ROME’S ADULTEROUS OFFSPRING – CHRISTMAS!

ROME’S ADULTEROUS OFFSPRING – CHRISTMAS!

“What do you think of the Roman Catholic ‘Church’?”, the Anglican clergyman was asked. “If it’s not the Church of Jesus Christ, then it has to be the devil’s mistress.”, was his reply. Poor man, Oxford had taught him Greek and Hebrew, and yet he was still not quite clear as to the satanic character of Roman Catholicism. Yes indeed, Papal Rome is Satan’s masterpiece, and much the same can be said of Rome’s adulterous offspring – CHRISTMAS – arguably the most ancient, powerful and universal seduction known to man.  Who can deny that the Christmas observance has something in it to appeal to EVERYONE? The world’s giant retailers depend on it for a significant part of their annual profits. In fact, its “religious” content notwithstanding, the enormous appeal – the very complex mystique, of this annual festivity can be reduced to two driving forces : PROFIT and PLEASURE.

An objective appraisal of Christmas would have to conclude that it is THE WORLD’S GREAT ANNUAL DRUNK. Not that all are intoxicated over Christmas, BUT MANY ARE; many that rarely get drunk during the rest of the year.  This alone speaks volumes about Christmas.  This writer has very clear memories of the drunken Christmas seasons he witnessed while growing up in South Africa. O how sad was the sight of men staggering in the streets or sitting on the curb, next to their own vomit, barely able to mutter a “Merry Christmas.”! The loud call of Christmas is undoubtedly, “let us eat, DRINK and be merry.”  And O! how eagerly does the infamous “mother” of this baptized paganism – Papal Rome, seize on this season as her greatest opportunity to bring many unwary souls under her bewitching influence.

Think of it, dear Christian reader, has not experience shown you that Christmas “intoxicates” all who participate in it? Those who don’t get drunk on whisky, are still temporarily carried away by the distracting flurry of activities associated with it.  There is the often frantic search for suitable gifts, the Christmas cards, the finding, decorating and setting up of the idolatrous Christmas tree (Jer.l0:4), the preparation for sumptuous feasts, and for most congregations in America, this seasons calls for tedious exercises in drama, in preparation for the annual Christmas play.  And “‘Tis the season to be jolly”, and also for the endless repetition of “Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.” – very honest expressions, because the very heart and soul of Christmas is – not worship, but MIRTH – frequently great, debauched and even disastrous mirth.  O the strange mystique of Christmas!

How seductively it lures its devotees into overspending, massive overeating, powerful emotional upheavals that bring on deep depression, making Christmas the prime season of the year for suicide.  Surely it can’t be an overstatement to say that a fierce cosmic force like this must be anti-Christian and satanic, and cannot possibly be of God. The fact that some truly Christian people participate in this festivity in no way  mitigates against its really pernicious effect, but only underscores its tremendously powerful influence over human nature.

Former Russelite, William Schnell, described his deliverance from that totalitarian religious system as a passing from powerful religious deception “into the light of Christianity.”  And so can this writer testify to his deliverance – total and very happy deliverance, from the Christmas tradition.  Most gracious Father, Thou knowest what a poor slave I was to the carnal charms of that pagan festivity – a slavery that had its start in very early childhood.  Thou Knowest that though we tried so hard to make it Christian, yet we never failed to experience spiritual, emotional and even physical harm by participating in it.  Blessed by Thy most precious Name for delivering us from its powerful bonds, opening our eyes to see its deep paganism and Christ-dishonoring character.

Reader, have we digressed from our meditations on what Grace teaches us (Titus 2:l2)? Not at all!  Grace commands us to “Live soberly”, and we have found that Christmas activities are a powerful threat to that lovely sobriety.  How can we experience anything but spiritual distraction, defeat and loss when, without a word of Scriptural warrant, and against all Scriptural direction, we join with a depraved, God-despising world in its idolatrous mirth? A dear neighbor – a professing Christian woman, has a sign in her yards that reads “Keep Christ in Christmas.”  No, dear soul, He was never in that abomination, and you will never find Him there.  May the Lord pity her and any reader standing in need of these few remarks, sent only for the honor of our most precious Christ and the good of the reader.

