CLEAN UP THINE HOUSE AND GET RID OF THAT CLUTTER, CHRISTIAN!

clutter

CLEAN UP THINE HOUSE AND GET RID OF THAT CLUTTER, CHRISTIAN!

In some of our homes, we’ve got a lot of stuff, and A LOT OF STUFF THAT WE DON’T NEED! I’ve been talking with a few friends about clutter and de-junking the house. How do we decide what to purge? After we’ve thrown out the garbage, how do we decide what to keep and what to give to Goodwill? How do we use the material blessings which the Lord has given us without beginning to “lay up for ourselves treasures upon earth”? [Matt 6:19]

There are loads of books out there on how do de-clutter, organize, and purge, but few of them offer a biblical perspective. The motives that we often hear for de-cluttering are to create a calm personal space, to make room for the new, to aid the flow of positive energy, etc. If you haven’t used it for a year, you’re supposed to throw it out, according to the organizational gurus. But THERE ARE BIBLICAL REASONS AND MOTIVES FOR GETTING RID OF STUFF YOU DON’T USE – AND EVEN SOME STUFF THAT YOU DO.

First, getting rid of excess stuff frees you to other things. Stuff requires that we keep track of it and care for it. Getting rid of extra stuff means that we have less material things to think about and care for, and more time and energy to serve. Instead of storing and cleaning an extensive collection of (china plates, baby clothes, old textbooks, etc.), we have that time to serve. Stuff is often a distraction from the things of God and the service of God. While we do have to live with some things (some clothing, for instance, or pots and pans) and spend time caring for them, stuff that is taking extra time and energy from the things of the Lord needs to go.

Second, getting rid of extra stuff makes your home a tool of service. A home that is cluttered (often a symptom of disorganization) is not a place which is restful to its occupants, available for hospitality, or a witness to a world that is watching to see how other-worldly people live on earth. A de-cluttered home is partly an expression and witness that we are willing and able to serve.

THIRD, GETTING RID OF STUFF CAN BLESS OTHERS. Things that you do not use, that you only use occasionally, or even things that you do use but could do without, could bless someone who actually needs them. Those items can go, too. I had been storing bins and bins of kid’s clothes in case I ever need them. Maybe I will need them again, but in the meantime, I know other children who could put them to good and immediate use. It’s good to ask if someone else would be more fruitful with an item in question, or if they need it: “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” (James 2:14-16).

Things like your wedding dress or another personal, irreplaceable item can stay – pictures of your great-grandmother are probably not going to be a blessing to someone else, anyway. And there is a place for owning some things just because they are beautiful and bring us daily joy. But even then, we need to examine our motives. Why do we cling to a particular thing that is going to burn in the end anyway? Sometimes we keep something because it will bring our children or grandchildren joy (perhaps some financial gain) years from now. Sometimes we want to be able to see a certain item (like our grandfather’s cane, or our first pair of shoes) that brings back memories connected to landmark events in our past.

BUT OFTEN, I FIND MYSELF CLINGING TO STUFF WITH NO OTHER REASON THAN MATERIALISM! I love stuff, so it’s hard to throw it out. Scripture has some serious warning for me: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). Throwing out stuff helps me to wean myself from this world and focus on spiritual realities. One line from Luther’s hymn has been particularly helpful to me as I seek to pare down my earthly possessions: “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also.”

This doesn’t mean that we have to live in stark, monastic settings. But it does mean that we need to view our possessions in light of eternity, using them for God’s glory and love for others. All the stuff I have is just stuff – a stewardship of temporal blessings. Is it weighing down my soul and fruitfulness? Am I using it for eternal good? “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-20). Amen!

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THE TWO RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD

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THE TWO RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD

by John G. Reisinger

There are basically only two religions in the world. One says, “IF YOU WILL do such and such, God will graciously bestow His blessing upon you.” The thousand and one varieties of this religion differ only on what the “such and such” is that you must be willing to do. One variety says bathe in a sacred river, another bids you kiss the sacred rock located in the holy city, still another says be baptized or some similar rite, and in distinctly evangelical circles this religion emphasizes, “IF YOU WILL OPEN YOUR HEART, THEN GOD . . .”

Notice carefully the three key words IF YOU WILL.
(1) God’s forgiveness is possible IF …..
(2) God’s forgiveness is possible if YOU…
(3) God’s forgiveness is possible if you WILL. . . .

