Those preachers whose voices were clear and mighty for truth during life continue to preach in their graves. Being dead, they yet speak and whether men put their ears to their tombs or not, they cannot but hear them . . . Often the death of a man is a kind of new birth to him when he himself is gone physically, he spiritually survives, and from his grave there shoots up a tree of life whose leaves heal nations. O’ worker for God, death cannot touch thy sacred mission! Be thou content to die if the truth shall live the better because thou diest. Be thou content to die, because death may be to thee the enlargement of thine influence. Good men die as dies the seed–corn which thereby abideth not alone. When saints are apparently laid in the earth, they quit the earth, and rise and mount to Heaven–gate, and enter into immortality. No, when the sepulchre receives this mortal frame, we shall not die, but live. Charles H. Spurgeon 99. Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle. Andrew Bonar 100. Whatever task God is calling us to, if it is yours, it is mine, and if it is mine, it is yours. We must do it together —or be cast aside together, and God in his absolute freedom goes on by other means to use His Church in hastening His Kingdom. Howard Hewlett Clark 101. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized. Oswald Chambers 102. The Gospel is calculated and designed to stain the pride of human glory. It is provided, not for the wise and the righteous, for those who think they have good dispositions and good works, to

plead, but for the guilty, the helpless, the wretched, for those who are ready to perish; it fills the hungry with good things, but it sends the rich empty away. John Newton 103. To combine zeal with prudence is indeed difficult. There is often too much self in our zeal, and too much of the fear of man in our prudence. However, what we cannot attain by any skill or resolution of our own, we may hope in measure to receive from Him who giveth liberally to those who seek Him, and desire to serve Him. Prudence is a word much abused but there is a Heavenly wisdom, which the Lord has promised to give to those who humbly wait upon Him for it. It does not consist in forming a bundle of rules and maxims, but in a spiritual taste and discernment, derived from an experimental knowledge of the truth, and of the heart of man, as described in the word of God; and its exercise consists much in a simple dependence upon the Lord, to guide and prompt us in every action. We seldom act wrong, when we truly depend upon Him, and can cease from leaning to our own understanding. When the heart is thus in a right tune and frame, and His word dwells richly in us, there is a kind of immediate perception of what is proper for us to do in present circumstances, without much painful inquiry; a light shines before us upon the path of duty; and if He permits us in such a spirit to make some mistakes, He will likewise teach us to profit by them; and our reflections upon what was wrong one day, will make us to act more wisely the next. At the best, we must always expect to meet with new proofs of our own weakness and insufficiency; otherwise how should we be kept humble, or know how to prize the liberty He allows us of coming to the throne of grace, for fresh forgiveness and direction every day? But if He enables us to walk before Him with a single eye, He will graciously accept our desire of serving Him better if we could, and His blessing will make our feeble endeavors in some degree successful, at the same time that we see defects and evils attending our best services, sufficient to make us ashamed of them. John Newton

104. God doth not value that man’s service, who accounts not his service a privilege and a pleasure. Stephen Charnock 105. Observe when God sends an invitation, and hoist up the sails when the winds begin to blow. Stephen Charnock 106. On the other hand, there is a sober decent way of speaking of God, and goodness, and benevolence, and sobriety, which the world will bear well enough;––nay, we may say a little about Jesus Christ, as ready to make up the deficiencies of our honest and good endeavors, and this will not displease them. But if we preach Him as the only foundation, lay open the horrid evils of the human heart, tell our hearers that they are dead in trespasses and sins, and have no better ground of hope in themselves than the vilest malefactors in order to exalt the glory of Jesus, as saving those who are saved wholly and freely for His own name’s sake; if we tell the virtuous and decent, as well as the profligate, that unless they are born again, and made partakers of living faith, and count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, they cannot be saved; this the world cannot bear. We shall be called knaves or fools, uncharitable bigots, and twenty hard names. If you have met with nothing like this, I wish it may lead you to suspect whether you have yet received the right key to the doctrines of Christ; for, depend upon it, the offense of the cross is not ceased. John Newton 107. Speak your heart and maybe you could shed light on the shadow of someone’s doubt. From the song “Live Right” by Rich Mullins 108. 1. When there is a want of brotherly love and Christian confidence among professors of religion, then a revival is needed. Then there is a loud call for God to revive his work. When Christians have sunk down into a low and backslidden state, they neither have, nor ought to have, nor is there reason to have, the same love and confidence toward each other, as when they are all alive, and active, and living holy lives . . . 2. When there are dissensions, and jealousies, and evil speakings among professors of religion, then there is great need of a revival. These things show that Christians have got far from God, and it is

time to think earnestly of a revival. Religion cannot prosper with such things in the church, and nothing can put an end to them like a revival. 3. When there is a worldly spirit in the church: it is manifest that the church is sunk down into a low and backslidden state, when you see Christians conform to the world in dress, equipage, parties, seeking worldly amusements, reading novels and other books such as the world reads. It shows that they are far from God, and that there is a great need of a Revival of Religion. 4. When the church finds its members falling into gross and scandalous sins, then it is time for the church to awake and cry to God for a Revival of Religion. When such things are taking place as give enemies of religion an occasion for reproach, it is time for the church to ask God, “What will become of Thy great name?” 5. When there is a spirit of controversy in the church or in the land, a revival is needful. The spirit of religion is not the spirit of controversy. There can be no prosperity in religion, where the spirit of controversy prevails. 6. When the wicked triumph over the church, and revile them, it is time to seek for a Revival of Religion. 7. When sinners are careless and stupid, and sinking into hell unconcerned, it is time the church should bestir themselves. It is as much the duty of the church to awake, as it is for the firemen to awake when a fire breaks out in the night in a great city. The church ought to put out the fires of hell which are laying hold of the wicked. Sleep! Should the firemen sleep, and let the whole city burn down, what would be thought of such firemen? And yet their guilt would not compare with the guilt of Christians who sleep while sinners around them are sinking stupid into the fires of hell. Charles G. Finney 109. Yes, I am among the things of God. Somehow I am coming to be quite sure that I am intended for co-operation with Him, for my life rises to highest heights, and feels the largest

ecstasy, and becomes conscious of the greatest things, in those moments when I know I am doing something with God. I am not speaking only of Christian service —that ultimately, that is the crowning glory —but of the smallest things. When you are really in your garden, doing the thing in the garden that presently will smile back at you in all the colors and beauties that come out of God’s earth, those are the days and moments when you live. G. Campbell Morgan 110. Practically then, I say, Pray as He did, until prayer makes you cease praying. Pray until prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God’s will. The divine wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become strong to meet it. “There appeared an angel unto Him from Heaven, strengthening Him.” That was the true reply to His prayer. Frederick W. Robertson 111. Prayer, then, is a necessity of our humanity rather than a duty. To force it as a duty is dangerous. Christ did not; He never commanded it and never taught it until asked. Frederick W. Robertson 112. He is teaching you these things, and I trust He will teach you to the end. Remember the growth of a believer is not like a mushroom, but like an oak, which increases slowly indeed, but surely. Many suns, showers, and frosts pass upon it before it comes to perfection; and in winter, when it seems dead, it is gathering strength at the root. Be humble, watchful, and diligent in the means, and endeavor to look through all, and fix your eye upon Jesus, and all shall be well. I commend you to the care of the good Shepherd, and remain, for His sake. John Newton 113. Waiting for God to sound the marching order is sometimes harder than the tasks He leads us to accomplish. We are anxious to move on, to get something done, to leave our barren desert. But God’s timing is perfect. He alone knows when we need to rest in our tents and when we need to resume the journey. It’s only by keeping His charge that we make any progress at all. Cathleen Armstrong

114. They also serve who only stand and wait. John Milton 115. One day, when Jesus comes or when we go to Him, we shall join in the song of those who are able to look back on the past and see from the heights of Immanuel’s Land that every turn and twist of the road and every experience was put into God’s definite and perfect plan. J. Stuart Holden 116. It is indeed natural to us to wish and to plan, and it is merciful in the Lord to disappoint our plans, and to cross our wishes. For we cannot be safe, much less happy, but in proportion as we are weaned from our own wills, and made simply desirous of being directed by His guidance. This truth (when we are enlightened by His Word) is sufficiently familiar to the judgment; but we seldom learn to reduce it to practice, without being trained awhile in the school of disappointment. The schemes we form look so plausible and convenient, that when they are broken, we are ready to say, What a pity! We try again, and with no better success; we are grieved, and perhaps angry, and plan out another, and so on; at length, in a course of time, experience and observation begin to convince us, that we are not more able than we are worthy to choose aright for ourselves. Then the Lord’s invitation to cast our cares upon Him, and His promise to take care of us, appear valuable; and when we have done planning, His plan in our favor gradually opens, and He does more and better for us than we either ask or think. I can hardly recollect a single plan of mine, of which I have not since seen reason to be satisfied, that had it taken place in season and circumstance just as I proposed, it would, humanly speaking, have proved my ruin; or at least it would have deprived me of the greater good the Lord had designed for me. We judge of things by their present appearances, but the Lord sees them in their consequences, if we could do so likewise we should be perfectly of His mind; but as we cannot, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us, whether we are pleased with His management or not; and it is spoken of

as one of his heaviest judgments, when He gives any person or people up to the way of their own hearts, and to walk after their own counsels. John Newton 117. Let me have His presence and His Spirit, wisdom to know my calling, and opportunities and faithfulness to improve them; and as to the rest, Lord, help me to say, “What Thou wilt, when Thou wilt, and how Thou wilt.” John Newton 118. They who study the Scriptures, in an humble dependence upon divine teaching, are convinced of their own weakness, are taught to make a true estimate of everything around them, are gradually formed into a spirit of submission to the will of God, discover the nature and duties of their several situations and relations in life, and the snares and temptations to which they are exposed. The word of God dwells richly in them, is a preservative from error, a light to their feet, and a spring of strength and consolation. By treasuring up the doctrines, precepts, promises, examples, and exhortations of Scripture, in their minds, and daily comparing themselves with the rule by which they walk, they grow into an habitual frame of spiritual wisdom, and acquire a gracious taste, which enables them to judge of right and wrong with a degree of readiness and certainty, as a musical ear judges of sounds. And they are seldom mistaken, because they are influenced by the love of Christ, which rules in their hearts, and a regard to the glory of God, which is the great object they have in view. In particular cases, the Lord opens and shuts for them, breaks down walls of difficulty which obstruct their path, or hedges up their way with thorns, when they are in danger of going wrong, by the dispensations of His providence. They know that their concernments are in His hands; they are willing to follow whither and when He leads; but are afraid of going before Him. Therefore they are not impatient: because they believe, they will not make haste, but wait daily upon Him in prayer; especially when they find their hearts most engaged in any purpose or pursuit, they are most jealous of being deceived by appearances, and dare

not move farther or faster than they can perceive His light shining upon their paths. I express at least their desire, if not their attainment: thus they would be. And though there are seasons when faith languishes, and self too much prevails, this is their general disposition; and the Lord, whom they serve, does not disappoint their expectations. He leads them by a right way, preserves them from a thousand snares, and satisfies them that He is and will be their guide even unto death. John Newton 119. Remember that God’s delays are not the delays of inactivity but of preparation. Warren Wiersbe 120. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His excellencies and His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has ever known all the fulness of the heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. Paul now grown old, sitting, gray haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome—he could say, with greater power than we can, “I know whom I have believed?” —for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like the ascending to another summit, and his death seemed like the gaining of the very top of the mountain from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Charles H. Spurgeon 121. Take time to be holy, speak oft with the Lord; Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word; Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak; Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone; By looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide, And run not before Him whatever betide;

In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord, And looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul; Each thought and each motive beneath His control; Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above. William D. Longstaff 122. I am, therefore, trying to say in the spiritual realm what Lord Fisher once said in the realm of material warfare. He said, “Compel your enemy to fight you on your own drill ground.” Yes, indeed, and when we fight the world and the flesh and the devil on the drill ground of prayer, we have a certain victory. Let us bring our evil thoughts to the field of prayer. Let us drag our mean judgments to the field of prayer. Let us drive our ignoble purpose and our insane prejudices and our malicious practices and our tyrannical passions to the same field. Let us fight them on our own drill ground and slay them there. Men ought always to bring their evil antagonisms and difficulties into the presence of God. Force them into God’s holy place and there fight and slay. Men ought always to pray, and they will not faint in the heaviest day. John Henry Jowett 123. The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things—tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. The saint never knows the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it— “I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation,” says Paul. Oswald Chambers 124. Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.” The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.

The final stage in the life of faith is attainment of character. There are many passing transfigurations of character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God enwrapping us and for the time being we are changed, then we get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes. The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting. It is not a question of sanctification; but of something infinitely further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proved and has stood the test. Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith, a tried faith built on a real God. “Abraham believed God.” Oswald Chambers 125. Whatever interpretation we take of the book of Revelation, it is undeniable that the church of Laodicea presents a vivid picture of the age in which we live. Luxury-living abounds on every hand while souls are dying for want of the gospel. Christians are wearing crowns instead of bearing a cross. We become more emotionally stirred over sports, politics, or television than we do over Christ. There is little sense of spiritual need, little longing for true revival. We give the best of our lives to the business world, then turn over the remnants of a wasted career to the Savior. We cater to our bodies which in a few short years will return to dust. We accumulate instead of forsake, lay up treasures on earth instead of in Heaven. The general attitude is, “Nothing too good for the people of God. If I don’t pamper myself, who will? Let’s get ahead in the world and give our spare evenings to the Lord.” This is our condition on the eve of Christ’s Return. William MacDonald 126. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay on the Mount of Transfiguration, but we must obey the light we received there; we must act it out. When God gives a vision, transact business on that line, no matter what it costs. Oswald Chambers 127. Written across Calvary is sacrifice; written across this age of ours is pleasure. On the lips of Christ are the stern words, I must die. On the lips of this age of ours, I must enjoy. When I think of the passion

to be rich and the judgment of everything by money standards, of the feverish desire at all costs to be happy, of the frivolity, of the worship of success; and then contrast it with the “pale and solemn scene” upon the hill, I know that the offense of Calvary is not ceased. Unto the Jews a stumbling block —unto far more than the Jews: unto a pleasure-loving world and a dead church. Therefore say nothing about it. Let it be. Make everything interesting, pleasant, easy. Then is the offense of the cross ceased —and with it the power of the gospel. George H. Morrison 128. The heavens declare the glory of God—yes, but His Holy Word declares it more plainly still. And it is declared most plainly of all in the Incarnate Word—in Jesus Christ. If you want to behold the “beauty of the Lord,” you can do better than study the book of nature; come and study Jesus Christ, for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and He and the Father are one. John Daniel Jones 129. If you are “looking off unto Jesus,” avoiding the call of the religious age you live in, and setting your heart on what He wants, on thinking on His line—you will be called unpractical and dreamy; but when He appears in the burden and the heat of the day, you will be the only one who is ready. Trust no one, not even the finest saint who ever walked this earth, ignore him, if he hinders your sight of Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers 130. But the man of faith can go alone into the wilderness and get on his knees and command Heaven—God is in that. The man who will dare to stand and let his preaching cost him something—God is in that. The Christian who is willing to put himself in a place where he must get the answer from God and God alone—the Lord is in that. A.W. Tozer 131. There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other. St. Augustine

132. A Moravian leper hospital nurse in Jerusalem, who had won only one leper to Christ in a year, turned to a group of American young people who visited her hospital and said, “You Americans like to count big numbers as a result of service. Ours is not to count results, but to be faithful.” W.O. Vaught, Jr. 133. The great lesson of Peter’s denial is that wherever there is arrested development of Christian life there must follow deterioration of Christian character. Life must make progress to higher levels or sink lower until it pass away. I must follow Jesus Christ wholly and absolutely without question, or there will be an ever widening breach between Him and myself, until I, even I, presently shall deny Him with blasphemy over some flickering imitation fire. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” G. Campbell Morgan 134. You can see Christ in the street as well as in the sanctuary, on Monday as well as on Sunday. Wherever a soul obeys Him and demonstrates love He answers love with manifestation, and every manifestation leaves its impress upon your brow, its light in your eyes, its elasticity in your step. So by the commonplace of obedience I climb to the mountain of vision, demonstrating my love by keeping His commandments, seeing Him where I did not dream He could appear. G. Campbell Morgan 135. Yes, the darkest night has stars in it, and a Christian is a man who fixes not on the darkness but on the stars; and especially on the one bright morning star that is always shining—Jesus! When the low mood comes, open your New Testament. Read it imaginatively. Stand on the shore at Capernaum. Visit the home at Bethany. Sit by Jacob’s well, and in the upper room. Look into Jesus’ eyes. Listen to His voice. Take a walk round by Calvary. Remember the crown of thorns. Then tell yourself (for it is truth), “All this was for me! The Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me.” And see if a passion of praise does not send the low mood flying, and you begin to feel like Charles Kingsley when he wrote to a friend, “Must we not thank, and thank, and thank forever, and toil and toil forever

for Him?” “While I live I will praise Thee: I will sing praises to my God while I have any being.” James S. Stewart 136. The Church has always found it easier to fulfill her priestly than her prophetic role. The temptation to institutionalism is always with us, and who will profess himself guiltless? We reduce Christianity to the service of an institution, the Church, for this enables us to be active in what is fondly called “the work of the Lord,” while at the same time failing to grapple with the fundamental problem for all Christians, that of winning our generation for Christ. In our little circle of like-minded people we condemn outsiders because they do not come in. Perhaps we even make half-hearted attempts to get them to come in. And then we snuggle down again in the warmth of our fellowship, comforted that we have done all that might reasonably be expected of men in our situation. Fortified with this consolation we concentrate on keeping the institution, the Church, running as it should. Leon Morris 137. Caught by conscience in my sin, I drag myself before Your Face And all my shame shouts out my guilt and calls for condemnation. But as Your eyes read all in mine and neither blink nor charge I hear the fall of stones unthrown and weep in my salvation. Ann Cole 138. Men love to trust God (as they profess) for what they have in their hands, in possession, or what lies in an easy view; place their desires afar off, carry their accomplishment behind the clouds out of their sight, interpose difficulties and perplexities—their hearts are instantly sick. They cannot wait for God; they do not trust Him, nor ever did. Would you have the presence of God with you? Learn to wait quietly for the salvation you expect from Him. John Owen 139. Thou has made us, O Lord, for Thyself, and our heart shall find no rest till it rest in Thee! St. Augustine 140. God’s love for His own is not a pampering love; it is a perfecting love. The fact that He loves us, and we love Him is no guarantee that we will be sheltered from the problems and pains of life. After all, the Father loves His Son: and yet the Father permitted His

beloved Son to drink the cup of sorrow and experience the shame and pain of the Cross. We must never think that love and suffering are incompatible. Certainly they unite in Jesus Christ. Warren Wiersbe 141. Whenever, in the presence of super abounding need, man says, “It is not the psychological moment,” know well that the cleverness of his argument is revelation of the carelessness of his heart. The time is not come; we are waiting for the time, for some moment electric with inspirational opportunity. People who wait for that moment never find it, and do not want to find it. G. Campbell Morgan 142. If Christ and His work and His sacrifice do not result in Christlikeness in you and me, then for us it is quite valueless, and has entirely failed; and, insofar as you and I are concerned, Christ was thrown away in vain. How, then, is it with you and me? Be very sure that upon Calvary it was no strange, immoral favoritism that came into operation, whereby because of some beliefs that remain mere dead letters, that produce no change whatever in their characters, some people living the same kind of life as others and following the same selfish interests and ends as they, are given a destiny entirely different. That is the vainest of vain dreams. Rather is this the supreme revelation of a new way of living life; and only those who— blunderingly, it may be, yet honestly—seek to adopt and imitate it can be counted really Christian folk. A. J. Gossip 143. Shall we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high, Shall we to men benighted the lamp of life deny? Salvation! O Salvation! The joyful sound proclaim, Till earth’s remotest nation has learned Messiah’s name Reginald Heber 144. But Manoah’s wife was of a hopeful turn of mind. She had the eye which sees flecks of blue in the darkest skies. She had the ear which hears the softest goings of the Eternal. She was an interpreter of the Divine thought. Oh, to have such an interpreter in every pulpit, to have such a companion on the highway of venture and enterprise! This is the eye that sees further than the dull eye of criticism can ever see, that sees God’s heart, that reads meanings

that seem to be written afar. Have we this method of reading Divine Providence? Joseph Parker in a sermon on Judges 13:23 145. Wherever the missionary character of the doctrine of election is forgotten; wherever it is forgotten that we are chosen in order to be sent; wherever the minds of believers are concerned more to probe backwards from their election into the reasons for it in the secret counsel of God, than to press forward from their election to the purpose of it, . . . that they should be Christ’s ambassadors and witnesses to the ends of the earth, wherever men think that the purpose of election is their own salvation rather than the salvation of the world: then God’s people have betrayed their trust. Lesslie Newbigin 146. When God wants to show you what human nature is like apart from Himself, He has to show it to you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He only does it when His Spirit is at work), you know there is no criminal who is half so bad in actuality as you know yourself to be in possibility. My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” God’s Spirit continually reveals what human nature is like apart from His grace. Oswald Chambers. 147. Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him. In Hebrew, “Be silent in God, and let Him mold thee.” Keep still, and He will mold thee to the right shape. Martin Luther 148. DRINKING FROM MY SAUCER I’ve never made a fortune and it’s probably too late now But I don’t worry about that much I’m happy anyhow and as I go along life’s way I’m reaping better than I sow I’m drinking from my saucer ‘Cause my cup has overflowed

Haven’t got a lot of riches and sometimes the going’s tough But I’ve got loving ones around me and that makes me rich enough I thank God for His blessings and the mercies He’s bestowed I’m drinking from my saucer ‘cause my cup has overflowed O, Remember times when things went wrong My faith wore somewhat thin But all at once the dark clouds broke and sun peeped through again So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I’ve hoed I’m drinking from my saucer “Cause my cup has overflowed If God gives me strength and courage When the way grows steep and rough I’ll not ask for other blessings I’m already blessed enough and may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer “Cause my cup has overflowed 149. Never water down the word of God, preach it in its undiluted sternness; there must be unflinching loyalty to the word of God; but when you come to personal dealing with your fellow men, remember

who you are—not a special being made up in Heaven, but a sinner saved by grace. Oswald Chambers 150. If we allow the consideration of heathen morality and heathen religion to absolve us from the duty of preaching the gospel we are really deposing Christ from His throne in our own souls. If we admit that men can do very well without Christ, we accept the Savior only as a luxury for ourselves. If they can do very well without Christ, then so could we. This is to turn our backs upon the Christ of the gospels and the Christ of Acts and to turn our faces towards law, morality, philosophy, natural religion. We look at the moral teaching of some of the heathen nations and we find it higher than we had expected . . . Or we look at morality in Christian lands, and we begin to wonder whether our practice is really much higher than theirs, and we say, “They are very well as they are. Leave them alone.” When we so speak and think we are treating the question of the salvation of men exactly as we should have treated it had Christ never appeared in the world at all. It is an essentially pre-Christian attitude, and implies that the Son of God has not been delivered for our salvation. It suggests that the one and only way of salvation known to me is to keep the commandments. That was indeed true before the coming of the Son of God, before the Passion, before the Resurrection, before Pentecost; but after Pentecost that is no longer true. After Pentecost, the answer to any man who inquires the way of salvation is no longer “Keep the law,” but “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Roland Allen 151. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. Abraham Lincoln 152. If we trust Him to do so, surely God will open the right doors, guide each step of every Christian’s life, and provide the means of

fulfilling the “good works” which He has ordained for each one of us . . . The Christian life is too glorious to be easy. It must involve trials and testings . . . May He give us grace to live by faith as true Christians; and may earth’s trials strengthen our faith, deepen our love for God, increase our fellowship with and joy in Him, and bring honor and glory to Him for eternity! Dave Hunt 153. It is not God’s way that great blessings should descend without the sacrifice first of great sufferings. If the truth is to be spread to any wide extent among the people, how can we dream, how can we hope, that trial and trouble shall not accompany its going forth. John Henry Newman 154. Finally, Christ taught that man is created for service. He is an instrument for carrying the will of God beyond the circle of his own personality. That indeed is the teaching of the whole Bible. Man was not the final flower of Eden. He was its master. Man was not put into Eden for decorative purposes at the close of the great procedure. He was put in to dress it, to keep it, to govern it in cooperation with God. We have strange notions about the Garden of Eden. There are people who imagine it was an actual garden such as we see in this country of ours, beautifully laid out with flower beds and paths. Nothing of the kind. It was a rough bit of soil full of potentiality, blossoms in it, fruit in it, magnificence in it, glories in it, but not manifest. What were they waiting for? The touch of God’s partner, man. God put man into the garden to dress it and keep it. Christ emphasized that in all His teaching: “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” G. Campbell Morgan 155. In a world in which nine out of every ten people are lost, three out of four have never heard the way out, and one of every two cannot hear, the church sleeps on. Could it be we think there must be some other way? Or perhaps we don’t really care that much. Robertson McQuilken 156. We shall never get an outspoken gospel until we get a set of men, who say “I don’t care for the whole earth; if there is no one else right, and I conceive myself to be so, I will battle the whole earth; and I ask no man’s wish, or will, or assent. ‘Let God be true, and every

man a liar.’ “ Oh, we want a few of those gigantic spirits who need no approvers— who can of themselves sweep their acre of men and slay them with their strong broad sword of confidence; and when we get these care-for-nothings, who care only for God, then shall the earth shake again beneath the tramp of angels and God shall visit our land, even as He did of old. Charles H. Spurgeon 157. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes. If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are. As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say—Now why did God allow this and that? Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God. “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.” A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God. Oswald Chambers 158. Wherever the Gospel is preached in power, it will be opposed by people who make money from superstition and sin. Paul did not arouse the opposition of the silversmiths by picketing the temple of Diana or staging anti-idolatry rallies. All he did was teach the truth daily and send out his converts to witness to the lost people in the city. As more and more people got converted, fewer and fewer customers were available. Warren Wiersbe on Acts 19. 159. I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone, and that in me, without Divine Grace, there is nothing but deficiency . . . The one sole thing in myself in which I glory, is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory. Catherine of Genoa

160. The Psalm is a tremendous unfolding of the word of the Lord through Zechariah, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). There is such a danger that we depend on the power of the dollar or on human ingenuity. But the Lord’s will is not accomplished in that way. It is by His Spirit that we build for eternity. It is not what we do for God through our own resources, but what He does through us by His mighty power. All we can produce is wood, hay, stubble. He can use us to produce gold, silver, precious stones. When we act in our own strength, we are spinning our wheels. When we bring God into everything, our lives become truly efficient. Carnal weapons produce carnal results. Spiritual weapons produce spiritual results. William MacDonald on Psalm 127 161. The quality of mercy is not strain’d; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. William Shakespeare 162. “A glorious throne, on high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.” That is to say, the government of God is based upon the reasons of things and finds its expression not in the rules of a passing hour, but in the principles of eternity. So that if God shall order my life for the next half-hour the reason of His ordering lies back in the ages that I cannot measure. That is Calvinism at its deepest and best and truest. That is the great fact which we still believe, that every flower that blooms on the sod under the Divine government has its roots of life and thought and suggestion far back in the ages we do not know . . . Here you are, an atom of humanity, and the surging sea of the multitude does but add to your unrest. You are seeking sanctuary, a place of peace, of privacy, of purity. Oh, to be high lifted above the things which seem to break and scar. Listen, this is the Gospel of hope, “A glorious throne, on high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.” Oh, the inexpressible comfort of knowing that unseen by the vision that is physical, but surely apprehended by faith, “the throne of God is for ever and ever:

the scepter of His Kingdom is a right scepter.” And, oh, my soul, the deeper comfort when individual life is immediately related to that throne by submission to its authority. Then indeed is man able to sing: “Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me, The changes that are sure to come I do not fear to see; I ask Thee for a present mind intent on pleasing Thee.” G. Campbell Morgan 163. Men are everywhere saying or thinking, “Where is the goodwill among men? Where is the peace on earth that was promised?” Yes, but go on with your questions. You have not finished the song. You have left out its initial and primary note. I must finish your series of questions, and I must be allowed to ask, “Where is the glory to God in the highest?” We have fixed our eyes upon the third phrase of the angels’ song—”goodwill among men”; or upon the second phrase, —”peace on earth!” And we have overlooked the first phrase, the phrase which is casual and causative—”glory to God in the highest.” That is to say, we have begun at the end, and left out the beginning. We have been concerned about fruits, but we have been careless about roots. If you will really think about the matter, it is clear that we have been wanting rivers to arise without any gathering grounds or springs. That is the explanation of our disillusionment. We have laid hold of the chain at the second link, or the third link, and we have strangely overlooked the first. I want to repeat my words, we have begun at the wrong end, and we have forgotten the beginning. We have been looking for magic harvests. We have been wanting the corn before we had got the field. We have been expecting man to be right with man before man was right with God. We have been looking for harvests, and we have foolishly assumed that harvests would grow out of nothing. We have taken one part of the angels’ song and we have thrown away the other. We have ignored the field, and we have then marveled that there was no harvest. For what is the angels’ song, in all its harmonious

completeness? This is the song: “Glory to God is the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men.” John Henry Jowett 164. Vital peace among men is to be brought about by the individual man being at peace with God—rectified and justified and sanctified in the power of God’s redeeming love and grace. We simply cannot save the world in masses. We cannot, by any leagues and treaties, bring the world into congenial and fraternal peace. Salvation and peace are to be found only in the surrender of the personal life to the Saviorhood and comradeship of Christ. True life begins where the saints have always begun, and where every pilgrim has begun who became a chivalrous Greatheart on life’s way. True life begins here, and the new world will begin here, —”Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” John Henry Jowett 165. Christianity says, “When lives are surrendered to the saving grace and power of Christ there is spiritual vitality and moral nobility, and the Christian spirit is incarnated in every part of their communion.” Is that being proved to be true or false? What say you, has Christianity failed? There is a much more pressing question. Has Christianity been tried? We have been trying to gather harvests before we have got the field, and we have tragically failed. We have been trying to organize peace and goodwill as though it were a manufactured product, and we have pitiably failed. We have tried to arrange fraternity round a council table, and we have miserably failed. And now, brethren, suppose we try Christ! And suppose we begin where the angels’ song began, by giving glory to God in the highest! Suppose we glorify God by the full surrender of our lives in body, soul, and spirit, to the saving governance and control of the Lord Jesus Christ! We have been looking for grapes and we have not got the Vine. Suppose we now reverse the order; get the Vine and then look for the grapes. That is my Christmas message. First the Vine, then the grapes! First glory to God in the highest, then peace on earth, goodwill among men. And I would to God that everywhere today men and women would hush their strife and hear the angels sing. I would that the angels’ song might be heard in every city, and every town, and every village in every land throughout the world. But we must listen to all the song, every part

of it! Yes, all the song, root and all, and all in all! “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men.! John Henry Jowett 166. To truly “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” unto salvation must be an all consuming conviction, opposition in all the fury Satan and the flesh can inspire will surely follow. Remembering that eternity looms before us, let us never barter God’s eternal “well done” for man’s approval in this brief life. The fullness of that life now and throughout eternity, for ourselves and for those we have opportunity and responsibility to influence, depends upon non–negotiable truth. Dave Hunt 167. But in the perilous gravitation of worldliness there is more than an illicit spirit of compromise: there is what I will call the fascination of the glittering. All through our ministry we are exposed to the temptations which met our Lord in the wilderness, and which met Him again and again before He reached the cross. “All these things will I give Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” It was the presentation of carnal splendor, the offer of an immediate prize. The tempter used the lure of the “showy,” and he sought to eclipse the vision of reality. He used the glittering to entice the eyes away from the “gold thrice refined.” That peril will meet you on the very day your ministry begins. Nay, it is with you now in the days of preparation. Even now you may be arrested by fireworks and you may lose the vision of the stars. On your ordination day you may be the victim of worldliness, and your soul may be prostrate before Mammon. You may be seeking “the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them”; in quest of “glitter” rather than true “gold.” We are tempted to covet a showy eloquence rather than the deep, unobtrusive “spirit of power.” We may become more intent on full pews than on redeemed souls. We may be more concerned to have a swelling membership–roll than to have the names of our people “written in Heaven.” We may be more keen for “the praises of men” than for “the good pleasure of God.” These are the perils of worldliness. Our besetting peril is to go after

the “showy,” to “strive,” and “cry,” to let our voice be heard “in the streets,” to follow the glitter instead of “the gleam,” and to be satisfied if our names are sounded pleasantly in the crumbling halls of worldly fame. John Henry Jowett 168. General principles of business management from John Henry Jowett: 1. Never move with small majorities 2. Avoid the notoriety and the impotence of always wanting something new. 3. Never mistake the multiplication of organization for the enlargement and enrichment of service. 4. Never become a victim to the standard of numbers. 5. Never help the business by advertising yourself. 169. And now I have done. I have spoken to you in these lectures from the journals of my own life, the findings of my own experience. I thought you might like to know how one man has found the road into the service of which you are consecrating your life. I have told you where I have found perils, and where I have found arbors of rest and refreshing springs. Your road may be very different from mine, and yet I think the dominant features will be the same. You will have your Slough of Despond, your hill “Difficulty,” your alluring Bye–path Meadow, your Valley of Humiliation, your Enchanted Ground where the spirit gets very drowsy, and your clear hill–tops with bewitching visions of Beulah Land, where the birds sing and the sun shines night and day. But you will surely find that, however swiftly changing may be the character of your road, your provision in Christ is most abundant. My brethren, you are going forth into a big world to confront big things. There is “the pestilence that walketh in darkness,” and there is “the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” There is success and there is failure, and there is sin, and sorrow, and death. And of all pathetic plights surely the most pathetic is that of a minister moving about this grim field of varied necessity, professing to be a physician, but carrying in his wallet no balms, no cordials, no

caustics to meet the clamant needs of men. But of all privileged callings surely the most privileged is that of a Greatheart pacing the highways of life, carrying with him all that is needed by fainting, bruised, and broken pilgrims, perfectly confident in Him “Whom He has believed.” Brethren, your calling is very holy. Your work is very difficult. Your Savior is very mighty. And the joy of the Lord will be your strength. John Henry Jowett from his lectures on how to be an effective preacher. 170. The worship of the sanctuary is wholly meaningless and valueless save as it is preceded by and prepared for by the worship of the life. G. Campbell Morgan 171. Every man is free to make his own choices in life, but he is not free to choose the consequences of his choices. God has established certain moral principles in the world. These principles dictate the consequences for every choice. There is no way to put asunder what God has thus joined together. William MacDonald 172. Methinks if I could get a right estimate of your souls’ value that I should not speak as I do now, with stammering tongue, but with flaming words. I have great cause to blush at my own slothfulness, though God knows I have striven to preach God’s truth as vehemently as possible, and would spend myself in His service; but I wonder I do not stand in every street in London and preach His truth. When I think of the thousands of souls in this great city that have never heard of Jesus, that have never listened to Him; when I think of how much ignorance exists, and how little gospel preaching there is, how few souls are saved, I think—Oh God! What little grace I must have, that I do not strive more for souls. Charles H. Spurgeon 173. Whoever has Christ in his heart, so that no earthly or temporal things—not even those that are legitimate and allowed—are preferred to Him, has Christ as a foundation. But if these things be preferred, then even though a man seem to have faith in Christ, yet Christ is not the foundation to that man. St. Augustine

174. The surest symbol of a heart not yet fully subdued to God and His will is going to be found in the areas of money, sex, and power: in wanting these things for ourselves. The surest symbol of spiritual earnestness will be the checkbook, the affections, and the ego-drive surrendered to Him. A disciple must have discipline. He must not be afraid of being asked by God for some of the time, the money, and the pleasure he has been in the habit of calling his “own”. This does not mean that there will not be time for the family, and time for some healthy diversion. But it does mean that we are never—on vacation, or wherever we may be—exempt from our primary commitment to Him. Samuel M. Shoemaker 175. There are two ways by which a man may lose his own soul . . . .He may lose his soul by living and dying . . . like a beast prayerless, godless, graceless, faithless. This is a sure way to hell. Mind that you do not walk in it. He may also lose his soul by taking up some kind of religion. He may live and die contenting himself with false Christianity, and resting on a baseless hope. This is the commonest way to hell there is . . . . There are multitudes of baptized men and women who . . . give Christ a certain place in their system of religion, but Christ alone is not “all in all” to their souls. No: it is either Christ and the Church; or Christ and the Sacraments; or Christ and His ordained ministers; or Christ and their own goodness or Christ and their prayers; or Christ and their own sincerity and charity, on which they practically rest their souls. If you are a Christian of this kind I warn you . . . your religion is an offence to God. You are changing God’s plan of salvation into a plan of your own devising. J.C. Ryle 176. Wherever we may be placed in the will of God, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, each Christian is a fort of resistance in the name of Heaven against all the forces of evil in the world today. When the church is complete and Jesus comes to take to Himself His body, the church, then the world will know the agony of evil which is un-resisted by the presence of the people of God. But today the Christian stands in the name of the Lord wherever he

is, as a point of resistance to the enemy of righteousness. He doesn’t stand alone; he is one of a great army, that company of people who have been redeemed by the precious blood and who share together the life of their Lord, although scattered in different parts of the world. The triumph of the church as a whole depends upon the personal victory of every Christian. In other words, your victory, your life, your personal testimony, are important to the cause of God today. What happens out in New Guinea, down in the Amazon jungle, over in disturbed Congo, is not unrelated to what happens in your own personal relationship with God and your personal battle against the forces of darkness. Victory for the church on the whole world front depends upon victory in your life and in mine; “home” and “foreign” situations cannot be detached. Therefore the answer is not, I repeat, in more money, more equipment, more people; but it is in dedication, commitment, abandonment to God. Alan Redpath 177. The word came to Joshua, as it had to Moses, that the ground whereon he stood was holy. As a matter of fact, Joshua was on his face in worship and surrender. But the man who is on his face before God is always standing against the enemy. It is only the man who has met God in Christ, whose heart has been broken at the cross, who has been brought on his face before the Lord, who can stand before the enemy. Alan Redpath 178. He is the true Gospel-bearer that carries it in his hands, in his mouth, and in his heart . . . A man does not carry it in his heart that does not love it with all his soul; and nobody loves it as he ought, that does not conform to it in his life. Desiderius Erasmus 179. There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well–nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not

always hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on. Frederick Faber 180. When thro’ fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace all sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not burn thee; I only design thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine. George Keith 181. It was no exceptional thing for Jesus to withdraw Himself “into the wilderness to pray.” He was never for one moment of any day out of touch with God. He was speaking and listening to the Father all day long; and yet He, who was in such constant touch with God, felt the need, as well as the joy, of more prolonged and more quiet communion with Him . . . Most of the reasons that drive us to pray for strength and forgiveness could never have driven Him; and yet He needed prayer. G. H. Knight 182. We cannot have this Christ-life within us without having clear vision, and without having driving compassion, and without having the dynamic which makes us mighty. We cannot have Christ within us and be parochial. Christ overleaps the boundaries of parish, society, and nation, and His clear vision takes in the whole world. If Christ be verily in us we shall see with His eyes, feel with His heart, be driven with His very compassion. G. Campbell Morgan 183. Every difficulty contains prospective wealth. Break it open, and the wealth is yours! We appropriate the strength of the enemy we vanquish. Overcome a difficulty, and its power henceforth enlists on our side. That is a grand evangel, having application both to individual and to common life. John Henry Jowett 184. Our service too frequently ends where bloodletting begins. We stop short of the promise of fertility. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” Yes, and the blood of the servant fertilizes the field of his service. “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood!” And it is just at that point of resistance that we begin to win. It is just when our service becomes costly that it begins to pay. Life becomes contagious when it becomes sacrificial. Our work begins to tell when the workman is content to suffer; when he persists even unto blood. John Henry Jowett

From subtle love of softening things, from easy choices, weakenings, (Not thus are spirits fortified; Not this way went the Crucified;) From all that dims Thy Calvary, O Lamb of God, deliver me. 186. Give me the love that leads the way, the faith that nothing can dismay, The hope no disappointments tire, the passion that will burn like fire; Let me not sink to be a clod: make me Thy fuel, Flame of God! Amy Carmichael 186. In my own ministry, I have shared in many local church services and conferences, and I have always tried to communicate biblical truth to the people. Sometimes the music has not been edifying, and at other times, the music communicated the Word of God in a powerful way. Whenever all of us as ministers have aimed at edification, and not entertainment, God has blessed and the people have been helped. A ministry that does not build up will tear down, no matter how “spiritual” it may seem. When we explain and apply the Word of God to individual lives, we have a ministry of edification. Warren Wiersbe 187. He spoke out of the sense of eternity to the capacity for eternity in the heart of man. You may characterize the teaching of Jesus by borrowing a great phrase from the Old Testament and applying it in a new connection, “Deep calleth unto deep.” When men heard Him they did not understand Him perfectly, but they felt, somehow, that He had spoken to the very depth of their personality. When He came down from the mountain multitudes followed Him, and were astonished at Him, for they said, “He taught them as One having authority, and not as their scribes.” What, then, was the difference between Him and the scribes? He spoke out of the sense of the relation of the infinite and the spiritual to the finite and the material. He set the measurement of eternity upon passing time. Wherever He went He said, “Repent,” which meant, Change your mind, your thinking is wrong, your action is wrong, you have departed from the center of things, your measurements are false, your balances are evil, your judgments are perverted! He flung against the materialized age the force of His spiritual conception. He made Heaven’s light break upon earth’s
185.

darkness. The voice of God sounded again in the deeps of human nature, and o’er all the region as He passed, men felt the atmosphere of Heaven enwrapping them, and they hurried after Him, for never Man spake as He spake. That is the deeper secret in the ministry of Jesus. He was a voice from God, nay, the very Word of God incarnate, speaking in the syllables of human speech, and yet with all the force of infinite truth. What are men to do with that truth? My brethren, then as today, men standing in the presence of Christ have but one alternative. They must do one of two things. They must either crown Him or crucify Him. There is no middle course. And if you ask me why they crucified Christ, I tell you it was because they declined to submit themselves to the spiritual conceptions which He proclaimed, because they would have none of His views of things, because in their deepest heart, notwithstanding all of their religiousness, they were godless. And when they silenced that voice, they silenced the voice of the infinite. When they took that Man to the Cross, they flung out the One Who had offended them by revealing the fact that all their thinking and all their life were false. G. Campbell Morgan 188. Sanctification is simply the marvelous expression of the forgiveness of sins in a human life, but the thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven sin. Paul never got away from this. When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God. Oswald Chambers 189. There is no question but that part of our failure today is religious activity that is not preceded by an aloneness—an inactivity. I mean the art of getting alone with God and waiting in silence and in quietness until we are charged, and then, when we act, our activity really amounts to something, because we have been prepared for it. A.W. Tozer 190. “Sentimentalism is enjoyment without obligation,” said George Meredith. But the true comfort of Christ is a strong, bracing, reinforcing thing. It is like a wind to a boat that has been becalmed.

It is like the gift of a job to a man who has been for years out of work. It is like the clasp of a friend’s hand in a time of need. This is certainly the root idea of the word “comfort” in the New Testament; and when Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as the “Comforter,” He is really giving a promise that God will stand by a man in the day of his need, and brace his heart and nerve his arm, and make him more than conqueror. James S. Stewart 191. And in that day you will say: “O Lord, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And in that day you will say: “Praise the Lord, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!” Isaiah Chapter 12 192. Amidst much that is cheering, there is, on the other hand, much that is discouraging and distressing to the more pious observer. We behold a strange combination of zeal and worldmindedness; great activity for the extension of religion in the earth, united with lamentable indifference to the state of religion in the soul; in short, apparent vigor in the extremities, with a growing torpor at the heart. Multitudes are substituting zeal for piety, liberality for mortification, and a social for a personal religion. No careful reader of the New Testament, and observer of the present state of the church, can fail to be convinced, one should think, that what is now lacking is a high spirituality. The Christian profession is sinking in its tone of piety; the line of separation between the church and the world becomes less and less perceptible; and the character of genuine Christianity, as expounded from pulpits and delineated

in books, has too rare a counterpart in the lives and spirit of its professors. John Angell James 193. Peace can come only to a world where death confronts men, when, somehow, death can be transfigured, and men cease to speak of death, and talk instead of decease, of exodus, going out. Peace can come only when death is no longer looked on as a harbor of refuge into which the ship all battered escapes, but rather as the harbor from which the ship puts out to sea and finds the ultimate fulfillment of all being. These are Christian ideals, and can be realized by men only when they enter into Christian experience. G. Campbell Morgan 194. And that self-control is to be exercised mainly, or at least as one very important form of it, in regard of our use and estimate of the pleasures of this present life. Yes! It is not only from the study of a man’s make that the necessity for a very rigid self-government appears, but the observation of the conditions and circumstances in which he is placed points the same lesson. All round about him are hands reaching out to him drugged cups. The world with all its fading sweets comes tempting him, and the old fable fulfills itself— Whoever takes that Circe’s cup and puts it to his lips and quaffs deep, turns into a swine, and sits there imprisoned at the feet of the sorceress forevermore! There is only one thing that will deliver you from that fate, my brother. “Be sober” and in regard of the world and all that it offers to us—All joy, possession, gratification— “set a knife to thy throat if thou be a man given to appetite.” There is no noble life possible on any other terms—but suppression and mortification of the desires of the flesh and of the spirit. You cannot look upwards and downwards at the same moment. Your heart is only a tiny room after all, and if you cram it full of the world, you relegate your Master to the stable outside. “Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” “Be sober,” says Paul, then, and cultivate the habit of rigid self-control in regard of this present. Oh! What a melancholy, solemn thought it is that hundreds of professing Christians in England, like vultures

after a full meal, have so gorged themselves with the garbage of this present life that they cannot fly, and have to be content with moving along the ground, heavy and languid. Christian men and women, are you keeping yourselves in spiritual health by a very sparing use of the dainties and delights of earth? Answer the question to your own souls and to your Judge. Alexander Maclaren 195. Centuries later, today’s Christians need to appreciate afresh the courageous stand Paul and his associates took for the liberty of the Gospel. Paul’s concern was “the truth of the Gospel”, not the “peace of the church.” The wisdom that God sends from above is “first pure, then peaceable”. “Peace at any price” was not Paul’s philosophy of ministry, nor should it be ours. Warren Wiersbe 196. When seen from the Lord’s perspective, however, the purpose of the valleys is that we might be outfitted—equipped, prepared, strengthened—for the climb to the top of the mountain, which is where the Lord is always seeking to lead us. Valleys and wilderness times in which we may feel isolated or tested are never permanent. Oswald Chambers in the book So Send I You writes of “the vision, the valley, and the verity.” God gives us a vision and then puts us in the valley in order to sift us, sand us, discipline us, prune us—in other words, to rid us of all that would be a hindrance to us in climbing up to or living on top of the mountain. It is in the valley that we make a decision to leave the valley and climb up the mountain God has set before us. Charles Stanley 197. We need to recognize the fact that God calls people to different ministries in different places; yet we all preach the same Gospel and are seeking to work together to build His church. Among those who know and love Christ, there can be no such thing as “competition.” Warren Wiersbe 198. When God sent His Son into the world, it was without fanfare. Jesus was not born into royalty, but of a simple family. As he grew older, the Son of God did not wear robes of fine silk or eat the finest foods, but dressed modestly and ate what was set before him. During his life on earth, Jesus always reached out to the lower

classes. He preached His Father’s words and encouraged all to seek the better way. Not only was Jesus’ life a living testimony of love, but through His suffering and death, this Man, the Son of God, gave His very life for you and me. At this low point in human history, when man crucified the Son of God, when we spit on Him, beat Him and punished Him terribly, Jesus still reached out to us in love. Through the blood, pain and death, victory was found in love! Do not let His precious gift of love go to waste. Melanie Schurr 199. It is a sad thing when the Church drops its standard down to the world’s standard of what it ought to be, and swallows the world’s name for itself, and its converts. Alexander Maclaren 200. . . . He that departs from his end, recedes from his own nature. All the content any creature finds, is in performing its end, moving according to its natural instinct; as it is a joy to the sun to run its race. In the same manner it is a satisfaction to every other creature, and its delight to observe the law of its creation. What content can any man have that runs from his end, opposeth his own nature, denies a God by whom and for whom he was created, whose image he bears, which is the glory of his nature, and sinks into the very dregs of brutishness? Stephen Charnock 201. Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the Hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to His sovereign will to choose and to command. The Puritan said, ‘As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself, he’ll cut his own fingers’; this is a great truth. Said another old divine, ‘He that goes before the cloud of God’s providence goes on a fool’s errand’; and so he does. We must mark God’s providence leading us; and if providence tarries, tarry till providence comes. Charles H. Spurgeon

202. What greater weakness can there be than to love flattery rather than plain dealing? . . . ..Now for this, we shall acquit ourselves well enough by giving attendance to reading, to exhortation, and doctrine; taking ourselves first to study, and then to teach. First we must learn, and then teach others what we have learned. Preaching without reading is but a venting of our own windy conceit. On the other side, reading without preaching is but a miserly hoarding up from others that which we have learned. Where should a minister die rather than in the pulpit? Where should he rather be buried than in his study? . . . ..Ministers are nurses, and such they should show themselves. A nurse, you know, first feeds herself and then feeds her young. So should we first digest our reading and learning, and then draw it out and impart it to others. That which is most native will take best, and is most desired of our hearers. A child desires not to have his milk sugared, but likes it best as it comes from the breast, without any mixture. So when a minister speaks the native truth without all affectation, when he speaks out of his own heart so that the hearers see plainness and honesty in his speech, this commends him most to the hearer, and gives value to all his labors. On the other side, let him trim and starch a speech never so neatly, if either he shall preach but of himself, or else confute himself by his own practice, he shall but render himself suspect and despicable when all is done. This was Paul’s glory in 2 Corinthians 1:13: “You shall read no other thing in me than what I write.” And this is a minister’s glory: when his heart is seen in what he writes, and his heart is heard in what he speaks, then, though his matter is never so plain and ordinary, it will pass and be accepted. Therefore, if we would preach to purpose, we must bring our hearts as well as our heads into the pulpit. Preach the Word (as Peter bids), and preach it as the Word, and preach it fully. Look to your ministry, Archippus, which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it. Unless a man’s hands preach, his hair preaches, and his feet preach as well as his tongue, little good will follow; he shall but do and undo. As it is said of Aeneas Sylvius (afterwards called Pope Pius Secundus), “What Sylvius did, Pius undid.” So such a one shall but undo at home what he did at church, whose conversation and doctrine go

not all one way; whose life does not preach as well as his tongue . . . ..Why should we trouble ourselves with what men think or do to us? The wicked look upon God’s ministers as so many pests or plagues of the world (we have found this disease perverting the people, said Tertullus of Paul). And those who are good among men cannot judge our labors; they know not the pains and cares of our place; they understand not what it is to bear the burden of a charge of souls, to break our sleep, yea, to break our brains for their sakes. They think it a fine matter to see a man in a pulpit, standing and talking over the people for an hour together. They see not in what fear, with what care, and with how many temptations we stand in this place. Therefore, let us never trouble ourselves with men who know nothing of all this, but look to Him who knows perfectly how it is with us. Accordingly He tells the angels of the churches (Revelation 2 and 3): “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience.” He knows all and takes notice of all; therefore worry not about how men judge you, but look higher. Robert Harris 203. A missionary society wrote to David Livingston and suggested that if he could ensure them of safe roads that they would send him some help. He responded with the following note: “If you have men that will only come if they have a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.” Somewhere in our modern–day, comfort–driven society we lost the determination it takes to stay committed. In the Scriptures we learn that the worthwhile things are never what comes by doing the “easy” tasks. We miss opportunities by trying to avoid testing. When we get committed, we endure to the end the task that has been set before us. Karl Forehand. 204. A Bug’s Life: Cricket was always fretting. “Everyone is listening,” she chirped. “Every note must be perfect.” Cricket had a gift for reaching others with her music. She could change her tune to suit her listener. She could perk you up with a bouncy melody, liven your step with a reel or jig or calm you with a hymn or ballad. That responsibility had begun to weigh cricket’s heart. Her tone became shrill. “Can’t you see I am busy?,” she would screech. “Don’t you know that everyone is depending on me? “Everyone around could

hear her atonal whinges.” What horrid noise!” groaned the caterpillar.” The other insects agreed. Something was wrong with their reliable and once harmonious friend. They decided to ask the one who had the most wisdom, the praying mantis. “Mmmm,” he said. “I shall see about this.” Praying mantis sent cricket an invitation to tea. Cricket was so worried. “It must be perfect,” she shrilled. “He must be in need. I can’t let him down!” Upon arriving, cricket tried to sense mantis’s mood. He appeared at peace. Finally, she asked what it was he needed of her. The mantis said, “You have been given a very great gift . . . “ Cricket interrupted, “Thank you. You are too kind. I am only here to serve.” “Yes you are,” mantis said solemnly. “Unfortunately you have been rather a poor tool of late.” Cricket was so horrified and overwhelmed that she began to cry. “But I tried so hard,” she said miserably. “I have worked until exhaustion trying to do well.” “That is just the problem,” mantis said. “You are trying too hard. You are an instrument, but you have taken yourself out of the master’s hands and tried to wield yourself. Like a violin leaping from the hands of the virtuoso in the midst of a concert and playing a jingle.” Mantis told cricket to think back to when she first began to play her tunes for others. “What were you thinking of then?” he said. Cricket realized that she hadn’t been thinking of anything. She had simply seen someone and felt happy or sad or compassionate and her music had come from her soul to fill the air and heal the others around her. “Think back to what happened to make you leap off on your own,” he added. Cricket pondered. “I lost faith and stopped trusting what guided me and began to fear,” she said. Fear turned to panic and panic to anger and anger turned to fear again. “Take your faith back with you to your family and friends and you will soon change your tune,” said mantis. Lisa Suhay 205. If you want to do people good you can; but you have got to pay the price for it. That price is personal sacrifice and effort. The example of Jesus Christ is the all-instructive one in the case. People talk about Him being the pattern, but they often forget that whatever more there was in Christ’s Cross and Passion there was

this in it: the exemplification for all time of the one law by which any reformation can be wrought on men—that a sympathizing man shall give himself to do it, and that by personal influence alone men shall be drawn and won from out of the darkness and filth. A loving heart and a sympathetic word, the exhibition of a Christian life and conduct, the fact of going down into the midst of evil and trying to lift men out of it, are the old-fashioned and only magnets by which men are drawn to purer and higher life. That is God’s way of saving the world—by the action of single souls on single souls. Masses of men can neither save nor be saved. Not in groups, but one by one, particle by particle, soul by soul, Christ draws men to Himself, and He does His work in the world through single souls on fire with His love, and tender with pity learned of Him. Alexander Maclaren 206. You are writing a Gospel, a chapter each day, by the deeds that you do and the words that you say. Men read what you write, whether faithful or true: Just what is the Gospel according to you? Source unknown 207. So we live in this little drop of the world, not much bigger in God’s esteem than a drop of the bucket; and one of us seems a little larger than the other, a worm a little above his fellow worm. But, O how big we get! And we want to get a little bigger, to get a little more prominent, but what is the use of it? For when we get ever so big we shall then be so small that an angel would not find us out if God did not tell him where we were. Whoever heard up in Heaven anything about emperors and kings? Small tiny insects: God can see the animalculae, therefore He can see us; but if He had not an eye to see the most minute He would never discover us. O may we never get ambition in this church. The best ambition is, who shall be the servant of all. The strangers seek to have dominion, but children seek to let the father have dominion, and the father only. Charles H. Spurgeon 208. Too many Christians are too involved in “many things,” when the secret of progress is to concentrate on “one thing.” It was this decision that was the turning point in D.L. Moody’s life. Before the

tragedy of the Chicago fire in 1871, Mr. Moody was involved in Sunday School promotion, Y.M.C.A. work, evangelistic meetings, and many other activities; but after the fire, he determined to devote himself exclusively to evangelism. “This one thing I do!” became a reality to him. As a result, millions of people heard the Gospel. Warren Wiersbe 209. I may be wrong, but I have the feeling that we are looking for shortcuts because we don’t want to pay the price for doing things God’s way. Travail in prayer, hard study, serious heart searching, and patient sowing of the seed have been replaced by methods that guarantee instant results. Results, yes; fruit, no. You cannot have fruit without roots, and you cannot have roots unless you dig deep; and that takes time. Warren Wiersbe 210. A time to be careful is when one reaches his goals. The easiest period in a crisis situation is actually the battle itself. The most difficult period is the period of indecision—whether to fight or run away. And the most dangerous period is the aftermath. It is then, with all his resources spent and his guard down, that an individual must watch out for dulled reactions and faulty judgment. Charles Swindoll 211. Thoughts on Christmas Eve (By Joseph Tate Bayly) Praise God for Christmas. Praise Him for the incarnation for the Word made flesh. I will not sing of shepherds watching flocks on frosty night or angel choristers. I will not sing of stable bare in Bethlehem or lowing oxen wise men trailing distant star

with gold and frankincense and myrrh. Tonight I will sing praise to the Father who stood on Heaven’s threshold and said farewell to His Son as He stepped across the stars to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. And I will sing praise to the infinite eternal Son who became most finite a Baby who would one day be executed for my crimes. Praise Him in the heavens. Praise Him in the stable. Praise Him in my heart. 212. Allow nothing to keep you from looking God sternly in the face about yourself and about your doctrine, and every time you preach see that you look God in the face about things first, then the glory will remain all through. A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks in the face of God and then goes forth to talk to people. The characteristic of the ministry of Christ is that of unconscious glory that abides. “Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.” Oswald Chambers 213. We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” Oswald Chambers 214. Our Lord implies that the only men and women He will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth. The conditions are stern, but they are glorious.

All that we build is going to be inspected by God. Is God going to detect in His searching fire that we have built on the foundation of Jesus some enterprise of our own? These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we are trying to work for God, and therein is the snare. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put. Oswald Chambers 215. The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold us. If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live. Oswald Chambers 216. The good news without the good deed will leave us impotent. But the spirit of sacrificial love will make us invincible. John Henry Jowett 217. I want to say that there is nothing in God that is aloof, nothing of mere composure, nothing of passive regard, nothing apathetic. Every attribute of God is a fountain of vitality and the throne from which flows the river of the Water of Life. Grace is favor, but it means more than this. It is holy love radiating from the soul of the Eternal into the soul of His children and radiating holy love into His children, transforming them to His likeness and equipping them for His service. John Henry Jowett 218. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God’s hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counselor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the ‘broken cistern’ instead of to the ‘fountain’; a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God’s loving kindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking.

Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him; but if through simple faith in His promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon Him, and are ‘careful for nothing’ because He undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to Him, and strengthen us against much temptation. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.’ Charles H. Spurgeon 219. To make the improving of our own character our central aim is hardly the highest kind of goodness. True goodness forgets itself and goes out to do the right thing for no other reason than that it is right. Lesslie Newbigin 220. It is notorious that when a man is made a bishop his days become so crowded that it is a rare thing for him to produce his greatest books! And who knows but that if this great Apostle (Paul) had had more temporary freedom we might have had less permanent fruit. Sometimes the Lord permits seclusion in order that we may do a larger work. His merciful sight has long range, and that is why our immediate circumstances are often so contradictory to our aspiration and prayer. The Lord looks beyond the temporary bondage to the ultimate freedom. John Henry Jowett 221. While walking along a beach, a man saw thousands of starfish the tide had thrown onto the beach. Unable to return to the ocean during low tide, the starfish were dying. He observed a young man picking up the starfish one by one and throwing them back into the water. After watching the seemingly futile effort, the observer said, “There must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly save enough to matter.” The young man smiled as he continued to pick up another starfish and tossed it back into the ocean. “It matters to this one,” he replied. 222. Behind the ministry of public teaching there lies the discipline of private study. All the best teachers have themselves remained students. They teach well because they learn well. So before we can effectively instruct others in the truth we must have ‘really digested’ it ourselves.

It is still important today for Christian leaders to discern, cultivate and exercise their gifts, and be helped to do so by others. For the people will be receptive to their ministry, once they are assured that God has called them and they have not appointed themselves The example which Christian leaders set, then, whether in their life or their ministry , should be dynamic and progressive. People should be able to observe not only what they are but what they are becoming, supplying evidence that they are growing into maturity in Christ. Some Christian leaders imagine that they have to appear perfect, with no visible flaws or blemishes. But there are at least two reasons why this is a mistake. First, it is hypocritical. Since none of us is a paragon of all virtues, it is dishonest to pretend to be. Secondly, the pretense discourages people, who then suppose that their leaders are altogether exceptional and even unhuman. Paul himself conceded that he had not arrived. ‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on . . . ‘ (Phil.3:12) In the same way we should not give the false impression that we have reached our goal; on the contrary, we are still on the road, still pilgrims. Not that we should go to the opposite extreme, parade our failures, or make embarrassing public confessions. That helps nobody. There is much practical wisdom here for everybody called to Christian leadership, and especially for younger people given responsibility beyond their years. If they watch their example, becoming a model of Christ–likeness; if they identify their authority, submitting to Scripture and drawing all their teaching from it; if they exercise their gift, giving evidence of God’s call and of the rightness of the church’s commissioning; if they show their progress, letting it be seen that their Christian life and ministry are dynamic, not static; if they mind their consistency, by practicing what they preach; and if they adjust their relationships, being sensitive to people’s age and sex – then other people will not despise their youth, but gladly and gratefully receive their ministry. John Stott

223. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a subject to which the world is very averse; it is, however, the grand concern, in comparison with which everything else is but trifling. What does it signify though we have food to eat in plenty, and variety of raiment to put on, if we are not born again? if after a few mornings and evenings spent in unthinking mirth, carnal pleasure, and riot, we die in our sins, and lie down in sorrow? What does it signify though we are well able to act our parts in life, in every other respect, if at last we hear from the Supreme Judge, “Depart from me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity?” Matthew Henry 224. A truly godly pastor has only one goal in his ministry: to give no rest to his soul until he has crowned Jesus Lord in every area of his life—and to bring both himself and his sheep under the governing rule of the Holy Spirit. David Wilkerson 225. “Men must either be hammers or anvils”; must either give blows or receive them. I am afraid that a great many of us who call ourselves Christians get a great deal more harm from the world than we ever dream of doing good to it. Remember this, “you are the salt of the earth,” and if you do not salt the world, the world will rot you . . . And so I would remind you that fellowship with Jesus Christ is no vague exercise of the mind but is to be cultivated by three things, which I fear me are becoming less and less habitual among professing Christians: Meditation, the study of the Bible, private prayer. If you have not these, and you know best whether you have them or not, no power in Heaven or earth can prevent you from losing the savor that makes you salt . . . My brother, let us return unto the Lord our God, and keep nearer Him than we ever have done, and bring our hearts more under the influence of His grace, and cultivate the habit of communion with Him; and pray and trust, and leave ourselves in His hands, that His power may come into us, and that we in the beauty of our characters, and the purity of our lives, and the elevation of our spirits, may witness to all men that we have been with Christ; and

may, in some measure, check the corruption that is in the world through lust. Alexander Maclaren 226. Christ has not commissioned us to improve this evil world, but to call out of the world for heavenly citizenship repentant sinners who are stricken with the awful guilt of their rebellion against God. He has not commanded us to “dialogue” in order to come to a mutually advantageous arrangement with the enemies of the Cross, but to preach the gospel and uncompromisingly contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. May He enable us, with pure hearts, to glorify Him and not man, and to seek the honor that comes from God only. Dave Hunt 227. Simplicity, gratitude, contentment and generosity constitute a healthy quadrilateral of Christian living. John Stott 228. It is the child-spirit that finds life’s golden gates, and that finds them all ajar. The proudly aggressive spirit, contending for place and power, may force many a door, but they are not doors which open into enduring wealth and peace. Real inheritances become ours only through humility. The proud are, therefore, self-deceived. They think they have succeeded when they have signally failed. They have the shadow, but they have missed the substance. They may have the applause of the world, but the angels sigh over their defeat. They pride themselves on having “got on”; the angels weep because they have “gone down.” When we grow away from childlikeness we are “in a decline.” “God resisteth the proud; He giveth grace to the humble.” The lowly make great discoveries; to them the earth is full of God’s glory. John Henry Jowett 229. “He knew all men, and required no evidence from anyone about human nature.” But Jesus was much more than a student of His fellow men. He was a lover of men. Through all the tragedy and comedy of life, through all their human foibles and bignesses of soul, through sin and the pitiful

consequences of sin, He loved them as only God could love. James S. Stewart 230. Humility’s obedience depends on the initiative of God. Since God dwells with the humble (Isa. 57:15), they are in constant contact with Him. They know when He speaks and are quick to obey Him. If God chooses to delay, waiting is not difficult for them. Proud people want to obey only their self-exalting impulses. They cannot hear God, for “God is opposed to the proud” (James 4:6). The humble work on God’s initiative; the proud work on their own initiative. T.W. Hunt 231. (Referring to John the Baptist) This man humbly desires to be “a voice.” He has no ambition to receive popular homage. He does not covet the power of the lordly purple. He does not crave to be a great person; he only wants to be a great voice! He wants to articulate the thought and purpose of God. He is quite content to be hidden, like a bird in a thick bush, if only his song may be heard. And in order that he may be a voice he retires into the silent solitudes of the desert. He will listen before he speaks. Come thou, my soul, into his secret! The air is clamorous with speech behind which there has been no hearing. Men speak, and in their words there is no pulse of the Infinite. In their consolations there is no balm. In their reproaches there is no sword. Their words are empty vessels, full of sound! Let my voice be hushed until I have heard the Voice of the Highest. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” And when he spake, it was in clear and definite testimony, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The “voice” succeeded, for men began to look away from the herald to the herald’s Lord. In forgetting John they found the King. They passed the signpost, and arrived at home! John Henry Jowett 232. Timothy’s spiritual life and ministry were to be the absorbing, controlling things in his life, not merely sidelines that he occasionally practiced. There can be no real pioneer advance in one’s ministry

without total dedication to the task. “No man can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). Warren Wiersbe 233. We are all being watched at the present time. The world is most unhappy, men and women do not know what to do, they do not know where to turn. When they see someone who seems to be calm and steadfast, someone who is not utterly bewildered at a time like this, someone who seems to have an insight into it all, and who can see beyond it all, they look and they say, “What is this? What is that person’s secret?” And so you become an evangelist by just standing and being “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” You are not carried away by the flood, you do not do things because everyone else is doing them, you have principles of your own, and you are ready to stand for them and to suffer for them. That has often been the means, under God’s blessing, of awakening others and convicting them of sin, and causing them to begin to inquire after God. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 234. All earnest Christian conviction will demand expression; and all deep experience of the purifying power of Christ upon character will show itself in conduct. Alexander Maclaren 235. The lighthouse-keeper takes no pains that the ships tossing away out at sea may behold the beam that shines from his lamp, but all that he does is to feed it and tend it. And that is all that you and I have to do—tend the light, and do not, like cowards, cover it up. Modestly, but yet bravely, carry out your Christianity, and men will see it. Do not be as a dark lantern, burning with the slides down and illuminating nothing and nobody. Live your Christianity, and it will be beheld. Alexander Maclaren 236. But shall the blue green fight with the gray green? They know better; nature more loyally serves her Lord. All the green forests sway in the music of unity: it is only man who makes a fool of himself. His color he is always magnifying above every other color; he says his is the right green, and other people’s green is the wrong green. So we have botanized ourselves into little woods and special corners of plantations, and we publish annual reports to show that our green is the right green. Oh! That men were wise, that they

understood these things, that they would consider the manifold grace of God, the many-sidedness of His gifts, the many colors in His gardens and in His forests, and that they would not compare one to the disadvantage of the other. Joseph Parker 237. All conscientious Christian teachers, once they have been delivered from the unhealthy lust for originality, take pains to make old truths new and stale truths fresh. John Stott 238. Without a personal experience of salvation we lack the right, the incentive and the confidence to teach social ethics to others. John Stott 239. The word “grace” is not popular today. It is by no means a modern word, for it goes back to the very heart of God. This is the day of materialism; of pomp and show and glittering spectacle; this is an age of mechanics, engineering, and what is called practical work. I claim for “grace” that it is the most practical work of all. It renews the heart, it purifies the motive, it gives life a new purpose, it makes conduct beautiful, and any ministry that can accomplish all these marvels is never to be described or despised as sentimental or theoretical. Brethen, until the grace of God has had free course in our lives and hearts we know not the highest meaning of our own manhood, nor can we get any clear view of our own eternal destiny. The grace of God is what we need—the purifying spirit, the clear vision, the high aim. God waits to be gracious. Joseph Parker 240. True contentment comes from godliness in the heart, not wealth in the hand. Warren Wiersbe 241. It is a dangerous thing to use religion as a cover-up for acquiring wealth. God’s laborer is certainly worthy of his hire, but his motive for laboring must not be money. That would make him a “hireling,” and not a true shepherd. We should not ask, “How much will I get?” but rather “How much can I give?” Warren Wiersbe 242. With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,

ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8 243. We are now in a position to summarize the six essential ingredients of salvation. Its need is our sin, guilt and slavery; its source is God’s gracious loving–kindness; its ground is not our merit but God’s mercy in the cross; its means is the regenerating and renewing work of the Holy Spirit, signified in baptism; its goal is our final inheritance of eternal life; and its evidence is our diligent practice of good works. We note what a balanced and comprehensive account of salvation this is. For there are three persons of the Trinity together engaged in securing our salvation: the love of God the Father who took the initiative; the death of God the Son in whom God’s grace and mercy appeared; and the inward work of God the Holy Spirit by whom we are reborn and renewed. Here too are the tenses of salvation. The past is justification and regeneration. The present is the new life of good works in the power of the Spirit. The future is the inheritance of eternal life which will one day be ours. Once we have grasped the all–embracing character of this salvation, reductionist accounts of it will never satisfy us. We shall rather determine both to explore and experience for ourselves the fullness of God’s salvation and to share with other people the same fullness, refusing to acquiesce, whether for ourselves or others, in any form of truncated or trivialized gospel. John Stott 244. But to these comrades the sacred thing was life, and they were willing to destroy a hundred roofs if so doing they could save a brother. That is the spirit we want within the church, the spirit that sees the worth of personality; the spirit ready, for the Master’s sake, to break through everything that keeps us snug and comfortable. After all, it is only a matter of values, and whenever we see the

value of one soul, then many an old roof will have to go . . . George H. Morrison 245. Washing the feet is indicative of cleansing the ways; and the whole passage is a symbolical picture of the work in which He has been engaged ever since ascending to Heaven. He has been cleansing the feet of the saints by cleansing them from the defilement of the way—those earth-stains which are so readily contracted by sandaled pilgrim-feet pressing along this worlds highways. H.A. Ironside 246. From the human point of view, Paul was a loser. There was nobody in the grandstands cheering him, for “all they which are in Asia” had turned away from him. He was in prison, suffering as an evildoer. Yet, Paul was a winner! He had kept the rules laid down in the Word of God, and one day he would get his reward from Jesus Christ. Paul was saying to young Timothy, “The important thing is that you obey the Word of God, no matter what people may say. You are not running the race to please people or to get fame. You are running to please Jesus Christ.” Warren Wiersbe 247. As for social or political action, it is very clear from the biblical record that in spite of political corruption and rampant injustice, neither Christ, His apostles nor the early church ever engaged in it. For us to do so today is to stray from both the teaching of Scripture and the example of Christ and the first Christians. We are not called to improve the world but to call people out of the world to Heavenly citizenship through repentance and the new birth in Jesus Christ. It is not only a waste of effort to attempt to persuade the unsaved to live moral lives, but it is counterproductive: it implies that God is pleased with outward behavior without an inner change of heart. In fact, the more righteous a person believes his behavior is, the less likely he is to realize that he is a sinner in need of a Savior. Christ said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Lk 5:32). That is our task as His followers. The Berean Call, July 1999

248. Habakkuk retired to his watchtower to see how the Lord would answer him. He wanted to get alone in order to gain God’s perspective. This is a most important principle for believers today as well. Whether we call it our “quiet time,” “devotions,” or by some other term, daily communion with God is crucial for every Christian. William MacDonald 249. Jesus went down into the Jordan to take His stand by the side of sinners. When you see the sinless Christ going to the sinners’ baptism, you are seeing love going to a great redeeming act of selfidentification. It was a prophecy of what the coming years were to bring, when the Lord of glory was to earn the name “Friend of publicans and sinners,” to go where need called, reckless of His reputation, to sit often at outcasts’ tables, and to die at last between two thieves. “He was numbered with the transgressors.” (Isa. 53:12.) True, but He numbered Himself with them first of all. At the Jordan, Jesus took His stand by the side of sinners, making their shame His shame, their trouble His trouble, their penitence His penitence, their burden His burden. It was the beginning of the work that was crowned at Calvary, when He carried the burden away forever. Hence the baptism of Jesus points up the fact that the only love which can ever possess redeeming power is a love that goes all the way and identifies itself with others. James S. Stewart 250. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Charles H. Spurgeon 251. The distinction between reputation and reality, between what human beings see and what God sees, is of great importance to every age and place. Although we have responsibilities to others, we are primarily accountable to God. It is before Him that we stand, and to Him that one day we must give an account. We should not therefore rate human opinion too highly, becoming depressed when criticized and elated when

flattered. We need to remember that ‘The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1 Sa. 16:7). He reads our thoughts and knows our motives. He can see how much reality there is behind our profession, how much life behind our facade. John Stott 252. Paul’s “manner of life” backed up his messages. He did not preach sacrifice and live in luxury. He gave to others far more than he received from them. He stood up for the truth even when it meant losing friends and, in the end, losing his life. Paul was a servant, not a celebrity. Warren Wiersbe 253. The ultimate issue posed by the whole sermon concerns the authority of the preacher. It is not enough either to call Him Lord or to listen to His teaching. The basic question is whether we mean what we say and do what we hear. On this commitment hangs our eternal destiny. Only the man who obeys Christ as Lord is wise. For only he is building his house on a foundation of rock, which the storms neither of adversity nor of judgment will be able to undermine. The crowds were astonished by the authority with which Jesus taught. It is an authority to which the followers of Jesus in every generation must submit. The issue of the Lordship of Christ is as relevant today, both in principle and in detailed application, as when He originally preached His Sermon on the Mount. John Stott 254. When we fail to obey God’s truth, we can expect consequences. This is not because God is out to get even, instead, it’s because God’s truth protects us from situations that will harm us. When we trample down those protective fences God has set up in His Word, we end up experiencing the evil from which those fences were created to save us. Take God at His word. The Scriptures can keep you from harm. Refuse to violate God’s truth either by running ahead or lagging behind His will for your life. God’s truth will keep you from the consequences. Woodrow Kroll 255. For ten days in December of 1995 the Hubble Space Telescope collected light from a blank spot of sky, devoid of naked–eye stars, just above the bowl of the Big Dipper. This project, known as the

Hubble Deep Field survey, covered an area of the sky about one– twenty–fourth of a degree wide, no larger than a grain of sand held at arm’s length. Within this tiny spot of sky, beyond the reach of earth–bound telescopes, were brought into view over fifteen– hundred galaxies, four billion times fainter than the limits of human vision. This snapshot of the Big Bang’s galactic baby boom discloses galaxies in an astonishing plenitude and variety. There are spirals and ellipticals and bar–shaped galaxies, the same familiar galactic types seen in galaxies nearer to us. Many are colliding, some interacting or exchanging their material. Many are seen edge– on; many face–on; and many from every angle in between. Their stars are colored blue, yellow, and orange. Their light has traveled to us across eons of time from the remotest parts of the known universe. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their music goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him? To the Hebrews, the greatness of the heavens taught not of God’s remoteness, but of the power and glory by which His presence may affect our lives: To whom, then, will you compare God? Who are you that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens? I who stretched out the heavens say you are my people. 256. We all need to live with future generations in mind. It’s not enough to live a godly life to gain God’s blessings for yourself; consider what influence your life will have on your grandchildren, your great– grandchildren and the rest of your family tree. The character you

choose to develop will leave its mark on the lives of generations you’ll never live to see. Don’t be content to leave an inheritance of material possessions. Instead, strive to be a channel for God’s blessings to reach generations still unborn. The greatest inheritance your posterity can receive from you is the heritage of God’s blessing. Live so your descendants will rise up and call you blessed. Woodrow Kroll 257. If you cannot make the world completely pious, then do what you can. Martin Luther 258. You cannot keep the grace of God a secret; it will reveal itself. You need not advertise your religion: live it, and other people will talk about it. It is good to speak for Christ whenever you have a fair opportunity, but your life will be the best sermon. Charles H. Spurgeon 259. First, the message of Christianity is primarily to individuals, and only secondary to society. It leaves the units whom it has influenced to influence the mass. Second, it acts on spiritual and moral sentiment, and only afterwards and consequently on deeds or institutions. Third, it hates violence, and trusts wholly to enlightened conscience. So it meddles directly with no political or social arrangements, but lays down principles which will profoundly affect these, and leaves them to soak into the general mind. Alexander Maclaren 260. Even in the good things that we do, how many defects are there intermingled! For God, in that which is done, respecteth especially the mind and intention of the doer. Cut off, then, all those things wherein we have regarded our own glory, those things which we do to please men, or to satisfy our own liking, those things which we do with any by–respect, and not sincerely and purely for the love of God, and a small score will serve for the number of our righteous deeds. Richard Hooker 261. To conclude; let us make up our mind and determine to pass on to God on the spot every syllable of praise that ever comes to our eyes or our ears—if, in this cold, selfish, envious, and grudging world, any syllable of praise ever should come to us. Even if pure

and generous and well–deserved praise should at any time come to us, all that does not make it ours. The best earned usury is not the stewards’ own money to do with it what he likes. The principal and the interest, and the trader too, are all his master’s. And, more than that, after the wisest and the best trader has done his best, he will remain, to himself at least, a most unprofitable servant. Pass on then immediately, dutifully, and to its very last syllable, to God all the praise that comes to you. Wash your hands of it and say, Not unto us, O God, not unto us, but unto Thy name. And then, to take the most selfish and hungry–hearted view of this whole matter, what you thus pass on to God as not your own but His, He will soon, and in a better and safer world, return again to the full with usury to you, and you again to God, and He again to you, and so on, all down the pure and true and sweet and blessed life of heaven. Alexander Whyte 262. When we see things we believe need to be changed, most of us are impatient to see them done at once. The kingdom of God does not operate spectacularly, with a sudden rush of irresistible force, but rather like seed and yeast. These are small and wholly unimpressive and go to work only when buried. They need an appropriate medium in which to generate change, but the life– principle is there, latent but powerful, ready to begin the slow and marvelous process of transformation. Our prayers for change—in people, in situations—are summed up in the old petition, “Thy kingdom come”—but when we ask for that we are asking for what may seem an excruciatingly drawn–out business. We will need the patience of the farmer and the baker who, having done the one thing needful, then quietly (and with calm faith) wait for the thing to happen. Elisabeth Elliot 263. The visible unity of the church is a proper Christian quest, but only if union is not sought at the expense of doctrine. Jesus prayed for the oneness of His people. He also prayed that they might be kept from evil and in truth. We have no mandate from Christ to seek unity without purity, purity of both doctrine and conduct. If there is such a thing as ‘cheap reunion’, there is ‘cheap evangelism’ also, namely

the proclamation of the gospel without the cost of discipleship, the demand for faith without repentance. These are forbidden shortcuts. They turn the evangelist into a fraud. They cheapen the gospel and damage the cause of Christ. John Stott 264. The one, true, pure, abiding joy is to hold fellowship with God and to live in His love. The secret of all our unrest is the going out of our desires after earthly things. Alexander Maclaren 265. He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot 266. God does nothing by mere energy, He makes no display of mere power; He never worked a miracle for the sake of the miracle, He always worked it for the sake of the blind man or the lame creature or the suffering woman or the hungry ones that were feeling the pinch of starvation in the inhospitable wilderness. I will think of my Lord’s greatness in this way; it brings Him nearer to me; perhaps He may weep over me some day and take me back into the heart which by my many sins I have forsaken or even distrusted. My hope is in the tears of God. Joseph Parker 267. Paul knew there would be those who would not receive his message, but he still proclaimed it. Christ knew there would be more reject Him than accept Him, but He still died for all. You and I cannot be in ministry only if we are assured of resounding success in terms of visible results. Our call and commission is to faithfully proclaim the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Whatever happens between the people who hear and the Lord is out of our hands. Dr. Jere Phillips 268. When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there When you worry and hurry through the day It is like an unopened gift . . . thrown away. Life is not a race, do take it slower. Hear the music, before the song is over. Author unknown

269. It was always against the grain with Jesus to appeal to the lower side of men’s nature and the sensational spirit. Men might want Him to blaze His message across the skies, to stop the stars in their courses, to call down fire from Heaven, to change the face of nature; but no one knew better than Christ that that spirit had absolutely nothing to do with religion at all. That was not the Messiah spirit, but the Herod spirit. James S. Stewart 270. “In that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18) Peter and John and the rest verified that anew every day they lived with Him. For as time went on, they found that they could conquer the love of the world in themselves and indeed every low love, not by crushing it down by sheer force of will, but by having a better love to set against it, the love of Jesus, Who had gone the same hard road Himself. Contact with His radiant, dynamic personality achieved the impossible. God’s own victorious power was coming across into their weak lives, not through any moral code, impersonal and cold and uninspiring, but through this splendid, magnificent, adorable Lover of their souls; not by any strained and difficult obedience, but by “Christ in them the hope of glory.” “He is able,” they said. That is the heart and center of Christianity—yesterday, today, and forever. James S. Stewart 271. Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord. Once His gift I wanted, now Himself alone. A. B. Simpson 272. This is the basic teaching of the deeper Christian life. It is the willingness to let Jesus Christ Himself be glorified in us and through us. It is the willingness to quit trying to use the Lord for our ends and to let Him work in us for His glory. A. W. Tozer 273. The true character of the loveliness that tells for God is always unconscious. Conscious influence is priggish and un-Christian. If I say—I wonder if I am of any use—I instantly lose the bloom of the touch of the Lord. “He that believeth in me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water.” If I examine the outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord. Oswald Chambers

274. The darkness may be described by contrast with the light. In Christ we have found the One God. In the world we find humanity living without God, having lost its vision of Him. In Christ we have discovered the oneness of humanity. In the world we find humanity broken up and in perpetual conflict. In Christ the one law of love is revealed. In the world we see the mastery of selfishness producing suffering everywhere. G. Campbell Morgan 275. True wisdom is found, not in mental acquisitions, but in a certain spiritual relation. The wise man is known by the pose of his soul. He is “inclined toward the Lord!” He has returned unto his rest, and he finds light and vision in the fellowship of his Lord. “To depart from evil is understanding.” Yes, I need the lens of purity if I am to see the secrets of things. A dirty lens is the explanation of much ignorance and obscurity. I do not think I can ever see a flower if my lens is defiled. Much less can I see “the things of others.” And still less again can I enjoy “the secret of the Lord.” What we want is not so much a theological training as a right spirit, not so much to go to school as to “depart from evil.” When I leave an evil habit worlds unseen begin to show their glory. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” John Henry Jowett 276. Ye have enemies; for who can live on this earth without them? Take heed to yourselves: love them. In no way can thy enemy so hurt thee by his violence, as thou dost hurt thyself if thou love him not. And let it not seem to you impossible to love him. Believe first that it can be done, and pray that the will of God may be done in you. For what good can thy neighbor’s ill do to thee? If he had no ill, he would not even be thine enemy. Wish him well, then, that he may end his ill, and he will be thine enemy no longer. For it is not the human nature in him that is at enmity with thee, but his sin. St. Augustine 277. With us of today it is too often assumed that the human mind is the center, not merely of human thought, but of universal being. And thus God, the One self-existent Cause of all that is,

is banished to a distant point on the circumference of our imaginary universe. Men carry this temper unconsciously into their religion. And thus our first question, in presence of a great truth like the Resurrection, is too often, not, What is its intrinsic importance? but, What interest has it for me? Henry Parry Liddon 278. Jesus Christ says, in effect, Don’t rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me. The snare of Christian work is to rejoice in successful service, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you. You never can measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jesus Christ. Keep your relationship right with Him, then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it. When once you are rightly related to God by salvation and sanctification, remember that wherever you are, you are put there by God; and by the reaction of your life on the circumstances around you, you will fulfill God’s purpose, as long as you keep in the light as God is in the light. The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make usefulness their ground of appeal . . . The lodestar of the saint is God Himself, not estimated usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that Our Lord heeds in a man’s life is the relationship of worth to His Father. Jesus is bringing many sons to glory. Oswald Chambers 279. It is not enough just to do things if you are seeking to commend the Lord. You may do the right things in the wrong way. You may do them in a way that causes pain. The mark of the follower of the Lord Jesus is that whatever he has to do in life, like his Lord, he tries to do it attractively. George H. Morrison 280. Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to “count it all

joy.” If we live only for the present and forget the future, then trials will make us bitter, not better. Job had the right outlook when he said, “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Warren Wiersbe 281. The purpose of preaching is not to stir people to action while bypassing their minds, so that they never see what reason God gives them for doing what the preacher requires of them (that is manipulation); nor is the purpose to stock people’s minds with truth, no matter how vital and clear, which then lies fallow and does not become the seed–bed and source of changed lives (that is academicism). . . . The purpose of preaching is to inform, persuade, and call forth an appropriate response to the God whose message and instruction are being delivered. J. I. Packer 282. Above all, the expositor must expound the Word like Paul did in Corinth (1 Cor 2:1–5). He did not come as a clever orator or scholarly genius; he did not arrive with his own message; he did not preach with personal confidence in his own strength. Rather, Paul preached the testimony of God and Christ’s death, and this, with well–placed confidence in God’s power to make the message life– changing. Unless this kind of wholesale dependence on God marks the modern expositor’s preaching, his exposition will lack the divine dimension that only God can provide. Richard L. Mayhue 283. Through our preaching the Lord seeks to change men’s lives. We are to be evangelists, to awaken men to their high calling in Christ. We are to be heralds, proclaiming the messages of God to men. We are to be ambassadors, calling men to be reconciled to God. We are to be shepherds, nourishing and caring for men day by day. We are to be stewards of the mysteries of God, giving men the proper Word for their every need. We are to be witnesses, telling men of all that God has done for them. We are to be overseers, urging men to live their lives to God. We are to be ministers, preparing men to minister with us to others. As we reflect on each of these phases of our work, what emphasis each gives to the importance of preaching! What a task the Lord has given us! Mark Steege

284. Do I not voice the longing of your heart this morning when I say, Oh, for a church that the world cannot treat with indifference. Oh, for a band of saints that it is absolutely impossible to ignore. Oh, for a ministry that will divide audiences and communities and cities and continents into those who are either out and out for Christ or out and out against Him. Oh, for a Christianity virile enough to compel the active opposition. “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Luke 16:18). But the direst of all dire calamities is for it to become so effete, so powerless, so dead, that it is not worth fighting. Clovis Gillham Chappell 285. No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His worker, only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Himself which has gone through the mill of His springcleaning until there is only one purpose left—I am here for God to send me where He will. Every other thing may get fogged, but this relationship to Jesus Christ must never be. Oswald Chambers 286. At all events, do not run risks with such a very shaky hypothesis as that death will change the main direction of your life, but remember that what a man sows he shall reap, that the present is the parent of the future, and that unless we have the earnest of the inheritance here and pass into the other world, bearing that earnest in our hands, there seems little reason why we should expect that, when we stand before Him empty-handed, we can claim a portion therein. Alexander Maclaren 287. “I don’t think I have any more talent than a great many people have. What I did have was an awful lot of sheer necessity. The results convince me that one of the biggest wastes in the world is the unexploited potentials of average human beings. Almost all of us, I think, are perfectly capable of doing many more things, entirely on our own, than we ever imagine or attempt. At any rate, living in the wilderness has taught me many things about myself—some of them rather surprising to me.” Ralph Edwards from ‘Crusoe Of Lonesome Lake’

288. Jesus came preaching and teaching. He was quite young when He began to display his understanding of Scripture. As with earlier spokesmen, His preaching included both revelation and explanation. The sermons of Christ, such as in the Sermon on the Mount and the one at Nazareth, are models of explanation and exposition for all time. In Matthew 5 Jesus said, “You have heard that it hath been said . . . but I say to you. . .” In so doing He instructed and enlightened His listeners and amplified the text, much to the people’s amazement. He stands head and shoulders above all who share the title “preacher” with Him. Many qualities of Christ’s teaching and preaching can be quickly identified. Among them are the following: (1) He spoke with authority; (2) He made careful use of other Scriptures in His explanations; (3) He lived out what He taught; (4) He taught simply to adapt to the common man; and (5) His teaching was often controversial. To be understood properly, Christ must be seen “not as a scientific lecturer but as a preacher, a preacher for the most part to the common people, an open–air preacher, addressing restless and mainly unsympathizing crowds. “He taught His listeners the truth and explained it to them in simple but profound words. Some were confounded while others rejoiced. Today’s expository preacher should model his ministry after the expositional work of Christ. He should study His method carefully, “not as an example to be slavishly imitated, but as an ideal to be freely realized.” James F. Stitzinger 289. “You praise what I have said, and receive my exhortation with tumults of applause; but show your approbation by obedience; that is the only praise I seek.” John Chrysostom 290. He (Jesus) calls us to thought before He calls us to action. John Stott 291. So anybody who divides his allegiance between God and mammon has already given it to mammon, since God can be served only with an entire and exclusive devotion. This is simply because He is God: ‘I am the Lord, that is My name: My glory I give to no other’ (Is.42:8; 48:11). To try to share Him with other loyalties is to have opted for idolatry.