Come, let us lift our voices high – high as our joys arise.

And join the songs above the sky where pleasure never dies.

Jesus, the God that fought and bled, AND CONQUERED WHEN HE FELL;

That rose, and at His chariot-wheels dragged all the powers of Hell.

The Lord! How glorious is His face! How kind His smiles appear!

And O! what melting words He says to every humble ear!

“These are the wounds for you I bore, the tokens of My pains.

When I came down to free your souls from misery and chains.”  – l.Watts

More, much, much more than enough is He for this ever- needy soul,

Matthew Pacifico

 

Advertisements

A FULL-TIME ADVOCATE 

A FULL-TIME ADVOCATE

Henry Mahan

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” [1 John 2:1].

The Scripture encourages the believer to trust and hope in the mercy of God at all times! It does not say, ‘If any man be holy, prayerful, always faithful, he has an Advocate,’ but it says, “If any man SIN, he has an advocate with the Father.” It does not say, ‘If any man sins, he forfeits his right to Christ’s advocacy.’ Grace that can be forfeited because of human failure is not grace at all.

MERCY THAT IS CONDITIONED ON THE MERIT OF THE CREATURE IS NOT MERCY AT ALL.

If my title to glory rests upon my works, either BEFORE OR AFTER conversion, it is a total failure. The Scripture declares that at all times, under all circumstances; Jesus Christ is our righteousness, our sanctification, our Advocate, our redemption.

So, when I sin, when I consider my past or present and come creeping into my closet with a guilty conscience and an aching heart, I can rejoice in the mercy of my Father, for I have an Advocate, “JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS!

BIBLICAL LESSONS FROM EXOTIC BIRDS

BIBLICAL LESSONS FROM EXOTIC BIRDS

Matthew Henry

“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?” [Job 39:13-18]

The ostrich is a wonderful animal, a very large bird, but it never flies. Some have called it ‘a winged camel’. God here gives an account of it, and observes, something that it has in common with the peacock, that is, beautiful feathers Job 39:13): Gavest thou proud wings unto the peacocks? so some read it. Fine feathers make proud birds. The peacock is an emblem of pride; when he struts, and shows his fine feathers, Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like him. The ostrich too has goodly feathers, and yet is a foolish bird; for wisdom does not always go along with beauty and gaiety. Other birds do not envy the peacock or the ostrich their gaudy colours, nor complain for want of them; why then should we repine if we see others wear better clothes than we can afford to wear?

God gives his gifts variously, and those gifts are not always the most valuable that make the finest show. Who would not rather have the voice of the nightingale than the tail of the peacock, the eye of the eagle and her soaring wing, and the natural affection of the stork, than the beautiful wings and feathers of the ostrich, which can never rise above the earth, and is without natural affection?

II. Something that is peculiar to itself,

1. Carelessness of her young. It is well that this is peculiar to herself, for it is a very bad character. Observe, (1.) How she exposes her eggs; she does not retire to some private place, and make a nest there, as the sparrows and swallows do (Ps. 84:3), and there lay eggs and hatch her young. Most birds, as well as other animals, are strangely guided by natural instinct in providing for the preservation of their young. But the ostrich is a monster in nature, for she drops her eggs any where upon the ground and takes no care to hatch them. If the sand and the sun will hatch them, well and good; they may for her, for she will not warm them, Job 39:14. Nay, she takes no care to preserve them: The foot of the traveller may crush them, and the wild beast break them, Job 39:15. But how then are any young ones brought forth, and whence is it that the species has not perished? We must suppose either that God, by a special providence, with the heat of the sun and the sand (so some think), hatches the neglected eggs of the ostrich, as he feeds the neglected young ones of the raven, or that, though the ostrich OFTEN leaves her eggs thus, yet not ALWAYS.