The ultimate success or failure of this religion is determined solely by the will of man. Everything depends on an “if,” and on “you,” and on “your willingness” to do your part. Redemption is always CONDITIONAL since it depends on man’s cooperation for success. The great work of salvation is not actually accomplished until God can find someone who is willing to “cooperate with Him.” Our forefathers called this “if you will” system the “religion of works.” It was also called “Arminianism” and “semi-Pelagianism” since these were the men who originally caused division in the church by introducing this error of free will. Regardless of the name attached to it by friend or foe, the distinguishing marks are always the same — the IF, the YOU, and YOUR WILL are the decisive factors that make the plan of salvation work.

This religion offers a wonderful plan of salvation that is able to do mighty things if YOU WILL ONLY LET IT. The God of this free will religion can only desire and offer to save sinners. He is helpless to secure, by His own power, what He longs to do. The goal of redemption cannot be reached unless man, of his own free will, chooses to permit God to accomplish His purposes.

The false religion of free will, or works, is based upon several unbiblical doctrines. The most basic of these is THE UNIVERSAL AND INDISCRIMINATE REDEMPTIVE LOVE OF GOD. God is said to love all men in the same way and to the same degree. He loved Judas the same as Peter, Esau like Jacob, and the goats as much as the sheep. Since His love is universal then the greatest gift of His love, Jesus Christ His Son, must have been given to provide a universal atonement, meaning for every individual without exception, in His death. The objects of the Son’s atonement must be equal to the objects of the Father’s love, so both must include every man. If the Father loves all men equally, and the Son redeemed every man without exception, it follows that the Holy Spirit must convict every man or else the Trinity is not working together toward the same end in the task of redeeming lost men.

It should be amply clear that this religion of works, or free will, based on a universal love and universal atonement, makes God’s whole scheme of redemption depend on man for its success. God’s love will prevail IF MAN will let it. Christ’s atonement will actually redeem only IF MAN will let it. The Holy Spirit will apply redemption’s purchased benefits IF MAN will allow Him. No wonder C. H. Spurgeon, that great soul winner, called free will “utter nonsense,” and universal atonement a “monstrous doctrine akin to blasphemy.”

Now the second religion is the message of the Bible. It is the gospel of FREE GRACE. It does not look to God for the PROVISION and then turn to man for the POWER, but it boldly proclaims that the same sovereign grace that planned salvation for helpless sinners also furnishes them with the ability to desire and receive it. This second religion not only starts at a different place, it works on a different principle, and moves toward a different goal. In short, it is a totally different religion. The religion based on free will (Arminianism – If you will …), and that based of free grace (Calvinism — God makes us willing …) are two very distinct and opposite religions that differ on every theological point at which they meet.

Any individual who piously says, “It is really not important, it is merely a question of EMPHASIS,” is either deliberately dishonest or completely ignorant of Bible doctrine in church history. The Synod of Dort and the Council of Trent clarified forever the vital importance of the issue once and for all time. I challenge any man to read Dr. J. I. Packer’s introduction to the DEATH OF DEATH IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST by John Owen, and then talk about emphasis. Packer clearly shows that free will and free grace are totally different religions, and furthermore, that they are irreconcilable enemies.

WHO WEARS THE CROWN?

As you can see, the real battle ground is the nature of man, and the prize to be won is the Crown of Credit for making redemption’s plan actually work. Is free grace, given sovereignly by the Father, the decisive factor that causes the elect to believe in the first place, or is man’s will, exercised sovereignly by the individual, the decisive factor that causes God to choose these whom He “foresees” are willing to believe? Who wins the right to wear the crown of glory, God or man? And by what power was that right won — free will or free grace?

The basic difference between these two opposing religions can also be summed up by asking another question, a question vitally related to the first one. Instead of asking how any man can perish, and being told that, “the man would not do his part which was to simply believe,” we now ask, “Why are SOME men saved?” How is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s work able to succeed in some cases but not in others? The religion of free will humbly (?) answers that “MAN MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE BY BEING WILLING TO OPEN HIS HEART AND GIVE GOD A CHANCE!” It does not matter if we are speaking of those who perish or those who are saved, we always come back to that IF YOU WILL.