And when the choice is seen for what it is – a choice between Creator and creature, between the glorious personal God and a miserable thing called money, between worship and idolatry – it seems inconceivable that anybody could make the wrong choice. For now it is a question not just of comparative durability and comparative benefit, but of comparative worth: the intrinsic worth of the One and the intrinsic worthlessness of the other. John Stott 292. Since God is supreme in the universe for all time and yet has still shown concern for His creatures, how should His children respond? Certainly a reverent gratitude is in order, as is a God–consciousness that pervades every activity and attitude. In times of need, reminders of a transcendent God’s involvement in human life can be important sources of strength. These and other lessons derive from Psalm 113, a gem among gems. Disclosures about God that arise from the exquisite beauty of the language should be adorning the Bride of Christ. Furthermore, preachers and teachers of God’s word should shine their expositional floodlights on this Scripture more regularly. God’s infinite greatness and inexplicable grace need more attention. The richly blessed should voice spontaneous thanksgiving and praise to Him who reigns in heaven and yet responds to human needs. George J. Zemek 293. And just as we are often dulled towards God, so are we dulled to our besetting sin for it has grown so gradually and strengthened with our strength and never startled us with any uproar. It is easy to see the sins of other people, because in a moment they are displayed to us. We see them not in the slowness of their growth, but in the sudden flash of their fulfillment . . . But the most deadly evils do not leap on us. The most deadly evils creep on us. And it is that slow silent growth of all that at last is mighty to confound which lulls men into the strange security which always is the associate of selfignorance . . . I shall mention but one more cause of our selfignorance, and that is the low standard of our moral judgment. We manage to be contented with ourselves because of the

poverty of our ideal. A sheep may look tolerably fair and clean against the greeness of the summer grass, but when the snow has fallen in virgin purity the sheep may be as a blot upon the hill. It is not the living creature that is different; it is the background that is different, and I want to ask you this straight question—What is the background of life? Is it the common standard of your class? Then you will never understand your errors. You are not worse than anybody else; you are as good as they are any day. But how that poor and shallow selfcomplacency is torn and tattered into a thousand shreds when the life which once accepted social values is set against the background of Christ! Paul was proud of his moral standing once, for he could lift up his head with any Pharisee. But when Christ found him and made a man of him, the Pharisee became the chief of sinners. And it is always so when Christ comes in. We see the brightest and we see the worst. There is a Heaven higher than our hope, and there is a hell deeper than we dreamed. Have you been awakened in any way like that? Are you profoundly dissatisfied with self? Have you had hours when you felt that in all the world there could be nobody quite as bad as you? Blessed be God for His convicting Spirit. It is better to feel that than to be satisfied. It is along that road, however dark, that the way lies for self-examination at the Communion Table. George H. Morrison 294. It seems significant that in the same gospel of Matthew the Jesus Who here says that our Heavenly Father feeds and clothes His children, later says that “we” must ourselves feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and will be judged accordingly. It is always important to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. The fact that God feeds and clothes His children does not exempt us from the responsibility of being the agents through whom He does it. John Stott 295. Intimacy with Jesus is the best of all teachers. James S. Stewart 296. Let no man lose the faith that God willeth to do a great work through him. Martin Luther

297. God wants us to depend on His grace, while the devil wants us to depend on ourselves. Satan is the author of all “do-it-yourself” spiritual enterprises. He enjoys inflating the ego and encouraging the believer to do it his own way. In spite of Jesus’ warnings about Satan’s plans, Peter fell into the snare, pulled out his sword, and tried to accomplish God’s will in his own way. What a mess he made of things! Warren Wiersbe 298. We stand upon the shoulders of the past, and thereby we are lifted up in all the higher work of mankind; and we ought to be grateful to the past, and mindful of our duty to the future; for the time will come when men will look back upon our inventions, our slow travel, our wonderful ignorance of the power of physical forces and the adaptations of them to physical advancement, and smile at the childishness with which, in the end of the nineteenth century, we boasted of ourselves and our time . . . And not merely are there many contemporaries with whom we are linked in unity, but we are in unity with the past; other men have labored and we have entered into their labors. All the good that all the devout women and all the zealous men of past ages have been doing has come down to us, opening the way for us to do good. And not merely with the past, but we are linked with the laborers of the future. They may hear our names or they may hear them not. We may perish from all memory of mankind, but our work will not ever, and if we are engaged in the Lord’s work, we link ourselves to His permanency and His almightiness, and our work will go down to help the men who are to come after . . . We put all our work together. We sink our work in the one great common work. We scatter seed for God and for souls, and we leave it to God’s own care and blessing. One soweth, and another reapeth . . . The teacher has to sink himself in his pupils: never mind if he sinks all out of the world’s sight, provided he can make his mark upon them and prepare them for greater usefulness, and put into them some good spirit, and send them forth to do the work which to him personally is denied. John A. Broadus

299. Obscure the holiness and you relieve the blackness of sin. Relieve the blackness of sin and you impoverish the glory of redemption. The more we lighten sin the more we uncrown our Redeemer. If sin be a light thing, the Redeemer was superfluous. And so, with holiness hidden and sin relieved, we come to hold a cheap redemption, and it is against the conception of a cheap redemption that the apostle raises an eager and urgent warning —”There was nothing cheap about your redemption. It was not a light ministry which cost a mere trifle. Ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with precious blood, even the blood of Christ.” John Henry Jowett 300. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and Heaven opens and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you know already. Beware of becoming “wise and prudent.” Oswald Chambers 301. It is our worship of Him which nourishes in us the highest and best. How can a man tell the reasons why we should worship God? They are as high as Heaven, as wide as the world, as vast as the universe; all existence and all conception—everything is a reason why we should worship God. John A. Broadus 302. Finally, what do we mean by the word “true”? How do we distinguish real Truth from human notions and ideas and opinions and doctrines? We are compelled to say that the word “true” means “grounded in reality, based on the real nature of things, on the basic facts which underlie the universe.” Hence, if people say —as many have said—that the moral ideals set out in the gospels are high and noble ideals, and express admiration for the moral character of Jesus, and stop there, not daring to affirm more than that, the answer they are giving to the Question, “Is the Gospel true?”, is No. Gabriel Hebert 303. “Unto a land that I will show thee.” But what mysterious windings there often are before that land is reached! But God’s windings are never wasteful and purposeless. The apparent deviations are always gracious preparations. We are taken out

of the way in order that we may the more richly reach our end . . . So I will remember that the “short cut” is not always the finest road. God’s round-about ways are filled with Heavenly treasure. Every winding is purposed for the discovery of new wealth. What riches we gather on the way to God’s goal! John Henry Jowett 304. There are times when solitude is better than society, silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labor in His service. Charles H. Spurgeon 305. The test of a man’s religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on. The worth of a man is revealed in his attitude to ordinary things when he is not before the footlights. It is a painful business to get through into the stride of God, it means getting your second wind spiritually. In learning to walk with God there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride; but when we have got into it, the only characteristic that manifests itself is the life of God. The individual man is lost sight of in his personal union with God, and the stride and the power of God alone are manifested. It is difficult to get into stride with God, because when we start walking with Him we find He has outstripped us before we have taken three steps. He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined into His ways. It was said of Jesus—”He shall not fail nor be discouraged,” because He never worked from His own individual standpoint but always from the standpoint of His Father, and we have to learn to do the same thing. Spiritual truth is learned by atmosphere, not by intellectual reasoning. God’s Spirit alters the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and things begin to be possible which never were possible before. Getting into the stride of God means nothing less that union with Himself. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don’t give in because the pain is bad just now,

get on with it, and before long you will find you have a new vision and a new purpose. Oswald Chambers 306. When you find yourself in the fire, remember that God keeps His gracious hand on the thermostat! “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Satan wants us to get impatient with God, for an impatient Christian is a powerful weapon in the devil’s hands. You will recall from our study in James 1 that Moses’ impatience robbed him of a trip to the Holy Land; Abraham’s impatience led to the birth of Ishmael, the enemy of the Jews; and Peter’s impatience almost made him a murderer. When Satan attacks us, it is easy for us to get impatient and run ahead of God and lose God’s blessing as a result. Warren Wiersbe 307. In the beginning Moses realized that he was the man to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God. We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the forty years in the wilderness, as if God had ignored the whole thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged God comes back and revives the call, and we get the quaver in and say—”Oh who am I?” We have to learn the first great stride of God—”I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee.” We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; our individuality is to be rendered incandescent by a personal relationship to God. Oswald Chambers 308. The universal confession of all true believers is this—”I know that unless Jesus Christ had sought me when a stranger wandering from the fold of God, I would to this very hour have been wandering far from Him, at a distance from Him, and loving that distance well.” With common consent, all believers affirm the truth, that men will not come to Christ till the Father who hath sent Christ doth draw them. Charles H. Spurgeon

309. Why is it that Christ Jesus is so little beloved? Why are even His professed followers so cold in their affections to Him? Whence arise these things? Assuredly, dear brethren, we can trace them to no other source than this, the corruption and vitiation of the affections. We love that which we ought to hate, and we hate that which we ought to love. It is but human nature, fallen human nature, that man should love this present life better than the life to come. It is but the effect of the fall, that man should love sin better than righteousness, and the ways of the world better than the ways of God. And again, we repeat it, until these affections be renewed, and turned into a fresh channel by the gracious drawings of the Father, it is not possible for any man to love the Lord Jesus Christ. Charles H. Spurgeon 310. We stand before Him like Nicodemus—”How can these things be?” In what part of this changing universe, by what reconstruction of this unstable soul? He has the same reply: “No man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man, which is in Heaven.” It admits of none other; it is for faith, not for sight; for the trust of the heart, not for the telescope of science. If God has given us spirits that cry out for such a home, and if Christ has given us one fixed point in God’s love, we can commit all the rest to Him. He who can create a spark of love in a human heart, which all the floods of change cannot quench, can raise it to a sun that shall no more go down. Heaven is a state before it is a place. It is being in God, then with God. The locality will flow from the heart. The way to be sure of a permanent home is to keep fast hold of Him who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. John Ker 311. It seems to me that life is much like that great musical masterpiece. It was written by Someone a long time ago. The Composer was very gifted and even though He had been, at times, scorned by the multitudes, He never gave up, never called it quits, even laid His life on the line to finish what He was ordained to do.

Happenstance? You may call it that. It just had to happen. If that is all that it was I would still be very grateful and thankful that it “Just happened to happen.” We believe though, that it was part of that marvelous Masterpiece. That we were written into the concert somewhere in the performance of life. That the Conductor was none other than the One Who created the music, the instruments, the musicians and all else that was, is or ever will be. Dear Conductor, You deserve and we give You all the credit and all the thanksgiving and all the glory. And if that turns out to be Happenstance, we know Who created it, don’t we. Bring on some more happenstance, because it is made of wonderful materials. He, who created Heavenly happenstance is the great Conductor and we are just one player in the great orchestra. Hallelujah! James Arthur Creamer from his short story ‘Happenstance’. 312. So a mighty consciousness expresses itself in lowly service. In our ignorance we should have assumed that divinity would have moved only in planetary orbits, and would have overlooked the petty streets and ways of men. But here the Lord of Glory girds Himself with the apron of the slave, and almightiness addresses itself to menial service. And that is the test of an expanding consciousness. We may be sure that we are growing smaller when we begin to disparage humble services. We may be sure we are growing larger when we love the ministries that never cry or lift their voices in the streets. When a man begins to despise the “towel,” he is losing his kingly dignity, and is resigning his place on the throne. “I have give you an example that ye also should do as I have done to you.” John Henry Jowett 313. Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked

on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes. Oswald Chambers 314. The core of sin is our making ourselves the center of life, rather than accepting the holy God as the center. Daniel D. Williams 315. I looked to Jesus and the dove of peace flew into my heart. I looked at the dove of peace and it flew away. Charles Wesley 316. We have all seen fishermen upon a summer morning mending their nets on the seashore. With a patience and a skill that we have envied, we have watched them busy at their task. These bronzed faces, and strong and vigorous frames, tell of many a year upon the deep. We can picture the men handling their boats magnificently when the wind is freshening into angry storm. And now in the quiet of the summer morning, when the waves are idly lapping on the beach, they are busied with the mending of their nets. It was thus that James and John were busied when they received the call that changed their lives. Their boat was rocking in the shallow water, and they were chatting, and working as they chatted. And then came Jesus, and claimed them for Himself, and called them into the service of discipleship, and they left everything and followed Him. George H. Morrison 317. “Acknowledge Him.” But not with a passing nod of recognition. I must not merely glance at Him now and again, admitting His existence on the field. To acknowledge Him is to acknowledge Him as King, with the right to control, and as predominant partner in all the affairs of my life, even the right to give the determining voice in

all my decisions. No, it is not the recognition paid to an acquaintance, it is the homage paid to a King. And if I thus acknowledge Him, He will direct my paths. Life shall always be moving on to its purposed end and glory. The path chosen will not always be the most alluring one, but it will be the right one, and therefore the safe one, and there will be wonderful discoveries on the uninviting track. How will He let me know which path to take? I cannot say. We can never anticipate God’s ways of dealing with us. But if my life is bent to the loving acknowledgment of His will, He will assuredly find a way to make His will known. The light will always reach the willing mind. John Henry Jowett 318. Deception in matters of religion is especially perilous. There is no more subtle snare of the devil than a profession of Christ without the possession of grace. People come into the church of God, but, if their hearts have never been really touched by converting grace, they are very prone to mistake their place in the church for their membership in “the church of the firstborn which are written in Heaven,” and to cherish a false security through sacraments and ordinances and outward communion with the church of God, and so sometimes go down into the grave still in a state of awful deception. Arthur T. Pierson 319. My dear children, the milk and honey are beyond this wilderness. God be merciful to you, and grant that you be not slothful to go in to possess the land. John Bunyan 320. Now, you are to love poor sinners for what God’s grace can do for them; and you do not know but that the abandoned man or the outcast woman that you lift up out of the gutter and rescue out of the clutch of vile sins may yet be a saint that shall get nearer to God than nine-tenths of those disciples that pass them by in neglect. Arthur T. Pierson 321. By His illustrations, His epigrams, His paradoxes, and above all, by His parables, those matchless pictures which are not only

creations of purest artistry but also living revelations of grace, windows opening suddenly upon life and destiny and God, He made men actually see the truths which He was proclaiming. Very often, while Jesus was speaking, some sudden picture would flash its way across His hearer’s minds, so that even those whom no amount of abstract reasoning or argument would have convinced were left crying, “I see it! I see it!” Many were ready to confess that until they met Jesus they had been blind, drifting through life like men with eyes shut, more than half asleep, never guessing at life’s glory; but that now, thanks to Him, they were awake and alive, seeing life and seeing God. Jesus was the world’s great giver of vision. James S. Stewart 322. They launched the ark not only on the Nile but on God’s providence. He would be Captain, Steersman, and Convoy of the tiny ark. Miriam stood to watch. There was no fear of fatal consequences, only the quiet expectancy that God would do something worthy of Himself. They reckoned on God’s faithfulness and they were amply rewarded when the daughter of their greatest foe became the babe’s patroness. F. B. Meyer 323. There was true heroism in the act, when Moses stepped down from Pharaoh’s throne to share the lot of his brethren. But it would take many a long year of lonely waiting and trial before this strong and radiant nature could be broken down, shaped into a vessel meet for the Master’s use, and prepared for every good work . . . One blow struck when God’s time is fulfilled is worth a thousand struck in premature eagerness. F. B. Meyer 324. “It was said of old time . . . but I say unto you”—with one stroke sweeping scribism and all its buttressed positions aside, striking down through all the layers of tradition to bedrock fact, to the living God. And men were left gasping at the sheer daring of it, amazed and overwhelmed by the marvelous assurance of it, but also feeling with a great thrill of the heart that here was the real thing at last, here was a Man who had seen what He was talking about and knew it and had a right to speak, a Man straight from God! James S. Stewart

325. No man’s religion will ever make any real impact on the world if the man is not putting himself into it, if he is not living it. But if he is, it may be irresistible anywhere. James S. Stewart 326. Where there is no thirst at the roots there shall be no withering of the leaf. John Henry Jowett 327. A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God’s warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory”, defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. Charles H. Spurgeon 328. And the Holy Spirit is thus to be a strengthener of the friends of the Lord. He will be my “Comforter.” By His gracious advocacy He will make my faith and hope invincible. The best service which can be rendered me is not to change my circumstances, but to make me superior to them; not to make a smooth road, but to enable me to “leap like an hart” over any road; not to remove the darkness, but to make me “sing songs in the night.” And so I will not pray for less burdens, but for more strength! And this is the gracious ministry of “The Comforter.” John Henry Jowett 329. It is part of Christian culture to know what God’s aim is. In the history of the Christian Church the tendency has been to evade being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ; men have sought to procure the carrying out of God’s order by a short cut of their own. God’s way is always the way of suffering, the way of the “long, long trail.” Oswald Chambers 330. The self-sins . . . dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them. The grosser manifestations of these sins— egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion—are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy. They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people, to become

identified with the gospel. I trust it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a requisite for popularity in some sections of the Church visible. Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice. A. W. Tozer 331. O unbelief, how strange a marvel thou art! We know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of His people. He keeps His promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him. Charles H. Spurgeon 332. And because there was obedience there came vision. In the wonderful answer to his faith Peter beheld the glory of his Lord. And so I never know where the unenticing road of obedience will lead me. At the end of the dull road there will be some gracious surprise! It is the rugged path which leads to the summit! The panorama comes as the reward of the toilsome climb! Always, in the realm of the Spirit, the dogged “nevertheless” will lead to the “shining tableland to which our God Himself is moon and sun.” John Henry Jowett 333. And yet I fear that I have not been able to make you think of the blood of Christ. I beseech you, then, just for a moment try to picture to yourself Christ on the cross. Let your imagination figure the motley crew assembled round about that little hill of Calvary. Lift now your eyes, and see the three crosses put upon that rising knoll. See in the center the thorn-crowned brow of Christ. Do you see the hands that have always been full of blessing nailed fast to the accursed wood! See you His dear face, more marred than that of any other man? Do you see it now, as His head bows upon His bosom in the extreme agonies of death? He was a real man, remember. It was a real cross. Do not think of these things as figments, and fancies, and romances. There was such a being, and He died as I describe it. Let your imagination picture Him, and then sit still a moment and think over this thought: “The blood of that Man, whom now I behold dying in agony, must be my redemption; and if I would be saved, I must put my only trust in what He suffered for me,

when He Himself did ‘bear our sins in His own body on the tree.’” Charles H. Spurgeon 334. If I have any counsel for God’s shepherds today, it is this: cultivate a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and share what He gives you with your people. That way, you will grow, and they will grow with you. Warren Wiersbe 335. ‘From Him all my fruit must be found, for no fruit can ever come from me’. We are taught, by past experience, that the more simply we depend upon the grace of God in Christ, and wait upon the Holy Spirit, the more we shall bring forth fruit unto God. Oh! To trust Jesus for fruit as well as for life. Charles H. Spurgeon 336. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else He would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this Man was, and is the Son Of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. C. S. Lewis 337. The trouble supreme to the advancement of our Lord’s kingdom in this world is with the people of His kingdom, with those who love it, and who are of it, and yet whose lives do not harmonize with it. There is our supreme trouble. If we are saying wrong things, or if we are doing wrong things; if, in our lives, inconsistencies may be seen; if there is marked worldliness, and if we fall so far short of the characteristics of what a Christian ought to have, so that men about us believe that our religion is just a theory, and not the dominating passion of our lives, then are we hindering the cause of Christ to a very sad degree. George W. Truett 338. If a man’s heart be right with God, then one prayer prayed from such a heart will have more power with God and with men than a

thousand years of praying if the heart be all wrong with God. George W. Truett 339. The supreme thing for which you live is to point men to Christ. George W. Truett 340. Christian progress does not consist in seeing new things, but in seeing the old thing more clearly: the same Christ, the same Cross, only more distinctly and deeply apprehended, and more closely incorporated into my very being. We do not grow away from Him, but we grow into knowledge of Him. Alexander Maclaren 341. You will get as much of God as you want and no more. The measure of your desire is the measure of your capacity, and the measure of your capacity is the measure of God’s gift. “Open they mouth wide and I will fill it.” And if your faith is heavily shod and steps slowly, His power and His grace will step slowly along with it, keeping rank and step. “According to your faith shall it be unto you.” Alexander Maclaren 342. If we forget what God has done for us, we will not be excited to share Christ with others. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we have been purged and forgiven! God has opened our eyes! Let’s not forget what He has done! Rather, let’s cultivate gratitude in our hearts and sharpen our spiritual vision. Life is too brief and the needs of the world too great for God’s people to be walking around with their eyes closed! Warren Wiersbe 343. The Bible is a revelation of God to man and a revelation of man to himself, and a revelation of sin to itself; and until we get into these deeper and more inward mysteries, we know nothing about the Bible. What is your standard: Into what haunts do you flee when the soul is ill at ease? Your daily Bible is your autobiography; he who has eyes to read character and conduct aright could discover from my daily Bible what I am, what I have suffered, enjoyed, what I long for, hope for, live for. There is nothing in the Bible that is unimportant, but there is a central Bible, a Bible within the Bible, full of the spirit of revelation and worship, prophecy and evangelical exposition, and into that innermost circle of all the concentric circles we must find our way before we can form any estimate of the real

compass and the real spirit of the Bible. Few men have read thee, O Book of God, for thou art a letter to the heart, to be read in the dusk of life, or in the morning twilight, when no one is present, when the air is listening as if nervously to take back to the Author of the letter some answer given in sigh or sob. Joseph Parker 344. We are not called upon to study the miracles, but to be the miracles. We are to be the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the lame, the dead, on whom the great revivals of Christ’s energy shall operate, calling us up into speech and hearing and song and agility and manhood: that is the miracle towards which all other miracles of mine were lamely moving. I am not called upon to entertain some advanced thinker and to discuss with him the miracles of Christ; I am called upon to say, I was blind, and now I see. The Christian is to be the miracle, and not to write commentaries upon the miracles. No man can understand the manner of the miracles or has any right to speak about them until he has undergone the major or final miracle, testified in his own new life, expressed in his own consciousness, and verified by his own conduct. Joseph Parker 345. When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede. Oswald Chambers 346. When we are asking for “the gift of God” our request must be accompanied by the gift of ourselves to God. If we want the water we must offer the vessel. No gift of self, no bounty of God! No losing, no finding! John Henry Jowett 347. Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find favor in Your sight. And [Lord, do] consider that this nation is Your people. Exodus 33:13 from the Amplified Bible 348. Re-state to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible, and get back to the bedrock of the Cross of Christ.

In external history the Cross is an infinitesimal thing; from the Bible point of view it is of more importance than all the empires of the world. If we get away from brooding on the tragedy of God upon the Cross in our preaching, it produces nothing. It does not convey the energy of God to man; it may be interesting but it has no power. But preach the Cross, and the energy of God is let loose. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” “We preach Christ crucified.” Oswald Chambers 349. Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire by James Montgomery Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed, the motion of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast. Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear, the upward glancing of an eye, when none but God is near. Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try; Prayer the sublimest strains that reach The Majesty on high. Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice returning from his ways, while angels in their songs rejoice and cry, “Behold, he prays!” Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air, his watchword at the gates of death—He enters Heaven with prayer. The saints in prayer appear as one in word and deed and mind, While with the Father and the Son Sweet fellowship they find. Nor prayer is made by man alone—The Holy Spirit pleads, And Jesus on th’ eternal throne for sinners intercedes. O Thou by whom we come to God, The Life, the Truth, the Way, The path of prayer Thyself hast trod—Lord, teach us how to pray. 350. So this was the substance of the Lord’s teaching (as we know also from the Gospels) during the forty days between the resurrection and the ascension: when the Spirit came in power, the long promised reign of God, which Jesus had Himself inaugurated and proclaimed, would begin to spread. It would be spiritual in its character (transforming the lives and values of its citizens), international in its membership (including Gentiles as well as Jews) and gradual in its expansion (beginning at once in Jerusalem, and then growing until it reaches the end of both time and earthly space). This vision and commission must have given clear direction to the

disciples’ prayers during their ten days of waiting for Pentecost. But before the Spirit could come, the Son must go. John Stott 351. Christ’s kingdom, while not incompatible with patriotism, tolerates no narrow nationalisms. He rules over an international community in which race, nation, rank and sex are no barriers to fellowship. And when His kingdom is consummated at the end, the countless redeemed company will be seen to be drawn ‘from every nation, tribe, people and language’. John Stott 352. Before the Day of Pentecost, however, there was to be a time of waiting, for forty days between the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus, and for ten more between Ascension and Pentecost. Jesus’ instructions were quite clear, and Luke repeats them for emphasis, first at the end of his Gospel and then at the beginning of Acts. ‘Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high’. ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about’. During the fifty day waiting period, however, they were not inactive. On the contrary, Luke singles out for comment four important events. First, they received their commission. Secondly, they saw Christ go into Heaven. Thirdly, they persevered together in prayer, presumably for the Spirit to come. Fourthly, they replaced Judas with Matthias as the twelfth apostle. Not that we are to think that these are human activities only. For it is Christ who commissioned them, ascended into Heaven, promised them the Spirit they prayed for, and chose the new apostle. Dr. Richard Longenecker goes further and sees these four factors as comprising what he calls ‘the constitutive elements of Christian mission’, namely the mandate to witness, the ascended Lord who directs the mission from Heaven, the centrality of the apostles in this task, and the coming of the Spirit to empower them. Only when these four elements were in place could the mission begin. John Stott 353. Just as at the beginning of the Gospel Jesus in the Judean desert turned away from false ends and means, so at the beginning of Acts the apostles before Pentecost had to turn away from both a false

activism and a false pietism. And in their place, as the remedy for them, there was (and is) witness to Jesus in the power of the Spirit, with all that this implies of earthly responsibility and heavenly enabling. John Stott 354. Christians should seek after those things which will be to the honor of their birth, after spiritual wisdom, and knowledge of the most worthy and noble truths. They should seek more and more an acquaintance with God, and to be assimilated to Him, their great progenitor, and their immediate Father, that they may have the image of His excellent and divine perfections. They should endeavor to act like God, wherein they are capable of imitation of Him. They should seek heavenly-mindedness, those noble appetites after heavenly and spiritual enjoyments, a noble ambition after heavenly glory, a contempt of the trifles and mean things of this world. Jonathan Edwards 355. That Christianity should be equated in the public mind, inside as well as outside the Church, with “organized religion” merely shows how far we have departed from the New Testament. For the last thing the Church exists to be is an organization for the religious. Its charter is to be the servant of the world. John A. T. Robinson 356. A true servant of God is humble and seeks to serve others. The true servant of God does not think about praise or pay, because he serves God from a loving and obedient heart. He honors God and the authority that God has established in this world. In short, the true servant of God patterns himself after Jesus Christ. Warren Wiersbe 357. Paul was careful not to build his converts’ faith on either his words or his wisdom. Paul was a brilliant man, but his ministry was simple and practical. He preached to express and not to impress. He knew the difference between communication and manipulation. Warren Wiersbe 358. The life of the Church becomes fruitful when it becomes sacrificial. When the Church is easeful she loses the power to

redeem. I remember the old story of Pope Innocent IV. and Thomas Aquinas, who were standing together as bags of treasure were being carried in through the gates of the Lateran. “You see,” observed the Pope, with a smile, “the day is past when the Church could say, ‘Silver and gold have I none!’” “Yes, Holy Father,” was the saint’s reply, “and the day is past when the Church could say to the lame man, ‘Rise and walk!’” John Henry Jowett 359. The freedom that Jesus Christ offers means enjoying fulfillment in the will of God. It means achieving your greatest potential to the glory of God. Jesus Christ frees us to become our very best in this life, and then to be like Him in the next. Warren Wiersbe 360. Here, then, is a fourfold message - two events (Christ’s death and resurrection), as attested by two witnesses (prophets and apostles), on the basis of which God makes two promises (forgiveness and the Spirit), on two conditions (repentance and faith, with baptism). We have no liberty to amputate this apostolic gospel, by proclaiming the cross without the resurrection, or referring to the New Testament but not the Old, or offering forgiveness without the Spirit, or demanding faith without repentance. There is a wholeness about the biblical gospel. It is not enough to ‘proclaim Jesus’. For there are many different Jesus’ being presented today. According to the New Testament gospel, however, He is “historical” (He really lived, died, rose and ascended in the arena of history), “theological” (His life, death, resurrection and ascension all have saving significance) and “contemporary” (He lives and reigns to bestow salvation on those who respond to Him). Thus the apostles told the same story of Jesus at three levels - as historical event (witnessed by their own eyes), as having theological significance (interpreted by the Scriptures), and as contemporary message (confronting men and women with the necessity of decision). We have the same responsibility today to tell the story of Jesus as fact, doctrine and gospel. John Stott 361. I have also, while found in this blessed work of Christ, been often tempted to pride and liftings up of heart: and though I dare not say, I have not been affected with this, yet truly the

Lord of His precious mercy, hath so carried it towards me, that for the most part I have had but small joy to give way to such a thing: for it hath been my every day’s portion to be let into the evil of my own heart, and still made to see such a multitude of corruptions and infirmities therein, that it hath caused hanging down of the head under all my gifts and attainments; I have felt this thorn in the flesh the very mercy of God to me. John Bunyan 362. And here is this amazing statement in Hebrews, surely one of the most daring summaries of the life of Jesus ever penned: “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” Here, I suspect, lies the clue to this striking and astonishing fact—that the problem of evil is raised far more often by the spectators of life than by the actual combatants. You will nearly always find that the loudest voices railing against providence and the universe—the voices which keep crying out noisily, “How can there be a God and life be so tragic and unjust?”—belong to the spectators of life’s sufferings, and not to the sufferers themselves. You will hardly ever find that the great sufferers are the great skeptics. Quite the reverse. It is the spectators, the people who are outside, looking at the tragedy, from whose ranks the skeptics come; it is not those who are actually in the arena and who know suffering from the inside. Indeed, the fact is that it is the world’s greatest sufferers who have produced the most shining examples of unconquerable faith. It is precisely from the company of the sons and daughters of affliction that the most convinced believers of all the ages have sprung. James S. Stewart 363. We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. Madeleine L’Engle

364. Every now and again, not often, but sometimes, God brings us to a point of climax. That is the Great Divide in the life; from that point we either go towards a more and more dilatory and useless type of Christian life, or we become more and more ablaze for the glory of God—My Utmost For His Highest. Oswald Chambers 365. The rational process in the presence of the world is to pass through the object, sun, star, river, animal, to the thought behind it, and through the thought to the thinker, and in the presence of the thinker to bow in worship and service. What, then, is the irrational process? To take the object, sun or star, animal or tree, and worship it, and serve it. That is the meaning of Paul’s argument concerning the Gentile world. Instead of worshiping the Creator they worshiped and served the creature. They stayed in the realm of the things seen, and did not pass through them to the actuality of the unseen things. That is worldliness. G. Campbell Morgan 366. Thus have I, in short, declared the manner and occasion of my being in prison; where I lie waiting the good will of God, to do with me as He pleaseth; knowing that not one hair of my head can fall to the ground without the will of my Father, which is in Heaven. Let the rage and malice of men be never so great, they can do no more, nor go any further, than God permits them; but when they have done their worst, We know all things shall work together for good to them that love God. John Bunyan 367. We are ordained to be the minstrels of the skies, let us rehearse our everlasting anthem before we sing it in the halls of the New Jerusalem. Charles H. Spurgeon 368. Abram began his journey without any knowledge of his ultimate destination. He obeyed a noble impulse without any discernment of its consequences. He took “one step,” and he did not “ask to see the distant scene.” And that is faith, to do God’s will here and now, quietly leaving the results to Him. Faith is not concerned with the entire chain; its devoted attention is fixed upon the immediate link. Faith is not knowledge of a moral process; it is fidelity in a moral act. Faith leaves something to the Lord; it obeys His immediate

commandment and leaves to Him direction and destiny. John Henry Jowett 369. There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come in order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run before God’s guidance. If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt—don’t. In the beginning you may see clearly what God’s will is—the severance of a friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, something you feel distinctly before God is His will for you to do, never do it on the impulse of that feeling. If you do, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right. Wait for God’s time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment. When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move. Peter did not wait on God, he forecast in his mind where the test would come, and the test came where he did not expect it. “I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” Peter’s declaration was honest but ignorant. “Jesus answered . . . The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.” This was said with a deeper knowledge of Peter than Peter had of himself. He could not follow Jesus because he did not know himself of what he was capable. Natural devotion may be all very well to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His fascination, but it will never make us disciples. Natural devotion will always deny Jesus somewhere or other. Oswald Chambers 370. A vital principle is illustrated in this incident, which is of urgent importance to the church today. It is that God calls all His people to ministry, that He calls different people to different ministries, and that those called to ‘prayer and the ministry of the word’ must on no account allow themselves to be distracted from their priorities. John Stott on Acts 6:1-7

371. This is an age of doubt, an age when it is fashionable to doubt, an age when men and women are questioning all the great verities and certainties of the Word of God, and the unseen world. You may pride yourself on your scepticism, you may think well of yourself because you doubt what humble-minded believers accept without a question; but I tell you solemnly, here and now, that your life will be a restless and unhappy life, that can never know the peace of God, so long and so far as you do not believe . . . How can there be any heavenly rest in the soul where there is not heavenly belief in the soul? Paul could say, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Paul could say, “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Paul could say, “I know that all things work together for good to them that love God”; and the power to say “I know” on great religious questions is the power that brings the peace of God to the human mind, and no mind ever knew peace unless there was this rest of conviction in God. A. T. Pierson 372. There is a border line that lies between the church and the world. Within that border land or line there lie what we call worldly amusements of which you cannot say, perhaps, that there is anything in them inherently wrong and yet you notice that the world loves them, that the world has put its stamp upon them, that they are the favorite employments and enjoyments of men that have no love of God in their hearts; and I am sorry to say that in this border land you will find thousands upon thousands of professed disciples habitually walking. They consort with the world, and follow its amusements. They are drawn into the world’s pleasures, and so find themselves drawn further and further into the world, until they leave the company of Christ’s disciples altogether. There never was a child of God that had the peace of God that passeth all understanding until he had made the sublime resolve to let that border land alone that lies between the Church and the world. If you want the peace of God, there must be a separation between you and the world. You must leave chosen employments and

enjoyments in which worldly men find their satisfaction, and you must get nearer the heart of true disciples and nearer to the heart of Jesus Christ. A. T. Pierson 373. No one who reads the Gospels will ever be led astray by the argument that to pardon freely is simply to condone sin and therefore to make for the demoralization of the sinner. To know oneself forgiven, and forgiven at so great a cost, is always a moral dynamic of the first order. It is a mainspring of the dedicated life. It creates character. It works righteousness. It brings honor back to the throne. It makes the forgiven sinner Christ’s man, body and soul, forever. James S. Stewart 374. How easy it becomes even for those of us who profess to be faithful followers of Christ to get caught up in the “things of earth,” so that our heavenly vision and values become blurred and dull. This often happens even when we are active in our Christian activities, we become so involved in merely doing things for God that we miss the real blessing of enjoying the personal fellowship of Christ Himself in our daily lives. Kenneth W. Osbeck 375. David should have been engaged in fighting the Lord’s battles, instead of which he tarried at Jerusalem, and gave himself up to luxurious repose, for he arose from his bed at eventide. Idleness and luxury are the devil’s jackals, and find him abundant prey. In stagnant waters noxious creatures swarm, and neglected soil soon yields a dense tangle of weeds and briars. Oh for the constraining love of Jesus to keep us active and useful! When I see the King of Israel sluggishly leaving his couch at the close of the day, and falling at once into temptation, let me take warning, and set holy watchfulness to guard the door. Charles H. Spurgeon 376. Our Lord’s disciples often argued over which of them would be the greatest in the Kingdom. Jesus had to remind them that their model for ministry was not the Roman official who “lorded it over” people, but the Savior Himself who came as a humble servant. During my many years of ministry, I have seen the model for ministry change, and the church is suffering because of it. It

appears that the “successful minister” today is more like a Madison Avenue tycoon than a submissive servant. In his hand he holds a wireless telephone, not a towel; in his heart is selfish ambition, not a love for lost souls and for God’s sheep. Warren Wiersbe 377. It is a very remarkable thing that the church of Christ persecuted has been the church of Christ pure. The church of Christ patronized has always been the church of Christ impure. G. Campbell Morgan 378. Only tell a man that he need not be a drunkard anymore, nor a thief, nor a bad creature, and you instantly bring the morning of hope to shine upon the night of despair. Joseph Parker 379. But let a man respond to Christ and receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit— and thou knowest not whither thou shalt go. Thou shalt go to a life that is a joyous thing. Thou shalt go to a life that is a conquering thing. Thou shalt go to a power and usefulness and honor that will amaze thee, knowing what thou art. And then at last, kept by the power of God, and plucked as a brand by Christ out of the burning, thou shalt go to be with Him, which is far better. George H. Morrison 380. It is when the church’s leaders and members get accustomed to their blessings and complacent about their ministry that the enemy finds his way in. Warren Wiersbe 381. “The High Places,” answered the Shepherd, “are the starting places for the journey down to the lowest place in the world. When you have hind’s feet and can go ‘leaping on the mountains and skipping on the hills,’ you will be able, as I am, to run down from the heights in gladdest self-giving and then go up to the mountains again. You will be able to mount to the High Places swifter than eagles, for it is only up on the High Places of Love that anyone can receive the power to pour themselves down in an utter abandonment of self-giving.” Hannah Hurnard from “Hinds’ Feet On High Places” 382. What Jesus loved more than anything was to find a man who had daring enough to pitch his demands high and to be so sure that he was right to do it that he would simply take no denial. Give me faith

like that, said Jesus, and all things will be possible! James S. Stewart 383. Hence it may well be expected of such as profess hopes of their being true Christians, that they should live after a peculiar manner, and be devoted to God for His use. There should be a great difference between their way of living and that of other men. Godly men should not be hurried away by the general example. If any evil practice is become a common custom, it may well be expected of those who profess themselves godly, that they should stem the stream of common custom and example, though they are despised for it. Jonathan Edwards 384. Let us be on our guard against men whose pockets are filled with deceptive labels. Let us vigilantly resist all teachings which would chloroform the conscience. Let us prefer true terms to merely nice ones. Let us call sin by its right name, and let us tolerate no moral conjuring either with ourselves or with others. The first essential in all moral reformation is to call sin “sin.” “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive our sin.” John Henry Jowett 385. As long as each living creature remains in its own environment and lives the kind of life for which it was created, it fulfills the purpose for which it was made. Thus, the highest that can be said of any creature is that it fulfilled the purpose for which God made it. A. W. Tozer 386. And so it is with the ministries of our Lord. He leads us through discords into harmonies, through opposition into union, through adversities into peace. His means of grace are processes, sometimes gentle, sometimes severe; and our folly is to assume that we have reached His ends when we are only on the way to them. “The end of the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” “Be patient, therefore,” until it shall be spoken of thee and me, “And God saw that it was good.” John Henry Jowett 387. He who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting His own children. He knows your case as

thoroughly as if you were the only creature He ever made, or the only saint He ever loved. Approach Him and be at peace. Charles H. Spurgeon 388. Brethren, we ought to learn—and learn it very soon—that it is much better to have God first and have God Himself even if we have only a thin dime than to have all the riches and all the influence in the world and not have God with it! A. W. Tozer 389. You and I are not always satisfied with the manner in which God deals with us. We would very much like to do something new, something different, something big and dramatic—but we are called back. For everything we need, we are called back to the simplicity of the faith, to the simplicity of Jesus Christ and His unchanging person. A. W. Tozer 390. I believe that our Lord wants us to learn more of Him in worship before we become busy for Him. He wants us to have a gift of the Spirit, an inner experience of the heart, as our first service, and out of that will grow the profound and deep and divine activities which are necessary. A. W. Tozer 391. One is amazed at the fickleness of the crowd. One day they tried to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas as if they were gods, while soon after they joined in stoning Paul as if he were a felon. Yet Luke has recorded something similar of the Jerusalem crowd who with loud voices first acclaimed Jesus and then demanded His execution (Lk.19:37-40; 23:23). Like Jesus, Paul remained unmoved. His steadfastness of character was upset neither by flattery nor by opposition. John Stott 392. God lays the groundwork and creates a window of opportunity, even as He presented Paul with the opportunity to witness to Lydia. Following God’s leading, Paul was in the right place at the right time and took the initiative to speak for Jesus. His witness made all the difference for Lydia. Vivian Conrad 393. Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His. Oswald Chambers

394. If all we have to count on for the future is natural progress, education, and science, then all we can expect is the perpetual recurrence of what is and what has been, the truceless battle between light and darkness, the eternal conflict over the body of mankind, as Michael and the devil disputed over the body of Moses. Clarence Edward Noble Macartney 395. For each of us, our own experience should be a revelation of God. The things about Him which we read in the Bible are never living and real to us till we have verified them in the facts of our own history. Many a word lies on the page or in our memories, fully believed and utterly shadowy until in some soul’s conflict we have had to grasp it and found it true. Only so much of our creed as we have proved in life is really ours. If we will only open our eyes and reflect upon our history as it passes before us, we shall find every corner of it filled with the manifestations to our hearts and to our minds of a present God. But our folly, our stupidity, our impatience, our absorption with the mere outsides of things, our self-will blind us to the Angel with the drawn sword who resists us as well as to the Angel with the lily who would lead us. So we waste our days, are deaf to His voice speaking through all the clatter of tongues, and are blind to His bright presence shining through all the dimness of earth; and, for far too many of us, we never can see God in the present but only discern Him when He has passed by like Moses from his cleft. Like this same Jacob, we have to say: “Surely God was in this place, and I knew it not.” Hence we miss the educational worth of our lives; are tortured with needless cares; are beaten by the poorest adversaries; and grope amid what seems to us a chaos of pathless perplexities when we might be marching on assured and strong with God for our Guide and the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob for our defense. Alexander Maclaren 396. If we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream ‘we stand’; and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be

in jeopardy. We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial. Charles H. Spurgeon 397. “Which of you desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost? . . . Or what king, as he goeth to encounter another king, doth not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? . . . Therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” He said, in effect, You ask Me why My terms are so severe. I will tell you. I am come into the world for building and for battle, and I cannot commit My enterprises to any save those I know I can depend upon. It is He that builds the tower, not I. He is the King conducting the warfare, not I. Because He is here to build, and here for battle, His terms are severe. I must, He says, have men and women coming after Me who will take up their own crosses and follow Me as I take up My cross: men and women who will not faint or grow weary when the battle thickens, or until the building work is done. G. Campbell Morgan 398. Therefore I begin to think, my Lord, You purposely allow us to be brought into contact with the bad and evil things that You want changed. Perhaps that is the very reason why we are here in this world, where sin and sorrow and suffering and evil abound, so that we may let You teach us so to react to them, that out of them we can create lovely qualities to live forever. That is the only really satisfactory way of dealing with evil, not simply binding it so that it cannot work harm, but whenever possible overcoming it with good. Hannah Hurnard from “Hinds’ Feet On High Places” 399. I would urge you young men, especially, to lay this to heart: that of all delusions that can beset you in your course, none will work more disastrously than the notion that the summum bonum, the shield and stay of a man, is the “abundance of the things that he possesses.” I fancy I see more listless, discontented, unhappy

faces looking out of carriages than I see upon the pavement. And I am sure of this, at any rate, that all which is noble and sweet and good in life can be wrought out and possessed upon as much bread and water as will keep body and soul together, and as much furniture as will enable a man to sit at his meal and lie down at night. And as for the rest, it has many advantages and blessings, but oh! It is all illusory as a defense against the evils that will come, sooner or later, to every life. Alexander Maclaren 400. Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and know the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.” The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success. The final stage in the life of faith is attainment of character. There are many passing transfigurations of character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God enwrapping us and for the time being we are changed, then we get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes. The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting. It is not a question of sanctification; but of something infinitely further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proved and has stood the test. Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith, a tried faith built on a real God. “Abraham believed God.” Oswald Chambers 401. If Christianity had scented pillows to offer on which the head of weariness could rest, and if it could have some comfortable provision made on its return from slumber, Christianity would become a quite popular religion, but it is known by the badge called the Cross; its home is in Gethsemane and on Golgotha; its command is, Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God. Joseph Parker 402. With my whole heart I pray God to raise up in England an army of Puritan preachers, men who know the Cross, and are not ashamed of its stigma—men who know the Throne and have power with the King. Joseph Parker

403. And how disastrous for us is the continual remembrance of death which war enforces. One of our best weapons, contented worldliness, is rendered useless. In wartime not even a human can believe that he is going to live forever. C. S. Lewis in “The Screwtape Letters” 404. “And there appeared unto Him an angel from Heaven, strengthening Him.” I know that angel! He has been to me. He has brought me angel’s food, even heavenly manna. Always and everywhere, when my soul has surrendered itself to the Divine will, the angel comes, and my soul is refreshed. The laying down of self is the taking up of God. When I lose my will I gain the Infinite. The moment of surrender is also the moment of conquest. When I consecrate my weakness I put on strength and majesty like a robe. John Henry Jowett 405. Everything that makes life bitter was mingled in the cup of the apostle, and yet he dares to speak of faith’s protection. I think there are many who have still to learn that faith was never intended for exemption. Faith is not given to guard the life from anything; it is given to guard the life in everything. It empowers one to bear, and to bear cheerfully, what otherwise would break the heart and darken the loving ordering of God. To pass through the very worst that life can bring, undismayed in soul, and unembittered; to tread the darkest mile and sing in it; never to lose heart, or hope, or love; that is what faith achieved for the apostle and can achieve for everyone of us, and that is the shielding power of faith. So was it with our blessed Lord. When He came here, He was offered no exemption. He was a man of sorrows, and He suffered, and He was tempted in all points like as we are. Yet to the end, in a faith that never faltered, He was loving, tranquil, and forgiving and under the cross spoke about His peace. George H. Morrison 406. Thus, for example, His prayer life was never at the mercy of moods. Changes of feeling Jesus certainly knew. He was no passionless Stoic. He knew joy and sorrow, smiles and tears, ecstasy and weariness. But through it all His heart turned to prayer,

like the compass to the north. Prayer meant communing with the One He loved best in Heaven and Earth. Jesus loved God His Father so utterly and so passionately that He could not bear to be away from Him, but used every opportunity the days and nights brought Him to go and speak to the God of His love again. This means that those failures in our own prayer life which we trace back to lack of mood are really according to Jesus a symptom of something deeper; they are a symptom of a breakdown of affection. Christ bids us go and give God our love. James S. Stewart 407. The prayer life Of Jesus warns us against the view that would make prayer a mere asking things from God. We do not make our human friendships mere matters of convenience, approaching our friend only when we desire a favor from him and never going near him at any other time. No friendship could survive long on these mercenary terms. And Jesus would have us reflect that least of all can our friendship with God survive on such a basis. Jesus would have men go to God when there is nothing to ask, go to Him not for His gifts but for Himself alone. That is the prayer of communion; and when a human heart goes out Godward in this way, God comes to meet it, and it experiences the blessed invasion of God’s presence. In such an experience a man’s whole life, like the face of the Christ who prayed on the Mount of Transfiguration, is changed, for it comes to bear something of the afterglow of Heaven. James S. Stewart 408. Attitudes of prejudice and legalism trouble the church today just as they did the early church. Believers sometimes mingle cultural biases with biblical mandates, creating wrenching controversies over numerous sensitive issues. Certainly issues need to be addressed, particularly when essentials of the faith are at stake. But one of those biblical essentials is that believers eagerly seek out all people, look at them from God’s perspective, love them for the gospel’s sake, and rejoice over those that respond in faith. Can the church ever afford to wall itself off through fear or prejudice? Doing so would be to turn away from God’s compassionate heart. From The Word In Life Study Bible

409. ‘My soul recalls her day of deliverance with delight. Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Savior as my Substitute, and I laid my hand upon Him; oh! How timidly at first, but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon Him; and now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no longer imputed to me, but laid on Him, and like the debts of the wounded traveler, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of all my future sinfulness, “Set that to My account”.’ Blessed discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart! Charles H. Spurgeon 410. Of a surety, at the Day of Judgment it will be demanded of us, not what we have read, but what we have done; not how well we have spoken, but how holily we have lived. Thomas A‘ Kempis 411. Children of light may walk in darkness, but they are not therefore cast away, nay, they are now enabled to prove their adoption by trusting in their heavenly Father as hypocrites cannot do. Charles H. Spurgeon 412. This life is but the prelude to the piece. This life is the introduction to the book. It is not finis we should write at death. It is not finis, it is initium. And that is how Jesus Christ has met this element, and mastered it in His victorious way, and made it possible for breaking hearts to bear the voiceless sorrow of farewell. George H. Morrison 413. A good life maketh a man wise toward God, and giveth him experience in many things. The more humble a man is in himself, and the more obedient towards God, the wiser will he be in all things, and the more shall his soul be at peace. Thomas A‘ Kempis 414. It is of the utmost importance to remember that every Christian has the power to release souls from sin’s penalty through proclaiming the gospel to those who will believe. This is the good news of God’s grace which looses from Satan’s bondage those who believe. Dave Hunt 415. There is always the utmost danger when a man or his work becomes remarkable. He may be sure Satan is gaining his objective when attention is shown to anything or anyone but

the Lord Jesus Himself. A work may be commenced in the greatest possible simplicity, but through lack of holy watchfulness and spirituality on the part of the workman, he himself or the results of his work may attract general attention, and he may fall into the snare of the devil. Satan’s grand and ceaseless object is to dishonor the Lord Jesus. If he can do this by what seems to be Christian service, he has achieved all the greater victory for the time. C. H. Mackintosh 416. Our danger is lest we grow rich and become proud, lest we give ourselves up to the fashions of this present evil world, and lose our faith. Or if wealth be not the trial, worldly care is quite as mischievous. If we cannot be torn in pieces by the roaring lion, if we may be hugged to death by the bear, the devil little cares which it is, so long as he destroys our love to Christ, and our confidence in Him. I fear me that the Christian church is far more likely to lose her integrity in these soft and silken days than in those rougher times. We must be awake now, for we traverse the enchanted ground, and are most likely to fall asleep to our own undoing, unless our faith in Jesus be a reality, and our love to Jesus a vehement flame. Many in these days of easy profession are likely to prove tares, and not wheat; hypocrites with fair masks on their faces, but not the true-born children of the living God. Christian, do not think that these are times in which you can dispense with watchfulness or with holy ardor; you need these things more than ever, and may God the eternal Spirit display His omnipotence in you, that you may be able to say, in all these softer things, as well as in the rougher, ‘We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.’ Charles H. Spurgeon 417. Oh, he who hath but a spark of true charity, hath verily learned that all worldly things are full of vanity. Thomas A‘ Kempis 418. So holiness is not to be obtained by climbing to a height, it is to be lived by being a little child keeping close to the side of the Father,

and following Christ by the guidance of the Spirit. G. Campbell Morgan 419. Discipline is the act of stretching the mind and body of a person so that when the performance comes, it can be a pleasure because of the pain a person faced in the practice. Gordon MacDonald 420. The Israelites taken into the Babylonian Captivity give us a historical parallel to the contemporary church. Their home was still the Promised Land even though they lived for so many years in a foreign company. But when it came time to return, many had become so entrenched into the Babylonian culture that they didn’t want to leave. When the Lord says it’s time to go to Heaven, we fight it as if it were the worst thing imaginable because this world has become everything to us. That’s why we must always be reminded that our citizenship is in Heaven. John MacArthur 421. Lose not, brother, thy loyal desire of progress to things spiritual. There is yet time, the hour is not past. Why wilt thou put off thy resolution? Arise, begin this very moment, and say, “Now is the time to do: now is the time to fight, now is the proper time for amendment.” When thou art ill at ease and troubled, then is the time when thou art nearest unto blessing. Thou must go through fire and water that God may bring thee into a wealthy place. Unless thou put force upon thyself, thou wilt not conquer thy faults. So long as we carry about with us this frail body, we cannot be without sin, we cannot live without weariness and trouble. Gladly would we have rest from all misery; but because through sin we have lost innocence, we have lost also the true happiness. Therefore must we be patient, and wait for the mercy of God, until this tyranny be overpast, and this mortality be swallowed up of life. Thomas A‘ Kempis 422. I am more and more anxious that men should see that the reason of their Christianity is not their salvation, but their influence on other men. You defame Christ if you name His name and sing His song, and do not realize His character. And to fail of holiness is to wrong the world, to dim the only light it has, and make the salt, the aseptic salt that should give goodness its chance, savorless. And mark the

infinite satire of Christ. “If the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is fit only to be cast out and trodden under foot of man.” And that is what happens to Christian men and women who name the name of Christ, and are not salt. They are trodden under foot of men; they are despised by their day and generation. The world itself holds us in supreme contempt if we profess to be Christian and are not holy. G. Campbell Morgan 423. When we contrast much contemporary evangelism with Paul’s, its shallowness is immediately shown up. Our evangelism tends to be too ecclesiastical (inviting people to church), whereas Paul also took the gospel out into the secular world; too emotional (appeals for decisions without an adequate basis of understanding), whereas Paul taught, reasoned and tried to persuade; and too superficial (making brief encounters and expecting quick results), whereas Paul stayed in Corinth and Ephesus for five years, faithfully sowing gospel seed and in due time reaping a harvest. John Stott 424. I believe that the best worship is the manifold activities of daily life laid upon God’s altar, so that the division between things secular and things sacred is to a large extent misleading and irrelevant. But at the same time, I believe that you have very little chance of getting this diffused and all-pervasive reference of all a man’s doings to God unless there are, all through his life, recurring with daily regularity, reservoirs of power, stations where he may rest, kneeling-places where the attitude of service is exchanged for the attitude of supplication; times of quiet communion with God which shall feed the worshiper’s activities as the white snow fields on the high summits feed the brooks that sparkle by the way, and bring fertility wherever they run. So, dear brethren, remember that while life is the field of worship, there must be the inward worship within the shrine if there is to be the outward service. Alexander Maclaren 425. ‘Fear not’, is the Lord’s command and His divine encouragement to those who at His bidding are launching upon new seas; the divine presence and preservation forbid so much as one unbelieving fear. Without our God we should fear to move; but when He bids go, it

would be dangerous to tarry. Reader, go forward, and fear not. Charles H. Spurgeon 426. Almighty God, our Father, Thou dost come to us. We cannot find Thee out, but Thou canst find Thy child, and speak to him in little words which he can understand. We cannot find out the Almighty, but the Almighty can find us out, and speak to our hearts, to our sin and sorrow and whole necessity. It is from this point that we now humbly and in the name and at the Cross of Jesus Christ approach Thee with some boldness of love, that we may obtain mercy and Thy grace to help in every time of need. Every time is a time of need; every moment is a cry unto God, everyday brings its own hunger and thirst and conscious necessity. Come to us and reveal Thyself to us while we tarry at Thy bleeding feet. The Cross never disappoints us; the Cross fills the whole firmament; it, too, is longer than the earth and deeper than the sea. It comes to us as Thine own heart, an expression of Thine own infinite pity; we throw the arms of our love around it, knowing that there, on Golgotha, no man who believes can die. Joseph Parker 427. God always educates us down to the scruple. Is my ear so keen to hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit that I know what I should do? “Grieve not the Holy Spirit.” He does not come with a voice like thunder; His voice is so gentle that it is easy to ignore it. The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the continual habit of being open to God on the inside. When there is any debate, quit. “Why shouldn’t I do this?” Your are on the wrong track. There is no debate possible when conscience speaks. At your peril, you allow one thing to obscure your inner communion with God. Drop it, whatever it is, and see that you keep your inner vision clear. Oswald Chambers 428. I have long held, and I repeat it here, that any work which I am doing, which you are doing, which necessitates worry, which compels anxiety of mind, and care, and perplexity, and solicitude, is probably my own selfish work, and not God’s work at all. It is something that you or I are doing because of our ambition, or

appetite, or avarice, or selfishness, or our desire to get ourselves on in this world. For if it is God’s work I am doing, and I am only putting my hand to God’s work, why should I worry about it? Is that not a kind of impertinence as though God were not able to take care of His own work? Why, the man that is on the battlefield, and has supreme confidence in the general-in-chief, and follows the general into the thickest of the fight, does not consider himself responsible for the issues of battle. By no means. He knows that there is a competent hand that is regulating the whole matter, and all he has to do is as a soldier to follow where his leader goes, and strictly to obey his commands. A. T. Pierson 429. Now, I want to have it understood, that in estimating success you can never depend on the world’s standards. What the world counts success God may count failure, and what man counts failure God may count as success. Until we get rid of the snares of man’s judgment and our own judgment and leave everything to God, we shall never be able to do the will of God with a peaceful soul. A. T. Pierson 430. Observe how Christ pushed beyond the impersonal discussion to the personal challenge. That was regularly His way. You can see it in His conversation with the woman at the well—first the general talk, then suddenly the rapier thrust at her own heart. You can see it in His interview with Pontius Pilate when the latter was questioning Him about His kingly claims. Suddenly like an arrow came the challenge, “Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me?” Is this your own verdict, Pilate, or just rumor that you are retailing at secondhand? Always sooner or later Jesus brought things back to the personal issue. He was not anxious for any secondhand opinions or verdicts by proxy. What He wanted was the straight answer of a man’s own experience. Whom say ye that I am? James S. Stewart 431. In the last resort, however, Peter’s knowledge of the messiahship and divinity of Christ came as an inward revelation from God. “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in

Heaven.” It was not a discovery which the disciple by himself had achieved; and while Peter’s quest for the truth had certainly opened up the way for the coming of the vision, yet the vision when it came was God’s gift. It was God who had flashed it in upon him. The conviction was not man-made, but God-given. It had come upon Peter with the inherent, compelling power, authenticating itself to his heart, so that apart from any argument, independently of any logical proof or demonstration, the man could say with absolute assurance, “I know.” Somewhere in Peter’s heart God’s bell had tolled, and in that moment he knew that in Jesus Christ he was touching the Eternal. Such moments of revelation are the very life of religion. Only God can make us finally sure of God. James S. Stewart 432. Next day, John walked into the hills with Jesus and the others. As they went from village to village, Jesus showed His marvelous gift for speaking so that poor and rich, simple and wise, could understand Him. He had acute powers of observation, as His parables showed. Naturally, He knew about carpentry and building; equally, He could make His points with stories about sheep and wheat farming, about vineyards and fig trees and pigs. He had a shrewd idea of trade and business so that He could tell of bad and good stewards, and moneylenders and tax men; He had observed the ways of the wealthy and of those so poor that a lost coin made a matter of utmost concern; He could describe scribes in flowing robes, judges and kings; burglars operating at night and highway robbers. Using word pictures and pithy comments, He could make truth plain, bring all Heaven before the inward eyes of His hearers, and probe the ways of man. John Pollock 433. Blessed are they who search inward things and study to prepare themselves more and more by daily exercises for the receiving of heavenly mysteries. Thomas A‘ Kempis 434. For there are many who, when things have not gone prosperous with them, become forthwith impatient or slothful. For the way of man is not in himself, but it is God’s to give and to console, when He will, and as much as He will, and whom He will, as it shall please

Him, and no further. Some who were presumptuous because of the grace of devotion within them, have destroyed themselves, because they would do more than they were able, not considering the measure of their own littleness, but rather following the impulse of the heart than the judgment of the reason. And because they presumed beyond what was well-pleasing unto God, therefore they quickly lost grace. They became poor and were left vile, who had built for themselves their nest in heaven; so that being humbled and stricken with poverty, they might learn not to fly with their own wings, but to put their trust under My feathers. They who are as yet new and unskilled in the way of the Lord, unless they rule themselves after the counsel of the wise, may easily be deceived and led away. Thomas A‘ Kempis 435. If a man is going to do anything worth while, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense. At the bar of common sense Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad; but bring them to the bar of faith, and you begin to find with awestruck spirit that they are the words of God. Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God. Oswald Chambers 436. I believe we need to preach again a whole Christ to the world—a Christ who does not need our apologies, a Christ who will not be divided, a Christ who will either be Lord of all or who will not be Lord at all! A. W. Tozer 437. Sometimes it is not difficulty that makes me think God will forsake me, but drudgery. There is no Hill Difficulty to climb, no vision given, nothing wonderful or beautiful, just the commonplace day in and day out—can I hear God’s say-so in these things? We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing, that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing

by and bye, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God’s sayso behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways. Oswald Chambers 438. I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected. Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:1-4 439. What a warning flare is this story of one of the Master’s men —a flare whose warning none of us dare disregard. If we do, it is at our peril. For unhappily there is nothing very exceptional in a divided heart on the part of those who profess the faith of Christ. Judas only did what many another does—and seems to get away with. For how many give Christ less than the whole of their lives? How many have a love which contests His? In the bright light of reality how many are self-revealed as the slaves of this world, and its tinsel baubles and its deceiving riches? How many are actually robbing the Master whom they acclaim as Judas did? J. Stuart Holden 440. Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Paul in Romans 16 441. This evening let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality, but a channel

of grace to our souls. O that God the Holy Spirit would work in us with all His mighty power, filling us with all the fulness of God. Charles H. Spurgeon 442. Let not thy peace depend upon the word of men; for whether they judge well or ill of thee, thou art not therefore any other man than thyself. Where is true peace or true glory? Is it not in Me? And he who seeketh not to please men, nor feareth to displease, shall enjoy abundant peace. From inordinate love and vain fear ariseth all disquietude of heart, and all distraction of the senses. Thomas A‘ Kempis 443. Our Lord’s first obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of men; the saving of men was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. Oswald Chambers 444. God is forevermore bringing to His people supplies out of the unknown. If a man is to be delivered, he will be delivered when he feels he cannot help himself. If a man is to be led, he must be flung into the wilderness where there is neither map nor guide post. If a man is to depend on God, and lose his arrogance and his pride, he must receive his supplies from One Who brings them from the unknown resources. G. Campbell Morgan 445. We have often said that man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. But I would like to put that in another way, for the purpose of this meditation, a more striking way. Man’s extremity is man’s opportunity for finding himself, and finding his God, and so finding life. I charge you remember, and if you will do so solemnly, you will come, I am perfectly sure, to agreement with me when I say that the richest hours of the past were the hours of extremity, and the hours of darkness, the hours when we were at the end of ourselves; the hours when we discovered something in us that appalled us, because these were the hours when God came into visibility. No bread, but it rained from heaven. No water, but out of the flinty rock it gushed. No way in the dreary wilderness, but He chose the places where we pitched our tents. G. Campbell Morgan 446. My Father hath loved Me, so love I you; thus have I spoken unto My beloved disciples: whom I sent forth not unto worldly joys, but to

great strivings; not unto honors, but unto contempt; not unto ease, but to labors; not unto rest, but to bring forth much fruit with patience. My son, remember these words. Thomas A‘ Kempis 447. Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose. Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not such little children as to be cast down by what may happen in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel’s land, our hope is above the sky, and, therefore, calm as the summer’s ocean; we will see the wreck of everything earthborn, and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation. Charles H. Spurgeon 448. And so we must be prayerfully thoughtful at all times lest we appoint vessels to the service of the Kingdom which will absorb the glory which belongs to God alone. But to be thoughtful is not to be careless. Grace puts no premium upon shabbiness and disorder. We must not offer to the Lord of that which costs us nothing. Our best and hardest pains must be devoted to getting rid of all that is theatrical, spectacular, and vainglorious; and we must present to the Lord a lamp which is clean and burnished, but which will not distract attention from the Presence and glory of the Lord. John Henry Jowett 449. . . . and rarely is any man found altogether free from the blemish of self-seeking. Thomas A‘ Kempis 450. Lose all rather than lose your integrity, and when all else is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel which can adorn the bosom of a mortal. Be not guided by the will-o’the-wisp of policy, but by the pole-star of divine authority. Follow the right at all hazards. When you see no present advantage, walk by faith and not by sight. Do God the honor to trust Him when it comes to matters of loss for the sake of principle. See whether He will be your debtor! See if He doth not even in this life prove His word that ‘Godliness, with contentment, is great gain’, and that they who ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, shall have all these things added unto them’. Should it happen that, in the

providence of God, you are a loser by conscience, you shall find that if the Lord pays you not back in the silver of earthly prosperity, He will discharge His promise in the gold of spiritual joy. Remember that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of that which he possesseth. To wear a guileless spirit, to have a heart void of offence, to have the favor and smile of God, is greater riches than the mines of Ophir could yield, or the traffic of Tyre could win. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and inward contention therewith.’ An ounce of heart’s-ease is worth a ton of gold. Charles H. Spurgeon 451. Some have the privilege given them, like our dear friend, of putting off the garments slowly and teaching, as she did, lessons of brave patience and of how to bear pain and weariness with undimmed spirit, and unflagging interest in others, which those who learned them will keep as precious memories. But however the end comes, whether the wind rises and beats upon the house and it falls in one sudden ruin, or whether it is slowly unroofed and dismantled until it is no longer habitable, let us thank God that we know for our dear ones and for ourselves that whatever becomes of the clay hovel, the tenant is safe and has gone to live in a fair house in a “distant City glorious.” . . . So, when we see a life of which Christian faith has been the underlying motive, and in which many graces of the Christian character have been plainly manifested, passing from among us, let not our love look only at the empty place on earth, but let our faith rise to the thought of the filled place in Heaven. Let us not look down to the grave, but up to the skies. Let us not dwell on the departure, but on the abundant entrance. Let us not only remember, but also hope. And as love and faith, memory and hope, follow our friend as she passes “within the veil,” let us thank God that we are sure: She, when the bridegroom with his feastful friends Passes to bliss, at the mid hour of night Has gained her entrance.

Alexander Maclaren (on occasion of the death of Mrs. Stowell Brown). 452. We are fashioned by our highest companionships. We acquire the nature of those with whom we most constantly commune. John Henry Jowett 453. Whatever God has made your position, or your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that He calls you to something else. Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are. Fill your present sphere to His praise, and if He needs you in another He will show it you. Charles H. Spurgeon 454. Whether it be a Noah who is to build a ship on dry land, an Abraham who is to offer up his only son, or a Moses who is to despise the treasures of Egypt, or a Joshua who is to besiege Jericho seven days, using no weapons but the blasts of rams’ horns, they all act upon God’s command, contrary to the dictates of carnal reason; and the Lord gives them a rich reward as the result of their obedient faith. Would to God we had in the religion of these modern times a more potent infusion of this heroic faith in God. If we would venture more upon the naked promise of God, we should enter a world of wonders to which yet we are strangers. Let Jeremiah’s place of confidence be ours- nothing is too hard for the God that created the heavens and the earth. Charles H. Spurgeon 455. Sweet is the cool twilight, when every star seems like the eye of heaven, and the cool wind is as the breath of celestial love. Charles H. Spurgeon 456. When you read the story of the prodigal, you feel that the father loved that son. When he was far away rioting with the harlots, the father was yearning for him night and day. But only when that prodigal came home could the pent-up love be poured upon the child—and the Church is the bit of the world that has come home. The true Church is not an organization. It is not Episcopalian nor Methodist. It is the mighty company of quickened souls who could never rest content among the swine. Drawn by need, hungry and despairing, they have

traveled back to “God who is our home,” and found the love that had been always yearning for them. The prodigal was loved in the far country, but there no cry was heard, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him.” To gain these tokens of unwearying love, the poor rebellious child had to come home— and the Church is the bit of the world that has come home. George H. Morrison 457. The farmers used to make merry with the poet Wordsworth when they saw him sitting hour by hour on some gray stone. Some of them thought he was an idle rascal, and more of them thought he was a little crazy. But Wordsworth was watching nature like a lover, and he was passive that he might catch her voice, and he waited on nature with such a splendid faithfulness that we are all his debtors to this hour. George H. Morrison 458. It is our duty and our privilege to wait upon the Lord in service, in worship, in expectancy, in trust all the days of our life. Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding. We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us. Charles H. Spurgeon 459. Grant me, O Lord, to know that which ought to be known; to love that which ought to be loved; to praise that which pleaseth Thee most, to esteem that which is precious in Thy sight, to blame that which is vile in Thine eyes, nor to give sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but to discern in true judgment between visible and spiritual things, and above all things to be ever seeking after the will of Thy good pleasure. Thomas A‘ Kempis 460. My son, thou art not always able to continue in very fervent desire after virtues, nor to stand fast in the loftier region of contemplation; but thou must of necessity sometimes descend to lower things because of thine original corruption, and bear about the burden of corruptible life, though unwillingly and with weariness. So long as thou wearest a mortal body, thou shalt feel weariness and heaviness of heart. Therefore thou oughtest to groan often in the flesh

because of the burden of the flesh, inasmuch as thou canst not give thyself to spiritual studies and divine contemplation unceasingly. At such a time it is expedient for thee to flee to humble and external works, and to renew thyself with good actions; to wait for My coming and heavenly visitation with sure confidence; to bear thy exile and drought of mind with patience, until thou be visited by Me again, and be freed from all anxieties. For I will cause thee to forget thy labors, and altogether to enjoy eternal peace. I will spread open before thee the pleasant pastures of the Scriptures, that with enlarged heart thou mayest begin to run in the way of My commandments. And thou shalt say, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Thomas A‘ Kempis 461. Every man comes ultimately to inhabit the kind of world he makes for himself, and it is only the man who lives by love who can taste the gladness of God. James S. Stewart 462. Wherever Jesus went, He found hearts that were hungry for love. On the jaded face of a Zacchaeus, in the glib talk of a Samaritan woman, in the weary looks of an inarticulate, shepherdless crowd, that hunger for love struck at Christ’s own heart. Hence He laid it down that, while men did not need many qualifications to be His disciples, no man could be a disciple who was not prepared to love. The heart of the world was crying for love. James S. Stewart 463. And He knew all about Nathaniel. “When thou was under the fig-tree.” “In that secret meditation of thine, when thy wishes and desires were born, ‘I saw thee!’” “When others saw nothing, I had fellowship with thee in the secret place.” And He knows all about thee and me. “I know My sheep.” We do not take Him by surprise. He does not come in late, and find the performance half over! He is in at our beginnings, when grave issues are being born. “I am Alpha.” John Henry Jowett

464. God had given Solomon the name “Jedidiah [beloved of the Lord]”, yet he chose to be the beloved of heathen women instead, in defiance of God’s covenant with him. What all this did to Solomon’s sweet fellowship with God is to be seen in Ecclesiastes. Take the sun out of the sky, and all earth’s beauty and fruitfulness will go also. Take God out of your sky, and life’s joys will be turned to dregs, bitterness, and futility. Solomon had deliberately chosen to live “under the sun” instead of under God. In the awareness of his own unquestionable greatness, he had become indifferent to the fact that “here is more than Solomon” and that to scorn or ignore God is fatal. With all his wisdom he failed to recognize that “God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions or by His precepts being set aside) . . . For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap”. From the Amplified Bible 465. Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision. Oswald Chambers 466. Never look for right in the other man, but never cease to be right yourself. We are always looking for justice; the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is—Never look for justice, but never cease to give it. Oswald Chambers 467. Tell me who they are that sit oftenest under the banner of His love, and drink deepest draughts from the cup of communion, and I am sure they will be those who give most, who serve best, and who abide closest to the bleeding heart of their dear Lord. Charles H. Spurgeon 468. Not by trying to imagine what Jesus would do in my circumstances do I learn how a Christian should conduct himself in this world; but by searching the scriptures, and tracing there the lowly path of Heaven’s anointed One, I discern the way in which He would have me to walk. H. A. Ironside 469. Brethren, we have been born of God and our Christian hope is a valid hope! No emptiness, no vanity, no dreams that cannot come true. Your expectation should rise and you should challenge God and begin to dream high dreams of faith and spiritual attainment and

expect God to meet them. You cannot out-hope God and you cannot out-expect God. Remember that all of your hopes are finite, but all of God’s ability is infinite! A. W. Tozer 470. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations: it is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting His way with us. Oswald Chambers 471. Remember, we are not stronger than the weakest point in the walls of our character. And true wisdom requires that we watch even the smallest gate that is insufficient or insecure. Joseph Parker 472. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Paul in Galatians 6:7-10 473. He (Paul) distinctly teaches, in this letter (Ephesians), that God has an inheritance in His people; not that we have an inheritance in Him—which is perfectly true—but something more astonishing: that God has an inheritance in His people: that God has created in His people a medium through which, to all ages to come and to the unfallen intelligences of the other world, He will make known His grace, and make know His wisdom. It is the most daring and magnificent thing ever written about the ultimate vocation of the child of God. It shows that in the ages to come we are still to be the messengers of His grace: and that men will only know the grace of God, and that angels and principalities will only know the grace of God, and that all the ages that transcend the possibility of our imaginations will only know the grace of God, as we tell “the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” Our perfect work begins beyond. So the apostle is speaking to a people who, in this world, share the mystic and mighty life of the Christ; and who, in this world, are being prepared for a final vocation that lies

beyond. Hear me, my brethren: they are otherworldly men and women; and in the moment in which the Church of God is afraid of that designation, she has lost the power to touch this world. G. Campbell Morgan 474. Christ cannot be defeated, and the man whom Christ has mastered is invincible. G. Campbell Morgan 475. He (Christ) never gives a man grace for two days ahead. G. Campbell Morgan 476. If the works of God were of such sort that they might easily be comprehended by human reason, they should no longer be called wonderful or unspeakable. Thomas A‘ Kempis 477. The great thing to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfil God’s purpose, not our own. Naturally, our ambitions are our own; in the Christian life we have no aim of our own. There is so much said today about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament it is the aspect of God’s compelling that is brought out. “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God’s purpose, we are taken up into God’s purpose without any consciousness at all. We have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it gets more and more vague. God’s aim looks like missing the mark because we are too shortsighted to see what He is aiming at. At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God’s purpose is—‘I am meant to go here or there,’ ‘God has called me to do this special work’; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains. The work we do is of no account, it is so much scaffolding compared with the big compelling of God. “He took unto Him the twelve,” He takes us all the time. There is more than we have got at as yet. Oswald Chambers 478. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that

relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed. Oswald Chambers 479. God has put all His resources at our disposal, but we have not put our resources at His disposal. That is the foundation principle that ought to underlie all Christian giving. Let me break up that foundation principle into two working principles: “Ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price,” and “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” If in the consciousness of fellowship with God, if in the activity of placing at His disposal all our resources, we remember that we ourselves are not our own, but His; and if in all the activities of everyday life we make His glory the one supreme, master-passion, then we are applying these working principles, and we shall find that they will produce all that is needed for the doing of God’s work in the world. G. Campbell Morgan 480. To doubt is not sin, but to be contented to remain in doubt when God has provided ‘many infallible proofs’ to cure it, is . . . Irwin H. Linton 481. Great as Jesus recognized the claims of home to be, He never hesitated to assert that if ever these claims and the claims of God should be at variance, God’s claims must come first. James S. Stewart 482. Mark, then, this: it is not our feelings which are to be our defense. Our feelings may be as changeable as a barometer, and building upon them we have no fixed, dependable resource. If I am to judge the defenses of my religious life by the state and quality of my feelings, then I can clearly see that there are breaches in the wall every day, through which the evil one may make his attack. I turn from my feelings to the truthfulness of God. At once I pass from loose stones to compact rock. His truthfulness, the sure word of His promise, is to be my strong defense. “Hath He not said, and shall he not do it?” What hath He said about thy past? “Shall He not do it?” What hath He said about thy present? “Shall He not do it? What hath He said concerning thy tomorrow? “Shall He not do it?” “His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” John Henry Jowett

483. If the Lord removed all our thorns, if Christian believers had no temptations, no troubles, no difficult hills, what a poor, anaemic witness we should offer to the world! We should present a character that was faced by no enemy. We should present a life that was grappling with no problem. We should present victories without struggle! Is it not something infinitely more impressive to see a man with a thorn limping along the road with a superb spirit? Is there not something captivating in the sight of a man or woman burdened with many tribulations and yet carrying a heart as sound as a bell? Is there not something contagiously valorous in the vision of one who is greatly tempted but is more than a conqueror? Is it not heartening to see some pilgrim who is broken in body but who retains the splendor of an unbroken patience? What a witness all this offers to the endurement of God’s grace! There is the man’s thorn! And we are made to wonder how he bears it so well. What is his secret? Or here is a woman who has heaps of trouble; where does she get her mysterious oil which enables her spirit to burn and shine so radiantly? And those who ask such questions are led to her secret and they are brought into the presence of the Lord. And so the thorn remains in order that we may unveil the Lord. The very thorn becomes the revealer of the keeping grace of our God. “This sickness was not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of Man may be glorified.” John Henry Jowett 484. Christ does suggest two possibilities which are in opposition. The one, that man can serve mammon. The other, that he can serve God. What is it to serve God? To be His bond-slave, yielding all to His absolute supremacy. The abandonment of everything to which the name of God connotes, purity, peace, and all those other facts of which we spoke. That is a possibility for every man and nation. There is the other possibility, to serve mammon. To be the bond-slave of material possessions, and every poor man can be that; to yield wholly to the sway of the things which are only material; the abandonment of the life to husks. Jesus declared the possibilities to be mutually exclusive. To serve God and be His

bond-slave. To serve mammon and be its bond-slave. To serve God is to command mammon, not to serve it. To be wholly yielded to God is to be the master of all material things, not to be bound in slavery thereto. To state the case from the other side. To serve mammon—to live saying only, What shall I eat, what shall I drink, wherewithal shall I be clothed, and how shall I possess these things, is to dethrone God. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” G. Campbell Morgan 485. It’s like when you see a waterfall you think how powerful that water is. How seemingly endless it appears; how pure and refreshing it is. But the longer you’re away from it; the less you tend to think about it. Sometimes you may even forget that it exists. But when you go back to that waterfall, there it is just as plentiful, just as powerful, just as amazing as the first time you ever saw it. That’s how God’s love is for us. More than plentiful. More than powerful. More than amazing. Melanie Irwin 486. It is to be feared that many believers lose their strength as Samson lost his locks, while sleeping on the lap of carnal security. With a perishing world around us, to sleep is cruel; with eternity so near at hand, it is madness. Yet we are none of us so much awake as we should be; a few thunder-claps would do us all good, and it may be, unless we soon bestir ourselves, we shall have them in the form of war, or pestilence, or personal bereavements and losses. Charles H. Spurgeon 487. I am so disposed to pray up to my successes, and to cease to pray in them! I remember God in my struggles, I forget Him in my attainments. I hold fellowship with Him on the road, I part company with Him when I arrive. I become a practical atheist in the midst of my successes. My only security is to go up into a mountain apart and pray. Unless I become closeted with God, and see all things in their true colors and proportion, I shall be lifted up in most unholy and destructive pride. And let me notice that our Lord returned from His privacy with the Father to do even greater miracles still. He had appeased the pangs of hunger; now He appeases the passion of the sea. And

so in my degree shall it be with me. If in all my triumphs I remain the humble companion of the Lord, my triumphs shall be repeated and enriched. “Greater works than these shall ye do.” John Henry Jowett 488. It is one thing to speak about God in words, maxims, precepts; it is another thing to show us God in act and life. The one is theology, the other is Gospel. The one is the work of man, the other is the exclusive prerogative of God manifested in the flesh. Alexander Maclaren 489. I cannot quietly and steadily contemplate the goodness of the Lord without my soul being kindled into loving response. Without high contemplations love smoulders, and will eventually die out. But God’s goodness inflames the soul, and communicates its own most gracious heat. “We love because He first loved us!”. John Henry Jowett 490. “Yes, if you want to, say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. “And all the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. “And that is all I want to say. If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a song, if I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain. “If I can do my duty as a Christian ought. If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought. If I can spread the message that the Master taught. Then my living will not be in vain.” Martin Luther King, preaching at Ebenezer Baptist Church, February 1968 491. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck

at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. Charles H. Spurgeon 492. Remember that you can never be too weak for God to use, but you can be too strong. Remember that the battle you currently face is the Lord’s battle, not yours. Depend on God’s power for daily living. Don’t let fear overcome your faith. Dr. Ronnie Littlejohn 493. “He hath made the earth by His power.” And He is making it still. Even in the material world “His mercies are new every morning.” James Smetham used to speak of going into his garden “to see what the Lord is doing.” He would stand on the top of Highgate Hill on a blustering night “to watch the goings of the Lord in the storm.” And all this means that to James Smetham creation was not merely a single event, but a process whose countless events are still going on. He watched his Lord at work! Every sunset was a new creation from the Almighty Maker’s hands. To many of us the Creator is remote from His works. He is not immediately near. And so He no longer “walks in the garden in the cool of the day.” The garden is no longer a holy place. Let us recover the sacredness of things. Let us “practice the presence of God.” Let us link His love and power to every flower that blows. And so shall we be able to say, as we move amid the glories of the natural world, “The Lord is in His holy temple.” John Henry Jowett 494. The psalm tells us that the dear child of God that enjoys such security as this, is the believer that does not run to God for a refuge only in the time of some special temptation or danger; who does not call on God only in the hour of sorrow and suffering, but whose habitual place of abode is God; who by night is with God, who by day is with God, who in prosperity finds his very sunshine in his Father’s smile, who in adversity finds the light still breaking through the clouds in that Father’s smile; the man who daily walks with God, not only on Sunday, to go down in the week into paths where God is

forgotten; not the man who reads a verse of Scripture in the morning, and offers a hasty prayer, and leaves the Word of God and prayer behind him to be absorbed through the rest of the day in secular employments and carnal pleasures. The believer who abides in Jehovah is the man who stands before God as Elijah did, waiting for God’s command, and walks with God as Enoch did, finding no fellowship so sweet as the companionship of the Lord. A. T. Pierson on Psalm 91 495. “Unto a land that I will show thee.” But what mysterious windings there often are before that land is reached! But God’s windings are never wasteful and purposeless. The apparent deviations are always gracious preparations. We are taken out of the way in order that we may the more richly reach our end. George Pilkington yearned to go to the foreign field, and God sent him to a dairy farm in Ireland. But the Irish dairy farm proved to be on the way to Uganda; and all the experience and knowledge which Pilkington picked up in this strange business proved invaluable when he reached his appointed field. “He bringeth the blind by a way that they know not.” So I will remember that the “short cut” is not always the finest road. God’s round-about ways are filled with Heavenly treasure. Every winding is purposed for the discovery of new wealth. What riches we gather on the way to God’s goal! John Henry Jowett 496. Malachi hints that God is “weary” of professing disciples that are so mixed up with the world that you cannot tell the difference between them and the children of Mammon; and what God yearns for in these days of a secularized church, split up into factions, and pervaded with the venomous influence of scepticism and infidelity, is, at least, a few souls, if only few there be, who believe the Bible and the whole Bible, who take Christ and the whole Christ, who believe in the Holy Spirit as a Person, resident in the Church and in the believer, who know the secret of prayer in the secret place, who understand the

names of God because they have had experience of His own abiding in them, and who defy all the powers of man and all the enmity and malignity of the devil in their persistent, wholesome, unswerving fidelity to Him that bought them with His own blood. It is to such heights of holy living that, if need be, as with dying breath, I would call my fellow-disciples, beckoning them up to these lofty summits to which few attain, but upon which, even while on earth, we find the days of Heaven brought down in advance and foretaste. A. T. Pierson 497. Why should I despair of loving Jesus with a love as strong as death? He deserves it: I desire it. The martyrs felt such love, and they were but flesh and blood, then why not I? They mourned their weakness, and yet out of weakness were made strong. Grace gave them all their unflinching constancy -there is the same grace for me, Jesus, lover of my soul, shed abroad such love, even Thy love in my heart, this evening. Charles H. Spurgeon 498. Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After the first strike for God and for the right, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement, He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared and told Moses to go and bring forth His people, and Moses said—”Who am I, that I should go?” In the beginning Moses realized that he was the man to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God. We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the forty years in the wilderness, as if God had ignored the whole thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged God comes back and revives the call, and we get the quaver and say—”Oh, who am I?” We have to learn the first great stride of God—”I AM THAT I AM

hath sent thee.” We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; our individuality is to be rendered incandescent by a personal relationship to God. We fix on the individual aspect of things; we have the vision—”This is what God wants me to do;” but we have not got into God’s stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a big personal enlargement ahead. Oswald Chambers 499. Mystic contemplation, depth of spiritual communion, ecstasy of soul, of that wonderful hour which made the face of Jesus shine more brightly than any angel’s. But there was another element, too, in the Transfiguration which no careful reader of the Gospel’s can miss. Here on the mount Jesus made a new and final consecration of Himself to the will of God His Father. Here He laid His body and soul on the altar of utter sacrifice. Here He surrendered Himself to the last dread demand of His vocation as Redeemer. What had been begun at Nazareth and sealed at the Jordan and deepened through all the Galilean days was here on Hermon made complete, when with a great passion of joy flooding His being He accepted the Cross. “Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.” James S. Stewart 500. The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, for lo the kingdom of God is within you,” a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the innermost that reveals the power of the life. We have to get rid of the plague of the spirit of the religious age in which we live. In our Lord’s life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as his Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to Himself, not public usefulness to men.