(2.) The reason why she does thus expose her eggs. It is, [1.] For want of natural affection (Job 39:16): SHE IS HARDENED AGAINST HER YOUNG ONES. To be hardened against any is unamiable, even in a brute-creature, much more in a rational creature that boasts of humanity, especially to be hardened against young ones, that cannot help themselves and therefore merit compassion, that give no provocation and therefore merit no hard usage: but it is worst of all for her to be hardened against her own young ones, as though they were not hers, whereas really they are parts of herself. Her labour in laying her eggs is in vain and all lost, because she has not that fear and tender concern for them that she should have. Those are most likely to lose their labour that are least in fear of losing it.

[2.] For want of wisdom (Job 39:17): GOD HAS DEPRIVED HER OF WISDOM. This intimates that the art which other animals have to nourish and preserve their young is God’s gift, and that, where it exists not, God denies it, that by the folly of the ostrich, as well as by the wisdom of the ant, we may learn to be wise; for, First, As careless as the ostrich is of her eggs so careless many people are of their own souls; they make no provision for them, no proper nest in which they may be safe, leave them exposed to Satan and his temptations, which is a certain evidence that they are deprived of wisdom.

SECONDLY, So careless are many parents of their children; some of their bodies, not providing for their own house, their own bowels, and therefore worse than infidels, and as bad as the ostrich; but many more are thus careless of their children’s souls, take no care of their education, send them abroad into the world untaught, unarmed, forgetting what corruption there is in the world through lust, which will certainly crush them. Thus their labour in rearing them comes to be in vain; it were better for their country that they had never been born.

THIRDLY, So careless are too many ministers of their people, with whom they should reside; but they leave them in the earth, and forget how busy Satan is to sow tares while men sleep. They overlook those whom they should oversee, and are really hardened against them.

2. Care of herself. She leaves her eggs in danger, but, if she herself be in danger, no creature shall strive more to get out of the way of it than the ostrich, Job 39:18. Then she lifts up her wings on high (the strength of which then stands her in better stead than their beauty), and, with the help of them, runs so fast that a horseman at full speed cannot overtake her: SHE SCORNETH THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER. Those that are least under the law of natural affection often contend most for the law of self-preservation. Let not the rider be proud of the swiftness of his horse when such an animal as the ostrich shall out-run him.

FAITH IN CHRIST IS THE GIFT OF GOD

FAITH IN CHRIST IS THE GIFT OF GOD

preacher Donnie Bell

Before any sinner can or will come to Christ, he must be born again. Faith is the RESULT, not the CAUSE of the new birth (1 John 5:1). That faith by which we receive God’s salvation in Christ is the gift of God. “Salvation is of the LORD,” in its entirety! It is NOT of works at any time in a believer’s life, GOD WILL NEVER BE BROUGHT INTO DEBT BY THE WORKS OF ANY MAN, HE WILL NEVER OWE A BLESSING, ALL IS OF GRACE.

Faith in Christ is as much the gift and work of God’s free grace as election, redemption, and regeneration. If you believe, it is because GOD has given you faith (Phil. 1:29). You “believe according to the working of His mighty power” (Eph. 2:19). Faith is NOT the work of the sinner’s imaginary “free will.” Faith is the gift of God’s sovereign grace, the result of God’s operation upon the heart. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9)!

BE NOT IGNORANT OF THE DEVIL’S DEVICES 

BE  NOT IGNORANT OF THE DEVIL’S DEVICES

Thomas Brooks

DEVICE 1 – To present the bait and hide the hook; to present the golden cup, and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin, and by hiding from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin. By this device he took our first parents: ‘And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’ (Gen. 3:4-5). Your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods! Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit. Oh, but he hides the hook,—the shame, the wrath, and the loss that would certainly follow! 

