Redeeming the time 777


preacher Jim Byrd

Thomas Edison once said, “time is not a commodity that can be stored for future use. It must be invested hour by hour, or else it is gone forever.” Let us make diligent and wise use of whatever time God gives us. Paul admonished us, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” [Eph 5:16].

What a precious thing time is. Let us not squander it away. Is there a God to be worshiped, reverenced and adored? Let me worship, reverence and adore Him now. Is there a blessed Redeemer to be trusted? Let me trust Him now. Is there a glorious gospel of redeeming grace to be listened to and believed? Let me listen to and believe that gospel now. Are their insignificant personal differences with someone that I need to put aside? Let me put them aside now. Are there words of kindness and appreciation I need to speak? Let me speak those words now. Is there someone I have been intending to visit? Let me visit them now. Is there forgiveness I need to show? Let me show that forgiveness now.

There are no do-overs with regard to this life. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” [Ecclesiastes 9:10]. Time killed cannot be resurrected; time lost will never be found.


Baby with Bible


A.W. PINK (1886-1952): One of the exhortations which God has addressed to His children runs, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” [1 Pet. 2:2], and it behooves each one of them honestly and diligently to examine himself so as to discover whether or not this be the case with him. Nor are we to be content with an increase of mere head-knowledge of Scripture: what we need to be most concerned about is our practical growth, our experimental conformity to the image of Christ. And one point at which we may test ourselves is, Does my reading and study of God’s Word make me less worldly?

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Strong desires and affections to the Word of God are a sure evidence of a person’s being born again. If they be such desires as the babe has for the milk, they prove that the person is new-born. They are the lowest evidence, but yet they are certain.

ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): If ye be led by the Spirit, ye will love the Bible. You will say, “Oh, how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day,” Psalm 119:97.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): Through His Word, our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Read it because it is the food that God has provided for your soul, because it is the Word of God, because it is the means whereby you can get to know God. Read it because it is the bread of life, the manna provided for your soul’s nourishment and well-being…The Bible is God’s Book and it is a Book of Life. It is a Book that speaks to us a word from God.

ALEXANDER COMRIE (1706-1774): It is true that God does not address you in His Word by name, but the Word is to each one in particular. “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men,” Proverbs 8:4; what Jesus declares unto you, is spoken to you in particular, as though your name and surname stood printed in the Bible.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): What the Scripture speaketh to all, is to be esteemed as spoken to every singular person, for they are included in their universality―So Psalm 27:8, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” God’s words invite all, but David maketh the application to himself.

THOMAS ADAM (1701-1784): Everyone should apply Scripture to himself, as if it was written for him only.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The Bible is a book which calls not so much for the exertion of our intellect as it does for the exercise of our affections, conscience and will. God has given it to us not for our entertainment but for our education, to make known what He requires from us. It is to be the traveller’s guide as he journeys through the maze of this world, the mariner’s chart as he sails the sea of life. Therefore, whenever we open the Bible, the all-important consideration for each of us to keep before him is, What is there here for me today? What bearing does the passage now before me have upon my present case and circumstances—what warning, what encouragement, what information? What instruction is there to direct me in the management of my business, to guide me in the ordering of my domestic and social affairs, to promote a closer walking with God?

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): We should read with a view to self-application. Instead of thinking of others—which is too frequently the case—we should think of ourselves, inquiring how it bears upon our own character and condition.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Take every word as spoken to yourselves. When the Word thunders against sin, think thus: “God means MY sins.” When it emphasizes any duty, “God intends ME in this.” Many put off Scripture from themselves, as if it only concerned those who lived in the time when it was written; but if you intend to profit by the Word, bring it home to yourselves: a medicine will do no good, unless it be applied.

THOMAS BRADBURY (1831-1905): You read your Bible every day, you say? Well! that is good so far as it goes. But does the Bible ever read you?

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: When the Spirit is illuminating the page and our minds at the same time, as He does with a child, the first thing you’re conscious of is that the Bible after all is speaking to YOU. When you read about the Pharisees, you’re not reading about people who lived two thousand years ago, you feel you’re reading about yourself. And when you read about some of these characters in the Old Testament, David and so on, you’re not reading a history book, you’re reading about yourself. You say, “That’s me! It’s all very well; it looks terrible in David, but I’ve got that sort of thing IN ME.” When the Bible speaks to you like that, you’re a child of God. He never does that with a hypocrite. He never does that with a man who only has an intellectual interest in it. If you feel therefore that the Bible is speaking to you about yourself, speaking to you directly, that it’s not merely some general truth, or the gathering of doctrines, but is a LIVING word that’s saying something to you, upbraiding you, condemning you, increasing your hunger and thirst, and so on―well then that’s a living spiritual relationship that the Holy Spirit alone can produce.