It is not its practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College, its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are put into soak before God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him whatever happens. Oswald Chambers 501. But when I stand at the Cross; when I lift my eyes to the crucified Son of God; when I recall the word that He spoke, “God so loved the world that He gave His Son,” —in the love that blazes in that death I can see something of the sin for which He died. I see it, as I see it nowhere else. When I stand at the Cross I am permitted in my measure to see sin through the eyes of my God. The Cross is the place of great awakening for sinners. John Henry Jowett 502. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God’s wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God. Oswald Chambers 503. You cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself. When the disciples came back from their first mission they were filled with joy because the devils were subject to them, and Jesus said—Don’t rejoice in successful service; the great secret of joy is that you are rightly related to Me. The great essential of the missionary is that he remains true to the call of God, and realizes that his one purpose is to disciple men and women to Jesus. Oswald Chambers 504. Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all besides. Turning away with bitter scorn from earth’s hives, where we find no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in Him whose faithful word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. In every trouble we should first seek to

realize God’s presence with us. Only let us enjoy His smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing heart for His dear sake. Charles H. Spurgeon 505. God’s love is the creator of my love. “While I muse the fire burns.” I am kindled into the same holy passion. That is to say, contemplation determines character. We acquire the hues of the things to which we cling. To hold fellowship with love is to become loveful and lovely. “We love because He first loved us.” John Henry Jowett 506. There are no dilemmas out of which you shall not be delivered if you live near to God, and your heart be kept warm with holy love. He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God, and you cannot mistake your road. You have infallible wisdom to direct you, immutable love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you. ‘Jehovah’ - mark the word - ‘Jehovah shall guide thee continually’. Charles H. Spurgeon 507. Notes from a sermon by Ken Jacks, missionary to Riau, December 10, 2000: • We can’t delegate vision and passion. • It is amazing what vision and faith can accomplish. • God uses partnership willing to risk failure and never gives up. • We often have not because we ask not. • Courage is not the absence of fear but moving ahead in spite of those fears. • To bear fruit, at times, we must be willing to go out on a limb. • Risk- for God’s sake. • The size of our God should determine the size of our goals. • God uses partnership that expects His Kingdom to grow. • When we are in God we are enthusiastic about God things. • There are variables in life over which we do have control.

Today’s impossible situation is tomorrow’s miracle.

• God’s work done God’s way will not lack for resources. (Hudson Taylor) • The vision must be recast every 26 days. (From Nehemiah) • The measure of a leader is what it takes to discourage him. • God is looking for hearts fully committed to Him. 508. “When he came to himself.” He never would have come to himself if not for his poverty, his desertion, his pain. So Almighty God has strange ministers in His sanctuary. Not all His ministers are mere speakers of holy and beautiful words. He employs some grim teachers to instruct a certain class of mankind in the first principles of right: grief, hunger, pain, homelessness, ill-health, desertion. These are all the hired servants of the Father. He sends them out after sons that have left the old, dear home. This young man had to thank his swine-feeding, his experience of famine, his homelessness, as the beginning of his better life. Many of us probably have had to do precisely the same thing. We found no religion in luxury; no altar in the carpeted room. As long as we had everything within reach and call, our hearts never went out of us in incense of praise, in utterance of prayer. Not until we were breadless, homeless, until we exchanged fatherhood for citizenship; not until we got under influences that were keenly bitter and tormenting in their effects, did we begin to know that we had done wrong. Some of us, again, have had to thank God for poverty, for ill-health, for friendlessness, for being left out on the streets without bread to eat or a pillow to rest upon while the rain dashed into our faces and no man knew us. It was then we called for God, and it was then the Father met us! Joseph Parker 509. There is a place in your heart called a throne. Someone always occupies that place. The rival claimants are Christ and Self. Which of these is on the throne? Christ will brook no rival. He will accept

no divided allegiance. So long as one apartment is withheld, He will not assume control. Spirit, soul, and body belong alike to Him. There is the spirit—the citadel; there is the city—the soul; there are the walls—the body, with its five gates of access. You cannot keep that wonderful little kingdom for while you are watching at one gate, the crafty, sleepless enemy will come in at another. “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Jesus asks for the ownership of the entire being for the whole is His by creative and redemptive right, and until all is yielded, there is discord and disharmony. Only One can bring peace to this wonderful little world. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. When we can say: “The government is on His shoulders,” then every part of the little kingdom acknowledges His Kingship and rejoices in His Sovereignty. It was for this, man was created: it was for this, Jesus died and rose again. J. Gregory Mantle 510. Does anything please Satan better than to look up into the face of Jesus and say: “That man is a prominent officer and worker in that church, but he belongs to me and to You?” “That woman is a diligent worker in Your cause, but I have some stock in her life; she belongs to me and to You.” Such is the penalty of compromise, reservation, and disputed ownership. J. Gregory Mantle 511. “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.” You can say it easily with the lips, but the passage means something far deeper; it means saying it with the life. It is the Holy Spirit who alone can present and enforce the claims of Jesus to the Lordship of the life. Only He can put this blessed ideal into a sinful and divided soul. Only He can show the dishonesty of compromise and reservation. Only He can detach you from the things you once loved and spoil you forever for “the vain things that charmed you most.” Only He can enthrone Jesus in the yielded heart and enable you to sanctify Christ as Lord. J Gregory Mantle 512. If Religion has raised us into a new world, if it has filled us with new ends of life, if it has taken possession of our hearts, and altered the whole turn of our minds, if it has changed all our ideas of things, given us a new set of hopes and fears, and

taught us to live by the realities of an invisible world—then we may humbly hope that we are true followers of the Holy Jesus, and such as may rejoice in the Day of Christ. William Law 513. It is the praise of God when the mother tells her child of the goodness of Him who made the stars and who spread the world with flowers. It is praise when the young convert tells of the joy of his heart to his companion and bids him fly to the Fountain where he was washed and been made clean. It is praise, praise of a high order, too, when the advanced believer in his old age tells of the faithfulness of God, and how not one good thing has failed of all that the Lord God has promised; and while praise seems to sit in such a comely manner upon the young convert that it seems to be the most natural thing in all the world for him to praise, it is equally comely in the aged Christian, for he seems to feel that if such a man as he, preserved so long, did not praise God, the very stones in the street would cry out against him. Charles H. Spurgeon 514. He who has two objects, two ends, who holds with the world and holds with God, is not upright, and he cannot praise God. But when a man has been created anew in Christ Jesus, when he has been taught what the right path is and has grace given him to follow it, and who says, “Now, come fair or come foul, my trust is in the living God; I would not lie, though it were to gain a world; nor would I cheat, though it were to win Heaven itself; I am independent of these things, seeing that God has promised that He will never leave me, nor forsake me”—when a man thus stands upright he makes very blessed music, and such as God’s ears accept. Charles H. Spurgeon 515. Now note the twice-repeated declaration: “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai”; “When he came down from the Mount.” That which created his unconsciousness was the Mount, and the fact that he held in his hand those two tables of stone. The Mount was the place of Divine revealing, and that is always the place of self-concealing. The measure in which a soul passes into the presence of God is the measure in which the soul becomes

unconscious of itself, and rises to the full dignity of the meaning of its own experience. The deep secret of the human soul is capacity for God which is always forgetfulness of self. He had been on the Mount with God, and all his consciousness was effaced by the fulness of experience. There were no atrophied powers, there was no loss of personality; but personality rose into full spiritual health; and personality in full spiritual health becomes unconscious of itself in its grasp upon God, for the knowledge of Whom and communion with Whom personality is created. G. Campbell Morgan 516. He is the God of the second opportunity. The Law is broken! Grace will write the words again, and send them back to men that they may try again. Moses coming down from the Mount was not thinking of himself; he was thinking of God; and the light and the glory that He had given to him changed the fashion of his countenance. G. Campbell Morgan 517. A shining face is always the expression of a shining soul, if there be no illumination of the soul, there can be no irradiation of the face. The ghastly smirk that imitates happiness is deplorable; it is tragic. The light within which makes us forgetful of ourselves is the light that transfigures the face. As the spirit is strong in God, the face expresses that strength. As the soul is confident in Him, confidence shines from the eyes. As the spirit is full of hope on the darkest day, hope is seen upon the countenance. As the soul is sensitive to human sorrow and joy, feels the pain and the bliss of others, all the sweet sympathy is manifested upon the face. What, then, are the secrets of such shining? Let us go back to the story. I admit that times have altered, things are not as they were; but the deep philosophy of the story abides, and its principles are of immediate application. First, there must be time on the Mount. Time on the Mount is time in which we separate ourselves from all the things of men; time which we give to the cultivation of our fellowship with God and the things of God.

And let us not forget that time on the Mount must be in the interest of the very men and the very things from which for the time we have withdrawn ourselves. Moses on the Mount was carrying the burden of the people in the valley. His unconscious shining of face was the outcome of the unconsciousness of himself that made him willing to say, “Blot me out of Thy Book, if only these people can be spared.” Again, there must be silence for God; praise and prayer, but also silence! Is not keeping silence before God almost a lost art among Christian people? “His face shone by reason of His speaking with him.” Not by reason of Moses’ speaking with God, but by reason of Moses’ silence while God spoke to him. To silence, deliberately sought, reverently guarded, God will for ever more speak; revealing to the waiting soul new phases of Himself; unveiling the mystery of His own character; telling of mercy and judgment; repeating the terms of the old covenant that we have broken that we may renew it again, the law of life that we have violated that we may obey it. These are the secrets of unconsciousness also. We shall return presently to the valley of our appointed task, mastered by the memory of the Mount, carrying with us the things we have heard in secret, strengthened by the revelation in loneliness. All unconscious of ourselves, we shall go, faces shining with the light. G. Campbell Morgan 518. It is often said that ‘only what we’ve done for Christ will last’. I’ve used that phrase myself. But, I’m starting to see that, on a deeper level, ‘only what Christ does through us will last’. Mike Wilhoit 519. Turn then to the other side of the suggested picture, life in the spirit. That is life in which man recognizes that the essential part of him is spiritual, that he is not ultimately, finally, fundamentally of the dust, but of Deity; that this life is but school time, and probation, and preparation; and that all he feels within himself of essential life will come to its fulfilment and intensity beyond; the life which answers not the call of the flesh, but the call of the spirit. G. Campbell Morgan

520. The demonstration of the far vision is courageous endurance. G. Campbell Morgan 521. All the gaud and glitter of things temporal are the devil’s methods for drowning thought. The one thing you dare not do if you are living in the flesh is stay to think. You must away to the glaring lights and the clashing music and the paint. God help you, man. That is not life. Life in the flesh is life in prison, and in corruption. Life deteriorating, degenerating, dying, doomed, and presently damned. I pray you deliver yourself in this hour from soft conceptions of what you are doing, and come to see the horror of the whole business. You were made to lift your face to God. God has put eternity in your heart, so said the ancient preacher, and it is true. You can never satisfy the surging eternity of your own being with the nonsense of fleeting time. You can never satisfy the clamant cry of your deepest life in the painted glitter of the place of sin. Life in the flesh is disaster because it is failure. G. Campbell Morgan 522. I am impressed first by the fact that the Spirit of Christ was characterized by simplicity rather than by complexity. I am impressed secondly by the fact that the Spirit of Christ was characterized by serenity rather than by feverishness. I am impressed finally by the fact that the Spirit of Christ was characterized by sensitiveness rather than by callousness. G. Campbell Morgan 523. This also let us remember. We too often attempt to correct the center from the circumference. Let us rather correct the circumference from the center, by handing over all our lives to the Christ Himself and so receiving the Spirit of God. When that Spirit of God is enthroned, we live no longer in the flesh but in the spirit, and then, not all at once, for the full fruitage of Christian character does not come in a moment to perfection; first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear; but when the Spirit of God is in the life there will be the first promise of the Spirit of Christ, and we shall “grow up in all things into Him Who is the head.” G. Campbell Morgan

524. The inner man must be dealt with first, and then the outward will come right in due time. How many of the plans for the social and moral renovation of the world, come under the lash of this condemnation, and are at once declared to be inadequate because they only skim the surface of the evil! . . . We shall have to go deeper than that, as Paul, echoing his Master, reminds us and to begin right in the middle if we intend to influence to any purpose the circumference and the outside. First of all must come the renewing of the mind, after that, the transfiguration of the life. Alexander Maclaren 525. Ah! dear brethren, what man knows himself, and has ever tried fairly to judge his own inner history and life, but will say: “It is all true”? Nature’s sternest painter is her best. The teaching that a man, apart from God and the renovating influences of Christianity, has a mind that needs to be shaped all over again before it is capable of nobility and purity and true holiness, and wisdom, is a teaching to which, if you will strip it of the mere, hard shell of the theological language, by which it has often been made repulsive to men, everybody’s conscience, when once it is fairly appealed to, gives in its “Amen!” And when I come to a miscellaneous congregation like this, and bring the message to each heart—”Thou are the man!”—there is not one of us, if he is honest with himself, but will say, “Yes! I know it all; I am!” Apart from God we have minds enslaved, that need to be emancipated. Alexander Maclaren 526. The reason why multitudes of people who formally call themselves Christians have such a slight hold of Christian truth, and why the Gospel has so small a power over them, is because they have never found out, in any real sense of the word, that they are sinful men. Alexander Maclaren 527. If a man does not think much about sin, he does not think much about a Divine Savior. And wherever you find a conception of Christianity which makes light of the Divinity or of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the reason for that error lies very largely in this other one—an under-estimate of the importance of the fact of sin.

Wherever you find men and women with a Christianity that sits very lightly upon them, that does not impel them to any acts of service and devotion, that seldom breaks out into any heroisms of self-surrender, and never rises into the heights of communion with God, depend upon it that the roots of it are to be found here, that the man has never been down into the abyss and never sent his voice up from it as some man that had tumbled down a coal pit might fling a despairing call up to the surface, in the hope that somebody wandering past the mouth of it might hear the cry. “Out of the depths” he has not cried unto God. Alexander Maclaren 528. The providence of God is as plain as the sunlight, as beautiful as the summer landscape. How can we approach it? By studying Jesus Christ; the daily life of Christ was the daily life of God. Then why tear the clouds asunder to see some at present invisible providence? It is needless, it may soon become impious. We need not batter the cloud-door, and say, Admit us to see the machinery of the universe. No need of that; read the life of Jesus Christ, and you will see what God is doing, what God can do, and what God has been doing all the undated and uncalendared ages. This brings the matter very closely to us. The kingdom of God is among us, the kingdom of God is within you. Why stretch your necks to see something beyond the horizon when God Himself is standing in your midst and manifesting Himself in your own flesh? Then we will study Jesus, and see what He thought about the people and about life, and how He sought comfort for all the persons that trusted Him, how He made orchards grow and the wheatfields and the vineyards and the yards of olives. That is right; now you are becoming religious. Joseph Parker 529. What is God’s plan of judgment as shown by Jesus Christ? He said, Where much is given much will be required; where little is given little will be expected. Where there is poverty and difficulty about doing certain things, yet there sounds this sweet music, She hath done what she could. That is the judgment; that is the day of judgment. Why not judge ourselves now? We need not wait until the after-death judgment: set up the day of judgment now. I have

much, do I give much? I have little, do I give out of the little? Do I do what I can? Oh, so small, yet given with a kiss of the heart. Let this divine revelation come nearer and nearer to us. Let us go to Jesus when we would know about God. Let us study His example when we would apprehend somewhat of Divine metaphysics. With Christ at hand no man need be at a loss for God. Joseph Parker 530. Our years are spent in ceaseless interaction with the lives of other people. And whenever we learn to touch these other lives delicately and understandingly, then we possess the charming grace of tact. George H. Morrison 531. And then when our cares are cast on God, what kind of life does God expect of us? It is here that Peter displays a heavenly wisdom, for he says, “Be sober and watchful.” It is a perilous thing to have a load of cares. It is fraught with manifold temptations. It may make a husband very cross and irritable as many a wife knows. But never forget that to be free from cares may be as perilous as to be burdened with them, and that’s why Peter adds, “Be sober and be watchful.” I have known people suddenly freed from care by some large legacy of fortune—and that freedom has sometimes been their ruin. God does not make His children carefree in order that He may make them careless. Surely better a thousand cares than that. He makes them carefree that with undivided heart they may give themselves to the service of their brother and to the glory of His blessed name. George H. Morrison 532. It is when we realize, however dimly, that in Him we live and move and have our being, it is when we waken to the mysterious certainty that we all hang on God for every heartbeat—it is only then the word comes to its fullness in the deep usage of the Scriptures, and man is said to be waiting upon God. George H. Morrison 533. And so when a man is said to wait on God, it is not a negation of activity, for the thought of service runs right through the term. We wait on God whenever we help a brother and do it lovingly for Jesus’ sake. We wait on God when we teach our little class or climb the stairs to cheer some lonely soul. The servant in the kitchen waits on

God when for His sake she does her duty faithfully. The mistress in the living room waits on God when for His sake she is a lady to her servants. We are all apt to forget that and to narrow down these fine old Bible words. We are prone to limit the great thought of waiting to the single region of devotion. But the root idea of it is not devotion. The root idea is simple, quiet obedience. And what doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to obey? George H. Morrison 534. To wait on God is not just to pray to God, for many pray and never expect an answer. To wait on God is to pray with tense expectancy that the prayer we offer will be answered, for He is the answerer of prayer. All prayer is not waiting upon God in the full and highest sense of the Old Testament. For a man may rise from his knees and forget the thing he prayed for and fail to keep on the lookout for an answer. Only when we pray and pray believingly, and climb the watchtower to see the answer coming, do we reach the fullness of that fine old term waiting upon God. George H. Morrison 535. Egypt is the world with its bondage to sin and to Satan; the bloodsprinkled doorway is the atonement of Jesus Christ, with the security from the judgments of God accorded to the believer; the crossing of the Red Sea may represent justification, passing away from Egypt and beginning the new life under the leadership of God; the wilderness journey may represent the uncertain and the unsettled course of those that are disciples, but have not learned the fulness of their privileges; and the crossing of Jordan may represent the disciple coming into the possession of his privileges, realizing the rest that is given to him in Christ and by the Spirit even in this world. A. T. Pierson 536. There is nothing so absolutely wearying as an idle life, an aimless life, a life without a purpose, without any definite end before it, any definite object toward which to press . . . Blessed be God when He takes some idle and aimless and purposeless life, and, by the breath of His Spirit, turns the old rusty trumpet into a clarion that sounds the peal for advance. A. T. Pierson

537. May it not be said, on the basis of the Word of God, with entire reverence, that there is nothing that is such a provocation to the Lord of grace and glory as that, when disciples have tasted of His Spirit, of the powers of the world to come, and of the good Word of God, they should turn back again to a worldly life, and desire the leeks, and garlics, and onions, and cucumbers, of Egypt? caring more for a worldly bill of fare than for the dainties that God sets on the banquet table beneath the banner of His love. A. T. Pierson 538. And God will never give a disciple the rest unto which the child of God is invited if he does not cross the Jordan of a new consecration. Half a life for God brings no rest to anybody; it is a tiresome life, it is an unsatisfying life. You cannot mix oil and water; you cannot mingle light and darkness; you cannot wed Christ and Belial. There must be a whole heart for God, or there can be nothing known of the rest into which God invites you. The Jordan, in my judgment, stands for that consecration fully to God as the Red Sea stands for conversion, passing from Egypt into a life of dependence upon Jesus. There is a great deal of difference between acceptance of Christ as my Savior, and acceptance of Christ as my Master; a great deal of difference between taking Christ as my Redeemer to save me from hell and lift me to Heaven, and taking Christ as my Sovereign to rule over me, to reign in me, to direct my conduct, to govern my thoughts, to give an end to my purposes, and to control my life. May God’s grace help each one of us to comprehend what blessings come to a child of God, who simply takes his Redeemer and his Savior to be also his Ruler and his Sovereign. You should ask Jesus what His will is concerning your life and what work He would have you to do, what of your present activities he would have you forsake or diminish because they are worldly and selfish, and what new forms of service for Him He would have you assume in His dear name; how, when you have sought to sanctify your family altar, you may sanctify the counter in your business shop; how, when you have sought to sanctify yourself at the Lord’s table, you may sanctify yourself at your own family table; how, when you have sought to give one day in seven wholly unto the Lord, you may keep every day holy unto the

Lord, so that, in a sense, every day should be a Sabbath day of rest; so that you should go to your place of business tomorrow morning as truly to transact business for God as when you come to the Lords supper today to take the bread and the cup in His dear name; so that, as you sanctify the Sabbath day wholly unto His service, you should seek to pervade all your daily life with the conscious presence of your Master; so that He shall be a partner in your daily business, a sharer of its profits, and the constant companion of your daily walk. A. T. Pierson 539. Where the winding road crept round the shoulder of Olivet, the city suddenly came into view; and Jesus halted. They saw Him sitting silent and absorbed. They saw Him gazing at the city spread out before Him. And then—to their amazement—they saw tears in the eyes that gazed. Jesus wept! They did not know the reason for those tears. They did not understand how His heart was aching for the stubbornness, the blindness, of the city that He loved. They did not realize how He was foreseeing the day, so soon to come, when fire and sword would seal Jerusalem’s fate. They only knew that the leader, whom they had hoped to see asserting Himself with martial vigor and remorseless might, was weeping. And they wondered. And they were disquieted. When the procession was formed again and moved on, the hosannas were perhaps a little less convinced. Was this, after all, the king they had expected? But Christ’s thoughts were not their thoughts; and when the day was over and excitement still ran high, He slipped away, to the bitter disappointment and chagrin of those who still hankered after a Messiah who would take the throne by force, and returned quietly to Bethany. James S. Stewart 540. Only a brief hour or two now and the storm would break in devastating fury, but here in this quiet room the very peace of God was reigning. Here the great Christian Sacrament of all the ages was instituted. Here the deathless words about the home of many mansions were spoken, and the promise of the Comforter was given. And here the Master, eating and drinking for the last time before He died with the men whom God had given Him out of the world, the faithful few who through sunshine and cloud had clung to

Him and companied with Him down the years and loved Him tonight most passionately, trysted them to meet Him again and to receive from His hands another cup at the banquet of God in Heaven. James S. Stewart 541. A stated purpose of this book of Proverbs is to impart skillful and godly Wisdom. Proverbs is a practical book dealing with the art of living, and it bases Wisdom solidly on the fear of the Lord. This reverence for God is set forth as the path to life and security. In chapters 1-9 the writer contrasts the way of Wisdom with the way of folly—the path of violence and immorality. Wisdom in the Proverbs has a broad base of meaning, covering such things as practical knowledge in discerning between good and evil in the ordinary affairs of life; the discernment between truth and error or that which is lasting and makes for success in life; and the insight of man beyond the human to the divine realities discerned and deduced from that which God has revealed. All three of these meanings are involved in the teaching through these pithy sayings. (From the introduction to the book of Proverbs in the Amplified Bible). 542. God is saying to His people—You are not in love with Me now, but I remember the time when you were—”I remember . . . the love of thine espousals.” Am I as full of the extravagance of love to Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He find me recalling the time when I did not care for anything but Himself? Am I there now, or have I become wise over loving Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no account of where I go? Or am I watching for the respect due to me; weighing how much service I ought to give? Oswald Chambers 543. The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and it is His blessings that make it difficult. Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere. The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is, in effect—Narrow all your interests until the attitude of mind and heart and body is concentration on Jesus Christ. “Look unto Me.” Oswald Chambers

544. The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let everyone else—work, clothes, food, everything on earth—go by the board, saving that one thing. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through. Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him. It is the one thing that is apt to fluctuate but it ought not to. The severest discipline of a Christian’s life is to learn how to keep “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.” Oswald Chambers 545. We would all be better Christians and wiser students if we would remember this—God rarely uses periods. There is rarely a full stop in His dealings with us—it is more likely to be with the effect of a colon or a semi-colon. In most instances, what God does becomes a means toward something else that He is planning to do . . . Prospect is the word for you and me. Look forward! Look ahead! Live with faith and expectation because the Christian’s future is more glorious than his past! A. W. Tozer 546. Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God. The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor Heaven, nor hell; but Redemption; and the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today. As workers we have to get used to the revelation that Redemption is the only Reality. Personal holiness is an effect, not a cause, and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes. Paul did not say he separated himself, but—”when it pleased God who separated me . . . “ Paul had not a hypersensitive interest in his own character. As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness we shall never get near the reality of

Redemption. Workers break down because their desire is for their own whiteness, and not for God. “Don’t ask me to come into contact with the rugged reality of Redemption on behalf of the filth of human life as it is; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.” To talk in that way is a sign that the reality of the Gospel of God has not begun to touch me; there is no reckless abandon to God. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul is unconscious of himself, he is recklessly abandoned, separated by God for one purpose—to proclaim the Gospel of God. Oswald Chambers 547. If God were human, how sick to the heart and weary He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation, for our sanctification. We tax His energies from morning till night for things for ourselves—something for me to be delivered from! When we touch the bedrock of the reality of the Gospel of God, we shall never bother God any further with little personal plaints. The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the Gospel of God. He welcomed heart-breaks, disillusionments, tribulation, for one reason only, because these things kept him in unmoved devotion to the Gospel of God. Oswald Chambers 548. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal His Son in me.” Oswald Chambers 549. George Steptoe Washington was the son of George Washington’s brother, Sam. When Sam died, Washington took on the responsibility of educating Sam’s son. George Steptoe Washington was heading to college in Philadelphia when Washington wrote him the following letter. Knowledge without virtue would be incomplete, Washington tells his nephew. As John Locke put it: “Virtue is harder to be got than knowledge; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered.” We have lost sight of the fact that the proper end of any education is moral education. As Martin Buber wrote: “All education is the education of character.”

Should you enter upon the course of studies here marked out you must consider it as the finishing of your education, and therefore, as the time is limited, that every hour misspent is lost forever, and that future years cannot compensate for lost days at this period of your life. This reflection must show the necessity of an unremitting application to your studies. To point out the importance of circumspection in your conduct, it may be proper to observe that a good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous. Much more might be said to show the necessity of application and regularity, but when you must know that without them you can never be qualified to render service to your country, assistance to your friends, or consolation to your retired moments, nothing further need be said to prove their utility. (From Our Sacred Honor by William J. Bennett) 550. But there is another season in which the Christian has Heaven revealed to him; and that is, the season of quiet contemplation. There are precious hours, blessed be God, when we forget the world—times and seasons when we get quite away from it, when our weary spirit wings its way far, far, from scenes of toil and strife. There are precious moments when the angel of contemplation gives us vision. He comes and puts his finger on the lip of the noisy world; he bids the wheels that are continually rattling in our ears be still; and we sit down, and there is a solemn silence of the mind. We find our Heaven and our God; we engage ourselves in contemplating the glories of Jesus, or mounting upwards towards the bliss of Heaven —in going backward to the great secrets of electing love, in considering the immutability of the blessed covenant, in thinking of that wind which “bloweth where it listeth,” in remembering our own participation of that life which cometh from God, in thinking of our blood-bought union with the Lamb, of the consummation of our marriage with Him in realms of light and bliss, or any such kindred topics. Then it is that we know a little about Heaven. Have ye never

found, O ye sons and daughters of gaiety, a holy calm come over you at times, in reading the thoughts of your fellow men? But oh! How blessed to come and read the thoughts of God, and work, and weave them out in contemplation. Then we have a web of contemplation that we wrap around us like an enchanted garment, and we open our eyes and see Heaven. Christian! When you are enabled by the Spirit to hold a season of sweet contemplation, then you can say—”But He hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit;” for the joys of Heaven are akin to the joys of contemplation, and the joys of a holy calm in God. Charles H. Spurgeon 551. We have no correspondence with angels. The influence they have upon us, the protection they afford us, is secret and undiscerned; but God, the highest Spirit, offers Himself to us in His Son, in His ordinances, is visible in every creature, presents Himself to us in every providence; to Him we must seek; in Him we must rest. God had no rest from the creation till He had made man; and man can have no rest from the creation till he rests in God. God only is our dwelling place; our souls should only long for Him: our souls should only wait upon Him. The spirit of man never riseth to its original glory, till it be carried up on the wings of faith and love to its original copy. The face of the soul looks most beautiful, when it is turned to the face of God, the Father of Spirits; when the derived spirit is fixed upon the original Spirit, drawing from It life and glory. Stephen Charnock 552. I was speaking once to one of our boys recently home from the war. He was telling me—what I knew by experience already—of the problems of living the Christian life in the services. “The secret of success,” he said, “is in prayer. If I could get away for a quiet time; if I could speak to God and listen to God . . . all was well.” That is the secret of success in the ambassadorial service anywhere and at any time. Do you know why so many people fail as Christian ambassadors? They don’t maintain communication with their King. William E. Sangster

553. How easily, without realizing it, do we become what the apostle calls “conformed to this world”. How easily we accept a lower standard; take to saying: “Well, I see no harm in it”; lose the sharp distinction between right and wrong; have all our blacks and whites dissolve into one indeterminate gray; keep up the pretense of being ambassadors by preserving one or two Christian customs, but—for the rest—we are unworthy; quite definitely not true to our ambassadorial status; something of a failure; a casualty of the diplomatic service. William E. Sangster 554. Some day the Christian ambassador will be called Home. God doesn’t intend that he dwell forever in an alien land. Some day that call will come to you and to me. Suddenly perhaps . . . or with warning. It is as the Monarch wills. When it comes, may it only find us fulfilling our ambassadorial duties; busy in the tasks He has given; filling the moments with glad service to Him. William E. Sangster 555. Therefore, riches are unrighteous, because the people misuse and abuse them. For we know that wherever riches are, the saying holds good: money rules the world, men creep for it, they lie for it, they act the hypocrite for it, and do all manner of wickedness against their neighbor to obtain it, to keep it, and increase it to possess the friendship of the rich. But it is especially before God an unrighteous mammon because man does not serve his neighbor with it; for where my neighbor is in need and I do not help him when I have the means to do so, I unjustly keep what is his, as I am indebted to give to him according to the law of nature: “Whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.” And again Christ says: “Give to him that asketh thee.” And John in his first Epistle says: “But whoso hath this world’s goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” Martin Luther 556. It has been a matter of very great concern to many to know who the unjust steward is whom Christ so highly recommends. This, in

short, is the simple answer: Christ does not commend unto us the steward on account of his unrighteousness, but on account of his wisdom and his shrewdness, that with all his unrighteousness, he so wisely helps himself. As though I would urge some one to watch, pray and study, and would say: “Look here, murderers and thieves wake at night to rob and steal, why then do you not wake to pray and study?” By this I do not praise murderers and thieves for their crimes, but for the wisdom and foresight, that they so wisely obtain the goods of unrighteousness. Martin Luther 557. Fear not to live because of the sorrows that shall come upon you, as come they will, sooner or later. The Spanish proverb has in it truth for us all when it says: “There is no home that sooner or later will not have its hush.” The proverb carries its own meaning. There will be shadows, there will be clouds, the windows will be darkened. The hush comes sooner or later to every home. Jesus comes to us saying: “Fear not. When that day comes with its hush, its clouds, its shadows and its tears, I will be right there, closer than any earthly friend. You can turn to Me for rest unto your soul. You can utterly trust Me, for I will never fail you. Fear not to live.” George W. Truett 558. Oh, my friends! Your faith is incomplete, if you do not live in the daily faith of a coming Savior. Robert Murray McCheyne 559. The final demonstration will be in the resurrection of the saints. So that the resurrection of the saints is not the last thing, it is the beginning. Do not limit God and humanity by the end of this age, or by the millennium. Everything so far has been preparatory. Stretching away beyond me, I dream dreams of unborn ages and new creations, and marvelous processions out of the being of God, but through them all, the risen Christ and the risen saints will be the central revelations of holiness and of life. G. Campbell Morgan 560. There is first the vision of the possibility, and then the action which realizes the vision. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him,” does not merely mean see Him, believe Him, pray to Him, fear Him; it means also, take the forces which He placed in your personality and use them under His government. Do not expect that he will ever bring you to the mountain height unless you climb. Do not imagine

that you will ever come to fulfilment of your own life unless you toil. Do not for a moment think that to acknowledge God means that if you are a member of the Christian Church He will make your life full and beautiful and rich if you are lazy in the matter of your daily avocation. G. Campbell Morgan 561. You have no right to choose what you will be. Seek Divine guidance. Pray about it, but do not end with praying. For remember this, in every human life there is some power which God needs, not merely for the supply of all that is necessary to the life possessing it, but for the commonwealth. It is for every man to discover in God’s presence, and in fellowship with Him, what that power is; and then to take hold of it and develop, and us it, as in the will of God. G. Campbell Morgan 562. Oh, the safety of being in the will of God. “He shall direct thy paths.” Not always in easy or pleasant paths, but always in right paths. Not always in those I would have chosen, but always in paths which lead to success. There may be the vastest difference between success and fame. G. Campbell Morgan 563. The final test of life is beyond the things of time and sense. It will be a test of fire; only that which cannot be destroyed will remain. In the light of that final test if we would make our lives successful we must begin right. What is the first step? Surrender. What the plan of life, the pathway to the end? Obedience. Confronting everyone of us tonight, God in Christ asks for our lives. I pray for you that you may realize your ambitions, and fulfil your dreamings. In order that when the eternal morning flushes the eastern sky, you may come to fulfilment. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” G. Campbell Morgan 564. And our lord summoned her forth, and made her tell her story, that she might be lifted out of the realm of magic and brought into living relationship with Him. It seemed cruel, but it was really kind. It sent her home with loftier thoughts of Him. She would never talk

of the wonder of the tassel; she would always talk of the wonder of the Lord. Permitted to steal away without confession, she would have said exultantly, “I’ve found a cure.” Now the woman cried, “I’ve found a friend.” . . . And Christ was so eager she should be a witness-bearer, in places where His foot had never trod, that He imperiously insisted on confession. Now she would never talk of magic; she would talk of the wonderful welcome she had got; she would talk of the love that streamed on her poor heart, which was better than the healing of her body. Had she stolen away she would have had her gift, but she never would have known the Giver. For that she had to stand forth and confess. George H. Morrison 565. Watch God’s cyclones. The only way God sows His saints is by His whirlwind. Are you going to prove an empty pod? It will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of what you have seen. Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does. If you select your own spot, you will prove an empty pod. If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit. Oswald Chambers 566. Without in any way detracting from the magnitude of his accomplishments in other fields of endeavor, it should be pointed out that the stimulus for his activities was found in the Scriptures, and that his love for and attention to them was in large part the secret of his passion and his accomplishments. Many modern would-be reformers would do well to remember this lest they be tempted in their revolutionary enthusiasm to overthrow a perceived evil only to replace it with another variety of human error. Luther was deeply concerned to impact the truth of the Scriptures to the people and then to lead them in the practical, political, and personal applications of the same. D. Stuart Briscoe on Martin Luther 567. How little Hezekiah knew of what was best for him or for Judah! How presumptuous is anyone who demands that his own shortsighted vision replace the wisdom of God’s plan for his own life or for that of others! (From a footnote in the Amplified Bible on Isaiah 38) 568. It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one’s self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being

ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be “accepted of Him.” It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of laboring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master. Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being “approved unto God” may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says—”Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under.” I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble? Oswald Chambers 569. If you cannot believe that God will forgive your sins for Christ’s sake, how then will you believe that He will forgive you your sins for the works of the law, which you could never perform? Martin Luther 570. So the trial, which was no trial, ended. One extraordinary feature of the whole story let us notice in closing. Everyone who studies the narratives has the strange feeling that the tables are being turned before his very eyes and that what he is seeing is not Jesus on trial before Caiaphas or Pilate or Herod; what he is seeing is Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, on trial before Jesus. And when all is over and the prisoner has been marched away to Golgotha, it is not He who has been judged by them; it is they who have been judged by Him. Face to face for a brief hour; and His searchlight played upon their souls, revealing their inmost nature and showing them up for all the world and for all time to see. On that dark, crowded night the real Judge was Christ. And where Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod stood that

night, every soul at some stage of its life journey must stand—face to face with Jesus in the place of decision—and each soul’s verdict on the Lord of all good life is in a deep and solemn sense Christ’s verdict on itself. James S. Stewart 571. We are not so intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and as He wants us to be—”That they may be one even as We are one.” Think of the last thing you prayed about—were you devoted to your desire or to God? Determined to get some gift of the Spirit or to get at God? “Your Heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.” The point of asking is that you may get to know God better. “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Keep praying in order to get a perfect understanding of God Himself. Oswald Chambers 572. But there is Another who claims to have for weary feet the gift of rest. The world is always full of weary feet, and the days of the Nazarene were no exception. The souls that gathered about Him numbered a great many weary ones, tired, self-nauseated, faint. He looked upon them, and saw their weariness, and was moved with infinite pity, and thus appealed to them: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “I will give.” How? You remember that other great word He spake on another day: “Not as the world giveth, give I.” How does the world give? If the world wished to help a heavy-laden man, it would seek to do it by removing his burden. The world’s way of giving rest is by removing a man’s yoke. “Not as the world giveth, give I.” The world would create a paradise of sluggards. The world’s heaven would be a life without burdens. Its gift of rest would be a gift of ease. “Not as the world giveth, give I.” That is not His way. The restful life is not the easeful life—life without burdens or yokes. The gift of Jesus is a gift of rest while wearing the yoke, rest while carrying the cross, rest in the very midst of mystery, temptation, and strife. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” John Henry Jowett 573. Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you

will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it! (From Jeremiah 6:16 in the Amplified Bible) 574. But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord. (From Jeremiah 9:24 in the Amplified Bible) 575. This is a letter from Abigail Adams to her son, John Quincy Adams, in June of 1778: My Dear Son ... The most amiable and most useful disposition in a young mind is diffidence of itself, and this should lead you to seek advice and instruction from Him who is your natural Guardian, and will always counsel and direct you in the best manner both for your present and future happiness. You are in possession of a natural good understanding and of spirits unbroken by adversity, and untamed with care. Improve your understanding for acquiring useful knowledge and virtue, such as will render you an ornament to society, an honor to your country, and a blessing to your parents. Great learning and superior abilities, should you ever possess them, will be of little value and small estimation, unless virtue, honor, truth and integrity are added to them. Adhere to those religious sentiments and principals which were early instilled into your mind and remember that you are accountable to your Maker for all your words and actions. Let me enjoin it upon you to attend constantly and steadfastly to the precepts and instructions of your father as you value the happiness of your mother and your own welfare. His care and attention to you render many things unnecessary for me to write which I might otherwise do, but the inadvertency and heedlessness of youth, requires line upon line and precept upon precept, and when enforced by the joint efforts of both parents will I hope have a due influence upon your conduct, for dear as you are to me, I had much rather you should have found your grave in the ocean you have crossed, or any untimely death crop you in your infant years, rather than see you an immoral profligate or a Graceless child. You have entered early in life upon the great Theater of the world

which is full of temptations and vice of every kind. You are not wholly unacquainted with history, in which you have read of crimes which your inexperienced mind could scarcely believe credible. You have been taught to think of them with horror and to view vice as a Monster of so frightful mean. That to be hated, needs but to be seen. Yet you must keep a strict guard upon yourself, or the odious monster will soon lose its terror, by becoming familiar to you. The modern history of our own times furnishes as black a list of crimes as can be paralleled in ancient time, even if we go back to Nero, Caligula or Caesar Borgia. Young as you are, the cruel war into which we have been compelled by the haughty tyrant of Britain and the bloody emissaries of his vengeance may stamp upon your mind this certain truth, that the welfare and prosperity of all countries, communities and I may add individuals depend upon their morals. That nation to which we were once united as it has departed from justice, eluded and subverted the wise laws which formerly governed it, suffered the worst of crimes to go unpunished, has lost its valor, wisdom and humanity, and from being the dread and terror of Europe, has sunk into derision and infamy. 576. What, then, do we need? We need the return of the wonder, the arresting marvel of a transformed church, the phenomenon of a miraculous life. I speak not now of the wonders of spasmodic revivals; and, indeed, if I must be perfectly frank, my confidence in the efficient ministry of these elaborately engineered revivals has greatly waned. I will content myself with the expression of this most sober judgment, that the alienated and careless multitude is not impressed by the machinery and products of our modern revivals. The ordinary mission does not, and cannot, reach the stage at which this particular type of impressiveness becomes operative. The impressiveness does not attach to “decisions,” but to resultant life. The wonder of the world is not excited by the phenomena of the penitent bench, but by what happens at the ordinary working-bench in the subsequent days. The world is not impressed by the calendar statement that at a precise particular moment winter relinquished her sovereignty to spring; the real interest is awakened by the

irresistible tokens of the transition in garden, hedgerow, and field. It is not the new birth which initially arrests the world, but the new and glorified life. It is not, therefore, by spasmodic revivals, however grace-blessed they may be, that we shall excite the wonder of the multitude, but by the abiding miracle of a God-filled and glorious church. What we need, above all things, is the continuous marvel of an elevated church, “set on high” by the King, having her home “in the heavenly place in Christ,” approaching all things “from above,” and triumphantly resisting the subtle gravitation of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. John Henry Jowett 577. We leave our places of worship, and no deep inexpressible wonder sits upon our faces. We can sing these lilting melodies, and when we go out into the streets our faces are one with the faces of those who have left the theatres and the music halls. There is nothing about us to suggest that we have been looking at anything stupendous and overwhelming! Far back in my boyhood I remember an old saint telling me that after some services he liked to make his way home alone, by quiet by-ways, so that the hush of the Almighty might remain on his awed and prostrate soul. That is the element we are losing, and its loss is one of the measures of our poverty, and the primary secret of inefficient life and service. John Henry Jowett 578. Many years ago I heard Margaret Bottome, the founder of the King’s Daughters in America, speaking to a great gathering in Northfield, and her address consisted of a simple story in her own experience in travel, and of illustrations from it, in application to the young life which she was then confronting. She told us that when she first traveled in the Far East, there came an hour when the guide came to take possession of the party, and lead them through all their journeys. Three simple things happened which revealed to her the meaning of a guide. In the first place, the guide came to them and said: “ Will you be good enough to give everything to me? I will take charge of everything.” They handed over to him all their main articles of baggage—or luggage, whichever you choose—but they were retaining, she among the rest, those small handbags

which ladies carry. The guide said: “You must give everything to me.” They made their protest, saying there were in those bags things that would be necessary on the journey. Said the guide: “They will be far safer with me, and you will be far safer without them.” After a little while, they were waiting at a railway station for a train; the guide was attending to the baggage. A train came in, they selected a carriage, and the whole party entered it. As soon as they were seated, the guide returned, and said: “Will you be good enough to come out?” They came out, and then asked why he had required them to do so. He replied: “That is the wrong train. Will you be kind enough not to go before me, but after me?” She had learned her second lesson as to the necessity for a guide. In the course of the next day or two, on a long train journey, they were wondering what provision would be made for them on their arrival at their destination. Some stranger, coming from the place at which they were to stay, had told them there was no accommodation, and the guide was strangely silent. When they arrived everything was ready, and the guide said quietly: “Perhaps you will trust me to prepare for you ahead.” Three things: Give everything to me. Follow me; but do not go before me. Trust me about the hidden things of the future. G. Campbell Morgan 579. I will follow Thee in order to find my way into that fellowship with Thee whereby Thy name shall be glorified, my life shall be realized, and I shall be at Thy disposal for helpfulness to others in the publication of the Kingdom of God. G. Campbell Morgan 580. The revelation of Righteousness and Love could be entrusted to no flashing brightnesses, and to no thunders and lightnings. There can be no revelation of these things to the outward eye, but only to the heart, through the medium of a human life. For not the power which knows no weariness, not the eye which never closes, not the omniscience which holds all things, great and small, in its grasp, are the divinest glories in God. These are but the fringe, the outermost parts of the circumference; the living Center is a Righteous Love, which cannot be revealed by any means but by showing it in action;

nor shown in action by any means so clearly as by a human life. Therefore, above all other forms of manifestations of God stands the Person of Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh. Alexander Maclaren 581. And in the life of Christ this is the crowning glory—a will in perfect conformity with God’s. He is our Savior and our great example because of that unfailing dedication. Look at Him as He is tempted in the wilderness—is there not there a terrible reality of choice? Does there not rise before Him the alternative of self, to be instantly and magnificently spurned? And ever through the progress of His years, His meat is to do the will of God who sent Him; until at last, upon the cross of Calvary, the dedication is perfected and crowned. I want you then ever to remember that the will is the very citadel of manhood. To be a Christian that must be yielded up. Everything else without it is in vain. Religion founded on feeling is unstable. A religion of intellect is cold and hard. Total surrender is what Christ demands, and in it lies the secret of peace. George H. Morrison 582. There are three desires in the heart of every Christian; one is to run his course with honor. The second is to endure, without embittering, the bitterest that life can bring. The third and deepest of the three is this, to be always growing more like the Master in inward character and outward conduct. . . . To run with honor, to endure the worst, to be changed into the likeness of the Lord—all of them are based upon beholding. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” “He endured as seeing Him Who is invisible.” “We all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image.” George H. Morrison 583. God’s love is eternal and unchanging. There never was a time when God had to be persuaded to love. No, Calvary was not an inducement Jesus offered to God; it was God’s own love in action. Just as from a volcano there flashes out now and again for one sudden, startling moment the elemental fire which burns unseen at the earth’s heart, so at the cross of Jesus, God’s love leapt out in history, sheer flame, showing in that crowning moment of time what

God is in His inmost being forever. The cross reveals the heart of the Eternal. It makes grace real. It makes love available for needy souls. It reconciles the sinful and brings the world to God’s feet. James S. Stewart 584. So this exclamation of his puts into a vivid shape, which may help it to stick in our memories and hearts, this thought—what an awful difference there is in the look of a sin before you do it and afterwards! Before we do it the thing to be gained seems so attractive, and the transgression that gains it seems so comparatively insignificant. Yes! And when we have done it the two alter places; the thing that we win by it seems so contemptible— thirty pieces of silver! pitch them over the Temple enclosure and get rid of them—the things that we win by it seem so insignificant, and the thing that we did to win them dilates into such awful magnitude! Alexander Maclaren 585. They thought that they were “doing God service” when they slew God’s Messenger. They had no perception of the beauty and gentleness of Christ’s character. They believed Him to be a blasphemer, and they believed it to be a solemn religious duty to slay Him then and there. Were they to blame because they slew a blasphemer? According to Jewish law—no! They were to blame because they had brought themselves in such a moral condition that that was all they thought of and saw in Jesus Christ. Alexander Maclaren 586. Standing in the shadow of the cross where the cleanest, noblest soul who ever walked this earth hangs dying, we hear an inward voice telling us that that cannot be the end. In the great, simple words of the Creed—”The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” James S. Stewart 587. It is only pride of Himalayan proportions and fiercely stubborn unwillingness to face the horrible truth about ourselves and the glorious truth about God that could possibly foster the delusion that we could do anything at all to contribute to our salvation. Does God need anything from us? Could we give God anything that did not

first come from Him? Have we not corrupted everything God has given us so that returning it to Him as though it were of value would only be an insult? Dave Hunt 588. It is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him. Anything that disturbs rest in Him must be cured at once, and it is not cured by being ignored, but by coming to Jesus Christ. If we come to Him and ask Him to produce Christconsciousness, he will always do it until we learn to abide in Him. Never allow the dividing of your life in Christ to remain without facing it. Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with Him and make you see yourself separately. Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually. The great solution is the simple one—”Come unto Me.” The depth of our reality, intellectually, morally and spiritually, is tested by these words. In every degree in which we are not real, we will dispute rather than come. Oswald Chambers 589. Atonement was necessary. Until alienation and enmity and evil works are dealt with, there can be no reconciliation. God cannot be reconciled to man in his sin. Man must be reconciled to God in His holiness. The possibility of holiness is the true gospel hope for those who know their alienation, and who in response to the constraint of the Holy Spirit enter into fellowship by the way of the cross. We may find our way back into intimate personal fellowship with God because Nothing in my hand I bring Simply to Thy cross I cling. If we so come, we shall know the reconciliation. It will be reconciliation that begins with the consciousness of God, issues in love of God, and finds its crown in the works that are pleasing to God. G. Campbell Morgan 590. As I watch this process of the self-emptying of the Son of God, the descent from the height to the depth, stage by stage, until I see Him a spectacle for men and angels in the brutal agony of the cross;

I see that, which remains even until this century to the Greek unutterable folly, but I see Him in that which is the very wisdom of God. The demonstration of the wisdom is discovered in the victories which that cross has won in the reconstruction of human character and the remaking of human lives. The master principle of the mind of Christ, then, is that of co-operation with the wisdom of God, in spite of all human misunderstanding and human inability to comprehend. G. Campbell Morgan 591. He proceeded forevermore against the question of personal rights, against the suggestion of ease or pleasantness. The cross was the supreme expression of the campaign in which the active mind of Christ cooperated with the will of God against all forces which were opposed to the will of God. The enemy suggested to Him, in the temptation in the wilderness, that He should reach the kingdoms of the world by a short and easy method; and He declined, and accepted His Father’s way of the cross. His own disciples at Caesarea Philippi protested against His declaration that the cross was necessary: “Spare Thyself that!” In stern rebuke He denounced the false conception, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou are a stumbling-block unto Me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.” So against the opposition of foes, against the mistaken views of friends, the mind of Christ moved with unwavering strength, submitting itself forevermore, in spite of all the forces that were opposed, to the will of God. G. Campbell Morgan 592. Not only can money and material possessions not satisfy the desires of the heart or bring the lasting happiness they deceptively promise, but they also blind those who pursue them to eternal, spiritual concerns. John MacArthur 593. Now Jesus was not a happy dreamer. He did not wander unconcerned across the world. He had a baptism to be baptized with, and He was straitened till it was accomplished. And the beautiful thing is that in a life like that, intense with the intensity of Heaven, He had a heart that always was at leisure for the fragrant things that blossom by the road. He did not miss the lilies. One who misses the lilies misses God. He did not miss the weed upon the

hedgebank, nor the play of children, nor the widow’s mite. And in Jairus’ house, where the power of God was present, and everyone was hushed in wondering awe, He commanded that something be given the child to eat. George H. Morrison 594. Our Lord’s teaching is always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is selfexpenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all. Oswald Chambers 595. The long way may be the kindest way. It would be very sweet to get at once all that you crave for in your heart of hearts. But then if you got it you would miss the best-all that God is and wants to be to you—and I think a fuller earth is bought too dear, when it is purchased by an emptier heaven. George H. Morrison 596. “Thou shalt remember all the way the Lord hath led thee, to prove thee, and know what was in thy heart.” Not only to know God was Israel led so; God led them that they might know themselves. So you and I are led by devious roads where we are often alone and often weary until at last, thank God, we know ourselves and know our utter need of Jesus Christ. George H. Morrison 597. Let a man have all the talents without courage, and he will accomplish little in the world. Let a man have the one talent and a courageous heart, and no one can tell what things he may not do. Probably when the stories of our lives are written, our gifts will be found less diverse than we thought, and it will be seen that what set us each apart is the distinguishing quality of courage. George H. Morrison 598. The greatest obstacle that (William) Carey met with, during the ten years that he was seeking to awaken interest in foreign missions, was found not in the open and flagrant iniquities of

his brethren of the Baptist denomination, but in the dead sleep in which whole Churches were abiding, rocked in the cradle of their indulgence, swung in the hammock of ease, one end of which was fastened to the cross of Christ and the other to Mammon, fanned into a delicious slumber amid the intoxicating odors of this world. A. T. Pierson 599. The major part of those who confess Christ as Savior, have never yet awakened to the fact that He is their Lord also,— Master of their lives, that He owns their purse, their properties and their possessions, that He owns their hands, their feet, their ears, their eyes; that they are His, that their children are His, that their homes are His, that their business is His, that their treasures are His, that all that they have they hold as His stewards and trustees; that they owe a debt to the dying world that can never be paid, however diligent they may be, but that they are also trustees, put in trust with the gospel as the only riches by which that debt can even in part be discharged. A. T. Pierson 600. What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at the last day. For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away....It would be a tragedy indeed to come to the place where we have no other but God and find that we had not really been trusting God during the days of our earthly sojourn. It would be better to invite God now to remove every false trust, to disengage our hearts from all secret hiding places and to bring us out into the open where we can discover for ourselves whether or not we actually trust Him...time is running out on us. A. W. Tozer 601. Worshiping in Everyday Occasions. We presume that we would be ready for battle if confronted with a great crisis, but it is not the crisis that builds something within us—it simply reveals what we are made of already. Do you find yourself saying, “If God calls me to battle, of course I will rise to the occasion”? Yet you won’t rise to the

occasion unless you have done so on God’s training ground. If you are not doing the task that is closest to you now, which God has engineered into your life, when the crisis comes, instead of being fit for battle, you will be revealed as being unfit. Crises always reveal a person’s true character. A private relationship of worshiping God is the greatest essential element of spiritual fitness. The time will come, as Nathanael experienced in this passage, that a private “fig-tree” life will no longer be possible. Everything will be out in the open, and you will find yourself to be of no value there if you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions in your own home. If your worship is right in your private relationship with God, then when He sets you free, you will be ready. It is in the unseen life, which only God saw, that you have become perfectly fit. And when the strain of the crisis comes, you can be relied upon by God. Are you saying, “But I can’t be expected to live a sanctified life in my present circumstances; I have no time for prayer or Bible study right now; besides, my opportunity for battle hasn’t come yet, but when it does, of course I will be ready”? No, you will not. If you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions, when you get involved in God’s work, you will not only be useless yourself but also a hindrance to those around you. God’s training ground, where the missionary weapons are found, is the hidden, personal, worshiping life of the saint. Oswald Chambers 602. There are those who in their very first seeking of it are nearer the kingdom of Heaven than many who have for years believed themselves to be of it. In the former there is more of the mind of Jesus, and when He calls them they recognize Him at once and go after Him; while the others examine Him from head to foot and, finding Him not sufficiently like the Jesus of their conception, turn their backs and go to church or chapel or chamber to kneel before a vague form mingled of tradition and fancy.... George Macdonald

603. It is a wonderfully liberating experience when the desire to please God overtakes the desire to please ourselves, and when love for others displaces self-love. True freedom is not freedom from responsibility to God and others in order to live for ourselves, but freedom from ourselves in order to live for God and others...We are to please God ‘more and more’, and we are to love one another ‘more and more’. Christian complacency is a particularly horrid condition. We have constantly to be on our guard against vanity and apathy. In this life we never finally arrive. We only ‘press on towards the goal’. John Stott 604. Prayer is the appointed means by which rivers of energy are unsealed and directed to some crying needs. And therefore vital prayer is not a word, it is an act. It is as much an act as the waterman’s lifting of a sluice-gate which lets the higher waters into the lock where the waters are low. Prayer prepares the ways for the supply of the Spirit of Jesus, and in that holy energy we have the power which overmatches and conquers difficulties which are otherwise invincible. John Henry Jowett 605. “Not walking in craftiness,” that is, resorting to what will carry your point. This is a great snare. You know that God will only let you work in one way, then be careful never to catch people the other way; God’s blight will be upon you if you do. Others are doing things which to you would be walking in craftiness, but it may not be so with them: God has given you another standpoint. Never blunt the sense of your Utmost for His Highest. For you to do a certain thing would mean the incoming of craftiness for an end other than the highest, and the blunting of the motive God has given you. Many have gone back because they are afraid of looking at things from God’s standpoint. The great crisis comes spiritually when a man has to emerge a bit farther on than the creed he has accepted. Oswald Chambers 606. We say “How foolish the nation of Israel was! Couldn’t they have seen the handwriting on the wall?” Maybe we should ask ourselves if we can see the handwriting on the wall! Are we like senseless, foolish doves, flitting back and forth between the world and the

Lord? Do we really live as though we believe that this world is passing away as 1 John 2:17 teaches? Are we looking to earthly resources, rather than to the Lord, for our security? Are we deceived by our culture into trying every worldly thrill or idea that comes along, trying to find fulfillment and excitement in life? How deceived can we be? Have we lost our moral compass? Let’s wake up before we become hopelessly entrapped by our own foolish choices! Let’s fly straight and strong, following the Lord. Our lives should be characterized by His values and goals, not by “fluttering” between worthless diversions. What’s really going to count at the judgment seat of Christ? Senseless, silly doves don’t enter Heaven with the blessing of “Well done, good and faithful servant.” David Reid on Hosea 7:11 607. As for you, whose hearts God hath weaned from all things here below, I hope you will value this heavenly life, and take one walk every day in the New Jerusalem. God is your love and your desire; you would fain be more acquainted with your Savior; and I know it is your grief that your hearts are not nearer to Him, and that they do not more feelingly love Him and delight in Him. O try this life of meditation on your heavenly rest! Here is the mount on which the fluctuating ark of your souls may rest. Let the world see, by your heavenly lives, that religion is something more than opinions and disputes, or a task of outward duties. If ever a Christian is like himself, and conformable to his principles and profession, it is when he is most serious and lively in his duty. As Moses, before he died, went up into Mount Nebo to take a survey of the land of Canaan; so the Christian ascends the mount of contemplation, and by faith surveys his rest. He looks upon the glorious mansions, and says, “glorious things are” deservedly “spoken of thee, thou city of God!” He hears, as it were, the melody of the heavenly choir, and says, “Happy is the people that is in such a case; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord!” He looks upon the glorified inhabitants, and says, “Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord, who is the shield of thy help and the sword of thine excellency!” When he looks upon the Lord

himself, who is their glory, he is ready, with the rest, to “fall down and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and say, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come! Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power!” When he looks on the glorified Savior, he is ready to say Amen to that “new song, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. For Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us, unto our God, kings and priests!: When he looks back on the wilderness of this world, he blesses the believing, patient, despised saints; he pities the ignorant, obstinate, miserable world; and for himself he says, as Peter, “It is good to be here;” or, as Asaph, “It is good for me to draw near to God; for, lo, they that are far from Thee shall perish.” Thus as Daniel, in his captivity, daily opened his window towards Jerusalem, though far out of sight, when he went to God in his devotions; so may the believing soul, in this captivity of the flesh, look towards “Jerusalem which is above.” And as Paul was to the Colossians, so may the believer be with the glorified spirits, “though absent in the flesh, yet with them in the spirit, joying and beholding their heavenly order.” And as the lark sweetly sings while she soars on high, but is suddenly silenced when she falls to the earth; so is the frame of the soul most delightful and divine while fixed in the views of God by heavenly contemplation. Alas, we make there too short a stay, fall down again, and lay by our music! From “The Saint’s Everlasting Rest” By Richard Baxter 608. What should our attitude be to Christians who are doing well in some aspect of their discipleship? Some people resort to congratulations: ‘Well done! I think you’re marvelous. I’m proud of you.’ Others are uncomfortable with this and see its incongruity. It borders on flattery, promotes pride and robs God of his glory. So, although they may thank God privately in their prayers, they say nothing to the person concerned. They replace flattery with silence, which leaves him or her discouraged. Is there a third way, which affirms people without spoiling them? There is. Paul exemplifies it here. He not only thanks God for the Thessalonians; he also tells

them that he is doing so: ‘We ought always to thank God for you...we boast about you’. If we follow this example, we will avoid both congratulation (which corrupts) and silence (which discourages). Instead, we can affirm and encourage people in the most Christian of all ways: ‘I thank God for you, brother or sister. I thank Him for the gifts He has given you, for His grace in your life, for what I see in you of the love and gentleness of Christ’. This way affirms without flattery, and encourages without puffing up. John Stott 609. And yet if that really was Judas’ sin, if in a kind of blundering way he meant well, thinking that he knew better than his Master and because he could not wait for Him and His slow, sure, unhurried ways, sought cleverly to force His hand, God pity us! For are we not all apt to do just that! Is the church ever quite free from a halfbewildered, half-fretful impatience with Him, that can’t trust to the steady drip, drip of the weekly services soaking into men’s souls, that is irritated by the seeming resultlessness of His appointed methods, must have the kingdom break in with a rush and a loud noise and all men having to take note of it, keep seeking for a swift immediate revival, not at God’s time but now in ours, devising desperate expedients, trying to whistle up the winds of God! And they won’t come. And these futilities we thought so wise and good and clever end in nothing except robbing people of their hopes, and so delaying what was in God’s mind to give us, what was coming, and might have been here by now, had we not rushed in with our fatuous nothings, our machine-made revivals, our grotesque improvings upon Christ. Arthur John Gossip 610. God works in His own time, in His own ways. And if we try to dictate to Him, to demand it must be now, and in this fashion we have planned, only confusion comes of that. If we would cease our cunning engineering, our hot organizing, our continual talking and conferring, of which nothing ever seems to come but more conferring, if we would sit quiet and reverent in God’s presence, and worship Him, and wait, and give His voice a chance of reaching men

instead of ours, how much more might we see! For does our fussiness and cleverness do anything except this? Like Judas, we get in Christ’s way and hinder Him, we who had meant to help, were so sure we could help, and had found the very way to do it! It was impatience with His methods, it was running on ahead of Him, that, think some, was the sin of Judas and that brought Christ to His cross. And who of us is not guilty of that? Arthur John Gossip 611. The truth of Romans 8:28 is wonderfully displayed in this chapter (Genesis 39). God was working behind the scenes for Joseph. The latter resisted temptation and sought to avoid occasions for sin. Despite this, his would be seducer framed him. And so for a second time Joseph found himself in chains. Under the circumstances he should have been upset. But he was not “under the circumstances”; he was above them and saw God’s hand in them. His time in prison was “training time for reigning time.” So things that were meant by others for evil turned out to be for his good. William MacDonald 612. We can all see God in exceptional things, but it requires the culture of spiritual discipline to see God in every detail. Never allow that the haphazard is anything less than God’s appointed order, and be ready to discover the Divine designs anywhere. Oswald Chambers 613. Sin attracts us, it does not blister us; it interests, it does not burn. We can gaze upon it in curious observation, and it does not create an emotional convulsion. We can see it and laugh, we can see it and sleep. The Master saw it and wept. John Henry Jowett 614. Our lives should be charged with supernatural power. We should be constantly seeing God’s hand in the marvelous converging of circumstances. We should be experiencing His guidance in a miraculous, mysterious way. We should experience events in our lives that lie beyond the law of probability. We should be aware that God is arranging contacts, opening doors, overruling opposition. Our service should crackle with the supernatural. We should be seeing direct answers to prayer. When our lives touch other lives, we should see something happening for God. We should see His hand in breakdowns, delays, accidents, losses,

and seeming tragedies. We should experience extraordinary deliverances and be aware of strength, courage, peace, and wisdom beyond our natural limits. If our lives are lived only on the natural level, how are we any different from non-Christians? God’s will is that our lives should be supernatural, that the life of Jesus Christ should flow out through us. When this takes place, impossibilities will melt, closed doors will open, and power will surge. Then we will be supercharged with the Holy Spirit, and when people get near us, they will feel the sparks of the Spirit. William MacDonald 615. I was but a pen in God’s hand, and what praise is due to a pen? Richard Baxter 616. We might add that most of the preaching in Acts was spontaneous and extemporaneous. Usually there wasn’t time to prepare a message. “It was not the performance of an hour but the preparation of a lifetime.” It was the preachers who were prepared, not the sermons. William MacDonald 617. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible future with Him. Oswald Chambers

618. If it is God who does all the work, and you are nothing but an instrument, you are rid of all care and worry and anxiety; surely the Lord can take care of His own work; and if He chooses to lay down the instrument He once took up, you may glorify Him just as much when you are silent as when you are speaking; if He who chose to fill the vessel, chooses to empty it again for another filling, let Him choose His own way in which to use you, and in any way seek to glorify Him. If He sets you aside, and you seem to be imprisoned and in the stocks, still praise Him, and learn, in whatsoever state you are, therewith to be content. A. T. Pierson 619. It is not always the man who owns the countryside who owns the landscape. He owns the estate; his almost penniless cottager, with the refined and purified spirit, owns the glory of the landscape. Which of them drinks of the river of “God’s delicacies”? One man owns miles of costly exotics, and masses them for show in multitudinous congregation; another man does not own a single costly flower, but to him “the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do lie too deep for tears.” Which of them has the finer perfumes? Which of them drinks of “God’s delicacies”? Aye, but deeper and more subtle still are some of the delicacies of the Lord, “the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” The “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit.” They are delicacies which he can neither appreciate nor apprehend. John Henry Jowett 620. For every look we take at ourselves, we should take ten looks at Christ. Robert Murray McCheyne 0621. I believe in destiny, I believe that every man comes into the world with a distinct gift, with an individuality all his own, and that it is his business so to work his individuality as to increase the common stock of intelligence and goodness and usefulness. Joseph Parker 622. When God makes a man better, He begins within: He changes his moral sympathies: plants the germ of a new principle whose growth is to develop hatred to sin which he once loved, and love to holiness which he once hated. All this is the preparation for a

spontaneous life of obedience which is the fruit of a new nature. He means that the germ shall root itself in us; that we shall choose to do right, so that, were there no law, we should be a law unto ourselves. Then, if every outward condition changes: if society grows so corrupt that religion is no longer popular or respectable; if education is so perverted that vice is crowned instead of virtue—if every outside motive to a correct deportment is gone; then, while the worldly man, whose moral life is the result of expediency, shapes his conduct and his creed to suit the change of outward conditions, the Christian still chooses what his new nature recognizes as the will of God, delighting to do what may bring upon him hatred, persecution, martyrdom. A. T. Pierson 623. Had his heart not been occupied with self, he (Elijah) would have learned that tempests, earthquakes and fires cannot accomplish what the gentile voice of love can. He should have recognized that there was no difference between his heart and that of the nation; and, that as coercion failed to make him leave his cave, so it failed, and must fail, to compel men to leave their sins. George Williams 624. No man will lack attentive audience who speaks from a full heart, which would burst if denied expression. A. T. Pierson 625. His (Jesus’) conversation at the well of Samaria is perhaps the most remarkable instance on record of a purely religious talk with an entire stranger. Yet nothing can be more easy, natural, graceful, than His approaches to her inmost soul. And His words to her tell us the secret of His own success, and how we may secure a similar influence. “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him…it shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” There is the secret: a heart gushing up and running over with its own full life, knowing no force but from within. A. T. Pierson 626. We are too often only the mechanical workmen when we ought to be sculptors of life. We aim to shape our lives after the pattern showed us in the word of God, without aspiring to intense

sympathy with Him who wrought out the only model of a perfect life! He did not design that we should simply imitate His life: that makes a righteous man; but rather that we should resemble Himself: that makes a good man. In one case we are the mechanical workmen aiming after an outward conformity to a divine pattern: in the other case we imbibe the spirit of Christ, catch the inspiration of His purpose, become His disciples, pupils in the art of holy living, and He the great Master; we are learners not of the letter, but of the Spirit. Then we are prepared to work out a result which is in a sense, our own, original. The principles which underlie all true life appear in our own, but in new combinations. It is the likeness of similarity rather than of sameness—of inward sympathy as well as outward conformity. The disciple, like the Master, delights in duty, and that delight is his inspiration. A. T. Pierson 627. This was the meaning of the parable: Ahab had one thing to do by the command of God, and while he did a hundred things, he neglected the one. What a revelation of a perpetual reason and method of failure! We are given some one responsibility by God, some central, definite thing to do. We start to do it with all good intentions, and then other things, not necessarily wrong in themselves, come in our way. We get “busy here and there” doing many things and we neglect the one central thing. G. Campbell Morgan on 1 Kings 20:37-43 628. In order to be acceptable, ministry must have the effect of building up the people of God. That is what is meant by edification— spiritual growth. William MacDonald 629. We are never vitally right, and we never enter into robust spiritual life, until we have something of this magnificent inclusiveness, and make everything part of the glorious mountain-country of the risen life in Christ our Lord. We must regard the lowly concerns of our daily walk and conversation as being vitally related to the heavenlies, and we must daringly believe that we can discharge the humblest duty while still breathing the air of the mountaintops. John Henry Jowett

630. But Jesus was much more than a student of His fellow men. He was a lover of men. Through all the tragedy and comedy of life, through all their human foibles and bignesses of soul, through sin and the pitiful consequences of sin, He loved them as only God could love. James S. Stewart 631. Such were the factors that entered into our Lord’s preparation for His lifework. Thirty long years passed, and no sign was given. There was a broken world to be mended, a lost humanity to be redeemed, and still there was no sign. Then, quite suddenly, God’s hour struck; and the Son of man came forth. James S. Stewart 632. A man not only wins his character largely, but reveals his character largely through his work. George A. Gordon 633. Mine is a debt too big for words. I can never in my manhood turn to the Twenty-third Psalm, either in public ministry or in private devotion, without the figure of a humble carpenter appearing upon the illumined page, for it was he who first led my feet into its green pastures and by its still waters and who showed me something of the audacious fearlessness of the friends of God. And neither can I turn to the fourth chapter of John without a lowly porter standing upon its threshold, for on one never-to-be-forgotten day he stood with me by the well, and he spoke to my soul of its vitalizing properties and of the rare medicinal qualities of its waters “springing up into Eternal life.” And when I turn to the greatest of the Old Testament prophets I find, standing among the cultured crowd of college professors who have helped me and enriched my discernment, an unordained wayfarer from the Sunday School whose personal enthusiasm first made me realize the stature of Isaiah. John Henry Jowett looking back on his Sunday School days with a sense of personal obligation. 634. Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer.

Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process. Phillips Brooks 635. I will tell you what I have tried to preach, and what I have ever had before me—a cheerful, helpful, near religion; not one limited to special time and particular place, but one reaching down to the nearest detail of everyday life, and watering the deepest roots of household relationships. John Henry Jowett 636. It is hard enough to fight the devil, the world and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing that is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated...and permitted....There are times when controversy is not only a duty but also a benefit, and it is a plain scriptural duty to “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.” The apostle Paul...was beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead, chained and left in a dungeon, dragged before magistrates, barely escaped assassination, and so pronounced in him were his convictions that it came to a point when the unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica declared: “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” God pity those pastors and Christian leaders whose main objective is the growth of their organizations and whose main concern is lest their “boats be rocked”. They may escape controversy, but they will not escape the judgment seat of Christ. J.C. Ryle 637. In all our preaching we must preach for verdicts. We must present our case, we must seek a verdict, and we must ask for an immediate execution of that verdict. We are not in the pulpit to please the fancy. We are not there even to inform the mind, or to disturb the emotions, or to sway the judgment. . . . Our ultimate object is to move the will, to set it in another course, to increase its pace and to make it sing in the ways of God’s commandments. John Henry Jowett 638. Fishing is an art, and so is soul-winning.

It requires patience. Often there are lonely hours of waiting. 2. It requires skill in the use of bait, lures or nets. 3. It requires discernment and common sense in going where the fish are running. 4. It requires persistence. A good fisherman is not easily discouraged. 5. It requires quietness. The best policy is to avoid disturbances and to keep self in the background. William MacDonald 622. If our hopes, whatever we protest, really lie in this world instead of in the eternal order, we shall find it difficult to accept the New Testament teaching of the Second Coming. In our eyes, the job is not yet done; and such an action would be, though we would not put it so, an interference. But suppose our hope rests in the purpose of God: then we safely leave the timing of the earthly experiment to Him. Meanwhile, we do what we were told to do— to be alert and to work and pray for the spread of His Kingdom. J. B. Phillips 640. Are you a witness for the Lord, and are you just now in danger? Then remember that you are immortal till your work is done. If the Lord has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it. Who is he that can break the vessel which the Lord intends again to use? If there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home and put you where you will be beyond the reach of adversaries. Your witnessbearing for Jesus is your chief concern, and you cannot be stopped in it till it is finished: therefore, be at peace. Cruel slander, wicked misrepresentation, desertion of friends, betrayal by the most trusted one, and whatever else may come cannot hinder the Lord’s purpose concerning you. The Lord stands by you in the night of your sorrow, and He says, “Thou must yet bear witness for me.” Be calm; be filled with joy in the Lord.
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If you do not need this promise just now, you may very soon. Treasure it up. Remember also to pray for missionaries and all persecuted ones, that the Lord would preserve them even to the completion of their lifework. Charles H. Spurgeon 641.Among the enemies to devotion none is so harmful as distractions. Whatever excites the curiosity, scatters the thoughts, disquiets the heart, absorbs the interests or shifts our life focus from the kingdom of God within us to the world around us—that is a distraction; and the world is full of them. Our science-based civilization has given us many benefits but it has multiplied our distractions and so taken away far more than it has given.... The remedy for distractions is the same now as it was in earlier and simpler times, viz., prayer, meditation and the cultivation of the inner life. The psalmist said “Be still, and know,” and Christ told us to enter into our closet, shut the door and pray unto the Father. It still works.... Distractions must be conquered or they will conquer us. So let us cultivate simplicity; let us want fewer things; let us walk in the Spirit; let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise. In that way we can live in peace even in such a distraught world as this. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” A. W. Tozer 642.A great many people are always sighing for opportunities to minister to Christ, imagining some fine and splendid service which they would like to render. Meantime they let slip past their hands the very things in which Christ wants them to serve Him. True ministry to Christ is doing first of all and well one’s daily duties. J. R. Miller 643.Surprisingly, He did not go back to the city, but took the disciples into the surrounding towns, explaining that He must preach there also. Why did He not return to Capernaum? 1. First of all, He had just been in prayer and had learned what God wanted Him to do that day.