There is an opening of the eyes of the mind to contemplation and joy, and there is an opening of the eyes of the body to shame and confusion. He promiseth them the former, but intends the latter, and so cheats them—giving them an apple in exchange for a paradise, as he deals by thousands now-a-days. Satan with ease puts fallacies upon us by his golden baits, and then he leads us and leaves us in a fool’s paradise. He promises the soul honour, pleasure, profit, but pays the soul with the greatest contempt, shame, and loss that can be. By a golden bait he laboured to catch Christ (Matt. 4:8- 9). He shows him the beauty and the bravery of a bewitching world, which doubtless would have taken many a carnal heart; but here the devil’s fire fell upon wet tinder, and therefore took not. These tempting objects did not at all win upon his affections, nor dazzle his eyes, though many have eternally died of the wound of the eye, and fallen for ever by this vile strumpet the world, who, by laying forth her two fair breasts of profit and pleasure, hath wounded their souls, and cast them down into utter perdition. She hath, by the glistening of her pomp and preferment, slain millions; as the serpent Scytale, which, when she cannot overtake the fleeing passengers, doth, with her beautiful colours, astonish and amaze them, so that they have no power to pass away till she have stung them to death. Adversity hath slain her thousand, but prosperity her ten thousand.

Remedy (1). First, Keep at the greatest distance from sin, and from playing with the golden bait that Satan holds forth to catch you; for this you have (Rom. 12:9), ‘Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.’ When we meet with anything extremely evil and contrary to us, nature abhors it, and retires as far as it can from it. The Greek word that is there rendered ‘abhor,’ is very significant; it signifies to hate it as hell itself, to hate it with horror.

Anselm used to say, ‘That if he should see the shame of sin on the one hand, and the pains of hell on the other, and must of necessity choose one, he would rather be thrust into hell without sin, than to go into heaven with sin,’ so great was his hatred and detestation of sin. It is our wisest and our safest course to stand at the farthest distance from sin; not to go near the house of the harlot, but to fly from all appearance of evil (Prov. 5:8, 1 Thess. 5:22). The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance; he that will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit. Joseph keeps at a distance from sin, and from playing with Satan’s golden baits, and stands. David draws near, and plays with the bait, and falls, and swallows bait and hook with a witness. David comes near the snare, and is taken in it, to the breaking of his bones, the wounding of his conscience, and the loss of his God.

Sin is a plague, yea, the greatest and most infectious plague in the world; and yet, ah! how few are there that tremble at it, that keep at a distance from it! (1 Cor. 5:6): ‘Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?’ As soon as one sin had seized upon Adam’s heart, all sin entered into his soul and overspread it. How hath Adam’s one sin spread over all mankind! (Rom. 5:12): ‘Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ Ah, how doth the father’s sin infect the child, the husband’s infect the wife, the master’s the servant! The sin that is in one man’s heart is able to infect a whole world, it is of such a spreading and infectious nature.

The story of the Italian, who first made his enemy deny God, and then stabbed him, and so at once murdered both body and soul, declares the perfect malignity of sin; and oh! that what hath been spoken upon this head may prevail with you, to stand at a distance from sin!

Remedy (2). To consider, That sin is but a bitter sweet. That seeming sweet that is in sin will quickly vanish, and lasting shame, sorrow, horror, and terror will come in the room thereof: ‘Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; though he spare it, and forsake it not, but keep it still within his mouth; yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him’ (Job 20:12-14). Forbidden profits and pleasures are most pleasing to vain men, who count madness mirth.

Many long to be meddling with the murdering morsels of sin, which nourish not, but rend and consume the belly, the soul that receives them. Many eat that on earth that they digest in hell. Sin’s murdering morsels will deceive those that devour them. Adam’s apple was a bitter sweet; Esau’s mess was a bitter sweet; the Israelites’ quails a bitter sweet; Jonathan’s honey a bitter sweet; and Adonijah’s dainties a bitter sweet. After the meal is ended, then comes the reckoning. Men must not think to dance and dine with the devil, and then to sup with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; to feed upon the poison of asps, and yet that the viper’s tongue should not slay them.

When the asp stings a man, it doth first tickle him so as it makes him laugh, till the poison, by little and little, gets to the heart, and then it pains him more than ever it delighted him. So doth sin; it may please a little at first, but it will pain the soul with a witness at last; yea, if there were the least real delight in sin, there could be no perfect hell, where men shall most perfectly be tormented with their sin.

Remedy (3). Solemnly to consider, That sin will usher in the greatest and the saddest losses that can be upon our souls. It will usher in the loss of that divine favour that is better than life, and the loss of that joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, and the loss of that peace that passeth understanding, and the loss of those divine influences by which the soul hath been refreshed, quickened, raised, strengthened, and gladded, and the loss of many outward desirable mercies, which otherwise the soul might have enjoyed.

