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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 9

Favorite Pastor Quotes 9

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Christian! Your trials, crosses, and conflicts are all temporary.
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I am one of those old-fashioned ministers who believe the whole Bible and everything that it contains.
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There are no lessons so useful--as those learned in the school of affliction.
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Christ is never fully valued--until sin is clearly seen.
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Our Lord has . . .
  many weak children in his family,
  many dull pupils in his school,
  many raw soldiers in his army,
  many lame sheep in his flock.
Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away.
Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren.
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A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing. A cheap Christianity, without a cross--will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown.
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That preaching is sadly defective, which dwells exclusively on the mercies of God and the joys of Heaven--yet never sets forth the terrors of the Lord and the miseries of Hell.
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Sin forsaken--is one of the best evidences of sin forgiven.

The Prayer of the Backslider
Francis Bourdillon
Jeremiah 14:7-9.
"Though our iniquities testify against us — act, O LORD, for your name's sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. O you hope of Israel, its Savior in time of trouble — why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save? Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name — do not leave us."
O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your Name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against You. O the hope of Israel, the Savior thereof in time of trouble, why should You be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry for a night? Why should You be as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save? Yet You, O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by Your Name; leave us not.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks here in the name of his people. He himself had not gone astray like them. Amid all the wickedness of Israel, he was the faithful servant of God. But he here pleads with God on their behalf, putting himself in their place, and making himself one of them. He begins with confession of sin: "Though our iniquities testify against us."
We must never try to hide our sins when we pray. We must approach God as sinners, with words of humble confession; owning all, seeking to keep nothing back. In drawing near to God, we must take our right place before Him. "Our iniquities testify against us." They do testify or bear witness against us continually. They are written in God's book of remembrance. There they stand against us in the sight of God, as so many witnesses that we are sinners. Whether we remember them or not, whether we are concerned for them or not — there they are. We ourselves cannot blot them out.
When a man is convinced of sin, then his iniquities testify against him also in his own heart. He never used to feel them — but now he feels them deeply. They come back to his mind, one by one. Old sins, long forgotten — he now remembers. Things that he did years ago — seem fresh in his memory. He sees how wrong, how ungrateful, he has been. He wonders that he has been spared. His sins are like a great burden — too heavy for him to bear.
Oh, the comfort of prayer to such a one! While David kept silence and made no confession of his sin — he was miserable. It was only when he acknowledged his sin unto God, that he found comfort (Psalm 32:3-5). How happy for us, that, notwithstanding our sins — we may yet seek mercy! "Though our iniquities testify against us — act, O LORD, for your name's sake." We may go to God in the depth of our distress. With all the weight of our sins upon us, we may seek relief from Him. "Sinner as I am — Lord have mercy upon me! As often as I have transgressed — yet forgive me Lord!" Do all that my case requires. Grant me pardon and peace. Take away my heavy sin burden. Forgive my sins. Comfort me, help me, and strengthen me.
"For Your Name's sake." This is our only plea. We cannot say, "Do it for my sake" — for we deserve nothing. We cannot even say, "Do it because I am miserable— do it because I am in great need of it — do it because I am lost without it." That may be all true — yet it forms no reason in itself why God should hear us.
But when we can say, "Act for Your Name's sake" — then we have a ground of hope; for then we rest our hope not upon ourselves or upon our misery and need — but upon God Himself.
The prayer of Jeremiah was before gospel days. We to whom the gospel has come, are encouraged to draw near to God in the Name of His dear Son Jesus Christ. He is our Mediator and Advocate. In His Name, all our prayers are to be made. It is not as a mere form that we are accustomed to end our prayers with the Name of Jesus, "through Jesus Christ our Lord," or "for Jesus Christ's sake." We are really to pray through Him — to rest our case upon His merits and mediation.
"For His sake" is to be the feeling of our hearts when we pray. We are to feel that in those words is contained the only reason why we may pray at all — and the only plea that gives us a hope of being heard!
Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life — no man comes unto the Father but by Me." Happy for us that He said also, "If you shall ask anything in My Name — I will do it" (John 14:6, 14).
But the prophet in his prayer mentions backslidings as well as iniquities. Now there is something in backslidings that makes them seem to us even more hard to be forgiven than common sins. A backslider is one who once walked with God, but has now forsaken Him, or at least has grown cold and careless toward Him. A backslider is one who formerly sinned, repented, and was forgiven — but has now sinned again, and that worse perhaps than before.
It may be that this has happened repeatedly. It was so in Israel's case, for the prophet says, "Our backslidings are many." Will God forgive the backslider? Hear His own words: "Return, O backsliding Israel,' says the Lord; 'and I will not cause My anger to fall upon you — for I am merciful,' says the Lord, 'and I will not keep anger forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God" (Jeremiah 3:12-13).
And again: "I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely — for My anger is turned away from him" (Hosea 14:4).
Even the backslider then may draw near to God in the Name of Jesus Christ. His backslidings are a fresh reason for pleading that Name alone. He cannot plead that he will now serve God better and never fall away again — his past backslidings forbid it. He has nothing of his own to plead. He can but place his whole hope in his Savior's merits. "Act for Your Name's sake — for our backslidings are many — we have sinned against You."
How full of comfort are the names by which the prophet calls upon God! "O the hope of Israel, the Savior thereof in time of trouble!" God is our only hope — and Jesus is our only Savior. We may go astray from God and seek happiness from other sources; but if ever we would find true happiness and safety — then we must come back to God.
Trouble often brings the heart back to God and leads us again to cry to Him as our only hope and our only Savior. Often, in the day of adversity — we are led to see how vain are all other hopes — how little the world can do for us — and how poor is the comfort which the thought of our own doings can bring. Thus we are brought to our God and Savior, as our only refuge. He never fails those who trust in Him. He never turns away from those who earnestly seek Him. Even the backslider, taught by sad experience the evil of his backsliding — is not rejected when he again seeks God. Again he is allowed to call upon Him as his only hope. When all other help and comfort has failed — again he may seek help and comfort in Him.
Yet the prophet seems to address God as if He had become estranged from His people: "Why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save?" Truly our sins and backslidings do make a distance and a strangeness between us and God. One who has left off walking with God feels this. He cannot pray as he used to pray. He no longer feels God near. He has no comforting sense of His grace and help. He knows that God is almighty — yet has no happy belief that God's power is put forth on his behalf. And even when he turns and seeks God again — he does not at once get back those happy feelings toward Him which once he had. Some comfort he finds, some sense of the mercy and love of his Savior — but not yet a settled peace. He has but a visit, a glimpse, a momentary comfort — "like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night"; he has not yet Christ abiding with him by the Spirit.
But we, like the prophet, may seek this abiding presence. We may plead with God that, as unworthy as we are — He will yet give us again the comfort of His help continually. He has promised to dwell with the contrite of heart. We may be sure that when, after all our backslidings, we draw near to Him in the Name of Jesus, with a penitent and contrite heart — He will hear us and bless us with His presence.
The prophet ventures to plead with God, the very name by which Israel was called, as the people of God; and even the tokens of His presence among them, though shown in displeasure. "Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name — do not leave us!"
The worst, the saddest thing that could happen to any would be that God should leave them — that He should cease to call them, leave off rebuking and chastising them, and give them up to follow their own way.
O God, our God, do not leave us! Rather than this, humble us, chastise us, afflict us — yet let us see some token of Your love; let us see that You have not given us up — do not leave us, neither forsake us, O God of our salvation. We have deserved to be left, for we have left You — yet do not leave us! We have not walked in a manner worthy of that holy Name by which we are called; yet it has pleased You in Your great goodness that we should be called Christians — by that sacred Name, and for His sake whose Name it is, because of His precious blood that was shed for us, and for His gracious intercession on our behalf — hear us and forgive us! Blot out our sins from Your book of remembrance — receive us, save us, and bless us. Amen.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 8