Actually, the gospel based on free will can never be more than a gospel of mere POSSIBILITY. It is a plan of redemption that cannot truly redeem by its own power, but can only effect real salvation when it finds someone who make themselves willing to do “their part.” It is not a question of whether a man must, or does, become willing before he can be saved, we all believe that, but WHO AND WHAT POWER makes the sinner willing? Does man, of himself, choose to become willing, or does God, by His sovereign power, make His elect willing “in the day of His power” (Ps. 110:3)? It seems both logical and judicially necessary to crown with glory the individual who made the plan of salvation actually work, and the free willer does not hesitate to reach for the crown and place it on the head of the sovereign and free will of man.

Some folks may feel we are laboring this point to an extreme, but actually this is the heart of the matter. Who really deserves all the glory for man’s salvation? It cannot be both God and man, nor can it be, as many would imply, half and half. Either God saves sinners by “making them willing in the day of His power,” or they save themselves by making themselves willing in the “day of their free will decision.”

Read the full sermon –
http://www.the-highway.com/2religions.html

OUR GOD OUR NIGHT WATCH

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OUR GOD OUR NIGHT WATCH

C.H. Spurgeon

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety!” [Psalm 4:8]]

Sweet Evening Hymn! I shall not sit up to watch through fear, but I will lie down; and then I will not lie awake listening to every rustling sound, but I will lie down in peace and sleep, for I have nought to fear.

He that hath the wings of God above him needs no other curtain! Better than bolts or bars is the protection of the Lord. Armed men kept the bed of Solomon, but we do not believe that he slept more soundly than his father, whose bed was the hard ground, and who was haunted by blood-thirsty foes. Note the word “ONLY“, which means that God ALONE was his Keeper, and that though alone, without man’s help, he was even then in good keeping, for he was “alone with God.”

A quiet conscience is a good bedfellow. How many of our sleepless hours might be traced to our untrusting and disordered minds. They slumber sweetly whom faith rocks to sleep. No pillow so soft as a promise; no coverlet so warm as an assured interest in Christ.

O Lord, give us this calm repose on Thee, that like David we may lie down in peace, and sleep each night while we live; and joyfully may we lie down in the appointed season, to sleep in death, to rest in God!

THE GOD WHICH FEEDS AND CARES FOR US [Genesis 48:15]

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THE GOD WHICH FEEDS AND CARES FOR US [Genesis 48:15]

C.H. Spurgeon

The old man’s voice faltered as he said, “The God which fed me all my life long.” The translation would be better if it ran, “The God which shepherded me all my life long.”

He spoke of the Lord as his Shepherd. Jacob had been a shepherd and, therefore, he knew what shepherding included—the figure is full of meaning. There had been a good deal of Jacob about Jacob and he had tried to shepherd himself. Poor sheep that he was, while under his own guidance he had been caught in many thorns and had wandered in many wildernesses. Because he would be so much a shepherd to himself, he had been hard put to it. But over all, despite his wilfulness, the shepherding of the Covenant God had been exercised towards him and he acknowledged it.

O dear saints of God, you to whom years are being multiplied, give praise to your God for having been your Shepherd! You delight in the 23rd Psalm—sing it sometimes with variations by using the past tense—”The Lord has been my Shepherd and I have known no need. He has made me to lie down in green pastures; He has led me beside the still waters. Yes, though I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death in times of great darkness, yet I have feared no evil: for He has been with me, His rod and His staff have comforted me.” Bear your witness to the shepherding of God, for this may lead others to become the sheep of His pasture.

This shepherding had been perfect. Our version rightly says that the Lord had fed Jacob all his life long. Take that sense of it and you who have a daily struggle for subsistence will see much beauty in it. Jacob had a large family and yet they were fed. Some of you say, “It is all very well of you to talk of Providence when you have few to provide for.” I answer, it is better, still, to talk of Providence where a large household requires large provision! Remember Jacob had 13 children, yet his God provided them bread to eat and clothes to put on. None of that large company were left to starve.

You think, perhaps, that Jacob was a man of large estate. He was not so when he began life. He was only a working man—a shepherd. When he left his father’s house he had no attendants with camels and tents. I suppose he carried his little bit of provision in a handkerchief and when he laid down that night to sleep, with a stone for his pillow, the hedges for curtains, the heavens for his canopy, and the earth for his bed, he had no fear of being robbed.