WILLIAM TYNDALE (1490-1536): As thou readest, think that every syllable pertaineth to thine own self, and suck out the pith of Scripture.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: When you are reading your Scriptures in this way— it matters not whether you have read little or much—if a verse stands out and hits you and arrests you, do not go on reading. Stop immediately, and listen to it. It is speaking to you, so listen to it and speak to it.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Say, therefore, with David, “Blessed be thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes,” Psalm 119:12. And with Zwingli, “I beseech Thee, Almighty God, to direct our ways.”

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): You never read God’s Word to profit but as it teaches you to pray while you read.

A. W. PINK: There should be a definite asking of Him to graciously anoint our eyes, (Revelation 3:18), not only that we may be enabled to behold wondrous things in His law, (Psalm 119:18), but also that He will make us of quick discernment to perceive how the passage before us applies to ourselves—what are the particular lessons we need to learn from it. The more we cultivate this habit, the more likely that God will be pleased to open His Word unto us.

MATTHEW HENRY: The Bible is a letter God has sent to us; prayer is a letter we send to Him.

BROWNLOW NORTH (1810-1875): Never neglect daily private Bible reading. And when you read, remember that God is speaking to you.


Smartphone and tablet


Michael Jeshurun

Please don’t get me wrong, brethren, I still am a lover of the old fashioned real ‘paper back and hard bound books’ and Bibles. And I haven’t yet sold my massive library in a ‘garage sale’. But the fact remains that I find my Tablet more useful and practical in my study of God’s Word.

There are many reasons for this. I will just state two most important ones. As a servant of God who travels most of the time and enjoys sharing what I have read, ‘word for word’ it would be practically impossible for me to walk around with four trunk loads of Theology and Reference books. But now I have practically ALL these books on my Galaxy Tablet which is a little smaller than the ‘slate chalkboard’ which I held in my kindergarten! The complete works of A.W. Pink, J.C. Philpot, Owen, Dr. Gill, Edwards, Spurgeon and a whole lot of others ALL loaded on my tablet and Smartphone ready to be accessed at any time!

The second greatest advantage of a Tablet or for that matter any sophisticated smart-phone is the ‘SEARCH ENGINE’. I always like to quote things verbatim (word for word). And my paperback Crudens’ Concordance has now broken into three pieces due to extensive usage over the last twenty three years. And the print is SO SMALL that it is truly a strain on my eyes to search for a given scripture. But not so with my Tablet. I can search out any phrase or word in a ‘jiffy’ and cut and paste the same in the letter which I am writing to a sheep! Now THAT is a tremendous blessing!

And not only can I search out the verse or find and quote something which some theologian has spoken, but I can also highlight it, underline it or write notes beside it as per my desire.

And when I am too tired to ‘read’ I can just turn on an audio sermon or Alexander Scourby’s audio KJV Bible which I have loaded, or when there is an Internet wifi connection I can log in to ‘sermon audio’ or any one of the other myriads of Reformed Christian websites and ‘LISTEN’ to audio sermons, irrespective of whether I am laying down on my bed or traveling on a train. Even a ‘Laptop’ is a little cumbersome compared to these latest tablets.

All that to say, a tablet or a smart-phone is a good investment for a Christian, especially a Christian worker. And no, you don’t have to be a ‘Rocket scientist’ to learn how to use one. I just taught my 65 year old mom how to use one and if she can get it so can you!

Michael Jeshurun


Whatsoever God doeth


J.C. Philpot

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” [2 Cor 4:7]

Gold and silver, those precious metals, take no injury, receive no spot of corruption from the vessel in which they are contained; let them be buried in the damp earth, no tarnish or rust forms upon them. So spiritually, the grace of God in the heart, surrounded as it is with corruption, is not tarnished by it, the heavenly treasure is not contaminated, though lodged in an earthen vessel.

