THE GOD WHO FEEDS HIS CHILDREN ALL THEIR LIVES

THE GOD WHO FEEDS HIS CHILDREN ALL THEIR LIVES

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!

IDENTIFYING GOD’S ELECT

IDENTIFYING GOD’S ELECT

Michael Jeshurun

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” [1John 4:6]

This God cannot be known by ‘walking an aisle’, ‘saying a little prayer’, signing a ‘decision card’ or getting baptized when you are old enough, but only by REVELATION!

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast HID THESE THINGS from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED THEM unto babes”. [Matt 11:25]

Again – “Unto YOU (His elect) it is GIVEN to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: [why?] That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”. [Mark 4:11,12]

Now THIS is the God I came to know shortly after my salvation. THIS is the God of the Scriptures! To the unbelieving heart and even the nominal religious Christian THIS God described above is nothing short of a monster!

A.W.Pink once wrote to a brother he was ministering to – “PREACH ELECTION, AND YOU WILL KNOW WHO THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS ARE!” I would say a hearty “Amen!” to that, for I am convinced that the doctrine of divine predestination is not some high doctrine only to be understood by ‘older divines’ and ‘Fathers’ in the lord, but a truth that can be grasped EVEN BY A BABE IN THE LORD.

I have personally labored much to present the truth of divine Predestination in many a pulpit in our land as the Lord gave me the opportunity. But I was to them as one who spoke in a strange tongue. And the reason for this is that very few in Christendom today are REGENERATED CHRISTIANS who ‘know the Lord’ or rather are ‘known of Him’. A great majority (99%) of those who warm the pews are ‘NATURAL MEN’ who worship A GOD OF THEIR OWN MAKING. Only a babe in Christ will desire the ‘sincere milk of the Word’. And believe me, what is preached in the existing ‘pulpits’ of our day is NOT EVEN ‘MILK’ let alone ‘MEAT’. It’s just plain hogwash!

THE CHRIST OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM IS NOT THE SOVEREIGN, ALL-POWERFUL, DISCRIMINATING GOD OF THE BIBLE!

In one of his letters to Erasmus, Luther said, “Your thoughts of God are too human.” Probably that renowned scholar resented such a rebuke, the more so, since it proceeded from a miner’s son. Nevertheless, it was thoroughly deserved. I, too, pose the same charge against the vast majority of the preachers of our day, and against those who, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, lazily accept the teachings of their Seminaries. The most dishonoring conceptions of the rule and reign of the Almighty are now held almost everywhere. To countless thousands, even professing Christians, THE GOD OF SCRIPTURE IS QUITE UNKNOWN.

Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel,
“THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS THYSELF” (Psalm 50:21).

Such must now be His indictment against apostate Christendom. MEN IMAGINE THE MOST HIGH IS MOVED BY SENTIMENT, RATHER THAN BY PRINCIPLE. They suppose His omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan can thwart His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, CONSTANTLY SUBJECT TO CHANGE. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which redeems everyone for whom it was made, to a mere remedy, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel so disposed. They lessen the strength of the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to AN OFFER OF THE GOSPEL which sinners may ACCEPT or REJECT as they please.

All that to say, whether it is our salvation, our knowledge of God and His ways or our works for Him, in every thing ALL the glory is due to Him and Him alone. This is one reason why I am convinced that I am one of His elect. For His Spirit has in His grace and mercy revealed to me WHO HE IS!

AND THE DOCTRINE WHICH HE HAS TAUGHT ME GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY AND PUTS MAN WHERE HE BELONGS ….IN THE DUST!

This is how I know that I am one of His elect! And this is how I recognize OTHERS who are elected with me. They have come to believe the GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES AS HE IS REVEALED IN THE SCRIPTURES!

While for some sheep it may take a while to fully grasp truth of the Sovereignty of God and the impotence of man in regards to salvation, if notwithstanding even after many years of being exposed to the truth of Sovereign Grace they still insist and harp on Creature Ability . . . it is plain that IT IS NOT GIVEN UNTO THEM! [Matt 13:11]

It is best to – LET THEM ALONE! [Matt 15:14]

THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN HELL

THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN HELL

C.H. Spurgeon

How will unbelief look in the flames of hell?

There are no infidels anywhere but on earth!
There are none in heaven, and there are none in hell.

Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for “the devils believe and tremble.”

And there are some of the devil’s children that have gone beyond their father in sin, but how will it look when they are forever lost?

When God’s foot crushes them, they will not be able to doubt His existence!