Favorite Pastor Quotes 8

“Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known.” Psalm 77:19

Visiting the Sea of Galilee is an unforgettable experience. The Lord Jesus walked on the water there, but you cannot see His footsteps. When a boat goes through the ocean, it doesn’t leave a trail does it? When a wagon goes across land, it does leave a trail, but a boat doesn’t.

In this passage in Psalms, what is God saying? That we will never know Him just by studying history—by simply studying what He has done. His ways are mysterious. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

But we can know His ways, for He says in Psalm 103:7, “He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.” And in Micah 4:2 we find, “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.”

You can try to make sense of God with all your ingenuity, creativity, and intelligence, but God says we will never know Him that way. We have to lay our intellect in the dust and say to God, “Show me Your ways.”
~ Adrian Rogers~

God's Treasury

"The LORD shall open unto thee His good treasure"   (Deuteronomy 28:12).
This refers first to the rain. The LORD will give this in its season. Rain is the emblem of all those celestial refreshings which the LORD is ready to bestow upon His people. Oh, for a copious shower to refresh the LORD's heritage!

We seem to think that God's treasury can only be opened by a great prophet like Elijah, but it is not so, for this promise is to all the faithful in Israel, and, indeed, to each one of them. O believing friend, "the LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure." Thou, too, mayest see heaven opened and thrust in thy hand and take out thy portion, yea, and a portion for all thy brethren round about thee. Ask what thou wilt, and thou shalt not be denied if thou abidest in Christ and His words abide in thee.

As yet thou has not known all thy LORD's treasures, but He shall open them up to thine understanding. Certainly thou hast not yet enjoyed the fullness of His covenant riches, but He will direct thine heart into His love and reveal Jesus in thee. Only the LORD Himself can do this for thee; but here is His promise, and if thou wilt hearken diligently unto His voice and obey His will, His riches in glory by Christ Jesus shall be thine.

~Charles Spurgeon~


How great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee!
Since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. -- Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. -- Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
PSA. 31:19.  Isa. 64:4.  I Cor. 2:9,10.  Psa. 16:11.  Psa. 36:7 9. I Tim. 4:8.


The Son of God, ... hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. -- Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. -- The Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. -- He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. -- A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.
The Lord knoweth them that are his. -- I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
REV. 2:18.  Jer. 17:9,10. -Psa. 90:8.  Luke 22:61,62. John 2:24,25.  Psa. 103:14.  Isa. 42:3. II Tim. 2:19.  John 10:14,27,28.

~Samuel Bagster~

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 7

Favorite Pastor Quotes 7

A Living Christ!