Christ in the heart is not defiled by the inward workings of depravity, and by the base thoughts that strive perpetually against his grace, any more than the gold of the Bank of England is defiled by the dark and damp cellars in which it is stowed. And what a mercy it is, that our corruptions cannot tarnish the grace of God; that our unbelief cannot mix with, and adulterate the faith of God’s elect; that our despondency cannot spoil and ruin a gospel hope; that our deadness, darkness, coldness, and rebellion cannot mingle with and defile the love of God in the soul!

This heavenly treasure remains still as unpolluted and pure as when God first put it there; being a part of “the divine nature,” it remains uncontaminated by the filth and corruption that surround it. Is not this a mercy for God’s tried people, that spiritual knowledge, living faith, gospel hope, heavenly love, and the fruits and graces of God’s Spirit in the soul can never be defiled; but, like the streams of a fountain, are ever gushing forth in pure water?

What a blessing it is, that the pure grace of God in a man’s heart cannot be contaminated by the filthy streams that are dashing from a vile nature against it, like the torrents of water from a fire-engine against a burning house, but remains as pure as when God the Spirit first breathed it into the soul.


Study to show thyself


Michael Jeshurun

A Brother in Christ recently wrote to me – “I have friends who can accurately reference specific footnotes from books they read 20 or more years ago! Those friends not only read a lot, they remember just about everything. I find THIS VERY DISCOURAGING. I recently finished a 676-page biography, and yet when I closed the book and communicated to others how much I enjoyed the book, there was really only one sentence I clearly remembered—which is one reason why I dog-ear and mark paragraphs and sentences in my books. I try to read a lot but unfortunately I forget a lot, too. Did I mention how discouraging this is?”

This is the lament of MANY of God’s children. The Lord laid on my heart a burden to write a few words on reading and how to remember what we have read.

Like every other faculty of our beings, the MEMORY has been affected by the Fall and bears on it the marks of depravity. This is seen from ITS POWER TO RETAIN WHAT IS WORTHLESS, AND THE DIFFICULTY ENCOUNTERED TO HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD. A foolish nursery-rhyme or song heard in youth, is carried with us to the grave; but a helpful sermon is forgotten within twenty-four hours! The first five times the word “remember” is used in Scripture, in each case it is connected with God. And God remembered Noah, and God remembered Abraham etc. But the first time it is used of MAN we read, “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but FORGOT HIM” (Gen. 40:23)! [A.W. Pink]

How true this is. Though many of us have been blessed with a photographic mind, some of us have run out of film! Scripture constantly admonishes us to remember and chides us for having forgotten. “REMEMBER the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee” [Duet 32:7] ‘REMEMBER ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ’ [Jude 17] etc. And again – “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not REMEMBER? [Mk 8:18]

Good memory is indeed the gift of God as all other good gifts [Jam 1:17] Arthur W. Pink was an exacting person. He was blessed (some say plagued) with a photographic memory. He never forgot what he had read, and upon occasion would prove it by stating the volume and page where he read a certain comment. Because of this, some found him hard to bear, since, if he were challenged, he could quote Scriptures by the hundreds to back up a statement of his.

Though all the saints are not SO blessed, yet God has in his divine power given all His saints all things that pertain unto life and godliness, and one of them is a good memory. But like all other natural faculties, it is one which must be improved upon.

Memorizing Scripture and Godly quotes from Godly men is hard work indeed. Scripture speaks of those who labour in the Word and doctrine. [1Tim 5:17]. Though this is a reference to the ‘Elders’ and ‘Preachers’ of God’s Word, yet EVERY child of God should be diligent and passionate to study God’s Word and memorize. ‘Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. [Job 22:22]

The benefits of such a discipline are manifold.

First, it keeps us from that abominable thing that God hates – SIN! “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I MIGHT NOT SIN against Thee” (Psalm 119:11). ‘The only effective way of keeping a plot of ground from being overgrown by weeds is to sow good seed therein: “Overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). So the more Christ’s Word dwells in us “richly” (Colossians 3:16), the less room will there be for the exercise of sin in our hearts and lives. ‘By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer’. [Psa 17:4; see also Psa 119:9]

Secondly, it will keep us from error and heresies. Scripture admonishes us to try the spirits whether they are of God [1Jn 4:1], for many false prophets have gone out into the world. But how shall we test them if we are ignorant of God’s Word? Let us be like the Bereans, who not only ‘received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [Act 17:11]