Remedy (4). Seriously to consider, That sin is of a very deceitful and bewitching nature. Sin is from the greatest deceiver, it is a child of his own begetting, it is the ground of all the deceit in the world, and it is in its own nature exceeding deceitful. ‘But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ Heb. 3:13. It will kiss the soul, and pretend fair to the soul, and yet betray the soul forever. It will with Delilah smile upon us, that it may betray us into the hands of the devil, as she did Samson into the hands of the Philistines.

Sin gives Satan a power over us, and an advantage to accuse us and to lay claim to us, as those that wear his badge; it is of a very bewitching nature; it bewitches the soul, where it is upon the throne, that the soul cannot leave it, though it perish eternally by it. Sin so bewitches the soul, that it makes the soul call evil good, and good evil; bitter sweet and sweet bitter, light darkness and darkness light; and a soul thus bewitched with sin will stand it out to the death, at the sword’s point with God; let God strike and wound, and cut to the very bone, yet the bewitched soul cares not, fears not, but will still hold on in a course of wickedness, as you may see in Pharaoh, Balaam, and Judas. Tell the bewitched soul that sin is a viper that will certainly kill when it is not killed, that sin often kills secretly, insensibly, eternally, yet the bewitched soul cannot, and will not, cease from sin.

When the physicians told Theotimus that except he did abstain from drunkenness and uncleanness he would lose his eyes, his heart was so bewitched to his sins, that he answered, ‘Then farewell, sweet light’; he had rather lose his eyes than leave his sin. So a man bewitched with sin had rather lose God, Christ, heaven, and his own soul than part with his sin. Oh, therefore, forever take heed of playing with or nibbling at Satan’s golden baits.

[This is a fantastic and ‘must read’ sermon for all those who fear God and hate evil. Please read the whole –

http://www.eternallifeministries.org/tb_remedies.htm

READING GOD’S WORD IS NOT ENOUGH – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON IT

READING GOD’S WORD IS NOT ENOUGH – YOU MUST MEDITATE ON IT

Saturation with the Scriptures is the Secret to Satisfaction of our Souls

The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks offers an excellent description of Biblical meditation…

Remember that it is not hasty reading—but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey (cp Ps 19:10-note; Ps 119:103-note)—but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most—who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

Meditation is CHEWING. Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow’s process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the “cud.” Meditation is pondering and reviewing various thoughts (especially the thoughts/words of God) by mulling them over in one’s mind and heart (our “control center” so to speak – see Pr 4:23-note).

Meditation is the processing of God’s food for our soul (real “soul food!) One might call it “divine thought digestion.” “Chewing” upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our “Sanctifier”) provides the vital link between theory and action, between God’s Word on paper and God’s Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God.

C H Spurgeon asks a good question…

“Have you a spiritual taste, dear Hearer? It is one thing to hear the Word. It is another thing to taste it. Hearing the Word is often blessed, but tasting it is a more inward and spiritual thing—it is the enjoyment of the Truth in the innermost parts of our being! Oh, that we were all as fond of the Word as were the old mystics who chewed the cud of meditation till they were fattened upon the Word of the Lord and their souls grew strong in the Divine Love! I am sure of this—the more you know of God’s Word, the more you will love it!”—The True Sayings of God – #3144

Meditation is ANALYZING. Literally analyzing describes the art of taking an intentional, lengthy look at a given object as the jeweler does when he puts his eyepiece on to examine the character and qualities of a flawless diamond. Indeed, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” (Ps 12:6-note) Meditation on the living and active (energetic) Word (Heb 4:12-note) is like gazing at a prism, which breaks a single beam of sunlight into many component colors. As we take time to steadily focus on the “diamond” of God’s Word, the Spirit illumines the Son’s light in His many and variegated “colors and hues.”

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law (Psalm 119:18).

Meditation is ACTION. Someone has described it: “Making words into thoughts and thoughts into actions.” It is mental planning ahead with definite action in mind for accomplishing a job. Andrew Murray describes it: “Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life… this is meditation.”