It has been suggested that one of the faults of much evangelical preaching is the too exclusive presentation of a suffering, dying, dead, and buried Christ — rather than of a risen, living, ever-sympathizing, ever-helping Christ. This fault results from the desire to hold forth "Christ crucified" as the one and only ground of salvation. But the consequence too often is, that the only conception of the Savior produced in the minds of the people, is that of One who suffered and died. They are led to trust for salvation to the one past act of redemption — rather than to the power of an ever-present Savior. Their eyes are turned back to the cross— rather than up to the throne.
A little reflection will satisfy anyone that the conception of a living Christ is not a vivid and powerful one in the minds of the mass of Christians. Somehow they read the beautiful and tender gospel story, and look back upon it as something in the far past, which belongs to them only as a bundle of sweet and fragrant memories. They think of Jesus very much as of a dear friend they have lost, or as one who lived centuries ago a noble life of self-sacrifice — but who lives no longer. His history is all they have. They read his tender words of love, follow him in his gentle ministries, and learn to love him.
Then they come to his cross, and that seems to be the end. His voice is heard no more. His hand no longer ministers in homes of need. His feet no longer come on love errands. They gather up the precious memories and cherish them most sacredly. They wish that they had lived when he was on the earth, or that he would come again and repeat that wondrous life that they might enjoy its blessings. But to them he is dead. They have not the consciousness of his living presence with them.
Now the Scriptures are at great pains to present Christ as a living Savior. The infinite importance of his death is everywhere recognized; but mark how all the New Testament writers labor to remove every shadow of doubt from the fact that he rose again, and how his resurrection is held forth as the most important fact in his history, the very foundation of all gospel truth and of all Christian hope.
His frequent appearances after his resurrection were meant to produce and confirm in the minds of his disciples — a most vivid conception of himself as living again. He sought to blot out of their minds the thought of a dead Master, which had so filled their hearts with despair while he lay in the grave, and to impress upon them by never-to-be-forgotten incidents the truth that he was really alive. And the apostles carried that conception, that glorious consciousness, with them into all their work and all their perils. To them Jesus was as truly alive and as really with them while they preached and suffered — as he ever was during the brief years of his human presence.
Then all the presentations of the epistles and especially of the Book of Revelation are most vivid pictures of a living Christ. Very little is said about a dying Christ — but a great deal about him who "ever lives."
Now, no one believes or preaches that he is now dead. I am only speaking of the way he is held forth as a Savior, saving men by his death on the cross, rather than by the power of his life.
Is Christ presented so as to produce in the minds and hearts of believers a vivid conception of a living person, ever caring for them, ever with them? Do they think of him as a Savior who performed the whole of their salvation-work nineteen centuries ago when he gave his life for them — or as a Savior who is saving them by his strong arm, moment by moment?
A vivid realization of Christ as living — is essential to noble Christian life. How easy it is to go to the throne of grace when we feel that on that throne sits that same Jesus whose tender and beautiful life is delineated on the gospel pages! We remember how compassionate, how pitiful, how kind he was, and how easy it was to go to him, and how lovingly he received all who came unto him, never turning one away unblest. If he is the God who hears our prayers and listens to the recital of our griefs and cares — then how boldly we can come to him! The thought of that "same Jesus" on the heavenly throne, as the God with whom we have to do, is a precious one.
He is there as our advocate to manage all our affairs for us; he is there to prepare a place for us, and to receive us when we go home. It is a comforting thought when things seem to go wrong with you — that it is the Jesus of Bethany and Calvary who presides over the affairs of providence. It was a glorious joy when Stephen was dying to see that "same Jesus" standing with open arms to receive him. And his eyes merely saw what is real with every dying believer. These joys are lost, when there is not a clear consciousness of a living Christ in the heart.
Then there is still a further blessing which springs out of the faith that realizes a living Christ. It is the consciousness of that Savior's presence with each believer all the time. Many people realize that he lives in Heaven, and manages their affairs for them, and will receive them at last; but they fail to realize the glorious truth of his abiding presence with them. There is no promise of the Scriptures repeated over and over again so often as this: "I will be with you — I am with you always." Jesus has not left the earth. He never will leave it for a moment until his last redeemed one has reached the heavenly Father's home. More precious still — he never for a moment leaves the side of any one believer, from the hour of his conversion until he enters Heaven to go no more out forever. That is the way Jesus preserves his people in this life — by his abiding presence with them.
It is the consciousness of his abiding presence that we need. It is true, but how many realize it? And if not realized it avails us nothing in our hours of need. Mary's heart was breaking in the garden while Jesus stood close beside her, because she did not know that he was with her. What a world of comfort and joy came into her heart, with the consciousness that Jesus stood by her side!
In the same way, in all the Christian's sorrows and trials — Jesus is with him. What he needs is to believe this, to realize it. Faith makes it a real presence, and what more does any Christian need?
For three years, the veil that hid God from our eyes was lifted to give us a manifestation of his perpetual presence and ministry of love among men. The gospel record is but a few pages torn out of the history of a life that has been going on upon the earth since the creation, and will go on until the end. We have Christ with us — as really as the disciples had.

The sinner who comes fresh from his sins can find, not merely atonement for his sins — but the bosom of divine love! The mourner can find, not words of comfort only — but the sympathy and tender heart of the Comforter. The tempted, fainting believer can find, not promises of strength merely — but the same living, mighty hand that Peter found when he began to sink in the waves. The lost sinner, crying out, finds not merely the assurance of pardon and life — but he finds himself lifted up by the Good Shepherd and borne gently along to the fold.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 6

Favorite Pastor Quotes 6

The bulk of my congregation were burglars, highway robbers, and poor unhappy prostitutes!