Thirdly, it makes us better comforters and counselors. ‘Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? [Prov 22:20,21]. The Apostle admonished, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” [1Pet 4:11]. The trouble with most preachers in our day is that they do not speak according to God’s word! ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to THIS WORD, it is because there is no light in them. [Isa 8:20]

Finally it helps us to know our Lord more deeply, intimately and personally. “SEARCH the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me”. [Jn 5:39]


FIRST, PRAY FOR GOD’S GUIDANCE AND REVELATION. All true knowledge concerning any spiritual subject, be it God, Man, Sin or the Devil, comes through revelation. So pray – “OPEN Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law”. [Psa 119:118]

SECOND, MAKE NOTES IN YOUR BIBLE. Many believe that the Bible is to be treated with reverence and should never be marked in. Only the message contained within should be revered, etc. The paper, ink, and leather that make up the physical Bible are not holy. Mr. Philpot aptly said – ‘If your religion is only in the Bible, and has no existence out of the Bible in your own soul, which is the case with thousands who are considered great Christians, the same fire that will at the last day burn up the Bible will burn up your religion with it”.

Making notations in your Bible helps AMPLIFY and REINFORCE God’s message, and is acceptable to Him. Marking the Bible helps us internalize the precious truth that so many have taken for granted. If you have neglected this, NOW is a good time to get back into it. Some who have been in the Church for awhile mistakenly assume that they have already heard it all. But, God‘s mercies are new EVERY MORNING!

MEDITATE ON WHAT YOU READ AND TRY TO RECOLLECT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. “O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day”. [Psa 119:97]. Imitate the Godly man in ‘Psalm One’ whose delight was in the law of the LORD; and meditated on it day and night. Recollecting what you have read is a very sure way to improve and sharpen your memory.

FINALLY, SHARE WITH OTHERS WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNT. There is really something about sharing with others what God has revealed to you. ‘The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself’. [Prov 11:25].

The admonition of the Apostle to Timothy applies to all of us who love the Lord –
“Till I come, give attendance to READING, to EXHORTATION, to DOCTRINE’! [1Tim 4:13].


I am but dust


C.H. Spurgeon

For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that WE ARE DUST!” [Psalm 103:14]

PRIDE is the inherent sin of man, and yet it is of all sins the most foolish.

A thousand arguments might be used to show its absurdity; but none of these would be sufficient to quench its vitality.

Alive it is in the heart, and there it will be, till we die to this world, and rise again without spot or blemish.

What are we, after all, but as grasshoppers in his sight, as drops of the bucket, as lumps of animated dust!

We are but the infants of a day, when we are most old; we are but the insects of an hour, when we are most strong; we are but the wild donkey’s colt, when we are most wise, we are but as folly and vanity, when we are most excellent – let that tend to humble us.

But surely if this does not prevail to clip the pinions of our high soaring pride, the Christian man may at least bind its wings with arguments derived from the “distinguishing love and peculiar mercies of God”.

“Who makes you to differ from another?” –This question should be like a dagger put to the throat of our boasting!

“And what do you have that you did not receive?” –This question should be like a sword thrust through the heart of our self-exaltation and pride!


Passed from death unto life


Michael Jeshurun

Salvation is not a REWARD given to those who have ‘PERFORMED’, but a FREE GIFT given to those who CANNOT PERFORM! It is something that you have RIGHT NOW, not something you will receive LATER, based on your performance! May the good Lord burn the truth of this verse into our hearts – “For BY GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD: Not OF WORKS, lest any man should boast!” [Eph 2:8,9].

“Regeneration is a radical and supernatural change of the inner nature, through which the soul is made spiritually alive, and the new life which is implanted is immortal. And since it is a change in the inner nature, it is in a sphere in which man does not have control. No creature is at liberty to change the fundamental principles of its nature, for that is the prerogative of God as creator. Hence nothing short of another supernatural act of God could REVERSE this change and cause the new life to be lost!

The born-again Christian can no more lose his sonship to the heavenly Father than an earthly son can lose his sonship to an earthly father. The idea that a Christian may fall away and perish arises from a wrong conception of the principle of spiritual life, which is imparted to the soul in regeneration.” – A.W. Pink

If Christ had gone to the cross just to give us life, conceivably we could commit a sin and lose that life; but because He has given us ETERNAL LIFE, by the very nature of that which is eternal, it must be forever and ever. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” [Jn. 3:36]. Not WILL have or MAY have (IF he behaves), but HATH RIGHT NOW! [see also 1 Jn 5:13].