2. Secondly, He realized that the popular movement in Capernaum was shallow. The Savior was never attracted by large crowds. He looked below the surface to see what was in their hearts. 3. He knew the peril of popularity and taught the disciples by His example to beware when all men spoke well of them. 4. He consistently avoided any superficial, emotional demonstration that would have put the crown before the cross. 5. His great emphasis was on preaching the Word. The healing miracles, while intended to relieve human misery, were also designed to gain attention for the preaching. William MacDonald on Mark 1:38 641.Again we find that Jesus withdrew from the crowds and ministered in deserted places. He did not measure success by numbers. William MacDonald on Mark 1:45 642.We may wonder why the Lord allowed His servant to go through such testings and trials. We would think that he could have served the Lord more efficiently if He had allowed his pathway to be free from troubles. But this Scripture teaches the very opposite. God, in His marvelous wisdom, sees fit to allow His servants to be touched by sickness, sorrow, affliction, persecution, difficulties, and distresses. All are designed to break the earthen pitchers so that the light of the gospel might shine out more clearly. William MacDonald on 2 Corinthians 4:9 643.A harp string is invisible when it is vibrating to its true note, and when a minister of the Gospel is doing his proper work he makes no “copy” for the newspapers. It is when he does, or says, things outside his proper sphere that he provides headlines for the secular Press. Jowett felt this. He hated what Dr. P. T. Forsyth called a “footlights ministry,” and it was an immense relief to him when after some occasion that brought him under the searchlight of the Press, he could shrink back out of the glare of publicity to do his own work quietly and unobtrusively. Arthur Porritt

644.Oh, for closest communion with God, till soul and body, head, face, and heart shine with Divine brilliancy! But oh! for a holy ignorance of our shining! Robert Murray McCheyne 645.All through the Scriptures this contrast between sight and insight is being continually presented to us, and everywhere we are taught to measure the meagerness and stinginess of the one, and set it over the fulness and expansiveness of the other. John Henry Jowett 646.First Kings opens with David’s death and 2 Kings closes with Judah’s destruction. The nation had failed under Moses, had failed under the judges, and now had failed under the kings. The people refused to listen to God’s Word. They refused to be moved by the tears of the prophets. They hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks until God appointed the Assyrians and the Babylonians to teach them that the wages of sin is death. The captivity served its purpose well: it purged the heart of God’s chosen people of idolatry. William MacDonald 647.I am learning to resist almost every hour of the day the tremendous forces that would push me here and there. I do not know what time ministers here spend in their studies. They are evidently engaged in a hundred outside works which must leave them very little time to prepare their message. I am going to stand steadily against this pressure, even at the cost of being misunderstood. When I get into my own home I shall allow nothing to interfere with my morning in the study. If the pulpit is to be occupied by men with a message worth hearing we must have the time to prepare it. I feel the preaching of the Word of God is incomparably my first work in New York. (Letter from John Henry Jowett after moving from England to New York City.) 648.Today the kingdom of God needs men and women who are equipped by God, trained and swift, strong in faith, able to prevail against overwhelming odds and put the enemy to flight, full of the

Spirit, and selflessly dedicated to Jesus—people who have an undivided heart! William MacDonald 649.God intends each man to have a share of the good things of life. Some gather more, however, and some less. Those who have more should share with those who have less. God permits the unequal distribution of property, not so that the rich shall selfishly enjoy it, but share it with the poor. Unknown author. 650.We need not begin with prolonged investigation into the length and details of our theological creed. I have known men and women with a creed as long as your arm, but they had no more spirit of venture than a limpet. Their theology is like a mountain, but they have not the courage of a mouse. Our jealousy for orthodoxy is no proof at all of the value of our faith. What do we hazard for it? The measure of the hazard reveals the vitality of our faith, and nothing else reveals it. It is not revealed by our controversial ardour. It is not revealed by our stern guardianship of orthodox spoils. It is not revealed by the scrupulous regularity of our attendance at Church and worship. No, all these may mean nothing at all. What do we hazard for Christ? What have we staked on the venture? How much have we bet that He is alive and King? . . . Twopence a week, or our life? . . . That’s the test. John Henry Jowett 651.Spiritual violets are forget-me-nots, and many a beautiful, nameless little grace grows right out of the bare clay. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing if we could thus transfigure all drudgery into a bit of God’s garden, and surprise those who look upon us by our likeness to the Lord? For we can be perfectly sure that our Lord had many a long stretch of ordinary road, with the most ordinary duties, but He just set to work to turn it all into the highway of a King. John Henry Jowett 652.I believe that everything in nature is a sort of language which God uses to speak to us. He is saying something to us in every sunset, and in every wild flower, in every calm and stormy sea. But we are so dense that we cannot interpret it, and it is so often

as though our Lord were making no communication at all. John Henry Jowett 653.As Christian workers, worldliness is not our snare, sin is not our snare, but spiritual wantoning is, viz.: taking the pattern and print of the religious age we live in, making eyes at spiritual success. Never court anything other than the approval of God, go “without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have the commercial view—so many souls saved and sanctified, thank God, now it is all right. Our work begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation; we are not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace; our work as His disciples is to disciple lives until they are wholly yielded to God. One life wholly devoted to God is of more value to God than one hundred lives simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and that will be God’s witness to us as workers. God brings us to a standard of life by His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that standard in others. Unless the worker lives a life hidden with Christ in God, he is apt to become an irritating dictator instead of an indwelling disciple. Many of us are dictators, we dictate to people and to meetings. Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced it with an “IF,” never with an emphatic assertion—”You must.” Discipleship carries an option with it. Oswald Chambers 654.He has reached the haven he longed for (he wrote to a son mourning the death of a noble father): he has met his Lord. I have an almost devouring curiosity to know what such men realize when they stand in the immediate presence of the Lord whom they have served. Their wonder and praise must be overwhelming. How must your father feel to be young again, and to be forever young. John Henry Jowett 655.My name is weakness sent by Love

To change the carnal to the dove, And clothe thee with the life above And lead thee into strength John Henry Jowett 656. First of all, my child, think magnificently of God. Magnify His providence; adore His power, frequent His service; and pray to Him frequently and instantly. Bear Him always in your mind; teach your thoughts to reverence Him in every place, for there is no place where He is not. Therefore, my child, fear and worship, and love God; first, and last, think magnificently of God. Paternus 657. Christ suited the gospel to a spiritual heart, and the Spirit changeth the carnal heart to make it fit for a spiritual gospel. He blows upon the garden, and causes the spices to flow forth; and often makes the soul in worship like the chariots of Aminadab, in a quick and nimble motion. Our blessed Lord and Savior, by His death, discovered to us the nature of God; and after His ascension sent His Spirit to fit us for the worship of God, and converse with Him. One spiritual evangelical believing breath is more delightful to God than millions of altars made up of the richest pearls, and smoking with the costliest oblations, because it is spiritual; and a mite of spirit is of more worth than the greatest weight of flesh: one holy angel is more excellent than a whole world of mere bodies. Stephen Charnock 658. The Sabbath was instituted to acknowledge God a common benefactor. Public worship keeps up the memorials of God in a world prone to atheism, and a sense of God in a heart prone to forgetfulness. Stephen Charnock 659. I wonder if we shall soon hear again in our House of Parliament, a man who dare quote his Bible, and do it accurately; and do it, not at the bidding of a party, but at the bidding of God Almighty. I wonder! G. Campbell Morgan 660. I am afraid that all the grace I have got out of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours might almost lie on a penny. But the good that I have received from my sorrows and pains and

griefs is altogether incalculable. What do I not owe to the hammer and the anvil, the fire and the file! Affliction is the best bit of furniture in my house. C. H. Spurgeon 661. To have a heart taken up with Christ and Heaven, when we have health and abundance in the world, is neither easy nor ordinary. Though soul and body compose but one man, yet they seldom prosper both together. Therefore, that is our chief good which will do us good at the heart; and that is our true glory which makes us all glorious within; and that the blessed day which will make us holy and blessed men; which will not only beautify our house, but cleanse our hearts; not only give us new habitations, and new relations, but also new souls and new bodies. The true knowing, living Christian complains more frequently and more bitterly of the wants and woes within him, than without him. Richard Baxter 662. If dying men are wiser than others, who, by the world’s forsaking them, and by the approach of eternity, begin to be undeceived; then surely happiness is hereafter, and not here: for though the deluded world, in their flourishing prosperity, can bless themselves in their fool’s paradise, and merrily jest at the simplicity of the saints, yet scarce one of many, even of the worst of them, but are ready at last to cry out with Balaam, “Oh that I might die the death of the righteous, and my last end might be like his!” Never take heed, therefore, what they think or say now; for as sure as they shall die, they will one of these days think and say clean contrary. As we regard not what a drunken man says, because it is not he, but the drink, and when he hath slept he will awake in another mind; so why should we regard what wicked men say now, who are drunk with security and fleshly delights, when we know beforehand, for certain, that when they have slept the sleep of death, at the furthest, they will awake in another mind. Only pity the perverted understandings of these poor men, who are beside themselves; knowing that one of these days, when too late experience brings them to their right minds, they will be of a far different judgment. Richard Baxter

663. Love is benevolence. Benevolence is giving one’s self; selfsacrifice for others; losing my life that others may find life; giving up my liberty that other men’s liberty may be increased; denying myself extravagant and useless expenditure that the nakedness of the naked may be clothed, and the hunger and thirst of the needy be filled; mutual self-sacrifice for each other’s sake. A. T. Pierson 664. Even our blessed Lord did not always receive instant answers to prayer. But He realized that delays do not necessarily mean denials. God answers prayer at the time that is best suited to the accomplishment of His purposes in our lives. William MacDonald 665. Meekness is just self-suppression issuing in beneficent service. Meekness does not tread the narrow path of a selfish ambition, tending only to some self-enriching end. Meekness seeks the enrichment of life through the comprehension of the many. Self-assertion may appear to succeed, but it never really wins. It may gain a telescope, but it loses an eye. It may win an estate, but it loses the sense of the landscape. It may gain in goods what it loses in power. “It may gain the whole world, and lose its own soul.” The meek are the only true “heirs.” They gain an ever finer perceptiveness, and life reveals itself in the richer perfumes and flavors and essences with every passing day. “The meek shall inherit the earth.” John Henry Jowett 666. We never value our fellowship with God so much as when His face seems to be hidden from us. William MacDonald 667. What good is all our busy religion if God isn’t in it? What good is it if we’ve lost majesty, reverence, worship—an awareness of the divine? What good is it if we’ve lost a sense of the Presence and the ability to retreat within our own hearts and meet God in the garden? If we’ve lost that, why build another church? Why make more converts to an effete Christianity? Why bring people to follow after a Savior so far off that He doesn’t own them? We need to improve the quality of our Christianity, and we never will until we raise our concept of God back to that held by apostle,

sage, prophet, saint and reformer. When we put God back where He belongs, we will instinctively and automatically move up again; the whole spiral of our religious direction will be upward. A. W. Tozer 668. Oh, that we may know our God: His power, His faithfulness, His immutable love, and so may be ready to risk everything in His behalf. He is One whose character excites our enthusiasm and makes us willing to live and to die for Him. Oh, that we may know our God by familiar fellowship with Him; for then we shall become like Him and shall be prepared to stand up for truth and righteousness. He who comes forth fresh from beholding the face of God will never fear the face of man. If we dwell with Him, we shall catch the heroic spirit, and to us a world of enemies will be but as the drop of a bucket. A countless array of men, or even of devils, will seem as little to us as the nations are to God, and He counts them only as grasshoppers. Oh, to be valiant for truth in this day of falsehood. C. H. Spurgeon 669. Charles Finney, one of the greatest of all of God’s men throughout the years, testified that in the midst of his labors and endeavors in bringing men to Christ, he would at times sense a coldness in his own heart. Finney did not excuse it. In his writings he told of having to turn from all of his activities, seeking God’s face and Spirit anew in fasting and prayer. “I plowed up until I struck fire and met God,” he wrote. What a helpful and blessed formula for the concerned children of God in every generation! A. W. Tozer 670. This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden, under the shadow of these vines. But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see—brigands on the high roads, pirates on the seas; in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; under all roofs misery and selfishness. It is really a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. Yet in the midst of it I have found a quiet and holy people. They have

discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasures of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians –and I am one of them. St. Cyprian 671. I do not hesitate to teach that faith is the very root of life. What a man most deeply believes, that he most truly is. All earnest life is but a working out of earnest conviction. No man can live a deep, true, great life who lives upon the chances of the day, without convictions, without purposes, without principles on which he is prepared to risk the whole issue and destiny of his life. Joseph Parker 672. Every worker in the valley of bones needs these qualifications. He must be a man of God, a man of the Bible and a man of prayer. He must keep right with God and speak the word of God, while he trusts the Spirit of God. No valley of bones can resist a man of this kind. Amzi Clarence Dixon 673. “Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” Luke 9:57. Our Lord’s attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said—”Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!” Fancy bringing about him a north wind that froze him and “turned him away discouraged!” Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death. Verse 58. These words knock the heart out of serving Jesus Christ because it is pleasing to me. The rigor of rejection leaves nothing but my Lord, and myself, and a forlorn hope. “Let the hundredfold come or go, your lodestar must be your relationship to Me, and I have nowhere to lay My head.”

Verse 59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor to hurt his father. We put sensitive loyalty to relatives in place of loyalty to Jesus Christ and Jesus has to take the last place. In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jesus Christ at all costs. Verse 61. The one who says—”Yes, Lord, but . . .” is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes. This man had one or two reservations. The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going. Oswald Chambers 674. There was a connection between Christian’s burden at first, and his delight in God afterwards; so there was between all the toils of his pilgrimage, and his panting desires after God; for certainly, if this pilgrimage were all the way a way of ease, then we should not much desire to hasten on in it, or to come to the end of it, or to see God in Heaven; too much satisfied with the sweetness of the streams, we should stay away from the Fountain. We having here no continuing city, seek one to come, that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” 675. Why did Abraham hold such a light grip on real estate? Because he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. He did not have his heart set on the present, material things, but on the eternal . . . The patriarchs all died in faith. They did not live to see the fulfillment of the divine promises. For instance, Abraham never saw his numerous progeny. The Hebrew nation never occupied all the land that had been promised to it. The OT saints never saw the fulfillment of the promise of the Messiah. But their telescopic vision brought the promises near, so near that they are pictured as waving at them in joyful anticipation. They realized that this world was not their final home. They were content to be strangers and pilgrims, refusing the urge to nestle to make themselves comfortable. Their desire was to pass through the world without taking any of its character upon themselves. Their hearts were set on pilgrimage . . . But they had a heavenly hope as well, and this

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hope enabled them to treat this world as a foreign country. This spirit of pilgrimage is especially pleasing to God. Darby writes, “He is not ashamed to be called the God of those whose heart and portion are in Heaven.” He has prepared a city for them, and there they find rest and satisfaction and perfect peace. William MacDonald in his commentary on Hebrews 11. We must see the heavenly pattern if we would see the earthly perversion of our Father’s will. If, therefore, we would have a period of wise revolution we must have a preparatory period of wise revelation. All healthy revolution in spirit and in circumstance, in character and in conduct, must begin in the glory of spiritual vision. “Where there is no vision the people perish.” But where the vision is given and welcomed there will be the health of disquietude, and we shall begin to have the stirrings of a new day in movements of desire and will, and in the awaking energies of agitation and action. And what is to be our pattern in the mount except the holy mind of Jesus Christ? John Henry Jowett It is not the possession of things but the forsaking of them that brings rest. J. Gregory Mantle Like all men I love and prefer the sunny uplands of experience, where health, happiness, and success abound, but I have learned far more about God and life and myself in the darkness of fear and failure than I have ever learned in the sunshine. There are such things as the treasures of darkness. The darkness, thank God, passes. But what one learns in the darkness one possesses forever. “The trying things,” says Bishop Fenelon, “which you fancy come between God and you, will prove means of unity with Him, if you bear them humbly. Those things that overwhelm us and upset our pride, do more good than all that which excites and inspirits us.” Leslie Weatherhead God has given us commandments and principles that are for our good; God never gives us a commandment because He is arbitrary or because He doesn’t want us to have fun. God says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” not because He is

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jealous of His own position and prerogatives, but because He knows that if we put anything, anything before Him, it will hurt us. If we understand the principle behind this fact, we can also understand why God chastens us. “Whom the Lord loves, He chastens”. Donald G. Barnhouse He (Satan) tells us that great designs for God cannot be accomplished in the valley, and he makes it appear as if we were going into darkness, or out of the world. He tells us that such a light as ours ought to be set on a very tall candlestick; and he sets that bold fellow Shame to work upon us, as upon Faithful, and sometimes to go with us quite through the valley. And if he succeeds in creating an inward discontent and repining in Christian, then, a little further on, he is very likely to bestride the path as Apollyon, brandishing his flaming darts. So, in going down into this valley, a man must say within himself, What have I to do with dictating? It is God who knows what is best, and not I. He knows what is best for me, and what is most for His own glory. If I be submissive to Him, He will make what use of me He can; and though I may miss my purpose, He will be sure not to miss His; and what more can I ask or wish for? My business now is SUBMISSION. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” How know I, if Thou shouldst me raise, That I should then raise Thee? Perhaps great places and Thy praise Do not so well agree. George Herbert The love of silver can be a tremendous hindrance to the believer. Just as a small silver coin held before the eye comes between it and the sun, so covetousness breaks fellowship with God and hinders spiritual progress. The greatest riches a person can have lie in possessing Him who promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” William MacDonald Our blessed Lord never said, pray that ye be not tempted; but, “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation,” that ye enter not within it, as a cloud surrounding you and taking away your

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light, and leading you to deceive you; that ye enter not into temptation, into its power, into its atmosphere, into its spirit; for when that is done, the soul is weakened and easily conquered. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” Be assured, it is not place, nor opportunities, nor circumstances, that make character or minister grace; but it is rather character that makes circumstances, and grace that makes place. So the next time you detect your heart, under the influence of the plague that is in it, saying to you like a concealed devil, Oh, if I were in such or such a one’s place, how much good I could do! Just think of some eminent saint, and say, If that person were in my place, how much nearer he would live to God than I do, how many opportunities that I waste he would use for his Master’s glory, how he would fill my little sphere, that now is so dark, with brightness and happiness! And you, if you will, may do the same. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” These inward trials I employ from self and pride to set thee free; to break thy schemes of earthly joy, and make thee find thine all in Me. John Newton The great discipline which we need as pilgrims, is mostly the experience of our own weakness, and the art of finding our strength in Christ; but it is astonishing what severe treatment is oftentimes necessary to teach this, apparently the simplest and most obvious of all lessons, but yet the deepest and most difficult to be learned. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” Any trial that weans us away from the love of passing things and sets our affections on things above is a blessing in disguise. William MacDonald The temptations to worldliness are the strongest and most common in the Christian race; they are so represented in Scripture; we are told of the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things choking the word, that it becometh unfruitful; and in many passages we are warned against the love of the world, the imitation of its manners, and the

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indulgence of its feelings. Especially in that striking passage in John, and the corresponding one in James: “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. For all that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” James is yet more severe: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” There is, however, an era of nominal Christianity. Vanity Fair itself may be full of profound pilgrims, and the pilgrimage itself may be held in high esteem, and yet the practice of the pilgrimage, as Christian and Faithful followed it, may almost have gone out of existence. With the increase of nominal Christians there is always an increase of conformity to the world; and the world appears better than it did to Christians, not so much because it has changed, as because they have changed; the wild beasts and the tame ones dwell together, not so much because the leopards eat straw like the ox, as because the ox eats flesh like the leopard. “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people;” the people have not come over to Ephraim, but Ephraim has gone over to them; the people have not learned the ways of Ephraim, but Ephraim hath learned the manners of the people. This is too much the case in the Vanity Fair of the world at the present time; there is not such a marked and manifest distinction between the church and the world as there should be; their habits, maxims, opinions, pursuits, amusements, whole manner of life, are too much the same; so that the pilgrims in our day have lost the character of a peculiar people, not so much because they have become vastly more numerous than formerly, as because they have become conformed to the world; not like strangers, but natives in Vanity Fair. The great temptations of the church in our day is that of entire, almost unmingled worldliness; formalism and worldliness are too sadly the types of our piety; we are in imminent danger of forgetting that our life is a pilgrimage, and that

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this is not our rest. This being the case, what shall we say of this sketch of Vanity Fair, and of the treatment of the pilgrims in it, as applied to ourselves, to the Vanity Fair of our own era in the world, and of the society around us? Do the pilgrims of our day go as resolutely through Vanity Fair as Christian and Faithful did? Is it true that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly lusts, we, as they did, have our conversation in the world? Is our merchandise the truth; or do we, as they did not, stop to trade in Vanity Fair, cheapening its commodities? And how many among us make Vanity Fair the end of our pilgrimage? G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” It is true that in some cases these professed pilgrims were found to have gone beyond their means, and to have built houses and supported this expensive mode of life at the expense of other people; but this did not prevent others from similar extravagance: and at length the world’s people, as the original inhabitants at Vanity Fair were called, and the population of the pilgrims, could not at all be distinguished; the pilgrims having ceased to be a peculiar people, and engaging in the same amusements and pursuits as were generally deemed reputable. The pilgrims being so prosperous and well-esteemed, you may readily suppose there were very few new comers but were persuaded to settle down in the same way, very few went straight through Vanity Fair, and would not be turned aside from their pilgrimage. Some who stayed in the town retained the recollection of their pilgrim life a longer and some a shorter time than others, and some would be ever and anon preparing to set out again; but there were certain persons of influence in the place, as Mr. Self-indulgence, Mr. Love-of-ease, Mr. Creature-comfort, Mr. Indolence, my Lord Procrastinate, and my Lord Time-serving, who, with fair speeches, did generally contrive to detain them, even to the day of their death. So that it was rare that any of those who stopped and became entangled in the cares and pleasures of life and business in Vanity Fair, ever again set out on pilgrimage. I have heard, however, that many of them, when they came to die, were found in great gloom and distress, and could get no peace

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whatever, crying out continually, Oh that I had never ceased to be a pilgrim! G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” The awful moment of danger approaches when the temptation to sin and the opportunity to sin coincide. We should pray constantly that these two should never come together in our lives. William MacDonald Character is an inner garment, whose texture is woven by thought, and feeling, and desire, and action; and this garment is not exposed to the fickle whims of men or the caprice of circumstances. John Henry Jowett If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him for myself, and how to get alone with Him; I must take time to worship the Being Whose Name I bear. Oswald Chambers The philosophy of Money-love and By-ends is that which the god of this world teaches all his votaries; and, alas! When motives come to be scrutinized, as they will be, at the bar of God, how much of our apparent good will be found to be evil, because in the root that nourished both the branches and the fruit, there was found to be nothing but self-interest carefully concealed! You seek Me, not because of the miracles to be witnessed, or the grace to be gained, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” James tests our faith by our answers to the following questions. Am I willing like Abraham to offer the dearest thing in my life to God? Am I willing like Rahab to turn traitor to the world in order to be loyal to Christ? William MacDonald The habits of conformity to the world in Christians, and the love of money in the church of Christ, are the two forms of sin and danger especially brought to view in this portion of the Pilgrim’s Progress. There are certain passages of Scripture, certain declarations of our blessed Lord, which are “sharp arrows in the hearts of the King’s enemies” on these subjects. “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

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This is a sum in profit and loss, which it will take eternity to cipher out. Therefore let no man try it; leave it to the Savior. Turn you to Him and say, Lord, Thou knowest; Thou knowest perfectly what the soul is, and what eternity is, and I do not know either; and what it is to lose the soul, God grant I may never know! Lord, keep me from making this experiment! And yet there are multitudes who are making it, multitudes who are playing at this game, working at this sum in arithmetic, What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? This is the arithmetic of a great part of the world in Vanity Fair. Now you may gain the world if you seek it. Its comforts, luxuries, sinful pleasures, may be yours, if you be willing to barter your soul for them; they almost always come at that price; so you may gain the world, you may know what that part of the sum is: but what it is to lose the soul—that computation you are to make, that column you are to add up, in eternity; and that is an experiment which you cannot make but by making it forever. (Continued) Then there is that other passage, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Cannot! Yea, cannot; it is an absolute impossibility! Then the life of a great many persons is a perpetual strife after what is impossible, for many are striving to serve God and mammon. Hard-working people they are; there are no greater drudges in the world, than those By-ends and Money-loves and Demases, who, in the Christian church, are working away at this problem, to serve God and mammon. That is also a tremendous sentence, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” “Often as the motley reflexes of my experience move in long processions of manifold groups before me,” says a great writer, and certainly not a cynical man, Mr. Coleridge, “the distinguished and world-honored company of Christian mammonists appear to the eye of my imagination as a drove of camels heavily laden, yet all at full speed, and each in the confident expectation of passing through the eye of the needle, without stop or halt, both beasts and baggage!”

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From such sad and fearful madness may the grace of our God deliver us! G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” Some get into this prison (Doubting Castle) by spiritual sins, others by sensual; some by the lusts of the flesh, some by the lust of the eyes, some by the pride of life; some by conformity to the world, and obedience to fashion; some by the pressure of business, others by the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches; they that will be rich are always on the way to this castle, if not in it. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” Perhaps, notwithstanding there are so many examples of great sins bringing men into his power, yet, with the majority of Christians, it is little sins neglected, and sins of omission, and duties undone, that shut them up in Doubting Castle, kept by Giant Despair. Duties undone are in reality great sins, but they do not strike the conscience with such immediate terror as open sins, and therefore perhaps they are the more dangerous. The soul gets sadly accustomed to such neglects, and there is always some plausible excuse in the first instance, in the beginnings, a man being always determined to repair the neglect immediately; but it soon grows into a habit, and then the conscience ceases to be so tender on that point, and at length there comes to be such an accumulation of neglects and omissions, that there is no computing them. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” If men were content with what God has given them, what staggering conflict and unrest would be avoided! If we loved our neighbors as ourselves, and were more interested in sharing than in acquiring, what peace would result! If we would follow the Savior’s command to forsake all instead of to accumulate, to lay up treasures in Heaven rather than on earth, what contentions would cease! William MacDonald But they had learned a lesson by that suffering, which nothing else could have taught them, and which would remain with them to the day of their death. They had learned, from bitter

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experience, that anything and all things had better be endured, than to depart from God and duty; and that whereas ease sought in the way of their pilgrimage might seem as a sweet meadow for a time, it would prove in the end a more intolerable evil, than all the roughness and hardness of the King’s highway. They had learned also to value the light of God’s countenance as they never did before, to watch as they never did before, against everything that might interrupt that light, or shut out the Savior from their souls. They had learned to distrust themselves more thoroughly, and to cast themselves on Christ more entirely; and these are the two great lessons which we need to learn from experience—our own weakness, and Christ’s strength. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” (Commenting on the pilgrims stay in Doubting Castle.) Such glimpses of Heaven, though they be but glimpses, are inexpressibly blessed and sustaining in our pilgrimage. They help to wean the affections from earth; they strengthen us against temptations; they make us see, in the most striking light, the emptiness and vanity of the things of the world, and the folly and sinfulness of the love of the world; they make us feel, while confined to the world, what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue; they make trials also seem very small and transitory, and easy to be borne. Moreover, they quicken the heart after God; for the renewed heart well knows that God is the glory of that City: “for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it; and it has no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” When the soul is filled and purified with such desires after Heaven, as in Paul’s case, then it doth desire to depart and to be with Christ; it would lay by these garments of mortality, that it may put on Christ, and be clothed upon with its house which is from Heaven. Sometimes, when God, by His grace, puts the soul in such a holy frame, discloses so much of Himself in Christ to it, every day is counted, as it passes, for joy, as a step nearer Heaven; so that death seems no longer the king of terrors, but the angel of a Father’s love; and the day when he comes is the

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Christian’s BIRTH-DAY OF ETERNITY. So time itself, the most fleeting of all things, seems sometimes long, because it separates the soul from the Savior. G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” Unless we have the right matter in our minds intellectually and in our hearts affectionately, we will be hustled out of usefulness to God. We are not workers for God by choice. Many people deliberately choose to be workers, but they have no matter in them of God’s almighty grace, no matter of His mighty word. Paul’s whole heart and mind and soul were taken up with the great matter of what Jesus Christ came to do, he never lost sight of that one thing. We have to face ourselves with the one central fact—Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Oswald Chambers When we read the exhortation to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, we think immediately of sexual sins. But the application is wider than that; it refers to any strong desire that is inconsistent with the will of God. It would include overindulgence in food or drink, catering to the body with excessive sleep, the determination to amass material possessions, or the hankering for worldly pleasures. All these things wage incessant warfare against our spiritual well being. They hinder communion with God. They deter spiritual growth. William MacDonald There is something better than envying the prosperity of the wicked; that is to live in constant fellowship with the Lord. Occupation with the wicked brings discouragement; occupation with the Lord brings delight. So the lesson is to make communion with God the aim of our life. Also, to remember that there is a future day of reckoning for the wicked and a bright hope of reward for the righteous which shall never be disappointed. The hereafter looks past death and resurrection to a glorious future in Heaven. William MacDonald We should be willing to pay a great price for truth, but unwilling to sell it for any consideration. The same goes for wisdom and instruction and understanding. We should spare no pains to

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acquire them, but never surrender them for anything in this world. William MacDonald Have you ever thought again how much in Jesus’ character seemed to promise nothing but obscurity? I say that with the utmost reverence—you all know what our Lord means to me. There is not a trace in Him of lust of power, so often the characteristic of the great. If He had ever felt it He had crushed it down, as you may read in the Temptation narrative. There is not a sign in Him of any passion for fame—the spur that the clear spirit doth raise, as Milton puts it. And as for ambition, if He were ambitious, ambition should be made of sterner stuff. Christ was gentle. Christ was tenderhearted. Christ was compassionate to all the failures. And when men would have made Him a king He slipped away. He had a habit of slipping away from demonstrations. And He loved solitude, and lowly life, and the quiet beauty of pasture and of hill. And He was never happier than with His own, where the waves were lapping on the shore. There were men who became powerful then as now by taking the lead in patriotic movements. Christ never once identified Himself with any popular or patriotic movement. He stood apart a little from them all; went His own way in sunshine and in shadow; and, with a character of perfect poise, kept at the heart of all a perfect love. It is not usually characters like that which break through every barrier of concealment. It is men who are determined and aglow; who are intense even to narrowness. And it seems to me that the very poise of Christ, and His meekness, and the beauty of His love, are just the elements we might have reckoned as making for the shelter of obscurity. Yet we all know that that was not the case, Jesus could not be hid. George H. Morrison “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.” When Jesus Christ cleansed the temple, He “would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.” The Spirit of God will not allow you to use your body for your own convenience. Jesus ruthlessly cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and said—”My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye

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have made it a den of thieves.” Have we recognized that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? Oswald Chambers The strength and power of the Church, or of the individual believer, is found solely in the Holy Spirit; and, therefore, to rest on any other source of power is to lean on a bruised reed that will break, and pierce the hand that leans upon it. What constitutes the power of a church? Numbers? God would rather have seven consecrated men and women than seven thousand who are living according to the course of this world. Where lies the strength of a church? In human wealth and patronage? Sometimes these are curses instead of blessings. The power of any church is the Holy Spirit. If He be in the preacher and in the believer, and in the general body of disciples, there is no telling what wonderful things that may be done under His presidency. A. T. Pierson Man is never satisfied. No matter how much he sees, he still wants more. And his ears never reach the stage where they don’t want to hear something new. He travels incessantly and frenetically for new sensations, new sights, new sounds. He is after what an American sociologist calls the fundamental wish for new experience. But he returns dissatisfied and jaded. Man is so constituted that all the world cannot bring lasting happiness to his heart. This does not mean that his case is hopeless. All he needs to do is get above the sun to the One who “satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness”. William MacDonald If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy. Anonymous If the accumulation of possessions could guarantee peace and happiness, then he (Solomon) had arrived. But like the rest of us, he had to learn that true pleasure comes from noble renunciations rather than from frenzied accumulations. He was spending his money for what is not bread and his wages for what does not satisfy. William MacDonald God’s revelation of Himself to me is determined by my character, not by God’s character. Oswald Chambers

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In order for us to walk day by day in fellowship with God and with our fellow believers, we must confess our sins: sins of commission, sins of omission, sins of thought, sins of act, secret sins, and public sins. We must drag them out into the open before God, call them by their names, take sides with God against them, and forsake them. Yes, true confession involves forsaking our sins: “He who covers his sins will not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” William MacDonald For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Titus 2:11-15 There was something else that drove him (Solomon) up the wall —the fact that human activity and skill are motivated by the desire to outdo one’s neighbor. He saw that the wheel of life was propelled by the competitive spirit. The desire to have better clothes and a more luxurious home—it all seemed so empty and unworthy of men created in God’s image and after His likeness. William MacDonald Worldliness is the love for passing things. The human heart can never find satisfaction with things…Concentrating on this world is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. So wise people do not live for a world that is passing away. But he who does the will of God abides forever. William MacDonald Beware of “the cares of this world,” because they are the things that produce a wrong temper of soul. It is extraordinary what an enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention

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from God. Refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life. Oswald Chambers There is no feature that the Bible loves more to proclaim than just this feature of “aboveness.” It distinguishes the disciples of Christ. See how the ambitions of the book run: --”Seek the things that are above”; “Set your mind on things above.” It speaks also of dwelling “with Christ in the heavenly places.” All this describes the life that looks at everything from lofty standpoints and approaches everything with high ambition. John Henry Jowett Only the man who is born of God really overcomes the world, because by faith he is able to rise above the perishing things of this world and to see things in their true, eternal perspective. Thus the one who really overcomes the world is not the great scientist or philosopher or psychologist, but the simple believer who realizes that the things which are seen are temporary and the things which are not seen are eternal. A sight of the glory of God in the face of Jesus dims the glory of this world. William MacDonald People often come to me to find out where they have missed the secret of the victorious and joyful Christian life. Generally, I discover that they want to live in two worlds. They want to live a holy life like Dr. A. B. Simpson, but at the same time they want to be as worldly as the heathen. They aspire to the saintliness of the saintly McCheyne, but they are satisfied to be as worldly as the world—and it is impossible to have both! A. W. Tozer We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute; until we get there Our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us if we think we are sufficient of ourselves, we have to enter into His Kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are rich, possessed of anything in the way of pride or independence, God cannot do anything for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit, He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, which puts “the beyond” within,

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and immediately “the beyond” has come within, it rises up to “the above,” and we are lifted into the domain where Jesus lives. Oswald Chambers Jude wishes for his readers mercy, peace, and love. The greeting is peculiarly suited to those who were facing the onslaught of those whose aim was to subvert the faith. Mercy means God’s compassionate comfort and care for His beleaguered saints in times of conflict and stress. Peace is the serenity and confidence that come from reliance on God’s word and from looking above circumstances to the One who overrules all circumstances for the accomplishment of His own purposes. Love is the undeserved embrace of God for His dear people—a super-affection that should then be shared with others. He wishes that these three blessings be multiplied. Not measured out by mere addition, but by multiplication! William MacDonald on Jude V.2 The more you know of God’s attributes, the more you understand of His acts; the more you treasure up of His promises, and the more you fully dive into the depths of His covenant, the more difficult will it become for Satan to tempt you to despondency and despair. Acquaint thyself with God and be at peace. Meditate on His law both day and night, and thou shalt be like a tree planted by the rivers of water; thy leaf shall not wither; thou shalt bring forth fruit in thy season, and whatsoever thou doest shall prosper. Ignorance of God is ignorance of bliss; but knowledge of God is a divine armour, by which we are able to ward off all the blows of the enemy. Know thyself, O man, and that will make thee miserable; know thy God, O Christian, and that will make thee rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Charles H. Spurgeon “Renew a right spirit” means to repair something that exists but is broken. We have a responsibility to maintain a growing fellowship with God. But because of sin, that fellowship stops functioning as it should. As we confess, or agree with God, that our spirit needs to be repaired, He is faithful and just to forgive us. J. Ransom Bennett

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Perhaps, we should come out from hiding behind the distractions of life and face what many of us fear—silence. God often speaks to us in a gentle whisper. May we be still and know. Tiria E. Brumfield As one of God’s children, the most dangerous thing is to be part of the crowd, identified with the world instead of His agenda. It’s not that God is seeking pompous, power-hungry dictators. God is seeking those who are holy, separate, apart from the world through their conscious, decisive choices to be in the best possible position to serve Him. Consider your position as a servant of God. Are your daily battles concerned with choosing God’s way versus compromise, or have you settled that argument once and for all? Bill Craig We must pray for our nation to repent of its tolerant, anywayyou-want-to-live society in order to experience God’s forgiveness rather than His wrath. Grace Lee Vaughan Nothing between my soul and the Savior, naught of this world’s delusive dream; nothing preventing the least of His favor, keep the way clear, let nothing between. Charles A. Tindley If prestige was the key to a happy life, then he (Solomon) held the key. But it wasn’t, and he didn’t. Someone has said, “I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things.” William MacDonald The failure of pleasure and possessions to fill the heart of man was further illustrated by a fictional character who only had to wish for something and he got it instantly: He wanted a house and there it was with servants at the door; he wanted a Cadillac, and there it was with chauffeur. He was elated at the beginning, but it soon began to pall on him. He said to an attendant, “I want to get out of this. I want to create something, to suffer something. I would rather be in hell than here.” And the attendant answered, “Where do you think you are?” E. Stanley Jones. That is where our contemporary society is—in a hell of materialism, trying to satisfy the human heart with things that cannot bring lasting enjoyment. William MacDonald

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The Lord called it to a new zeal and a new endeavor to strengthen what little there remained for Him, for even that was showing signs of dying. The people had often started projects for God but had never brought them to completion. Christ warned them to hold fast the sacred deposit of truth and to repent of their lifelessness. Unless they awoke, He would come unexpectedly and deal with them in judgment. William MacDonald on the church at Sardis, Revelation 3:2,3. As the strength of sin lies in the inward frame of the heart, so the strength of worship in the inward complexion and temper of the soul. What do a thousand services avail, without cutting the throat of our carnal affections? What are loud prayers, but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, without divine charity? A pharisaical diligence in outward forms, without inward spirit, had no better a title vouchsafed by our Savior than that of hypocritical. God desires not sacrifices, nor delights in burnt-offerings: shadows are not to be offered instead of substance. God required the heart of man for itself, but commanded outward ceremonies as subservient to inward worship, and goads and spurs unto it. Stephen Charnock There is still emptiness within people, and they attempt to fill that with things that do not satisfy. Jesus said to the woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again”. I tell people to write this Scripture over the top of their ambition, over every goal they set for their lives. No ambition is going to satisfy their thirst, because it is a spiritual thirst. Man is a three-fold being—body, soul and spirit. We have physical thirst. We have emotional thirst for love, security and the need to be needed. Then way down, deep inside, we have a thirst for God. In Romans 8, Paul said, “The creature was made subject to vanity”. God created a spiritual thirst that only He can quench. The problem is that people are trying to quench a spiritual thirst with a physical or emotional experience. It can’t be done, even as you can’t fill a physical thirst with an emotional experience. Chuck Smith

The times were indeed desperate. The community was suffering a serious, economic depression. Their crops had been decimated by pestilence. The priests were so immoral and corrupt that their skepticism was spreading to the entire population. The people complained against God, bemoaned their dismal plight—even refused to pay their tithes and offerings. Worship had degenerated into indecent and empty formalism. Moreover, rather than remaining a separate people, they were intermarrying with their Gentile neighbors. The politicians were corrupt. Their corrupt political practices were affecting the entire community. The people were disposed to question the authority and the method of God. God’s love was being doubted and God’s truth was being questioned. These dire conditions called for a fearless spokesman for God. This spokesman was Malachi! Richard O. Rigsby on the conditions when the book of Malachi was written. 736. To be independent of everything in the universe is God’s glory, and to be independent is man’s shame. All that God has, He has from Himself—all that man has, he has from God. The moment man cuts himself off from God, he cuts himself off from all true grandeur. Frederick W. Robertson 737. If a man look for greatness outside of God, it matters little whether he seeks it in his own applause or in that of others. Frederick W. Robertson 738. “There was a certain rich man”—what is the meaning of the word? Rich man—it stands for power, capacity, ability to serve. “And there was a beggar that lay at his gate full of sores”—that means need. And so we have here ability to serve and a need of service brought close together. The poor man was at the rich man’s gate. That means that this poor man was the rich man’s responsibility. He was the rich man’s opportunity. I do not know what responsibility lay at the gate of the man across the street, but the responsibility of this rich man is very plain. The call for help is loud and insistent. Here was his chance. Here was his
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opportunity. Here was the safety vault in which he might have made a deposit for eternity. But the rich man seems never to have seen the man at his gate. He was too busy with his affairs. He was too much occupied with his own pleasures, the pleasures of getting and the pleasures of spending. Not that he was unkind to the beggar—he did not have him stoned, he did not have him thrown into prison. He was not a cruel man, this rich man. At least, he was not aggressively cruel. I dare say he was better than the average. Otherwise he would have driven the old beggar away and not even allowed him to gather up the crumbs. At least the sin of the man was not that he did anything of harm to the beggar. It was rather in the fact that he let him alone. Clovis Gillham Chappell 739. It is very grievous to see how some professedly Christian parents are satisfied so long as their children display cleverness in learning, or sharpness in business, although they show no signs of a renewed nature. If they pass their examinations with credit and promise to be well fitted for the world’s battle, their parents forget that there is a superior conflict, involving a higher crown, for which the child will need to be fitted by divine grace and armed with the whole armor of God. Charles H. Spurgeon 740. “And there shall be no more curse,” perfect sinlessness; “but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it,” perfect government; “and His servants shall serve Him,” perfect service; “They shall see His face,” perfect communion; “and His name shall be on their foreheads,” perfect resemblance; “And there shall be no night there,” perfect blessedness; “And they shall reign forever and ever,” perfect glory. A. T. Pierson on Revelation 22:3-5 741. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy

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and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end. Daniel Webster The greatest tragedy in the world today is that God has made man in His image and made him to worship Him, made him to play the harp of worship before the face of God day and night, but he has failed God and dropped the harp. It lies voiceless at his feet. A.W. Tozer When our eyes are opened by God’s grace, and we see things no longer as the dark world sees them, but when ‘God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,’ we begin to set a different value on all things. We see that prosperity is sometimes a curse, and adversity a blessing—we understand better what constitutes true happiness. From the book The Basket Of Flowers There is nothing terrible in death, to a Christian. It is only the removal from the garden below to the garden above. From the book The Basket Of Flowers I have learned more from these few words, ‘Consider the lilies of the field,’ than I learned in my youth from many a volume. These simple words have been the origin of my purest enjoyments; and in many an affliction, when I was ready to faint under the weight of the trial, they have revived my courage, strengthened my faith, and restored peace to my soul.” From the book The Basket Of Flowers “Ah!” said he to himself, as he passed the garden which James had made, “how sadly those people deceive themselves who suppose that happiness is only to be found in riches! With all her gold, this rich woman has never tasted one hour of the pure pleasure that James and Mary enjoyed in this very garden which she despises!” From the book The Basket Of Flowers

God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having—viz., life with Himself. Oswald Chambers 748. The watchman is one who stands in God’s counsels, knows what is coming and looks out for the event. So now, he who learns from the completed Scriptures what God has foretold, discerning His purposes, not by speculative interpretation, but by comparing Scripture with Scripture, and accepting what is therein made plain, is able to warn and exhort others. He stands upon the watchtower with God. W. E. Vine 749. Our part as workers for God is to open men’s eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation, that is conversion—the effort of a roused human being. I do not think it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opened, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is one of the neglected factors in our preaching today. When a man is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, viz., remission of sins. Then there follows the second mighty work of grace—”and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” In sanctification the regenerated soul deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s interest in other men. Oswald Chambers 750. If any man thirst. What “thirst” is this? Blaise Pascal said, “I count only two men rational: the man who loves God with all his heart because he has found Him, and the man who seeks God with all his heart because he has as yet found Him not.” By those criteria, most of mankind are not rational. The average person who claims to believe in God (as does the vast majority in
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America) is too preoccupied with himself to give God much time or serious thought. Dave Hunt 751. Tragically, man’s natural tendency is not to seek the true God to whose will we must submit, but a false god that will magically fulfill selfish ambitions. There is a vast difference between praying for God to grant one’s fleshly desires, and submissively praying for that which God in His wisdom and love knows that one needs. Hear the sadness in God’s heart: “Be astonished, O ye heavens…and be horribly afraid….For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out…broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer 2:12,13). The poet wrote: “I tried the broken cisterns, Lord, But O the waters failed. E’en as I stooped to drink they fled, And mocked me as I wailed.” Dave Hunt 752. Man’s attachment to this temporary life and its deceitful pleasures and empty possessions blinds him to the spiritual and eternal dimension of reality. Dave Hunt 753. As Herbert Vander Lugt points out, the prophet illustrates the way God deals with His children by citing three aspects of a farmer’s work. First, he declares that the plowman doesn’t continue breaking the ground indefinitely, but stops when it is ready for planting. Likewise, our trials are brought to an end as soon as they have accomplished His purposes in our lives. Then the prophet says that the farmer sows his seed with discernment, scattering the cummin but putting the wheat in rows. This assures us that the Lord carefully selects the discipline especially suited to our particular need. Finally, Isaiah portrays the laborer threshing his crop. With extreme care he beats out the dill with a light stick, and strikes the cummin with a heavier flail. For the wheat he employs a wheel just heavy enough to avoid crushing the grain. Thus the Almighty uses the gentlest possible touch for our condition, never allowing an affliction to be greater than we can bear. William MacDonald 754. Still the Lord will wait to be gracious. “God waits until the disaster of our choice has taught us the foolishness of that

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choice.” When Judah turns to the Lord, He will be their Teacher, Guide, Giver of rain, fertility and prosperity, Healer, Rock, and Defender. His people “will throw away their idols like the polluted things they are, shouting after them ‘Good riddance!’” William MacDonald on Isaiah 30:18-25 Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside. The quiet passionate insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God, and in perfect freedom will say, “Here am I, send me.” Oswald Chambers We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings. Oswald Chambers Picture in your mind a tall ladder leaning against a wall. Now think about your life as a process of climbing that ladder. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to get to the top of the ladder and find you placed it against the wrong wall? One life to live and you missed it! Your relationship to God (Father, Son, and Spirit) is the single most important aspect of your life. If it is not right, nothing else is important. Henry Blackaby You need to begin orienting your life to the purposes of God. His purposes go far beyond time and into eternity. Make sure you are investing your life, time, and resources in things that are lasting and not things that will pass away. If you don’t recognize that God created you for eternity, you will invest in the wrong direction. You need to store up treasures in Heaven. Henry Blackaby When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will make you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfil His word. Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all selfsufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on common-sense ways. Those years of silence were a time of

discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God. Oswald Chambers 760. As soon as God becomes real, other people become shadows. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever perturb the one who is built on God. Oswald Chambers 764. One of the first cravings of men's hearts is wealth. So universal the desire to gain it, that we might almost say it is a natural instinct. How many have thought if they once possessed it they should be blessed indeed! but there are ten thousand proofs that happiness consists not in the abundance which a man possesseth. So many instances are well known to you all, that I need not quote any to show that riches are not a blessing indeed. They are rather apparently than really so. Hence, it has been well said, that when we see how much a man has we envy him; but could we see how little he enjoys we should pity him. Some that have had the most easy circumstances have had the most uneasy minds. Those who have acquired all they could wish, had their wishes been at all sane, have been led by the possession of what they had to be discontented because they had not more. “Thus the base miser starves amidst his store, Broods o'er his gold, and griping still at more, Sits sadly pining, and believes he's poor.” Nothing is more clear to any one who chooses to observe it, than that riches are not the chief good at whose advent sorrow flies, and in whose presence joy perennial springs. Full often wealth cozens the owner. Dainties are spread on his table, but his appetite fails, minstrels wait his bidding, but his ears are deaf to all the strains of music; holidays he may have as many as he pleases, but for him recreation has lost all its charms: or he is young, fortune has come to him by inheritance, and he makes pleasure his pursuit till sport becomes more irksome than work, and dissipation worse than drudgery. Ye know how riches make themselves wings; like the bird that roosted on the tree, they fly away. In sickness and despondency these ample means that once seemed to whisper, “Soul, take thine ease,” prove themselves to be poor comforters. In

death they even tend to make the pang of separation more acute, because there is the more to leave, the more to lose. We may well say, if we have wealth, “My God, put me not off with these husks; let me never make a god of the silver and the gold, the goods and the chattels, the estates and investments, which in Thy providence thou hast given me. I beseech Thee, bless me indeed. As for these worldly possessions, they will be my bane unless I have Thy grace with them.” And if you have not wealth, and perhaps the most of you will never have it, say, “My Father, Thou hast denied me this outward and seeming good, enrich me with Thy love, give me the gold of Thy favor, bless me indeed; then allot to others whatever Thou wilt, Thou shalt divide my portion, my soul shall wait Thy daily will; do Thou bless me indeed, and I shall be content.” Charles H. Spurgeon 761. In accepting the perfect One, God rejected all imperfection. Imperfection is to be known by perfection. What is the perfect type? Life God-centered, self-emptying, man-serving. The imperfect type is life, self-centered, self-seeking, and self-serving. God rejects that type of humanity forever. G. Campbell Morgan 762. It’s all about God’s gifts for God’s purposes, not about our gifts for our purposes. 763. Our Lord said, in effect, to Paul—Your whole life is to be overmastered by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine. Oswald Chambers 764. The first essential element of the Christian character is the death of self—so easily said, so imperfectly understood, so little realized—the death of self; not the destruction of self, but the death of self, so far as self is a separate personality thinking only of itself and making all outside forces minister to its own wellbeing and advancement. The Lord Christ begins by saying to men, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself . . . and follow Me.” That is the central fact of Christian experience, denial of self. The result in the economy of grace is holiness of character; purity of motive; holiness and righteousness, the two sides of the

one great pure Christly character; holiness, rectitude of character; righteousness, rectitude of conduct springing out of rectitude of character. Add to these two things that one inclusive word which has in it the fire of holiness and the passion of self-denial, the great word love. These are the distinctive elements of Christian character. G. Campbell Morgan 765. Between the garden and the ultimate city, we find all the tragedy of human sin, human failure, human inability; and all the magnificent processes of God’s government, forever moving, to our seeming with great slowness, but with infinite sureness, toward the ultimate goal of the establishment in this world of His own Kingdom, and the realization of His own purpose among the sons of men. Between that garden and that city, there is a long succession of pilgrims of faith, visionary souls, fanatics in the thinking of the men among whom they lived, leaving earthly cities to seek one they saw, but no other saw; abandoning the values of the passing and perishing, because convinced of the values of the eternal and permanent. G. Campbell Morgan 766. I can strike no blow against the powers of darkness which will tell, if I am allowing them to hold high revel within the citadel of my own personality. In beginning to build the city of God, I make my contribution, first and fundamentally, when I see to it that all my own life is under the Lordship of God’s anointed and appointed King. G. Campbell Morgan 767. All this brings home the folly, futility and sinfulness of pursuing our own way, carrying out our own designs and turning after that in which God cannot take pleasure, instead of waiting upon Him, listening to His voice and delighting in the fulfillment of His will. Through our walking with God He fulfills, and will fulfill, all the promises of His Word. He responds to delighted confidence in Him, by adding an Amen to His assurance. The peace of an obedient heart and a trusting spirit is that which enjoys the sunshine of His countenance and the calmness of holy communion with Him. W. E. Vine

God reminds rebellious Israel of the fervor and the warmth and purity of the love streams in the early days. She was desperately in love with her Lover and the tender love made life full of music and joy and hope. She was pure and clean and holy. No disloyalty or unclean thought marred the beauty of her devotion. But now the picture is heart-rending. God’s heart is crushed with grief and disappointment. Israel now is living in open sin. She is unfaithful to the covenant vows. Other gods have stolen her affection. She has ceased to love Yahweh and her conduct is shameful in the extreme. Kyle Yates on Jeremiah 2:1-3 769. What put into his heart (William Booth) the passionate discontent with unholy conditions of life? His vision of the city of God. All the discontent that is constructive is born of a great content with the ultimate purpose of God. To have seen this vision of the city is to be forever restless in every other city, and so “We have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come.” The inspiring vision which has created the pilgrims and warriors of faith has been the vision of the city which is in the plan of God. G. Campbell Morgan 770. The tendency of the religions of all time has been to care more for religion than for humanity: Christ cared more for humanity than for religion—rather, His care for humanity was the chief expression of His religion. He was not indifferent to observances, but the practices of the people bulked in His thoughts before the practices of the Church. It has been pointed out as a blemish on the immortal allegory of Bunyan that the Pilgrim never did anything—anything but save his soul. The remark is scarcely fair, for the allegory is designedly the story of a soul in a single relation; and, besides, he did do a little. But the warning may well be weighed. The Pilgrim's one thought, his work by day, his dream by night, was escape. He took little part in the world through which he passed. He was a Pilgrim travelling through it; his business was to get through safe. Whatever this is, it is not Christianity. Henry Drummond 771. In times of trouble and discouragement, there is a tendency to question our certainties. A better policy for Christians is to believe
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our beliefs and doubt our doubts, rather than doubting our beliefs and believing our doubts. William MacDonald If we are truly pilgrims of faith, warriors of faith, builders of faith, then let us remember we cannot dwell in Jerusalem sharing its life, and by talking of the Cross, redeem it. We cannot dwell in London and be of London, of its desire and its amusement and of its philosophies, and save it. There must be utter separation, with a clear line of demarcation between those who have seen the vision and are walking the way of God toward the victory, and those who are content with godlessness. That is the first requirement for being able to help the city, or to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom or to co-operate in the building of the city of God. G. Campbell Morgan After Calvary, God has the right to be trusted; to be believed that He means what He says; and that His love is dependable. A. J. Gossip We thank Thee for making all things so plain to us in Christ Jesus the Lord; we bless Thee that Thou dost not call us to any ventures on our own behalf or to any inventions of new and untried moralities; we thank Thee for the eternal temple in which we may hear the heavenly songs and for the balances by which we may test all our doings and thoughts, our motives and purposes. We thank Thee for the fine gold; may we examine all pretended gold by its light and according to its quality; then shall we be men and women of solid character, high uprightness, noble magnanimity, and men shall take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. Joseph Parker Paul says he is gripped by the love of God, that is why he acts as he does. Men may call him mad or sober, but he does not care; there is only one thing he is living for, and that is to persuade men of the judgment seat of God, and of the love of Christ. This abandon to the love of Christ is the one thing that bears fruit in the life, and it will always leave the impression of holiness and of the power of God, never of our personal holiness. Oswald Chambers

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Keep a clear conscience; he cannot be a bold reprover that is not a conscientious liver; such a one must speak softly, for fear of awakening his own guilty conscience. He is like one that shoots with a foul piece; his reproofs recoil upon himself. Unholiness in the preacher’s life will either stop his mouth from reproving, or the people’s ears from receiving. Oh, how harsh a sound does such a cracked bell make in the ears of his congregation. William Gurnall God’s word to His people in the day of Jeremiah is still His sure word for men who have sinned and lost touch with the Infinite. No perfunctory gesture of interest can procure the rich treasure that is more valuable than all gold. He is always available. His longing is that all men may look to Him and live. His arms are always open in loving invitation to any who will turn to Him. It is just as true, however, that a diligent search is necessary. One who becomes conscious of his need, senses the satisfying gift of God, and sets out to find Him can be sure of victory if he seeks with his whole heart. Cleansing, peace, joy, victory will be his at the hand of a loving God who delights to welcome His children home. Kyle M. Yates The invasion of the Church by the world is a menace to the extension of Christ's Kingdom. In all ages conformity to the world by Christians has resulted in lack of spiritual life and a consequent lack of spiritual vision and enterprise. A secularized or self-centered Church can never evangelize the world. John R. Mott But the hour comes when a man is spiritually roused. Out of the infinite, the hand of God hath touched him. The old content is gone like some sweet dream. He realizes that things seen are temporal. He is not satisfied anymore, nor very happy; sin becomes real, the eternal is full of voices. And it is then, in a vision fairer than any dawn, that the glory of Christ first breaks upon the soul. There is a depth of meaning in His wisdom now, that the mere intellect was powerless to grasp. There is a tenderness and a strength in His compassion that mere emotion never understood. There is a value and a nearness in His death

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that once would have been quite inexplicable. When they were awake, they saw His glory. George H. Morrison “Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2 A Worldly Christianity? Octavius Winslow Professor of the gospel! guard against the world; it is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . . in your dress, in your mode of living, in the education of your children, in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . . any known inconsistency of conduct, any sinful conformity to the world, any inordinate pursuit of . . . its wealth, its honors, its pleasures, its friendships, and its great things. Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker worm that feeds at the root of so many souls! Pray against the love of dress, that sin that diverts the mind of so many professors from the simplicity of Christ, and takes the eye off from the true adornment! Pray against a thirst for light and trifling reading, that strange and sinful inconsistency of so many, the certain tendency of which is to starve the life of God in the soul, to engender a distaste for spiritual nourishment, for the Word of God, for holy meditation, and for Divine communion and fellowship. Yes, pray against the spirit of worldly, sinful conformity in everything! Reader! are you a professing Christian? Then guard against a worldly Christianity—a Christianity that

wears a fair exterior, so far as it is composed of church attendance, but which excludes from it the cross of the meek and lowly Lamb of God—a Christianity which loves the world and the things of the world, “makes a fair show in the flesh,” speaks well of Christ, and yet betrays Him with a kiss. Oh, awful state! oh, fearful deception! oh, fatal delusion! The world is the sworn enemy of your Savior; let it not be your friend. No; come out of it, and be separate. 781. Right through the law of Moses and the prophets, and on to the Baptist’s preaching in the wilderness, there is one long cry for social justice. Then came Jesus, and the cry for justice was transcended in the cry for love. He says to the man embittered by his blinding, Have you tried the way of love? And He means that by the way of love something more is gained than retribution, for the enemy is turned into a friend. For conquering enemies and settling problems, Jesus believed in love alone. Love to him was the universal solvent of the injuries and injustices of life. We may smile at that and call it idle dreaming—”Behold, this dreamer cometh.” But for the Lord it was “the only way.” George H. Morrison 782. He called on men to try the way of love because He knew it was the way of God. He found that as he wandered in the fields—did not the rain fall on the evil and the good? Did God withhold His sunshine from the sinner on the strict and narrow plea of retribution? He found that in Himself, sent in the very lavishness of love, for God so loved the world. For Jesus, love was not an attribute of God; it was the depth and center of His being. God was not fatherly; He was a Father, loving His children as a father does. His perfection was not a rigid justice, but an infinitely loving heart—and we are to be perfect even as He is. That was why Jesus was so daring, though all the world might reckon Him a dreamer. To Him the way of love was God’s way, and God’s way is the only way. Undeterred by the mockeries of men and resolute in “the foolishness of God,” He confronts our broken

world today, still asking, “Have you tried the way of Love?” George H. Morrison 783. The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps—We must step up the stairs. Vance Havner 784. Jesus said to Peter—”Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it through you; you have to be literally “sucked,” until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself. Oswald Chambers 785. It is a mute reminder that sin, in spite of all its allurement and excitement, carries with it heavy weights of sorrow, grief, misery, barrenness, and pain. It is the other side of the ‘eat, drink and be merry’ coin.” Charles R. Swindoll 786. And now, upon the whole matter, comparing the prophecy and the history of this book together, we may learn in general, (1.) That it is no new thing for churches and persons highly dignified to degenerate, and become very corrupt. (2.) That iniquity tends to the ruin of those that harbor it; and, if it be not repented of and forsaken, will certainly end in their ruin. (3.) That external professions and privileges will not only amount to an excuse for sin and an exemption from ruin, but will be a very great aggravation of both. (4.) That no word of God shall fall to the ground, but the event will fully answer the prediction; and the unbelief of man shall not make God’s threatenings, any more than His promises, of no effect. The justice and truth of God are here written in bloody characters, for the conviction or the confusion of all those that make a jest of His threatenings. Let them not be deceived, God is not mocked. Matthew Henry on the Book of Jeremiah

787. Do we not sometimes wonder why it should be so hard to win the crown which God delights to give? Redeemed by blood, why should we have to fight so, why struggle in deadly fashion to the end? And the answer is that thus we are ennobled and called into fellowship with the divine and raised to be sharers in that work of grace which rests on the satisfaction of Christ Jesus. All that you cannot do, God will do. All that you can do, God will never do. Trust Him to free you by bursting iron doors and leading you triumphantly from prison. But gird thyself; do not ask God to do it. Do not wait for the angel to tie on the sandal. It is only a fool who would be idle because he was assured the light had come. . . But when Peter came to look back upon it all, he would see the meaning of the angel’s conduct and learn the lesson (which is so hard to learn) that there is no hurry in the plans of God. George H. Morrison 788. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things. Isaiah 40:26. The people of God in Isaiah’s day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it. Oswald Chambers 789. Our Lord is now teaching us that, while we are to aim to be peacemakers, we are to be contented and cordially consent to have our own peace broken up, and to be in the midst of war perpetually, if our loyalty to Christ and to truth demands it. All peace that does not rest on righteousness is delusive and destructive of true harmony between God and man, and between man and his fellow-man. A. T. Pierson 790. Are you pure in heart, and are you cultivating purity of heart? You shall see God. You shall see God even now and here, for purity of heart clears the eyes of every film and veil,

and makes it possible for us to recognize God where the carnal mind is blind to His divine presence. A. T. Pierson 791. However high the responsibility of God’s messenger is, Christians should not take this as teaching that they ought to cram the gospel down every throat, or witness in every elevator. Despite his great responsibility, Ezekiel was shut up by God and had to wait for God-given opportunities. We also need to be sensitive to His leading in witnessing. Sometimes we need to be silent. However, most of us are silent when we ought to be witnessing. William MacDonald 792. Moreover, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, as Paul says here. But Christ is most certain that He pleases God; therefore we also, having the Spirit of Christ, must be assured that we are under grace for His sake who is most assured. This I have said concerning the inward testimony, whereby a Christian man’s heart ought to be fully persuaded that he is under grace and has the Holy Ghost. Now, the outward signs are to gladly hear of Christ, to preach and teach Christ, to render thanks to Him, to praise Him, to confess Him, yes, if need be, with the loss of goods and life; also, to do our duty according to our vocation, as we are able—to do it in faith, joy, and cheerfulness. Not to thrust ourselves into another man’s vocation, but to stand upon our own, to help our needy brother, to comfort the heavyhearted. By these signs, as by effects and consequences, we are fully assured and confirmed that we are in God’s favor. Martin Luther 793. I gladly hear, read, write, and sing of Him, and desire nothing more than that His gospel may be known to the whole world, and that many may be converted to Him. Martin Luther 794. In every age, God maintains a remnant testimony for Himself— not the moral majority but the despised minority. William MacDonald 795. Any nation that rejects the knowledge of God loses its moral fiber, and has no means of support when trouble comes. This is true of individuals, too. William MacDonald

796. But this far passes man’s capacity, that He calls us heirs; not of some rich and mighty prince, not of the emperor, not of the world, but of God, the Almighty Creator of all things. Our inheritance, then (as Paul says in Ephesians 2:7), is incalculable. And if a man could comprehend the great excellency of this matter, that he is the son and heir of God, and with a constant faith believe it, this man would esteem all the power and riches of all the kingdoms of the world but as dung, in comparison with his eternal inheritance. He would abhor whatever is high and glorious in the world; in fact, the greater the pomp and glory of the world, the more he would hate it. To conclude, whatever the world most highly esteems and magnifies, that should be, in his eyes, most vile and abominable. For what is all the world, with all its riches, power, and glory, in comparison with God, whose son he is? A man who could believe this would desire to be taken out of this life and to be with Christ. Martin Luther 797. “Thou art an heir through Christ.” Paul has Christ ever in his mouth: he cannot forget Him, for he well foresaw that nothing should be less known in the world (even among them who should profess themselves to be Christians) than Christ and His gospel. Therefore he talks of Him and sets Him before our eyes continually. And so often as he speaks of grace, righteousness, the promise, adoption, and the inheritance, he is accustomed to add, “in Christ,” or “through Christ,” covertly impugning the law. As if he would say, these things come to us neither by the law, nor by works, much less by our strength, or by any of men’s traditions, but only by Christ. Martin Luther 801. Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people? For instance, if I allow any turning away from God in my private life, everyone around me suffers. We “sit together in the heavenly places . . .” “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it . . .” If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer. But you ask, “Who is sufficient to be able to live up to such a lofty standard?” “Our sufficiency is from God . . .” and God alone.

“You shall be witnesses to Me . . .” How many of us are willing to spend every bit of our nervous, mental, moral, and spiritual energy for Jesus Christ? That is what God means when He uses the word witness. But it takes time, so be patient with yourself. Why has God left us on the earth? Is it simply to be saved and sanctified? No, it is to be at work in service to Him. Am I willing to be broken bread and poured-out wine for Him? Am I willing to be of no value to this age or this life except for one purpose and one alone—to be used to disciple men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. My life of service to God is the way I say “thank you” to Him for His inexpressibly wonderful salvation. Remember, it is quite possible for God to set any of us aside if we refuse to be of service to Him —”. . . lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified”. Oswald Chambers 802. You must believe that you have the blessing, or you will not have it unless it be by some extraordinary mercy beyond what is promised. His usual way is to raise our expectations so that we look out for the favor, and then He sends it. If some people looked out for answers to prayer they might soon have them, for their prayers would be answered by themselves. I was reminded of that by a little boy whose father prayed in the family that the Lord would visit the poor and relieve their wants. When he had finished, his little boy said, “Father, I wish I had your money.” “Why so?” “Because,” he said, “I would answer your prayers for you.” “Which prayers, John?” “Why, father, you prayed that the poor might be helped, and you could do it very well with your own money.” I like better still that story of the good man at the prayer-meeting, who reading the list of prayers found one for a poor widow that her distress might be relieved, so he began to read it, but stopped and added, “we won’t trouble the Lord with that, I will attend to that myself.” Numbers of prayers are of that kind: we are praying God to do what we ought to do ourselves, and that is sheer impertinence. If we really prayed in earnest, expecting to be heard, our answer would often come in this way, by our being stirred up to see that the Lord had heard us. The Lord might well say to us, “Thou sayest, Thy Kingdom come; arise and help to make My

Kingdom come! Thou askest that My name be hallowed; go thyself and hallow My name.” Oh, that we had the expectancy which would teach us practical action, so that we should find the answer to our prayer given before we asked, according to the promise, “Before they call I will answer them, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.” Charles H. Spurgeon 803. Many nominal Christians feel safe from God’s judgment despite the sin in their lives, but the Lord will tell them, “I never knew you.” William MacDonald 804. Let no man lose the faith that God willeth to do a great work through him. Martin Luther 805. How were the first twelve recruits enrolled? No doubt to each of them the final call when it came was quite sudden and abrupt and decisive, but it seems likely that in every case a longer or shorter period of acquaintance with Jesus, and even companionship, had gone before and prepared the way. Indeed, there were probably three stages on the road to full apostleship. To begin with, they were simply His friends, remaining in their own homes and at their various secular activities, but seeing Him and speaking with Him from time to time. The second stage came with the sundering of home ties and the relinquishing of ordinary occupations. Finally, there came the day when from the main body of the followers who had gathered round Him twelve were set apart for the closest intimacy and the most vital work. The call to apostleship was then complete. James S. Stewart 806. As believers we have high privileges, but also the responsibility to produce fruit for God’s glory. If we don’t glorify Him with our life, our existence is vain and useless. It is like the vine without fruit, and our testimony will be destroyed. As branches in Christ, the True Vine, our chief function is to bear fruit for God. Primarily that means the development of Christian character as seen in the fruit of the Spirit. William MacDonald 807. From the Hallmark-card theology of a thousand churches to the nauseating nonsense of PTL, American evangelicalism is awash in sloppy, sentimental, superficial theology that wouldn’t empower a

clockwork mouse, let alone a disciple of Christ in the tough, modern world . . . Having visited almost all the countries in the English-speaking world, I would say that I know none where the churches are more full and the sermons more empty than in America. There are magnificent exceptions, of course. But by and large, I am never hungrier and rarely angrier than when I come out of an American evangelical church after what passes for the preaching of the Word of God. The problem is not just the heresy, though doubtless there is some of that. Nor is it just the degree of entertainment, and there is lots of that. Nor is it even the appalling gaps in the theology, for there is far too much of that. The real problem is that in what is said there is almost no sense of announcement from God; and in what is shown, there is almost no sense of anointing by God. Jeremiah attacked the false prophets of his day with the damning question, “Which of them has stood in the council of the Lord, seen Him and heard His word? Are we who profess a high view of authority much better in practice? Is such a standard too demanding? Os Guinness 808. Notice how pride was singled out as the root of Sodom’s sin when her abominations were traced to their source. God has blessed her abundantly with fullness of bread, but she monopolized these blessings for her own pleasures and basked in prosperous ease. Provision for her own needs made her insensible to the needs of others; she had no social conscience. Then she committed the abominations and enormities which are linked inseparably with her name. God took her away with a final blow when He saw it. Charles Lee Feinberg 809. Presenting myself to God implies a recognition that I am altogether His. This giving of myself is a definite thing . . . There must be a day in my life when I pass out of my own hands into His, and from that day forward I belong to Him and no longer to myself. Watchman Nee (for me that day is February 19, 2003, Mike)

810. When the Lord called me to serve Him, the primary objective was not to hold revival meetings, help people hear more scriptural doctrines, or for me to become a great evangelist. The Lord revealed to me that He desired to build up local churches in various places to manifest Himself and to bear the testimony of unity on the ground of the local churches. In this way, each saint [believer] is able to function in the church and live the church life. What God wants is not individuals trying to be victorious or spiritual; He wants a corporate glorious church presented to Himself. Watchman Nee 811. Israel had wanted a king like the other nations. Here Ezekiel lowers the curtain on the last act of their monarchy. God wants His people to be different from the world, to be a holy people for Himself, and to acknowledge Him as King. William MacDonald 812. Burn away wood, hay and stubble, everything else must go. When our lives You behold – I hope You see gold. Mike Wilhoit 813. God is not looking for new methods or programs; God is always looking for someone to stand in the gap. One person can make a difference. William MacDonald 814. Get a man who is restfully intimate with his Lord, and you have a man whose force is tremendous! Such men move in apparent ease, but it is the ease that is linked with the infinite, it is the very rest of God. John Henry Jowett 815. Not by conforming to this world can humanity be saved. Lying down in the gutter with the derelict is no way to reform him. Acquiescence is not an effective way of remedying evils. Sharing the gains of exploitation and enjoying the privileges arising out of injustice will never lead to the transformation of society. Untiring opposition to false standards and ceaseless activity against wrongdoing are demanded by love. Mankind can never be lifted to the highest levels if its teachers dwell in the lowlands. To be in the world, and yet not of it, is the difficult requirement of love. Kirby Page

816. Grace was to Paul an all-enveloping atmosphere, a defensive and oxygenating air, which braced and nourished his own spirit, and wasted and consumed his foes. John Henry Jowett 817. When we suffer with Christ we come to know Christ, to come face to face with reality, and idle superfluities drop away. “And our comfort aboundeth through Christ.” Our fellowship with His sorrows makes us receptive of His joys; “My joy shall be in you, and your joy shall be full.” Our fellowship in His battles makes us receptive of His peace; “My peace I give unto you.” There is no surer way of becoming sure of Christ than to follow the way of sacrificial life and service. It may bring us into a fiery furnace of suffering, but “in the midst of the fire” there shall be one “like unto the Son of God.” John Henry Jowett 818. With weirdness, realism and dramatic force the prophet presents the heartening news that Israel may hope to live. A revival is possible! Even dry bones, without sinew and flesh and blood, can live. The coming of God’s Spirit brings life. The same thrilling truth is still needed in a world that has dry bones everywhere. What we need is to have the Holy Spirit come with His quickening power that a genuine revival may sweep the earth. Kyle M. Yates on Ezekiel 37 819. Ever and everywhere, in the pulpit and out of it, amid a crowd, with a few, or holding fellowship with the individual, the true minister will guide himself with the self-arresting challenge: “What am I after?” and he will continually refresh his vision and ambition by the contemplation of the apostolic aim: “To present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” John Henry Jowett 820. A true sight of the glory of the Lord makes us ashamed of our iniquities: ‘Tis the look that melted Peter, ‘Tis that Face that Stephen saw, ‘Tis that heart that wept with Mary, Can alone from idols draw. Author unknown

821. They will be supported by things dedicated to the Lord. The Lord wants to be their inheritance, and they will have nothing on earth. This is true for the servants of God today; He wants us to find our full satisfaction in Him, and thus be free to serve unhindered by worldly attachments. Like Paul we can learn to be content in every state, but we do have to learn it because it does not come naturally to anyone. A broken man can say, “There is none upon earth that I desire besides You . . . God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”. William MacDonald on Ezekiel 44:28-31 822. Now thanks be to God Who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 14-17 823. Many Christians study the Bible like a lawyer studying a law book; their purpose is only to defend their own case. Therefore, it is their motive that is corrupted first, not their mind. They first have a tendency to covet in their heart; then their mind and whole being are dragged into the peril of covetousness. Watchman Nee 824. The Christian life is often portrayed as a walk or a path in the Bible. When we are not paying attention to where we are going, we can easily lose our way. We see something interesting. Our eyes are lured away. Our heads turn. Our hearts soon follow. Our feet then step off the narrow path, following the notions of our hearts. Before we know it, we are far from where we started, and sometimes it takes us a while to find our way back. Carol Bradfield 825. O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with

lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters. Says the Lord Almighty. Therefore having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2nd Corinthians 6:11 through 7:1 826. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:8,9 827. The Jews were unharmed. The fire had burned only the cords that bound them. Afflictions succeed in accomplishing God’s purposes and setting us free from the things that bind us. William MacDonald on Daniel 3:26-30 828. What the world counts as foolish we have rested our eternal salvation on. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and turn your back on the pleasures and the sensual lusts and materialism of this world, people will think you are a fool. Billy Graham 829. As I studied the prayers of those who founded this nation, a word they frequently used for God is Sovereign, because they came to this country seeking a land where God could be the Sovereign of the land . . . We need to know that God is the Sovereign of this nation. We have a responsibility to trust Him, to seek His will and to live in accordance with His righteousness and justice. Lloyd John Ogilvie

830. I believe that there is no separation between God and State. We need God in the affairs of government, and those who are involved in leadership desperately need Him and His guidance and direction. If we take God out of the affairs of government, we are left to our human devices without the empowerment that comes through a relationship with God. Lloyd John Ogilvie 831. But it was sobering to think of how many die without ever hearing the Gospel. And it was challenging to think that many of us live so comfortably—so far away from little John—that we see evangelism as something that can wait. There is nothing more urgent than telling the world about the incomparable love of Jesus Christ and the saving grace of God. There is no greater way to demonstrate Christlike compassion. “For Christ’s love compels us,” Paul said, explaining his motivation for telling the world about Jesus. We need no other reason. Franklin Graham after a visit to Sudan 832. Lord, help me never to take any more praise for what You do through me than a hammer does after its been used by a carpenter to build a house. Mike Wilhoit 833. Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness… Second Corinthians 9:10 834. Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfil the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing. Oswald Chambers 835. It is very easy in our day to discern a glaring inconsistency among many well-groomed and overfed evangelical Christians, who profess that they are looking for Christ’s second coming and yet vigorously reject any suggestion that Christian faith and witness should be costing them something. A. W. Tozer 836. God does not need our church trappings to expand His kingdom. The early church had no property; they did have a testimony. It is our testimony, how we live and what we say, that displays the power of the gospel to change lives. Let us live His truth with our

lives, and let us speak His truth with our lips. This is what it means to worship and to witness. Calvin Wittman 837. Writing from a Roman prison cell, Paul saw his whole life, the joy and the suffering, as something God could and would use to expand the kingdom. This total surrender to Jesus liberated Paul from the prison of self-concern. His primary interest was the kingdom of God, not his own comfort. Clearly, Paul was living this life for the life to come. Calvin Wittman 838. But Paul’s concern for the kingdom was greater than his concern for his own reputation. Paul responded in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Paul rejoiced that Jesus was being preached even if he did not get the credit. Imagine how the kingdom of God would grow if none of us were concerned about getting the credit and if our hearts’ desires were simply to see Jesus magnified. This is what it means to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel. For whose glory are you living, yours or God’s? Calvin Wittman 839.Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1st Corinthians 15:58 840. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:6-10 841. The faculty of faith is not meant to kill the faculty of criticism and the instinct of curiosity, but rather to keep them keen and alive, and prevent them dying of despair. Faith is the mark of those who seek and keep on seeking, who ask and keep on asking, who knock and keep on knocking until the door is opened. The passive, weakkneed taking of everything on trust -- which is often presented as

faith -- is a travesty of its truth. True faith is the most active, positive, and powerful of all virtues. It means that a man, having come into spiritual communion with that great personal Spirit Who lives and works behind the universe, can trust Him, and, trusting Him, can use all his powers of body, mind, and spirit to cooperate with Him in the great purpose of perfection; it means that the man of faith will be the man of science in its deepest, truest sense, and will never cease from asking questions -- never cease from seeking for the reason that lies behind all mysteries. G. A. Studdert Kennedy 842. Let God have perfect liberty when you speak. Before God’s message can liberate other souls, the liberation must be real in you. Gather your material, and set it alight when you speak. Oswald Chambers 843. “We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” And every one of them has a story, a story of grace, the miracle of Divine mercy as he found it on the road, and the story is full of encouragement for the runner of today. And what we have to do is to listen to them. “What experience have you had on the road? What secrets did you discover? What hidden manna did you gather? What brooks did you find by the way? What light of divine revelation broke upon your path? Above all, what did the Lord of the way say to you?” John Henry Jowett 844. And perhaps in this “great cloud of witnesses” there are your own father and mother, or some minister of Christ who was to you both herald and hero, both prophet and priest. Listen to their evidence. They have wonderful things to tell us about the way, and about the Lord of the way, and about the provision which He has made for those who are taking that road to the Celestial City, where the glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land. And they tell us of their stumblings and their fallings, and how they were recovered from their faults. They tell us how things looked at the beginning of the road, and how things looked towards the end. Above all, they tell us of their fellowship with the Lord, and how His Presence transformed the desert into a garden, and changed midnight into noon. All these are not silent witnesses, indifferent lookers-on.