God was with him, but apart from that, he had nothing to begin life with but his own hands. Whatever he received from his father Isaac afterwards, he had at first to fight his own way—but he knew no lack either at the beginning or at the end, for he could speak of the great Elohim as, “the God which fed me all my life long.” Hundreds of us can say the same! I remember one who came to be wealthy who used to show me with great pleasure the tree axle of the truck in which he used to wheel his goods through the streets when he began in business—I liked to see him mindful of his original.

Mind you do not go and say, “See how I have got on by my own talents and industry!” Talk not so proudly, but say, “GOD HAS FED ME.” Mercies are all the sweeter when seen to come from the hand of God.
But besides being FED, Jacob had been LED, even as sheep are guided by the shepherd who goes before them. His journeys, for that period, had been unusually long, perilous and frequent. He had fled from home to Padanaram. After long years he had come back to Canaan and had met his brother, Esau. And after that, in his old age he had journeyed into Egypt. To go to California or New Zealand in these times is nothing at all compared to those journeys in Jacob’s day! But he says, “God has shepherded me all my life long” and he means that the great changes of his life had been wisely ordered. At home and in exile, in Canaan and in Goshen, God had been a shepherd to him. He sees the good hand of God upon him in all his wanderings, until he now finds himself sitting up on his bed and blessing Joseph through his sons.

Oh that the Holy Spirit may make you feel that you need God with you with wealth as much as your fathers needed God without wealth! You may yet come to beggary with all your inheritance if you cast off the fear of the Lord and fall into sin. You who begin life with nothing but your own brains and hands, trusting in your father’s God, shall yet have to sing as your fathers sang, “the God which fed me all my life long.”

Young men and young women beginning life, I charge you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness! It is not life to live without God—you miss the kernel, the cream, the crown of life if you miss the Presence of God! Life is but a bubble blown up of toil and trouble without God! Life ends in blighted hope if you have not hope in God. But with God you are as a sheep with a Shepherd—cared for, guided, guarded, fed, led—and your end shall be peace without end!

THE CHRISTIAN’S ‘SELFIE’

Attractive little girl is doing selfie in summer light. Girl is looking at the smart phone. All potential trademarks are removed.

THE CHRISTIAN’S ‘SELFIE’

preacher Gary Shepard

Today’s Smartphone technology gives the ability to take pictures wherever one has their phone. Not only can we take pictures of others, scenery and more, we can also take pictures of ourselves! This has given rise to a new term in social media, the “selfie.” These are often close up pictures one takes of themselves and posts on various social websites.

Men and women clearly post these selfies using the one they think is best, showing their best features and at the best angle. This is exactly what people seek to show to God and others, their best “selfie.” They want to project to God and men their best SELF-righteousness.

Christ spoke a parable in which He showed how natural this is to fallen man. “And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Luke 18:9). The selfies posted are but open evidences of the vanity and pride of sinners concerning what they think they are and look like to others. But I’m afraid they only look that way to themselves.

So it is spiritually like the Pharisee in the parable whose prayer was, “God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are… I fast and tithe..” His view of himself was in his own eyes and based on what he DID. But there was another man whose eyes God had opened so that the “selfie” he saw of himself was surely ugly in God’s sight and man’s. In light of that revelation of what he then says himself to be, he cries out to God for mercy. As the psalmist, “And enter not into judgment with Thy servant: for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.” (Psalm 143:2) This publican cries, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” This is the selfie he sees of himself before the infinitely holy God.

This picture was revealed to him by the Spirit of God. He was the one “justified”, declared righteous by God! When we see ourselves in God’s light, we hide our faces and pray to be seen in Christ alone. We desire not our own righteousness which is as filthy rags but to be made the righteousness of God in Christ. We look to His righteousness imputed to us. Only in the gospel wherein the righteousness of God is revealed can we see that “selfie” by faith which God can favor and we have comfort from. O God our merciful Savior, let my selfie be in the Lord Jesus Christ!

HIS BANNER OVER ME WAS LOVE

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HIS BANNER OVER ME WAS LOVE

J.C. Philpot

“In the light of the king”s countenance is life; and his favor is as a cloud of the latter rain.” Proverbs 16:15

What is religion without a living faith in, and a living love to the Lord Jesus Christ? How dull and dragging, how dry and heavy, what a burden to the mind, and a weariness to the flesh, is a “round of forms” where the heart is not engaged and the affections not drawn forth! Reading, hearing, praying, meditation, conversation with the saints of God, what cold, what heartless work where Jesus is not! But let him appear, let his presence and grace be felt, and his blessed Spirit move upon the heart, then there is a holy sweetness, a sacred blessedness in the worship of God and in communion with the Lord Jesus that makes, while it lasts, a little heaven on earth.
 