The ‘new birth’ is a spiritual resurrection, a passing from death unto life [Jn 5:24]. Writing to the saints in Ephesus the apostle Paul said, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; [Eph. 2:4-6; see also Col. 2:12]. This is the resurrection that Jesus spoke of to Martha before He raised Lazarus from the dead. He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die [Jn. 11:25,26].

According to these verses, those whom God hath made alive, have experienced the resurrection of their souls. The Bible calls this the ‘First Resurrection’ [Rev. 20:5]. Upon those who have experienced the First Resurrection the ‘Second Death’ has no power [Rev. 20:6]. The second death being eternal damnation in Hell [Rev. 20:14].


A little child shall lead them


“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!” [Eph 5:20]


The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! –Henry Ward Beecher

If you know someone ungrateful and thankless, pray for them! They are in prison and are blind to the bars and chains that hold them in darkness. The prayers of a righteous person avails much. – Gary Amirault

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. — Jackie Windspear

You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. –Charles Haddon Spurgeon

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. — G.K. Chesterton

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” — William A. Ward

O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness! — William Shakespeare

Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t. –Unknown

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. –Cynthia Ozick

Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. — Horace
How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child’s personality. A child is resentful, negative – or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people. — Sir John Templeton

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. –Thornton Wilder

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it –William Arthur Ward

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. — Melody Beattie

Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know. — Basil Carpenter:

When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them. –Chinese Proverb

Some complain that roses have thorns—others rejoice that thorns have roses! — Unknown

Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it. –William Law

If you count all your assets, you always show a profit. — Robert Quillen

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. — John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving to God is an exuberant response to giving me HIS everything . . . by giving Him MY everything. –Martha Kilpatrick

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. –W.T. Purkiser

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. — Cicero

The more we express our gratitude to God for our blessings, the more he will bring to our mind other blessings. The more we are aware of to be grateful for, the happier we become. — Ezra Taft Benson

“Who would have dreamed as an atheist that one day I would sit on my throne looking at a single piece of toilet paper with streams of gratitude pouring down my face. There is a God and thanksgiving is at His heart.” – Gary Amirault, former atheist, now passionately in love with the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ.


When I dragged you


Michael Jeshurun

“Blessed is the man whom THOU CHOOSEST, and CAUSEST to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts”! [Psa 65:4]

Watch carefully, that God not only ‘CHOOSES’ but ‘CAUSES’ the one chosen ‘TO APPROACH’ Him. In other words, or in the words of our Lord “DRAGS HIM’ to Himself!

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me DRAW him”! [John 6:44] The word ‘DRAW’ in the Greek literally means to DRAG! Its first occurrence is here in John 6:44. Here it is the power of God overcoming the enmity of the carnal mind. It occurs again in John 18:10 –

“Then Simon Peter having a sword DREW it, and smote the high priest’s servant.”

Here the term signifies that Peter laid FIRM HOLD of his sword and PULLED IT OUT of its sheath. It is found again in John 21:6, 11, “Simon Peter went up and DREW the net to land full of great fishes.” Here it signifies the putting forth of strength so as to DRAG AN INANIMATE AND HEAVY OBJECT. It is used (in a slightly different form) in James 2:6, “Do not rich men oppress you and DRAW YOU before the judgment seats?” Here it has reference to the IMPELLING OF UNWILLING subjects.

Hence from its usage in the New Testament we are therefore obliged to understand that fallen man if he is to ‘come to God’ at all, he MUST BE DRAWN OR DRAGGED BY THE POWER OF OMNIPOTENCE! In raising the sinner from spiritual death to eternal life God employs the same power which He put forth in raising Christ from the dead! [Eph 2:4-6]

This is why when the apostles exclaimed – “WHO then can be saved”? The Lord replied – “With MEN IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, but not with God: for WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”! [Mark 10:27] Hallelujah!

But it is a known fact that God the Father does not draw EVERYONE to Christ! WHY?!


The love of the father is a DISCRIMINATIVE love! It CHOOSES whom to love and whom to hate. “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated”! [Rom 9:13]

In the same line He chooses on whom He will have mercy and whom He will harden! [Rom 9:18]

If God was dealing with a bunch of ‘INNOCENT’ men and women this would seem unjust! But God is dealing with a fallen bunch of God haters who are His enemies (Rom 5:10), and if there is anything He owes them it is HELL!