Now tie these three thoughts together: chewing, analyzing and action. Reflect on each of them now before reading any further. Give God time for divine polishing in His secret place in order to more effectually reproduce His glory and beauty in public.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou SHALT MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” [Joshua 1:8]

[Quoted from Precept Austin.org]

THANKSGIVING AND GREED – THINGS THAT CAN’T GO TOGETHER

THANKSGIVING AND GREED – THINGS THAT CAN’T GO TOGETHER

“Thanksgiving offers tradition, family, and contentment; Black Friday offers smart phones at drastically reduced prices. In America, we all know who wins that battle. So Black Friday, like a black hole, violently expanded; it absorbed the light that surrounded it and sucked everything into its terrifying abyss, where all substance is torn to shreds and obliterated. Black Friday could not be contained to a mere 24 hours. It is Consumerism. It wants more. It always wants more. Nothing is sacred to it; nothing is valuable. So, now, Black Friday has eaten Thanksgiving alive. Thanksgiving let out a desperate cry as Black Friday devoured its soul, but we barely noticed. It’s hard to hear anything when you’re wrestling 4,000 other people for buy one get one free cargo shorts at Old Navy.” – Matt Walsh

“What will the next four days say about who you are? Are you a coveter? Are you moved by Greed? Are you thankful for what you have?

Please do not understand me, there is nothing wrong with shopping this weekend. I bought a stove and microwave a few weeks ago and still go the Black Friday specials. I am not saying “don’t spend money.” But what I am asking is that you use this weekend as an opportunity to evaluate your heart.

WHY do you spend?

Answering that question honestly might just expose some things in your heart you won’t want to know. As James, the brother of of our Lord, says . . .

“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God!” (James 4:4)

What does your desire for more say about your desire for God?”
Thad Bergmeier

THOU LORD WILT LIGHT MY CANDLE

THOU LORD WILT LIGHT MY CANDLE

Robert Hawker

“For Thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness..” [Psalm. 18:28.]

Precious consideration! It is the LORD that lighteth the candle of his people. And if the Lord light it, what power can put it out? Cherish, my soul, the faith this thought awakens, amidst all the darkness around thee and in thee. Hath the Lord, indeed, given thee light? Dost thou in His light see light? In the light of God the Father, dost thou behold God the Son, and, by the enlightening of the Holy Ghost, hast thou the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ?

Oh the blessedness of such a state of light, and life, and knowledge; how is it possible then any more to be in darkness, when the Lord himself is my everlasting light, and my God my glory? Now consider the reverse of this in creature-enlightening. “How oft,” saith Job, “is the candle of the wicked put out!” And how exposed it is to be every moment put out; for it is not of God’s kindling. A fleeting of its own oil will do it. What is called a thief in the candle will do it. It may be blown out; it may be snuffed out; or if none of these causes occur, yet of itself it must shortly burn out. “For what is our life but a vapour?”

My soul, ponder these things. Hath the Lord—lighted thy candle? Is Jesus thy light, thy life, thy joy, thy sunshine, thy morning star, thy all in all? And hath He risen upon thee, never more to go down? Oh then, though all thou knowest, all thou beholdest now, is but as the faint taper of the night, compared to the glory of that day which shall be revealed, yet take to thyself by faith all the sweet comforts of thy state of grace, and say, it is the Lord that hath lighted my candle. The Lord my God will enlighten all remaining darkness: I shall see Thy face in glory, and shortly awake up after Thy likeness.