It is this inward sense of the blessedness of his presence and the misery of his absence, the heaven of his smile and the hell of his frown, that makes the sheep of Christ seek communion with him. He has won their heart to himself by discovering to them his beauty and his love, and they having once seen the glory of his Person, heard the sweetness of his voice, and tasted the grace of his lips, follow him wherever he goes, seeking to know him and the power of his resurrection, and counting all things rubbish and loss that they may win him, and have some manifestation of his love.

What is to support the soul under those trials and temptations that at times press it so sore, relieve those cruel doubts which so disquiet, take away those fears of death which so alarm, subdue that rebelliousness which so condemns, wean from the world which so allures, and make it look beyond life and time, the cares of the passing hour, and the events of the fleeting day, to a solemn and blessed eternity, but those visitations of the blessed Lord to the soul which give it communion with himself? Thus were the saints of God led and taught in days of old, as the Holy Spirit has recorded their experience in the word of truth.

Remembering the past, one says, “Your visitation has preserved my spirit.” Longing for a renewal, another cries, “O when will you come unto me?” and under the enjoyment of his presence the Church speaks, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”

LETTER TO A BROTHER ON SEEKING A WIFE

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LETTER TO A BROTHER ON SEEKING A WIFE

Dear Alex,
In everything we have to first know the WILL OF GOD and not take anything for GRANTED. Now most Christians start looking for a mate without even seeking the Lord as to whether first of all He wants them to marry. We have to “In ALL our ways acknowledge Him that He might direct our paths!” [Prov 3:5,6]

The Apostle said – “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, IT IS GOOD FOR THEM IF THEY ABIDE EVEN AS I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is BETTER TO MARRY THAN TO BURN”. [1Cor 7:8,9]

Maybe sex is an important thing to you. And if it is there is no need to feel condemned or ashamed about it. It’s just the way God made you. Consider what the Apostle said – “For I would that all men were even as I MYSELF (single). But every man hath his proper GIFT OF GOD, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to BURN”. [1Cor 7:7-9]

So for a man to remain single or abstain from sex (in marriage) is NOT NORMAL BUT A ‘GIFT OF GOD’! The Lord Jesus spoke of those “which have made themselves eunuchs for the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN’S SAKE”. ALL do not have this gift and it is injurious to PRETEND you have it when you don’t! For ‘Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain’. [Prov 25:14]

Sometimes the child of God fears thus, “what if God now brings along some ‘ugly duckling’ and says “Marry her! She’s the one I had in mind for you”! Now after many years in the Lord, I know better. But when you are new to the faith, all kinds of fears haunt you.

But the Lord always gives that which is GOOD! Amen? “If ye then, being EVIL, know how to give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in heaven give GOOD THINGS to them that ask him”? [Matt 7:11].

Then after many years, God brought Anita into my life and we’ve been married twenty four years. She is TAILOR MADE FOR ME and my marriage to her has made me understand the mystery of Christ and His bride more than all the theology books on marriage! I can say in all honesty that the greatest gift that God has blessed me with next salvation itself is my wife.

Trust me Alex, God gives the BEST to those who leave the choices up to him and put HIM FIRST in their lives! What a word is that – “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass”! [Psa 37:4,5]

I would encourage you to commit this whole thing concerning marriage into God’s hands and look to Him alone to work things out.

So are you willing, not to present YOUR program to God for HIS signature?–Not even to be presented with GOD’S program for YOUR signature, but are you willing to sign a BLANK SHEET OF PAPER and let GOD fill it in without your even knowing in advance what His program is going to be? Think about it. Are you willing to honestly and sincerely turn your life over to Him and then do WHATEVER He wants you to do? If so, God has a WONDERFUL and GLORIOUS future in store for you!

But let me share something else, Alex. After I split up with my first girlfriend, I decided that I wasn’t going to marry or ‘seek’ for a wife, but rather give myself wholly to the Lord and His service (which I did). Then in 1992 I joined a large Church in our city to lead in their worship and teach in their small Bible school. That’s when I came across my wife who was also working in that same church. It wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ or any fleshly attraction, but by and by the Lord convinced both of us that we should come together in marriage and serve Him fulltime. My parents, her parents, and our ‘pastor’ were all against it. But because IT WAS GOD’S WILL He worked on all their hearts and by and by they agreed even against their will and got us married.