So out of this ‘Hell-Deserving’ bunch or ‘lump’ He chooses to display His UNCONDITIONAL MERCY on some and the rest He ordains to eternal damnation which they rightly deserve!

These are the facts! You’ve got to put it in your pipe and smoke it whether you like it or not!

If the Father was choosing everyone and drawing everyone as some suppose, then, scriptures like these make no sense –
“Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts”! [Psa 65:4]

Notice that these few whom the Father loves, He not only ‘CHOOSES’, but ‘CAUSES’ to approach unto Him!

Fallen man is so depraved that just ‘choosing him’ is not going to save him!! God must ‘CAUSE’ him to approach!
In other words, the Father must not only choose or elect those whom He loves, but He must DRAW them to Christ!

And He does not draw ALL, because He has not chosen ALL. And He has not chosen ALL, because He has not loved ALL!

I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, “Wherein hast Thou loved us”? Was not Esau Jacob’s BROTHER? saith the LORD: YET I LOVED JACOB, AND I HATED ESAU, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness”! [Malachi 1:2,3]

HOW do I know that God loves ME and that I am one of His elect?

Why, I look around me and see so many of my own family who are morally better off than me, who are either lost in unbelief or in a false religion, and that God has loved me and DRAWN ME to Himself and taught me truths which ‘angels desire to look into’ [1Pet 1:12], by this I KNOW I am one of His elect!

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: THEREFORE with loving kindness have I DRAWN THEE”! [Jer 31:3] Hallelujah!


Raise em right


Gleaned from the writings of J.C. Ryle by Michael Jeshurun

No matter how long you’ve been a born-again Christian, or how sanctified or well-versed in the Word you might be, the child born to you will be as Totally Depraved as you and that from the womb! [Psa 58:3] – M.J.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” [Prov 22:6]

I suppose that most professing Christians are acquainted with the text at the head of this page. The sound of it is probably familiar to your ears, like an old tune. It is likely you have heard it, or read it, talked of it, or quoted it, many a time. Is it not so?

But, after all, how little is the substance of this text regarded! The doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts before us seems fearfully seldom practiced. Reader, do I not speak the truth?

It cannot be said that the subject is a new one. The world is old, and we have the experience of nearly six thousand years to help us. We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education in every quarter. We hear of new schools rising on all sides. We are told of new systems, and new books for the young, of every sort and description. And still for all this, the vast majority of children are manifestly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow up to man’s estate, they do not walk with God.

Now how shall we account for this state of things? The plain truth is, the Lord’s commandment in our text is not regarded – and therefore the Lord’s promise in our text is not fulfilled.

Reader, these things may well give rise to great searchings of heart. Permit then a word of exhortation from a minister, about the right training of children. Believe me, the subject is one that should come home to every conscience, and make every one ask himself the question, “Am I in this matter doing what I can?”

It is a subject that concerns almost all. There is hardly a household that it does not touch. Parents, teachers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters – all have an interest in it. Few can be found, I think, who might not influence some parent in the management of his family, or affect the training of some child by suggestion or advice. All of us, I suspect, can do something here, either directly or indirectly, and I wish to stir up all to bear this in remembrance.

It is a subject, too, on which all concerned are in great danger of coming short of their duty. This is preeminently a point in which men can see the faults of their neighbors more clearly than their own. They will often bring up their children in the very path which they have denounced to their friends as unsafe. They will see motes in other men’s families, and overlook beams in their own. They will be quick sighted as eagles in detecting mistakes abroad, and yet blind as bats to fatal errors which are daily going on at home. They will be wise about their brother’s house, but foolish about their own flesh and blood. Here, if anywhere, we have need to suspect our own judgment. This, too, you will do well to bear in mind.

As a minister, I cannot help remarking that there is hardly any subject about which people seem so tenacious as they are about their children. I have sometimes been totally astonished at the slowness of sensible Christian parents to admit that their own children are in fault, or deserve blame. There are not a few people to whom I would far rather speak about their own sins—than tell them their children had done anything wrong.