When He tears them in pieces and there is none to deliver, then their sophistical syllogisms, their empty logic, their brags and bravadoes, will be of no avail!

Oh, that they had been wise and had not darkened their foolish hearts, but had turned unto the living God!

THE GLORIFIED IS THE SAME ONE FOREKNOWN 

THE GLORIFIED IS THE SAME ONE FOREKNOWN

In Romans 8:29, 30 we read of that Golden Chain of Redemption which stretches from the eternity that is past to the eternity that is to come, — For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”

Foreknown, foreordained, called, justified, glorified, with always the SAME PEOPLE included in each group; and where one of these factors is present, all the others are in principle present with it. Paul has cast the verse in the PAST TENSE because with God the purpose is in principle executed when formed, so CERTAIN IS IT OF FULFILLMENT.

“These five golden links,” says Dr. Warfield, “are welded together in one UNBREAKABLE CHAIN, so that ALL who are set upon in God’s gracious distinguishing view are carried on by His grace, step by step, up to the great consummation of that glorification which realizes the promised conformity to the image of God’s own Son.

It is ‘ELECTION,’ you see, that does all this; for ‘whom He FOREKNEW, them He also GLORIFIED’!

The Scriptures represent election as occurring in past time, irrespective of personal merit, and altogether sovereign, — “The children BEING NOT YET BORN, NEITHER HAVING DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, NOT OF WORKS, BUT OF HIM THAT CALLETH, it was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,” [Rom. 9:11, 12]

Now if the doctrine of election is not true, we may safely challenge any man to tell us what the apostle means by such language. “We are pointed illustratively to the sovereign acceptance of Isaac and rejection of Ishmael, and to the choice of Jacob and not of Esau before their birth and therefore before either had done good or bad; we are explicitly told that in the matter of salvation IT IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLS, OR OF HIM THAT RUNS, BUT OF GOD THAT SHOWS MERCY!

And that He has mercy on WHOM HE WILL, AND WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENS; so we are pointedly directed to behold in God the potter who makes the vessels which proceed from His hand each for an end of His appointment, that He may work out His will upon them.

It is safe to say that language cannot be chosen better adapted to teach Predestination at its height!

[Paraphrased and quoted from Loraine Boettner’s ‘Unconditional Election’]

THE IMPORTANCE OF REDEEMING TIME

THE IMPORTANCE OF REDEEMING TIME

Jonathan Edwards

Time is very short, which is a thing that renders it very precious. The scarcity of any commodity occasions men to set a higher value upon it, especially if it be necessary and they cannot do without it. Thus when Samaria was besieged by the Syrians, and provisions were exceedingly scarce, “an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver.” [2 Kin. 6:25.]

So time is the more to be prized by men, because a whole eternity depends upon it; and yet we have but a little of time. “When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.” Job 16:22. “My days are swifter than a post. They are passed away as the swift ships; as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.” Job 9:25, 26. “Our life; what is it? It is but a vapour which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Jam. 4:14. It is but as a moment to eternity.

Time is so short, and the work which we have to do in it is so great, that we have none of it to spare. The work which we have to do to prepare for eternity, must be done in time, or it never can be done; and it is found to be a work of great difficulty and labor, and therefore that for which time is the more requisite.

Time ought to be esteemed by us very precious, because we are UNCERTAIN OF ITS CONTINUANCE. We know that it is very short, but we know not HOW SHORT. We know not how little of it remains, whether a year, or several years, or only a month, a week, or a day. We are every day uncertain whether that day will not be the last, or whether we are to have the whole day. There is nothing that experience doth more verify than this. — If a man had but little provision laid up for a journey or a voyage, and at the same time knew that if his provision should fail, he must perish by the way, he would be the more choice of it. — How much more would many men prize their time, if they knew that they had but a few months, or a few days, more to live!

And certainly a wise man will prize his time the more, as he knows not but that it will be so as to himself. This is the case with multitudes now in the world, who at present enjoy health, and see no signs of approaching death. Many such, no doubt, are to die the next month, many the next week, yea, many probably tomorrow, and some this night. Yet these same persons KNOW NOTHING OF IT, AND PERHAPS THINK NOTHING OF IT, and neither they nor their neighbors can say that they are more likely soon to be taken out of the world than others. This teaches us how we ought to prize our time, and how careful we ought to be, that we lose none of it.