They have something to tell us, and they are eager to tell it. Let them give their evidence. “We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” . . . Let their story be retold in our teaching and preaching, and so make it powerfully evidential. And to the testimony of others let us add our own. Let us join the cloud of witnesses, and let us tell our story. John Henry Jowett 845. What, then, shall we make of a person who says he has experienced conversion, but whose religious emotions soon die away, leaving him much the same person as he was before? He seems as selfish, worldly, foolish, perverse and un-Christian as ever. This speaks against him louder than any religious experiences can speak for him. Jonathan Edwards 846. If we didn’t have conflict, pressure, trials, wars, we would become passive and lukewarm. Decay would set in, and our temple would lie in ruins. We wouldn’t be able to handle the territory we’ve gained. That’s why the enemy’s plan against us is clear: he wants to take us out of the battle. His aim is to remove all the fight from us. David Wilkerson 847. In the end our ability to see Jesus correctly is never a matter of gaining sufficient evidence. The evidence is overwhelming. He has told us who He is with every action, with every miracle, with every word He spoke. But the only voice that has the power to confirm that identity must come ultimately from within ourselves. And that voice will speak only if we are willing to hear it, only when we are ready to listen. There are implications, you see, implications that will cause us to stop our ears, to blind our eyes, to put rigid limitations on what we will and will not accept. Larry Huntsperger in his book “The Fisherman”. 848. At the beginning of 1999, a major battle in the culture war took place. The Bill Clinton impeachment hearings, conducted by the highest level of leadership in our nation, were in reality a referendum on the culture war. But what began as outrage against immorality, deception, and abuse of power ended rather abruptly without any punishment or even censure. May I suggest that the culture war, at least as we know it, is now over. The impeachment

process gave us a clear indication of where our culture stands— and we have discovered that it refuses to follow a biblical morality. The culture war is over—and we’ve lost. That was the inevitable end because this world is the domain of darkness, whether it’s portrayed as moral or immoral. Our responsibility has never been to moralize the unconverted; it’s to convert the immoral. Our responsibility is redemptive, not political. We do not have a moral agenda; we have a redemptive agenda...The single divine calling of the church is to bring sinful people to salvation through Christ. If we do not lead the lost to salvation, nothing else we do for them, no matter how beneficial at the time, is of any eternal consequence. John MacArthur 849. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Paul in Phillipians 3:12-16 850. Faith by majority vote is never a safe path for the child of God. Rarely does our Lord give others faith for the work He seeks to do through us. Larry Huntsperger in his book “The Fisherman” 851. As soon as our eyes are set on ourselves, we will surely fail. If God is to save us, He must first save our eyes from looking at ourselves to looking at His promises. We are courageous only as long as we keep God’s promises in view. Once we see His promises, we will see that we can overcome! Watchman Nee 852. The whole question in relation to overcoming is: Are we trusting in ourselves, or are we trusting in the Lord? If we are relying on ourselves then of course we have to consider whether or not the Anakim are strong or weak and whether their cities are well

fortified, but if our reliance is on God, then the question of human resources does not even arise. If we are trusting in God, there is no ground for fear, and victory is assured no matter how great the men and how high the city may be. Watchman Nee 853. The inhabitants of the land were admittedly “men of great size,” but in Caleb’s eyes, they were food for God’s people. He not only honored God’s promises, he despised all the difficulties. Everyone who has genuine faith honors God and lightly esteems all difficulties. But this leaves no room for pride, for only those who humble themselves before God will be able to stand upon His victory. Watchman Nee 854. However, there are those who have met and overcome difficulty after difficulty, temptation after temptation; they are full of vigor because they have fed well on Anakim. We have to eat our difficulties and our temptation. Every difficulty and every temptation Satan puts in our way is food for us. This is a Godappointed means of spiritual progress. The sight of any trouble strikes terror into the heart of those who do not have faith, but those who trust Him say, “Here comes my food!” Praise and thank the Lord, all our trials, without exception, are bread for us. Every trial brings in growth after we have eaten of it. As we accept one trial after another, we are more and more richly nourished. Watchman Nee 855. First Peter 1:5 speaks of being “guarded by the power of God through faith.” God guards those who have faith in Him. We do not have to grapple with temptations and try to overcome them; the keeping power of God will get us through, and we must believe in His ability to save us from giving way to sin. If we implicitly rely on Him, even when we are unexpectedly assailed by temptations, an amazing thing will happen. In a way we cannot account for, something will ward off all the fiery darts of the evil one. It is the shield of faith. It will come in between us and Satan, so that his fiery darts cannot reach us. Instead of hurting us they will beat upon the shield of faith and rebound on Satan himself. Watchman Nee

856. Paul said, “I am persuaded that He is able to guard my deposit unto that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). Paul did something; he committed himself to the Lord. If you believe in Him, then you must commit yourself to Him. He can only keep those who have handed themselves over to Him. Many people fail to experience the blessedness of His keeping power because they have never put themselves into His care. They have never said to Him, “Lord, I hand myself over to you and commit to You the keeping of my life.” Brothers and sisters, have you placed yourselves in His hands? If you truly have, then you will be able to say with Paul, “I am persuaded that He is able to guard my deposit unto that day.” . . . Brothers and sisters, if we commit ourselves unreservedly into His care, we will marvel at the way we are kept. Watchman Nee 857. This Man understood life. He wasn’t pushing some new religious fad. He didn’t want them to join anything. He wasn’t after their money. He simply wanted to love them, to touch their lives, to meet their needs. Jesus fed their spirits and gave them hope. Larry Huntsperger in his book “The Fisherman” 858. Purity is not innocence, it is much more. Purity is the outcome of sustained spiritual sympathy with God. We have to grow in purity. The life with God may be right and the inner purity remain unsullied, and yet every now and again the bloom on the outside may be sullied. God does not shield us from this possibility, because in this way we realize the necessity of maintaining the vision by personal purity. If the spiritual bloom of our life with God is getting impaired in the tiniest degree, we must leave off everything and get it put right. Remember that vision depends on character—the pure in heart see God. Oswald Chambers 859. A transfiguration is taking place in all our lives. The truth is, we’re being changed by what obsesses us. We’re becoming like the things that occupy our minds. Our character is being influenced and impacted by whatever has hold of our hearts. David Wilkerson

860. When a man is convicted of his lost condition he will cry out in bitter anguish of his heart: “What must I do to be saved?” He will need no urging, no coaxing; it is a matter of life or death to him, and he will do anything to be saved. Oswald J. Smith 861. There is only one obstacle that can block up the channel and choke God’s power, and that is SIN. Sin is the great barrier. It alone can hinder the work of the Spirit and prevent Revival. “If I regard iniquity in my heart,” declared David, “The Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18.) And in Isaiah 59:12, we have these significant words: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” Sin then is the great barrier, and it must be put away. Nor is there any alternative. There can be no compromise. God will not work as long as there is iniquity covered up. Oswald J. Smith 862. I want to be weaned from the world and all it contains. Oswald J. Smith 863. Why do we so often seek our own will? Whether we live for Christ or for self depends upon our understanding and faith. Christ loves us so much that He paid the full penalty for our sins which His justice demanded. When this fact becomes more real to us than this passing world, we become overwhelmed with love for Him and the desire to do His will. When we really believe that this life is brief and eternity is unending, the shortness of time in relation to eternity compels us by logic and even self-interest to live for eternity. The life we live day by day depends upon what we really believe. From the Berean Call April 2003 864. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the center of Time and Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both. The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby

any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway. The center of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened—but the crash is on the heart of God. Oswald Chambers 865. We have only two positions here: one is that we are dead and have dropped everything of the old creation; the other is that we are resurrected and are serving God, learning to stand before Him, listening to His order, and waiting in His presence to minister to Him. We do not care for anything else. O brothers and sisters, is God’s will enough to satisfy you? Is it enough to do His will? Is His will good enough? Or are you still pursuing other things? Are all of God’s plans for you good enough? Oh, you must learn to minister to God is His presence. Watchman Nee 866. The work of the Holy Spirit can only be revealed at the time of ministering to the Lord. Only at the time of ministering to the Lord will the Holy Spirit send some forth. If we do not place ministering to the Lord as the top priority, everything will be out of order. Watchman Nee on Acts 13:1,2. 867. We know that there are two kinds of soldiers in an army: one kind volunteer to join the army, and the other kind are drafted by the country. Based on the orders of the country, they have no choice except to serve as soldiers. But in the Lord’s work, there are only drafted soldiers; there are no voluntary soldiers. Therefore, no one can say, because of his preference, he will go and preach the gospel; God will not use him. God’s work has been greatly damaged by too many volunteer soldiers. They cannot declare as the Lord has declared, “Him who sent Me…” O brothers and sisters, this is not a light matter. God’s work cannot be accomplished according to our will. God’s work is completely His. We must check to see if this work is out of ourselves or out of the

Lord’s call. We must ask ourselves if we have volunteered to join the army or if we have been drafted by God. All the volunteer soldiers will not last; all those who recommended themselves will not last because God only wants soldiers who have been drafted by Him. When they ministered to the Lord, Paul and Barnabas did not say, We will go forth to spread the gospel.”“ Rather, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Only the Holy Spirit has the authority to commission men to work. Concerning this matter, the church has no authority at all. Yet within many missionary societies and crusades there is the sending forth of men by men. God never allows such things. We should only minister to the Lord, not to the house. God desires to have those who will minister to Him directly and receive the commission by the Holy Spirit directly. Watchman Nee 868. I say again, to minister to the Lord is not to forsake all the work on the outside. To minister to the Lord is not to give up serving in the villages. What I say is that all the work on the outside should be based on our ministry to the Lord. We go forth, out from our ministry to the Lord, rather than out from our own desires, which have no basis in the ministry to the Lord. There is a vast difference between these two matters. The difference is greater than that between heaven and earth. All those with experience realize that there is no difference greater than the difference between ministering to the Lord and ministering to the house. Watchman Nee 869. Therefore, let us ask ourselves to whom the glory of the work goes. Is everything that we are doing really for the satisfaction of the Lord’s heart? Or is it for the satisfaction of our heart? Is the fruit of the labor for the Lord’s satisfaction? Or is it for our own satisfaction? I deeply fear that many times before the Lord is happy, we are already very happy. We need to ask God to show us where we should stand in His presence and how we should really minister to Him in His presence. Watchman Nee 870. We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite

is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One. A. W. Tozer 871. The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever. O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, `Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' name, Amen. From “The Pursuit of God” by A. W. Tozer 872. The sleeper knoweth not anything. Behold how the refuse of mankind are alike in this! Of some things they know much, but of spiritual things they know nothing; of the divine person of the adorable Redeemer they have no idea; of the high enthusiasms and the inward raptures of the Christian they cannot mount. Talk to them of divine doctrines, and they are to them a riddle; tell them of sublime experiences, and they seem to them to be enthusiastic fancies. They know nothing of the joys that are to come; and alas! For them, they are oblivious of the evils which shall happen to them if they go on in their iniquity. The mass of mankind are ignorant; they know not; they have not the knowledge of God, they have no fear of Jehovah before their eyes; but, blind-folded by the ignorance of this world, they march on through the paths of lust to that sure and dreadful end, the everlasting ruin of their souls.

Brethren, if we be saints, let us not be ignorant as are others. Let us search the Scriptures, for in them we have eternal life, for they do testify of Jesus. Let us be diligent; let not the Word depart out of our hearts; let us meditate therein both by day and night, that we may be as the tree planted by the rivers of water. “Let us not sleep as do others.” Charles H. Spurgeon 873. They think that they are to live unto themselves, forgetting that “no man liveth unto himself, and no man dieth unto himself.” Oh, what a vast amount of sleeping we have in all our churches and chapels; for truly if our churches were once awake, so far as material is concerned, there are enough converted men and women, and there is enough talent with them, and enough money with them, and enough time with them, God granting the abundance of His Holy Spirit, which He would be sure to do if they were all zealous—there is enough to preach the gospel in every corner of the earth. The church does not need to stop for want of instruments, or for want of agencies; we have everything now except the will; we have all that we may expect God to give for the conversion of the world, except just a heart for the work, and the Spirit of God poured out into our midst. Oh! Brethren, “Let us not sleep as do others.” You will find the “others” in the church and in the world: “the refuse” of both are sound asleep. Charles H. Spurgeon 874. Our work is the overflow of our relationship with God. As we worship Him, as we minister to Him, as we walk with Him moment by moment, He works in us to will and do for His good pleasure. He will take that and bless others. Mike Wilhoit 875. Very often people try to justify materialism by saying that “they only want the best for their families.” That is a supreme copout. If we truly want the “best” for our families we need to help lead them into the diligent search for God as our main and only priority. Then they will be truly rewarded with the “Best”, which is God, Himself. Adding bigger houses, bigger barns, bigger anything else only serves to make us just a little more lukewarm. Mike Wilhoit

876. As we begin to focus upon God the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23). It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart. A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all. There will be seen the constant shining of the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:9) More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All, and His Presence the glory and wonder of our lives. O God, quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been. Amen. From “The Pursuit of God” by A. W. Tozer 877. A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar. The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit: these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul. For this great sickness that is upon us no one person is responsible, and no Christian is wholly free from blame. We have all contributed, directly or indirectly, to this sad state of affairs. We have been too blind to see, or too timid to speak out, or too selfsatisfied to desire anything better than the poor average diet with

which others appear satisfied. To put it differently, we have accepted one another's notions, copied one another's lives and made one another's experiences the model for our own. And for a generation the trend has been downward. Now we have reached a low place of sand and burnt wiregrass and, worst of all, we have made the Word of Truth conform to our experience and accepted this low plane as the very pasture of the blessed. A. W. Tozer 878. What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know: but what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days. Any man who by repentance and a sincere return to God will break himself out of the mold in which he has been held, and will go to the Bible itself for his spiritual standards, will be delighted with what he finds there. A. W. Tozer 879. And is there not a lesson here for us Christians as to the spirit in which we should deal with those who are, as it is called, outside? Are we approaching them in the spirit of the disciples before the day of Pentecost, or after it; with the heart of those to whom the Cross of Christ had as yet no meaning, or of those to whom it opened the infinite sympathy and long-suffering of God? If we carry the Gospel to men with no pity in our own souls for their misery, but merely to quiet the disturbance of their cries, to preserve social order, and to save ourselves and society from danger, we cannot expect great progress in our works. Men know very well when a gift comes from a loving heart, and when it is thrown to them to get ease for ourselves. John Ker in a sermon on “The Woman of Canaan.” 880. Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man

dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, `Be still, and know that I am God,' (Ps 46:10) and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. A. W. Tozer 881. Faith is not in itself a meritorious act; the merit is in the One toward Whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said, `I will set my throne above the throne of God.' Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line. A. W. Tozer 882. When we lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God we are sure to meet friendly eyes gazing back at us, for it is written that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth. The sweet language of experience is `Thou God seest me.' When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on this earth. A. W. Tozer 883. Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the `us' of the New Testament is being displaced by a selfish `I.' Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become `unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole Church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and higher life. A. W. Tozer 884. The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God over all we step out of the world's

parade. We shall find ourselves out of adjustment to the ways of the world, and increasingly so as we make progress in the holy way. We shall acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings. A. W. Tozer 885. And now that we have looked at the hindrances and helps to the faith of this woman, let us put her example to its use. First, let us give our souls into the hand of Christ, as we have been taught clearly how to do, knowing Him whom we trust, and being persuaded that He is able to keep that which we commit unto Him; and then let us confide in Him every care and trial, whether they touch our outward or our inward lives. Let us go with humble thoughts of self, and high thoughts of Him; and let us hold on in trust amidst delays and seeming repulses. He conceals His purpose for a while, to surprise us with more than we could ask or think. John Ker in a sermon on “The Woman of Canaan.” 886. Lord, make me childlike. Deliver me from the urge to compete with another for place or prestige or position. I would be simple and artless as a little child. Deliver me from pose and pretense. Forgive me for thinking of myself. Help me to forget myself and find my true peace in beholding Thee. That Thou mayest answer this prayer I humble myself before Thee. Lay upon me Thy easy yoke of selfforgetfulness that through it I may find rest. Amen. A. W. Tozer 887. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there. A. W. Tozer 888. Lord, make the tendency of my life one of helping and praying for others, instead of judging and criticizing them. Mike Wilhoit 889. Mildred Mitchell, daughter of the Home Director of the China Inland Mission, was there, and was a great help to me. She and I and another friend with whom I was sharing a room had a long discussion late into the night about guidance. How, we asked, can one be sure of knowing God’s will? I remember her summarizing on her fingers in the following order: I. Daily Bible reading, when He can speak to us through a passage, an example or a warning;

II. Daily private prayer, when we talk the problem over with the Lord; as we wait on Him in quietness, He can speak directly to our hearts; III. The advice of Christian friends and those of greater experience, who may have had to make a similar decision in the past; IV. One’s circumstances, including family or business commitments, health or even finance. Then she moved her thumb to and fro in front of her fingers and said, ‘Peace—in each one, in turn, individually and together. Let the peace of God umpire in your heart; if He is speaking He will give peace and silence other voices.’ I still use the same basic principles in guidance today. Helen Roseveare in her autobiography “Give Me This Mountain” 804. “If you think you have come to the mission field because you are a little better than others, or as the cream of your church, or because of your medical degree, or for the service you can render the African church, or even for the souls you may see saved, you will fail. Remember, the Lord has only one purpose ultimately for each one of us, to make us more like Jesus. He is interested in your relationship with Himself. Let Him take you and mold you as He will; all the rest will take its rightful place.” Jack Scholes to Helen Roseveare in her autobiography “Give Me This Mountain” 805. We look for God to manifest Himself to His children: God only manifests Himself in His children. Other people see the manifestation, the child of God does not. Oswald Chambers 806. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge selfcontrol, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do

these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Second Peter 1:5-11 807. Upon the plains of hesitation, bleached the bones of countless thousands, that at the threshold of their victory, sat down to rest, and while they rested, they wasted and died. Author unknown 808. To be too busy with God’s work to commune with God, to be busy with doing Church work without taking time to talk to God about His work, is the highway to backsliding, and many people have walked therein to the hurt of their immortal souls. E. M. Bounds 809. Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Harold B. Melchart 810. Faith is the heroic effort of your life, you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God. God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him. Oswald Chambers 811. “Where there is no vision . . .” When once we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless, we cast off certain restraints, we cast off praying, we cast off the vision of God in little things, and begin to act on our own initiative. If we are eating what we have out of our own hand, doing things on our own initiative without expecting God to come in, we are on the downward path, we have lost the vision. Is our attitude today an attitude that springs from our vision of God? Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done? Is there a freshness and vigor in our spiritual outlook? Oswald Chambers 812. There are times when a single step makes all the difference, as when a man is standing on the quay. One step, and he is on board the ocean vessel that will carry him over the deeps to other countries. But let him refuse that step and stand inactive, and all the feeling of which the heart is capable will not prevent his return to the old life, there to be haunted by a

dull regret. Is it such an hour with anyone? Thou art not far, my brother, from the kingdom. It was never quite so near you in the past. It may never be quite so near you in the future. Take it by violence. Storm its walls now. Say, “I am Thine, my Savior, in a full surrender.” What a difference that will make in time, and what a difference through all eternity! George H. Morrison 813. In deciding upon beliefs or actions, though evidence may be weighed, ultimately reason is set aside in order to bow before the throne of self. We are our own worst enemies. Dave Hunt 814. Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite, knowing no restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every feeling; and man would become, in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be--a companion of brutes. McGuffey Fifth Reader, designed for the tenyear-olds of our American frontier. 815. Our Heavenly Judge will not delay long over His elect, but He will delay. In fact, God's definition of “speedily” and ours are not always synonymous. The Lord incorporates delays into His overall plan: Delays work perseverance in us. So crucial is endurance to our character development that God is willing to delay even important answers to prayer to facilitate our transformation. Thus, we should not interpret divine delays as signs of divine reluctance. Delays are tools to perfect our faith. Christ is looking to find a tenacity in our faith that prevails in spite of delays and setbacks. He seeks to create a perseverance within us that outlasts the test of time, a resolve that actually grows stronger during delays. Francis Frangipane 816. Desperation is God's hammer: It demolishes the stronghold of fear and shatters the chains of our excuses. When desperation exceeds our fears, progress begins. Francis Frangipane

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars and the moon —all these are, and what a ministration they exert. So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our selfconscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. “Do not bother about being of use to others; believe on Me”—pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in Heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies. Oswald Chambers 818. Therefore, as many as trust to their own strength and righteousness serve a god they themselves have devised, and not the true God. For the true God speaks thus: “No righteousness, wisdom, or religion pleases Me, but only that by which the Father is glorified through the Son. Whoever apprehends the Son and Me, and My promise in Him, by faith, to him I am God indeed, and a Father; him do I accept, justify and save.” All others abide under wrath, because they worship that thing which by nature is no god. Martin Luther 819. Righteousness without mercy cannot save me, for I have broken every commandment. Mercy without justice cannot save me, for the moral law is engraven on my heart. But when I grasp the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, and let His love flow down into my being, then righteousness and love are reconciled. George H. Morrison 820. Base your eternal hope on the life and love and promises of God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. No mother would let death rob her of her child if her power were equal to her love, and with Him, love and power are alike infinite. George H. Morrison 817.

It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns. Rick Warren 822. Jesus didn’t leave Heaven in order to create an earthly throne for Himself. Rather, He came for the purpose of inheriting a spiritual throne. His supreme goal, even today, is to establish His reign in our hearts. He wants to bring us spiritual health, satisfy our inner hunger, and overcome the enemies in our lives. He desires to bring all conflict to an end and deliver an enduring peace. Joel Sutton 823. When we read about the persecution and martyrdom of believers around the world and the sacrifice our missionaries make to minister, how can we not share our resources to help? Some go; others hold the ropes; we all share the rewards. Doris Miller 824. God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything He asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t. Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding. Rick Warren 825. The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing, who would ever have been spared? Martin Luther 826. If you do not cut the moorings, God will have to break them by a storm and send you out. Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes open. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters just inside the harbor bar, full of delight, but always moored; you have to get out through the harbor bar into the great 821.

deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment. Oswald Chambers 827. Beware of harking back to what you were once when God wants you to be something you have never been. Oswald Chambers 828. Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light. V. Raymond Edman 829. The more you realize yourself the less you will seek God. Oswald Chambers 830. In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more. Rick Warren 831. Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. C. T. Studd 832. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God. Oswald Chambers 833. Sadly, a quick review of many popular Christian books reveals that many believers have abandoned living for God’s great purposes and settled for personal fulfillment and emotional stability. That is narcissism, not discipleship. Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like Himself before He takes us to Heaven. This is our greatest privilege, our immediate responsibility, and our ultimate destiny. Rick Warren 834. The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts. The great characteristic of a saint is humility—Yes, all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to judge. Oswald Chambers 835. Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days—when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great—and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers.

When we’re in pain, we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers. Rick Warren 836. The moment you realize God’s purpose, which is to get you rightly related to Himself and then to your fellow men, He will tax the last limit of the universe to help you take the right road. Oswald Chambers 837. Christians, like snowflakes, are frail, but when they stick together they can stop traffic. Vance Havner 838. The very fact that the church has continued on this earth for nearly two thousand years is the result of the work of Him who is a God who hides Himself. It is often true that the greater display accompanying any work, the less the divine content. Since all the work we do is done unto Him who hides Himself, it must be based on faith, not on sight. I trust these words will help some of us to realize that when we are most conscious of impotence, God is often most powerfully present. Don't look for greater things. Don't look for things other than they are. Don't set your expectation on some great vision or on some great experience. And don't expect anything outward, for the God who hides Himself is at work within your life, and He is working mightily. Your responsibility is to cooperate with Him by responding to His voice within—that “still small voice,” that voice that seems so much a part of your own feelings that you scarcely recognize it as a voice at all. To that voice, registered in the deepest depths of your being, you must say “Amen,” for there, secretly and ceaselessly, the God who hides Himself is working. Witness Lee

839. The Arminian seeks to bring men to activity; I seek to bring him to no such thing at first, then God the Spirit worketh in him, and then shall the activity begin. But activity apart from a sense of inability, is but putting the sinner on a path which seems to lead to heaven, but which will really lead to hell. I care not though it should be said, thousands have been converted by a preaching contrary to this. The conversion of most of these has been a fallacy. Charles H. Spurgeon 840. The aim of the spiritual saint is “that I may know Him.” Do I know Him where I am today? If not, I am failing Him. I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus. In Christian work the initiative is too often the realization that something has to be done and I must do it. That is never the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in. Oswald Chambers 841. The Christian soldier must avoid two evils—he must not faint or yield in the time of fight, and after a victory he must not wax insolent and secure. When he has overcome, he is so to behave himself as though he were presently again to be assaulted. For Satan's temptations, like the waves of the sea, do follow one in the neck of the other. George Downame 842. To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told. Oswald Chambers 843. If we did imagine the excellency and loveliness of God were worthy to be the ultimate object of our affections, the heart would attend more closely upon Him, and be terminated in Him; did we believe God to be all-sufficient, full of grace and goodness, a tender Father, not willing to forsake His own, willing, as well as able, to supply their wants, the heart would not so lamely attend upon Him, and would not upon every impertinency be diverted from Him. There is much of a wrong notion of God, and a predominancy of the world above Him in the heart, when we can more savorly relish the thoughts of low inferior things than heavenly, and let our spirits upon every trifling occasion be fugitive

from Him; it is a testimony that we make not God our chiefest good. Stephen Charnock 844. Worship is an act that perfects our own souls; they are then most widened by spiritual frames, to receive the influence of divine blessings, as an eye most opened receives the fruit of the sun’s light better than the eye that is shut. The communications of God are more or less, according as our spiritual frames are more or less in our worship; God will not give His blessings to unsuitable hearts. What a nasty vessel is a carnal heart for a spiritual communication! The chief end of every duty enjoined by God, is to have communion with Him; and therefore it is called a drawing near to God; it is impossible, therefore, that the outward part of any duty can answer the end of God in His institution. It is not a bodily appearance or gesture whereby men can have communion with God, but by the impressions of the heart, and reflections of the heart upon God; without this, all the rich streams of grace will run beside us, and the growth of the soul be hindered and impaired. A “diligent hand makes rich,” saith the wise man; a diligent heart in spiritual worship, brings in rich incomes to the humble and spiritual soul. Stephen Charnock 845. To resist Him in the working of His mighty energy for the accomplishment of Divine purpose, to quench Him in the bestowment of His fire-gifts whereby we co-operate with God; to cause sorrow to Him by our disobedience and our disloyalty; these are the ways in which we prevent His fulfilling His ministry within us, and among us, and through us; these are the ways in which we lose the vision of our Lord and our sense of His nearness, and wander away from the pathway of His will, and fail in our attempts to realize His purposes. G. Campbell Morgan 846. This is the truth we have to learn: That for a Church to allow any man who is living in sin, and is known to be living in sin, to retain his fellowship, is to permit leaven to remain, which is corrupting the life of the whole Church, and rendering it weak where it ought to be strong. G. Campbell Morgan

847. It is a solemn method, but I pray you ponder it—it is God’s method. Is there lust in your heart? God will put you into circumstances where that thing will be manifested sooner or later. Is Judas a thief? Give him the bag, and he will either demonstrate himself a thief, or be driven back to Him Who can make him honest. The Church of God is not only disloyal to her Lord, and paralyzing herself; she is violating the eternal order of the universe if she permit men to retain their fellowship with her, who are willfully and deliberately continuing to sin. G. Campbell Morgan 848. To allow a wrongdoer to continue in Church membership is to inflict wrong on him by giving him a false sense of security. Put him out, in order that he may see the darkness, and that the lurid light of judgment may arrest him. Let him know there is no shelter for a man who persistently sins. Do not lull him into false security by allowing him to stay in the fellowship, and imagine that he may continue in sin that grace may abound. The Church must be pure. No consideration of delicacy, of sensitiveness, of peace, must prevent our loyalty to Christ. G. Campbell Morgan 849. I am convinced, brethren, that during the past five and twenty years one of the greatest hindrances to the Church’s progress has been her ceaseless fussiness in attempting to devise new methods for doing God’s work. We are always trying by our own wit and wisdom to find some new method. Let us be done with it. What shall we do? Yield ourselves to the interpretation of the Spirit of God and to the energies of the Spirit. Let the Spirit of God have His way. That is where we fail. The Spirit is the Spirit of light; He flings a light upon our pathway, and indicates that which is God’s will for us in service; and we are afraid, the Cross lies there; we draw back. The Spirit is the Spirit of love. He touches us with a sacred impulse to help that degraded man or woman whom we see on the highway, an impulse to give up the quietness and the comfort of the home life, and the home worship for the dark and desolate places of the earth; and we shrink back—the Cross is there. And because we have not yielded to the Spirit in passivity, we fail; and we attempt to make up for our failure in devotion, by finding out new methods of helping God. If we will only let the

Spirit have His way with us, if we will walk where He indicates, and do what He says, counting no cost, holding back no alabaster box of ointment for ourselves, then, in the rush of the fire and the sweeping of the new force, far more than half of our mechanical activities will be burned up; but we shall be out upon the highway of God’s great enterprises in the world, going because we are driven by this great Spirit indwelling, speaking, perchance, not with the education and the elegance and eloquence of old, but in power, which matters far more, doing—yes, I am bound to say it, though it hits my heart—not half so many things, but a few things better. And then—ah, then—the Word of God will reverberate, will sound forth. G. Campbell Morgan 850. Notice God’s unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say—God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. Oswald Chambers 851. It is possible to know all about doctrine and yet not know Jesus. The soul is in danger when knowledge of doctrine outsteps intimate touch with Jesus. Oswald Chambers 852. The Church will not wait for power; the Church wants to mechanize its own strength, to get up its own new little program of progress: and the Lord Himself watches such poor little paper kingdoms take fire, go up into smoke, and fall back into dust. The Church of Christ today and everyday ought to be the mightiest force in the world. It has all the elements, all the promises; it has not the faith. It proposes and compromises and begs pardon of the devil and hopes he is not unduly inconvenienced. What becomes of such a church? Wreck, ruin, oblivion, or contempt. Joseph Parker 853. Like a wise man, he knew his limitations, and he worked within them; he never wanted to be somebody else, it was enough that he knew his talent, whether one or two or five, and with whole-

heartedness he gave himself to the highest of all work. Joseph Parker on Dwight L. Moody 854. In my church in the far north—and a beautiful church it was—we had curtains on each side of the pulpit. The way into the pulpit was through the curtains. And I often used to notice a tiny girl gazing at these curtains with very eager eyes. It was quite clear it was not the minister she was looking at. It was whenever the curtains moved that she would start and stare. I found out afterwards what all the interest was. The little child thought that Heaven was behind the curtains. It was only a wilderness of joists and planks, but she thought that the minister stepped out from God into the pulpit, and every time the curtain rustled—little heart, little eager, beating heart—who could tell but thou mightst catch the shimmer of an angel there? George H. Morrison 855. We cannot give others what we ourselves do not have. If the cross does not become our life, we cannot give the life of the cross to others. The failure of our work comes because we love to give the cross to others without realizing that we do not have the cross in ourselves. Those who are good at preaching to others must be good at preaching to themselves first. Otherwise, the Spirit will not co-work with them. Watchman Nee 856. Brothers and sisters, only those who are consecrated to God have real power. They can place their business in God’s hands. They can place their fathers, mothers, wives, and children in God’s hands. They can place their money in God’s hands. They will not take what God has given to them and waste it in the world. They have consecrated even their own lives to the Lord. Those who are afraid of consecrating their belongings, their material goods, and their relationships with others to God have not yet overcome. The more one consecrates to God, the more strength one has. Those who willingly consecrate to God almost seem to encourage God to take more. They seem to say to God, “Please take more!” The life of consecration is a joyous life. It is a life of power. If a man does not consecrate himself, not only has he sinned, but he is also lacking in power. Watchman Nee

857. Religion, I discovered, is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. Entering churches, I was astonished at the carpeting, furnishings, air conditioning and ornamentation. Many churches have gymnasiums and fellowships that cater to a busy schedule of activities having little or nothing to do with Christ. The orchestras, choirs, “special” music—and sometimes even the preaching—seemed to me more like entertainment than worship. Many North American Christians live isolated from reality—not only from the needs of the poor overseas, but even from the poor in their own cities. Amidst all the affluence live millions of terribly poor people left behind as Christians have moved into the suburbs. I found that believers are ready to get involved in almost any activity which looks spiritual but allows them to escape their responsibility to the Gospel. K. P. Yohannan 858. In some way, which I still do not really understand, the trying of our faith works patience and hope into the fabric of our Christian lives. No one, I am convinced, will follow Jesus very long without tribulation. It is His way of demonstrating His presence. Sufferings and trials—like persecution—are a normal part of the Christian walk. We must learn to accept them joyfully if we are to grow through them, and I think this is true for ministries as well as individuals. K. P. Yohannan 859. The Church Jesus called out of this world to be separated unto Himself has, to a great extent, forgotten her reason for existence. Her loss of balance is seen in the current absence of holiness, spiritual reality and concern for the lost. Substituted for the life she once knew are teaching and reaching for prosperity, pleasure, politics and social involvement. K. P. Yohannan 860. What would Jesus do if He walked into our churches today? I am afraid He would not be able to say to us: “You have kept the faith, you have run the race without turning left or right, and you have obeyed My command to reach this world.” I believe He would go out to look for a whip, because we have made His Father’s house a den of robbers. If that is so, then we must recognize that the hour is too desperate for us to continue to deceive ourselves.

We are past the point of revival or reformation. If this Gospel is to be preached in all the world in our lifetime, we must have a Christian, heaven-sent revolution. But before revolution can come, we must recognize the need for one. We are like a lost man looking at a road map. Before we can choose the right road that takes us to our destination, we must determine where we went wrong, go back to that point and start over. So my cry to the body of Christ is simple: Turn back to the true Gospel road. We need to preach again the whole counsel of God. Our priority must again be placed on calling men to repentance and snatching them from hell-fire. Time is short. If we are not willing to plead in prayer for a mission revolution—and let it start in our own personal lives, homes and churches—we will lose this generation to Satan. K. P. Yohannan 861. A declining interest in missions is the sure sign that a church and people have left their first love. Nothing is more indicative of the moral decline of the West than Christians who have lost the passion of Christ for a lost and dying world. K. P. Yohannan 862. Today I am calling on Christians to give up their stale Christianity, use the weapons of spiritual warfare and advance against the enemy. We must stop skipping over the verses which read, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” and “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple”. K. P. Yohannan 863. In the history of God’s work you will nearly always find that it has started from the obscure, the unknown, the ignored, but the steadfastly true to Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers 864. We are apt to forget that a man is not only committed to Jesus Christ for salvation; he is committed to Jesus Christ’s view of God, of the world, of sin and of the devil, and this will mean that he must recognize the responsibility of being transformed by the renewing of the mind. Oswald Chambers

865. The herd is usually wrong, God's men are usually a minority and they don't cater to crowds. Eternal results are what matter, real results, not perceived results. If God gets a hold of a life they will turn their backs on this world and make sacrifices for the Gospel. Mike Wilhoit 866. God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites not for them to keep, but for them to break. What does this mean? God knows that man cannot keep the law, and He knows that everyone is a sinner. But man will not acknowledge God’s judgment. Only after man has tried and failed will he admit that he is a sinner. The book of Romans tells us that God gave the law for man to break, not for man to keep. When a man finds that he cannot keep the law, his will is subdued, and he will humble himself. God spent four thousand years to help man realize that he cannot make it; then He sent Christ to open the way for man to receive Him and be saved by Him. Watchman Nee 867. God has prospered us for a purpose. He is the king of Matthew 25:14-30 who entrusts wealth to his servants and goes on a long journey. When he returns, the king demands an accounting and a profit from what he has given to invest. What will we present to our Lord when He returns for an accounting? What kind of stewards are we being with the blessings He has shed on this nation? K. P. Yohannan 868. Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. Oswald Chambers 869. I’m calling on believers everywhere to join me in a radical, farout life of simplicity that will seem crazy to many of your family and friends. You can live a greedy, self-indulgent life. Or you can choose the way of the cross, living for others as Jesus did and still calls us to imitate today. K. P. Yohannan 870. Paul mentions in Romans 1:1 that he is separated unto the service of the Gospel. The Great Commission involves coming as well as going. You cannot go into all the world unless first you have come away from it and separated yourself to follow Jesus

Christ. Bondslavery, like marriage, implies total loyalty to the Master. And there is no way we can have this unless we are committed to living a life of separation from all other masters and all other things. K. P. Yohannan 871. Mr. Panton once told about a black slave girl who was about to be auctioned. Two men were bidding for her, and the price was going up. Both of them were evil men, and the slave girl knew that she would suffer no matter whose hand she fell into. She wept and grieved. Suddenly another man showed up and joined the bidding. The first two men could not offer as much as the third one, and the girl was eventually bought by him. Immediately, he called in a blacksmith and broke her chains and declared that she was free, saying, “I did not buy you to be my slave. I bought you to free you.” At that word, he walked away. The girl was bewildered. After two minutes she came to her senses, and she ran up to the man and said, “From this day forward until the day I die, I will be your slave.” Brothers and sisters, this is the love of the Lord toward us. We are constrained by this love to tell Him, “From this day forward, I will be Your slave.” Brothers and sisters, God has bought us, crucified us, and raised us up. Since we have tasted of His compassions and mercies, we should consecrate ourselves to Him. Watchman Nee 872. When a Hebrew man bought a slave, the slave had to serve the master for six years. In the seventh year, the slave could go free. However, if he said that he loved his master and would not go out free, the master would bring him to the judges and the doorpost and bore his ear through with an awl. Then the slave would serve his master forever (Exo. 21:2-6). Brothers and sisters, God has saved us and bought us with the blood. He did not purchase us with corruptible gold but with the precious blood of His Son. Many Christians feel that they have to serve God for their conscience’ sake. But when we see the Lord’s preciousness, we will voluntarily and willingly consecrate ourselves to Him. When we tell the Lord that we are willing to be His slave, He will take us to the door and the doorpost, and He will bore our ear through with an awl. The doorpost is the place where the blood of the Passover lamb was

applied. Today we are being led to bleed there as well; we are being led to the cross as well. We love the Lord and choose to be His slave forever. Because we know that He loves us, we are willing to serve Him forever. We have no choice but to declare, “Lord, You have loved me and saved me and released me! Lord, I love You and cannot help but serve You forever!” Watchman Nee 873. The first thing we should consecrate is the people we love. If a man does not love the Lord more than his parents, wife, children, and friends, he is not worthy to be the Lord’s disciple. If you have consecrated yourself to the Lord, there should be no one in this world that can occupy your heart and nothing that can capture your heart any longer. God saves you in order to gain you wholly. Many tears pull you back. Many human sentiments bid you to return to them. Many heartbreaks persuade you to turn back. You have to say, “Lord, all my relationships with men are on the altar. My relationship with the whole world is over.” Watchman Nee 874. I wrote a song called “We're Blessed To Be A Blessing”. There's a line in there that was influenced by an action David took when he was holed up in the cave of Adullam. He wanted a drink of water from the well at Bethlehem and his three mighty men, at great risk to themselves, went and got some water for him. But, after such heroic effort, he wouldn’t drink the water. Instead, he took it and poured it out to the Lord. I used to see this as so ungrateful on his part. I've often wondered why, with so many glaring failures, that God considered him a man after His own Heart. Now, I think I have some understanding of it. We hear all the time that God wants us to be blessed people. I agree, that is true. But I think we're missing why He wants to bless us. I think He wants to bless us so that we can take it to the next level. I think he wants us to fully grasp what He has done for us and be so grateful that we take those blessings and pour them back out to Him. To pour them into the things that He considers important. And, to do it joyously, never daring to hoard them for ourselves. Mike Wilhoit

Often, in India, in front of office buildings, you will see a messenger boy sitting on a stool, apparently doing nothing. But when he hears a bell ringing inside, he hurries in and asks, “Sir, what do you want me to do?” Whatever the instructions may be, he follows them without complaining. Then he returns and sits, waiting again to hear his master’s voice. This is the kind of commitment God wants from us. But this is the opposite of the mad, rushing, pragmatic, modernday evangelical Christianity most of us are caught up in today. Somehow we assume God is in some big mess, that we should run around and frantically take His side, or He will be in big trouble. On the other hand, I believe God is waiting for those who are willing to become bondslaves, men and women who will wait and watch to hear the Master’s voice and only do those things He asks them to do. A half hour with God, limited to doing His will in His way, is worth more than a million years doing the best in our own self and energy. All fleshly effort will be burned to ash and will not make it into eternity. K. P. Yohannan 876. There are hundreds of so-called disciples of Christ, professedly members of His Church, who are daily doing things that they know to be contrary to the voice of an enlightened judgment; and yet they try to persuade themselves that, after all, these things are not harmful, and not opposed to the will of God, because hundreds of other Christian people do the same. That is simply bribing the conscience into silence, by the false argument that a wrong is right because of the multitude who do it, even though everyone else, also, knows it is not the right thing. A. T. Pierson 877. It is important to remember that never, since the fall of man, has truth been with the majority; never, but always with the minority. Never has godly consistency been characteristic of the multitude, but always of the few. It has always been a comparatively little flock of whom holiness and saintship could be affirmed; and, therefore, to reason from the customs of the majority to the 875.

rightness of any given course of conduct, is one of the most deceitful and dangerous methods of reasoning. A. T. Pierson 878. The Lord has promised that out of us rivers of living water would flow—pure and unhindered, producing and sustaining life. But unfortunately, due to both lack of watchfulness and lack of diligence on our part, the enemy has polluted our lives. Now instead of rivers of living water flowing out of us, our lives have been dragged down to mediocrity. But if we travel up from the foot of the mountain to the source of this river, we’ll find the pure crystal-clear water flowing from it. Instead of being content with superficial Christianity, we need to learn the original purpose of God for our lives. In the Word of God, we clearly read in Genesis 1:26 that the Lord made us so that we may reflect His image. K. P. Yohannan 879. Only by God’s grace and with great effort can we escape the shower of luxuries which has almost suffocated our Christian compassion. All of us face this problem. Some years ago I spent about fifty dollars on an extra suit. That’s not much of course. Besides, I persuaded myself, it was a wise investment (thanks to the 75 percent discount). But that money would have fed a starving child in India for about a year. In all honesty we have to ask ourselves: Dare we care at all about current fashions if that means reducing our ability to help hungry neighbors? Dare we care more about obtaining a secure economic future for our family than for living an uncompromisingly Christian lifestyle? . . . We have been brainwashed to believe that bigger houses, more prosperous businesses, more luxurious gadgets, are worthy goals in life. As a result, we are caught in an absurd, materialistic spiral. The more we make, the more we think we need in order to live decently and respectably. Somehow we have to break this cycle because it makes us sin against our needy brothers and sisters and, therefore, against our Lord. And it also destroys us. Sharing with others is the way to real joy. Ronald Sider 880. Christ’s own redeeming work shows the individualizing love of God in action. Crowds surged round Jesus, but it was the single

soul that engrossed and fascinated Him. There were scores of ailing folk at the pool of Bethesda; Jesus went straight to the one poor, desperate soul who had had thirty-eight years of disappointment. When the slow, sad procession filed out from the gates of Nain, Jesus had eyes only for the weeping mother who had lost her boy. Pressed and jostled by a gaping crowd, He turned round and singled out the one shrinking soul who needed to touch Him most. Some of the most glorious words in the Gospel were given first to one lonely woman who had bungled her life. He walked and talked with Nicodemus in the dark. He escaped from the Jericho crowd and chose Zaccheus for His host. Looking at Jesus, we feel the force of Augustine’s dictum about God—”He loves us every one as though there were but one of us to love.” James S. Stewart 881. Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 1 John 2-15-17 from The Message 882. The contemporary church seems to have little understanding of the greatness of Jesus Christ as Lord of creation and Lord of the church, before whom our place is on our faces in the dust. Nor do we seem to see His victory as the New Testament portrays it, with all things under His feet, so that if we are joined to Christ, all things are under our feet as well. It seems to me that our greatest need today is an enlarged vision of Jesus Christ. We need to see Him as the One in whom alone the fullness of God dwells and in whom alone we can come to fullness of life. John Stott 883. We make calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we get right with God He brushes all these aside, and rivets us with a pain that is terrific to one thing we never dreamed of, and for one radiant flashing moment we see what He is after, and we say —”Here am I, send me.”

This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers he uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed. I wonder what kind of finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine would have been remarkably bitter. To be a sacramental personality means that the elements of the natural life are presenced by God as they are broken providentially in His service. We have to be adjusted into God before we can be broken bread in His hands. Keep right with God and let Him do what He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children. Oswald Chambers 884. The Bible tells us, without a doubt, that God is indeed able to change us into His likeness—but only through one way: the process of brokenness. We must recognize that being born again is just the beginning of God’s work in us. Ninety-nine percent is yet to be done. God is continually at work in our lives, breaking us, changing us, and putting to death our selfish desires, until His nature shines through. K. P. Yohannan 885. In one way or another, we are all being sifted by circumstances that God allows to come our way. Sifting is never comfortable because it exposes the chaff in our lives. And all chaff is destined for unquenchable fire. God will go to any lengths to find this dross and consume it. We rarely know where it is lurking until God exposes it and gives us a chance to deal with it. (From ‘In Touch’ magazine, October 2003)

886. We must remember that God Himself never enlarged His small gate or His narrow road. They remain the same as they were 2,000 years ago when Jesus first described them. In Matthew 7:14, He said that only a few will ever find this road. That is so true. But there are even fewer who are willing to consider walking on the narrow road after they have found it. Deciding to choose the narrow path means they will have to walk alone while others enjoy traveling comfortably on their enlarged versions. Today, in a world with mega churches and multiplied millions of Christians, only a few will ever stop to hear the call of Christ to lay down their lives for a lost world. He might ask us to go, to support missionaries, to intercede in prayer, or to invest our strength as well as our means in order to win the lost. K. P. Yohannan 887. Maybe you’ve heard this call of Jesus on your life, but you were truly concerned over who would take your place if you “sold out completely”. Believe me, there are others who are just as qualified as you who can take your place. But there are so very, very few who know or understand what you know. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization, once said, “It might be hard to find one in 10,000 or a million who will understand that half of the world has never heard the name Jesus and are plunging into eternal hell, and who will give their lives away to die and be unknown, unnoticed for their sake.” This statement is so true. Only a few will ever hear the call and choose the narrow road that leads to life, not only for themselves but for the lost world as well. You plus God make a majority. Choose the narrow path—the Son of God left His footprints on it. At the end of the road, you will meet Him. What are the things that are holding you back? K. P. Yohannan 888. After Ben graduated, he and I became pinch hit caretakers for Dad. The ironic thing is, Dad cared for Ben the first five years of his life while I worked at the Phone Company, and now Ben is taking care of Dad in his senior years. Only Ben knows how to transfer him to the bed in a way that isn't excruciating. Even when the ambulance drivers come for transport to the hospital, we have to

get Ben's help. I used to tell people that Ben's future was on hold while we were taking care of Dad. I don't say that anymore. Ben is doing what he's supposed to be doing right now, no matter if people think he should be in college. College will still be there. This is a monumental moment in our lives, and if we are not careful, we could miss it. It's all about loving God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength and loving others as ourselves. It's about honoring my father and letting him live his life in dignity. It's about absorbing each other and not magnifying the faults. It's about love. I am 41 years old and I finally see that. I hope others don't have to wait that long. Carol Skipper 889. The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves at home here on earth. Malcolm Muggeridge 890. It was the same in Jesus’ time. So many voices called for His attention. He received so much advice and was enticed with so many good things, but He rejected it, and said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). And we read in Romans 8:29, “For whom He forenew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” That is, you and I must become like Jesus. And as we become like Jesus, we will say “no” to many good things and commit our lives with an undivided heart and determination to reach multiplied millions who are dying and going to hell having never heard of Jesus’ death for them. K. P. Yohannan 891. Please walk away from the lukewarm, selfish, “me, mine, and ours” Christianity and dedicate yourself to a radical, all-out commitment to walk in His footsteps. His footsteps will take you to genuine, intense warfare that will cost you much, but in the end this is the best thing you can do. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” K. P. Yohannan 892. It is my prayer and hope that we serve the living God for one reason, and no other: deep down in our hearts, we love Jesus

more than anything else in this life, and His love is our only motivation for action. K. P. Yohannan 893. Why is our perception of others and their problems often so inaccurate and insensitive, even if we consider all the facts? Because we lack God’s perspective on their situation. As human beings, we are so limited in our ability to understand one another. We don’t see the world through the eyes of our fellow man but only through our own. Subsequently, our own experience, traditions, and values are the measuring scale for our judgment and the reality we perceive in the world, around us. If we use ourselves and our circumstantial views of reality as final authorities for assessing others, we will inevitably make hopeless and inaccurate judgments. Because each person on earth lives and judges by his own perception of reality, how can we ever respond to a situation in the right way? We can’t . . . until we recognize that God alone is the measuring scale for all things and that without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are incapable of discerning the hearts of men, their true needs, and God’s answer for their situations. In other words, we must learn to see others through the eyes of Jesus. The story of Peter in the 10th chapter of Acts is a classic example of how Peter’s view of reality, which was created by his upbringing, traditions, and convictions, became a major hindrance to his ability to do God’s will. Being a Jew, he could have no dealings whatsoever with Gentiles. But here we see Peter throwing out his lifelong judgment on Gentiles and traveling to the house of Cornelius to lead him and his entire family to Christ. What happened to Peter? He allowed the Holy Spirit to replace his own faulty conception of reality with God’s perfect one; and as a result, he was able to respond as Jesus would. K. P. Yohannan 894. It was into the home that sin first came. It is in the home that revival first needs to come. Revival is desperately needed in the church, in the country, in the world; but a revived church with unrevived homes would be sheer hypocrisy. It is the hardest

place, the most costly, but the most necessary place to begin. Roy Hession 895. If you seek great things for yourself—God has called me for this and that; you are putting a barrier to God’s use of you. As long as you have a personal interest in your own character, or any set ambition, you cannot get through into identification with God’s interests. You can only get there by losing forever any idea of yourself and by letting God take you right out into His purpose for the world, and because your goings are of the Lord, you can never understand your ways. Oswald Chambers 896. At this point, however, Joshua saw a vision of a great Man with a drawn sword. Joshua did not recognize the Man and asked, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” We must pay close attention to this question. How did the Man answer him? Many people erroneously believe that the Man said He had come to help Joshua, but the Man did not answer in this way. In His answer He first said, “Neither,” that is, I am not here to help you, nor to help your adversaries. I am here for only one thing; “as the Captain of Jehovah’s army have I now come”. Thank God for doing this. Thank God that this is what the Lord Jesus does! He does not help us, neither does He help our adversaries, but He comes as the Captain of the Lord’s army. If we are God’s army, then He comes to be our Captain. This is not a question of receiving help, but of accepting leadership. He has not come to offer assistance but to demand subjection. He does not come to help but to lead. He says, “As the Captain of Jehovah’s army have I now come.” How did Joshua react when he heard these words? “Joshua fell to the ground upon his face and worshiped.” Brothers and sisters, we must learn the ways of God, and this is another of His ways. God does nothing to assist us or to assist our enemies. God does not stand in the midst of the conflict giving a little help here or there. God wants to be the Captain and He demands our submission. In the face of so many foes, the need would not be answered if God merely helped us. Submitting to Him will solve the whole problem.

The issue is not whether or not God is helping us, but whether we are submitting to His leadership. When He is in command, all is well. A great trouble today among God’s children is that we want everything to revolve around us and everything to serve our interests. But God will not allow this. He wants to bring us to the point of simply submitting to Him. When this matter is settled, all other problems vanish. Joshua fell to the ground upon his face and worshipped. If we Know God’s ways by knowing Him as our Captain, God will handle everything, and we will worship Him. God does not come to assist us in the battle; He comes to lead the troops. If we hope He will help us in the fight, we have misunderstood God. God comes to lead the troops. We must submit before Him. When we learn the true meaning of worship, we will also know that there is now a sword drawn on our behalf. Watchman Nee 897. Only the person who wants God Himself, rather than His gift, can worship Him worthily. Watchman Nee 898. Worship always follows the cross and the altar. Wherever there is the cross, the altar, consecration, and obedience to the ways of God, there is worship. Wherever one gives up working for one’s self or holding on to something for one’s self, there is worship. Worship is saying that we are not the center. The meaning of worship is that God is the center. The meaning of worship is that I step aside and give all the space to God. It is necessary for “Samuel” to pass out of our hands. Watchman Nee 899. Worship is bowing to the ways of God. When we submit to the ways of God, this is worship. It is refraining from disappointment and murmuring. It is, henceforth, not being negative, nor arguing with God. Instead, it is saying, “God, You are right in this.” This is worshipping God’s ways. Watchman Nee 900. When he (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) came to England on his return from the United States, his friends quickly realized that Bonhoeffer’s heart belonged to his oppressed and persecuted fellow Christians in Germany and that he would not desert them at a time when they needed him most. The reasoning which brought

Bonhoeffer to his decision belongs, as Reinhold Niebuhr says, “to the finest logic of Christian martyrdom.” “I shall have no right,” Bonhoeffer wrote to Niebuhr before leaving America, “to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people. . . Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose; but I cannot make this choice in security” Dietrich Bonhoeffer never regretted this decision, not even in prison, where he wrote in later years: “I am sure of God’s hand and guidance . . . You must never doubt that I am thankful and glad to go the way which I am being led. My past life is abundantly full of God’s mercy, and, above all sin, stands the forgiving love of the Crucified.” Dr. G. Liebholz 901. The majority of the people in all nations alike does not consist of heroes. What Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others did cannot be expected from the many. The future in modern society depends much more on the quiet heroism of the very few who are inspired by Him. These few will greatly enjoy the divine inspiration and will be prepared to stand for the dignity of man and true freedom and to keep the law of God, even if it means martyrdom or death. These few perform the law because they “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Dr. G. Liebholz 902. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ. Such a man knows that the call to discipleship is a gift of grace, and that the call is inseparable from the grace. But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves. Dietrich Bonhoeffer 903. It was the error of Israel to put the law in God’s place, to make the law their God and their God a law. The disciples were confronted with the opposite danger of denying the law its divinity altogether and divorcing God from His law. Both errors lead to the

same result. By confounding God and the law, the Jews were trying to use the law to exploit the Lawgiver: He was swallowed up in the law, and therefore no longer its Lord. By imagining that God and the law could be divorced from one another, the disciples were trying to exploit God by their possession of salvation. In both cases, the gift was confounded with the Giver: God was denied equally, whether it was with the help of the law, or with the promise of salvation. Confronted with these twin errors, Jesus vindicates the divine authority of the law. God is its giver and its Lord, and only in personal communion with Him is the Law fulfilled. There is no fulfillment of the law apart from communion with God, and no communion with God apart from fulfillment of the law. To forget the first condition was the mistake of the Jews, and to forget the second the temptation of the disciples. Dietrich Bonhoeffer 904. A believer’s spiritual maturity can be measured by what it takes to steal his joy. John MacArthur 905. This commandment, that we should love our enemies and forego revenge will grow more urgent as the years roll on, as we fight in the holy war where love and hate engage in mortal combat. It is the bounden duty of every Christian soul to enter into the thick of the fray with might and main. The time is coming when the confession of the living God will incur not only the hatred and the fury of the world, for on the whole that is true already, but complete ostracism from ‘human society’, as they call it. The Christians will be hounded from place to place, subjected to physical assault, maltreatment and death of every kind. We are approaching an age of widespread persecution. Therein lies the true significance of all the movements and conflicts of our age. Our adversaries seek to root out the Christian Church and the Christian faith because they cannot live side by side with us, because they see in every word we utter and every deed we do, even when they are not specifically directed against them, a condemnation of their own words and deeds. They are not far wrong. They suspect too that we are indifferent to their condemnation. Indeed they must admit that it is utterly futile to condemn us. We do not reciprocate their

hatred and contention, although they would like it better if we did, and so sink to their own level. A. F. C. Vilman, 1880 906. The mind of Christ was centered upon the ultimate, but it was conscious also of the process that leads to the ultimate; therefore, He sifted the crowds that followed Him in order to find amongst them men and women upon whom He could depend for cooperation in the work that lay before Him. G. Campbell Morgan 907. The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us—”I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine.” God wants to use us as He used His own Son. Oswald Chambers 908. It is the letter of an old man to a young man. It is a letter of an old minister of Jesus Christ to a young man commencing his work in the ministry of the Word. It is the letter of one who has borne the burden and heat of the day to one who stands facing the battle. It is the letter of one who has been careful to lay the foundations, and who charges men to beware how they build thereupon, to a man who is to continue to build. G. Campbell Morgan on 2nd Timothy 909. To be the people of God without regeneration, is as impossible as to be the natural children of men without generation; seeing we are born God’s enemies, we must be newborn His sons, or else remain His enemies still. Oh that the unregenerate world did know or believe this, in whose ears the new birth sounds as a paradox, and the great change which God works upon the soul is a strange thing: who, because they never felt any such supernatural work upon themselves, do therefore believe that there is no such thing, but that it is the conceit and fantasy of idle brains; who make the terms of regeneration, sanctification, holiness, and conversion, a matter of common reproach and scorn, though they are the words of the Spirit of God Himself; and Christ hath spoken it with His mouth, “that except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The greatest reformation of life that can be

attained to, without this new life wrought in the soul, may procure their further delusion, but never their salvation. Richard Baxter 910. You can tell whether you are becoming a servant by how you act when people treat you like one. Gordan McDonald 911. The symbol of the New Testament and the Christian Church is a cross, which stands for a love faithful despite physical agony and rejection by the world. No amount of air-conditioning and pewcushioning in the suburban church can cover over the hard truth that the Christian life... is a narrow way of suffering; that discipleship is costly: that, for the faithful, there is always a cross to be carried. No one can understand Christianity to its depths who comes to it to enjoy it as a pleasant weekend diversion. W. Waldo Beach 912. Salvation comes only when we receive by faith the gift of God’s grace. Hell will be full of people who tried to reach Heaven some other way. John MacArthur 913. It is our propensity to go off on our own, trying to be human by our own devices and desires, that makes Ecclesiastes necessary reading. Ecclesiastes sweeps our souls clean of all “lifestyle” spiritualities so that we can be ready for God’s visitation revealed in Jesus Christ. Ecclesiastes is a John-the-Baptist kind of book. It functions not as a meal but as a bath. It is not nourishment; it is cleansing. It is repentance. It is purging. We read Ecclesiastes to get scrubbed clean from illusion and sentiment, from ideas that are idolatrous and feelings that cloy. It is an expose’ and rejection of every arrogant and ignorant expectation that we can live our lives by ourselves on our own terms. Eugene Peterson in the introduction to the book of Ecclesiastes in “The Message” 914.Faith that excludes obedience won’t save anyone. The delusion that it will causes many people to take the broad road that leads to destruction. That’s like building a religious superstructure on sand. Build your life in obedience to Christ. Then you’ll know that you belong to Him. John MacArthur 915.It was his steadfast and unalterable conviction that for a man who has wrapped his will in God's will, put his life consciously into the

stream of the divine Life, freed his soul from all personal ambitions, taken his life on trust as a divine gift—that for such a man there is an over-ruling Providence which guards and guides him in every incident of his life, from the greatest to the least. He held that all annoyances, frustrations, disappointments, mishaps, discomforts, hardships, sorrows, pains, and even final disaster itself, are simply God's way of teaching us lessons that we could never else learn. That circumstances do not matter, are nothing, but that the response of the spirit that meets them is everything; that there is no situation in human life, however apparently adverse, nor any human relationship, however apparently uncongenial, that cannot be made, if God be in the heart, into a thing of perfect joy; that, in order to attain this ultimate perfection, one must accept every experience and learn to love all persons... that the worth of life is is not to be measured by its results in achievement or success, but solely by the motives of the heart and the efforts of one's will. George Seaver in The Faith Of Edward Wilson 916.Whoso will love wisely, it behooves him to love lasting things lastingly, and passing things passingly; so that his heart be set and fastened on nothing but in God. Richard Rolle 917.Everyone more or less believes in God. But most of us do our best to keep God on the margins of our lives or, failing that, refashion God to suit our convenience. Prophets insist that God is the sovereign center, not off in the wings awaiting our beck and call. And prophets insist that we deal with God as God reveals Himself, not as we imagine Him to be. These men and women woke people up to the sovereign Presence of God in their lives. They yelled, they wept, they rebuked, they soothed, they challenged, they comforted. They used words with power and imagination, whether blunt or subtle. Sixteen of these prophets wrote what they spoke. We call them “the writing prophets.” They comprise the section from Isaiah to Malachi in our Bibles. These sixteen Hebrew prophets provide the help we so badly need if we are to stay

alert and knowledgeable regarding the conditions in which we cultivate faithful and obedient lives before God. For the ways of the world—its assumptions, its values, its methods of going about its work—are never on the side of God. Never. The prophets purge our imaginations of this world’s assumptions on how life is lived and what counts in life. Over and over again, God the Holy Spirit uses these prophets to separate His people from the cultures in which they live, putting them back on the path of simple faith and obedience and worship in defiance of all that the world admires and rewards. Prophets train us in discerning the difference between the ways of the world and the ways of the Gospel, keeping us present to the Presence of God…. …One of the bad habits that we pick up early in our lives is separating things and people into secular and sacred. We assume that the secular is what we are more or less in charge of: our jobs, our time, our entertainment, our government, our social relations. The sacred is what God has charge of: worship and the Bible, Heaven and hell, church and prayers. We then contrive to set aside a sacred place for God, designed, we say, to honor God but really intended to keep God in His place, leaving us free to have the final say about everything else that goes on. Prophets will have none of this. They contend that everything, absolutely everything takes place on sacred ground. God has something to say about every aspect of our lives: the way we feel and act in the so-called privacy of our hearts and homes, the way we make our money and the way we spend it, the politics we embrace, the wars we fight, the catastrophes we endure, the people we hurt and the people we help. Nothing is hidden from the scrutiny of God, nothing is exempt from the rule of God, nothing escapes the purposes of God. Holy, holy, holy. Prophets make it impossible to evade God or make detours around God. Prophets insist on receiving God in every nook

and cranny of life. For a prophet, God is more real than the next-door neighbor. Eugene Peterson in his introduction to the Prophets 1004. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. C. S. Lewis 1005. Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger— according to the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way. C. S. Lewis 1006. If we look carefully within ourselves, we shall find that there are certain limits beyond which we refuse to go in offering ourselves to God. We hover around these reservations, making believe not to see them, for fear of self-reproach. The more we shrink from giving up any such reserved point, the more certain it is that it needs to be given up. If we were not fast bound by it, we should not make so many efforts to persuade ourselves that we are free. ... François Fénelon 1007. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. C. S. Lewis 1008. Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany

and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else—comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it. C. S. Lewis 1009. It is my prayer that no man shall ever stand in this pulpit as long as time shall last who does not desire to have all that he does based upon this Book. For this Book does not contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God. And though we may preach the Word with all the stammering limitations of our human nature, the grace of God does the miracle of the ministry, and through human lips speaks the divine Word, and the hearts of the people are refreshed. There is no other explanation for the continuing power of a church that is poorly located, that is without endowment, but which continues to draw men and women to the capacity of its seating arrangements, morning and evening, summer and winter, and which sends its sons and daughters by the score to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ throughout the world. Donald Grey Barnhouse 1010. It is not uncommon for Jesus’ saving work to be reduced by well-meaning teachers merely to His death on the Cross. True, the suffering of Jesus for our sin is the center of the gospel message. There could have been no salvation for us unless Jesus had died for

us, bearing the penalty due for our transgressions. This doctrine is of fundamental importance. Yet it is only one-half of what is necessary. It is the negative side. The positive side is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us, so that we are now able to stand before God clothed in that righteousness; for that to happen, Jesus needed to live a life of perfect righteousness. In other words, His perfect active obedience was necessary for our salvation. James Montgomery Boice 1011. God is not only perfectly holy, but the source and pattern of holiness. He is the origin and the upholder of the moral order of the universe. He must be just. The Judge of all the earth must do right. Therefore it was impossible by the necessities of His own being that He should deal lightly with sin, and compromise the claims of holiness. If sin could be forgiven at all, it must be on some basis which would vindicate the holy law of God, which is not a mere code, but the moral order of the whole creation. But such vindication must be supremely costly. Costly to whom? Not to the forgiven sinner, for there could be no price asked from him for his forgiveness; both because the cost is far beyond his reach, and because God loves to give and not to sell. Therefore, God Himself undertook to pay a cost, to offer a sacrifice, so tremendous that the gravity of His condemnation of sin should be absolutely beyond question even as He forgave it, while at the same time the love which impelled Him to pay the price would be the wonder of the angels, and would call forth the worshiping gratitude of the redeemed sinner. On Calvary this price was paid, paid by God: the Son giving Himself, bearing our sin and its curse; the Father giving the Son, his only Son whom He loved. But it was paid by God become man, who not only took the place of guilty man, but also was His representative… He offered Himself as a sacrifice in our stead, bearing our sin in His own body on the tree. He suffered, not only awful physical anguish, but also the unthinkable spiritual horror of becoming identified with the sin to which He was infinitely opposed. He thereby came under the curse of sin, so that for a time even His perfect fellowship with His Father was broken. Thus God proclaimed His infinite abhorrence of sin by being willing Himself to suffer all that, in place of the guilty ones, in order that He might justly forgive. Thus the love of God found its

perfect fulfillment, because He did not hold back from even that uttermost sacrifice, in order that we might be saved from eternal death through what He endured. H. E. Guillebaud 1011. Here, I suppose, is the perfect portrait of the visible but unbelieving church, a picture of many who in their lifetime called out, “Lord, Lord,” but did not do the things Jesus said and ultimately perished. We would not dare say this if the Lord had not said it first, but on His authority we must say that many who worship in apparently Christian congregations, who consider themselves good Christians, supposing that all is well with their souls, will be utterly surprised by God’s judgment. If people like this will be shut out from God’s presence, ought we not to do as Peter says and “make our calling and election sure”? Peter tells how it must be done. He says to add goodness to faith, knowledge to goodness, self-control to knowledge, perseverance to self-control, godliness to perseverance, brotherly kindness to godliness, and love to brotherly kindness, concluding, “If you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. The emphasis is on “do”! James Montgomery Boice 1012. But I need to add that even Reformed believers need to recapture this true gospel, since even those who insist most strongly on the doctrines of grace cannot give God glory if they are, above all, struggling to build their own kingdoms and further their own careers, as many are. I am a Calvinist. But I testify that in my judgment even most Calvinists are not seeking the glory of God in all things. We say we are. We consider ourselves to be the chief, perhaps even the sole true heirs of the Reformation. But often what we are really interested in is increasing our own small spheres of influence. We too want to be prosperous and happy, just like the world. Or if we think of Christian work, our true goal is frequently our own personal success, defined primarily by loyalty to our own programs, churches, and denominations. We want our programs to prosper, and we want to get the credit for it. We will not see reformation until there is profound

repentance for these sins and a radical readjustment of our desires, goals, and methodologies. I believe that good times are ahead. I find many throughout the church, particularly young pastors, who are dissatisfied with the shallow consumerism of our times—our crass evangelical marketing of the gospel, our sad self-preoccupation—and who want to recover a gospel of substance whose end is the glory of Almighty God. I join with them. I rejoice with them and in them. But we have a long way to go to that end. Can we get there? Not by ourselves certainly. But God will lead us to those better days if we do actually repent of our sin and seek to make Him truly preeminent in everything. James Montgomery Boice 1013. For the New Testament Christians, witness was not a sales pitch. They simply shared, each in his own way, what they had received. Theirs was not a formally prepared, carefully worked-out presentation with a gimmick to manipulate conversation, and a “closer” for an onthe-spot decision…but the spontaneous, irrepressible, effervescent enthusiasm of those who had met the most fascinating Person who ever lived. The gospel is not theology. It’s a Person. Theology doesn’t save. Jesus Christ saves. The first-century disciples were totally involved with a Person. They were followers of Jesus. They were learners of Jesus. They were committed to Jesus. They were filled with Jesus. They had encountered Jesus Christ and it simply could not be concealed. They witnessed not because they had to, but because they could not help it. Their school of witnessing was the school of the Spirit where they learned continuously. Authentic Christian witness is born of the Spirit. Madison Avenue, with all its sophisticated know-how, can’t improve on the strategy. Nothing is more convincing than the simple, unembellished word of a satisfied customer. Richard Halverson 1014. When the true story gets told, whether in the partial light of historical perspective or in the perfect light of eternity, it may well be

revealed that the worst sin of the church at the end of the twentieth century has been the trivialization of God...We prefer the illusion of a safer deity, and so we have pared God down to more manageable proportions. Donald McCullough 1015. The true, the genuine worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible. William Barclay 1016. John MacArthur explains what happened in his church when people began to take the nature of true worship seriously. “They began to look at superficialities as an affront to a holy God. They saw worship as a participant’s activity, not a spectator sport. Many realized for the first time that worship is the church’s ultimate priority—not public relations, not recreation and social activities, not boosting attendance figures, but worshiping God.” And they were “drawn to the only reliable and sufficient worship manual,” which is “Scripture.” That is precisely what the evangelical church of our day needs most. And it is precisely what God wants from us. James Montgomery Boice 1017. The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today is that God rests too inconsequentially upon the church. His truth is too distant, His grace too ordinary, His judgment is too benign, His gospel too easy, and His Christ too common. David Wells 1018. Preoccupation with self is the chief sin of the modern world. And this means that, without opposing the absorption with self, even a renewed effort to teach about God will be fruitless, since it will end only by presenting a God to be used by us rather than a God who demands from us a surrender of self and a radical obedience. We need to show that, in the Bible, God is not presented as an answer to our felt needs but as one who calls us to take up a cross daily and follow Jesus Christ. James Montgomery Boice 1019. What makes a community? A community holds together because of some higher allegiance or priority. Christians are the community of those who are formed by Scripture alone and who,

because of that, know that they are all sinners saved by grace alone because of Christ alone. They are not wrapped up in themselves. Therefore, they love each other and are able to stand together and welcome all types of people and races to their fellowship. They have a commitment that goes—or should go—beyond mere individualism; and if they do, they inevitably model genuine community in church settings. Such communities provide an unsurpassed opportunity for reaching the unsaved world for Jesus Christ. James Montgomery Boice 1020. Protestants especially, because of our insistence on the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works, tend to overlook the importance of good works. We need to recover the importance of good works as the necessary and inevitable outcome of genuine conversion. True Christians must lead lives that are different from and better than those they led before they came to Christ. God expects it; indeed, He requires it. And the world expects it too. James Montgomery Boice 1021. There are times in history when it takes a thousand voices to be heard as one voice. But there are other times, like our own, when one voice can ring forth as a thousand. So let’s get on with our calling, and let those who say they know God show they actually do—for His glory and for the good of all. James Montgomery Boice 1022. Does it not make a great difference whether I am, so to speak, the landlord of my own mind and body, or only a tenant, responsible to the real Landlord? If Somebody else made me, for His own purposes, then I shall have a lot of duties which I should not have if I simply belonged to myself. C. S. Lewis 1023. If [it] yields to the drift of the age and surrenders its hold of the awful but glorious individualism of the Christian salvation,... the Church itself will not be much enriched by an accession of panic-stricken fugitives from a Personal God. And many unhappy young people are discovering now that Church membership is not the equivalent of being reconciled to God, and a kind of Confirmation is not a substitute for Conversion. William Russell Maltby 1024. A large part of the evangelical church has developed a pleasure-laden, cruise ship mentality, but it will result in a spiritual

Titanic. Seeker-friendly church pastors (and those tempted to climb aboard) need to get on their knees and read the words of Jesus to the church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:14-21). They were “rich, and increased with goods,” yet failed to recognize that in God’s eyes, they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Jesus, standing outside their church, where they had unwittingly displaced Him, offers them His counsel, the truth of His Word, which alone will enable them to live their lives for His pleasure. There can be nothing better here on earth, and for all eternity. T. A. McMahon 1025. The Church of God has gone into the entertainment business! People must be amused, and as the church needs the people’s money, the church must supply the demand and meet the craving! How else are godless hypocrites to be held together? So the picture show and entertainment…take the place of the gospel address and the solemn worship of God. And, thus, Christless souls are lulled to sleep and made to feel “religious” while gratifying every carnal desire under the sanction of the sham called the church! And the end? What an awakening in eternity! H. A. Ironside 1026. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die? C. S. Lewis 1027. Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always has existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has—by what I call ‘good infection’. Every

Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else. C. S. Lewis 1028. The fire of revenge may singe or even scorch my enemy, but it will do far more damage to the furniture of my own soul. After every indulgence in vengeful passion some precious personal possession has been destroyed. The fact of the matter is, this fire cannot be kept burning without making fuel of the priceless furnishings of the soul. “Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.” John Henry Jowett 1029. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light. Apparently the rats of resentment and vindictiveness are always there in the cellar of my soul…But I cannot, by direct moral effort, give myself new motives. After the first few steps in the Christian life we realize that everything which really needs to be done in our souls can be done only by God. C. S. Lewis 1030. But there must be a real giving up of self. You must throw it away ‘blindly’ so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in the social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth

(without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep nothing back. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. C. S. Lewis 1031. When Whitelocke was embarking, in 1653, for Sweden, he was much disturbed in his mind, as he rested at Harwich on the preceding night, which was stormy, while he reflected on the distracted state of England. It happened that a good and confidential servant slept in an adjacent bed, who, finding his master could not sleep at length said, “Pray, sir, will you give me leave to ask you a question?” “Certainly.” “Pray, sir, don’t you think that God governed the world very well before you came into it?” “Undoubtedly.” “And pray, sir, don’t you think He will govern it quite as well when you are gone out of it?” “Certainly.” “Then, sir, don’t you think you may trust Him to govern it properly as long as you live?” To this last question Whitelocke had nothing to reply; but turning himself about, soon fell fast asleep, till he was called to embark. From the book “Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1032. God did not elect or choose any because He foresaw that they would believe in Christ, and persevere in religion; but the true doctrine is, that those who believe and persevere, do so because God had chosen them to salvation, and therefore inclined and enabled them to enter upon and pursue the Christian life. Their faith and holy life were not the cause of election, but the result of it. From the book “Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1033. The test of fellowship with God as love is righteousness of conduct, and love one to another. The result of fellowship with God as love, will be that of hatred toward us on the part of the world. Yet such

hatred is to be answered by the love of the Christian, such love being the proof of the presence of the new life. G. Campbell Morgan 1034. A few days before the Rev. Dr. Payson closed his earthly career, he dictated a remarkable letter to a sister, in which he says: “Were I to adopt the figurative language of Bunyan, I might date this letter from the land of Beulah, of which I have been for some weeks a happy inhabitant. The celestial city is full in my view. Its glories beam upon me, its breezes fan me, its odors are wafted to me, its sounds strike upon my ears, and its spirit is breathed into my heart. Nothing separates me from it but the river of death, which now appears but as an insignificant rill, that may be crossed at a single step, whenever God shall give permission. The Sun of Righteousness has been gradually drawing nearer and nearer, appearing larger and brighter as he approaches, and now he fills the whole hemisphere, pouring forth a flood of glory, in which I seem to float like an insect in the beams of the sun, exulting, yet almost trembling, while I gaze on this excessive brightness, and wondering, with unutterable wonder, why God should deign thus to shine upon a sinful worm. A single heart and a single tongue seem altogether inadequate to my wants; I want a whole heart for every separate emotion, and a whole tongue to express that emotion.” From the book “Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1035. Dr. Nettleton once fell in company with two men who were disputing on the Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance. As he came into their presence, one of them said, “I believe this doctrine has been the means of filling hell with Christians.” “Sir,” said Dr. Nettleton, “do you believe that God knows all things?” “Certainly I do,” said he. “How then do you interpret this text—”I never knew you?’” said Dr. Nettleton. After reflecting a moment, he replied, “The meaning must be, I never knew you as Christians.” “Is that the meaning?” said Dr. Nettleton. “Yes, it must be,” he replied, “for certainly God knows all things.” “Well,” said Dr. Nettleton, “I presume you are right. Now, this is what our Savior will say to those who, at the last day, shall say to Him, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not eaten,’ &c. Now, when Saul, and Judas, and Hymeneus, and Philetus, and Demas, and all who, you suppose, are

fallen from grace, shall say to Christ, Lord, Lord, —He shall say to them, I never knew you—I never knew you as Christians. Where, then, are the Christians that are going to hell?” From the book “Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1036. The Gospel Jesus proclaimed did not foster that kind of gullibility. From the time He first began to minister publicly, our Lord eschewed the quick, easy, or shallow response. He turned away far more prospects than He won, refusing to proclaim a message that would give anyone a false hope. His words, always tailored to the individual’s needs, never failed to puncture an inquirer’s self-righteousness, unveil wrong motives, or warn of false faith or shallow commitment. John MacArthur 1037. The central theme of the Old Testament is redemption by grace. But incredibly, the Pharisees entirely missed it. In their rigid emphasis on religious works, they de-emphasized the truth of God’s grace and forgiveness to sinners, evident throughout the Old Testament. They stressed obedience to law, not conversion to the Lord, as the way to gain eternal life. They were so busy trying to earn righteousness that they neglected the marvelous truth of Habakkuk 2:4: “The righteous will live by faith.” They looked to Abraham as their father, but overlooked the key lesson of his life: “He believed in the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). They scoured the Psalms for laws they could add to their list, but they ignored the most sublime truth of all—that God forgives sin, covers transgressions, and refuses to impute iniquity to sinners who turn to Him (Psalm 32:1-2). They anticipated the coming of their Messiah, but closed their eyes to the fact that He would come to die as a sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:4-9). They were confident that they were guides to the blind, lights to those in darkness, correctors of the foolish, and teachers of the immature (cf. Romans 2:19-20), but they forgot the most basic lesson of God’s law: that they themselves were sinners in need of salvation. John MacArthur 1038. We are too busy entertaining ourselves to think of God. Dave Hunt

1039. The Bibles Says So—CHILDREN should be early taught that the Bible is the great authority; and that when it speaks upon any point, the question is settled forever. They should be taught to go directly to the Scripture, to find what is good and what is bad, what is true and what is false. Thus, with the blessing of God, they will acquire the habit of constantly subordinating their own notions and inclinations to the plain declarations of Scripture. It is a good sign to have a child often use the expression, “The Bible says so.” From the book “Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1040. Jesus never sanctioned any form of cheap grace. He was not offering eternal life as an add-on to a life cluttered with unconfessed sin. It is inconceivable that He would pour someone a drink of living water without challenging and altering that individual’s sinful lifestyle. He came to save His people from their sin (cf. Matthew 1:21), not to confer immortality on people in bondage to wickedness. John MacArthur 1041. God seeks people who will submit themselves to worship Him in spirit and in truth. That kind of worship is impossible for anyone sheltering sin in his life. Those who confess and forsake their sin, on the other hand, will find a Savior anxious to receive them, forgive them, and liberate them from their sin. Like the woman at the well, they will find a source of living water, which will quench forever even the strongest spiritual thirst. John MacArthur 1042. The portrait of Jesus in the gospels is altogether different from the picture contemporary evangelicals typically imagine. Rather than a would-be redeemer who merely stands outside anxiously awaiting an invitation to come into unregenerate lives, the Savior described in the New Testament is God in the flesh, invading the world of sinful men and challenging them to turn from their iniquity. Rather than waiting for an invitation, He issues His own—in the form of a command to repent and take on a yoke of submission. John MacArthur 1043. Our Lord emphasized that God Himself is the determinative factor in salvation. We who witness for Christ are not ultimately

responsible for how people respond to the gospel. We are only responsible to preach it clearly and accurately, speaking the truth in love. Some will turn away, but it is God who either reveals the truth or keeps it hidden, according to what is well-pleasing in His sight. His plan will not be curtailed. Though the gospel according to Jesus offends, its message must not be made more palatable by watering down the content or softening the hard demands. In God’s plan, the elect believe despite the negative response of the multitudes. John MacArthur 1044. There is no place for jealousy in the kingdom. The only right response is abject humility. Everything we receive from God is undeserved blessing. How long or how well we work has nothing to do with our place in the kingdom, for all will receive far more from God than they deserve. We should never murmur because the fatted calf was killed for someone else, or be resentful that heaven will be just as wonderful for those who enter the kingdom late. God’s grace abounds to us all. John MacArthur 1045. Faith obeys. Unbelief rebels. The fruit of one’s life reveals whether that person is a believer or an unbeliever. There is no middle ground. Merely knowing and affirming facts apart from obedience to the truth is not believing in the biblical sense. Those who cling to the memory of a one-time decision of “faith” but lack any evidence that faith has continued to operate in their lives had better heed the clear and solemn warning of Scripture: “He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). John MacArthur 1046. Our personalities are diametrically opposed to God’s personality. He likes concealment, we like display; He does not crave outward manifestations, we cannot be content without them. This divine disposition constitutes a great trial and test to us. Witness Lee 1047. Jesus never presented Christianity as a soft option for weakkneed, feeble souls. When a person becomes as Christian he declares war on hell. And hell fights back. Following Christ can cost one’s very life—it will certainly cost one’s life in a spiritual sense. The faint-hearted and compromisers need not apply. John MacArthur

1048. I am convinced that the popular evangelistic message of our age actually lures people into this deception. It promises a wonderful, comfortable plan for life. It obliterates the offense of the cross. Though it presents Christ as the way, the truth, and the life, it says nothing of the small gate or the narrow way. Its subject is the love of God, but there is no mention of God’s wrath. It sees people as deprived, not depraved. It is full of love and understanding, but there is no mention of a holy God who hates sin, no summons to repentance, no warning of judgment, no call for brokenness, no expectation of a contrite heart, and no reason for deep sorrow over sin. It is a message of easy salvation, a call for a hasty decision which is often accompanied by false promises of health, happiness, and material blessing. This is not the gospel according to Jesus. “The gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” How could Jesus be more clear? This is the only path His Gospel takes. It is not an easy road, nor a popular one. But it is the only one that leads to eternal glory. John MacArthur 1049. There are several categories of deceived people in the church. Obviously there are hypocrites, those who merely try to appear religious. Others are nominal, superficial people who call themselves Christians because they have gone to Sunday school since childhood, or “made a decision” for Christ but have no ongoing interest in living out the implications of faith. Still others are heavily involved in church or religious activities; they know the facts of the gospel, but they are not obedient to the Word of God. Perhaps they go to church because they are looking for good feelings, blessings, experiences, healings, miracles, or ecstatic gifts. Maybe they are committed to the denomination, the church, the organization, but not the Word of God. They may love theology purely as an academic interest. Whatever the reasons, many who have identified themselves with Christ and Christianity will be turned away at the judgment. John MacArthur 1050. The only validation of salvation is a life of obedience. It is the only possible proof that a person really knows Jesus Christ. If one

does not obey Christ as a pattern of life, then professing to know Him is an empty verbal exercise. John MacArthur 1051. The day of judgment is coming. That is what the wind, rain, and flood of Matthew 7:25 and 27 speak of. God is sending the storm of judgment. Some will stand and some will fall. Those who stand are true believers; those who fall are those who never really believed at all. The difference will be seen in whether obedience followed the hearing of the gospel, and whether a life of righteousness followed the profession of faith. This illustration is marvelously consistent with the warning of earlier verses. They all teach that the test of true faith is whether it produces obedience. Thus Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount ends with a devastating warning of judgment: “and great was its fall.” It is a warning of doom, characteristic of the preaching of Jesus, but again, markedly different from the trend of contemporary evangelism. The gospel according to Jesus calls for a decision, not merely a new opinion, but an active response to obedience. John MacArthur 1052. The Lord is saying that we must be unquestioningly loyal to Him, even above our families—and especially above ourselves. Scripture teaches us to deny self, consider ourselves dead, lay the old self aside, and in a sense, treat the selfish aspect of our beings with the utmost contempt. That is the same attitude we are to have toward our possessions and even toward our own family. Why is this language so severe? Why does Christ use such offensive terms? Because He is eager to chase the uncommitted away and to draw true disciples to Himself. He does not want halfhearted people deceived into thinking they are in the kingdom. Unless He is the number one priority, He has not been given His rightful place. John MacArthur 1053. As I study through the New Testament, I see more clearly than ever the unity of the New Testament gospel. The gospel according to Jesus is the gospel according to His apostles. It is a small gate and a narrow road. It is free but it costs everything. And though it is appropriated by faith, it cannot fail to produce the fruit of true righteousness in the life and behavior of the believer. John MacArthur

1054. “God almighty has given me but one journey through the world, and when gone, I cannot return to rectify mistakes.” From the book “The Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1055. Let us not merely call Him Lord, for that will not save us. For He says, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will be saved, but he who does what is right.” Thus, brothers, let us acknowledge Him by our actions…This world and the world to come are two enemies... This one means adultery, corruption, avarice, and deceit, while the other gives them up. We cannot, then, be friends of both. To get the one, we must give the other up. From the Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, about A.D. 100 1056. If good works and love do not blossom forth, it is not genuine faith, the gospel has not yet gained a foothold, and Christ is not yet rightly known. Martin Luther 1057. The terms of Christ’s salvation are erroneously stated by the present-day evangelist. With very rare exceptions he tells his hearers that salvation is by grace and is received as a free gift; that Christ has done everything for the sinner, and nothing remains except for him to “believe”—to trust in the infinite merits of His blood. And so widely does this conception now prevail in “orthodox” circles, so frequently has it been dinned in their ears, so deeply has it taken root in their minds, that for one to now challenge it and denounce it as being so inadequate and one-sided as to be deceptive and erroneous, is for him to instantly court the stigma of being a heretic, and to be charged with dishonoring the finished work of Christ by inculcating salvation by works…Salvation is by grace, by grace alone…Nevertheless, Divine grace is not exercised at the expense of holiness, for it never compromises with sin. It is also true that salvation is a free gift, but an empty hand must receive it, and not a hand which still tightly grasps the world…A heart that is steeled in rebellion cannot savingly believe; it must first be broken…Those preachers who tell sinners they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts. A. W. Pink

1058. Divine grace is not bestowed with the object of freeing men from their obligations but rather with that of supplying them with a powerful motive for more readily and gratefully discharging those obligations. To make God’s favor a ground of exemption from the performance of duty comes perilously near to turning His grace into lasciviousness. A. W. Pink 1059. I say that I had been heaping up my devotions before God, fasting, praying, etc. pretending, and indeed really thinking sometimes, that I was aiming at the glory of God; whereas I never once truly intended it, but only my own happiness. I saw that as I had never done anything for God, I had no claim on anything from Him, but perdition, on account of my hypocrisy and mockery. Oh, how different did my duties now appear from what they used to do! I used to charge them with sin and imperfection; but this was only on account of the wandering and vain thoughts attending them, and not because I had no regard to God in them; for this I thought I had. But when I saw evidently that I had had regard to nothing but self-interest; then they appeared a vile mockery of God, self-worship, and a continued course of lies. I saw that something worse had attended my duties than barely a few wanderings; for the whole was nothing but self-worship, and an horrid abuse of God. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1060. My soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied, that He should be God over all forever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in Him; at least to that degree that I had no thought, as I remember, at first, about my own salvation, and scarce reflected that there was such a creature as myself. Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt Him, and set Him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at His honor and glory, as King of the universe. I continued in this state of inward joy, peace and astonishment, till near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following.