Now looking back I can see the wisdom of God in all this. Believe me, Alex, as I said earlier my wife is ‘tailor made’ for me. I wouldn’t trade her for any other woman in the world!! You see, my wife did her ‘Bachelor of Divinity’ in Canada and lived there for almost five years. There were so many ‘pastors’ and mission workers she could have married and settled down in Canada . But every time she prayed about a proposal God would tell her “he’s not the one!” And she was getting well past the age of 32, an age when women start fretting that their age is passing by etc. Then God told her to come to India (which her worldly parents vehemently opposed). But she obeyed. And when we met, and I proposed, she prayed about it. God spoke to her through a verse in 2Kings = “this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually”. Even on the night before our marriage day we both sincerely cried out to God that if this wasn’t His will for us that He would not let it happen. But IT WAS His will and here we are married with two healthy boys and with a desire to get closer and closer to Jesus!

And one more thing Alex, don’t go around looking for a girl who believes in God’s Absolute Sovereignty and ‘Predestination’ just like YOU and I do. There just aren’t many of those around. Ask the Lord to lead you to a girl who is truly saved and has a love for Him and His Word. And when you meet one, present the truth in love as she is able to receive it. Don’t make the mistake that I made when I initially came into the Reformed faith. i.e. cram all the five points of Calvinism in one sitting. Imitate the Lord’s way in teaching. Remember what the Master told His disciples, “I have yet MANY THINGS to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them NOW”. And again, “with many such parables spake He the word unto them, AS THEY WERE ABLE TO HEAR IT” [Mk4:33]. But no matter how long it takes make sure that she fully receives and understands what Jonah understood in the belly of the whale. i.e. “SALVATION IS OF THE LORD![Jonah 2:9].

According to your faith be it unto you, dear brother! Do you believe that God is able to still ‘call out things that are not as though they were?!’ Are you amongst those who AGAINST HOPE BELIEVE IN HOPE? Who stagger not at the promise of God through unbelief, but are strong in faith giving glory to God being fully persuaded that what He hath promised He is able to perform?! Are you truly the son of our father Jacob who wrestled with the Angel and prevailed, saying: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me!” Then wait! Even if it means to die waiting! Remember what the Old Puritans used to say – “He waited for God’s best and God gave him nothing less!” Hallelujah!

Remember Alex, if God has prepared a wife for you, He’ll bring her to you no matter where she is. Like He brought Anita to me all the way from Canada. “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and BROUGHT HER UNTO THE MAN! [Gen2:22] “To everything there is a season, and A TIME to every purpose under the heaven: and He hath made everything beautiful IN HIS TIME! [Ecc3:11] When God sees that you are ready to marry and raise a Godly offspring, NO force in heaven or on earth is going to stop it! But let patience have her PERFECT work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Alex, I am tired and have to rest now. Shall write again dear Brother. Until then keep seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you……..IN HIS TIME!

Thy brother for whom Christ died
Love
Michael Jeshurun

FINALLY THE ONLY THING REMAINING WILL BE THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST!

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FINALLY THE ONLY THING REMAINING WILL BE THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST!

The earth that now stands will soon be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth!

“But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” [2Peter 3:10-13]

God will remove everything that is man-made and is a monument of man’s pride so that what ultimately remains will be the things that cannot be shaken ( Heb.12:27).

And there is only one thing on earth that cannot be shaken – The Church of Jesus Christ! As He hath said – “Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!” [Matt 16:18]

Believers have an unshakable dwelling place. When we were born-again, we were born into God’s kingdom and given a new safe position referred to as being “in Christ Jesus” (Rom.6:11). The forces of sin, the devil and the world can neither disrupt this Kingdom nor the relationship which the Lord has with His Elect. Even though life will at times entail suffering and tribulation, God’s Elect are forever secure.

For what power can stand against our Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ? Everything that exists must submit to Him. Even as wars rage, injustice spreads, and governments fail, He remains in absolute control.

We live in unsettling times. The more conditions worsen, the easier it is to see why scripture refers to God as a consuming fire (Heb.12:29). He will burn up all that displeases Him. . . . . until the only ones who remain are the righteous – His chosen sheep – who stand under His Lordship and await His kingdom.

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!