(John Newton)

"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life!" 1 Timothy 1:16

You would have liked to have been with me last Wednesday, when I preached at the prison. The bulk of my congregation were burglars, highway robbers, and poor unhappy prostitutes--such as infest the streets of this city, sunk in sin, and lost to shame. I had a hundred or more of these criminals before me.

I preached from 1 Timothy 1:15, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst!" and began with telling them my own story. This gained their attention more than I expected. I spoke to them nearly an hour and a half. I shed many tears myself, and saw some of them shed tears likewise.

Ah! Had you seen their present condition, and could you hear the history of some of them, it would make you sing, "O to grace, how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be!"

By nature, they were no worse than the most upright and moral people; and there was doubtless a time when many of them little thought what they would live to do and suffer.

I might have been, like them, in chains--and one of them have come to preach to me, had the Lord so pleased!
In my days of folly and vanity, I was a chief sinner indeed--a vile blasphemer, and profligate to an extreme! But it has pleased Him to set me forth as a pattern of His mercy to other chief sinners--that none may despair when they see me!"By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corinthians 15:10 

Everything is Necessary, Nothing is Necessary!

John Newton

Everything is necessary, which God sends.

Nothing is necessary, which God withholds.

How happy are those . . .
  who can resign all to Him,
  who see His hand in every trying dispensation, and 
  who believe that He chooses better for them--than they could possibly choose for themselves!

Faithful are the wounds of that Friend who was Himself wounded and slain for us, and who now reigns over all!

Christ is sovereign over all of our trials. 

He is the Supreme Disposer of all that concerns us, that He . . .
  numbers the very hairs of our heads,
  appoints every trial we meet with--in number, weight, and measure,
  and will allow nothing to befall us, but what shall contribute to our good. 

The view of trials as a necessary medicine suited to our disease--powerfully reconciles us unto every cross.

What a comfort to be assured that our afflictions do not happen to us at random--but are all under the direction of infinite wisdom and love, and all engaged to work together for good to those who love the Lord!

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

The First Break in the Family
George Mylne 

break in the family! Did I say the first? Yes; for there are families where death, as yet, has never entered — no breach has occurred in the fair circle of domestic happiness — children and parents, parents and children, in full enjoyment of each other's company. How gladsome thus to see it! We feel inclined to say, "Enjoy it while you have it, and quaff the cup of family endearment with meekness and a thankful heart, remembering from whence the mercy comes — that the Giver be not forgotten in His gifts.
It is sweet to see a family unbroken. But, watch it long enough, and a break is sure to come At last — sooner or later must their domestic sky be overcast. Sickness may enter (if not some fatal accident), sickness not curable — but unto death. Oh, what a chill follows — what dread forebodings when the worst is feared, and apprehensions prove too true — when that once happy circle has been found no longer armored against the inroads of the last enemy! Then desolation reigns — where all before was gladness:
the darkened rooms,
the silent step, as though the softest footfall might disturb the slumbering dead,
the muffled voice,
the utterance choked with tears,
the look of anguish,
the chastened deportment of deep yet noiseless sorrow,
directions given, needful, yet harrowing to the soul,
activity that goes against the grain, costing unutterable pains.
Oh, who can paint the change where all appears disjointed, turned from its former course of unclouded and serene happiness! The little ones scarcely realize the fact, the infant mind not understanding the sad reality. Yet, from . . .
the tears,
the mournful preparations,
the putting on of dark apparel,
and the funeral procession —
they gather glimpses of the truth; and in their romps (how hard to be restrained!) they move about as half ashamed.
In the youthful members of the family, advanced a stage in the ability to understand — how subdued the light that shines upon them, like the lurid beams of an eclipse. They sadly feel their loss, and struggle with sorrowful restraint! How touchingly Cowper describes his feelings, as a child, on the occasion of his mother's death!
"I heard the bell toll'd on your burial day;
I saw the hearse that bore you slow away —
And, turning from my nursery-window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu."
But with the older ones of the family, how different! Their sorrow is realized in all its fullness — present is compared with past — weighed in the balances of serious and mature thought. Outbreaks of sorrow are curiously met with arguments for resignation — a truthful picture of unvarnished woe.

Reader, is it thus with you? Are you one of a family newly broken? Full well I know your feelings, the shock experienced in your inmost soul.
What deep emotions are occasioned by that empty chair!
How eloquent the death-like stillness of that now untenanted chamber!
That congenial voice no more will greet your ear.
That once familiar face no more be seen.
When the family meets together in the morning — what a blank pervades all!
When at night you separate, one well-known "good-night" is listened for in vain!
Oh, what a desolator is Death! The fairest form, the sweetest disposition, the finest mind, the most useful character — is often the first to go — the choicest treasure of your garden nipped in the bud of fond enjoyment.
"One flower may fill another's place,
With breath as sweet, with hues as glowing;
One ripple in you ocean's space,
Be lost amid another's flowing.
One star in you bright azure dome
Might vanish from its sparkling cluster,
Unmiss'd, unmourn'd, and in its room
Some rival orb eclipse its luster.
But who shall fill a brother's room?
Or who shall soothe the bosom's grieving?
Who heal the heart, around his tomb
Too faithfully, too fondly cleaving?"
 — Bonar