A WORD FROM OLDER DIVINES ON ‘THANKSGIVING’

A WORD FROM OLDER DIVINES ON ‘THANKSGIVING’

“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.” [C.H. Spurgeon]

“Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor and praise for His goodness.”  [Robert Casper Lintner]

“Our rural ancestors, with little blest, patient of labor when the end was rest, indulged the day that housed their annual grain, with feasts, and offerings, and a thankful strain.”  [Alexander Pope]

“Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!”  [Henry Ward Beecher]

“A thanksgiving-day hath a double precedency of a fast-day.
On a fast-day we eye God’s anger; on a thanksgiving-day we look to God’s favor.
In the former we specially mind our corruptions; in the latter, God’s compassions;
therefore a fast-day calls for sorrow, a thanksgiving-day for joy.
But the Lord’s day is the highest thanksgiving day.”  [George Swinnock ]

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.”  [Warren Wiersbe]

“No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.” [John Greenleaf Whittier]

“It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular.
Christians in public institutions often see this odd thing happening on Thanksgiving Day.
Everyone in the institution seems to be thankful ‘in general.’
It’s very strange. It’s a little like being married in general.”  [Cornelius Plantingua, Jr.]

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.” [Unknown]

“Taking for granted all the temporal provisions and spiritual blessings
that God has so richly bestowed on us,
and so failing to continually give thanks, is one of our “acceptable sins” [Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins]

“O Lord, that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!” [William Shakespeare]

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” [Psalm 150:6]

“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.”
[Frank A. Clark]

” I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”  [1 Timothy 2:1, 2]

“Praise is the best auxiliary to prayer; and he who most bears in mind what has been done for him by God will be most emboldened to supplicate fresh gifts from above.”
[Henry Melville]

“If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that.
But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that?” [Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe]

“Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns.” [Anonymous]

“He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.” [Charron]

“Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices.”  [Thomas Fuller]

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”[2 Cor 9:15]

“Do not fancy, as too many do, that thou canst praise God by singing hymns to Him in church once a week, and disobeying Him all the week long.
He asks of thee works as well as words; and more, he asks of thee works first and words after.”  [Charles Kingsley]

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory;  awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.” [Psalm 57:7 – 9]

“If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to happiness and all perfection he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything  that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.”
[William Law]

“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 … thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people.” [Sir John Templeton]

“For a Christian thanksgiving, we must give thanks.”
[Unknown]

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” [Ephesians 5:3, 4]

Thank you, dear God
For all You have given me,
For all You have taken away from me,
For all You have left me.

IT IS GOD WHO MAKES HIS SAINTS WEAK

IT IS GOD WHO MAKES HIS SAINTS WEAK

J.C. Philpot

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

The very word “confirm” implies that the souls of Christ’s disciples need strengthening. If there were no temptations to try, no sharp sorrows to grieve, no painful afflictions to distress them; or if, on the other hand, there were no sensible weakness of soul, no sinking of heart, no despondency of spirit, no giving way of faith and hope, no doubt or fear in the mind, how could the souls of the disciples be strengthened?

The souls of God’s people are not made of cast iron, against which arrow after arrow may be discharged and leave no dent, make no impression. The hearts of the Lord’s people are in a measure conformed to the heart of Christ. And what was his heart? “My heart,” he says, “is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.” [Psalm 22:14]

And thus the Lord’s people, who carry in their bosom broken hearts and contrite spirits, made so by grace, are often sinking, often shaken, often cast down through the many trials they have to encounter. It is for this reason that they need confirming, supporting, strengthening, and that the Lord himself would lay his everlasting arms underneath them, lift them into his bosom, and make his strength perfect in their weakness.

And is not this the gospel way? Can I, by dint of creature exertion, brace up my soul to a certain pitch? If trouble comes, am I like a patient sometimes under the keen knife of the surgeon to brace up my nerves to bear the operation more unflinchingly? This is nature, flesh, reason; not grace. The Lord does not require this of his people. He dealt not so with his beloved Apostle, according to the account which he gives in 2 Corinthians 12. What did the Lord speak into his heart, under trial and temptation, that he might proclaim it upon Zion’s walls to the Church of the living God, “My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore, he adds, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” But it is very painful to the Lord’s people to find no strength when they need it most, no faith when they have the greatest need of it, no help when most required. To pass through this experience baffles and disconcerts many of the living family; but when the Lord is pleased in a mysterious way to communicate His own strength, and to make it perfect in weakness; when He deals with them, as with the worthies of old, who “out of weakness were made strong,” they can then bless the Lord for their very weakness, and, like Paul, glory in their infirmities, because the power of Christ rests upon them.