I felt myself in a new world, and everything about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do. At this time the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation; I was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before. If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1061. “I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fundraising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. From Amos Chapter 5 in “The Message”. 1062. No condition of life will of itself make a man content, without the grace of God; for we find Haman discontented in the court, Ahab discontented on the throne, Adam discontented in Paradise; nay, and higher we cannot go, the angels that fell were discontented even in heaven itself. Philip Henry 1063. Church history may record ours as the era of disastrous collapse within the leadership of the church. The standards for leadership have been lowered, and many thousands have tragically lost their way. Where are the godly and truthful men? Where are the humble, unselfish models of virtue? Where are the examples of victory over temptation? Where are those who show us how to pray and overcome trials or adversity? We have a sick and distorted church because we’ve lost sight of Christ, His Word, and the Spirit. We’ve lost sight of our clear pattern for growth in the life of the apostle Paul. And we have tolerated a

lower standard for leadership than the Bible allows. The essence of Christianity is becoming more like Christ. Matters such as right relationships, service, and evangelism will be taken care of if we just pursue that one holy goal. John MacArthur 1064. The condition of the heart determines the quality of my discernment. If “the heart is waxed gross,” the ears will be “dull of hearing,” and the eyes will be “closed.” My spiritual senses gain their acuteness or obtuseness from my affections. If my love is muddy my sight will be dim. If my love be “clear as crystal” the spiritual realm will be like a gloriously transparent air. And the awful nemesis of sin-created blindness is this, that it interprets itself as sight. “The light that is in thee is darkness.” We think we see, and all the time we are the children of the night. We think it is “the dawn of God’s sweet morning,” and behold! it is the perverse flare of the evil one. He has given us a will-o-the-wisp, and we boastfully proclaim it to be “the morning star.” But there is hope for any man, however blind he be, who will humbly lay himself at Jesus’ feet. Let this be my prayer, O Lord, “Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” Deliver me from self-deception, save me from confusing the fixed light of heaven with the wandering beaconlights of hell. And again and again will I pray, “Lord, that I might receive my sight!” John Henry Jowett 1065. Last year I longed to be prepared for a world of glory, and speedily to depart out of this world; but of late all my concern almost is for the conversion of the heathen, and for that end I long to live. But blessed be God I have less desire to live for any of the pleasures of the world than I ever had. I long and love to be a pilgrim, and want grace to imitate the life, labors and sufferings of St. Paul among the heathen. And when I long for the holiness now, it is not so much for myself as formerly, but rather thereby I may become an ‘able minister of the New Testament,’ especially to the heathen. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1066. When I visit the Cross and the tomb, life is transformed from a picnic into a crusade. For that is ever my peril, to picnic on the banks of the river and to spend my days in emotional loitering. After all, my

Pentecost is purposed to prepare me for my own Gethsemane and Calvary! Life is given me in order that I may spend it again in ready and fruitful sacrifice. John Henry Jowett 1067. In a powerful revival, the Rev. Dr. Nettleton once said, “It may be new to some of you that there should be such distress for sin. But there was great distress on the day of Pentecost, when thousands were pricked in the heart, and cried out, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Some of you may, perhaps, be ready to say, ‘If this is religion, we wish to have nothing to do with it.’ My friends, this is not religion. Religion does not cause its subjects to feel and act thus. These individuals are thus distressed, not because they have religion, but because they have no religion, and have found it out. It was so on the day of Pentecost. They had made the discovery that they were lost sinners, and that their souls were in jeopardy every hour.” From the book “The Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1068. I seemed to do nothing, and indeed to have nothing to do, but to ‘stand still, and see the salvation of God;’ and found myself obliged and delighted to say, ‘Not unto us,’ not unto instruments and means, ‘but to Thy Name be glory.’ God appeared to work entirely alone, and I saw no room to attribute any part of this work to any created arm. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1069. Most prophets, most of the time, speak God’s Word to us. They are preachers calling us to listen to God’s words of judgment and salvation, confrontation and comfort. They face us with God as He is, not as we imagine Him to be. Most prophets are in-your-face assertive, not given to tact, not diplomatic, as they insist that we pay attention to God. Eugene Peterson in his introduction to Habakkuk. 1070. But this prophet companion who stands at our side does something even more important: He waits and he listens. It is in his waiting and listening—which then turns into his praying—that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God’s sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trustingin-God life, is the full life, the only real life. Habakkuk started out exactly where we start out with our puzzled complaints and Godaccusations, but he didn’t stay there. He ended up in a world, along

with us, where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Eugene Peterson in his introduction to Habakkuk. 1071. Nor have I ever seen so general an awakening in any assembly in my life as appeared here while I was opening and insisting upon the parable of the great supper. Luke, 14. In which discourse I was enabled to set before my hearers the unsearchable riches of Gospel grace. Not that I would be understood here that I never instructed the Indians respecting their fallen state, and the sinfulness and misery of it; for this was what I at first chiefly insisted upon with them, and endeavored to repeat and inculcate in almost every discourse, knowing that without this foundation I should but build upon sand, and that it would be in vain to invite them to Christ unless I could convince them of their need of Him. Mar, 2:17. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1072. The Rev. Philip Henry, for the use of his children, prepared this short form of words, showing what is implied in baptism; taught it to his children, required them to repeat it every Sabbath evening, after their recitation of the Catechism, and was wont to add: “So say, and so do, and you are made for ever”—”I take God the Father, to be my chiefest good and highest end. I take God the Son to be my Prince and Savior. I take God the Holy Ghost to be my Sanctifier, Teacher, Comforter, and Guide. I take the Word of God to be my rule in all my actions. And the people of God to be my people in all conditions. I do likewise, devote and dedicate unto the Lord my whole self, all I am, all I have, and all I do. And this I do deliberately, sincerely, freely, and for ever.” He also took pains with his children to lead them into the understanding of it, and to persuade them to a free and cheerful consent to it. And when they grew up, he made them all write it over severally with their own hands, and very solemnly set their names to it, which he told them he would keep by him, and it should be produced as a testimony against them, in case they should afterwards depart from God, and turn from following after Him. From the book “The Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1073. Our moral judgment is often dull and imperceptive. And our spiritual judgment is often lacking in vigor and penetration. And so our great Spirit-guide puts our spirits to school, and more

deeply sanctifies them, that in holiness we may have discernment. And He will also give us foresight. He will enable us to interpret circumstances, to apprehend their drift and destiny. We shall see harvest while we are looking at seeds, whether the seeds be seeds of good or evil. All of which means that the Holy Spirit will deliver our lives from the governance of mere whim and caprice, and that He will make us wise with the wisdom of God. John Henry Jowett 1074. I do not go to the Lord’s Table to give, but to receive; not to tell Christ how good I am, but to think how good He is. The words are, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me,’ as if the Savior said: ‘Remember who I am, and what thou art; remember Me as thy Savior—as thy Master; remember My love, and thy obligations; remember Me as hating thy sin, as bearing thy sin; remember Me, and fear not; remember Me, and sin not; remember Me to live for Me, by Me, with Me. Rev. Thomas Adam 1075. Let me pray and labor that my days may so shine with grace that all who remember me shall adore the goodness of my Lord. John Henry Jowett 1076. Happy experience, as well as the word of God and the example of Christ and His apostles, has taught me, that the very method of preaching which is best suited to awaken in mankind a sense and lively apprehension of their depravity and misery in a fallen state,—to excite them so earnestly to seek after a change of heart, as to fly for refuge to free and sovereign grace in Christ as the only hope set before them,— is likely to be most successful in the reformation of their external conduct. I have found that close addresses, and solemn applications of divine truth to the conscience, strike at the root of all vice; while smooth and plausible harangues upon moral virtues and external duties, at best are like to do no more than lop off the branches of corruption, while the root of all vice remains untouched. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1077. I could not but feel some measure of gratitude to God at this time, that He had always disposed me, in my ministry, to insist on the great doctrines of regeneration, the new creature, faith in Christ,

progressive sanctification, supreme love to God, living entirely to the glory of God, being not our own, and the like. God thus helped me to see, in the surest manner, from time to time, that these, and the like doctrines necessarily connected with them, are the only foundation of safety and salvation for perishing sinners and that those divine dispositions which are consonant hereto, are that holiness, ‘without which no man shall see the Lord.’ The exercise of these God-like tempers—wherein the soul acts in a kind of concert with God, and would be and do everything that is pleasing to Him—I saw, would stand by the soul in a dying hour; for God must, I think, deny Himself, if He cast away His own image, even the soul that is one in desires with Himself. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1078. Could not but think, as I have often remarked to others, that much more of true religion consists in deep humility, brokenness of heart, and an abasing sense of barrenness and want of grace and holiness, than most who are called Christians imagine; especially those who have been esteemed the converts of the late day. Many seem to know of no other religion but elevated joys and affections, arising only from some flights of imagination, or some suggestion made to their mind, of Christ being theirs, God loving them, and the like. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1079. His manner of praying was very agreeable, most becoming a worm of the dust and a disciple of Christ, addressing an infinitely great and holy God, the Father of mercies; not with florid expressions, or a studied eloquence; not with any intemperate vehemence, or indecent boldness. It was at the greatest distance from any appearance of ostentation, and from everything that might look as though he meant to recommend himself to those that were about him, or set himself off to their acceptance. It was free also from vain repetitions; without impertinent excursions, or needless multiplying of words. He expressed himself with the strictest propriety, with weight and pungency; and yet, what his lips uttered seemed to flow from the fullness of his heart, as deeply impressed with infinite greatness, excellency and sufficiency, rather than merely from a warm and fruitful brain, pouring out good expressions. I know not that I ever heard him so much as ask a blessing or return thanks at table, but there was

something remarkable to be observed both in the matter and manner of the performance. In his prayers, he insisted much on the prosperity of Zion, the advancement of Christ’s kingdom in the world, and the flourishing and propagation of religion among the Indians. And he generally made it one petition in his prayer, “that we might not outlive our usefulness.” Jonathan Edward speaking of David Brainerd in From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1080. In the preceding week, I enjoyed some comfortable seasons of meditation. One morning, the cause of God appeared exceedingly precious to me. The Redeemer’s kingdom is all that is valuable in the earth, and I could not but long for the promotion of it in the world. I saw also, that this cause is God’s; that He has an infinitely greater regard and concern for it than I could possibly have; that if I have any true love to this blessed interest, it is only a drop derived from that ocean. Hence I was ready to ‘lift my head with joy,’ and conclude, ‘Well, if God’s cause be so dear and precious to Him, He will promote it.’ Thus I did, as it were, rest on God that He would surely promote that which was so agreeable to His own will; though the time when, must still be left to His sovereign pleasure. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1081. I think that my mind never penetrated with so much ease and freedom into divine things, as at this time; and I never felt so capable of demonstrating the truth of many important doctrines of the Gospel as now. As I saw clearly the truth of those great doctrines, which are justly styled the doctrines of grace; so I saw with no less clearness, that the essence of religion consisted in the soul’s conformity to God, and acting above all selfish views for His glory, longing to be for Him, to live to Him, and please and honor Him in all things: and this from a clear view of His infinite excellency and worthiness in Himself, to be loved, adored, worshiped, and served by all intelligent creatures. Thus I saw, that when a soul loves God with a supreme love, he therein acts like the blessed God Himself, who most justly loves himself in that manner. So when God’s interest and his are become one, and he longs that God should be glorified, and rejoices to think that He is unchangeably possessed of the highest glory and blessedness, herein also he acts in conformity to God. In like manner, when the soul is fully

resigned to, and rests satisfied and content with the divine will, here it is also conformed to God. I saw further, that as this divine temper, by which the soul exalts God, and treads self in the dust, is wrought in the soul by God’s discovering His own glorious perfections in the face of Jesus Christ to it by the special influences of the Holy Spirit, so He cannot but have regard to it as His own work; and as it is His image in his soul, He cannot but take delight in it. Then I saw again, that if God should slight and reject His own moral image, He must needs be deny Himself; which He cannot do. And thus I saw the stability and infallibility of this religion; and that those who are truly possessed of it, have the most complete and satisfying evidence of their being interested in all the benefits of Christ’s redemption, having their hearts conformed to Him; and that these, and these only, are qualified for the employments and entertainments of God’s kingdom of glory; as none but these have any relish for the business of Heaven, which is to ascribe glory to God, and not to themselves; and that God (though I would speak it with great reverence of His name and perfection) cannot, without denying Himself, finally cast such away. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1082. I felt now pleased to think of the glory of God, and longed for Heaven, as a state wherein I might glorify Him perfectly, rather than a place of happiness for myself. This feeling of the love of God in my heart, which I trust the Spirit of God excited in me afresh, was sufficient to give me a full satisfaction, and make me long, as I had many times before done, to be with Christ. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1083. Especially, I discoursed repeatedly on the nature and necessity of that humiliation, self-emptiness, or full conviction of a person’s being utterly undone in himself, which is necessary in order to a saving faith; and the extreme difficulty of being brought to this, and the great danger there is of persons taking up with some self-righteous appearances of it. The danger of this I especially dwelt upon, being persuaded that multitudes perish in this hidden way; and because so little is said from most pulpits to discover any danger here; so that persons being never

effectually brought to die in themselves, are never truly united to Christ, and so perish. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1084. This day I saw clearly that I should never be happy; yea, that God Himself could not make me happy, unless I could be in a capacity to ‘please and glorify Him forever.’ Take away this, and admit me in all the fine heavens that can be conceived of by men or angels, and I should still be miserable forever. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1085. My heaven is to please God, and glorify Him, and to give all to Him, and to be wholly devoted to His glory; that is the heaven I long for; that is my religion, and that is my happiness, and always was, ever since I suppose I had any true religion; and all those that are of that religion shall meet me in Heaven. I do not go to Heaven to be advanced, but to give honor to God. It is no matter where I shall be stationed in Heaven, whether I have a high or low seat there; but to love, please, and glorify God is all. From The Life And Diary Of David Brainerd 1086. If persons who have money to spare for a thousand superfluities, or even for a thousand mischievous indulgences, do almost nothing for the spiritual welfare of others, what a condemning contrast do they exhibit between their prayers and their conduct! Either let men live to promote the kingdom of God, or cease to pray that it may come. If they will live so as to promote the world’s sensuality, skepticism, and ungodliness, then let them never more utter the petitions which they do not mean; and if they will not labor for the world’s conversion, let them not pretend to pray for it.—Noel. From the book “The Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd 1087. What is its ultimate message? It teaches with unvarying definiteness first, the immediate relation between God and man; and secondly, that the great principle for the realization of human life is such faith in God as expresses itself in obedience to His throne. G. Campbell Morgan in The Message of Genesis 1088. Thus the book reveals the fact that faith is the basis upon which God can work His will in man, and upon which man can realize the will of God. All this is carried out in greater detail in subsequent books of

the Bible, but this is the simple and almost overwhelming message of Genesis to the men of this age. First, that man is not wholly of the dust, but that between him and God there is immediateness of relationship; and secondly, that man only finds himself, and realizes the true meaning of his own life as he places his confidence in God, and obeys Him with unquestioning loyalty. G. Campbell Morgan in The Message of Genesis 1089. To pass by a transgression is more becoming the Gospel than to resent it. A man strikes me with his sword, and inflicts a wound. Suppose, instead of binding up the wound, I am showing it to everybody; and after it has been bound up, I am taking off the bandage continually, and examining the depth of the wound, and making it to fester, till my limb becomes greatly inflamed, and my general health is materially affected; is there a person in the world who would not call me a fool? Now, such a fool is he also, who by dwelling upon little injuries, or insults, or provocations, causes them to agitate and influence his mind. How much better were it to put a bandage over the wound, and never look at it again? Rev. Charles Simeon (taken from the book “The Westminster Shorter Catechism” by James R. Boyd). 1090. Give me a Christian that counts his time more precious than gold. Joseph Alleine 1091. Hear then, O sinners, hear as you would live. Why should you willfully deceive yourselves, or build your hopes upon the sand? I know that he will find hard work that goes to pluck away your hopes. It cannot but be unpleasant to you, and truly it is not pleasing to me. I set about it as a surgeon when about to cut off a mortified limb from his beloved friend, which of necessity he must do, though with an aching heart. But understand me, beloved, I am only taking down the ruinous house, which otherwise will speedily fall of itself and bury you in the ruins, that I may build it fair, strong, and firm forever. The hope of the wicked shall perish. And had you not better, O sinner, let the Word convince you now in time, and let go your false and selfdeluding hopes, than have death open your eyes too late, and find yourself in hell before you are aware? I should be a false and faithless shepherd if I should not tell you, that you have built your

hopes upon no better grounds than these before mentioned, are yet in your sins. Joseph Alleine 1092. The unsound convert takes Christ by halves. He is all for the salvation of Christ, but he is not for sanctification. He is for the privileges, but does not appropriate the person of Christ. He divides the offices and benefits of Christ. This is an error in the foundation. Whoever loves life, let him beware here. It is an undoing mistake, of which you have been often warned, and yet none is more common. Jesus is a sweet Name, but men do not love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. They will not have Him as God offers, “to be a Prince and a Savior” (Acts 5:31). They divide what God has joined, the King and the Priest. They will not accept the salvation of Christ as He intends it; they divide it here. Every man’s vote is for salvation from suffering, but they do not desire to be saved from sinning. They would have their lives saved, but still would have their lusts. Indeed, many divide here again; they would be content to have some of their sins destroyed, but they cannot leave the lap of Delilah, or divorce the beloved Herodias. They cannot be cruel to the right eye or the right hand. O be infinitely careful here; your soul depends upon it. The sound convert takes a whole Christ, and takes Him for all intents and purposes, without exceptions, without limitations, without reserve. He is willing to have Christ upon any terms; he is willing to have the dominion of Christ as well as deliverance by Christ. He says with Paul, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Anything, Lord. He sends the blank for Christ to set down His own conditions. Joseph Alleine 1093. “Show me Thy glory.” Moses wist not what he asked. His speech was beyond his knowledge. The answer to his request would have consumed him. He asked for the blazing noon when as yet he could only bear the quiet shining of the dawn. The good Lord lets in the light as our eyes are able to bear it. The revelation is tempered to our growth. The pilgrim could bear a brightness in Beulah land that he could not have borne at the wicket-gate; and the brilliance of the entry into the celebrated city throws the splendors of Beulah into the shade. Yes, the gracious Lord will unveil His glory as our “senses are exercised to perceive it.” John Henry Jowett

1094. Christ does not control His subjects by force, but is King of a willing people. They are, through His grace, freely devoted to His service. They serve out of choice, not as slaves, but as the son or spouse, from a spring of love and a loyal mind. In a word, the laws of Christ are the convert’s love, delight, and continual study. Joseph Alleine 1095. Were it a matter of indifference, might you be saved as you are, I would gladly let you alone; but would you not have me concerned for you, when I see you ready to perish? As the Lord liveth, before whom I am, I have not the least hope of seeing your face in Heaven, except you be converted. I utterly despair of your salvation, except you will be prevailed with to thoroughly turn and give up yourself to God in holiness and newness of life. Has God said, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”, and yet do you wonder why your ministers labor so earnestly for you? Do not think it strange that I am earnest with you to follow after holiness, and long to see the image of God upon you. Never did any, nor shall any, enter into Heaven by any other way but this. The conversion described is not a high attainment of some advanced Christians, but every soul that is saved undergoes this change. Joseph Alleine 1096. What is it that you count necessary? Is your bread necessary? Is your breath necessary? Then your conversion is much more necessary. Indeed, this is the one thing necessary. Your possessions are not necessary; you may sell all for the pearl of great price, and yet be a gainer by the purchase. Your life is not necessary; you may part with it for Christ, to infinite advantage. Your reputation is not necessary; you may be reproached for the name of Christ, and yet be happy; yes, you may be much more happy in reproach than in repute. But your conversion is necessary; your salvation depends upon it; and is it not needful in so important a matter to take care? On this one point depends your making or marring to all eternity. Joseph Alleine 1097. Man is, in the world, like the tongue to the body, which speaks for all the members. The other creatures cannot praise their Maker, except by dumb signs and hints to man that he should speak for them. Man is, as it were, the high priest of God’s creation, to offer the sacrifice of praise for all his fellow-creatures. The Lord God expects

tribute of praise from all His works. Now, all the rest do bring in their tribute to man, and pay it by his hand. So then, if a man is false, and faithless, and selfish, God is robbed of all, and has no active glory from His works. O dreadful thought! that God should build such a world as this, and lay out such infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness thereupon, and all in vain; and that man should be guilty, at last, of robbing and spoiling Him of the glory of all!...Hence, “the whole creation groaneth” under the abuse of unsanctified men who pervert all things to the service of their lusts, quite contrary to the very end of their being. Joseph Alleine 1098. Without the fear of God you cannot have the comfort of the Holy Ghost. God speaks peace only to His people and to His saints. If you have a false peace continuing in your sins, it is not of God’s speaking, and therefore you may guess the author. Joseph Alleine 1099. To hope we shall be saved, though continuing unconverted, is to hope that we shall prove God a liar. He has told you that, merciful and compassionate as He is, He will never save you notwithstanding, if you go on in a course of ignorance or unrighteousness. In a word, He has told you that whatever you are or do, nothing shall avail you to salvation unless you become new creatures. Now, to say God is merciful and to hope that He will save us without conversion, is in effect to say, “We hope that God will not do as He says.” We must not set God’s attributes at variance. God has resolved to glorify His mercy, but not to the prejudice of His truth, as the presumptuous sinner will find to his everlasting sorrow. Joseph Alleine 1100. To hope to see the kingdom of God without being born again, to hope to find eternal life in the broad way, is to hope Christ will prove a false prophet. Joseph Alleine 1101. The unsanctified sinner puts but little price upon God’s great salvation. He thinks no more of Christ than they that are whole do of the physician. He prizes not His balm, values not His cure, but tramples on His blood. Now, would it stand with wisdom to force pardon and life upon those that would return no thanks for them? Will

the all-wise God, when He has forbidden us to do it, throw His holy things to dogs and His pearls to swine, that would, as it were, but turn again and rend Him? This would make mercy to be despised indeed. Wisdom requires that life be given in a way suitable to God’s honor, and that God provide for the securing of His own glory as well as man’s felicity. It would be dishonorable to God to bestow His choicest riches on them that have more pleasure in their sins than in the heavenly delights that He offers. God would lose the praise and glory of His grace, if He should cast it away upon them that were not only unworthy but unwilling. Joseph Alleine 1102. The Lord Jesus would have all the world know, that though He pardons sin, He will not protect it. Joseph Alleine 1103. The predominant love of the world. This is the sure evidence of an unsanctified heart. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn 2:15). But how often does this sin lurk under the fair cover of forward profession. Yea, such a power of deceit is there in this sin that many times, when everybody else can see the man’s worldliness and covetousness, he cannot see it himself, but has so many excuses and pretences for his eagerness after the world, that he blinds his own eyes and perishes in his self-deceit. How many professing Christians are there with whom the world has more of their hearts and affections than Christ, “who mind earthly things”, and thereby are evidently after the flesh, and likely to end in destruction (Rom. 8:5; Phil. 3:19). Yet ask these men, and they will tell you confidently they prize Christ above all; for they do not see their own earthly-mindedness for want of a strict observance of the workings of their own hearts. Did they but carefully search, they would quickly find that their greatest satisfaction is in the world, and that their greatest care and main endeavor are to get and secure the world, which are the certain signs of an unconverted sinner. May the professing part of the world take earnest heed lest they perish by the hand of this sin unobserved. Men may be, and often are, kept off from Christ as effectually by the inordinate love of lawful comforts, as by the most unlawful courses. Joseph Alleine 1104. Again, you must give up your whole interest to Him. If there is anything that you keep back from Christ, it will be your undoing (Luke

14:33). Unless you will forsake all, in preparation and resolution of your heart, you cannot be His disciple. You must hate father and mother, yea, and your own life also, in comparison with Him, and as far as it stands in competition with Him. In a word, you must give Him yourself, and all that you have without reservation, or else you can have no part in Him. Joseph Alleine 1105. You must choose Christ’s laws for all times, for prosperity and adversity. A true convert is resolved in his course; he will stand to his choice, and will not set his back to the wind, and be of the religion of the times. Joseph Alleine 1106. We also are commissioned by God to verbally expose the evil of the world. We must diagnose it, confront it, and then offer the solution. Sin is a cancer that must be removed. You aren’t helping anyone by ignoring it. People need to be convicted about their sin before they ever see their need for a Savior. John MacArthur 1107. But to love God as fully as humanly possible, you have to deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Jesus wherever He leads, as we saw in Luke 9:23. How can you love God when you’re in the way? You can’t. Salvation is not about self-fulfillment; it’s about selfdenial. It’s not about self-love; it’s about self-hate. When pride dominates the sinner’s life, there’s certainly no room to love God, let alone love Him perfectly. John MacArthur 1108. Yet, we have to understand: the kind of sensitive walk that allows us to hear God’s voice doesn’t come overnight. The Spirit has to teach us to seek Him in our daily lives. Only then will He be able to direct our steps. The Psalmist speaks of this learning process: “What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose”. (Psalm 25:12) David Wilkerson 1109. Today’s culture is obsessed with entertainment, sports, materialism, and emotional gratification. In fact, those excessive preoccupations have become the marks of our shallow, amoral, and often immoral society. A century ago President Theodore Roosevelt essentially predicted those results when he said that prosperity at any price, peace at any

price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the getrich theory of life would eventually destroy America. One sure antidote to such a lifestyle is the self-discipline evidenced in the genuine Christian life. Your spiritual guidance and power come from the Lord, but you need self-discipline if He is to work effectively through you. Paul wrote to Timothy, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). Ask God to make that true for you. John MacArthur 1110. As you study the Bible and understand its truths, it transforms your thinking. It will begin to wean you off worldly pleasures and cause you to desire godliness. It has the power to separate you from the world’s system, pull you away from the love of worldly things, and plant in your heart a love for godly things. John MacArthur 1111. Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere. A. W. Tozer 1112. Disciplined character belongs to the person who achieves balance by bringing all his faculties and powers under control…He resolutely faces his duty. He is governed by a sense of responsibility. He has inward resources and personal reserves which are the wonder of weaker souls. He brings adversity under tribute, and compels it to serve him. Richard Shelley Taylor 1113. The Lord uses only the disciplined mind to think clearly, understand His Word, and present its truth effectively to the world. Only the disciplined mind consistently discerns truth from error. And only the disciplined Christian is a good testimony, within the church and before the world. John MacArthur 1114. The only way to know if we have experienced justification, if we have been made right with Him and brought into His family, is by looking at our hearts and our lives. If Christ is our Savior and Lord, the deepest desire of our hearts will be to serve and to please Him, and that desire will be expressed in a longing for holiness and a pattern of righteous living. John MacArthur

1115. The more you become like Christ, the more sensitive you are to the remaining corruptions of the flesh. As you mature in godliness, your sins become both more painful and more obvious. The more you put away sin, the more you will notice sinful tendencies you need to eliminate. That is the paradox of sanctification: the holier you become, the more frustrated you will be by the stubborn remnants of your sin. John MacArthur 1116. Therefore, praying in the name of Jesus is more than merely mentioning His name at the end of your prayers. If you truly pray in Jesus’ name, you can pray only for that which is consistent with His perfect character, and for that which will bring glory to Him. It implies acknowledgment of all that He has done and a submission to His will. John MacArthur 1117. There is no Bible warrant for teaching that a man will be able, whensoever he chooses, throughout the ages, to turn back to God. Every man has his own probation, and his own opportunity, and the Judge of all the earth holds the balances with infinite precision. Whosoever stubbornly refuses to submit himself to God in the day of opportunity, and that repeatedly, finds at last that his own decision has become his destiny. By the outworking of law God seals the choice of the human will. G. Campbell Morgan 1118. Our lives are to be a rebuke to the sinful world. Ephesians 5:11 says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” If you are not experiencing much rejection from the world, your life may not be a rebuke to the world. To have an impact for Christ on this hostile and perverted world, you must avoid sin and “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). John MacArthur 1119. This story is indeed a living message to our own age revealing the necessity for absolute and uttermost obedience. The call of God is to separation, and the world urges us to remain in the land, and be neighborly. It is ours to reply that friendship with the world is enmity against God. Then we are told that if we insist upon being peculiar it is not necessary to compel our children to be so. God grant that our

answer may ever be, “We and our children.” The last suggestion of the enemy is that we should leave our cattle, that it is necessary for us to conduct our business according to the spirit of the age. The final answer of the Christian is ever that which declares that not a hoof shall be left behind. G. Campbell Morgan in ‘The Message of Exodus’. 1120. As a servant of Jesus Christ, God wants you to bind yourself to everything good, to whatever is inherently right and worthy. That task requires the use of discernment. With the help of God and His Word, you must carefully evaluate everything and thoughtfully decide what to reject and what to cling to (1 Thess. 5:21-22). As you separate yourself from worldly things and saturate yourself with Scripture, that which is good will increasingly replace that which is evil. Then, you will fulfill Paul’s message to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). John MacArthur 1121. To bear genuine fruit, you must get as close to the true Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ, as you can. Strip away all the things of the world. Put aside the sins that distract you and sap your energy, and everything that robs you of a deep, personal, loving relationship with Jesus. Stay in God’s Word. Having done all that, don’t worry about bearing fruit. It is not your concern. Get close to Jesus Christ, and His energy in you will produce fruit. John MacArthur 1122. You often can’t gauge the impact your life has on others. But you can be sure that as you develop godly attitudes, godly actions will result, and that God’s kingdom will continue to be enriched by your spiritual fruit according to His perfect will. John MacArthur 1123. There’s no room for lethargy in the Christian life. Such a posture not only prevents you from doing good, but it sometimes means that you’ve actually allowed evil to prosper. For weeds to flourish, the gardener need only leave the garden alone. John MacArthur 1124. Let this be your one vow, your one prayer, ‘God helping me, I will do His work, because it is His work. God helping me, I will preach His truth, because it is His truth. I will not be

discouraged by failure; I will not be elated by success. The success and the failure are not my concern, but His. God helping me, I will help my brothers and sisters in Christ, because they are my brothers and sisters. Do they spurn my advances? Or do they welcome my message? What then? It shall make no difference in me and my work. They and I alike are in God's hands.’ J. B. Lightfoot 1125. Visions And Tasks (2 Chronicles 34:1-11) Josiah “began to seek after God.” The other day I saw a young art student copying one of Turner’s pictures in the National Gallery. His eyes were being continually lifted from his canvas to his “master.” He put nothing down which he had not first seen. He was “seeking after” Turner! And thus it was with Josiah. His eyes were “ever toward the Lord!” He studied the “ways” of the Lord, in order that he might incarnate them in national life and practice. Wise doings always begin in clear seeing. We should be far more efficient in practice if we were more diligently assiduous in vision. It is never a waste of time to “look unto Him.” Looking is a most needful part of our daily discipline. “What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch!” And because Josiah saw the holiness of the Lord he saw the uncleanness of the people. He had a vision of God’s holy place, and he therefore saw the defilement of the material worship. “In the twelfth year he began to purge Judah.” Yes, that is the sequence. The reformer follows the seer. We shall begin to sweep the streets of our own city when we have gazed upon the glories of the holy city, the New Jerusalem. John Henry Jowett Personal note: I learned early in my walk with the Lord the truth of this principle. I got it from something I read on spotting counterfeit money. It’s said that the Canadian Mounted Police learn to spot counterfeit money by one method only. They study only the real thing, only legitimate

money. They become so familiar with the authentic that they instantly recognize the counterfeit. I believe this is a lesson that we desperately need to get into our hearts in our day. I believe we have to walk so closely with God and be so familiar with His Word that we instantly recognize the things that go counter to His revealed will for our lives and for this world as a whole. I would encourage you not to follow so easily the spirit of our age. Learn to spot and reject the things that we come in contact with that do not honor the God we say we believe in. If we really do love Him we must keep His commandments. We must not be disobedient to the heavenly vision. Mike Wilhoit 1126. The preaching of Christ is the whip that flogs the devil; the preaching of Christ is the thunderbolt, the sound of which makes all hell shake. Let us never be silent then; we shall put to confusion all our foes, if we do but extol Christ Jesus the Lord. “Master, rebuke Thy disciples!” Well, there is not much of this for Jesus Christ to rebuke in the Christian Church in the present day. There used to be—there used to be a little of what the world calls fanaticism. A consecrated cobbler once set forth to preach the gospel in Hindustan. There were men who would go preaching the gospel among the heathen, counting not their lives dear unto them. The day was when the church was so foolish as to fling away precious lives for Christ’s glory. Ah! she is more prudent now-a-days. Alas! alas! for your prudence. She is so calm and so quiet—no Methodist’s zeal now—even that denomination which did seem alive has become most proper and most cold. And we are so charitable too. We let the most abominable doctrines be preached, and we put our finger on our lip and say, “There’s so many good people who think so.” Nothing is to be rebuked now-a-days. Brethren, one’s soul is sick of this! Oh, for the old fire again! The church will never prosper till it comes once more. Oh, for the old fanaticism, for that indeed was the Spirit of God making men’s spirits earnest! Oh, for the old doing and daring that risked everything and cared for nothing, except to glorify Him who shed His blood upon the cross! May we live to see such bright and holy days again! The world may murmur, but Christ will not rebuke. Charles H. Spurgeon

1127. John Kerry said this at the 2004 Democratic Convention: When I am President, the government I lead will enlist people of talent, Republicans as well as Democrats, to find the common ground —so that no one who has something to contribute will be left on the sidelines. And let me say it plainly: in that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome people of faith. America is not us and them. I think of what Ron Reagan said of his father a few weeks ago, and I want to say this to you tonight: I don't wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side. And whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for others and for our country. He received quite a round of applause after that. It bothers me that apparently all you have to do is talk a good game in America right now. In reality, how much you believe in God is told by how diligent you are in your search for Him. It shows in how hungry and thirsty you are for righteousness. It shows in how you accept the fact that when God says something in His Word, then that settles it. For instance, things like killing unborn children are not open for discussion if you are truly seeking God's side on the issue. That's only one instance, there are countless others where we are clearly not aware of God's stand and thus continue to do what's right in our own eyes. This got Israel in trouble far too many times. God's greatest judgment on them was when He let them run things on their own. My prayer is that since we are coming to the realization that we must be on God's side for this journey through life to end in a satisfactory conclusion, that we'll do this as a nation: Dig into His Word diligently and learn what's in there. Then we must be obedient. That's the only way we're going to truly be on God's side. Mike Wilhoit 1128. In the book of Exodus, which deals with the founding of the nation, we find the declaration “Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation,” and there we discover the idea which the phrase “the Kingdom of heaven” suggested to the Hebrew. The peculiarity of the nation consisted in the fact that it was a Theocracy, a

people with no king other than God Himself. It was a nation under the Kingship of God. It was a holy nation, a kingdom of priests, the Kingdom of heaven. When therefore these people heard John the Baptist and Jesus say “Repent ye, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” they understood them to mean that they were not living in accord with the underlying principle of their national life, and that it was necessary for them to repent in order to the restoration of the lost ideal. The simple meaning of the phrase then is that it refers to the establishment in the world of the heavenly order, the submission of every king to God, the overturning of all save that which results from the recognition of the abiding throne of God. The Kingdom of heaven is the establishment of the Divine order on earth, the supremacy of the will of God in the affairs of men. The teaching of this Gospel then is that the only hope of humanity is in the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven, and that this can only be secured by submission to the throne of God. When men talk about the Kingdom of heaven as though it could be set up by human action, by the parliaments of men, or by a godless social propaganda, they are proving their blindness; and when they attempt the enterprise they are attempting to build without a foundation. The Kingdom of heaven is the reign of God over humanity. This Gospel (Matthew) proclaims that fact. G. Campbell Morgan 1129. If I were a Christian and a fisherman, I would like to catch more fish than anybody else. If I were a Christian and a shoeblack, I would desire to clean people’s boots so that they shone better than any other shoeblack could make them shine. If I were a Christian employer, I would desire to be the best employer, and if a Christian employee the best employee. Our Christianity, I think, shows itself more, at any rate to the world, in the pursuits of daily life than it does in the engagements of the house of God. Charles H. Spurgeon 1130. If our hearts are set in obedience to the command, the farther we go on the path of obedience, the easier the command will appear, and to try to do it is to ensure that God will help us to do it. Alexander MacLaren

1131. A sociologist who’s an agnostic has written a book on the condition of the church. He concludes this about Christians: “Far from living in the ‘other world’ [the heavenlies], the faithful are remarkably just like the secular world…In practice, they are not the way they are supposed to be in their theology…The culture has trampled over them…Talk of hell, damnation and even sin has been replaced by nonjudgmental language of understanding and empathy.” C.S. Lewis said something similar decades ago: “The greatest enemy to the church is ‘contented worldliness.’” David Wilkerson 1132. Genesis is both the book of beginnings and the book of dispensations. You know what use Paul makes of Sarah and Hagar, of Esau and Jacob, and the like. Genesis is, all through, a book of instructing the reader in the dispensations of God towards man. Paul saith, in a certain place, “which things are an allegory,” by which he did not mean that they were not literal facts, but that, being literal facts, they might also be used instructively as an allegory. So may I say of this chapter. It records what actually was said and done; but at the same time, it bears within it allegorical instruction with regard to heavenly things. The true minister of Christ is like this Eleazar of Damascus; he is sent to find a wife for his Master’s Son. His great desire is, that many shall be presented unto Christ in the day of His appearing, as the bride, the Lamb’s wife. Charles H. Spurgeon in a sermon on Genesis 24 1133. Then follows the story of Kadesh-Barnea and the disaster that overtook them there. The spies were sent, the minority and majority reports were submitted; and as is almost invariably the case, the minority report was the true one. The majority declared the land to be fair and beautiful but impossible of possession, because of the giants and the walled cities. The men of the minority also saw the giants, and the walled cities, but they saw God. The majority had lost the clear vision of God, and therefore were filled with fear by the Anakim and the walled cities. With the loss of clear vision there was the loss of perfect confidence. The secrets of this failure were mixed motives and mixed multitudes. Murmuring is the expression of selfishness. Selfishness is due to a lack of singleness of motive. Had these people perfectly appreciated

the fact that they were being created a nation to fulfill the purpose of God in the world, and had they been utterly abandoned to that as the one single motive, there had been no murmuring. When they murmured, it was for the fleshpots, for “the leeks and the onions and the garlic.” They attempted compromise between being a nation of Jehovah, and a people seeking their own comfort. G. Campbell Morgan on The Message of Numbers 1134. The patience of God is the supreme revelation of the book. This patience is not incompetent carelessness, but powerful carefulness. Its methods are many. He punished the people for wrongdoing, but always towards the realization of purpose. He placed them in circumstances which developed the facts of their inner life, until they knew them for themselves. That is the meaning of the forty years in the wilderness. They were not years in which God had withdrawn Himself from the people and refused to have anything to do with them. Every year was necessary for the teaching of a lesson, and the revealing of a truth. As Moses declared to them, “Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that He might humble thee, to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments or no.” G. Campbell Morgan on The Message of Numbers 1135. Turning from the individual to the Church; the reason of her halting is the mixed multitudes. We shall always be paralyzed as long as we consent to be patronized by worldliness inside the church. We shall never be strong while into the assemblies, where we consider our missionary obligation, we admit the counsel of men of sight. G. Campbell Morgan on The Message of Numbers 1136. The lines of least resistance and greatest popularity are seldom if ever laid in the direction of Christ’s pathway. And the “peace-at-anyprice” man has no idea what the price will mount up to before it is fully paid. Personal concern levies an insistent blackmail upon spiritual loyalty until it utterly bankrupts it. J. Stuart Holden 1137. Look out, then, upon that open door! And get you through it in fellowship with Jesus Christ! Look at the adversaries through the

opportunity. Don’t make the fatal mistake of looking at the opportunity through the adversaries. And remember, now and always, that Christ our Lord does not ask us to do anything that He does not propose to undertake also with us! “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Many adversaries? “Nay. In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!” J. Stuart Holden 1138. You tell me that God might have pardoned without atonement. I answer, that finite and fallible love might have done so, and thus have wounded itself by killing justice; but the love which both required and provided the atonement is indeed infinite. God Himself provided the atonement by freely and fully giving up Himself in the Person of His Son to suffer in consequence of human sin. Charles H. Spurgeon 1139. “Fear the Lord!” The Lord must be the sovereign thought in my life. All true and well-proportioned living must begin in the wellproportioned thought. God must be my biggest thought, and from that thought all others must take their color and their range. “Put away the gods.” My supreme homage must not be shared among many, it must be given to the One. When the Lord is enthroned as King all usurpers must be banished. When He comes to His own the others go into exile. “Serve ye the Lord.” My strength must be enlisted with my loyalty. I must not merely shout; I must work. I must not merely clap my hands when the King goes by, I must consecrate those hands in sacrificial service. John Henry Jowett on Joshua 24:1-15 1140. It is often said that the doctrines we believe have a tendency to lead us to sin. I have heard it asserted most positively, that those high doctrines which we love, and which we find in the Scriptures, are licentious ones. I do not know who will have the hardihood to make that assertion, when they consider that the holiest of men have been believers in them. I ask the man who dares to say that Calvinism is a licentious religion, what he thinks of the character of Augustine, or Calvin, or Whitefield, who in successive ages were the great exponents

of the system of grace; or what will he say of the Puritans, whose works are full of them? Had a man been an Arminian in those days, he would have been accounted the vilest heretic breathing, but now we are looked upon as the heretics, and they as the orthodox. We have gone back to the old school; we can trace our descent from the apostles. It is that vein of free-grace, running through the sermonizing of Baptists, which has saved us as a denomination. Were it not for that, we should not stand where we are today. We can run a golden line up to Jesus Christ Himself, through a holy succession of mighty fathers, who all held these glorious truths; and we can ask concerning them, “Where will you find holier and better men in the world?” No doctrine is so calculated to preserve a man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it “a licentious doctrine” did not know anything at all about it. Poor ignorant things, they little knew that their own vile stuff was the most licentious doctrine under Heaven. If they knew the grace of God in truth, they would soon see that there was no preservative from lying like a knowledge that we are elect of God from the foundation of the world. There is nothing like a belief in my eternal perseverance, and the immutability of my Father's affection, which can keep me near to Him from a motive of simple gratitude. Nothing makes a man so virtuous as belief of the truth. A lying doctrine will soon beget a lying practice. A man cannot have an erroneous belief without by-and-by having an erroneous life. I believe the one thing naturally begets the other. Of all men, those have the most disinterested piety, the sublimest reverence, the most ardent devotion, who believe that they are saved by grace, without works, through faith, and that not of themselves, it is

the gift of God. Christians should take heed, and see that it always is so, lest by any means Christ should be crucified afresh, and put to an open shame. Charles H. Spurgeon 1141. A zealous Christian will find as truly a cross to carry now-adays, as in the days of Simon the Cyrenian. If you will hold your tongue, if you will leave sinners to perish, if you will never endeavor to propagate your faith, if you will silence all witnessing for truth, if, in fact, you will renounce all the attributes of a Christian, if you will cease to be what a Christian must be, then the world will say, “Ah! that is right; this is the religion we like.” But if you will believe, believe firmly, and if you let your belief actuate your life, and if your belief is so precious that you feel compelled to spread it, then at once you will find that there is no room for Christ even in the inn of public sentiment, where everything else is received. Be an infidel, and none will therefore treat you contemptuously; but be a Christian, and many will despise you. “There is no room for Him in the inn.” Charles H. Spurgeon 1142. By the same proportion that the Bible is honored or not, light or darkness, morality or immorality, true religion or superstition, liberty or tyranny, good laws or bad, will be found in a nation. J. C. Ryle 1143. Next to praying there is nothing so important in practical religion as Bible-reading. God has mercifully given us a book which is “able to make [us] wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). By reading that book we may learn what to believe, what to be, and what to do; how to live with comfort, and how to die in peace. Happy is that man who possesses a Bible! Happier still is he who reads it! Happiest of all is he who not only reads it, but obeys it, and makes it the rule of his faith and practice! Nevertheless it is a sorrowful fact that man has a sad ability to abuse God's gifts. His privileges, and power, and abilities, are all ingeniously perverted to other ends than those for which they were bestowed. His speech, his imagination, his intellect, his strength, his time, his influence, his money-instead of

being used as instruments for glorifying his Maker-are generally wasted, or employed for his own selfish ends. And just as man naturally makes a bad use of his other mercies from God, so he does of the written Word. One sweeping charge may be brought against the whole of Christendom, and that charge is neglect and abuse of the Bible. J. C. Ryle 1144. This is the Book to which the civilized world is indebted for many of its best and most praiseworthy institutions. Few probably are aware how many good things that men have adopted for the public benefit, of which the origin may be clearly traced to the Bible. It has left lasting marks wherever it has been received. From the Bible are drawn many of the best laws by which society is kept in order. From the Bible has been obtained the standard of morality about truth, honesty, and the relations of man and wife, which prevails among Christian nations, and which-however feebly respected in many cases-makes so great a difference between Christians and heathen. To the Bible we are indebted for that most merciful provision for the poor working man, the Lord's Day of restSunday. To the influence of the Bible we owe nearly every humane and charitable institution in existence. The sick, the poor, the aged, the orphan, the insane, the retarded, the blind, were seldom or never thought of before the Bible influenced the world. You may search in vain for any record of institutions for their aid in the histories of Athens or of Rome. Yes! there are many who sneer at the Bible, and say the world would get on well enough without it, who don't think how great are

their own obligations to the Bible. Little does the unbeliever think, as he lies sick in some of our great hospitals, that he owes all his present comforts to the very book he despises. Had it not been for the Bible, he might have died in misery, uncared for, unnoticed and alone. Truly the world we live in is unconscious of its debts. The day of judgment, I believe, will reveal the full amount of benefit conferred upon mankind by the Bible. J. C. Ryle 1145. A man must make the Bible alone his rule. He must receive nothing and believe nothing which is not according to the Word. He must try all religious teaching by one simple test-Does it square with the Bible? What does the Scripture say? I pray to God that the eyes of the Christians of this country were more open on this subject. I pray to God that they would learn to weigh sermons, books, opinions, and ministers, in the scales of the Bible, and to value all according to their conformity to the Word. I pray to God that they would see that it matters little who says a thing. The question is-Is the thing said Scriptural? If it is, it ought to be received and believed. If it is not, it ought to be refused and cast aside. I fear the consequences of that submissive acceptance of everything which “the preacher” says, which is so common among many Christians. I fear lest they be led where they know not where, like the blinded Syrians, and awake some day to find themselves in the power of Rome. (2 Kings 6:20). Oh, that men would only remember for what purpose the Bible was given to them! I tell Christians that it is nonsense to say, as some do, that it is arrogant to judge a minister's teaching by the Word. When one doctrine is proclaimed in one church, and another in another, people must read and judge for themselves. Both doctrines cannot be right, and both ought to be tried by the Word. I charge them, above all things, never to suppose

that any true minister of the Gospel will dislike his people measuring all he teaches by the Bible. On the contrary, the more they read the Bible, and prove all he says by the Bible, the better he will be pleased. A false minister may say, “You have no right to use your private judgment: leave the Bible to us who are ordained.” A true minister will say “Search the Scriptures, and if I do not teach you what is Scriptural, do not believe me.” A false minister may cry, “Listen to the Church,” and “Listen to me.” A true minister will say, “Listen to the Word of God.” J. C. Ryle 1146. A man must make the Bible his rule of conduct. He must make its leading principles the compass by which he steers his course through life. By the letter or spirit of the Bible he must test every difficult point and question. “To the law and to the testimony! What does the Scripture say?” He ought to care nothing for what other people may think right. He ought not to set his watch by the clock of his neighbor, but by the watch of the Word. I charge my readers solemnly to act on the maxim I have just laid down, and to adhere to it rigidly all the days of their lives. You will never repent of it. Make it a leading principle never to act contrary to the Word. Do not care for the charge of being overly strict, and a person of needless precision. Remember you serve a strict and holy God. Do not listen to the common objection that the rule you have laid down is impossible, and cannot be observed in such a world as this. Let those who make such an objection speak out plainly, and tell us for what purpose the Bible was given to man. Let them remember that by the Bible we will all be judged at the last day, and let them learn to judge themselves by it here, lest they be judged and condemned by

it on Judgment Day. J. C. Ryle 1147. Show me a person who despises Bible reading, or thinks little of Bible preaching, and I hold it to be a certain fact that he is not yet “born again.” He may be zealous about forms and ceremonies. He may be diligent in attending church and the taking of the Lord's Supper. But if these things are more precious to him than the Bible, I cannot believe that he is a converted man. Tell me what the Bible is to a man and I will generally tell you what he is. This is the pulse to try-this is the barometer to look at-if we would know the state of the heart. I have no notion of the Spirit dwelling in a man and not giving clear evidence of His presence. And I believe it to be clear evidence of the Spirit's presence when the Word is really precious to a man's soul. J. C. Ryle 1148. Love of the Word appears preeminently in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He read it publicly. He quoted it continually. He expounded it frequently. He advised the Jews to “search” it. He used it as His weapon to resist the devil. He said repeatedly, “The Scripture must be fulfilled.” Almost the last thing He did was to “open their minds [Disciples] so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). I am afraid that man cannot be a true servant of Christ, who has not something of his Master's mind and feeling towards the Bible. J. C. Ryle 1149. It is a blessed thought that there will be “many people” in Heaven in the end. Few as the Lord's people undoubtedly are at any one given time or place, yet all gathered together in the end, they will be “a great multitude that no one could count” (Revelation 7:9; 19:1). They will be of one heart and mind. They will have passed through the same

experience. They will all have repented, believed, lived holy, prayerful, and humble lives. They will all have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. But one thing besides all this they will have in common: they will all love the texts and doctrines of the Bible. The Bible will have been their food and delight in the days of their pilgrimage on earth. And the Bible will be a common subject of joyful meditation and retrospect, when they are gathered together in Heaven. J. C. Ryle 1150. There is but one fountain of comfort for a man drawing near to his end, and that is the Bible. Chapters out of the Bible-texts out of the Bible-statements of truth taken out of the Bible-books containing matter drawn from the Bible-these are a man's only chance of comfort when he comes to die. I do not say that the Bible will do good, as a matter of course, to a dying man, if he has not valued it before. I know, unhappily, too much of death-beds to say that. I do not say whether it is probable that he who has been unbelieving and neglectful of the Bible in life, will at once believe and get comfort from it in death. But I do say positively, that no dying man will ever get real comfort, except from the contents of the Word of God. All comfort from any other source is a house built upon sand. J. C. Ryle 1151. I might show you the deathbeds of men who have despised the Bible. I might tell you how Voltaire and Paine, the famous atheists died in misery, bitterness, rage, fear, and despair. I might show you the happy deathbeds of those who have loved the Bible and believed it, and the blessed effect the sight of their deathbeds had on others. Cecil, a minister whose praise ought to be in all churches, says, “I will never forget standing by the bedside of my dying mother. 'Are you afraid to die?' I asked. 'No!' she replied. 'But why does the uncertainty of another state give you no concern?' 'Because God has said, When you

pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you'“ (Isaiah 43:2). J. C. Ryle 1152. Read the Bible with an earnest desire to understand it. Do not think for a moment that the great object is to turn over a certain quantity of printed paper, and that it matters nothing whether you understand it or not. Some ignorant people seem to fancy that all is done if they read so many chapters every day, though they may not have an idea what they are all about, and only know that they have pushed on their bookmark so many pages. This is turning Bible-reading into a mere form. It is almost as bad as the Roman catholic habit of buying indulgences, by saying an almost incredible number of “Hail Mary's” and “Our Fathers.” Settle it in your mind as a general principle, that a Bible not understood is a Bible that does no good. Say to yourself often as you read, “What is all this about?” Dig for the meaning like an man digging for gold. Work hard, and do not give up the work in a hurry. J. C. Ryle 1153. Beware of that miserable habit of mind into which some readers of the Bible fall. They receive some doctrines because they like them: they reject others because they are condemning to themselves, or to some lover, or relation, or friend. At this rate the Bible is useless. Are we to be judges of what ought to be in the Word? Do we know better than God? Settle it in your mind that you will receive everything and believe everything, and that what you cannot understand you will take on trust. Remember, when you pray, you are speaking to God and God hears you. But, remember, when you read, God is speaking to you, and you are not to “talk back” but to listen. J. C. Ryle 1154. Make it a part of every day's business to read and meditate on some

portion of God's Word. Private means of grace are just as needful every day for our souls as food and clothing are for our bodies. Yesterday's meal will not feed the worker today, and today's meal will not feed the worker tomorrow. Do as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Gather your manna fresh every morning. Choose your own periods and hours. Do not hurry your reading. Give your Bible the best and not the worst part of your time. But whatever plan you pursue, let it be a rule of your life to visit the throne of grace and the Bible every day. J. C. Ryle 1155. I fear there are many parts of the Word which some people never read at all. This is a very arrogant habit. “All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching” (2 Timothy 3:16). To this habit may be traced that want of broad, well-proportioned views of truth, which is so common in this day. Some people's Bible-reading is a system of perpetual dipping and picking. They do not seem to have an idea of regularly going through the whole book. This is also a great mistake. No doubt in times of sickness and affliction it is allowable to search out seasonable portions. But this exception, I believe it is by far the best plan to begin the Old and New Testaments at the same time, to read each straight through to the end, and then begin again. This is a matter in which everyone must be persuaded in his own mind. I can only say it has been my own plan for nearly forty years, and I have never seen cause to alter it. J. C. Ryle 1156. Determine to take everything in its plain, obvious meaning, and regard all forced interpretations with great suspicion. As a general rule, whatever a verse of the Bible seems to mean, it does mean. Cecil's rule is a very valuable one, “The right way of interpreting Scripture is to

take it as we find it, without any attempt to force it into any particular system.” Well said Hooker, “I hold it for a most infallible rule in the exposition of Scripture, that when the literal construction will stand, the furthest from the literal is commonly the worst.” J. C. Ryle 1157. This paper may fall into the hands of some one who “loves and believes the Bible, and yet reads it only a little.” I fear there are many such people in this day. It is a day of hustle and hurry. It is a day of talking, and committee meetings, and public work. These things are all very well in their way, but I fear that they sometimes clip and cut short the private reading of the Bible. Does your conscience tell you that you are one of the persons I speak of? Listen to me, and I will say a few things which deserve your serious attention. You are the man that is likely to “get little comfort from the Bible in time of need.” Trials come at various times. Affliction is a searching wind, which strips the leaves off the trees, and exposes the birds' nests. Now I fear that your stores of Bible consolations may one day run very low. I fear lest you should find yourself at last on very short allowance, and come into the harbor weak, worn and thin. You are the man that is likely “never to be established in the truth.” I will not be surprised to hear that you are troubled with doubts and questions about assurance, grace, faith, perseverance, and the like. The devil is an old and cunning enemy. Like the Benjamites, he can “sling a stone at a hair and not miss” (Judges 20:16). He can quote Scripture easily enough when he pleases. Now you are not sufficiently ready with your weapons to be able to fight a good fight with him. Your armor does not fit well. Your sword sits loosely in your hand. You are the man that is likely to “make mistakes in life.” I will not wonder if I am told that you have erred about your own marriage-erred about your children's education of spiritual things-erred about the conduct of your household-erred about the company you keep. The world you steer through is full of rocks, and reefs, and sand bars. You are not sufficiently familiar either with the search lights or your charts. You are

the man that is likely to “be carried away by some deceptive false teacher for a time.” It will not surprise me if those clever, eloquent men, who can “make the lie appear to be the truth,” is leading you into many foolish notions. You are out of balance. No wonder if you are tossed to and from, like a cork on the waves. All these are uncomfortable things. I want every reader of this paper to escape them all. Take the advice I offer you this day. Do not merely read your Bible “a little,” but read it a great deal. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). Do not be a mere babe in spiritual knowledge. Seek to become “well instructed in the kingdom of heaven,” and to be continually adding new things to old. A religion of feeling is an uncertain thing. It is like the tide, sometimes high, and sometimes low. It is like the moon, sometimes bright, and sometimes dim. A religion of deep Bible knowledge, is a firm and lasting possession. It enables a man not merely to say, “I feel hope in Christ,” but “I know whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12). J. C. Ryle 1158. This paper may fall into the hands of some who “really love the Bible, live upon the Bible, and read it regularly.” Are you one of these? Give me your attention, and I will mention a few things which we will do well to lay to heart for time to come. Let us resolve to “read the Bible more and more” every year we live. Let us try to get it rooted in our memories, an engraved into our hearts. Let us be thoroughly well provisioned with it against the voyage of death. Who knows but we may have a very stormy passage? Sight and hearing may fail us, and we may be in deep waters. Oh, to have the Word “hid in our hearts” in such an hour as that! (Psalm 119:11). Let us resolve to be “more watchful over our Bible-reading” every year that we live. Let us be jealously careful about the time we give to it, and the manner that time is spent. Let us beware of omitting our daily reading without sufficient cause. Let us not be gaping, and yawning and dozing over our book, while we read. Let us read like a London merchant studying the city article in the Times-or like a wife reading a husband's letter from a distant land. Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or tract, or friend above the Word. Cursed be that book, or tract, or human counsel, which creeps in between us and the

Bible, and hides the Bible from our eyes! Once more I say, let us be very watchful. The moment we open the Bible the devil sits down by our side. Oh, to read with a hungry spirit, and a simple desire for edification! Let us resolve to “honor the Bible more in our families.” Let us read it morning and evening to our children and spouses, and not be ashamed to let men see that we do so. Let us not be discouraged by seeing no good arise from it. The Bible-reading in a family has kept many a one from the jail and the prison, and from the eternal fires of hell. Let us resolve to “meditate more on the Bible.” It is good to take with us two or three texts when we go out into the world, and to turn them over and over in our minds whenever we have a little leisure. It keeps out many vain thoughts. It tightens the nail of daily reading. It preserves our souls from stagnating and breeding corrupt things. It sanctifies and quickens our memories, and prevents them becoming like those ponds where the frogs live but the fish die. Let us resolve to “talk more to believers about the Bible” when we meet them. Sorry to say, the conversation of Christians, when they do meet, is often sadly unprofitable! How many frivolous, and trifling, and uncharitable things are said! Let us bring out the Bible more, and it will help to drive the devil away, and keep our hearts in tune. Oh, that we may all strive so to walk together in this evil world, that Jesus may often draw near, and go with us, as He went with the two disciples journeying to Emmaus! Last of all, let us resolve “to live by the Bible more and more” every year we live. Let us frequently take account of all our opinions and practices-of our habits and tempers-of our behavior in public and in private-in the world, and in our own homes. Let us measure everything by the Bible, and resolve, by God's help, to conform to it. Oh that we may learn increasingly to “keep our way pure? By living according to the Word.” (Psalm 119:9). I commend all these things to the serious and prayerful attention of every one into whose hands this paper may fall. I want the ministers of my beloved country to be Bible-reading ministersthe congregations, Bible-reading congregations-and the nation, a

Bible-reading nation. To bring about this desirable end I cast in my resources into God's treasury. The Lord grant that it may prove not to have been in vain! J. C. Ryle (These J. C. Ryle quotes were transcribed and updated by Tony Capoccia, Bible Bulletin Board) 1159. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”-John 6:37. It rests, you perceive, not on something which man does, but on something which God the Father does. The Father gives certain persons to His Son, and the Son says, “All that the Father giveth Me Shall come to Me.” I take it that the meaning of the text is this,-that, if any do come to Jesus Christ, it is those whom the Father gave to Christ. And the reason why they come,-if we search to the very bottom of things,is, that the Father puts it into their hearts to come. The reason why one man is saved, and another man is lost, is to be found in God; not in anything which the saved man did, or did not do; not in anything which he felt, or did not feel; but in something altogether irrespective of himself, even in the sovereign grace of God. In the day of God's power, the saved are made willing to give their souls to Jesus. The language of Scripture must explain this point. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12,13). “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans ix. 16). If you want to see the fount of grace, you must go to the everlasting God; even as, if you want to know why that river runs in this direction, and not in that, you must trace it up to its source. In the case of every soul that is now in heaven, it was the will of God that drew it thither. In the case of every spirit that is on its way to glory now, unto God and unto Him alone must be the honour of its salvation; for He it is who makes one “differ from another” (1 Cor. 4:7).

Charles H. Spurgeon 1160. I was preaching, not very long ago, at a place in Derbyshire, to a congregation, nearly all of whom were Methodists, and as I preached, they were crying out, “Hallelujah! Glory! Bless the Lord!.” They were full of excitement, until I went on to say in my sermon, “This brings me to the doctrine of Election.” There was no crying out of “Glory!” and “Hallelujah!” then. Instead, there was a great deal of shaking of the head, and a sort of telegraphing round the place, as though something dreadful was coming. Now, I thought, I must have their attention again, so I said, “You all believe in the doctrine of Election?” “No, we don't, lad,” said one. “Yes, you do, and I am going to preach it to you, and make you cry 'Hallelujah!' over it.” I am certain they mistrusted my power to do that; so, turning a moment from the subject, I said, “Is there any difference between you and the ungodly world?” “Ay! Ay! Ay!” “Is there any difference between you and the drunkard, the harlot, the blasphemer?” “Ay! Ay! Ay!” Ay! there was a difference indeed. “Well, now,” I said, “there is a great difference; who made it, then?” for, whoever made the difference, should have the glory of it. “Did you make the difference?” “No, lad,” said one; and the rest all seemed to join in the chorus. “Who made the difference, then? Why, the Lord did it; and did you think it wrong for Him to make a difference between you and other men?” “No, no,” they quickly said. “Very well, then; if it was not wrong for God to make the difference, it was not wrong for Him to purpose to make it, and that is the doctrine of Election.” Then they cried, “Hallelujah!” as I said they would. Charles H. Spurgeon 1161. This return of Christ is at the end of the world, to take account not only of His professed servants, but of all men, and there can be no doubt that from the moment of His departure He has charged His church to expect His re-appearance, and to perform all her service in view of it. When the cloud received Him, and His disciples looked up to it as to a door that closed on a departing friend, the angelic attendants assured them, “This same Jesus shall so come as ye have seen Him go into Heaven,” and when we gaze up into that broad sky in

the glory of day or mystery of night, we should strive to realize the time when it shall part again and restore our unseen Lord. The Book of Revelation which concludes the canon of the Word shows the attitude of the church—her eye searching the future, her arms outstretched in longing as His were in blessing, and the sigh breathing from her heart, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” John Ker 1162. To be constantly realizing this, and living and laboring in the prospect of it, is, we believe, what is here enjoined in the admonition “to watch.” It is to do all our work with the thought of His eye measuring it, as of a friend who is ever present to our soul, gone from us in outward form, sure to return, and meanwhile near in spirit—to subject our plans and acts to His approval, asking ourselves at every step how this would please Him, shrinking from what would cloud His face, rejoicing with great joy in all that would meet His smile. John Ker 1163. I don't think it's too far fetched to say that God's whole purpose in creation was to obtain a bride for His Son. All of eternity will give those of us who've accepted that invitation the privilege of loving and serving Him in the pureness that He deserves. Mike Wilhoit on Luke 14:15-24 1164. “Come down from the cross and save Thyself,” they said to Jesus. But Jesus had no place in His program for the saving of Himself. Among the last things He said as He was going up to Jerusalem to die, was, “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth by itself alone. But if it die—if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24). He used this illustration to show the necessity of His death and it explains why He calmly breathed out His life on the cross while the crowd below was taunting Him because He was dying. And the same principle must control your life and mine if we are to meet the divine requirement as to what life is really meant to be. William Henry Biederwolf 1165. All too much we fail to realize the place that self-sacrifice and service hold in the religion of Jesus Christ. They are the very heart of it. They are the religion of Jesus Christ. Christ’s whole existence, all the way from Heaven to earth and back again by way of Calvary, was a continual outpouring of Himself for the sake of others. And He says,

“If any man will be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). William Henry Biederwolf 1166. Oh, that God this morning might smite the self, the pride, and the unholy ambition of our souls. If we have not gone up to Calvary, if our life is not an interpretation of the cross today, then let us this day, this very hour, go up to Jerusalem and out to that hill not far away and stretch out our hands in the place where the hate and selfishness of the world pierced His, and there ask God to begin at once to drive the nails that shall cause us to die forever unto self and live forever unto Him. William Henry Biederwolf 1167. I must put first things first. The radical fault in much of my living is want of proportion. I think more of pretty window curtains than of fresh air, more of “nice” wallpaper than of the moving pageant of the skies. I magnify the immediate desire and minimize the ultimate goal. And so “things do not come right!” How can they when the apportionment is so perverse, when everything is topsy-turvy? If I want things to be firm and durable I must revere the Divine order, and must put first things first. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” And, therefore, I must seek holiness before success. I am to esteem holiness with apparent failure as infinitely better than success with stain and shame. I must seek character before reputation. The applause of the world must be as nothing compared with the approbation of God. The favoring “voice from heaven” must be sweeter to my ears than the noisy cheers of the crowd. And I must seek righteousness before quietness. The way of disturbance is sometimes the way to peace. I must not be so concerned for a quiet life as for a life that is “right with God.” John Henry Jowett 1168. But, since God’s being depends not upon the revolutions of time, so neither does His knowledge; it exceeds all motions of years and days, comprehends infinite spaces of past and future. Stephen Charnock

1169. Faith converts cloudy castles into substantial homes. Faith substantiates the unseen. Faith sucks the energy out of splendid ideals, and incorporates it in present and immediate life. Faith unfolds the eternal in the moment, the infinite in the trifle, the divine in the commonplace. Faith incorporates God and man. Yes, faith gives substance to “things hoped for,” it brings them out of the air, and gives them reality and movement in the hard and common ways of earth and time. John Henry Jowett 1170. Be patient under the bitterness of the gates of hell. It is all working together for your good. It tends to sanctify. It keeps you awake. It makes you humble. It drives you nearer to the Lord Jesus Christ. It weans you from the world. It helps to make you pray more. Above all, it makes you long for heaven, and say with heart as well as lips, “Come, Lord Jesus.” J.C. Ryle 1171. The devil may cast some of the members of the true Church into prison. He may kill, and burn, and torture, and hang. But after he has killed the body, there is nothing more that he can do. He cannot hurt the soul. When the French troops took Rome a few years ago, they found on the walls of a prison cell, under the Inquisition, the words of a prisoner. Who he was, we do not know. But his words are worthy of remembrance. Though dead, he still speaks. He had written on the walls, very likely after an unjust trial, and a still more unjust excommunication, the following striking words, “Blessed Jesus, they cannot cast me out of Your true Church.” That record is true. Not all the power of Satan can cast out of Christ's true Church one single believer. J.C. Ryle 1172. A word of exhortation to my believing hearers: Live a holy life, my brethren. Walk worthy of the Church to which you belong. Live like citizens of heaven. Let your light shine before men, so that the world may profit by your conduct. Let them know whose you are, and whom you serve. Be epistles of Christ, known and read of all men; written in such clear letters, that none can say, we do not know whether he be a member of Christ or not. Live a courageous life, my brethren. Confess Christ before men. Whatever station you occupy, in that station confess Christ. Why

should you be ashamed of Him? He was not ashamed of you on the cross. He is ready to confess you now before His Father in heaven. Why should you be ashamed of Him? Be bold. Be very bold. The good soldier is not ashamed of his uniform. The true believer ought never to be ashamed of Christ. Live a joyful life, my brethren. Live like men who look for that blessed hope—the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is the prospect to which we should all look forward. It is not so much the thought of going to heaven, as of heaven coming to us, that should fill our minds. There is a good time coming for all the people of God—a good time for all the Church of Christ—a good time for all believers—a bad time for the impenitent and unbelieving—a bad time for them that will serve their own lusts, and turn their backs on the Lord, but a good time for true Christians. For that good time, let us wait, and watch, and pray. The scaffolding will soon be taken down—the last stone will soon be brought out—the top stone will be placed upon the edifice. Yet a little time, and the full beauty of the building shall be clearly seen. The great master Builder will soon come himself. A building shall be shown to assembled worlds, in which there shall be no imperfection. The Savior and the saved shall rejoice together. The whole universe shall acknowledge, that in the building of Christ's Church all was well done. J.C. Ryle 1173. It is a great loss to lose a ship richly fraught in the bottom of the sea, never to be cast upon the shore; but how much greater is it to lose eternally a sovereign God, which we were capable of eternally enjoying, and undergo an evil as durable as that God we slighted, and were in a possibility of avoiding! The miseries of men after this life are not eased, but sharpened, by the life and eternity of God. Stephen Charnock 1174. The soul hath a resemblance to God in a post-eternity; why should it be drawn aside by the blandishments of earthly things, to neglect its true establishment, and lackey after the body, which is but the shadow of the soul, and was made to follow and serve it? But while it busieth itself altogether in the concerns of a perishing body, and seeks satisfaction in things that glide away, it becomes rather a

body than soul, descends below its nature, reproacheth that God who hath imprinted upon it an image of His own eternity, and loseth the comfort of the everlastingness of its Creator. How shall the whole world, if our lives were as durable as that, be a happy eternity to us, who have souls that shall survive all the delights of it, which must fry in those flames that shall fire the whole frame of nature at the general conflagration of the world? (2 Peter 3:10). Stephen Charnock 1175. Without eternity, what were all His other perfections, but as glorious, yet withering flowers; a great, but decaying beauty? By a frequent meditation of God’s eternity, we should become more sensible of our own vanity and the world’s triflingness; how nothing should ourselves; how nothing would all other things appear in our eyes! how coldly should we desire them! how feebly should we place any trust in them! Should we not think ourselves worthy of contempt to dote upon a perishing glory, to expect support from an arm of flesh, when there is an eternal beauty to ravish us, an eternal arm to protect us? Stephen Charnock 1176. Though the ultimate end of the gospel is peace with God, the immediate result of the gospel is frequently conflict. Conversion to Christ can result in strained family relationships, persecution, and even martyrdom. Following Christ presupposes a willingness to endure such hardships. Though He is called “Prince of Peace”, Christ will have no one deluded into thinking that He calls believers to a life devoid of all conflict. John MacArthur 1177. So severe is the law of God that nothing but love will submit to it. Obedience is the final demonstration of confidence; and confidence is never perfect unless it is the confidence of absolute love. So that obedience to law on the part of man is demonstration of his love of God; and the love of God is the motive of his obedience. G. Campbell Morgan 1178. O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go by George Matheson O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee; I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths

its flow may richer, fuller be. O Light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to Thee; my heart restores its borrowed ray, that in Thy sunshine's blaze its day may brighter, fairer be. O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I trace the rainbow thru the rain, and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be. O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from Thee; I lay in dust life's glory dead, and from the ground there blossoms red life that shall endless be. 1179. Restlessness in a Christian always spells disloyalty. The uncertainty is born of suspicion. There is a rift in the faith, and the disturbing breath of the devil blows through, and destroys my peace. If I am sure of my great Ally, my heart will not be troubled, neither will it be afraid. And such a divine assurance ought to make me bold in will and majestic labor. I ought to be inventive in chivalrous enterprise, and I ought to covet the hardest parts of the field. If the mighty Ally will never fail, I should never be afraid of the marshaled hosts of wickedness. “One with God is in a majority.” “He always wins who sides with God.” “The Lord is on my side, whom shall I fear?” And such a divine assurance ought to give me a kingly demeanor. The members of the Court acquire a certain stateliness by their lofty fellowship. And, surely, one who walks with God should be characterized by something of the Divine glory, and men should know

that his acquaintances are found in the courts of heaven. John Henry Jowett 1180. Whatever the appearance may have been we are supremely interested in watching the method of the enemy. First, he questioned the goodness of God; secondly, he denied the severity of God; finally, he slandered the motive of God. G. Campbell Morgan 1181. It is wonderful how men can be deceived by their own cleverness. It is perfectly certain that two and two make four, but it may be unsafe to act upon that fact. If you are making your calculation, and say that two and two make four, your finding may be a blasphemy and a sin. Is it not true, then, you ask? Certainly; but supposing you ought to have said, two and two, and one; you have forgotten a quantity, failed to take account of another number; then your logical accuracy is your soul’s damnation. You ought to have found five, and not four. “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry; but God said unto him, Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee.” “But God,” that was the One he had forgotten. He said, two and two make four; and he tried to live upon the four, when it ought to have been five; the One was the forgotten principle. That demonstrated the madness of living by sight. That is the story of Eden. Volition by sight; action impulsed by the cleverness of human calculation; turning from faith in the forgetfulness of the supreme One, Who makes the quantity in your clever four, the eternal five. G. Campbell Morgan 1182. Whenever men look upon a snake they feel the revulsion that sin ought to make in their minds. G. Campbell Morgan 1183. We may say, that in a very intelligible sense, the degree in which we think about Christ, and in Him behold the love of God, is a fairly accurate measure of our Christianity. Now will you apply that sharp test to yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and decide how much of your life was pagan, and how much of it was Christian? You will never make anything of your professed Christianity, you will never get a drop of happiness or any kind of good out of it; it will neither be a strength, nor a joy, nor a defense to you unless you make it your

habitual occupation to “behold the manner of love”; and look, and look, and look, until it warms and fills your heart. The second remark is that we cannot keep that great sight before the eye of our minds without effort. You will have very resolutely to look away from something else, if, amid all the dazzling gauds of earth you are to see the far-off luster of that heavenly love. Just as timorous people in a thunder-storm will light a candle that they may not see the lightning, so many Christians have their hearts filled with the twinkling light of some miserable tapers of earthly care and pursuits, which, though they be dim and smoky, are bright enough to make it hard to see the silent depths of Heaven, though it blaze with myriad stars. If you hold a sixpence close enough up to the pupil of your eye, it will keep you from seeing the sun. And if you hold the world close to mind and heart, as many of you do, you will only see, round the rim of it, the least tiny ring of the overlapping love of God. What the world lets you see you still see, and the world will take care that it will let you see very little—not enough to do you any good, not enough to deliver you from its chains. Wrench yourselves away, my brethren, from the absorbing contemplation of Birmingham jewelry and paste, and look at the true riches. If you have ever had some glimpses of that wondrous love, and have ever been drawn by it to cry, Abba, Father, do not let the trifles which belong not to your true inheritance fill your thoughts, but renew your vision, and by determined turning away of your eyes from beholding vanity, look off from the things that are seen, that you may gaze upon the things that are not seen, and chiefest among them, upon the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. If you have never looked on that love, I beseech you now to turn aside and see this great sight. Do not let that brightness be unnoticed while your eyes are fixed on the ground, like the gaze of men absorbed in gold digging, while a glorious sunshine is flushing the Eastern sky. Look to the unspeakable, imcomparable, immeasurable love of God, in giving up His Son to death for us all. Look and be saved. Look and live. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on you,” and beholding,

you will become the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. Alexander Maclaren 1184. If I hoard my treasure I rob both God and man. My gracious Lord, remove the scales from my eyes. Help me to be sensitive to the obligations of all wealth. Let my plenty call me to the children of need. Let me acknowledge my stewardship, and be Thy fellow minister in the service of man. John Henry Jowett 1185. The problem with Jerusalem’s populace is the same as that of many Christians today. They were busily religious. They crowded the Temple courts with their sacrifices, oblivious to their inconsistencies, serenely unaware of Yahweh’s grief and rage (Is. 1:12-15). God therefore selects the most stinging word that could be chosen to shake his people from their complacency: “How the faithful city has become a harlot” (Is. 1:21). John White, from the book “The Golden Cow” published in 1979 1186. Jesus sees earthly and heavenly fortune-hunting to be in competition. (“Do not lay up A but lay up B.”) We might prefer it to be a question of both, and whereas He seems to see it as either/or— either treasure on earth or treasure in Heaven. Apparently we cannot hedge our bets. John White 1187. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt. 6:21). We can infer from His statement that only one hoard will in practice constitute treasure. Either it will be the heavenly hoard or the earthly. It cannot be both. We could almost invert the words of Jesus and they would still be true. “Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.” Jesus has redefined treasure to mean “that in which I take my greatest delight and toward which I devote my greatest efforts.” His interest seems to lie in what treasure means to us and what effect it has on us and particularly in what it does to our capacity to see. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mt. 6:22-23). To have a sound or single eye seems in the context to mean to have a true perspective. So long as

we are torn between material things and heavenly things our judgment will be clouded, and we will not be capable of “seeing” matters as God sees them. If on the other hand we are concerned solely with heavenly treasure and cease to worry about collecting material things, matters which previously puzzled us will begin to fall into place. But to be ambivalent is to be confused and uncertain (“full of darkness”). John White 1188. We must be suspicious of any faith about personal justification that is not substantiated by faith in God’s power over material things in our everyday life. Faith about pie in the sky when I die cannot be demonstrated. Faith that God can supply my need today can be demonstrated. And if someone claims to possess justifying faith but shows no evidence of it, we may ask such a person whether he or she understands the difference between faith and mental assent. Enslavement to the visible makes faith in the invisible suspect. John White 1189. The thrust of Jesus’ teaching does not deal with the virtues of poverty or the sin of riches. Rather He seeks to show us first the greater value of heavenly treasure and the folly of seeking earthly. Then He warns us of the seductive power of riches, the love of which draws our heart away from Him and renders us incapable of serving Him. Finally He upbraids us with the unbelief which underlies our anxiety about our material needs. John White 1190. Here lies the weakness that makes us prone to spiritual harlotry. For we have overvalued material prosperity and have underestimated, taken for granted or even forgotten the God of power and love we profess to worship. We claim to have faith in Him. But so long as we are harassed by anxiety about our financial security or overtly impressed by the importance of money in Christian work, our profession is hollow and our footsteps follow the pathway to whoredom. John White 1191. Let the preachers remind the church again that no one can serve two masters! Never mind the congregation members who get sore and defensive. Let us tell men and women that you cannot serve God and mammon even in the Church Age. John White

1192. At least a part of the church is being made in the image of Western materialism. The tragic outcome of this is a movement which often uses the preaching of the gospel as a means of organizational self-aggrandizement. John White 1193. If our harlotry were private, if we were to worship the gods of materialism in the secrecy of our hearts or even of our households, the matter would be bad enough. But it is inevitable that, blinded as we are to our error, we have molded our churches by the values that govern our own lives. We remain blind while the whole world can see what we are doing. We sleep the sleep of the just. Do we not proclaim that eternity matters more than time and the spirit more than the body? Do we not urge one another to give to the work of our Lord? Do we not render tithes and offerings? We preach and we parade ourselves. The world ignores our pious performances. John White 1194. It is not possessing riches that God condemns, but clinging to them, coveting them and having our activity centered around them. It is our wrong way of looking at things, our wrong scale of values, that matters. It is not meeting in a good building that is wrong, but making such a building a priority and fooling ourselves into believing that we can’t get on without it. It is building with unnecessary luxury at a time when inequity abounds, thinking more of the building than of the church, more of a good organ than of praise, more of the communion table that the body and blood of Christ. It is worshipping the golden cow. John White 1195. Yet all of us are to have a contract with Christ that whenever obedience to Him means sacrifice of any degree, even to losing everything we have or to facing prison and death, then obedience is what matters. The obedience will be all the easier if we daily relinquish to Him all we possess. All Christians are called to be disciples. All Christians at any time, under any circumstances are to be ready for new sets of instructions from headquarters which might mean total material loss. So if obedience means that I move to a city where I will make less money or

lose my beautiful house, I move, whether I am a missionary or an “ordinary Christian.” John White 1196. At the heart of the matter lies our dependence upon material things. We take them for granted. We accumulate them. We go into debt to acquire them, work longer hours to earn them. They enslave us. They enslave not only our bodies but our hearts which no longer have room for the crying of the needy, the starving and the dying. Here lie the beginnings of our harlotry. We cherish our lovely buildings. We give payola to our pastors and missionaries so they will accept the spiritual responsibility that releases us to acquire things. We take our wealth for granted while in our hearts the groans of the starving and the screams of the tortured are muted into background muzak. But our guilt does not stop here. We are part of a Christian world into which the worship of the golden cow has infiltrated more widely than most of us could ever dream. The church has become a harlot because her religion has become an industry. It is itself big business. And it is mandatory that we look carefully at the monster we have created. John White 1197. An encounter with God should awaken in us awe, reverence, worship and adoration. There is an ordinate response to God, and he who lacks it, who is desensitized to glory, and in whom wonder and fear are no longer awakened, is greatly to be pitied. John White 1198. I know of no more moving description of what I am calling an ordinate response to deity than the one found in Kenneth Grahame’s children’s story, The Wind in the Willows. Mole and rat have been searching all night for Portly, a lost baby otter whose parents are stricken with grief because they fear him drowned. At dawn the two animals encounter him on an island above a weir in the river. He lies sleeping between the sheltering hooves of the god Pan. I quote the section in full, not as a tribute to a heathen god, for Grahame had no such purpose in the passage. Rather he was revealing in the allegory his own experience of reverence for God, and doing so with such exquisite sensitivity and insight that the passage remains a model of the ordinate response I am discussing.

“This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me,” whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. “Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him!” Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror—indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy—but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near. With difficulty he turned to look for his friend, and saw him at his side cowed, stricken, and trembling violently. And still there was utter silence in the populace bird-haunted branches around them; and still the light grew and grew. Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that, though the piping was now hushed, the call and the summons still seemed dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, once he had looked with mortal eye on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling, he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with incredible color, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humorously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the panpipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered. “Rat!” he found breath to whisper, shaking. “Are you afraid?”