Come now, and let me place before you a few hints about right training. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit bless them, and make them words in season to you all. Reject them not because they are blunt and simple; despise them not because they contain nothing new. Be very sure, if you would train children for heaven, they are hints that ought not to be lightly set aside.

First, then, if you would train your children rightly, train them in the way they SHOULD go – and not in the way that they desire.

Remember – children are born with a decided bias towards evil – and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.

The mother cannot tell what her tender infant may grow up to be – tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish – he may be any of these things or not – it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty – he will have a corrupt and sinful heart! It is natural to us to do wrong. “Foolishness,” says Solomon, “is bound in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15). “A child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). OUR HEARTS ARE LIKE THE EARTH ON WHICH WE TREAD; LET IT ALONE, AND IT IS SURE TO BEAR WEEDS.

If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity’s sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. It must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted. He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in like manner. TRAIN HIM IN THE WAY THAT IS SCRIPTURAL AND RIGHT, AND NOT IN THE WAY THAT HE DESIRES.

If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian training – it is useless for you to read any further. SELF-WILL is almost the first thing that appears in a child’s mind – and it must be your first step to resist it.


I do not mean that you are to spoil him – but I do mean that you should let him see that you love him.

LOVE SHOULD BE THE SILVER THREAD THAT RUNS THROUGH ALL YOUR CONDUCT! Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys – these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily – these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart.

Few are to be found, even among grown-up people, who are not more easy to draw than to drive. There is that in all our minds which rises in arms against compulsion; we set up our backs and stiffen our necks at the very idea of a forced obedience. We are like young horses in the hand of a breaker – handle them kindly, and make much of them, and by and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently, and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them at all.

Now children’s minds are cast in much the same mold as our own. Sternness and severity of manner chill them and throw them back. It shuts up their hearts, and you will weary yourself to find the door. But let them only see that you have an affectionate feeling towards them – that you are really desirous to make them happy, and do them good – that if you punish them, it is intended for their profit, and that, like the pelican, you would give your heart’s blood to nourish their souls; let them see this, I say, and they will soon be all your own. But they must be wooed with kindness, if their attention is ever to be won.

Train with this thought continually before your eyes – THAT THE SOUL OF YOUR CHILD IS THE FIRST THING TO BE CONSIDERED.

Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but IF YOU LOVE THEM, THINK OFTEN OF THEIR SOULS. No interest should weigh with you so much as their eternal interests. No part of them should be so dear to you as that part which will never die. The world, with all its glory, shall pass away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a scroll; the sun shall cease to shine. But the spirit which dwells in those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all, and whether in happiness or misery (to speak as a man) will depend on you.

This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that MIGHTY QUESTION, “How will this affect their SOULS?”

Love for the souls of your children is the quintessence of all love. To pet and pamper and indulge your child, as if this world was all he had to look to, and this life the only season for happiness – TO DO THIS IS NOT TRUE LOVE, BUT CRUELTY. It is treating him like some beast of the earth, which has but one world to look to, and nothing after death. It is hiding from him that grand truth, which he ought to be made to learn from his very infancy – that the chief end of his life is the salvation of his soul.

A true Christian must be no slave to fashion, if he would train his child for heaven. He must not be content to do things merely because they are the custom of the world; to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is usual; to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them; to let them form habits of a doubtful tendency, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and strange. What if it is? The time is short – the fashion of this world passes away. He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than for earth – for God, rather than for man – he is the parent that will be called wise at last.


You cannot make your children love the Bible, I allow. None but the Holy Spirit can give us a heart to delight in the Word. But you can make your children acquainted with the Bible; and be sure they cannot be acquainted with that blessed book too soon, or too well.

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is the foundation of all clear views of religion. He that is well-grounded in it will not generally be found a waverer, and carried about by every wind of new doctrine. Any system of training which does not make a knowledge of Scripture the first thing is unsafe and unsound.

You have need to be careful on this point just now, for the devil is abroad, and error abounds. Some are to be found among us who give the Church the honor due to Jesus Christ. Some are to be found who make the sacraments saviors and passports to eternal life. And some are to be found in like manner who honor a catechism more than the Bible, or fill the minds of their children with miserable little story-books, instead of the Scripture of truth. But if you love your children, let the simple Bible be everything in the training of their souls; and let all other books go down and take the second place.