Poor mourner, do you ask for consolation? Gladly would I give it, If you are able to receive the only consolation I can offer. I might listen for hours to your tale of grief — telling the virtues of the dead, opening afresh the sorrows of your soul. I might attend you to all the haunts of the deceased, bend over the relics that you love to show, go with you to the grave, and there weep with you sob for sob, and tear for tear. But say, would that alone suffice to comfort you? It would help to nurse your sorrow — and give a fresh impulse to your morbid strain; it might tie you down more strongly to earth's regrets and unavailing musings. But would it indeed console you? Would it turn your bitterness to sweetness? Would it give you "the oil of joy — for mourning, the garment of praise — for the spirit of heaviness?" (Isaiah 61:3.)
Oh no I my friend, oh no! Elsewhere must you seek it. Do you ask me where?
Where, but in God?
Where, but in Jesus?
Where, but in The Holy Spirit, the Comforter?
Fond recollections of the dead are not forbidden you. It is allowed to trace the haunts and love the relics of their earlier days, in fond association with their memory. But then, do you take Jesus with you in your musings? As much as you loved your friend — do you love Jesus better still? And, as you gaze on fond mementoes, is it with the reserve of grace, lifting your heart all the while, as though to say, "Lord, let not this keep my heart from You! Through You I wish to see them all! Lord, sanctify my recollections — may I indulge them in deference to You!"
But now permit me, reader, to ask a question. Do not think me rude. Do not think it out of place. It underlies the matter both of your duty and your consolation. I ask you then, Do you feel yourself to be a sinner?

And why this question? Because nothing else will bring you to the Cross of Jesus.
You say, "How will that comfort me?" Simply because true comfort comes from God alone; and nothing can be received from God, except through the Cross and Him who hung thereon.
No God — No Comfort.
No Christ — No God.
No Sense of Sin — No Christ.
No Christ — No Savior.
No Christ — No Holy Spirit The Comforter.
No Comforter — No true Friend.
Do you doubt me? Then speak about it to God Himself. Tell Him your sorrow. Tell Him that you sigh for consolation. Ask Him to put you in the way of finding it. Take with you words (Hosea 14:2). Speak to Him as a little child.
Confess Your Sins.
Entreat His Pardon, through the Blood Of Christ.
Pray for the teaching of the Spirit.
Commit your cause to God fully and unreservedly, prepared to follow His leadings fully. And if you feel your heart melting, and thoughts arising in you of God and Christ, of Sin and Pardon, of Penitence and Prayer — then give yourself to the meditation. It is as though He said, "Seek My face!"
And may your heart say unto Him, "Your face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).
Who knows but that this day of your bereavement, may be the day of saving grace — the dawning of Christ in your heart; the day of true consolation!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 5

Favorite Pastor Quotes 5

Putting Clouds over the Sun!
Charles Naylor

little boy was walking down the street rejoicing in the possession of a bright new penny. He was going to buy some candy with it — and he could almost taste it already! But just then he dropped his penny upon the sidewalk — and an older boy seized it. The little boy began to cry and demanded his penny, but the other boy only laughed derisively. It was a mean trick. It spoiled the whole day for the young boy, and ever after when he thinks of the incident, he will have an unpleasant feeling. The older boy put a dark cloud over the little fellow's sun that day, and the shadow will be cast upon him through other days.
A number of people were sitting in a room talking over a matter. During the conversation one man made a charge against another, insultingly comparing him with a man whose conduct had been quite unfitting. The charge was like a dagger in the man's heart. He knew it was both untrue and unjust. He was conscious of the uprightness of his conduct. He had always held the other man in high esteem, and to be thus publicly wounded by him, was almost unbearable. He made no defense, but he went out of that room with an aching heart, humiliated and wronged. His friend had put a great cloud over his sun.
Years have passed, but the darkness of that cloud has not yet all passed away. When he thinks of the injustice, there is still a pang in his heart. He does not feel bitter toward the other person — he has forgiven him; but the close tie has been broken. He has never since been able to confide in the one who did him such an injury.
faithful minister had labored for years for souls. He had been successful — and had been a blessing to many. One day a certain person spoke of him half jestingly in a manner that aroused the suspicions of some others who were present. These suspicions grew until they became whispers, and the whispers grew until they became open charges. The minister could not prove them to be false. They hindered his labors. They bowed down his head with sorrow. Someone had put a cloud over his sun and over his name — and for years the dark shadow of it rested upon his life.
How easy it is to put a cloud over someone's sun — to make some life dark which might have been bright! It may seem only a little thing — but sometimes a little cloud can make a dark shadow. We may not see either the cloud or the shadow — but the heart that is darkened, both sees and feels.
How many times parents, by unkind words or actions, becloud their children's sky! One way in which parents do this is by telling the faults of their children to visitors, in the presence of the children. There is scarcely anything more disheartening to a child than this. He feels humiliated and hurt. He feels, and justly feels, that he has been mistreated. It sinks down into his soul and rankles there. It discourages him, and if it is often repeated — he comes not to care if he is at fault. Constant reproof and faultfinding — make a child's life gloomy and sad. That is not the way to cure faults — it is the way to make them worse!
I once knew a young saint who had a rich experience of salvation. A certain relative who opposed her religion began finding fault with her — and kept doing so at every opportunity. The result was that that young life was beclouded and a deep melancholy settled down over her. Her cheerfulness gave way to sadness and moroseness. The song of joy, once so often upon her lips — was stilled. Someone had put a cloud over her sun, and her life was never what it otherwise might have been.