“Afraid?” murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. “Afraid! Of Him? Oh, never, never! And yet—and yet—Oh, Mole, I am afraid!” Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship. Anyone who has experienced the immediacy of God’s presence will recognize at once the authenticity with which Grahame writes. And anyone who has experienced what Grahame describes carries in his bosom the embers of a precious fire, praying those embers will never, never be put out, valuing more than all earth’s treasures a memory and the awakened capacity to adore. John White 1199. God has, of course, no need for our reverence. He does not feed on our awe and adoration. But He who is worthy that all creation bow before Him crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All time and space are full of His glory!” knows that unless men are moved to utter such words from the bottom of their hearts, they will neither know what it is to be created human nor what joy and glory are all about. And He longs that we be liberated to know the full purpose of our creation, to know Him and to enjoy Him forever. John White 1200. While the loving heart of Yahweh drew people to Himself, the Sadducees were hiding Him from view. Those who should have known better, whose position and whose training should have made them windows and doors through whom people saw the God of Heaven, had become the sponsors of cheap buys on pigeons. They had exploited the yearnings of the humble and meek, turning them into a means of gain. John White 1201. We are followers of the Lamb. We tread in the footsteps of apostles and martyrs. We do not gauge the success of our preaching by the number of our converts but by its clear adherence to the truth. We are those who are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We would rather be laughed to scorn and thrown to lions than descend to gimmicks and trickery to turn on a crowd at an evangelistic meeting. John White 1202. Be zealous. Zeal is not a feeling. It is an attitude you adopt. You adopt it deliberately in the face of God’s truth. The world will pass

away with its lusts. Only he who (because he believes and sees truth for what it is) does the will of God, will abide forever. To be zealous means to act consistently in the light of ultimate reality. We are to be found, if possible, without spot. This means we are to keep short accounts with God. Daily we are to let His Spirit search our hearts. Daily we are to keep our relationship with Him a cleansed one that we may walk with Him in sweet fellowship now and meet Him without shame when He comes. John White 1203. Life is a trust. To have is to owe, not own. Christianity repudiates the pagan doctrine of ownership, and recognizes possession, honorably acquired, as a token of confidence on the part of the Divine Owner, and as its own pledge of fidelity in return. Stewardship is not a natural human conception. The unaided human instinct will not discover it. The recognition of stewardship marks the supremacy of spiritual man. It begins with the acknowledgement of God the owner, for human stewardship is the necessary correlate of divine ownership. Harvey Reeves Calkins, from the book “A Man and His Money” published in 1914 1204. And the lesson is for all men and for all the days, for “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Through the living force of Christianity this great truth is often seen in the Christian nations. In the face of ingrained human selfishness, the outflow of human sympathy in response to human suffering has become a beautiful thing in the world. Flood, famine, fire, earthquake—they are almost sacramental, so surely do they unlock the streams of human beneficence which bless both him who receives and him who gives. This help to the unfortunate, spasmodic though it may be, is the earnest of that larger human brotherhood when the divine ownership shall be fully recognized. That men will seldom give unless their sympathies are aroused, and that few men, in administering their possessions, have a definite financial program that both recognizes and acknowledges the divine ownership, is a humiliating confession that the ethics of property has wandered far from the instinctive righteousness. Harvey Reeves Calkins

1205. Therefore Jesus Christ’s message was not to establish but to interpret the divine ownership, and the people “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” For the first time in human history it was established that men are to hold all their possessions, as a steward holds the possessions of his master, absolutely subject to the call of the Owner. He is expected to know the mind of his Master, so that he may administer his possessions wisely and with joy—not as a servant, “for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth,” but as a friend. The core of stewardship, as Jesus interpreted it, is partnership. His words entered into the mind and heart of His own generation, and they abide until this hour upon the earth. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1206. When, at the close of the significant decade from 1840 to 1850, an awakening Christian Spirit looked out upon an open world the call to service was immediately answered. Intuitively the leadership of the churches recognized the vital relation between money and the kingdom. Said Dr. Abel Stevens in that same clarion call already quoted: “We think we mistake not when we say that the next great idea to be brought out, and made prominent in the church, is its true standard of pecuniary liberality—the right relation of Christian men to their property. A change, amounting to a revolution, must come over Christendom in this respect before Christianity can fairly accomplish its mission in our world.” Harvey Reeves Calkins 1207. Thus it came about that the American churches, during the last third of the nineteenth century, pressed a winning campaign for immediate financial advance, but neglected to teach the primary ethics of property. The really great stewardship literature, which was produced from 1850 to 1855, was permitted to lapse, and presently fell out of print. “The Great Reform,” as the stewardship revival had been ably characterized, and which had begun with such genuine promise before the war, faded into a dim memory. Various financial expedients for raising supplies were practiced by the churches. During that earlier stewardship revival the folly and weakness of such expedients were clearly recognized and plainly pointed out, but, in the absence of stewardship teaching, they were again adopted.

Church finance now came to be a veritable fine art. “Money-raising” was an essential part of a minister’s program; indeed, without some gift as a “financier” a minister had scant opportunity for success or preferment. In the larger sphere of general church extension there was demand and opportunity for the development of actual financial genius. Here it was that shrewdness and finesse took the place of frank statements and plain accounts. The very skill and success of the great “money-raisers” of the last generation obscured the basal meaning of stewardship. The tender song, the rousing address, the moving appeal, all this became part of the method by which men were persuaded to “give.” But a thoughtful reckoning of one’s stewardship, and a deep life-purpose of loyalty in the discharge of it—these were not easily adjusted to the overwhelming pressure for an immediate offering. The plan of annual or other stated “collections,” with special attractions for the day in music, program, or speech, became the accepted method of educating the churches. The stewardship teaching of the early fifties had pointed out how wholly futile such a method must be, and had earnestly warned the churches against it; nevertheless, as an expedient for producing immediate revenue, it became widely popular. That it brought about its own inevitable reaction is a matter of current history. Collections in the churches multiplied. “Missionary Day” or “Freedmen’s Day” no longer stirred the jaded interest of the people. An annual budget to cover all congregational expenses and all benevolent offerings presently succeeded the plan of special collections. In many churches the responsibility of “raising the apportionments” became a burden if not a drudgery, and many a minister found himself unhappily engaged in a quest for money rather than for men. It has been a cruel awakening for more than one minister to discover that the man and his money were both alienated from him. In the aggregate, great sums have been contributed by the American churches. Individuals here and there, and occasionally an entire congregation, have understood that property is a trust and money the token of it; but when one remembers the vast wealth of the American people and the unmeasured needs of the modern

Christian advance, it is easily apparent that the principles and methods of stewardship are as yet but dimly recognized. Had church leaders at the close of the Civil War resumed their interrupted plan of education, so that a new generation, beginning with the children, could have received Christian training in the meaning of money and of stewardship, our own day would have been far advanced in a Christian program of finance. Expediency, as a substitute for ethics, is costly business. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1208. Stewardship acknowledges God as the sovereign owner of property and income, and affirms that possession, under him, is the pledge of faithful administration. Stewardship claims no rights of ownership, but it cannot honorably alienate the duty of trusteeship by transferring its administration to the collective body of society; the man himself, and no other, is responsible to God. Stewardship does not “give alms,” nor does it patronize the poor; but it speaks thus, with the frank fellowship of a man: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.” There is nothing maudlin about this. The human fact is that some men are strong and some are weak, and no social theory has yet been devised that can change the human fact. Stewardship is bound to bear patiently with the inefficient man, but cannot, in honor, reward him. The prodigal, returning home from waste and wantonness, found forgiveness and a fatted calf, but it is not written that he was placed in charge of the farm. Stewardship has gentleness in its heart but there is iron in its blood. It sees things as they are, and would patiently fashion them into what they should be, and, thank God, shall yet become. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1209. Money is a madness, it is a balm; it is a curse and a benediction. Today money “is set on fire of hell,” tomorrow, like sweet mercy, “it drops as the gentle dew from heaven.” What does it all signify but this—that the content of money is essentially spiritual? The impalpable yet vital force which it contains acts in the economic and social world as electricity in the material world. It becomes a messenger of life or an instrument of death. With unerring swiftness it obeys the hand that releases and directs it. Harvey Reeves Calkins

1210. Shall the man who would store up or let loose the almost infinite power of money expect that he shall be held to no moral accounting? Whether it be the workman receiving his daily wage, or the clerk his weekly stipend, or the professional man his fee or salary, whether it be the farmer gathering in the products of the earth or the financier checking up his yearly balance, every “money-maker” must meet this plain interrogation: On what conditions may men of honor permit themselves to control economic value, and measure it in terms of money? We have reached the heart of the subject. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1211. Therefore the primary concern of the divine ownership is not the crude and material substance of property, but its fine and immaterial essence. It deals with value, and herein is its appeal to men. That men themselves demand value, and are not content with things, shows, indeed, that they are made in the very image of God. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1212. It was indeed beauty which God saw when He called creation “good,” but it was that inward and satisfying beauty which makes the material world answer the purpose for which it was formed. It was the beauty of efficiency. Whether soft and alluring, or bleak and forbidding, it was always fit and right; therefore it was “good.” In a word, it was value. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1213. The maintenance of value is the daily miracle of the Almighty. It is renewed, because it must be renewed, every hour. More wonderful than the creation of worlds is the constant upholding of all things. It is this that proclaims Him “Owner.” How it cometh down evermore from the Father of lights—value—that hidden quality which proceeds from material things and from untoward circumstances, that quality which makes them always “suitable”! This is the continuous giving of the Giver of all; this is the daily wonder of the world, and certainly its chiefest joy…but a thousand constellations proclaim God’s ownership less insistently than a thousand robins chirping cheerily over a breakfast that did not fail. It is this upholding presence of God in the midst of the universe that intelligent men must recognize. The thrill of it reaches every man who will lift his eyes. Harvey Reeves Calkins

1214. Men did not receive their intuitions through a blind and stupid chance. If a man’s title to and possession of property brings an intuitive claim to “acknowledgement,” we are driven to the conviction that this common recognition is part of the moral inheritance which men have received from their Maker. An inevitable conclusion awaits us. It is this: God, the absolute Owner of all things, expects men to acknowledge His ownership. Mark the word—acknowledge. Only cheap and irreverent smartness would suggest the corollary of “paying God rent” for the privilege of occupying the planet! The primal law of ownership is lofty, and it is absolute: Men must acknowledge the Sovereignty which they recognize, lest recognition should exalt itself and become the actual occasion of sin. This is not an exaction of arbitrary power. It rests in the very nature and necessity of the Creator and of the creature. What, then, shall a man render? What human acknowledgement will be suitable to the High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity? If intelligence shall be able to discover it, honor will surely perform it. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1215. When, in those early days, man learned that the firstlings of the flock and the firstfruits of the ground were “holy unto the Lord,” he learned his first lesson in spiritual values, and it was this: Selfpreservation is less to be desired than confident trust in the Preserver. He would wait to receive his own portion, for the first fruits were not for him. He would himself eat the imperfect fruit, if need be, but he would not “sacrifice unto the Lord a corrupt thing.” This fundamental fact in human life, so marvelously expressed in the divine dedication of the firstfruits and the firstlings, is basal to all pure religion. God must be acknowledged first, for God alone is the preserver. Self-preservation is a conceit of human pride. But there was a second lesson in spiritual value for men to learn, and these two shall abide together as long as men shall remain upon the earth. For, although nations and dispensations change, the spirit of a man and the sovereignty of God do not change. The second lesson was the meaning of possession, and it was this: Possession is the right to hold and to use material value, but it can never be identified with ownership; God alone is the owner. And this a man learned when

he recognized that a definite and fixed proportion of his increase, as well as the firstfruits and firstlings, was likewise “holy unto the Lord.” Harvey Reeves Calkins 1216. The worshiper today, as in ancient days, desires to acknowledge both dependence and stewardship. The ancient worshiper learned that a fixed proportion of his increase was a suitable acknowledgement of the divine sovereignty, and he learned what ratio it was that God had named. When the modern worshiper remembers that, in all the world, no prophet, whether pagan, Jew, or Christian, has yet arisen to name a different ratio, but a tenth has been observed through all the centuries, he will not believe that some other proportion is wiser than that already named. He will observe it with honor and intelligence. He will observe it with administration of stewardship in ways which the ancient worshiper could never know, but the acknowledgement of stewardship he will continue to render as men did in the beginning. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1217. Jesus Christ did not teach the words of the Book; He taught the core and heart of things which were hidden in the depths of the Book. That is why the people said He taught with authority, and not as the scribes, who were mere copyists. Hate in the heart is murder; a lewd look is adultery; love is the fulfilling of the law— teaching like this gets into the marrow of things. This is Christianity. It can never be of the letter; it is always of the spirit. Therefore when an intelligent Christian speaks of “the law of the Lord,” he always means that hidden but vital element of truth which proceeds from the very nature of God Himself. The form of God’s law may be expressed in words, but not the living heart of it; for that there is no speech nor language; its voice cannot be heard. A sure conclusion follows. When a Christian man finds in the Holy Scriptures a law of the Lord, expressed in words, he is to seek with knowledge and judgment to discern the wide meaning of that law. It is not an adventitious growth. It is not an accident. It is a due expression of the divine nature. There is depth to it. The outward form of it may change, but the core of it will remain. Harvey Reeves Calkins

1218. While holding him in most lenient judgment, the average man must nevertheless stand condemned before the bar of his own honor. He has been permitted to handle and control the vast values of the material world. He knows that God is the owner and upholder of all that passes through his hands, that it is God who “giveth him power to get wealth.” His intuitions have told him that ownership must be acknowledged. Clearly he has been negligent to the point of dishonor. Here he is, in actual possession of property, income, wages, money, controlling life-values which he did not independently create and cannot independently own. He has been using and enjoying these values year after year, and yet he has made no worthy effort during all that period to discover what acknowledgement the Lord God expects from him. He is not reproached because he has not “paid”; but his own self-reproach must be bitter indeed when he realizes that he has not cared enough to learn the terms of the trust which committed to him values that belonged to Another. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1219. The unique value of the tithe consists in this, and herein is manifest the exalted wisdom of God: whether a man is rich or poor, stupid or intelligent, brutish or spiritual, let him regularly set aside a certain part of the value that passes through his hands as an acknowledgement of God’s sovereign ownership; let it be a definite and fixed proportion, to be determined and revealed by God Himself, and not an “offering” to be chosen by the man’s own preference—the whole of it constitutes a personal demonstration which he cannot possibly forget. It keeps in fresh and vivid remembrance three facts which are basal to all religion: God is the giver and is the absolute owner of all things; God is present in the midst of His world, daily maintaining and upholding it; man holds his every possession, and every value that passes through his hands, at the supreme will of Him who is the Creator and preserver of the world. If God is acknowledged to be the owner of a man’s possessions, He Himself will come into a man’s life as Counselor and Lord. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1220. It is confusing to the simplicity of elemental truth when a second consideration—as it were, an afterthought—is strongly stressed, and the primary purpose is commandingly present. It is so

evident that the observance of the tithe will solve the harrowing problem of church maintenance and missionary advance that it is natural, and would seem absolutely necessary, to press the tithe for the support of Christian work. But the Lord our God is a jealous God. It is Himself, and not His kingdom, that is first. When a minister preaches the tithe for the sake of the budget he has unwittingly cheapened a great message, which may therefore be defeated by its own irreverence. It is for this reason that many high-minded, though undiscerning, ministers will not preach the tithe at all; and it is for this reason that many high-minded laymen will not accept it when they hear it preached. High truth, for revenue, awakens suspicion. Native instinct is always right. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1221. I am permitted to repeat the words, spoken to me by a Western senator, as we sat in the quiet of his library. He spoke with feeling: “I was a Christian man; I never doubted the fact of God, nor the truth of His revelation. I think it is fair to say that I lived a consistent Christian life and helped my fellow men. But it was not until I recognized God to be the actual owner of the property which I held that I understood the thrill of fellowship with God. When I paid my tithe, in acknowledgement of that ownership, it seemed as though every fiber of my being acknowledged Him. I knew that God owned not only the property which I possessed, but myself as well. From that day to this, fellowship with God has been natural and easy.” It is enough. To add words would be to darken sweet counsel. The tithe is not a call from depleted church treasuries. It is not a pious performance of duty, not that; nor is it a merely human zeal for human betterment, nor Christian zeal for Christian conquest. These are good, but not good enough for a man. The rendering of the tithe means the identification of a man with God. It signifies personal fellowship and spiritual partnership. It marks the entrance into the abundant life for which a man was created; the limitless life, glorious, eternal. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1222. If Christian inquirers shall be taught the simplicity of this truth— that the tithe is the acknowledgement of one God—an act as the expression of a belief—there will doubtless be a temporary lull in the movement toward Christianity, for it will strike the core of

covetousness, “which is idolatry.” It may seem, for a while, that the corn has been buried beneath the mountains; that it will not grow again. But it will grown, for the life of God is in it; and when the corn shall appear again, upon the top of the mountains, the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1223. But the steward knows nothing of legal requirements. He is the personal representative of a living Master. His keen ambition is to know his Master’s program. He is not a servant except in a high and confidential capacity. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1224. This, then, is stewardship—that I shall recognize and acknowledge the lordship of Another. The powers and possibilities of my being are my Lord’s estate. They are committed in honor to my care. They are therefore to be administered as a sacred trust. Every act of a man’s life is judged by this standard, every ambition becomes worthy or base as it keeps in mind this purpose. Stewardship is not a merely pleasant altruism. It exalts the good of others because it is devoted to the will of One Other. There can be no stewardship, either of life or possessions, where Jesus Christ and His program are not recognized. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1225. The steward disdains success, and will have none of it, except it come through the success of his Lord. He refuses the laurel of victory if his Partner is not included in the honor, for friendship never counts the cost, and partnership withholds nothing. As Christ prospers upon the earth, so prospers the steward of his estate. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1226. The hands that fashion the men of this generation shall mold the history of the planet for coming centuries. No man of honor and intelligence can hear the call of the world and fail to recognize his obligation. And, surely, no such man, if he has it in his power to let loose the transforming miracle of money, can jauntily drop a dollar or a thousand of them into an extended palm, “because he takes a fancy.”…Is it time to play with vital value, as a child plays with a garden hose in August, and turn it hither and yonder as he will, “because he takes a fancy”? Harvey Reeves Calkins

1227. The godly man, under normal conditions, should expect to be prosperous. He has a right to be rich, as Abraham was rich, as that perfect servant of the Lord, Job, was rich. But he is not to be a rich fool withal! He is to know the meaning of wealth. Stewardship alone can defend a man against “the deceitfulness of riches,” and curb the wickedness that would increase its possessions by evil devices. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1228. Worship must be intelligent. God is dishonored by all religious waste. Therefore God receives, as it were, the offering dedicated unto Him, then gives it back again, saying, “Invest this value for Me, that the worship of men shall be pure upon the earth, for they that worship Me must worship Me in spirit and in truth.”…Efficiency in holiness is the law of God’s kingdom. Not the offering of things, whether first fruits or tithes, but the fine sacrifice of a contrite spirit, this is worship. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1229. “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Num. 18:21). The tithe is not given by men but by God. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1230. Nineteen centuries have passed since Jesus Christ ascended from Olivet. Has Christianity accomplished its stewardship for the world? The shame of shrouded nations is the shame of the church today. Covetousness cankers at the heart of Christendom. God’s ownership of value is believed, but merely as an academic truth; there is no honorable acknowledgement of the faith of the church. The holy tenth, God’s portion from the beginning, does not reach the majestic purpose for which it was dedicated by God Himself; therefore the stewardship of Christianity in the world is weak and uncertain. Israel could maintain the divine worship, a regal and worthy acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, for the tithes of the people never failed, and they were never diverted into other channels. But the glorious Church of Christ, robbed of its rightful portion, must limp halting to its task. It must ask for support, as the destitute poor ask for alms, while its own dedicated portion is either positively withheld or turned to other uses. The shame of it emasculates the ministry, but the dishonor of it must rest upon the laity. Harvey Reeves Calkins

1231. …life is a lasting stewardship to be administered, and not a fleeting chance to be exploited. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1232. Stewardship of the family must consider the days to come. A provident fund, the result of savings or investment, is stewardship taking the long look. Wise prevision is an obedience to the word of Christ, “Be not anxious.” This presents no difficulty in the discussion. But where does prudence end and opulence begin? At what point does a man leave off care for his family and enter upon the quest for riches? Two things are true. First, there is such a point; and, second, that point must be determined by each man for himself…Men will be judged, and, if they are wise, they will judge themselves by two very different standards. The very liberty which permits them to place their own definition upon the terms “competency” and “riches” will be the boomerang to smite them if they abuse that liberty. The all-sufficient God delights to supply His children with “all-sufficiency in all things.” Let a man therefore administer that sufficiency in all honor, and let him recognize its limitations. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1233. Stewardship is too big and broad to become a technical thing; it will plan for the whole man, whether at work or school or play. There can be no rules and regulations, for stewardship is an attitude of life rather than a formula of conduct. Hence, for this very reason, men of honor will be the more careful to observe fundamental differences. They will “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are Gods.” Harvey Reeves Calkins 1234. “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful”; honor needs no other word. A steward does not “give away” the estate which he is bound to administer; he has in mind at all times the interests of the owner. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1235. To fail, therefore, in the noble art of self-denial is to mark oneself unworthy of the financial comfort which has fallen to one’s lot. If it be a new picture for the parlor, or a belated lad lifted into the light, the obligation of loyalty makes culture broader by making life holier. The lad will be lifted. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1236. Strange as it may seem—for the testimony is conclusive—the payment of the tithe grows more difficult as wealth increases. This is

the deceitfulness of riches. This is why “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Is it, then, a question of money? Not at all; it is a matter of acknowledgement. The poor man acknowledges God the owner and himself dependent, and is helped to understand the true perspective of life. It is the very point at which the rich man is most likely to fail, and his failure is fundamental to life and character. He is sufficient in himself; he has need of nothing. He might often be saved from this peculiar pest of riches if he could remember that selfsufficiency is the essence of vulgarity. The hallmark of royalty is not there; it is not “to the manner born.” The kingly man is humble before his king. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1237. Money is power. When power is committed to the hands of evil men there can follow none other than the works of evil. But power in the hands of righteous men multiplies the work of righteousness. If evil men seek after power, by how much more ought righteous men to covet it! And herein lies the miracle of money. Value came from God, and money, the measure of it and the receptacle for it, fashions it in the hands of righteous men until it fits God’s purpose in the world; for life itself has value but in this, that it may fit God’s wider circling plans. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1238. But there is a monstrous thing that hangs in the face of our civilization; it is titanic, incredible, portentous. It makes of money both a menace and a madness. Extravagance drives its gilded car in every street. Vulgar display strikes hands with gentle breeding. The vogue no longer discriminates between the lady and the courtesan, and the curse of it falls on unprotected girls in shop and factory. Money-mad, our generation makes a traffic of politics, of sport, of love and romance. The ugly face of Mammon leers in the senate and lifts its eyes in the churches. The money-toll of vice is a despair, the yearly drink bill a damnation. Rich men spend recklessly for mansions and motor cars, and care not for the waste of precious food. The children of the poor have caught the frenzy and know not how to deliver themselves; their pennies are poured into the playhouse, their dollars into the dance. Money was given as the measure and storehouse of value, Mammon has made of it the scourge and madhouse of waste. To recognize the

spiritual content of money, and rescue it from sordidness and greed, this shall be the saving evangel of our generation. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1239. A man and his money! The money is sent forth into the world to work new miracles upon the earth. But what of the man? Surely he has rendered an exalted service. Surely his stewardship has risen into high partnership, and surely that partnership shall abide. It is even so. The knowledge of it shall thrill him with noble joy. And yet for him there shall remain a felicity more perfect than any loyal service, a higher joy than any exalted partnership; there shall remain for him the pure, sweet joy of worship—worship as it was in the beginning, before the stress of sin began and the passion of redemption, and as worship shall be in the eternities beyond. The rendering of the tithe, and the stewardship of every value shall remain for him a token of one unchanging word: God is Sovereign Lord. The money sent forth into the world; but the man himself bows down at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. Harvey Reeves Calkins 1240. “And they gathered it every morning.” And that I think is the best time to gather the heavenly food. At night I am weary, my body is craving sleep, and I am not vitalized in the fields of grace. But in the morning I am refreshed, and I can go to the heavenly fields and gather “the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” I can be fed as the day begins, and I can set out to my daily work with the taste of God in my mouth, and His mighty grace in my heart, and I shall delight to “walk in the paths of His commandments.” John Henry Jowett 1241. From the hour George Muller began to serve the Crucified One he entered more and more fully into the fellowship of His sufferings, seeking to be made conformable unto His death. He gave up fortune-seeking and fame-seeking; he cut loose from the world with its snares and joys; he tested even churchly traditions and customs by the word of God, and step by step conformed to the pattern showed in that word. Every such step was a new selfdenial, but it was following Him. He chose voluntary poverty that

others might be rich, and voluntary loss that others might have gain. His life was one long endeavor to bless others, to be the channel for conveying God’s truth and love and grace to them… To one who asked him the secret of his service he said: “There was a day when I died, utterly died;” and, as he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor—”died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will—died to the world, its approval or censure—died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends—and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” A. T. Pierson writing about George Muller 1242. I feel deeply the painfulness of speaking out on these subjects. I know well that speaking plain about false doctrine is very unpopular, and that the speaker must be content to find himself being thought of as very uncharitable, very troublesome, and very narrow-minded. Thousands of people can never distinguish differences in religion. To the bulk of men a clergyman is a clergyman, and a sermon is a sermon, and as to any difference between one minister and another, or one doctrine and another, they are utterly unable to understand it. I cannot expect such people to approve of any warning against false doctrine. I must make up my mind to meet with their disapproval, and must bear it as I best can. But I will ask any honest-minded, unprejudiced Bible reader to turn to the New Testament and see what he will find there. He will find many plain warnings against false doctrine: “Watch out for false prophets” (Matthew 7:15). “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy” (Colossians 2:8).

“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings” (Hebrews 13:9). “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). He will find a large part of several inspired epistles taken up with elaborate explanations of true doctrine and warnings against false teaching. I ask whether it is possible for a minister who takes the Bible for his rule of faith to avoid giving warnings against doctrinal error...I cannot hold my peace. Faith in the Word of God, love to the souls of men, the vows I took when I was ordained, alike constrain me to bear witness against the errors of the day. And I believe that the saying of our Lord is eminently a truth for the times: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” J. C. Ryle 1243. The words which our Lord used were always the wisest and the best that could be used. He might have said, “Be careful and be on your guard against the doctrine, or of the teaching, or of the opinions of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” But He does not say so: He uses a word of a peculiar nature—He says, “Be careful and be on your guard against the 'yeasts' of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Now we all know what is the true meaning of the word “yeast.” The yeast is added to the lump of dough in making a loaf of bread. This yeast bears but a small proportion to the lump into which it is mixed; just so, our Lord would have us know, the first beginning of false doctrine is but small compared to the body of Christianity. It works quietly and silently; just so, our Lord would have us know, false doctrine works secretly in the heart in which it is once planted. It insensibly changes the character of the whole mass with which it is mingled; just so, our Lord would have us know, the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees turn everything upside down, when once admitted into a Church or into

a man's heart. Let us mark these points: they throw light on many things that we see in the present day. It is of vast importance to receive the lessons of wisdom that this word “yeast” contains in itself. False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false. It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavor openly to turn us away from the truth as it is in Jesus. It does not come before men in broad day, and summon them to surrender. It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man's suspicion, and throw him off his guard. It is the wolf in sheep's clothing, and Satan in the garb of an angel of light, who have always proved the most dangerous foes of the Church of Christ. J. C. Ryle 1244. We live in an age when men profess to dislike dogmas and creeds, and are filled with a morbid dislike to controversial theology. He who dares to say of one doctrine that “it is true,” and of another that “it is false,” must expect to be called narrow-minded and uncharitable, and to lose the praise of men. J. C. Ryle 1245. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly, and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself “as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). There is a wide-spread “gullibility” among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, “Do not be carried away!” J. C. Ryle 1246. If any one should ask me, What is the best safeguard against false

doctrine?—I answer in one word, “The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.” We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: “Diligently study the Scriptures” (John 5:39). If we want a weapon to wield against the plans of Satan, there is nothing like “the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.” But to wield it successfully, we must read it habitually, diligently, intelligently, and prayerfully. This is a point on which, I fear, many fail. In an age of hurry and activity, few read their Bibles as much as they should. More books perhaps are read than ever, but less of the one Book which makes man wise to salvation. The Roman Catholic Church and new theology could never have made such havoc in the Church in the last fifty years, if there had not been a most superficial knowledge of the Scriptures throughout the land. A Bible-reading congregation is the strength of a Church. J. C. Ryle 1247. And so the range of three score years and ten is not the limit of our life. Our life is not a land-locked lake enclosed with the shore-lines of seventy years. It is an arm of the sea, and where the shore-lines seem to meet in old age they open out into the infinite. And so we must build for those larger waters. We must lay our life plans on the scale of the infinite, not as though we were only pilgrims of time, but as children of eternity! We are immortal! How, then, shall we live today in prospect of the eternal tomorrow? John Henry Jowett 1248. I challenge you to take a fresh look at how you are investing your life—your time, your energy, your abilities. You have only one life. It is your choice (whether you realize it or not) how you invest it. Will you spend it on yourself and your own pleasures or throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and tell Him, “Here I am—send me”? When you live your life in the light of eternity, the treasures the world values become worthless. Things do not matter anymore; souls become precious. K. P. Yohannan 1249. It is as if the first-century believers were living in the midst of a whirlwind. Wherever they went they caused some kind of commotion or turmoil or trouble—simply because they lived what they believed. K. P. Yohannan

1250. The call of Christ rings in our ears: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus is not playing games with us. And hell is no joke; hell is real. I tell you, if we examine ourselves and discover that we really do not believe what we claim to believe, we might as well get out of this business. But if we do believe what we say we believe, let’s be different. We cannot live for ourselves anymore, we have been given too much knowledge for that. And from those to whom much is given, much will be required. K. P. Yohannan 1251. Beloved, our great challenge is not to get the world to start liking Christianity. Our great challenge is to get Christianity to stop liking the world. Clay Miller 1252. Let me read a story to you here, this is called The Life Saving Station, On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little life saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat but a few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many lives were saved by this wonderful little life saving station, so it became famous. So some of those who had been saved, and various others from the surrounding areas wanted to become associated with this station, and give of their time and their money and their effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought, new life saving crews were trained, and the little life saving station grew. Some of the members of the life saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those who were saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the life saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it, and they beautifully furnished

it exquisitely because they used it as something of a club. Few members were now interested in going to sea on life saving missions so they hired life boat crews to do the work. The life saving motif still prevailed in the life saving club's decorations and there was a liturgical lifeboat in the room where the club held its initiations, but professionalism had taken over and displaced the original purpose of lifesaving. Now about this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in loads of cold, wet, half drowned people. They were dirty and sick, and some of them had black skin and some of them had yellow skin and the beautiful new club was considerably messed up - so the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where the victims of ship wrecks could be cleaned up before they came inside. At the next meeting there was a split in the club membership. You see most of the members wanted to stop the clubs life saving activity as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Some members insisted upon life saving as their primary purpose and they pointed out that they were still called the life saving station. But they were finally voted down and told if they wanted to save the lives of various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, and dirty and wet, they could begin their own life saving station down the coast a little ways, which they did. And as the years went by the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old one. It evolved into a club, and yet another life saving station was founded. Well history continued to repeat itself, and if you visit that coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the shore - very professional in nature. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown. Now I would say this, let us not allow our church to become a club. Let us keep our church a church. And let us not be ashamed of the gospel and resort to this man created, man approved man centered methodology which strips the gospel of its efficacy and God of His glory. I will wrap up with this, back in Ezekiel 33, we read Ezekiel 33, the first six verses. Notice what Ezekiel writes in verse seven: “Now as

for you son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel, so you will hear a message from my mouth and give them a warning from me. When I say to the wicked, O wicked man you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hands.” And then in verse nine: “But if you go on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.” Brothers, I would just say, be an alert watchman, warn people of the wrath of God to come, and present the good news of our Savior and present it in an undefiled, un-remarketed, un-cleverness of speech, unpersuasive words of wisdom manner. Clay Miller 1253. The Cry of the Blood The tom toms thumped on all night, and the darkness shuddered around me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, and it seemed like this: That I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth. Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step - it trod air. She was over, and the children went over with her. Oh, the cry as they went over! Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly and fell without a sound. Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could not call. Though I strained and tried, only a whisper would come. Then I saw that at the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were far too great; there were wide unguarded gaps

between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of Hell. Then I saw, like the pictures of peace, a group of people under some trees, with their backs turned towards the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes, when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it rather a vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite 'call' to go. You haven't finished your daisy chains. It would be selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.” There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get some sentries out; but they found very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries for miles and miles at the edge. Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and the other relations called, and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the “rules”. And, being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest a while; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls. Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; the child clung convulsively, and it called but nobody seemed to hear. And the little girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which her relatives reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere - the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And they sang a hymn. Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was - the Cry of the Blood. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send and who shall go for us? Then said I, Here I am; send me. And he said, Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye

indeed but perceive not. Isa 6:8-9. He said to them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt 28:20) Amy Carmichael 1254. Don't try to take credit for your own conversion. Every aspect of your salvation, including your repentance and your faith, all of it was bought and paid for by the blood of Christ and given to you by God through his grace. Phil Johnson 1255. Our noble Reformers bought the truth at the price of their own blood, and handed it down to us. Let us be careful that we do not cheaply sell it for some bread and stew, under the seeming names of unity and peace. J. C. Ryle 1256. In the first place, if we would be kept from falling into false doctrine, “let us arm our minds with a thorough knowledge of God's Word.” Let us read our Bibles from beginning to end with daily diligence, and constant prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and so strive to become thoroughly familiar with their contents. Ignorance of the Bible is the root of all error, and a superficial acquaintance with it accounts for many of the sad perversions and defections of the present day. In a hurrying age of travel and communication, I am firmly persuaded that many Christians do not give time enough to private reading of the Scriptures. I believe seriously that English people knew their Bibles better two hundred years ago than they do now. The consequence is, that they are “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching,” and fall an easy prey to the first clever teacher of error who tries to influence their minds. I entreat my readers to remember this counsel, and take heed to their ways. It is as true now as ever, that the person who is versed in, or adheres strictly to, the text of the Bible, is the only good theologian, and that a familiarity with great Scriptures, is, as our Lord proved in the temptation, one of the best safeguards against error. Arm yourself then with the sword of the Spirit, and let your hand become used to it. I am well aware that there is no royal road to Bible-knowledge.

Without diligence and pains no one ever becomes “mighty in the Scriptures.” “Justification,” said Charles Simeon, with his characteristic quaintness, “is by faith, but knowledge of the Bible comes by works,” But of one thing I am certain: there is no labor which will be so richly repaid as laborious regular daily study of God's Word. The second and last counsel which I venture to offer is this. “Let us make ourselves thoroughly acquainted with the history of the Reformation.” My reason for offering this counsel is my firm conviction that this highly important part of history has of late years been undeservedly neglected. Thousands of Christians nowadays have a most inadequate notion of the amount of our debt to our martyred Reformers. They have no distinct conception of the state of darkness and superstition in which our fathers lived, and of the light and liberty which the Reformation brought in. And the consequence is that they see no great harm in the Roman Catholic movement of the present day, and have very indistinct ideas of the real nature and work of Catholicism. It is high time that a better state of things should begin. Of one thing I am thoroughly convinced: a vast amount of the prevailing apathy about the Romanizing movement of the day may be traced up to gross ignorance, both of the true nature of Catholicism and of the Protestant Reformation. Ignorance, after all, is one of the best friends of false doctrine. More light is one of the great wants of the day, even in our century. Thousands are led astray by Catholicism or infidelity from sheer want of reading and information. Once more I repeat, if men would only study with attention the Bible and the History of the Reformation, I should have little fear of their “minds being led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” J. C. Ryle 1257. Oh, do not be satisfied with a religion built on man! Do not be content with saying, “I have hope, because my own minister has told me such and such things.” Seek to be able to say, “I have hope, because I find it thus and thus written in the Word of God.” If your peace is to be solid, you must go yourself to the fountain of all truth. If your comforts are to be lasting, you must visit the well of life yourself, and draw fresh water for your own soul. Ministers may depart from the faith. The visible Church may be broken up. But he who has the Word

of God written in his heart, has a foundation beneath his feet which will never fail him. Honor your minister as a faithful ambassador of Christ. Esteem him very highly in love for his work's sake. But never forget that infallibility is not to be found in godly ministers, but in the Bible. J. C. Ryle 1258. We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated; the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles; to do good to the souls of men. I believe that to maintain this pure truth in the Church men should be ready to make any sacrifice, to hazard peace, to risk dissension, and run the chance of division. They should no more tolerate false doctrine than they would tolerate sin. They should withstand any adding to or taking away from the simple message of the Gospel of Christ. J. C. Ryle 1259. Yes! peace without truth is a false peace; it is the very peace of the devil. Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of hell. Let us never be ensnared by those who speak kindly of it. Let us remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34) Let us remember the praise He gives to one of the Churches in Revelation, “I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false” (Revelation 2:2). Let us remember the blame He casts on another, “You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess” (Revelation 2:20). Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace. Let us rather be like the Jews, who, if they found any manuscript copy of the Old Testament Scriptures incorrect in a single letter, burned the whole copy, rather than run the risk of losing one jot or tittle of the Word of God. Let us be content with nothing short of the whole Gospel of Christ. J. C. Ryle 1260. I warn then every one who loves his soul, to be very selective as to the preaching he regularly hears, and the place of worship he regularly attends. He who deliberately settles down under any ministry which is positively unsound is a very unwise man. I will never hesitate to speak my mind on this point. I know well that many think it a

shocking thing for a man to forsake his local church. I cannot see with the eyes of such people. I draw a wide distinction between teaching which is defective and teaching which is thoroughly false; between teaching which errs on the negative side and teaching which is positively unscriptural. But I do believe, if false doctrine is unmistakably preached in a local church, a Christian who loves his soul is quite right in not going to that local church. To hear unscriptural teaching fifty-two Sundays in every year is a serious thing. It is a continual dropping of slow poison into the mind. I think it almost impossible for a man willfully to submit himself to it, and not be harmed. J. C. Ryle 1261. If you want to take your spiritual temperature, look at your checkbook. Where are you investing your treasure? That is where your heart really is. God does not give us riches to hoard for ourselves, but to use for His glory. True enjoyment of our wealth comes not from possessing it, but from investing it as God intended—in things that count for eternity. John MacArthur 1262. My prayer for you is that you would leave your own footsteps for someone else in this marvelous walk of faith that we call the Christian life. John MacArthur 1263. Many people are imbalanced in their approach to the Christian life. They place too much emphasis on the love side of the fulcrum. For them, truth is turned into error, clothed in a shallow, tolerant sentimentality. That is a poor substitute for genuine love. Others, however, have all their theological ducks in a row and know their doctrine, but are unloving and self-exalting. They are left with truth as cold facts, stifling and unattractive. Their lack of love cripples the power of the truth they profess to revere. The truly godly person must cultivate both virtues in equal proportions. If you pursue anything in the spiritual realm, pursue balance of truth and love. Know the truth, and uphold it in love. John MacArthur 1264. Our Lord Jesus Christ was continually “going around doing good,” while He was on earth (Acts 10:38). The Apostles, and all the disciples in Bible times, were always striving to walk in His steps. A Christian who was content to go to heaven himself and cared not what

became of others, whether they lived happy and died in peace or not, would have been regarded as a kind of monster in primitive times, who did not have the Spirit of Christ. Why should we suppose for a moment that a lower standard will suffice in the present day? Why should fig trees which bear no fruit be spared in the present day, when in our Lord's time they were to be cut down because, “why should it use up the soil?” (Luke13:7). These are serious inquiries, and demand serious answers. There is a generation of professing Christians now-a-days, who seem to know nothing of caring for their neighbors, and are completely swallowed up in the concerns of number one—that is, their own and their family's. They eat, and drink, and sleep, and dress, and work, and earn money, and spend money, year after year; and whether others are happy or miserable, well or ill, converted or unconverted, traveling towards heaven or toward hell, appear to be questions about which they are supremely indifferent. Can this be right? Can it be reconciled with the religion of Him who spoke the parable of the good Samaritan, and commanded us “Go and do likewise”? (Luke 10:37). I doubt it completely. There is much to be done everywhere. There is not a place where there is not a field for work and an open door for being useful, if any one is willing to enter it. There is not a Christian who cannot find some good work to do for others, if he has only a heart to do it. The poorest man or woman, without a single penny to give, can always show his deep sympathy to the sick and sorrowful, and by simple good-nature and tender helpfulness can lessen the misery and increase the comfort of somebody in this troubled world. But no, the vast majority of professing Christians, whether rich or poor, faithful Church attendees or not, seem possessed with a devil of detestable selfishness, and do not know the luxury of doing good. They can argue by the hour about baptism, and the Lord's supper, and the forms of worship, and the union of Church and State, and other dry-bone questions. But all this time they seem to care nothing for their neighbors. The plain practical point, whether they love their neighbor, as the Samaritan loved the

traveler in the parable, and can spare any time and trouble to do him good, is a point they never touch with one of their fingers. In too many places, both in the city and the country, true love seems almost dead, both in church and chapel, and wretched denomination spirit and controversy are the only fruits that Christianity appears able to produce. In a day like this, no reader should wonder if I press this plain old subject on his conscience. Do we know anything of genuine Samaritan love to others? Do we ever try to do any good to any one beside our own friends and relatives, and our and our own denomination or cause? Are we living like disciples of Him who always “went about doing good,” and commanded His disciples to take Him for their “example”? (John 13:15). If not, with what face shall we meet Him in the judgment day? In this matter also, how is it with our souls? Once more I ask, “How are we doing?” J. C. Ryle 1265. Let me say something to you as church leaders. I'm convinced of this not because I've lived it out; I'm convinced just a much because I've failed in it. This is what makes you attractive to your people. This is what catches the attention of other people. This is what your people are desperately wanting to see in you. We could call it authenticity, spiritual passion, a genuineness, a sincerity. It's not a business, it's not a profession, it's not something that is just our job, our duty. It's so easy to fall into that! I mean, what the people are desperately wanting-and don't presume they don't want it anymore. I don't care how long you've been there, I don't care how long they've been there; what they're still desperately wanting is this continual reminder from you, as a church leader, that you love Christ with all your heart and your soul and your mind and nothing is going to dissuade you from that-that you have spiritual passions. Carey Hardy 1266. A want of authenticity is a striking feature of a vast amount of religion in the present day. Poets have sometimes told us that the world has passed through four different states or conditions. We have had a golden age, and a silver age, a brass age, and an iron age. How far this is true, I do not stop to inquire. But I fear there is little doubt as to the character of the age in which we live. It is universally an age of cheap metal and

alloy. If we measure the religion of the age by its apparent quantity, there is much of it. But if we measure it by its quality, there is indeed very little. On every side we want MORE AUTHENTICITY. J. C. Ryle 1267. Let us look then, for one thing, at the parables spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ. Observe how many of them are intended to put in strong contrast the true believer and the mere nominal disciple (in name only). The parables of the sower, of the weeds, of the net, of the two sons, of the wedding garment, of the ten virgins, of the talents, of the great banquet, of the ten minas, of the two builders, all have one great point in common. They all bring out in striking colors the difference between authenticity and unreality in religion. They all show the uselessness and danger of any Christianity which is not authentic, thorough, and true. Let us look, for another thing, at the language of our Lord Jesus Christ about the scribes and the Pharisees. Eight times in one chapter we find Him denouncing them as “hypocrites,” in words of almost fearful severity—”You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33). What can we learn from these tremendously strong expressions? How is it that our gracious and merciful Savior used such cutting words about people who at any rate were more moral and decent than the tax collectors and prostitutes? It is meant to teach us the exceeding detestableness of false profession and mere outward religion in God's sight. Open wickedness and willful submission to fleshly lusts are no doubt ruinous sins, if not given up. But there seems nothing which is so displeasing to Christ as hypocrisy and unreality. J. C. Ryle 1268. There is a time coming when seeking God will be useless. Oh, that men would remember that! Too many seem to believe that the hour will never

arrive when they will seek and not find: but they are sadly mistaken. They will discover their mistake one day to their own confusion, except they repent. When Christ comes “many will try to enter in, and will ‘not be able to.’” There is a time coming when many will be shut out from heaven forever. It will not be the lot of a few, but of a great multitude; it will not happen to one or two in this area, and one or two in another: it will be the miserable end of a immense crowd. “‘Many’ will try to enter in, and will not be able to.” Knowledge will come to many too late. They will see at last the value of an immortal soul, and the happiness of having it saved. They will understand at last their own sinfulness and God's holiness, and the glorious fitness of the Gospel of Christ. They will comprehend at last why ministers seemed so anxious, and preached so long, and implored them so earnestly to be converted. But, to their grief, they will know all this “too late!” Repentance will come to many too late. They will discover their own surpassing wickedness and be thoroughly ashamed of their past folly. They will be full of bitter regret and hopeless wailings, of keen convictions and of piercing sorrows. They will weep, and wail, and mourn, when they reflect on their sins. The remembrance of their lives will be grievous to them; the burden of their guilt will seem intolerable. But, to their grief, like Judas Iscariot, they will repent “too late!” Faith will come to many too late. They will no longer be able to deny that there is a God, and a devil, a heaven, and a hell. False religion, and skepticism, and unfaithfulness will be laid aside forever; scoffing, and joking, and free-thinking will cease. They will see with their own eyes and feel in their own bodies, that the things of which ministers spoke were not cleverly devised fables, but great real truths. They will find out to their cost that evangelical religion was not lip service, extravagance, fanaticism, and enthusiasm: they will discover that it was

the one thing they needed, and that the lack of it will cause them to be lost forever. Like the devil, they will finally believe and tremble, but “too late!” A desire of salvation will come to many too late. They will long after forgiveness, and peace, and the favor of God, when they can no more be had. They will wish they might have one more Sunday over again, have one more offer of forgiveness, have one more call to prayer. But it will matter nothing what they think, or feel, or desire then: the day of grace will be over; the door of salvation will be bolted and barred. It will be “too late!” I often think what a change there will be one day in the price and estimation at which things are valued. I look around this world in which my lot is cast; I note the current price of everything this world contains; I look forward to the coming of Christ, and the great day of God. I think of the new order of things, which that day will bring in; I read the words of the Lord Jesus, when He describes the master of the house rising up and shutting the door; and as I read, I say to myself, “There will be a great change soon.” What are the “dear things” now? Gold, silver, precious stones, bank notes, mines, ships, lands, houses, horses, cars, furniture, food, drink, clothes, and the like. These are the things that are thought valuable; these are the things that command a ready market; these are the things which you can never get below a certain price. He that has a lot of these things is counted a wealthy man. Such is the world! And what are the “cheap things” now? The knowledge of God, the free salvation of the Gospel, the favor of Christ, the grace of the Holy Spirit, the privilege of being God's son, the title to eternal life, the right to the tree of life, the promise of a room in the Father's House in heaven, the promises of an incorruptible inheritance, the offer of a

crown of glory that does not fade away. These are the things that no man hardly cares for. They are offered to the sons of men without money and without price: they may be had for nothing—freely and generously. Whosoever will may take his share. But, sadly, there is no demand for these things! They go begging. They are scarcely looked at. They are offered in vain. Such is the world! But a day is coming upon us all when the value of everything will be altered. A day is coming when banknotes will be as useless as rags, and gold will be as worthless as the dust of the earth. A day is coming when thousands will care nothing for the things for which they once lived, and will desire nothing so much as the things which they once despised. The mansions and palaces will be forgotten in the desire of a “house not made with hands.” The favor of the rich and great will be remembered no more, in the longing for the favor of the King of kings. The silks, and satins, and velvets, and laces, will be lost sight of in the anxious need of the robe of Christ's righteousness. All will be altered, all will be changed in the great day of the Lord's return. “Many will try to enter in and will not be able to” It was a weighty saying of some wise man, that “hell is truth known too late.” I fear that thousands of those who profess to be Christians in this day will find this out by experience. They will discover the value of their souls when it is too late to obtain mercy, and see the beauty of the Gospel when they can derive no benefit from it. Oh, that men would be wise early in life! I often think there are few passages of Scripture more awful than that in the first chapter of Proverbs, But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke,

I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you-when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. (Proverbs 1:24-31) Some reader of this paper may be one of those who neither like the faith nor practice which the Gospel of Christ requires. You think that we are extreme when we implore you to repent and be converted. You think we ask too much when we urge you to come out from the world, and take up the cross, and follow Christ. But take notice that you will one day confess that we were right. Sooner or later, in this world or the next, you will acknowledge that you were wrong. Yes! It is a sad consideration for the faithful minister of the Gospel, that all who hear him will one day acknowledge that his counsel was good. Mocked, despised, scorned, neglected as his testimony may be on earth, a day is coming which will prove that truth was on his side. The rich man who hears us and yet makes a god of this world--the tradesman who hears us and yet makes his ledger his Bible—the farmer who hears us and yet remains cold as the clay on his land—the worker who hears us and feels no more for his

soul than a stone--all, all will in time acknowledge before the world that they were wrong. All will in time earnestly desire that very mercy which we now set before them in vain. “They will try to enter in, and will not be able to.” Some reader of this paper may be one of those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Such an one may well take comfort when he looks forward. You often suffer persecution now for Christianity's sake. You have to bear hard words and unkind insinuations. Your motives are often misrepresented, and your conduct slandered. The reproach of the cross has not ceased. But you may take courage when you look forward and think of the Lord's second coming. That day will make amends for all. You will see those who now laugh at you because you read the Bible, and pray, and love Christ, in a very different state of mind. They will come to you as the foolish virgins came to the wise, saying, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out” (Matthew 25:8). You will see those who now hate you and call you fools because, like Caleb and Joshua, you bring up a good report of Christ's service. Some day they will say, “Oh, that we had taken part with you! You have been the truly wise, and we the foolish.” Then do not fear the reproach of men. Confess Christ boldly before the world. Show your colors, and do not be ashamed of your Master. Time is short: eternity rushes on. The cross is only for a short time: the crown is forever. “Many will try to enter in, and will not be able to.” J. C. Ryle

1269. Think what a thankful man you ought to be if you have really gone in at the narrow door. To be a pardoned, forgiven, justified soul—to be ready for sickness, death, judgment and eternity—to always be provided for in both worlds—surely this is a matter for daily praise. True Christians ought to be more full of thanksgivings than they are. I fear that few sufficiently remember what they were by nature, and what debtors they are to grace. A heathen remarked that singing hymns of praise was one special mark of the early Christians. It would be good for Christians in the present day, if they knew more of this frame of mind. It is no evidence of a healthy state of soul when there is much complaining and little praise. It is an amazing mercy that there is any door of salvation at all; but it is a still greater mercy when we are taught to enter in by it and be saved. J. C. Ryle 1270. It is a solemn thing to be a minister of the Gospel. It is a painful thing to look on, and notice the ways of mankind in spiritual matters. We hold in our hands that great law Book of God, which declares that without repentance, and conversion, and faith in Christ, and holiness, no man living can be saved. In discharge of our office we urge men to repent, believe, and be saved; but, to our grief, how frequently we have to lament that our labor seems all in vain. Men attend our churches, and listen, and approve, but do not “make every effort” to be saved. We show the sinfulness of sin; we unfold the loveliness of Christ; we expose the vanity of the world; we set forth the happiness of Christ's service; we offer the living water to the wearied and heavy laden sons of toil: but, to our dismay, how often we seem to speak to the winds. Our words are patiently heard on Sundays; our arguments are not refuted: but we see plainly in the week that men are not “making every effort” to be saved.

There comes the devil on Monday morning, and offers his countless snares; there comes the world, and holds out its illusive prizes: our hearers follow them greedily. They work hard for this world's goods; they toil at Satan's bidding: but the one thing they need to do they won't—they will not “make every effort” at all. I am not writing from hear-say. I speak what I have seen. I write down the result of thirty-seven years' experience in the ministry. I have learned lessons about human nature during that period which I never knew before. I have seen how true are our Lord's words about the narrow road. I have discovered how few there are that “make every effort” to be saved. Seriousness about fleeting matters is common enough. Striving to be rich and prosperous in this world is not rare at all. Pains about money, and business, and politics—pains about trade, and science, and fine arts, and amusements—pains about rent, and wages, and labor, and land-pains about such matters I see in abundance both in the city and the country. But I see few who take pains about their souls. I see few anywhere who “make every effort” to enter in through the narrow door. I am not surprised at all this. I read in the Bible that it is only what I am to expect. The parable of the great supper is an exact picture of things that I have seen with my own eyes ever since I became a minister (Luke 14:16). I find, as my Lord and Savior tells me, that “men make excuse.” One has his piece of land to see; another has his oxen to prove; a third has his family hindrances. But all this does not prevent my feeling deeply grieved for the souls of men. I grieve to think that they should have eternal life so close to them, and yet be lost because they will not “make every effort” to enter in and be saved. J. C. Ryle

Whatever you do for God, do it with all your heart, mind and strength. In other things be moderate, and dread running into extremes. In matters of the soul fear moderation just as you would fear the plague. Don't care what men may think of you. Let it be enough for you that your Master says, “make every effort.” J. C. Ryle 1271. Knowledge will come to many too late. They will see at last the value of an immortal soul, and the happiness of having it saved. They will understand at last their own sinfulness and God's holiness, and the glorious fitness of the Gospel of Christ. They will comprehend at last why ministers seemed so anxious, and preached so long, and implored them so earnestly to be converted. But, to their grief, they will know all this “too late!” J. C. Ryle 1272. It is always our peril that we hunger for place more than for character, for position more than for disposition, for a temporal scepter more than for a majestic self-control. These disciples coveted places on the right and left of the Lord, and they had little or no concern about their worthiness for the posts. Temporalities eclipsed spiritualities, fleeting fireworks hid the quiet stars. They wanted to be great and prominent, the Lord wanted them to be pure and good. They longed to be Prime Ministers, the Lord proposed that they should be glad to be ministers, working contentedly in an obscure place. Now mark our Lord’s response. “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of?” They wanted to be the King’s cup-bearers; He offers them to drink of His cup. They call for sovereignty: He asks for sacrifice. They crave sweetness: He offers them bitterness. They seek a life of “getting”: He demands a life of “giving.” Who has a cup of bitterness to drink? Go and share it with him! Where are the morally and spiritually anemic? Go and give them thy blood! “Whoever shall lose his life shall find it.” Through self-sacrifice we pass to our throne. John Henry Jowett on Matthew 20:20-28 1273. The greatest blessing of giving is not on the financial side of the ledger but on the spiritual side. You receive a sense of being honest

with God. You receive a consciousness that you are in partnership with God—that you are doing something constructive—that you are working with Him to reach the world for Jesus Christ. You are also enabled to hold onto this world's goods loosely because the eternal values are always in view. How do you give? Is it liberally and cheerfully? Or is it sparingly and grudgingly? If you have been giving God the leftovers of your substance and your life, you have been missing the true joy and blessing of Christian giving and living. Billy Graham 1274. In the ways of the Lord I shall have feasts of “pleasantness.” But not always at the beginning of the ways. Sometimes my faith is called upon to take a very unattractive road, and nothing welcomes me of fascination and delight. But here is a law of the spiritual life. The exercised faith intensifies my spiritual senses, and hidden things become manifest to my soul—hidden beauties, hidden sounds, hidden scents! Faith adds a mysterious “plus” to my powers, and “all things become new.” And in the ways of the Lord I shall also find the gracious gift of peace. Not that the road will be always smooth, but that I may be always calm. I can be unperturbed when “all around tumultuous seems.” I can journey in holy serenity, because the Lord of the road is with me. For peace consists, not in friendliness of circumstances, but in friendship with the Lord. John Henry Jowett 1275. The book of Judges is full of teaching for this day, and for this nation. It first of all utters a warning, revealing to us, if we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to understand, the process of deterioration. It is as true of our own nation as of Israel, that if there is religious apostasy, there must be political disorganization, and this issues in social chaos. In other words, social failure is rooted in religious apostasy. Therefore the process of restoration must begin with the cause and so change the course, and remove the curse. When I am told that I am to leave my pulpit, and give myself to social propaganda, I say, No, I have no time and no right, however much my heart may break in the presence of social conditions, to waste time and energy fooling with the fringe of things. It is for the Christian preacher and the Christian Church to cry aloud, Back to God, and so back to political emancipation, and to social order. G. Campbell Morgan

1276. Hence there was no minimizing of our sins with Jesus. He never treated them lightly. He never excused or condoned them. Some of his contemporaries thought He did. The name “Friend of sinners,” which is today His glory, was originally flung at Him as a stinging gibe by His critics; to them, His readiness to consort with sinners of all kinds seemed to argue a deficient estimate of sin and even a flaw in His own character. But they were forgetting, or more probably for their own ends they were deliberately ignoring, the fact that while Jesus loved all broken lives, He hated passionately the evil things that had broken them. James S. Stewart 1277. Someone has remarked that it seems Christians spend more time and effort praying to keep the saints out of Heaven than they do praying to keep the lost out of hell. Open Windows devotional Monday, October 25, 2004 1278. The young convert will make but a poor soldier of Jesus Christ, but a weak and lagging pilgrim, if he does not go directly to the House of the Interpreter. Oh, what earnest prayer is needed, that the soul, having come to Christ, may be filled with the Spirit, be rooted and grounded in love, and built up in Him, and prepared to show forth His praises. Be assured that the immediate time which passes after a soul’s conversion, is of indescribable importance for all after life. If it be passed in the House of the Interpreter, and under His Divine instruction, if the soul be much in prayer for Divine grace and illumination, then will there be a rich and precious preparation for a joyful and triumphant pilgrimage, in which the path of the soul shall be as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. But if joy comes first, without the instruction and discipline of the Interpreter, then will there be trouble afterwards, a great many falls by the way, a great many Hill Difficulties, and perhaps a great many weeks instead of days passed in the Castle of Giant Despair. When a soul first comes to Christ, then for many days it ought to abide with the Holy Spirit; and when this is done, who shall say how many sights of glory may be seen, how many rich and refining experiences be enjoyed! how rapidly the soul may grow, and be transfigured, as it were, with the influences of Divine truth, while thus it is alone with God! how it may be knit and strengthened for all future toils and combats,

and prepared to go through the world almost as a seraph of light, prepared at any rate, like Paul, so to run, not as uncertainly, so to fight, not as one that beateth the air! G. B. Cheever in “Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress” 1279. And the Lord wants my body as “a living sacrifice.” He asks for it when it is thoroughly alive! We so often deny the Lord our bodies until they are infirm and sickly, and sometimes we do not offer them to Him until they are quite “worn out.” It is infinitely better to offer them even then than never to offer them at all. But it is best of all to offer our bodies to our Lord when they are strong, and vigorous, and serviceable, and when they can be used in the strenuous places of the field. John Henry Jowett 1280. And yet, while peace reigns within, there may be tribulation without! “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” Here is a peace which is not broken by the noise and assault of brutal circumstance. The most tempestuous wind cannot disturb the quiet serenity of the stars. When the world stones me, not one grain of its gritty dust need enter the delicate workings of my soul. That was the peace of my Lord, and it is my Lord who says to me: “My peace I give unto you!” So “be of good cheer,” my soul! Thy Lord has “overcome the world,” and thou shalt share His victory. John Henry Jowett 1281. Remember that of the work you do today you cannot see the issue, if it is work wrought by faith in God. It may be in the great city of London, or in some hidden hamlet among the hills that your life will be lived, small, unknown, never published, never noticed either in the religious or irreligious press, and yet you may be God’s foothold for things of which you cannot dream, which if told you now you would not possibly believe. The one cry of my heart and of thy heart, comrade of faith, according to this book, should be a cry for out-and-out abandonment to Him, in order that by our loyalty He may win the victories of His royalty. G. Campbell Morgan in “The Message of Ruth” 1282. From Peter’s denial I would learn the peril of the first cowardly surrender to sin. Surely Peter must have “trimmed” many times in the days which preceded his actual discipleship. Great crises do not make men, they reveal them. The men have been made in the smaller

issues which go before. We march to our crises by a gradient, every step of which is a moral decision. The interior of the tree is secretly eaten away by white ants; the tempest reveals and completes the destruction. And I would learn from Peter’s denial the cumulative power of sins. One sin widens the road for a bigger one to follow. The second denial will be more vehement than the first. The third will add the element of blasphemy. Yes, every sin is a miner and sapper for a larger army in the rear. It not only does its own work, it prepares the way for its successor. But I will connect this “dark betrayal night” with the sweet aftermorning when the Lord and His denier met face to face by the lake. And that sweet morning of reconciliation is a possible experience for all the deniers of the Lord, and it is therefore possible for thee and me. John Henry Jowett 1283. “Lovest thou Me?” There was a day, only a little while back, when Simon Peter’s love was not yet purified, and it indulged itself in loud and empty boasts. True love never blusters and brawls. It is like a stream of water flowing silently underground, and secretly bathing the roots of things, and keeping their heads fresh, and cool, and sweet. The boast has now dropped out of the love! It is now ashamed of words! “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee!” Yes, true love expresses itself, not in clamorous boastfulness, but in quiet services. It ministers to the Lord’s sheep and the Lord’s lambs. It spends its strength on the mountains, “seeking that which is lost,” and it does this in the darkness, where there is no applauding crowd. The true lover does not ask for some dramatic scene where he can die for the beloved; he delights in obscure services, the feeding and tending of the sheep of the flock. But the love that does the humbler thing will be ready for the greater sacrifice whenever the day shall demand it. Some day the once boastful denier shall lay down his life for his Savior, and through martyrdom he shall pass to his crown. John Henry Jowett 1284. Here I cannot but speak again of God’s tender love to His people in their spiritual distresses. It is but a little while, at the utmost,

that He lets any walk in darkness, and always this darkness prepares for greater light; and sometimes God darkens our room, that He may show us with greater effect those visions of His own glory, on which He will have our attention to be fixed, and which we either will not or cannot see in the glare of the noonday of this world. But always His thoughts towards his afflicted people are thoughts of peace and mercy, and His language, even when they seem to be deserted of God, is of great tenderness. “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My Face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” G. B. Cheever in “Lectures On The Pilgrim’s Progress” 1285. The closing chapter of our book is draped in sackcloth and ashes. It tells the story of the end of the career of one of the most disastrous failures. Saul died upon the field of battle by his own hand. The chief spiritual value of this whole book lies in the solemn lessons it teaches by the life and failure and death of this man. Forevermore his story proclaims the fact that great advantages and remarkable opportunities are no guarantees of success, unless the heart be firm and steady in its allegiance to principle and its loyalty to God. G. Campbell Morgan on I Samuel in “The Analyzed Bible” 1286. The days of the judges were days of religious apostasy, political disorganization, and social chaos; and religious apostasy in the case of these people meant that they refused to obey the King eternal, immortal, invisible. This attitude expressed itself in the request they brought to Samuel, “Make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” Sin ever issues in an attempt to substitute the false for the true. That is the history of idolatry. Every idol is witness to man’s need of God. The lack of God creates the necessity for putting something in His place. These men, turning from God as King, desired a king like the nations. The first book of Samuel tells the story of the immediate issues of this desire. G. Campbell Morgan 1287. Such was the stuff and discipline out of which the race of primitive Christians were molded; and very much such was also the era of pilgrimage on which Bunyan himself had fallen. But is it an equally true sketch of the pilgrimage in our day? Is the world now

regarded so much a wilderness and a world of enmity against God as it was? Certainly the pilgrims are now regarded with more favor. Is this because the world has grown kinder, better, more disposed towards godliness; or is it because the pilgrims have grown less strict in their manners, less peculiar in their language, and more accommodating and complying with the usages of Vanity Fair? Or is it from both these causes together, that the path of the pilgrimage seems so much easier now that it was formerly? G. B. Cheever in “Lectures On The Pilgrim’s Progress” 1288. The seeker friendly service is just another way of watering down the truth of God's word. I believe the idea is that we make it ‘easier’ for folks to get saved. But in doing that, we steer them towards the wide gate. We cannot move the goal posts to make the gate easier to find and pass through. Any attempt at that just leads people into deception. They end up thinking they are saved when, in fact, they are not. Very often, repentance is missed out altogether. This is deception on a grand scale! Keith Brown 1289. The real challenge of Christian living is not to eliminate every uncomfortable circumstance from your life, but to trust the infinite, holy, sovereign, and powerful God in the midst of every situation. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So begin to live on the supernatural plane, accept that you live in a fallen world, and allow God to do His perfect work in you. And God will give you His peace as you confidently entrust yourself to His care. John MacArthur 1290. We want, in all things, an eye single for God, for His approbation, for His glory; and this is the precious motive that excludes every other, or keeps every other subordinate, and turns everything to gold. “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not as unto men.” The very drudgery and toilsomeness of our pilgrimage are turned into a Divine and holy service, by this precious singleness of heart for Christ! Oh, how desirable is this in everything! G. B. Cheever in “Lectures On The Pilgrim’s Progress”

1291. If we are holding on to earthly things and place all our faith and trust in them, we won't be keen on leaving them. I believe it is time to set our sights on things above. To ‘eagerly wait for Him’ and to ‘love his appearing’ (2 Tim. 4:8). Keith Brown 1292. And thus am I taught that consecrated houses are nothing without consecrated souls. It is not the mode of worship, but the spirit of the worshipper which forms the test of a consecrated people. If the worshipper is defiled his temple becomes an offence. When the kernel is rotten, and I offer the husk to God, the offering is a double insult to His most holy name. And yet, how tempted I am to assume that God will be pleased with the mere outsides of things, with words instead of aspiration, with postures instead of dispositions, with the letter instead of the spirit, with an ornate and costly temple instead of a sweet and lowly life! Day by day I am tempted to treat the Almighty as though He were a child! Nay, the Bible uses a more awful word; it says men treat the Lord as though He were a fool! From all such irreverence and frivolity, good Lord, deliver me! Let me ever remember that Thou “desirest truth in the inward man.” “In the hidden parts” help me “to know wisdom”. John Henry Jowett 1293. I am getting desperately afraid of going to heaven for I have had the vision of the shame I shall suffer as I get my first glimpse of the Lord Jesus; His majesty, power and marvelous love for me, who treated Him so meanly and shabbily on earth, and acted as though I did Him a favor in serving Him! No wonder God shall have to wipe away the tears off all faces, for we shall be broken-hearted when we see the depth of His love and the shallowness of ours. C.T. Studd 1294. Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke14:33. Few in today’s church are as committed to Jesus Christ as the apostle Paul was. Paul exemplifies what Christ was talking about when He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Paul was so given over to our Lord that he didn’t care whether he lived or died. That’s an attitude practically unheard of in our

materialistic, self-centered, selfish day. Most people today live for everything except what Paul was focused on. Paul remained joyful as long as his Lord was glorified, even when he was threatened with death. All that mattered to him was that the gospel advanced, Christ was preached, and the Lord was magnified. The source of his joy was entirely related to the kingdom of God. John MacArthur 1295. “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord.” That was the apostle’s unfailing tendency, increasing in its momentum every day. He crashed through obstacles in his glorious quest. He sought the Lord through everything and in everything. When new circumstances confronted him, his first question was this —”Where is Christ in all this?” He found the right way across every trackless moor by simply seeking Christ. John Henry Jowett 1296. We discover the wonder of the Bible gradually, not all at once. I have often thought that rereading the Bible is like making a trip by car. No matter how many times we take the same roads, we always see new things. Scripture doesn't change, of course, but we change over time as we walk with God. We find new lessons, deeper truths, and pointed rebukes just when we need them. And we keep coming back to familiar passages which by God's Spirit are new every day. Part of the wonder of Scripture is its amazing variety. It contains nearly every kind of literature, from epic poems to careful history to subtle humor. This testifies to the variety of writers, their diverse personalities, and creative gifts. More deeply, it testifies to the remarkable way that God used human agents, with their gifts and imperfections, to produce authoritative Scripture that really is God's Word, not just human words. Howard A. Snyder 1297. The point before us is one of vast importance. Let us lay hold upon it

firmly, and never let it go. It is the very point on which our Reformers had their sharpest controversy with the Roman Catholics, and went to the stake, rather than give way. Sooner than admit that the Lord's Supper was a sacrifice, they cheerfully laid down their lives. To bring back the doctrine of the “real presence,” and to turn the communion into the Roman Catholic “mass,” is to pour contempt on our Martyrs, and to upset the first principles of the Protestant Reformation. No, rather, it is to ignore the plain teaching of God's Word, and do dishonor to the priestly office of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches expressly that the Lord's Supper was ordained to be “a remembrance of Christ's body and blood,” and not an offering. The Bible teaches that Christ's substituted death on the cross was the perfect sacrifice for sin, which never needs to be repeated. Let us stand firm in these two great principles of the Christian faith. A clear understanding of the intention of the Lord's Supper is one of the soul's best safeguards against the delusions of false doctrine. J. C. Ryle 1298. Without such a vision of God’s holiness, true worship is not possible. Worship is not giddy. It does not rush into God’s presence unprepared and insensitive to His majesty. It is not shallow, superficial, or flippant. Worship is life lived in the presence of an infinitely righteous and omnipresent God by one utterly aware of His holiness and consequently overwhelmed with his own unholiness. John MacArthur 1299. It seems to be difficult for Christians today to get away from the idea that Jesus was a passive, amiable, meek-and-mild being who walked through the world making people feel good. Actually, when our Lord was here on earth people were afraid of Him. It was overwhelming for people to come face to face with the living God

incarnate. In fact, the normal reaction to Jesus from both believers and skeptics was fear. He traumatized people…We are to live lives of confession, repentance, and turning from our sin so that our worship is that which fully pleases God. We dare not go rushing into His presence in unholiness. We cannot worship God acceptably except with reverence and godly fear, and in the beauty of holiness. We must return to the biblical teaching of God’s utter and awesome holiness in order to be filled with the gratitude and humility that characterize true worship. John MacArthur 1300. The idea of daily self-denial does not jibe with the contemporary supposition that believing in Jesus is a momentary decision. A true believer is one who signs up for life. The bumpersticker sentiment “Try Jesus” is a mentality foreign to real discipleship —faith is not an experiment, but a lifelong commitment. It means taking up the cross daily, giving all for Christ each day. It means no reservations, no uncertainty, no hesitation (Luke 9:59-62). It means nothing knowingly held back, nothing purposely shielded from His Lordship, nothing stubbornly kept from His control. It calls for painful severing of the tie with the world, a sealing of the escape hatches, a ridding oneself of any kind of security to fall back on in case of failure. Genuine believers know they are going ahead with Christ until death. Having put their hand to the plow, they will not look back (Luke 9:62). That’s how it must be for all who would follow Jesus Christ. It is the stuff of true discipleship. John MacArthur 1301. The simplest statement of the benefit which a truehearted communicant may expect to receive from the Lord's Supper, is the strengthening and refreshing of our souls clearer views of Christ and His atonement, clearer views of all the offices which Christ, fills as our Mediator and Advocate, clearer views of the complete redemption Christ has obtained for us by His substituted death on the cross, clearer views of our full and perfect acceptance in Christ before God, fresh reasons for deep repentance for sin, fresh reasons for lively faith —these are among the leading returns which a believer may confidently expect to get from his attendance at the Lord's Table. He that eats the bread and drinks the wine in a right spirit, will find himself drawn into closer communion with Christ, and will feel to know Him

more, and understand Him better. (a) Right reception of the Lord's Supper has a “humbling” effect on the soul. The sight of the bread and wine as emblems of Christ's body and blood, reminds us how sinful sin must be, if nothing less than the death of God's own Son could make satisfaction for it, or redeem us from its guilt. Never should we be so “clothed with humility,” as when we receive the Lord's Supper. (b) Right reception of the Lord's Supper has a “cheering” effect on the soul. The sight of the bread broken, and the wine poured out, reminds us how full, perfect, and complete is our salvation. Those vivid emblems remind us what an enormous price has been paid for our redemption. They press on us the mighty truth, that believing on Christ, we have nothing to fear, because a sufficient payment has been made for our debt. The “precious blood of Christ” answers every charge that can be brought against us. God can be “just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). (c) Right reception of the Lord's Supper has a “sanctifying” effect on the soul. The bread and wine remind us how great is our debt of gratitude to our Lord, and how thoroughly we are bound to live for Him who died for our sins. They seem to say to us, “Remember what Christ has done for you, and ask yourself whether there is anything too great to do for Him.” (d) Right reception of the Lord's Supper into hearts, has a restraining effect on the soul. Every time a believer receives the bread and the wine he is reminded what a serious thing it is to be a Christian, and what an

obligation is laid on him to lead a consistent life. Bought with such a price as that bread and wine call to his recollection, ought he not to glorify Christ in body and spirit, which are His? The man that goes regularly and intelligently to the Lord's Table finds it increasingly hard to yield to sin and conform to the world. Such is a brief account of the benefits which a right hearted communicant may expect to receive from the Lord's Supper. In eating that bread and drinking that cup, such a man will have his repentance deepened, his faith increased, his knowledge enlarged, his habit of holy living strengthened. He will realize more of the “real presence” of Christ in his heart. Eating, that bread by faith, he will feel closer communion with the body of Christ. Drinking that wine by faith, he will feel closer communion with the blood of Christ. He will see more clearly what Christ is to him, and what he is to Christ. He will understand more thoroughly what it is to be “one with Christ, and Christ one with him.” He will feel the roots of his soul's spiritual life watered, and the work of grace in his heart established, built up, and carried forward. All these things may seem and sound like foolishness to a natural man, but to a true Christian these things are light, and health, and life, and peace. No wonder that a true Christian finds the Lord's Supper a source of blessing! Remember, I do not pretend to say that all Christians experience the full blessing of the Lord's Supper, which I have just attempted to describe. Nor do I say that the same believer will always find his soul in the same spiritual frame, and always receive the same amount of benefit from the ordinance. But I boldly say this: you will rarely find a true believer who will not say that he believes the Lord's Supper is one of his best helps and highest privileges. He will tell you that if he were deprived of the

Lord's Supper on a regular basis he would find the loss of it a great detriment to his soul. There are some things of which we never know the value of till they are taken from us. So I believe it is with the Lord's Supper. The weakest and humblest of God's children gets a blessing from this ordinance, to an extent of which he is not aware. J. C. Ryle 1302. The Lord of the Christmas-tide throws a halo over common toil. Even Christian people have not all learnt the significance of the angel’s visit to the lonely shepherds. Some of us can see the light resting upon a bishop’s crosier, but we cannot see the radiance on the ordinary shepherd’s staff. We can discern the hallowedness of a priest’s vocation, but we see no sanctity in the calling of the grocer, or of the scavenger in the street. We can see the nimbus on the few, but not on the crowd; on the unusual, but not upon the commonplace. But the very birth-hour of Christianity irradiated the humble doings of humble people. When the angels went to the shepherds, common work was encircled with an immortal crown. John Henry Jowett 1303. What is the reason that so many Christians are wasting their lives in the terrible bondage of the world instead of living in the manifestation and the glory of the child of God…? There is one answer: it is self that is the root of the whole trouble…the life of Christ must take the place of the self-life; then alone can we be conquerors… If you trusted God and Jesus, you could not fall—but you trust yourself. Andrew Murray 1304. Many would like to unite church and stage…When the old faith is gone, and enthusiasm for the gospel is extinct, it is no wonder that the people seek something else in the way of delight. Lacking bread, they feed on ashes; rejecting the way of the Lord, they run greedily in the path of folly. Charles H. Spurgeon 1305. God save you from the sin of paring down the gospel to suit the pride of men; God grant that you may deliver your message straight and full and plain. Only so, whatever else you

may sacrifice, will you have one thing—the favor of the Lord Jesus Christ. J. Gresham Machen 1306. Furthermore, if zeal is true, it will be a zeal tempered with love. It will not be a bitter zeal. It will not be a fierce hatred of people. It will not be a zeal that is ready to take the sword and to lash out with carnal weapons. The weapons of true zeal are not carnal, but spiritual. True zeal will hate sin, and yet love the sinner. True zeal will hate heresy, and yet love the heretic. True zeal will long to smash the idol, but deeply pity the idolater. True zeal will detest every kind of wickedness, but labor to do good even to the vilest of sinners. J. C. Ryle 1307. Nothing is so effective in keeping true religion alive as the yeast of zealous Christians scattered throughout the Church. Like salt, they prevent the whole body from falling into a state of decay. No one but men of this kind can revive Churches that are about to die. It is impossible to overestimate the debt that all Christians owe to zeal. The greatest mistake the leaders of a Church can make is to drive zealous men out of its congregation. By doing so they drain out the life-blood of the system, and advance the church's decline and death. God delights in honoring zeal. Look through the list of Christians who have been used most mightily by God. Who are the men that have left the deepest and most indelible marks on the Church of their day? Who are the men that God has generally honored to build up the walls of His Zion, and also to fight the enemy at the gate? He does not use men of learning and literary talent as readily as men of zeal. Latimer was not such a deeply-read scholar as Cranmer or Ridley. He could not quote from memory about the early church, as they did. He refused to be drawn into arguments about church history. He stuck to his Bible. Yet it is clear that no English reformer left such a lasting impression on the nation as old Latimer did. And what was the reason? His simple zeal. Baxter, the Puritan, was not equal to some of his contemporaries in intellectual gifts. He in no way could stand on a level with Manton or

Owen. Yet few men probably exercised so wide an influence on the generation in which he lived. And what was the reason? His burning zeal. Whitefield, and Wesley, and Berridge, and Venn were inferior in mental attainments to Butler and Watson. But they produced effects on the people of this country which fifty Butlers and Watsons would probably never have produced. They saved the Church of England from ruin. And what was one secret of their power? Their zeal. These men stood up front at turning points in the history of the Church. They remained unmoved during storms of opposition and persecution. It could be said that: * They were not afraid to stand alone. * They did not care if their motives were misinterpreted. * They considered everything a loss for the sake of the truth. * Each one of them were eminently men of one thing: and that one thing was to advance the glory of God, and to declare His truth in the world. * They were all on fire, and so they lighted others. * They were wide awake, and so awakened others. * They were always working, and so shamed others into working too. * They came down upon men like Moses from the mountain—they shone as if they had been in the presence of God. * They carried with them everywhere they walked in the world, something of the atmosphere and savor of heaven itself. J. C. Ryle 1308. Despite what Word Faith teachers say, however, our God is not merely a source of cargo. We are His servants, not He ours. He has called us to lives of loving service and worship, not godlike supremacy. He blesses us, but not always materially. In no way can we “write our own ticket” and expect Him to follow our script—nor should any real believer ever desire such a scenario. The life of the Christian is a life spent in pursuit of God’s will—not a strategy to get Him to go along with ours. No one who rejects that fundamental truth can genuinely live unto God’s glory. And no one who has known the emancipation from sin and selfishness wrought by God’s grace should ever be willing

to exchange that freedom for the cheapened cargo of the Word Faith doctrines. John MacArthur 1309. In Romans 8:23, Paul expresses a feeling that every true believer experiences from time to time: “We ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” The “first fruits of the Spirit” is a reference to that new inner self in which the Spirit of God dwells. Having tasted of true holiness in our spirits, we long to experience the perfect reality of that holiness in our bodies as well. That time will come! In the future, each Christian will receive a new body (1 Corinthians 15:35-49). This new one, though, will not have been programmed by a rebellious spirit. Our new heart will be allowed to start over with no past impulses to war against us. Then, at last, our redemption will be complete. Scripture says nothing about nonbelievers receiving another body. The reason is obvious: They would simply mistrain it as they did the first one. For the Christian, though, our new body will be our ultimate victory. Larry Huntsperger 1310. The only possibility of understanding the teaching of Jesus is by the light of the Spirit of God on the inside. If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and familiar are those who have never yet been introduced to Jesus Christ. After the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable darkness of realizing Who He is. Oswald Chambers 1311. The word “fellowship” means a great deal more than privilege; it includes responsibility. Fellowship with Jesus Christ does not merely mean that all His resources are at our disposal; it means that all our resources are, or ought to be, at His disposal. G. Campbell Morgan 1312. Here are laid bare the secrets of the Church’s failure whenever the Church fails to deliver the message of God to the age. This is the secret of her failure through the centuries. The

measure of failure on the part of the Church is the measure in which she has allowed herself to be influenced by the spirit of the age, because she has been untrue to the facts of her own life. We are sometimes told today that what the Church supremely needs is that she should catch the spirit of the age. A thousand times no. What the Church supremely needs is to correct the spirit of the age. The church in Corinth catching the spirit of Corinth became anemic, weak, and failed to deliver the message of God to Corinth. The church of God in London, invaded by the spirit of London, the materialism, militarism, sordidness, and selfishness of London, is too weak to save London. When the Church of God is invaded by the spirit of the age or of the city, it is because the forces equal to repelling the invasion of that destructive spirit are neglected. The Church of God needs no new visitation of power from God. She needs the realization of the power she already has, the appropriation of the forces already within her. G. Campbell Morgan in ‘The Message of 1st Corinthians’ 1313. Zeal does not stand poring over difficulties, but simply says, Here are some souls that are perishing, and we will do something. Zeal does not shrink back because there are Anakites in the way: it looks over their heads, like Moses on Pisgah, and says, We will possess the land. Zeal does not wait for company and delay until good works are fashionable: it goes forward like one who is deserted, and trusts that others will follow eventually. Yes, the world knows very little what a debt it owes to Christian zeal. How much crime it has restrained! How much disobedience it has prevented! How much public discontent it has calmed! How much obedience to the law and love of order it has produced! How many souls it has saved! Yes! and I believe we know very little of what might be accomplished if

every Christian was a zealous man! How much if more ministers were zealous! How much if more laymen were more zealous! Oh, for the world’s sake, as well as your own, resolve, work, strive to be a zealous Christian! J. C. Ryle 1314. Think of the shortness of time. You will soon be gone. You will not have any opportunity for works of mercy in another world. In Heaven there will be no uneducated people to instruct, and no unconverted to save. Whatever you do must be done now. Oh, when are you going to begin? Awake! Be zealous, and repent. J. C. Ryle 1315. It may be true that wise young believers are very rare. But it is just as true that zealous old believers are also very rare. Never allow yourself to think that you can do too much—that you can work too hard and long for the cause of Christ. For every man that does too much I will show you a thousand who don't do enough. Instead think that “Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4). Give, teach, visit, work, and pray as if you were doing it for the last time. J. C. Ryle 1316. Do not fear the reproach of men. Do not faint because you are sometimes abused. Don't let it bother you if you are sometimes called a bigot, a zealot, a fanatic, a crazy person, and a fool. There is nothing disgraceful in these titles. They have often been given to the best and wisest of men. If you are only zealous when you receive praise for it—If the wheels of your zeal must be oiled by the world's commendation, your zeal will be shortlived. Do not care for the praise or the frown of man. There is only one thing worth caring for, and that is the praise of God. There is only one question worth asking about our actions: “How will they appear in

the day of judgment?” J. C. Ryle 1317. Opening of: THE BARREN FIG-TREE; OR, THE DOOM AND DOWNFALL OF THE FRUITLESS PROFESSOR: SHOWING, THAT THE DAY OF GRACE MAY BE PAST WITH HIM LONG BEFORE HIS LIFE IS ENDED; THE SIGNS ALSO BY WHICH SUCH MISERABLE MORTALS MAY BE KNOWN. BY JOHN BUNYAN 'Who being dead, yet speaketh.'-Hebrews 11:4 'A CERTAIN MAN HAD A FIG-TREE PLANTED IN HIS VINEYARD; AND HE CAME AND SOUGHT FRUIT THEREON, AND FOUND NONE. THEN SAID HE UNTO THE DRESSER OF HIS VINEYARD, BEHOLD, THESE THREE YEARS I COME SEEKING FRUIT ON THE FIG-TREE, AND FIND NONE: CUT IT DOWN; WHY CUMBERETH IT THE GROUND? AND HE ANSWERING SAID UNTO HIM, LORD, LET IT ALONE THIS YEAR ALSO, TILL I SHALL DIG ABOUT IT, AND DUNG IT: AND IF IT BEAR FRUIT, WELL: AND IF NOT, THEN AFTER THAT THOU SHALT CUT IT DOWN.'-LUKE 13:6-9. In parables there are two things to be taken notice of, and to be inquired into of them that read. First, The metaphors made use of. Second, The doctrine or mysteries couched under such metaphors. The metaphors in this parable are, 1. A certain man; 2. A vineyard; 3. A fig-tree, barren or fruitless; 4. A dresser; 5. Three years; 6. Digging and dunging, &c. The doctrine, or mystery, couched under these words is to show us what is like to become of a fruitless or formal professor. For, 1. By the man in the parable is meant God the Father (Luke 15:11). 2. By the vineyard, his church (Isa 5:7). 3. By the fig-tree, a professor. 4. By the dresser, the Lord Jesus. 5. By the fig-tree's barrenness, the professor's fruitlessness. 6. By the three years, the patience of God that for a time he extendeth to barren professors. 7. This calling to the dresser of the vineyard to cut it down, is to show the outcries of justice against fruitless professors. 8. The dresser's interceding is to show how the Lord Jesus steps in, and takes hold of the head of his

Father's axe, to stop, or at least to defer, the present execution of a barren fig-tree. 9. The dresser's desire to try to make the fig-tree fruitful, is to show you how unwilling he is that even a barren fig-tree should yet be barren, and perish. 10. His digging about it, and dunging of it, is to show his willingness to apply gospel helps to this barren professor, if haply he may be fruitful. 11. The supposition that the fig-tree may yet continue fruitless, is to show, that when Christ Jesus hath done all, there are some professors will abide barren and fruitless. 12. The determination upon this supposition, at last to cut it down, is a certain prediction of such professor's unavoidable and eternal damnation. After that thou shalt cut it down. When Christ giveth thee over, there is no intercessor, no mediator, no more sacrifice for sin, all is gone but judgment, but the axe, but a 'certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries' (Heb 10:26,27). Barren fig-tree, take heed that thou comest not to these last words, for these words are a give up, a cast up, a cast up of a cast away; 'After that thou shalt cut it down.' They are as much as if Christ had said, Father, I begged for more time for this barren professor; I begged until I should dig about it, and dung it. But now, Father, the time is out, the year is ended, the summer is ended, and no good done! I have also tried with my means, with the gospel, I have digged about it; I have laid also the fat and hearty dung of the gospel to it, but all comes to nothing. Father, I deliver up this professor to thee again; I have done; I have done all; I have done praying and endeavouring; I will hold the head of thine axe no longer. Take him into the hands of justice; do justice; do the law; I will never beg for him more. 'After that thou shalt cut it down.' 'Woe also to them when I depart from them!' (Hosea 9:12). Now is this professor left naked indeed; naked to God, naked to Satan, naked to sin, naked to the law, naked to death, naked to hell, naked to judgment, and naked to the gripes of a guilty conscience, and to the torment of that worm that never dies, and to that fire that never shall be quenched. 'See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall

not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven' (Heb 12:25). John Bunyan 1318. But how will this man die? Can his heart now endure, or can his hands be strong? (Ezek 22:14). (1.) God, and Christ, and pity, have left him. Sin against light, against mercy, and the long-suffering of God, is come up against him; his hope and confidence now lie a-dying by him, and his conscience totters and shakes continually within him! (2.) Death is at his work, cutting of him down, hewing both bark and heart, both body and soul asunder. The man groans, but death hears him not; he looks ghastly, carefully, dejectedly; he sighs, he sweats, he trembles, but death matters nothing. (3.) Fearful cogitations haunt him, misgivings, direful apprehensions of God, terrify him. Now he hath time to think what the loss of heaven will be, and what the torments of hell will be: now he looks no way but he is frighted. (4.) Now would he live, but may not; he would live, though it were but the life of a bed-rid man, but he must not. He that cuts him down sways him as the feller of wood sways the tottering tree; now this way, then that, at last a root breaks, a heart-string, an eye-string, sweeps asunder. (5.) And now, could the soul be annihilated, or brought to nothing, how happy would it count itself, but it sees that may not be. Wherefore it is put to a wonderful strait; stay in the body it may not, go out of the body it dares not. Life is going, the blood settles in the flesh, and the lungs being no more able to draw breath through the nostrils, at last out goes the weary trembling soul, which is immediately seized by devils, who lay lurking in every hole in the chamber for that very purpose. His friends take care of the body, wrap it up in the sheet or coffin, but the soul is out of their thought and reach, going down to the chambers of death. John Bunyan (describing the end of “the barren fig-tree”).