Prayer is the very life-breath of true religion. It is one of the first evidences that a man is born again. “Behold,” said the Lord of Saul, in the day he sent Ananias to him, “Behold, he prays” (Acts 9:11). He had begun to pray, and that was proof enough.

Prayer was the distinguishing mark of the Lord’s people in the day that there began to be a separation between them and the world. “Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4:26).

Prayer is the distinguishing trait of all real Christians now. They pray – for they tell God their needs, their feelings, their desires, their fears; and mean what they say. The nominal Christian may repeat prayers, and good prayers too, but he goes no further.

Prayer is the turning-point in a man’s soul. Our ministry is unprofitable, and our labor is vain, until you are brought to your knees. Until then, we have no hope about you.

Prayer is one great secret of spiritual prosperity. When there is much private communion with God, your soul will grow like the grass after rain. When there is little prayer, all will be at a standstill, you will barely keep your soul alive. Show me a growing Christian, a going forward Christian, a strong Christian, a flourishing Christian, and sure am I, he is one that speaks often with his Lord. He asks much, and he has much. He tells Jesus everything, and so he always knows how to act.

Reader, if you love your children, I charge you, do not let the seed-time of a prayerful habit pass away unimproved. If you train your children to anything, train them, at least, to a habit of prayer.


This is an object which it is worth any labor to attain. No habit, I suspect, has such an influence over our lives as this. Parents, determine to make your children obey you – though it may cost you much trouble – and cost them many tears! Let there be no questioning, and reasoning, and disputing, and delaying, and answering back. When you give them a command, let them see plainly that you will have it done.

Obedience is the only reality. It is faith visible, faith acting, and faith incarnate. It is the test of real discipleship among the Lord’s people. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). It ought to be the mark of well-trained children, that they cheerfully do whatever their parents command them. Where, indeed, is the honor which the fifth commandment enjoins, if fathers and mothers are not obeyed cheerfully, willingly, and at once?

Early obedience has all Scripture on its side. It is in Abraham’s praise, not merely he will train his family, but “he will command his children, and his household after him” (Gen. 18:19). It is said of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that when “He was young He was subject to Mary and Joseph” (Luke 2:51). Observe how implicitly Joseph obeyed the order of his father Jacob (Gen. 37:13). See how Isaiah speaks of it as an evil thing, when “the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient” (Isa. 3:5). Mark how the Apostle Paul names disobedience to parents as one of the bad signs of the latter days (2 Tim. 3:2). Mark how he singles out this grace of requiring obedience as one that should adorn a Christian minister—”a bishop must be one that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” And again, “Let the deacons rule their children and their own houses well ” (1 Tim. 3:4, 12). And again, an elder must be one “having faithful children, children not accused of riot, or unruly” (Titus 1:6).

Parents, do you wish to see your children happy? Take care, then, that you train them to OBEY when they are spoken to – to do as they are told. Believe me, we are not made for entire independence -we are not fit for it. Even Christ’s freemen have a yoke to wear, they “serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:24). Children cannot learn too soon that this is a world in which we are not all intended to rule, and that we are never in our right place until we know how to obey our betters. Teach them to obey while young, or else they will be fretting against God all their lives long, and wear themselves out with the vain idea of being independent of His control.

Parents, if you love your children – let OBEDIENCE be a motto and a watchword continually before their eyes.

Fathers and mothers, I charge you solemnly before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, take every effort to train your children in the way they should go. I charge you not merely for the sake of your children’s souls; I charge you for the sake of your own future comfort and peace. Truly it is your interest so to do. Truly your own happiness in great measure depends on it. Children have ever been the bow from which the sharpest arrows have pierced man’s heart! Children have mixed the bitterest cups that man has ever had to drink! Children have caused the saddest tears that man has ever had to shed! Adam could tell you so; Jacob could tell you so; David could tell you so. There are no sorrows on earth like those which children have brought upon their parents! Oh! take heed, lest your own neglect should lay up misery for you in your old age. Take heed, lest you weep under the ill-treatment of a thankless child, in the days when your eye is dim, and your natural force abated.

If ever you wish your children to be the restorers of your life, and the nourishers of your old age—if you would have them blessings and not curses—joys and not sorrows – Judahs and not Reubens – Ruths and not Orpahs – if you would not, like Noah, be ashamed of their deeds, and, like Rebekah, be made weary of your life by them – if this be your wish, remember my advice betimes, train them while young in the right way.

Read the full sermon –