Children may darken the hearts and lives of their parents. How many times is the mother-heart or father-heart grieved by the conduct of the children! It may be that they are only thoughtless — or they may be disobedient and willful. Young people, cherish your parents, try to make their lives as bright as you can. They have many cares. These are enough for them to bear, without your adding a single one. When you have grown older and they have gone out of your life — you may look back with a pang of regret at the times when you caused their hearts to ache. Brighten their lives while you may — then when you look into the open grave where Father or Mother is being laid to rest, your conscience will not smite you.
We are told that "no man lives unto himself." There is a circle of influence about our lives which affects every other life that we touch. We brighten or darken the lives about us. We lighten or make heavier the burdens of others. Every unkind word or look — makes a shadow on some life. Every slighting remark, every sarcastic fling, every contemptuous smile — puts a cloud over somebody's sun.

Lack of appreciation has darkened many a life. How much better it would be to take away the clouds, and to banish the gloom! You can do this just as easily as you can bring clouds. It is just as easy to speak kind words — as to speak unkind ones; and you will feel much better over it yourself. You can encourage and help — you can speak words of appreciation. When people please you — then let them know it. When people do well, or even when they try to do well and fail — then you can show that you appreciate their efforts. You can be cheerful and courteous and kind. That will make sunshine for others.
There are enough clouds in life at its best, in this world of sorrow. Be a sunshine-bearer! Drop a little good cheer into every life you touch. No matter what disposition you are by nature — you can form the habit of being cheerful and encouraging. Even when you have heavy burdens yourself — you can be encouraging and helpful to others.
Do not let your troubles be mirrored on your face. One's face can smile and his words can be cheery — even if his own heart aches. I am not writing a mere theory. I know what pain and gloom and heaviness are. I know what burdens are. During the first few months of my illness everyone knew how I felt. My face told the story without words. I finally saw that that would not do, and deliberately set to work to get the gloom out of my face and out of my words. You who read what I write, know something of my success. You can do the same by the grace of God.

 The most hideous blasphemy ever to be spewed from the pit of darkness!

(Don Fortner)

Universal atonement is the most hideous blasphemy ever to be spewed from the pit of darkness! No greater blasphemy ever spewed from the pit of Hell, than the blasphemous assertion that Christ died to redeem the multitudes who suffer the wrath of God there!

Universal love, universal grace, and universal redemption--is meaningless love, meaningless grace, and meaningless redemption. To preach such is to preach a meaningless gospel, a meaningless god, and a meaningless savior! 

There is . . .
  no love except distinguishing love,
  no redemption except a particular redemption,
  no atonement except a limited atonement,
  no deliverance except an effectual deliverance, and
  no grace except irresistible, omnipotent, saving grace!

"Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her!" Ephesians 5:25 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4

The harlot in your bosom! 

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

There is usually one sin that is the favorite--the sin which the heart is most fond of. A godly man will not indulge his darling sin: "I kept myself from my iniquity." (Psalm 18:23). "I will not indulge the sin to which the bias of my heart more naturally inclines." 

"Fight neither with small nor great--but only with the king." (1 Kings 22:31). A godly man fights this king sin. If we would have peace in our souls, we must maintain a war against our favorite sin, and never leave off until it is subdued.

Question: How shall we know what our beloved sin is?

Answer 1. The sin which a man does not love to have reproved--is the darling sin. Herod could not endure having his incest spoken against. If the prophet meddles with that sin--it shall cost him his head! "Do not touch my Herodias!" Men can be content to have othersins reproved--but if the minister puts his finger on the sore, and touches this sin--their hearts begin to burn in malice against him!

Answer 2. The sin on which the thoughts run most--is the darling sin. Whichever way the thoughts go, the heart goes. He who is in love with a person cannot keep his thoughts off that person. Examine what sin runs most in your mind, what sin is first in your thoughts and greets you in the morning--that is your predominant sin.

Answer 3. The sin which has most power over us, and most easily leads us captive--is the one beloved by the soul. There are some sins which a man can better resist. If they come for entertainment, he can more easily put them off. But the bosom sin comes as a suitor, and he cannot deny it--but is overcome by it. The young man in the Gospel had repulsed many sins--but there was one sinwhich soiled him, and that was covetousness. 

Mark what sin you are most readily led captive by--that is the harlot in your bosom! It is a sad thing that a man should be so bewitched by lust, that if it asks him to part with the Kingdom of Heaven--he must part with it, to gratify that lust!

Answer 4. The sin which men most defend--is the beloved sin. He who has a jewel in his bosom, will defend it to his death. The sin we advocate and dispute for, is the besetting sin. The sin which we plead for, and perhaps wrest Scripture to justify it--that is the sin which lies nearest the heart.

Answer 5. The sin which a man finds most difficulty in giving up--is the endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob found most difficulty in parting with Benjamin. So the sinner says, "This and that sin I have parted with--but must Benjamin go! Must I part with this delightful sin? That pierces my heart!" A man may allow some of his sins to be demolished--but when it comes to one sin--that is the taking of the castle; he will never agree to part with that! That is the master sin for sure.