SPURGEON’S CONVERSION

spurgeon-in-the-snow

SPURGEON’S CONVERSION

The story of Spurgeon’s conversion is widely known, but it may well be repeated, and it cannot be better told than in the words in which he himself presented it:

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Church. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people’s heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved….

The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now it is well that preachers be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was—”LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH” (Isa. 45:22)

He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimmer of hope for me in that text.

The preacher began thus: “This is a very simple text indeed. It says ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It aint liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is JUST ‘LOOK.’ Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look.

“But then the text says, ‘Look unto ME.’ Ay!” he said in broad Essex, “many on ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some say look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto ME.’ Some on ye say ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin.’ You have no business with that just now. LOOK TO CHRIST. The text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ ”

Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me; I am sweatin’ great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto Me, I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto Me; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! Look unto Me!”

When he had . . . . managed to spin out about ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger.

Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, “And you will always be miserable—miserable in life and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.” Then lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!”

I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said—I did not take much notice of it—I was so possessed with that one thought . . . . I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away.

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.” Yet it was, no doubt, all wisely ordered, and now I can say—

“E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die. . .”

That happy day when I found the Saviour, and learned to cling to His dear feet, was a day never to be forgotten by me . . . . I listened to the Word of God and that precious text led me to the cross of Christ. I can testify that the joy of that day was utterly indescribable. I could have leaped, I could have danced; there was no expression, however fanatical, which would have been out of keeping with the joy of that hour. Many days of Christian experience have passed since then, but there has never been one which has had the full exhilaration, the sparkling delight which that first day had.

I thought I could have sprung from the seat in which I sat, and have called out with the wildest of those Methodist brethren . . . “I am forgiven! I am forgiven! A monument of grace! A sinner saved by blood!”

My spirit saw its chains broken to pieces, I felt that I was an emancipated soul, an heir of heaven, a forgiven one, accepted in Jesus Christ, plucked out of the miry clay and out of the horrible pit, with my feet set upon a rock and my goings established . . . .
Between half-past ten o’clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o’clock, when I was back again at home, what a change had taken place in me! Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, “Something wonderful has happened to you,” and I was eager to tell them all about it. Oh! there was joy in the household that day, when all heard that the eldest son had found the Saviour and knew himself to be forgiven.

Praise the Lord! – M.J.

(Taken from Iain Murray, ed., The Early Years (London: Banner of Truth, 1962), p. 87-90).

GOD’S MYSTERIOUS PROVIDENCE

snowflake-lesson

GOD’S MYSTERIOUS PROVIDENCE

Loraine Boettner

God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions.’ (Shorter Catechism, answer to Question 11.) The Scriptures very clearly teach that all things outside of God owe not merely their original creation, but their continued existence, with all their properties and Powers, to the will of God. He upholds all things by the word of His power, Heb. 1:3. He is before all things, and in Him all things consist, Col. 1:17. ‘Thou art Jehovah, even Thou alone;Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts, the earth and all things that are therein, the seas and all that is in them, and Thou preservest them all,’ Neh. 9:6. ‘In Him we live, and move and have our being,’ Acts 17:28. He is ‘over all, and through all, and in all,’ Eph. 4:6.

Throughout the Bible the laws of nature, the course of history, the varying fortunes of individuals, are ever attributed to God’s providential control. All things, both in heaven and earth, from the seraphim down to the tiny atom, are ordered by His never-failing providence. So intimate is His relationship with the whole creation that a care- less reader might be led toward pantheistic conclusions. Yet individual personalities and second causes are fully recognized, —-not as independent of God, but as having their proper place in His plan. And alongside of this doctrine of His Immanence the Scripture writers also present the kindred doctrine of His Transcendence, in which God is distinctly set forth as entirely separate from and above the whole creation.

Yet as regards God’s providence we are to understand that He is intimately concerned with every detail in the affairs of men and in the course of nature. ‘To suppose that anything is too great to be comprehended in His control,’ says Dr. Charles Hodge, ‘or anything so minute as to escape His notice; or that the infinitude of particulars can distract His attention, is to forget that God is infinite . . . . The sun diffuses its light through all space as easily as upon any point. God is as much present everywhere, and with everything, as though He were only in one place, and had but one object of attention.’ And again, ‘He is present in every blade of grass, yet guiding Arcturus in his course, marshalling the stars as a host, calling them by their names; present also in every human soul, giving it understanding, endowing it with gifts, working in it both to will and to do. The human heart is in His hands; and he turneth it even as the rivers of water are turned.’ (Systematic Theology, I, p. 583.)