1319. The life of Badman was written in an age when profligacy, vice, and debauchery, marched like a desolating army through our land, headed by the king, and officered by his polluted courtiers; led on with all the pomp and splendour which royalty could display. The king and his ministers well knew that the most formidable enemies to tyranny, oppression, and misgovernment, were the piety and stern morality of the Puritans, Nonconformists, and the small classes of virtuous citizens of other denominations; and therefore every effort was made by allurements and intimidation to debauch and demoralize their minds. Well does Bunyan say that 'wickedness like a flood is like to drown our English world. It has almost swallowed up all our youth, our middle age, old age, and all are almost carried away of this flood. It reels to and fro like a drunkard, it is like to fall and rise no more.' 'It is the very haunts and walks of the infernal spirits.' 'England shakes and makes me totter for its transgressions.' George Offor in his introduction to John Bunyan's 'The Life and Death of Mr. Badman'. 1320. So then, whether Mr. Badman's friends shall rage or laugh at what I have writ, I know that the better end of the staff is mine. My endeavour is to stop a hellish course of life, and to 'save a soul from death' (James 5:20). And if for so doing I meet with envy from them, from whom in reason I should have thanks, I must remember the man in the dream, that cut his way through his armed enemies, and so got into the beauteous palace; I must, I say, remember him, and do myself likewise. John Bunyan 1321. It is the duty of those that can to cry out against this deadly plague, yea, to lift up their voice as with a trumpet against it, that men may be awakened about it, fly from it, as from that which is the greatest of evils. Sin pulled angels out of heaven, pulls men down to hell, and overthroweth kingdoms. Who, that sees a house on fire, will not give the alarm to them that dwell therein? Who, that sees the land invaded, will not set the beacons on a flame. Who, that sees the devils as

roaring lions, continually devouring souls, will not make an out-cry? But above all, when we see sin, sinful sin, a swallowing up a nation, sinking of a nation, and bringing its inhabitants to temporal, spiritual, and eternal ruin, shall we not cry out and cry, They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink; they are intoxicated with the deadly poison of sin, which will, if its malignity be not by wholesome means allayed, bring soul and body, and estate, and country, and all, to ruin and destruction? John Bunyan 1322. The Church of God always fails when she becomes conformed to the methods, maxims, and manners of the city. The Church of God always succeeds when, true to the supernatural nature of her life, she stands in perfect separation from the city. Only thus is she able to touch and help the city. Consequently the abiding appeal of the letter is patent. It calls the Church of God in every age to recognition of responsibility concerning the city. The church is responsible for the religious life of the city, for the moral standards of the city, for the social order of the city. G. Campbell Morgan in ‘The Message of 1st Corinthians’ 1323. The infidelity of the hour is the infidelity of indifference; and the business of the Church is to arrest the indifferent, to arouse the conscience, to affirm God, to compel men to the consideration of the infinite, eternal, and abiding things. G. Campbell Morgan in ‘The Message of 1st Corinthians’ 1324. The only noble sense in which we can claim to believe a thing is when we ourselves are living in the inner spirit of that thing. I have no right to say I believe in God unless I order my life as under His all–seeing Eye. I have no right to say I believe that Jesus is the Son of God unless in my personal life I yield myself to that Eternal Spirit, free from all selfseeking, which became incarnate in Jesus. I have no right to say that I believe in forgiveness as an attribute of God if in my own heart I cherish an unforgiving temper. The forgiveness of God is the test by which I myself am judged.

Belief is a wholesale committal, it means making things inevitable, cutting off every possible retreat. Belief is as irrevocable as bereavement. Belief is the abandonment of all claim to merit. That is why it is so difficult to believe. Oswald Chambers 1325. “Target marketing” is a key concept in the user-friendly church movement. George Barna has written, “To successfully market your product, you have to identify its prospective market. The key to market identification—sometimes referred to as “target marketing”—is to be as specific as possible in selecting the audience to whom you will market the product. By matching the appeal of your product to the interests and needs of specific population segments, you can concentrate on getting your product to your best prospects without wasting resources on people who have no need or interest in your product…By knowing the product’s market, the product itself can be developed to address the special needs of that segment, and the entire marketing effort can be designed with maximum efficiency.” In other words, decide whom you’re going to minister to, fashion the “product” to suit that audience, and don’t “waste resources” on people outside that targeted group. Why do you suppose nearly all the user-friendly churches identify their “target market” as young suburban professionals and other moneyed groups? Why are so few of these churches ministering to poor and inner-city congregations or mixtures of all classes and types of people? The answer is obvious. One leading pastor in the movement says, “A pastor can define his appropriate target audience by determining with whom he would like to spend a vacation or an afternoon of recreation.” It would be hard to imagine a ministry philosophy more at odds with the Word of God than that. Doesn’t Scripture say, “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1). And “did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” (v.5). “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (v.9).

Those who narrow their ministry to a select “target audience” certainly are not ministering in the spirit of Paul, who considered himself debtor to all and ministered to all alike. John MacArthur 1326. The man of God to be thoroughly furnished unto every good work must accept the spiritual discipline of reproof and correction and training in righteousness that the Scriptures convey, and also the mental discipline which a right understanding of the Scripture demands. David Lambert 1327. When you feel that first motion of sin, just pull yourself up and say, “Of course I am not having any dealings with this at all.” Expose the thing and say, “This is evil, this is vileness, this is the thing that drove the first man out of Paradise.” Pull it out, look at it, denounce it, hate it for what it is; then you have really dealt with it. You must not merely push it back in a spirit of fear, and in a timorous manner. Bring it out, expose it, and analyze it; and then denounce it for what it is until you hate it. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1328. An orator moves men to do what they are indifferent about; a preacher of the Gospel has to move men to do what they are dead-set against doing, viz., giving up the right to themselves. The one calling of a New Testament preacher is to uncover sin and reveal Jesus Christ as Savior, consequently he cannot be poetical, he has to be surgical. We are not sent to give beautiful discourses which make people say, “What a lovely conception that is,” but to unearth the devil and his works in human souls. We have to probe straight down where God has probed us, and the measure of the probing is the way God has probed us. Oswald Chambers 1329. The average view of Christianity, that we only need to have faith and we are saved, is a stumbling block. How many of us care anything about being witnesses to Jesus Christ? How many of us are willing to spend every ounce of energy we have, every bit of mental, moral and spiritual life for Jesus Christ? That is the meaning of a worker in God’s sense. God has left us on earth, what for? To be saved and sanctified? No, to be at it for Him. If we are “footing it” bit by bit, and living in the otherworldly spirit while in the world, we are developing our personality, and are of far more worth to Jesus than

those who have entered into the experience of sanctification but have never gone any farther. Are we willing to be broken bread and poured-out wine in Jesus Christ’s hands for others? To be spoilt for this age, for this life, this time, spoilt from every standpoint saving as we can disciple men and women for Him? My life as a worker is the way I say “Thank You” to God for His unspeakable salvation. The hatred and the indignation of the world does not come when we are sanctified; it comes when we try to live our daily life according to the rule of sanctification. It is not preaching sanctification that awakens resentment, but living the life to which sanctification introduces us, the life of oneness with Jesus Christ, and insisting that that oneness be manifested in our practical life. “Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of Man….From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” It is quite possible for anyone to be cast out as reprobate silver, “lest that by any means…I myself should be a castaway.” Oswald Chambers 1330. If we wish to excel in secular things, we concentrate; why should we be less careful in work for God? Don’t get dissipated; determine to develop your intellect for one purpose only—to make yourself of more use to God. Have a perfect machine ready for God to use. It is impossible to read too much, but always keep before you why you read. Remember that “the need to receive, recognize, and rely on the Holy Spirit” is before all else. Oswald Chambers 1331. Never trust anything in yourself that God has not placed there through the regeneration of Our Lord Jesus Christ; and never trust anything saving that in anyone else. That is the stern platform you have to stand on when you present the truth of God, and it will resolve you on to a lonely platform, because your message will be craved for but its way of being presented will be resented. The Gospel of Jesus Christ awakens an intense craving and an equally intense resentment. Base on personal love for the Lord, not on personal love for men. Personal love for men will make you call immorality a weakness, and holiness a mere aspiration; personal love for the Lord will make you call immorality devilish, and holiness the only thing that can stand in the light of God. The only safety for the preacher is to face his soul not

with his people, or even his message, but to face his soul with his Savior all the time. Oswald Chambers 1332. You cannot be profoundly moved by a sentiment or by an idea of holiness, but you can be moved by a passion; and the old writers used to speak of the Cross as the Passion of Our Lord. The Cross is the great opening through which all the blood of Christian service runs. Do we bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in our preaching, or do we leave our congregations with the impression of how sweet and winsome we are? Whether Paul’s words were stinging or comforting, for praise or for condemnation, the one impression left was Jesus Christ and Him crucified, not Jesus Christ risen and exalted, but crucified. The reason some of us have no power in our preaching, no sense of awe, is that we have no passion for God, but only a passion for Humanity. The one thing we have to do is to exhibit Jesus Christ crucified, to lift Him up all the time. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” Paul had one passion only, he had seen the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus Christ? God exalted in Christ crucified. Oswald Chambers 1333. I sometimes think that the very essence of the whole Christian position, and the secret of a successful spiritual life, is just to realize two things. They are in these first two verses, “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.” In other words, I must have complete, absolute confidence in God, and no confidence in myself. As long as you and I are in the position in which we “worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” all is well with us. That is to be truly Christian-on the one hand utter absolute confidence in God, and on the other no confidence in myself and what I may do. If I take that view of myself, it means that I shall always be looking to God. And in that position I shall never fail. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Psalm 73 1334. The modern Christian seems to think that he is doing something wonderful when he behaves very much like the man of the world; he tries to argue that this is the way to win him. But he is not winning him! Our Lord could mix with publicans and sinners, but He

was never mistaken for one of them; He was called the friend of publicans and sinners, but the contrast was there even in the criticism. And the point is that the true Christian, because of what has happened to him, because of this regeneration, because of the work of the Spirit, because he has been made anew, is of necessity a different man, and should show himself to be a different man. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1335. The great point, surely, is that there is hope for all, that God's love extends even to the publicans and sinners. The glorious truth that shines out in these Parables, and which is meant to be impressed upon us, is God's amazing love, its scope and its reach. It especially contrasts the ideas of the Pharisees and scribes on that subject. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Luke Chapter 15 1336. Most of our emphasis today is on what our Lord’s death means to us: the thing that is of importance is that we understand what God means in the Cross. Paul did not understand the Cross in order that he might receive the life of God; but by understanding the Cross, he received the life. Study the Cross for no other sake than God’s sake, and you will be holy without knowing it. The danger is to fix our eyes on our own whiteness. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” Are we lifting up what Jesus Christ can do in the place of His Cross? That snare besets us until we learn the passion of Paul’s life. The call to preach is not because I have a special gift, or because Jesus has sanctified me, but that I have had a glimpse of God’s meaning in the Cross, and life can never be the same again. The passion of Paul’s preaching is the suffering of God Almighty exhibited in the Cross of Christ. Many who are working for God ought to be learning in the School of Calvary. Paul says— “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” — not myself crucified with Christ, that is a mere et cetera; the one Figure left is Jesus Christ, and His Cross. Oswald Chambers 1337. Nowadays the great passion is the passion for souls, but you never find that passion mentioned in the New Testament, it is the passion for Christ that the New Testament mentions. It is not a passion for men that saves men; a passion for men breaks human hearts. The passion for Christ inwrought by the Holy

Ghost goes deeper down than the deepest agony the world, the flesh and the devil can produce. It goes straight down to where Our Lord went, and the Holy Ghost works out, not in thinking, but in living, this passion for Christ. Whenever the passion for souls obscures the passion for Christ, Satan has come in as an angel of light. Oswald Chambers 1338. There are but two ways right and wrong, good and evil; the way to Heaven and the way to hell; in the one or other of these all are walking: there is no middle place hereafter, no middle way now. All the children of men are saints or sinners, godly or ungodly. See concerning the way of sin and sinners, that the gate is wide, and stands open. You may go in at this gate with all your lusts about you; it gives no check to appetites or passions. It is a broad way; there are many paths in it; there is choice of sinful ways. There is a large company in this way. But what profit is there in being willing to go to hell with others, because they will not go to Heaven with us? The way to eternal life is narrow. We are not in Heaven as soon as we are got through the strait gate. Self must be denied, the body kept under, and corruptions mortified. Daily temptations must be resisted; duties must be done. We must watch in all things, and walk with care; and we must go through much tribulation. And yet this way should invite us all; it leads to life: to present comfort in the favor of God, which is the life of the soul; to eternal bliss, the hope of which at the end of our way, should make all the difficulties of the road easy to us. This plain declaration of Christ has been disregarded by many who have taken pains to explain it away; but in all ages the real disciple of Christ has been looked on as a singular, unfashionable character; and all that have sided with the greater number, have gone on in the broad road to destruction. If we would serve God, we must be firm in our religion. Can we often hear of the strait gate and the narrow way, and how few there are that find it, without being in pain for ourselves, or considering whether we are entered on the narrow way, and what progress we are making in it? Matthew Henry on Matthew 7:13-14 1339. To follow Jesus Christ today is to follow a madman according to the ideals of present-day civilization. We have the idea that our civilization is God-ordained, whereas it has been built up by ourselves.

We have made a thousand and one necessities until our system of civilized life is as cast iron, and then we apologize to the Lord for not following Him. “God can never mean that I have to follow Him at the cost of all I have?” But He does mean it. Instantly the clash is between our civilization and the call of Jesus Christ. Read the Sermon on the Mount— “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” —and apply it to modern life and you will find its statements are either those of a madman or of God Incarnate. Oswald Chambers 1340. Some might imagine that if Christ had wanted His message to have maximum impact, He could have played off His popularity more effectively. Modern conventional wisdom would suggest that Jesus ought to have done everything possible to exploit His fame, tone down the controversies that arose out of His teaching, and employ whatever strategies He could to maximize the crowds around Him. But He did not do that. In fact, He did precisely the opposite. Instead of taking the populist route and exploiting His fame, He began to emphasize the very things that made His message so controversial. At about the time the crowds reached their peak, He preached a message so boldly confrontational and so offensive in its content that the multitude melted away, leaving only the most devoted few (John 6:66-67). John MacArthur 1341. God’s favorite instruments are nobodies, so that no man can boast before God. In other words, God chooses whom He chooses in order that He might receive the glory. He chooses weak instruments so that no one will attribute the power to human instruments rather than to God, who wields those instruments. Such a strategy is unacceptable to those whose whole pursuit in life is aimed toward the goal of human glory. With the notable exception of Judas, these men were not like that. They certainly struggled with pride and arrogance like every fallen human being. But the driving passion of their lives became the glory of Christ. And it was that passion, subjected to the influence of the Holy Spirit—not any innate skill or human talent—that explains why they left such an indelible impact on the world. John MacArthur 1342. Spiritual growth progresses from knowing you are a Christian to knowing the Word of God to knowing God Himself. The way to know

God is to spend your life focusing on His glory, thus learning to understand the fullness of His person. That focus becomes a magnet drawing you upward through the levels of maturity. John MacArthur 1343. It is easier to read some pious book than the Bible. The Bible treats you like human life does—roughly. There are two ways of dealing with facts—one is to shut your eyes and say that they are not there, the other is to open your eyes and look at them and let them mould you. Oswald Chambers 1344. Dear saint, the truth about “hard preaching,” if it's preached through tears, is that it's actually “grace preaching.” If you're being probed by God's Word—if His Spirit isn't letting you sit comfortably in your sin—then you're being shown mercy. It is the deep love of God at work, wooing you out of death and into life. David Wilkerson 1345. Jesus Christ says the message of the Bible is about Himself— we cannot interpret it according to any other key…” “…no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” We can prove anything we choose from the Bible once we forget the message Jesus says it contains. “The test that you know the Bible is that you understand what it is driving at, it is expounding Me, giving the exposition of what I am after.” Oswald Chambers 1346. Prosperity is always a more insidious danger than adversity to the man of faith. G. Campbell Morgan 1347. It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to the people, but people to Christ. Dorothy Sayers 1348. Self-realization is a modern phrase—”Be moral, be religious, be upright in order that you may realize yourself.” Nothing blinds the mind to the claims of Jesus Christ more effectually than a good, clean-living, upright life based on selfrealization (see 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ). The issue with us today is not with external sins, but with the ideal of self-realization, because Jesus Christ reveals that that ideal will divide clean asunder from Him. If we are going to be His disciples our ideal must be Christ-realization. Oswald Chambers

1349. The first book of Chronicles is the condemnation of rationalism in national life. The second book is the condemnation of ritualism in national life. In the first book I see the necessity for a nation’s remembrance of God, and recognition of His government in all its affairs. In the second book I have a revelation of the absolute folly and failure of the nation which recognizes God formally, but does not answer the symbolism of its recognition by the actuality of its conduct and character. That is the difference between rationalism and ritualism. Rationalism says, We can manage without God. Ritualism says, We must adopt the terminology which suggests God, and having done that, it is careless of that actual dealing with Him, which is vital to national life. G. Campbell Morgan 1350. If the Church of God is not what it ought to be, we have a nation without salt and without light, a nation rushing headlong to Godlessness, characterized by base ideals and ignoble conduct; by cowardice in the presence of wrong, and carelessness about the importance of right. If that be the national condition, the blame is with the Church of God. G. Campbell Morgan 1351. The world has done with formalism. Whether it be her theatres, her public houses, or anything else, she means business; and a world that means business is never going to be influenced by a Church that is playing. G. Campbell Morgan 1352. If a mariner, having to traverse an unknown sea, does not put implicit confidence in his charts, and therefore does not consult them for guidance in steering the ship, he is, as anyone can see, every moment exposed to dangers of various kinds. Now, the Word of God-the Book written by holy men as they were moved by the Spirit of God-is the Christian's chart; and though, in a ship's company, some of the men may have little critical knowledge of navigation, the captain is supposed to be well instructed therein, and to be able, by consulting the charts, to steer the ship aright; so in reference to ministers of Christ's gospel, and pastors of Christ's church, which he hath purchased with his blood. The first step astray is a want of adequate faith in the divine inspiration of the sacred Scriptures. All the while a man bows to the

authority of God's Word, he will not entertain any sentiment contrary to its teaching. “To the law and to the testimony,” is his appeal concerning every doctrine. He esteems that holy Book, concerning all things, to be right, and therefore he hates every false way. But let a man question, or entertain low views of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, and he is without chart to guide him, and without anchor to hold him. Robert Shindler in 1887 1353. No lover of the gospel can conceal from himself the fact that the days are evil. We are willing to make a large discount from our apprehensions on the score of natural timidity, the caution of age, and the weakness produced by pain; but yet our solemn conviction is that things are much worse in many churches than they seem to be, and are rapidly tending downward. Read those newspapers which represent the Broad School of Dissent, and ask yourself, How much farther could they go? What doctrine remains to be abandoned? What other truth to be the object of contempt? A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese; and this religion, being destitute of moral honesty, palms itself off as the old faith with slight improvements, and on this plea usurps pulpits which were erected for gospel preaching. The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of Scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into fiction, and the resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren, and maintain a confederacy with them! Robert Shindler in 1887 1354. The other day we were asked to mention the name of some person who might be a suitable pastor for a vacant church, and the deacon who wrote said, “Let him be a converted man, and let him be one who believes what he preaches; for there are those around us who give us the idea that they have neither part nor lot in the matter.” This remark is more commonly

made than we like to remember, and there is, alas! too much need for it. A student from a certain college preached to a congregation we sometimes visit such a sermon that the deacon said to him in the vestry, “Sir, do you believe in the Holy Ghost?” The youth replied, “I suppose I do.” To which the deacon answered, “I suppose you do not, or you would not have insulted us with such false doctrine.” A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory, and man of his hope. Robert Shindler in 1887 1355. Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” —identity with Jesus Christ and with His joy. What was the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ? His joy was in having completely finished the work His Father gave Him to do; and the same type of joy will be granted to every man and woman who is born of God the Holy Ghost and sanctified, when they fulfill the work God has given them to do. What is that work? To be a saint, a walking, talking, living, practical epistle of what God Almighty can do through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ—one in identity with the faith of Jesus, one in identity with the love of Jesus, one in identity with the Spirit of Jesus until we are so one in Him that the high-priestly prayer not only begins to be answered, but is clearly manifest in its answering— “that they may be one, even as We are.” Oswald Chambers 1356. Stop reading your Bibles to find out what’s in it for you. Start reading your Bibles to find out what’s in it for Him. Mike Wilhoit 1357. Search Scripture through, and you must, if you read it with a candid mind, be persuaded that the doctrine of salvation by grace alone is the great doctrine of the word of God: “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord.” This is a point concerning which we are daily fighting. Our opponents say, “Salvation belongeth to the free will of man; if not

to man’s merit, yet at least to man’s will;” but we hold and teach that salvation from first to last, in every iota of it, belongs to the Most High God. It is God that chooses His people. He calls them by His grace; He quickens them by His Spirit, and keeps them by His power. It is not of man, neither by man; “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” May we all learn this truth experimentally, for our proud flesh and blood will never permit us to learn it in any other way. Charles H. Spurgeon 1358. “Now let Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,” was the swan-like song of old Simeon. He speaks like a merchant that had got all his goods on ship-board, and now desires the master of the ship to hoist sail, and be gone homewards. Indeed, what should a Christian, that is but a foreigner here, desire to stay any longer for in the world, but to get his full lading in for Heaven? And when hath he that, if not when he is assured of his peace with God? This peace of the gospel, and sense of the love of God in the soul, doth so admirably conduce to the enabling of a person in all difficulties, and temptations, and troubles, that ordinarily, before He calls His saints to any hard service, or hot work, He gives them a draught of this cordial wine next their hearts, to cheer them up and embolden them in the conflict. William Gurnall 1359. At such seasons as these, the reasonable men of the world, those who walk by sight and not by faith, will think it reasonable enough that the Christian should be afraid; they themselves would be very low if they were in such a predicament. Weak believers are now ready to make excuses for us, and we are only too ready to make them for ourselves; instead of rising above the weakness of the flesh, we take refuge under it, and use it as an excuse. But let us think prayerfully for a little while, and we shall see that it should not be thus with us. To trust only when appearances are favorable, is to sail only with the wind and tide, to believe only when we can see. Oh! let us follow the example of the psalmist, and seek that unreservedness of faith which will enable us to trust God, come what will, and to say as he said, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” Phillip Bennett Power

1360. The danger of God’s workers today is the danger of making their work the center. We cannot build up any intimate relationship with the work, people, or any event. We must be directly related to God and set our eyes on Him alone. Watchman Nee 1361. Once I was taking a walk with Miss Barber in a garden. After some time the two of us became tired, and we sat down on some chairs under a tree. She said, “There is a bright star in the sky, but I cannot see it because a leaf has blocked the view. Brother Nee, if someone comes and tells me many ways to see the star, I still could not see it even though the ways he said were good. The reason is that my position is wrong; I am standing on the wrong ground.” The words she said that night are still fresh in my mind today. She explained that a little leaf could block the light of a big star. Many times, God’s will is frustrated by very small things. When you seek after God’s will again and again and are still unclear, you should not change the method, but change the person. If you find that you cannot know God’s will, it means that there is some blockage between you and God. It may be that God has spoken to you already, but that you are unwilling to obey Him. You have to remove these hindrances. After you have dealt with these problems thoroughly, you will know God’s will. In knowing God’s will, we have to pay attention to the person rather than the methods. Watchman Nee 1362. You see, there comes a time in the life of every believer—as well as in the church—when God puts us to the ultimate test of faith. It’s the same test Israel faced on the wilderness side of the Jordan. What is the test? It is to look at all the dangers ahead—the giant issues facing us, the high walls of affliction, the principalities and powers that seek to destroy us—and to cast ourselves totally on God’s promises. The test is to commit ourselves to a lifetime of trust and confidence in His Word. It’s a commitment to believe that God is bigger than all of our problems and enemies. Our heavenly Father isn’t looking for a faith that deals with one problem at a time. He’s looking for a lifetime faith, a lifelong commitment to believe Him for the impossible. This kind of faith brings

a calm and rest to our soul, no matter what our situation. And we have this calm because we’ve settled once and for all, “My God is bigger. He is able to bring me out of any and all afflictions.” David Wilkerson 1363. Beloved, that is faith. It means settling your heart to obey all that’s written in God’s Word, without questioning it or taking it lightly. And we know that if our hearts are determined to obey, God will make sure His Word to us is clear, without confusion. Moreover, if He commands us to do something, He’ll supply us with the power and strength to obey: “Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10). “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10). There comes a time when all of us have to say, “Jesus, I want to walk with You in faith. I’m tired of being up and down, of questioning you every time a struggle comes up. You’ve drawn a line. And I’m stepping over that line, by faith. You’ve promised to fight the battle for me. And I trust You.” David Wilkerson 1364. We would like to agree with one who says that the bulk of our church-members love the old gospel; but we are not quite sure of it. If there were so general a soundness in the rank and file, would they quietly endure the abounding errors of the pulpits, and the babyish amusements with which congregations are being drenched? We fear the plague is among the people as well as among the priests. Yet, surely, there must be some who will fling aside the dastard love of peace, and speak out for our Lord, and for His truth. A craven spirit is upon many, and their tongues are paralyzed. Oh, for an outburst of true faith and holy zeal! Charles H. Spurgeon 1365. Lest riches should be accounted evil in themselves, God sometimes gives them to the righteous; and lest they should be considered as the chief good, He frequently bestows them on the wicked. But they are more generally the portion of His enemies than His friends. Alas! what is it to receive and not be received? to have none other dews of blessing than such as shall be followed by showers of brimstone? We may compass ourselves with sparks of security, and afterwards be secured in eternal misery. This world is a floating island, and so sure as we cast anchor upon it, we shall be carried away by it.

God, and all that He has made, is not more than God without anything that He has made. He can never want treasure who has such a golden mine. He is enough without the creature, but the creature is not anything without Him. It is, therefore, better to enjoy Him without anything else, than to enjoy everything else without Him. It is better to be a wooden vessel filled with wine, than a golden one filled with water. William Secker 1366. Much needs to be done by a Christian church within its own bounds, and for the neighborhood, and for the poor and the fallen, and for the heathen world, and so forth; and if it is well attended to, minds, and hearts, and hands, and tongues will be occupied, and diversions will not be asked for. Let idleness come in, and that spirit which rules lazy people, and there will arise a desire to be amused. What amusements they are, too! If religion is not a farce with some congregations, at any rate they turn out better to see a farce than to unite in prayer. I cannot understand it. The man who is all aglow with love to Jesus finds little need for amusement. He has no time for trifling. He is in dead earnest to save souls, and establish the truth, and enlarge the kingdom of his Lord. There has always been some pressing claim for the cause of God upon me; and, that settled, there has been another, and another, and another, and the scramble has been to find opportunity to do the work that must be done, and hence I have not had the time for gadding abroad after frivolities. Oh, to get a working church! The German churches, when our dear friend, Mr. Oncken, was alive, always carried out the rule of asking every member, “What are you going to do for Christ?” and they put the answer down in a book. The one thing that was required of every member was that he should continue doing something for the Savior. If he ceased to do anything it was a matter for church discipline, for he was an idle professor, and could not be allowed to remain in the church like a drone in a hive of working bees. He must do or go. Oh, for a vineyard without a barren fig-tree to cumber the ground! At present the most of our sacred warfare is carried on by a small body of intensely living, earnest people, and the rest are either in hospital, or are mere camp followers. We are thankful for that consecrated few; but

we pine to see the altar fire consuming all that is professedly laid upon the altar. Charles H. Spurgeon 1367. Man is not God but hath God’s end to serve, a Master to obey, a course to take, somewhat to cast off, somewhat to become. Grant this, then man must pass from old to new, from vain to real, from mistake to fact, from what once seemed good, to what now proves best. Robert Browning 1368. It is a good thing to feel our own powerlessness in the face of destruction, it makes us know how much we depend upon God. In these days the outstanding marvel is the way mothers and wives have gone through sorrow, not callously, but with an extraordinary sense of hopefulness. One thing this war has done is to knock on the head all such shallow optimism as telling people to “look on the bright side of things”; or that “every cloud has a silver lining”: there are some clouds that are black all through. Oswald Chambers (From a study on Job in 1917) 1369. Facing facts as they are produces despair, not frenzy, but real downright despair, and God never blames a man for despair. The man who thinks must be pessimistic; thinking can never produce optimism. The wisest man that ever lived said that “he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” The basis of things is not reasonable, but wild and tragic, and to face things as they are brings a man to the ordeal of despair. Ibsen presents this ordeal, there is no defiance in his presentation, he knows that there is no such thing as forgiveness in Nature, and that every sin has a Nemesis following it. His summing up of life is that of quiet despair because he knows nothing of the revelation given of God by Jesus Christ. “Blessed are they that mourn.” Our Lord always speaks from that basis, never from the basis of the “gospel of temperament.” When a man gets to despair he knows that all his thinking will never get him out, he will only get out by the sheer creative effort of God, consequently he is in the right attitude to receive from God that which he cannot gain for himself. Oswald Chambers 1370. Our Lord said that He was “meek and lowly in heart,” yet meekness is not the striking feature in the temple when He drove out

those that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers. Our Lord was meek towards His Father’s dispensations for Him, but not necessarily meek towards men when His Father’s honor was at stake. Oswald Chambers 1371. For there are two things with which this life is exercised, HOPE and FEAR, which are, as it were, those two springs of Judges 1:15, the one from above, the other from beneath. Fear comes from beholding the threats and fearful judgments of God; as being a God in whose sight no one is clean, every one is a sinner, every one is damnable. But hope comes from beholding the promises and the all-sweet mercies of God; as it is written (Psalm 25:6), “Remember, O Lord, thy loving kindnesses, and thy tender mercies which have been ever of old.” Between these two, as between the upper and nether millstone, we must always be ground and kept, that we may never turn either to the right hand or to the left. For this turning is the state peculiar to hypocrites, who are exercised with the two contrary things, security and presumption. Martin Luther. 1372. It is not enough to bemoan the desecration of the temple of the heart, we must scourge out the buyers and sellers, and overturn the tables of the money changers. A pardoned sinner will hate the sins which cost the Savior His blood. Grace and sin are quarrelsome neighbors, and one or the other must go to the wall. Charles H. Spurgeon 1373. We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best. Life’s but a means unto an end—that end, Beginning, mean and end to all things—God Philip James Bailey 1374. In the Christian life we are not being used for our own designs at all, but for the fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus Christ. He has prayed that we might be one with Him as He is one with the Father, consequently God is concerned only about that one thing, and He

never says “By your leave.” Whether we like it or not, God will burn us in His fire until we are as pure as He is, and it is during the process that we cry, as Job did, “I wish You would leave me alone.” God is the only Being who can afford to be misunderstood; we cannot, Job could not, but God can. If we are misunderstood we “get about” the man as soon as we can. St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” God never vindicates Himself, He deliberately stands aside and lets all sorts of slanders heap on Him, yet He is not in any hurry. We have the idea that prosperity, or happiness, or morality, is the end of man’s existence; according to the Bible it is something other, viz., “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” When a man is right with God, God puts His honor in that man’s keeping. Job was one of those in whom God staked His honor, and it was during the process of His inexplicable ways that Job makes his appeal for mercy, and yet all through there comes out his implicit confidence in God. “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me,” said our Lord. Oswald Chambers 1375. I say this, not in condemnation, but as a plea for us to wake up: Until we stop building personal empires and country clubs; until we start building boot camps and bunkers for training up soldiers and sending them out into the battlefields of this earth, I have little hope for Christianity in America. Mike Wilhoit 1376. Hence wicked men's hope is said to die, not before, but with them; they give up the ghost together. And thus did Mr. Badman. His sins and his hope went with him to the gate, but there his hope left him, because he died there; but his sins went in with him, to be a worm to gnaw him in conscience for ever and ever. John Bunyan in 'The Life and Death of Mr. Badman' 1377. Consider man what I have said, And judge of things aright; When all men's cards are fully played,

Whose will abide the light? John Bunyan 1378. Faithfulness becomes the ministers of Christ in dealing with the souls of men; and preeminently faithful is John Bunyan in this treatise. Reader, he will be clear of thy blood. Enter upon the solemn inquiry, Have I sought the gate? Shall I be admitted into, or shut out from, that blessed kingdom? The openly profane can have no hope. Are you a professor?--there is danger still. In vain will it be to urge, 'We have prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out devils.' To the secretly profane, whatever may be their profession, there can be no well-grounded hope of entrance in at this gate. Those only will be admitted whom the Lord knows to be His--the sheep of His pasture, who have heard His voice, and obeyed it. Against all others the door will be shut, and the awful words, 'I know you not--depart, ye cursed,' will hurry them to eternal darkness. The question, 'Are there few that be saved?' will suggest itself to our minds; may the answer fix upon our conscience, 'STRIVE to enter in.' It is very probable that it was in preaching upon this text, Bunyan was assailed with a want of charity. The anecdote is thus narrated by Mr. Doe in The Struggler:--'As Mr. Bunyan was preaching in a barn, and showing the fewness of those that should be saved, there stood one of the learned to take advantage of his words; and having done preaching, the schoolman said to him, You are a deceiver, a person of no charity, and therefore not fit to preach; for he that, in effect, condemneth the greatest part of his hearers hath no charity, and therefore is not fit to preach. Then Mr. Bunyan answered, The Lord Jesus Christ preached in a ship to His hearers on the shore (Matt. 13), and showed that they were as four sorts of ground, the highway, the stony, the thorny, and the good ground, but those represented by the good ground were the only persons to be saved. And your position is, That he that in effect condemneth the greatest part of

his hearers, hath no charity, and therefore is not fit to preach the gospel. But here the Lord Jesus Christ did so, then your conclusion is, The Lord Jesus Christ wanted charity, and therefore was not fit to preach the gospel. Horrid blasphemy; away with your hellish logic, and speak Scripture.' Of one thing we are certain, that while hollow-hearted hypocritical professors will ever complain of faithful dealing with their soul's eternal interests; the sincere and humble Christian will be most thankful for searching inquiries, that, if wrong, he may be set right before his final destiny is irrevocably fixed. May our souls submit to a scriptural measurement of this gate, and the terms upon which alone it can be opened unto us. George Offor in his introduction to John Bunyan's 'The Strait Gate' 1379. As Jesus walked down a road in Caesarea Philippi, dressed in a common robe and everyday sandals, He appeared to be an ordinary man. However, the Spirit awakened in Peter the truth that Jesus was the long awaited One. God stood before Peter in the flesh, ready to save all who would believe in Him. Perhaps you think of today as just another typical ho-hum day. Be careful! The Spirit of God may suddenly awaken you to the living presence of Christ. When the Spirit opens the eyes of your heart to Him, respond as did Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Robert L. Adams 1380. The devil’s masterstroke today is that he has so largely succeeded in hiding himself, while still hard at work. G. Campbell Morgan 1381. God made men for leadership, for action, for the defense of His holy standard in the world. When men cease to be men, a civilization dies. Ours is dying because Christian men stand passive in the face of God’s enemies and their agenda to destroy life and wreck the family. Philip H. Lancaster 1382. A house is condemned when it is no longer useful but instead is a danger. A man is condemned when the evidence proves he is guilty. No longer useful…a danger…guilty—each of these things were in the hearts of the people who condemned Jesus and called for His death. How painful it is to realize a large

group of deeply religious people concluded Jesus was no longer useful, was a danger to their lives, and was guilty of blasphemy and treason. This is always the choice before us. We must either condemn Jesus as guilty of outrageous falsehood or embrace Him as the incarnate God who came to save us, even through His sufferings. As we embrace Him in faith, we find the nail prints of His death become wounds that speak to us of His holiness and His love. Robert L. Adams 1383. In the last analysis, Nehemiah’s achievement was that he flung up a highway for God, provided Him with vantage ground on which to stand and wait, until, to quote Paul’s great word, “the faith,” should come. It is a fine ending to inspired history. If that be the permanent value, the living message is stated in two quotations I have already made: “My righteous one shall live by faith,” and “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant? He that walketh in darkness, and hath no light, let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God.” The book of Nehemiah brings this message to every period of darkness. I will not stay to apply it to personal life, but to larger life. Is this an hour of dark outlook? I am afraid in all honesty I must say to you that it does so seem to me. I could certainly, so far as I am concerned, take the prophecy of Malachi, and preach it as it stands to this day and generation. I think there is a wonderful and almost tragic similarity between the last condition of the Hebrew people and the hour in which we live. All about us are indifferent multitudes. Far more widespread than some of us think, is incipient, and sometimes open disloyalty to the Truth of God. On the other hand, there is a lack of enthusiasm about the things of Christ—languishing foreign Missionary Societies. It is not my ordinary custom to speak thus of the age. I do it now to reveal why I do not often do it. The true attitude of faith, in any hour of darkness, hour of peril, such as I believe we are in at the present moment, is, first, that it is sure of God. It has no hopeless dirge to chant upon the sunless air. In the second place, faith acts with God, and for God, in strenuous endeavor. The man who nurses his orthodoxy, and does nothing for God, is a liar and a hypocrite. If you

believe in evangelical faith, you are out upon the evangelistic path; whether it be at home or abroad matters nothing. The man who is evangelical believes in the doctrines of sin and grace, believes that men will be lost, and lost irrevocably unless saved through the Cross. If we believe these things we must put blood and sweat into the business of saving men. Faith is first sure of God. It then acts with God and for God. Finally, it declines all compromise with foes outside or inside. Faith trusts God as Nehemiah did, does its own day’s work, and leaves all the future to Him. In the presence of this study, I have only one thing to say: “Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.” G. Campbell Morgan in ‘The Message of Nehemiah’ 1384. Give me leave now in a word to give you a little advice. 1. Dost thou love thine own soul? then pray to Jesus Christ for an awakened heart, for a heart so awakened with all the things of another world, that thou mayest be allured to Jesus Christ. 2. When thou comest there, beg again for more awakenings about sin, hell, grace, and about the righteousness of Christ. 3. Cry also for a spirit of discerning, that thou mayest know that which is saving grace indeed. 4. Above all studies apply thyself to the study of those things that show thee the evil of sin, the shortness of man's life, and which is the way to be saved. 5. Keep company with the most godly among professors. 6. When thou hearest what the nature of true grace is, defer not to ask thine own heart if this grace be there. And here take heed. John Bunyan 1385. I have often thought that the best of Christians are found in the worst of times. And I have thought again that one reason why we are no better, is because God purges us no more. Noah and Lot, who so holy as they in the time of their afflictions? And yet who so idle as they in the time of their prosperity? John Bunyan 1386. Ignorance is worst when it amounts to ignorance of God, and knowledge is best when it exercises itself upon the name of God. This most excellent knowledge leads to the most excellent grace of faith.

O, to learn more of the attributes and character of God. Unbelief, that hooting nightbird, cannot live in the light of divine knowledge. Charles H. Spurgeon 1387. The home is the primary arena for living out the Christian life. In the home sin, hurt, reconciliation, and healing occur daily. In the home the ignorant are taught, the rebellious disciplined, the repentant restored, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick healed. In the home the relationship of Christ and His bride, the church, is exhibited in the relationship of husband and wife. The home is the place where proper roles and relationships are learned and practiced. The Christian home is a sanctuary, an oasis of holiness, sanity, and beauty in the midst of an evil, insane, and ugly world. Philip Lancaster 1388. I told you before that there is a twofold faith, and now I will tell you that there are two sorts of good works; and a man may be shrewdly guessed at with reference to his faith, even by the works that he chooseth to be conversant in. There are works that cost nothing, and works that are chargeable. And observe it, the unsound faith will choose to itself the most easy works it can find. For example, there is reading, praying, hearing of sermons, baptism, breaking of bread, church fellowship, preaching, and the like; and there is mortification of lusts, charity, simplicity, open-heartedness, with a liberal hand to the poor, and their like also. Now the unsound faith picks and chooses, and takes and leaves, but the true faith does not so. John Bunyan 1389. But that which is most of all to be lamented is, that sin, through custom, is become no sin. The superfluity of naughtiness is at this day become no sin with many. Surely this was the case with Israel, else how could they say when the prophets so bitterly denounced God's judgments against them, 'Because we are innocent, surely his anger shall turn

from us.' (Jer. 2:35) When custom or bad example has taken away the conscience of sin, it is a sign that [that] soul is in a dangerous lethargy; and yet this is the condition of the most that profess amongst us this day. John Bunyan 1390. Everything worthwhile in life is the result of someone’s passion. Significant events of human history are the result of a deep and consuming desire to see goals fulfilled. The consuming desire of believers should be to see the gospel reach the world. However, we live in an age that tends to dull our sharpness. Our culture obscures legitimate goals and would rob our faith of its fiery power if given the chance. Indeed, some Christians are a cold bath for the fiery heart. They just don’t understand someone with a passionate concern about a spiritual enterprise, because spiritual passion is not the norm. The norm is not to let Christianity disrupt your lifestyle. If you follow that, your spiritual temperature will drop and you’ll become apathetic. We all need to ask ourselves, Where is our burden for evangelism? Why isn’t evangelism the church’s central function? Is the church only a self-indulgent activity center, content with comfort and prosperity? John MacArthur 1391. From the unhappy desire of becoming great, preserve us, gracious Lord and God. (From an old Moravian litany). 1392. It was to his mother he owed his first awakening. Her prayers, no less than her exhortations, aroused him to concern of soul. His father has told that once on the way to a preaching engagement his heart smote him that he was caring for other people and neglecting his own family. So he turned back home. On his arrival he was surprised to find no one in the lower rooms, but on ascending the stairs he heard the voice of prayer. Quietly listening outside the door, he discovered that his wife was pleading for her children, and specially interceding for Charles, her firstborn and strong-willed son. That son often repeated the story as it

was told him by his father, adding, “My father felt that he might safely go about his Master's business while the dear wife was caring so well for the spiritual interests of the boys and girls at home, so he did not disturb her, but proceeded at once to fulfill his preaching engagement.” Ambrose might well tell Monica to comfort her heart about Augustine, that it was impossible for the child of such tears as hers to be lost. In this sphere the believing mother counts most. Ziegenbalg was sent to Tinnevelly by his mother's prayers; they were not answered even when she lay dying but as she pointed to the corner of the room where she had so often knelt, her last cry to God was, “Father, remember what I said to Thee there.” And God remembered. The story of Ziegenbalg stirred the heart of the mother of the Wesley's, and she began in earnest to seek the salvation of her children. To her absent husband, Susannah Wesley wrote: “I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe, the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles:” No wonder John and Charles Wesley, the two boys of the home, emerged from such influence as God's heralds, and from similar influence, Charles and James Spurgeon, the two sons of another home! W. Y. Fullerton in his biography of Charles H. Spurgeon 1393. His father, too, shared in the training. When the boy returned home from his grandfather's house, he greatly scandalized the congregation on

Sunday by singing the last line of each verse twice. His father took him to task, but he said that his grandfather did it, and he would do it too. So his father told him that if he did it again he would give him a whipping that he would remember as long as he lived. Sunday came, and again the boy sang the last lines twice. It must have been amusing, for he had no singing voice. After the service his father asked him if he remembered what he had said. The boy remembered. Father and son then walked into the wood, passing a wheat field on the way, the father trying to win his son to repentance. There they kneeled and prayed together, and both were greatly moved. Turning back to the wheat field, the father plucked a stalk of wheat, and told Charles to hold out his hand. The wheat stalk was laid gently across it. “I told you I would give you a whipping you would never forget. You will never forget that,” said his father. The gentle sternness of the punishment broke him down and won him over, and he never forgot it. W. Y. Fullerton in his biography of Charles H. Spurgeon 1394. “The covetous.” Covetousness is the desire of possessing that which we have not, and attaining unto great riches and worldly possessions. And whether this be not the character of trade and merchandise and traffic of every kind, the great source of those evils of over-trading which are everywhere complained of, I refer to the judgment of the men around me, who are engaged in the commerce and business of life. Compared with the regular and quiet diligence of our fathers, and their contentment with small but sure returns, the wild and wide-spread speculation for great gains, the rash and hasty adventures which are daily made, and the desperate gamester-like risks which are run, do reveal full surely that a spirit of covetousness hath been poured out upon men within the last thirty or forty years. And the providence of God corresponding thereto, by wonderful and unexpected revolutions, by numerous inventions for manufacturing the productions of the earth, in order to lead men into temptation, hath impressed upon the whole face of human affairs, a stamp of earnest

worldliness not known to our fathers: insomuch that our youth do enter life no longer with the ambition of providing things honest in the sight of men, keeping their credit, bringing up their family, and realizing a competency, if the Lord prosper them, but with the ambition of making a fortune, retiring to their ease, and enjoying the luxuries of the present life. Against which crying sin of covetousness, dearly beloved brethren, I do most earnestly call upon you to wage a good warfare. This place is its seat, its stronghold, even this metropolitan city of Christian Britain; and ye who are called by the grace of God out of the great thoroughfare of Mammon, are so elected for the express purpose of testifying against this and all other backslidings of the church planted here; and especially against this, as being in my opinion, one of the most evident and the most common of them all. For who hath not been snared in the snare of covetousness? Edward Irving, 1828. 1395. How foolish, how absurd, how ruinous, how blindly destructive of its own object, does pride appear! By attempting to soar, it only plunges itself in the mire, and while endeavouring to erect for itself a throne, it undermines the ground on which it stands and digs its own grave. It plunged Satan from heaven into hell; it banished our first parents from paradise; and it will, in a similar manner, ruin all who indulge in it. It keeps us in ignorance of God, shuts us out from His favor, prevents us from resembling Him, deprives us in this world of all the honour and happiness which communion with Him would confer; and in the next, unless previously hated, repented of, and renounced, will bar for ever against us the door of heaven, and close upon us the gates of hell. O then, my friends, beware, above all things, beware of pride! Beware, lest you indulge it imperceptibly, for it is perhaps, of all sins, the most secret, subtle, and insinuating. Edward Payson, D.D., 1783-1827. 1396. It was he who made life for his disciples a more august thing in contact with him, and made them capable of higher efforts and nobler sacrifices. But even those who stood further away knew as if by instinct that Mr. Spurgeon was a man of the stuff of which saints are made. They knew that whoever else might sink into self-seeking, or fall down before the golden image of the world, he never would. They knew that religion was always the prevailing and mastering idea of his life. He

was one of those elect few to whom religious cares and interests were what secular cares and interests are to most men. He was self-controlled, observant, and wise, and he had a homely shrewdness and humor which were very refreshing. Mr. Spurgeon played his part well in the practical world, but his life was not there. The growth of the kingdom of grace was his prosperity; the opening of a new vein of spiritual life was his wealth. The one road to his friendship was a certain like-mindedness. This spirituality is so rare in men of great powers that it is invariably the way to influence. It inspires a kind of awe. Men bow before it, feel themselves in the presence of the eternal world, think wistfully of their own state, and are touched for a moment at least by a certain sense of wonder and regret. It was not for nothing that he was known as “The Governor,” but the title was more an indication of love than of authority. W. Y. Fullerton in his biography of Charles H. Spurgeon 1397. Strictly speaking, repentance is a gift of God. No man can repent when he chooses. A man can be remorseful when he chooses, but remorse is a lesser thing than repentance. Repentance means that I show my sorrow for the wrong thing by becoming the opposite. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” Oswald Chambers 1398. Job’s actual life looked exactly the same after his suffering as before to anyone who does not know the inner history. That is the disguise of the actual. There is always this difference in the man who has been through real trouble—his society is enlarged in every direction, he is much bigger minded, more generous and liberal, more capable of entertaining strangers. One of the greatest emancipators of personal life is sorrow. After the war there will be the society of enlarged friendship in many a life; men will never be as estranged from one another as they used to be. One thing which has gone by the board entirely is the conceit that we know men. Men do not live in types; there is always one fact more in every life that no one knows but God. The last thing to go is the religious category. A man will stick to his religious categories of men until he receives a shaking up from Eternal Reality, as these men did. Eliphaz and the others maintained the conception that unless a man held to the particular shibboleth of their religious creed, he was lost. The one thing that will cause the

conceit that we know men to disappear is the surgery of events, the Eternal Reality of God shaking the nonsense out of us. This has happened in many a life through the cataclysm of war, and men find they have a different and a broader way of looking at things. There is no room for veneer and pretence in camp life. Oswald Chambers 1399. “His eyes behold,” etc. Consider that God not only sees into all you do, but He sees it to that very end that He may examine and search into it. He doth not only behold you with a common and indifferent look, but with a searching, watchful, and inquisitive eye: He pries into the reasons, the motives, the ends of all your actions. “The Lord's throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.” Revelation 1:14, where Christ is described, it is said, His eyes are as a flame of fire: you know the property of fire is to search and make trial of those things which are exposed unto it, and to separate the dross from the pure metal: so, God's eye is like fire, to try and examine the actions of men: He knows and discerns how much your very purest duties have in them of mixture, and base ends of formality, hypocrisy, distractedness, and deadness: He sees through all your specious pretenses, that which you cast as a mist before the eyes of men when yet thou art but a juggler in religion: all your tricks and sleights of outward profession, all those things that you use to cozen and delude men withal, cannot possibly impose upon Him: He is a God that can look through all those fig-leaves of outward profession, and discern the nakedness of your duties through them. Ezekiel Hopkins, D.D. 1400. We must never forget that God is a great deal bigger than our experience of Him; that Jesus Christ is a great deal bigger than our experience of Him. It is because people won’t take the labor to think, that the snare gets hold of them; and remember thinking is a tremendous labor. Oswald Chambers 1401. If the “Oughts” of the Old Testament were difficult to obey, Our Lord’s teaching is unfathomably more difficult. Remember, the commandments were given irrespective of human ability or inability to keep them; then when Jesus Christ came, instead of doing what we all too glibly say He did—put something easier before men, He made it a hundredfold more difficult, because He goes behind the law to the

disposition. There is an idea abroad to-day that because as Christians we are not under law, but under grace, therefore the Ten Commandments have no meaning for us—what did Jesus say? “Think not that I am come to destroy the law . . . : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” ( Matthew 5:17 ). The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is overwhelmingly and disastrously penetrating. Jesus Christ does not simply say, “Thou shalt not do certain things”; He demands that we have such a condition of heart that we never even think of doing them, every thought and imagination of heart and mind is to be unblameable in the sight of God. Who is sufficient for these things—an unsullied purity that never lusts, a forgiving disposition that loves its enemies, a generous spirit that “taketh not account of evil” (RV)? That standard can produce only one thing in an open-eyed man, absolute despair. What is the use of saying, “All we need is to know what Jesus Christ teaches and then live up to it”: where are you going to begin? If we are Christians we have to live according to the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount; and the marvel of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He puts us in the place where we can fulfill all the old law and a great deal more. Oswald Chambers 1402. To fall into the hands of an evil generation, so as to be baited by their cruelty, or polluted by their influence, is an evil to be dreaded beyond measure; but it is an evil foreseen and provided for in the text. In life many a saint has lived a hundred years before his age, as though he had darted his soul into the brighter future, and escaped the mists of the beclouded present: he has gone to his grave unreverenced and misunderstood, and lo! as generations come and go, upon a sudden the hero is unearthed, and lives in the admiration and love of the excellent of the earth; preserved for ever from the generation which stigmatized him as a sower of sedition, or burned him as a heretic. It should be our daily prayer that we may rise above our age as the mountain-tops above the clouds, and may stand out as heaven-pointing pinnacle high above the mists of ignorance and sin which roll around us. O Eternal Spirit, fulfill in us the faithful saying of this verse! Our faith believes those two assuring words, and cries, “Thou shalt,” “thou shalt.” Charles H. Spurgeon on Psalm 12:7

1403. What you do with your Bible determines what God will do with you…The way we treat our Bible is the way we treat Jesus Christ…Are you spending time in this Book? Warren Wiersbe 1404. The Bible looks upon the human race as it is as the result of a mutiny against God; consequently you find in the Bible something you find in no other book or conception. The modern view of man is— What a marvelous promise of what he is going to be! The Bible looks at man and sees the ruin of what he once was. In the Bible everything is based on the fact that there is something wrong at the basis of things. Oswald Chambers 1405. “As He is, so are we in this world.” Our Lord’s own life proved that in the midst of the world where we are placed we can be holy men and women, not only talking rightly, but living rightly. The greatest insult you can offer God is pious talk unless it is backed up by holy actions. Oswald Chambers 1406. The counsel of the Spirit of God to the saints is that they must allow nothing worldly in themselves while living among the worldly in the world. Those who live otherworldly in this world are the men and women who have been regenerated and who dare to live their life according to the principles of Jesus. When once the protest is made where your Lord requires you to make it, you will soon find where you stand—exactly where Jesus said you would, outside the synagogue, called purist, narrow and absurd. Oswald Chambers 1407. Let any man in the ministry feel that there is something lacking, unless in the hour of lonely communion with God there flame before him such visions, that he never can tell, but which, abiding with him, create the note of his confidence and authority, and inspire his determination to prosecute the work of his ministry to the end. G. Campbell Morgan 1408. The Church needs a return to recognition of the sacredness of the ministry. I use the word ministry now in its more restricted sense. There has been an appalling tendency amongst us to degrade and forget the sanctity of the office of the minister of the Word of God. We serve tables altogether too much; and are unable to give ourselves to

the proper ministry of the Word. We allow ourselves all too constantly to be deflected from the main line of our endeavor; and find that we have been so busy doing excellent nothings that we have been able to do nothing excellently. The minister of the Word needs to get back to the fact that his burden is the Word, and his business is to preach it. His toil is to know it, and he cannot trifle with it without degrading the sacredness of his office. Oh, for the tears and the travail of Paul! As I look at him, my soul is often ashamed, because I seem to lack the brands of Jesus. There must be return to recognition of the sanctity of the ministerial position by the Church itself. She must come to understand that those whom God has appointed to this ministry have a responsibility of obedience, not to the minister as an official, but to the Word of which he is the messenger, the expositor. G. Campbell Morgan 1409. The main characteristic of young modern life today is an intense craving to be interested—literature, amusements, all indicate this tendency, and in religion the Church is apt to pander to the demand to be interested; consequently men won’t face the rugged facts of the Gospel, because when the Holy Spirit comes in He challenges a man’s will, demands a reconstruction of his whole life, and produces a change of mind which will work havoc in his former complacency. Oswald Chambers 1410. Education is for the purpose of behavior, and habits are the stuff out of which behavior is formed. The difference between an educated and an uneducated person lies just here—when an educated person is put into new circumstances, he always knows how to behave because his mind is stored with examples of right behavior. When an uneducated person comes into a new situation he does not know what to do and behaves in an ignorant manner. Spiritual education and habit go together in this connection, that I learn to make my body act quickly along the line of education the Holy Spirit has given me, then when I find myself in new circumstances I shall not be helpless because I have educated myself according to the laws of God’s grace. Oswald Chambers

1411. When Newman went abroad in 1832 with his consumptive friend, Hurrell Froude, his thought by day and his dream by night seems to have been the quickening of a church which would fight against the spirit of the day and fix the minds of its children upon the eternal realities, which the modern spirit of our own time is so anxious to soften, blanch, and water down. There was a passion at this time in all Newman said and did. He harps upon the lukewarmness of the age and the indifference to eternal truth which it displays. He felt to the bottom of his heart that he was doing a work of which he himself knew neither the scope nor the goal, and that so far as he was acquitted by his own conscience, he did not much care what man said of him. W. Y. Fullerton in his biography of Charles H. Spurgeon 1412. The relationship set up between Adam and the devil was selfrealization, not immorality and vice, but, my claim to my right to myself, whether it is manifested in clean living or unclean living is a matter of indifference; sin is the fundamental relationship underneath. Sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, independence of God; God has undertaken the responsibility for its removal on the ground of the Redemption. The condemnation is not that a man is born with an heredity of sin; a man begins to get the seal of condemnation when he sees the Light and prefers the darkness (see John 3:19). Oswald Chambers 1413. Always beware of the presentation of Redemption which produces a dangerous state of priggishness in moral life—that I can receive forgiveness and yet go on being bad; if I do, God is not justified in forgiving me. “If you are justified by faith, show it by your works,” says the Apostle James (see James 2:14-24 ); in what way are you different in your life? does the reality of the Redemption at work in you justify God in having forgiven you? A man has to clear the conscience of God in forgiving him. Present-day evangelism is inclined to go much

more strongly on the line of the “passion for souls” than “the passion for sanctification”; everyone has gone a-slumming to save the lost; it suits our religious passion to help the men and women who are down and out. Saving souls is God’s work, man’s work is discipling those souls (see Matthew 28:18-20 ). Oswald Chambers 1414. “How long wilt Thou hide thy face from me?” Oh, excellent hiding, which is become my perfection! My God, Thou hidest Thy treasure, to kindle my desire! Thou hidest Thy pearl, to inflame the seeker; Thou delayest to give, that Thou mayest teach me to importune; seemest not to hear, to make me persevere. John Anselm, 1034-1109. 1415. The world wonders how we can be so merry under such extreme miseries; but our God is omnipotent, who turns misery into felicity. Believe me, there is no such joy in the world, as the people of God have under the cross of Christ: I speak by experience, and therefore believe me, and fear nothing that the world can do unto you, for when they imprison our bodies, they set our souls at liberty to converse with God; when they cast us down, they lift us up; when they kill us, then do they send us to everlasting life. What greater glory can there be than to be made conformable to our Head, Christ? And this is done by affliction. Samuel Clarke's “Mirrour,” 1671 1416. Apart from knowledge of Jesus Christ, and apart from being crumpled up by conviction of sin, men have a disposition which keeps them perfectly happy and peaceful. The natural man is not in distress, not conscious of any disharmony in himself; he is not “in trouble as other men,” and is quite content with being once-born; the things Jesus Christ stands for have no meaning for the natural man. The Bible refers to this disposition as one of darkness—”. . . being darkened in their understanding” ( Ephesians 4:18 RV). We preach to men as if they were conscious of being dying sinners, they are not, they are having a good time, and all our talk about the need to be born again is from a domain they know nothing about; because some men try to drown unhappiness in worldly pleasures it does not follow all are like that. There is nothing attractive about the Gospel to the natural man; the only man who finds the Gospel attractive is the man who

is convicted of sin. Conviction of sin and being guilty of sins are not the same thing. Conviction of sin is produced by the incoming of the Holy Spirit because conscience is promptly made to look at God’s demands and the whole nature cries out, in some form or other. “What must I do to be saved?” Oswald Chambers 1417. The world we live in is a world of fools. The far greater part of mankind act a part entirely irrational. So great is their infatuation, that they prefer time to eternity, momentary enjoyments to those that shall never have an end, and listen to the testimony of Satan in preference to that of God. Of all folly, that is the greatest, which relates to eternal objects, because it is the most fatal, and when persisted in through life, entirely remediless. A mistake in the management of temporal concerns may be afterwards rectified. At any rate, it is comparatively of little importance. But an error in spiritual and eternal matters, as it is in itself of the greatest moment, if carried through life, can never be remedied; because after death there is no redemption. The greatest folly that any creature is capable of, is that of denying or entertaining unjust apprehensions of the being and perfections of the great Creator. Therefore in a way of eminence, the appellation of fool is given by the Spirit of God, to him who is chargeable with this guilt. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” John Jamieson, M.A., 1789. 1418. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Who in the world is a verier fool, a more ignorant, wretched person, than he that is an atheist? A man may better believe there is no such man as himself, and that he is not in being, than that there is no God; for himself can cease to be, and once was not, and shall be changed from what he is, and in very many periods of his life knows not that he is; and so it is every night with him when he sleeps; but none of these can happen to God; and if he knows it not, he is a fool. Can anything in this world be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth can come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster? To see rare effects, and no cause; an excellent government and no prince; a motion without an immovable; a circle without a centre; a time without eternity; a second without a first; a thing that begins not from itself, and therefore, not to perceive there is something from whence it does begin, which must be without beginning; these

things are so against philosophy and natural reason, that he must needs be a beast in his understanding that does not assent to them; this is the atheist: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” That is his character; the thing framed, says that nothing framed it; the tongue never made itself to speak, and yet talks against him that did; saying, that which is made, is, and that which made it, is not. But this folly is as infinite as hell, as much without light or bound, as the chaos or the primitive nothing. Jeremy Taylor, 1613-1667. 1419. Our Lord never denounced wrong-doing and immorality so strongly as He denounced self-realization. Have you ever been puzzled by His attitude to the people of His day—why He told the chief priests that “the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you”? He could not have meant that social sins were not abominable: He was looking at something we do not see, viz., the disposition at the basis of right and wrong-doing. If either my goodness or my badness is based on the disposition of self-realization, I am antiChrist. Modern culture and much of the “Higher Christian Life” type of teaching goes on the line of perfecting my natural individual self until I am in such a condition that God will say, “Now you have done so well I will call you My child.” Could anything be more alien to the New Testament? Our Lord’s teaching is always anti- self-realization. “He that findeth his life shall lose it . . .” Why do we ignore what Jesus said? When we come across something we don’t like we say we don’t understand it; it is too plain not to be understood. Jesus Christ says that the relationship to Himself is to be supreme. “. . . and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.” Oswald Chambers 1420. Immediately you begin to forecast and plan for yourself God will break up your program, He delights to do it, until we learn to live like children based on the knowledge that God is ruling and reigning and rejoicing, and His joy is our strength. Oswald Chambers 1421. The case put forward in the Bible is that pride of intellect is, in a sense, the ultimate sin. This is the primary trouble that leads to all the others - men and women glorying in themselves, glorying especially in their intellect and their mind. In 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul explains how this becomes the ultimate sin. It is because men and women misappropriate God's greatest gift. God complimented human beings

by making them in his own image, and he gave them this astounding gift. But this is the very thing that they use against God and for themselves, and so bring themselves down. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1422. The wise man or woman does not merely have knowledge— you can put that into computers—they have the power of appropriating and assimilating that knowledge until it becomes judgment. It becomes part of them, controlling their point of view, and determining their actions and practice. So our wisdom is judged not merely by the number of books we have read, or can quote and recite, but by the way we live, the way we use that knowledge. Christ put that in a famous question—”What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world [of knowledge and of wealth], and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8:36). What about human beings individually at the present time? How are the so-called “wise” men and women living? Look at these people who can tell us all about life. How many times have some of them passed through the divorce courts? Take many of the most famous philosophers. Read their records. Never take people's books alone— find out something about them. To write a book is so easy, very much easier than it is to live! Yes, it is easier to preach than it is to live. But living is the test of wisdom. I am not interested in a man or woman's claim to great knowledge and perspicuity if they are failing in their own lives, if they are drunkards, or adulterers, if you cannot trust them. What then is the value of their knowledge and learning? They say they are wise, but they are not; they are fools, deceiving and deluding themselves. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1423. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom 8:7). That is always an immediate consequence of rebellion against God. The moment people think they are wise, and rebel against God, they begin to go wrong morally. This is a very subtle matter. Men and women in their folly do not realize that their real objection to God is that they have to obey him, that God is a God of justice, of righteousness and holiness. And the Bible tells us that God made man and woman in his own image, and he meant them to live in the same sort of manner as God himself. But people do not want to live like that; they do not want to live upright, pure, disciplined and holy lives. They want to give rein to their passions

and lusts. Desire, that is the trouble; forbidden fruit, of course. The illicit ah! This is love! Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1424. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10). That is the answer. People must be awakened; they must realize it. They must see that they are fools, that they are failures and that their outlook and life will lead to a fatal end. And they must submit. The apostle Paul says, “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise” (1 Cor 3:18). Human wisdom leads to nothing, but there is this “wisdom from God”. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1425. Paul had now been given to see that life in this world is really but a preparation for the great life that is coming. That does not mean to depreciate this world, nor does it mean skepticism or mysticism. If ever anyone lived an active life it was Paul: no, he did not die passively to the world in that sense, but rather to the sin of the world. For Paul had come to see that the world is in a great state of conflict between the kingdom of heaven and evil. He knew a day was coming when the King would return and rout the forces of evil and set up his kingdom. Now, said Paul, I am destined for that; I am going to be in that. I may spend twenty years longer in this world, but think of the glory that awaits me, think of the life that is coming, the real life when the King shall reign and I shall be with him! And that, too, made him live for Christ. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1426. There is no ascertaining the quality of a tree but by its fruits. When the wheels of a clock move within, the hand on the dial will move without. When the heart of a man is sound in conversion, then the life will be fair in profession. When the conduit is walled in, how shall we judge of the spring but by the waters which run through the pipes? William Secker. 1427. The timing of Gods calling will not always conform to our expectations or to the world’s standards. He can use any one of any age, gender, and nationality to carry out His work. God equips and prepares ordinary people to share His love. Whether you teach, cook meals for people who are sick, or count the offering, God will work through you to bless others. And you can count

on His promise to provide strength for the tasks to which He calls you. Cindy Hawkins 1428. When a man does err in the way of God, it is because he is wise in his own conceits. When the facts of life have humbled us, when introspection has stripped us of our own miserable self-interest and we receive a startling diagnosis of ourselves by the Holy Spirit, we are by that painful experience brought to the place where we can hear the marvelous message—profounder than the profoundest philosophies earth ever wove, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Until this experience comes men may patronize Jesus Christ, but they do not come to Him for salvation. The only solution is the one given by Jesus Christ Himself to a good upright man of His day: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Oswald Chambers 1429. A man that is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker, and yet lives without God in the world, is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable animal under the sun. Matthew Henry 1430. How many of us are letting Jesus Christ take us into His school of thinking? The saint who is thoughtful is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. Men of the world hate a thoughtful saint. They can ridicule a living saint who does not think, but a thinking saint —I mean of course, one who lives rightly as well—is the annoyance, because the thinking saint has formed the Mind of Christ and reechoes it. Let us from this time forth determine to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Oswald Chambers 1431. Especially I speak to those who have suffered bereavement. I can hardly express to you how strange I feel at this moment when my sermon revives a memory so sweet dashed with such exceeding bitterness. I sat with my friend and secretary in that garden some fifteen days ago, and we were then in perfect health, rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord. We returned home, and within five days I was smitten with disabling pain; and worse, far worse than that, he was called upon to lose his wife. We said to one another as we sat there reading the word of God and

meditating, “How happy we are! Dare we think of being so happy? Must it not speedily end?” I little thought I should have to say for him, “Alas, my brother, thou art brought very low, for the delight of thine eyes is taken from thee.” But here is our comfort: the Lord hath done it. The best rose in the garden is gone. Who has taken it? The gardener came this way and gathered it. He planted it and watched over it, and now He has taken it. Is not this most natural? Does anybody weep because of that? No; everybody knows that it is right, and according to the order of nature that He should come and gather the best in the garden. If you are sore troubled by the loss of your beloved, yet dry your grief by supposing Him to be the gardener.” Kiss the hand that has wrought you such grief? Brethren beloved, remember the next time the Lord comes to your part of the garden, and He may do so within the next week, He will only gather His own flowers, and would you prevent His doing so even if you could? Charles H. Spurgeon from the sermon 'Supposing Him to be the Gardener' 1432. Great generals fight their battles in their own mind long before the trumpet sounds, and so did our Lord win our battle on His knees before He gained it on the cross. It is a gracious habit after taking counsel from above to take counsel within. Wise men see more with their eyes shut by night than fools can see by day with their eyes open. He who learns from God and so gets the seed, will soon find wisdom within himself growing in the garden of his soul; “Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.” The night season which the sinner chooses for his sins is the hallowed hour of quiet when believers hear the soft still voices of heaven, and of the heavenly life within themselves. Charles H. Spurgeon 1433. Some may object to my dogmatic assertions; but I do not apologize for them. Every preacher should believe strongly in his own method; and if I cannot persuade all of the rightness of mine, I can at least stimulate them to think and to consider other possibilities. I can say quite honestly that I would not cross the road to listen to myself preaching, and the preachers whom I have enjoyed most have been

very different indeed in their method and style. But my business is not to describe them but to state what I believe to be right, however imperfectly I have put my own precepts into practice. I can only hope that the result will be of some help, and especially to young preachers called to this greatest of all tasks, and especially in these sad and evil times. With many others I pray that 'The Lord of the harvest may thrust forth' many mighty preachers to proclaim 'the unsearchable riches of Christ!' Martyn Lloyd Jones in his book “Preaching & Preachers” 1434. We are made sons and daughters of God through the Atonement and we have a tremendous dignity to maintain; we have no business to bow our necks to any yoke saving the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. There ought to be in us a holy scorn whenever it comes to being dictated to by the spirit of the age in which we live. The age in which we live is governed by the prince of this world who hates Jesus Christ. His great doctrine is self-realization, We ought to be free from the dominion of the prince of this world; only one yoke should be upon our shoulders, the yoke of the Lord Jesus. Our Lord was meek towards His Father, He let God Almighty do what He liked with His life and never murmured; He never awakened self-pity, nor brought down sympathy for Himself. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” ( Matthew 11:29-30 ). Oswald Chambers 1435. So I would lay it down as a basic proposition that the primary task of the Church is not to educate man, is not to heal him physically or psychologically, it is not to make him happy. I will go further; it is not even to make him good. These are things that accompany salvation; and when the Church performs her true task she does incidentally educate men and give them knowledge and information, she does bring them happiness, she does make them good and better than they were. But my point is that those are not her primary objectives. Her primary purpose is not any of these; it is rather to put man into the right relationship with God, to reconcile man to God. This really does need to be emphasized at the present time, because this, it seems to me, is the essence of modern fallacy. It has come into the Church and it is influencing the thinking of many in the Church—this notion that the

business of the Church is to make people happy, or to integrate their lives, or to relieve their circumstances and improve their conditions. My whole case is that to do that is just to palliate the symptoms, to give temporary ease, and that it does not get beyond that. Martyn LloydJones 1436. Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is ‘an ambassador for Christ’. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there—and I want to emphasize this—to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, or only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very center of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1437. What is preaching? Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! Are these contradictions? Of course they are not. Reason concerning this Truth ought to be mightily eloquent, as you see it in the case of the Apostle Paul and others. It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology; or at least the man’s understanding of it is defective. Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1438. It is an utter mistake to suppose that “idleness alone” can give happiness. The laborer who gets up at five in the morning, and

goes out to work all day in a cold clay ditch, often thinks, as he walks past the rich man's house, “What a fine thing it must be to have no work to do.” Poor fellow! He doesn't know what he is saying. The most miserable creature on earth is the man who has nothing to do. Work for the hands or work for the mind is absolutely essential to human happiness. Without it the mind feeds upon itself, and the whole inward man becomes diseased. The machinery within “will” work, and without something to work upon, will often wear itself to pieces. There was no idleness in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had to “work it and take care of it.” There will be no idleness in heaven: God's “servants will serve Him.” Oh, be very sure the idlest man is the man most truly unhappy! (Genesis 2:15; Revelation 22:3) J. C. Ryle 1439. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This verse is the conclusion from the point of view of human and Divine wisdom as to what is the whole end of life, viz., to “fear God, and keep His commandments.” Oswald Chambers 1440. When the Spirit of God convicts a man, he is wrongly related to everything; he is wrongly related to God, to his own body, to everything round about him, and he is in a state of abject misery. The picture of a man not convicted of sin is exactly the opposite. If you watch the tendencies all around us today you will notice this tendency—”Ignore sin, deny its existence; if you make mistakes, forget them: live the healthy-minded, open-hearted, sunshiny life; don’t allow yourself to be convicted of sin, realize yourself, and as you do, you will attain perfection.” There is no conviction of sin, no repentance, no forgiveness of sin, in that outlook. Oswald Chambers 1441. The only thing that roused Jesus Christ was for His Father’s honor to be brought into disrepute. In the Temple, instead of seeing “a meek and gentle Jesus,” we see a terrible Being with a whip of small cords in His hand, driving out the moneychangers. Why could not He have driven them out in a gentler way? Because passionate zeal, an enthusiasm and detestation of everything that dared to call His Father’s honor into disrepute, had eaten Him up; and exactly the same characteristic is seen in the saints. You cannot rouse them on the line

of personal interest, of self-pity or of self-realization; but when once anything is contrary to Jesus Christ’s honor, instantly you find your meek and gentle saint becomes a holy terror. The phrase, “the wrath of the Lamb,” is understandable along this line. The obverse side of love is hate. Oswald Chambers 1442. The underlying conception of all the wisdom books of the ancient writings is that of God Himself, the All-Wise. They also recognize that His wisdom is expressed in all His works and words. Man is wise in proportion as he recognizes these truths and answers them in the conduct of his life. The perfectly wise man is the one who in his whole being lives and thinks and acts in right relationship to the All-Wise God. His wisdom commences emotionally in the fear of God; is manifest intellectually in his acquaintance with the manifestations of the Divine nature in word and work; is active volitionally in obedience to the will of God, as revealed in word and work. G. Campbell Morgan 1443. In the hour of sin’s glamour it is good for the soul to look through to the end, which is in Sheol and the chambers of death. When the voice of the siren is heard, it is good to pause and listen to the moan of the breakers on the shore of darkness and death, for to that shore the way of impurity assuredly leads. G. Campbell Morgan 1444. A man is wise in the measure in which he apprehends and fears God. Fear in the sense in which it is certainly used in this fundamental declaration does not mean a cowardly, servile dread which strives to hide from God. There are two kinds of fear possible in regard to God. There is the fear lest He should hurt me. There is the fear lest I should hurt Him. The first is selfish, and produces no fruit of righteousness. The last is the fear of love, which produces holiness of character and righteousness of conduct. G. Campbell Morgan 1445. Everything is to be tested first by the supremacy of God. To attempt to find Him through the medium of our self-pleasing use of life is utterly to fail. To enthrone Him first, and then to attempt to find life through Him, is to cancel forever the word “vanity”. G. Campbell Morgan 1446. The great benediction of the grace of God is that those who seem to have no natural nous are enabled to construct nous in the

spiritual realm by the Spirit of God, and use it aright in the temple of the Holy Ghost. To begin with, a child has no responsible intelligence, and the same is true in the spiritual domain. When we begin the spiritual life we have the Spirit of Christ but not the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ means much more than having His Spirit, it means to have the responsible understanding of Christ. When we are born again, we find every now and then that the Spirit of God within us is struggling to get us to understand as God understands, and we are very stupid in the way we mistake the things the Spirit of God is trying to teach us; but when, in entire sanctification, the Son of God is formed in us (see Galatians 4:19 ), we understand with a responsible intelligence even as Jesus Christ did; consequently we are held responsible for doing through our bodies all that we understand God wishes us to do. Jesus Christ spoke what He knew His Father wished Him to speak, and He spoke nothing else; we must do the same if we have the mind of Christ. Jesus Christ worked only those works which He knew were the exact expression of His Father, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” ( John 5:17 ). We must do the same. To form a spiritual nous means not only that the Holy Spirit energizes our spirit but that we allow Him to work out in a responsible intelligence in us. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true . . .” ( 1 John 5:20 ). The word “understanding” does not mean anything necromantic; it means that we understand with a responsible intelligence that which comes from God; and God holds us responsible for not knowing it. It is not a question of any uncanny spiritual influence, or of a flashing spiritual intuition, but of having the nous, our responsible intelligence, so obedient to the Holy Spirit that we can understand what is of God and what is not. In this way we begin to form a responsible spiritual intelligence, and we must take care not to grieve the Spirit of God along these lines. “For this is the covenant that I will make, . . . saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people” ( Hebrews 8:10 ). That embraces everything—a full, mature, understanding intelligence on the part of the people of God, not being at the mercy of spiritual impulses,

driven about by every wind of doctrine, but becoming mature, vigorous minded people who not only understand what the will of God is, but who do it. Oswald Chambers 1447. We like to hear about the life of Jesus, about His teaching and His words, about His sympathy and tenderness, but when we stand face to face with Him in the light of God and He convicts us of sin, we resent it. Men crave for what the Gospel presents but they resent the way it is presented by Jesus. That is a point that has been lost sight of nowadays, and every now and again the Church succumbs to the temptation to which Jesus Christ did not succumb—the temptation of putting man’s needs first, with the result that certain features of the Gospel are eliminated. Never separate the Incarnation and the Atonement. The Incarnation was not for the Self-realization of God, but for the purpose of removing sin and reinstating humanity into communion with God. Jesus Christ became incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as he was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself. The Atonement means infinitely more than we can conceive, it means that we can be morally identified with Jesus Christ until we understand what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Oswald Chambers 1448. Beloved, let us learn the will of the Lord now and so be educated for the skies. Here we are to go through our apprenticeship that we may be able to take up our freedom as citizens of the New Jerusalem. Here we are at school, preparing to take our degree above among the instructed saints of God. Are we to enter Heaven ignorant of what the will of the Lord is? Surely we ought to know something of the ways of the place, something of the rules of the court. This part of our life below is intended to be a prelude to our life above, a preparation for perfection. Here below we undergo the tuning of the instruments. It is not meet that there should be discordant scrapings and screwings of strings in Heaven. No, let us do all that here. Let us have our harps tuned below so that when we reach the orchestra of the

skies, we may take our right place and drop into the right note directly. A good hope should make you eager to know the will of the Lord. It should purify you even as Christ is pure and make you anxious to begin the perfect service of Heaven while yet you linger below. Charles H. Spurgeon 1449. When I was a very small boy in pinafores and went to a woman's school, it so happened that I wanted a stick of slate pencil and had no money to buy it with. I was afraid of being scolded for losing my pencils so often, because I was a real careless little fellow and so did not dare to ask at home. What was John to do? There was a little shop in the place where nuts, and tops, and cakes, and balls were sold by old Mrs. Dearson, and sometimes I had seen boys and girls get trusted by the old lady. I argued with myself that Christmas was coming, and that somebody or other would be sure to give me a penny then and perhaps even a whole silver sixpence. I would, therefore, go into debt for a stick of slate pencil and be sure to pay at Christmas. I did not feel easy about it, but still I screwed my courage up and went into the shop. One farthing was the amount; since I had never owed anything before and my credit was good, the pencil was handed over by the kind dame, and I was in debt. It did not please me much, and I felt as if I had done wrong, but I little knew how soon I should smart for it. How my father came to hear of this little stroke of business I never knew, but some little bird or other whistled it to him, and he was very soon down upon me in right earnest. God bless him for it. He was a sensible man and not a child spoiler; he did not intend to bring up his children to speculate and play at what big rogues call financing; therefore, he knocked my getting into debt on the head at once, and no mistake. He gave me a very powerful lecture about getting into debt; how like it was to stealing; about the way in which people were ruined by it; and how a boy who would owe a farthing might one day owe a hundred pounds, get into prison, and bring his family into disgrace. It was a lecture, indeed; I think I can hear it now and can feel my ears tingling at the recollectio