The besetting sin is, of all others, most dangerous. As Samson's strength lay in his hair--so the strength of sin lies in this beloved sin.This is like a poison striking the heart, which brings death.
A godly man will lay the axe of repentance to this sin and hew it down! He will sacrifice this Isaac; he will pluck out this right eye--so that he may see better to go to Heaven.

Choosing to Do HARD Things

"I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!" Colossians 1:29
The man who seeks only easy things—will never make much of his life. One who is afraid of hard work—will never achieve anything worth while.
In an art gallery, before a lovely masterpiece, a young artist said to Ruskin, "Ah! If only I could put such a dream on canvas!" "Dream on canvas!" growled the old master. "It will take ten thousand touches of the brush on the canvas—to put your dream there!" No doubt, many beautiful dreams die in the brains and hearts of people—for lack of effort to make them realities.
On the tomb of Joseph II, of Austria, in the royal cemetery at Vienna, is this pitiable epitaph, prepared by direction of the king himself. "Here lies a monarch who, with the best intentions, never carried out a single plan."
There are too many people who try to shirk the hard things. They want to get along as easily as possible. They have ambition of a certain sort—but it is ambition to have the victory without the battle; to get the gold without digging for it. They would like to be learned and wise—but they do not care to toil in study, and "burn the midnight oil," as they must do—if they would realize their desire. They wish to have plenty of money—but they hope to get it from some generous relative as an inheritance, or to have some wealthy person endow them. They have no thought of working hard year after year, toiling and saving as people have to do—to earn for themselves, with their own hands, the fortune of their dreams. They may have a certain longing to be noble and Christlike, with a character that will command respect and confidence—but they have not the spirit of self-denial and of earnest moral purpose, which alone can produce such a character.
They may want to be godly and to grow into worthy manhood—but lack that passionate earnestness which alone will yield vigorous piety, and manly virtue, and the heroic qualities of true Christlikeness. Mere "holy dreaming" will yield nothing better than spiritual effeminacy! No religion is worthy—which does not seek to attain the best things; and the best can be won only by the bravest struggle and the most persistent striving!

In all departments of life this indolent, easygoing way of getting on—is working its mischief. There is much of it in school or college. It also abounds in the trades and professions. A successful business man says that the chief reason why so many young men never get advancement nor make anything worth while of their lives—is the lack of thoroughness. They do only what is easy, and never grapple with anything that is hard. Consequently, they do not fit themselves for any but the easiest places, and no position of importance ever can be easily filled.

Indolence is the bane of countless lives! The capacities in them are never developed, for lack of energy. They do not rise—because they have not the courage and persistence to climb.

A mark of all noble character—is its desire to do hard things! Easy things—do not satisfy it. It is happiest when it is wrestling with some task which requires it to do its best. Young people are fortunate when they are required to do things, which it seems to them they cannot do. It is under such pressure, that they grow into their best.
One is usually thought to be particularly favored, who misses difficult experiences and the enduring of hardships in youth. "Until I was fourteen years old," said a lady in middle life, "I never had a disappointment of any kind." It was regarded as remarkably fortunate that her early life had been so easy—so free from anxiety or burden. But those who knew the woman well—saw in this very fact, the secret of much in her life that was not beautiful. Her indulged and petted girlhood—was not the best preparation for womanhood. She had not learned to endure, to submit to things that are hard. She had not grown strong, nor had she acquired self-discipline. Even in her mature womanhood, she was only a spoiled child who chafed when things did not go to please her.
It is not so easy—but it is better, if young people have disappointments, burdens and responsibilities, and do not always have their own way. Thus, they will be trained to self-restraint, and taught to submit their wills to God's.
Of course, not always do people get the lessons and the character they should get—out of the hard things of earlier years. Some are not good learners in life's school. Some grow bitter in disappointment, and lose the sweetness out of their lives when they have to endure trial.
But in all that is hard—there is the possibility of blessingThe goal of noble living, is to gather new virtue and grace—from all life's struggles, cares and sorrows.

It is perilous presumption, to rush into the battle when we have no business in it, when it is not our battle. Yet, on the other hand, we are not to be afraid of any struggle or temptation, when it lies in the way of our duty. It is cowardly to shrink from the battle—when we are called into it. When God leads us—he means to help us. No task which he assigns, will ever prove too hard for us—if we do our best in Christ's name. When we face a new condition for which it seems to us, that we have neither strength nor skill, the only question is, "Is it our duty?" If so, there is no doubt as to what we should do, nor need we have any fear of failure. Hard things become easy—when we meet them with faith and courage.
Some people have a habit of skipping the hard things. It begins in childhood in school. The easy lessons are learned, because they require no great effort—but when a hard one comes in the course, it is given up after a half-hearted trial. The habit thus allowed to begin in school-work easily finds its way into all the life.
The boy does the same thing on the playground. When the game requires no special exertion, he goes through it in a creditable enough way. But when it is hotly contested, and when only by intense struggle can the victory be won—he drops out. He does not have the courage or the persistence to make an intense effort.
The girl who lets her school lessons master her, who leaves the hard problems unsolved and goes on—soon begins to allow other hard things to master her. The home tasks that are disagreeable, or that would require unusual effort—she leaves unattempted. It is not long until the habit of doing only the easy things and skipping whatever is hard pervades all the life. The result is that nothing brave or noble is ever accomplished; that the person never rises to anything above the commonplace.
In many ways does this habit of failing at hard things hurt the life. These difficult things are put in our way, not to stop us in our course, but to call out our strength and develop our energy! If we never had any but easy things to do, things requiring no effort—we would never become strong! If we timidly give up whenever we come to something that is hard—we shall never get beyond the attainments of childhood! If we decline the effort, and weakly say we are not able to make it—we have lost our opportunity of acquiring a new measure of strength and ability.
We should not forget, that no one ever did anything of great value in this world—without cost. A quaint old proverb says, "One cannot have an omelet—without breaking eggs!" If we would do anything really worth while, that will be a blessing in the world—we must put into it not merely easy efforts, languid sympathies, conventional good wishes, and courtesies that cost nothing. We must put into it thought, time, patience, self-denial, sleepless nights, exhausting toil.
There is a legend of an artist who had found the secret of a wonderful 'red' which no other artist could imitate. The secret of his 'color' died with him. But after his death an old wound was discovered over his heart. This revealed the source of the matchless hue in his pictures. The legend teaches that no great achievement can be made, no lofty attainment can be reached, nothing of much value to the world can be done—except at the cost of heart's blood!
"I laborstruggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!" Colossians 1:29