It is almost universally admitted that God determines when, where, and under what circumstances, each individual of our race shall be born, live, and die, whether it shall be male or female, white or black, wise or foolish. God is no less sovereign in the distribution of His favors. He does what He will with His own. To some He gives riches, to others honor, to others health, to others certain talents for music, oratory, art, finance, statesmanship, etc. Others are poor, unknown, born in dishonor, the victims of disease, and live lives of wretchedness. Some are placed in Christian lands where they receive all the benefits of the Gospel; others live and die in the darkness of heathenism. Some are brought through faith unto salvation; others are left to perish in unbelief.

And to a very large extent these external things, which are not the result of individual choice, decide the person’s life course and eternal destiny. Both Scripture and every day experience teach us that God gives to some what He withholds from others. If it be asked why He does this, or why he does not save all, the only available answer is found in the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.’ Only the Scripture doctrine of the fall and redemption will give us any light on what we see about us.

It is to be remembered that those who receive these gifts, whether spiritual or temporal, receive them through pure grace, while in regard to the others God simply withholds those gifts which He was under no obligation to bestow. Nations, as well as individuals, are thus in the hands of God, who appoints the bounds of their habitation, and controls their destiny. He controls them as absolutely as a man controls a rod or a staff. They are in His hands, and He employs them to accomplish His purposes. He breaks them in pieces as a potter’s vessel, or He exalts them to greatness, according to His good pleasure. He gives peace and fruitful seasons, property and happiness, or He sends the desolations of war, famine, drought and pestilence. All of these things are of His disposing, and are designed for intelligent ends under His universal providence. God is no mere spectator of the universe He has made, but is everywhere present and active, the all-sustaining ground, and all-governing power of all that is.

Although the price of the sparrow is small, and its flight seems giddy and at random, yet it does not fall to the ground, nor slight anywhere without your Father. ‘His all-wise providence hath before appointed what bough it shall perch upon; what grains it shall pick up; where it shall lodge and where it shall build; on what it shall live and where it shall die.’ (Toplady, Preface to Zanchius’ Predestination, p. 14.)

Every raindrop and every snowflake which falls from the cloud, every insect which moves, every plant which grows, every grain of dust which floats in the air has had certain definite causes and will have certain definite effects. Each is a link in the chain of events and many of the great events of history have turned on these apparently insignificant things.

Throughout the whole course of events there is progress toward a predetermined end. Dr. Warfield has well written: ‘It was not accident that brought Rebecca to the well to welcome Abraham’s servant (Gen. 24), or that sent Joseph into Egypt (Gen. 45:8; 50:20,. ‘God meant it for good’), or guided Pharaoh’s daughter to the ark among the flags (Ex. 2), or that, later. directed the millstone that crushed Abimelech’s head (Judges 9:53), or winged the arrow shot at a venture to smite the king in the joints of the armor (I Kings 22:34). Every historical event is rather treated as an item in the orderly carrying out of an underlying Divine purpose; and the historian is continually aware of the presence in history of Him who gives even to the lightning a charge to strike the mark (Job 36:32).’ (Biblical Doctrines, p. 14.)

‘In the great railroad stations,’ said Dr. Clarence E. Macartney, ‘you can see a metallic pencil come out and write in great characters on the wall the time of the arrival or departure of the trains. The metallic pencil seems to write of itself, but we know that hidden in an office somewhere the mind and hand of a man are operating the pencil. So in our own life, we note our own deliberations and choices and decisions, and yet in the fabric of our destiny there seem to be other strands, strands not of our own weaving. Apparently trivial events play their part in great issues.’ (Moderator’s sermon on Predestination, preached before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., 1924.)

Man’s sense of moral responsibility and dependence, and his instinctive appeal to God in times of danger, show how universal and innate is the conviction that God does govern the world and all human events. But while the Bible repeatedly teaches that this providential control is universal, Powerful, wise, and holy, it nowhere attempts to inform us how it is to be reconciled with man’s free agency. All that we need to know is that God does govern His creatures and that His control over them is such that no violence is done to their natures.

Perhaps the relationship between divine sovereignty and human freedom can best be summed up in these words: God so presents the outside inducements that man acts in accordance with his own nature, yet does exactly what God has planned for him to do.