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 3

Favorite Pastor Quotes 3

For me!

"The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20
Is Jesus precious to my heart?
Is He the object of my supreme admiration and delight?
Does He have my warmest affection?
Do I love Jesus above all?
I must light the torch of my affection for Christ--at the altar of Calvary. I must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus is to me--the vastness of that love--the self-sacrifice of that love--how that love of Jesus . . .
  labored for me,
  and wept for me,
  and bled for me,
  and suffered for me,
  and died for me!
Can I stand before this love--this love . . .
  so precious,
  so great,
  so enduring,
  so self-consuming,
  so changeless--and know that . . .
    His sin-atoning sacrifice was for me,
    His cross was for me,
    His agony was for me,
    His scorn and insult was for me,
    His death was for me--
and feel no sensibility, no emotion, no love to Jesus? Impossible!
Do not be cast down, then, in vain regrets that your love to Christ is so frigid, so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon the reality and the greatness of the Savior's love to you--and if love can inspire love--while you muse, the fire will burn, and your soul shall be all in flame with love to Jesus!

Matthew 17:1-6

(1) Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; (2) and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. (3) And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. (4) Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (5) While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (6) And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
New King James Version 

Jesus clearly calls this mysterious occurrence a "vision" (verse 9). It was not reality but a glimpse of what the future held for Jesus Christ.
The word "transfigured" in verse 2 sounds esoteric, but it is merely the passive form of the Greek word metamorphoo, meaning "changed in form" or "transformed." This same word is used in the well-known Romans 12:2, ". . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . ." Unlike Matthew and Mark, Luke uses the phrase egeneto heteron, translated as "was altered" and meaning "became different" (Luke 9:29). In the vision, the three disciples saw Jesus change to the form He will have in God's Kingdom, which He alluded to in Matthew 16:28.
Why did Moses and Elijah appear with Him? This is where the events of Matthew 16 become important. These two servants of God were the most revered among all the Old Testament figures. Moses, the Great Lawgiver, personified the Law, and Elijah, the Archetypal Prophet, the Prophets. Evidently, the vision depicted Moses and Elijah speaking to Jesus in a servant-Master relationship, but the disciples failed to see this vital distinction.
Notice how Peter puts it. "Let's make three tabernacles, one for each of you." The other accounts say he did not really know what he was saying, meaning that he had missed something in his fear, that he spoke without thinking it through (Mark 9:6Luke 9:33).
What happened as a result of his thoughtless comment? Notice that Matthew writes, "While he was still speaking. . . ." This is a big clue. God, immediately seeing that the disciples did not understand, took steps to make it plain. To paraphrase what God says, "Look! Jesus is MY beloved Son, and He has MY highest approval. Listen to what HE says! He is far greater than Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets."
This is why the transfiguration occurred. God wanted to make it very clear to the disciples that His way of life is based on the life and death and life again of Jesus Christ, not on the Jews' traditional beliefs. He had to stun the disciples so that they would put Jesus and His teachings on a higher level than Judaism—even higher than the teachings of Moses and Elijah.
Whatever Jesus says is far more important to our salvation than the minutiae of Moses' law or the vagaries of prophecy. In many instances, Jesus makes upgrades to Old Testament law, giving a higher, spiritual meaning (for instance, Matthew 5:21-22). Hear Him!

~Richard T. Ritenbaugh~


Instead of a river, God often gives us a brook--which may be running today, and dried up tomorrow.
To teach us not to rest in our blessings--but in the blesser Himself.
"Hold me up--and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117
"So do not fear--for I am with you! Do not be dismayed--for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!" Isaiah 41:10

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7

Speaking about the Bible a saint once said, “I have no greater pleasure than to be in a nook with the Book.” Do you think that way?

The Bible is the book that the martyrs held to their bosoms as the flames crept closer and closer. This is the book that the saints put their head upon as they went from this world into the next. This is the book that gives bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, life to the wayfarer, strength to the weak, and a weapon to the warrior.

God’s book rejoices the heart. It is completely trustworthy. There are over 6,000 promises in the Bible and not one has ever been broken.

What would happen in the life of the church—and in your life—if you spent as many minutes in your Bible as in the newspaper? The television? Your cell phone?

~Adrian Rogers~