Time is very precious, because WHEN IT IS PAST, IT CANNOT BE RECOVERED. There are many things which men possess, which if they part with, they can obtain them again. If a man have parted with something which he had, not knowing the worth of it, or the need he should have of it; he often can regain it, at least with pains and cost. If a man have been overseen in a bargain, and have bartered away or sold something, and afterwards repents of it, he may often obtain a release, and recover what he had parted with. —

But it is not so with respect to time. WHEN ONCE THAT IS GONE, IT IS GONE FOREVER; NO PAINS, NO COST WILL RECOVER IT. Though we repent ever so much that we let it pass, and did not improve it while we had it, it will be to no purpose.

Every part of it is successively offered to us, that we may choose whether we will make it our own, or not. But there is no delay. It will not wait upon us to see whether or no we will comply with the offer. But if we refuse, it is immediately taken away, and never offered more. As to that part of time which is gone, however we have neglected to improve it, it is out of our possession and out of our reach.

If we have lived fifty, or sixty, or seventy years, and have not improved our time, now it cannot be helped. It is eternally gone from us. All that we can do, is to improve the little that remains. Yea, if a man have spent all his life but a few moments unimproved, all that is gone is lost, and only those few remaining moments can possibly be made his own. And if the whole of a man’s time be gone, and it be all lost, it is irrecoverable. — Eternity depends on the improvement of time. But when once the time of life is gone, when once death is come, we have no more to do with time; there is no possibility of obtaining the restoration of it, or another space in which to prepare for eternity.

If a man should lose the whole of his worldly substance, and become a bankrupt, it is possible that his loss may be made up. He may have another estate as good. But when the time of life is gone, it is impossible that we should ever obtain another such time. All opportunity of obtaining eternal welfare is utterly and everlastingly gone.

Those are reproved by this doctrine, who spend their time only in WORLDLY pursuits, neglecting their souls. Such men lose their time, let them be ever so diligent in their worldly business. And though they may be careful not to let any of it pass so, but that it shall some way or other turn to their worldly profit. They that improve time only for their benefit in time, lose it; because time was not given for itself, but for that everlasting duration which succeeds it. — They, therefore, whose time is taken up in caring and laboring for the world only, in inquiring what they shall eat, and what they shall drink, and wherewithal they shall be clothed; in contriving to lay up for themselves treasure upon earth, how to enrich themselves, how to make themselves great in the world, or how to live in comfortable and pleasant circumstances, while here; who busy their minds and employ their strength in these things only, and the stream of whose affections is directed towards these things; they lose their precious time.

Let such, therefore, as have been guilty of thus spending their time, consider it. You have spent a great part of your time, and a great part of your strength, in getting a little of the world; and how little good doth it afford you, now you have gotten it! What happiness or satisfaction can you reap from it? Will it give you peace of conscience, or any rational quietness or comfort? What is your poor, needy, perishing soul the better for it? And what better prospects doth it afford you of your approaching eternity? And what will all that you have acquired avail you when time shall be no longer?

ADVICE RESPECTING THE IMPROVEMENT OF TIME.

I shall conclude with advising to THREE THINGS in particular.

FIRST, improve the PRESENT time without any delay. If you delay and put off its improvement, still more time will be lost; and it will be an evidence that you are not sensible of its preciousness. Talk not of more convenient seasons hereafter; but improve your time while you have it, after the example of the psalmist. Psa. 119:60, “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.”

SECOND, be especially careful to improve THOSE PARTS of time which are most precious. Though all time is very precious, yet some parts are more precious than others; as, particularly, holy time is more precious than common time. Such time is of great advantage for our everlasting welfare. Therefore, above all, improve your Sabbaths, and especially the time of public worship, which is the most precious part. Lose it not either in sleep, or in carelessness, inattention, and wandering imaginations. How sottish are they who waste away, not only their common, but holy time, yea the very season of attendance on the holy ordinances of God!

The time of youth is precious, on many accounts. Therefore, if you be in the enjoyment of this time, take heed that you improve it. Let not the precious days and years of youth slip away without improvement. A time of the strivings of God’s Spirit is more precious than other time. Then God is near; and we are directed, in Isa. 55:6, “To seek the Lord while He may be found, and to call upon Him while He is near.” Such especially is an accepted time, and a day of salvation: 2 Cor. 6:2, “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in a day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

THIRD, improve well your time of LEISURE from worldly business. Many persons have a great deal of such time, and all have some. If men be but disposed to it, such time may be improved to great advantage. When we are most free from cares for the body, and business of an outward nature, a happy opportunity for the soul is afforded. Therefore spend not such opportunities unprofitably, nor in such a manner that you will not be able to give a good account thereof to God. Waste them not away wholly in unprofitable visits, or useless diversions or amusements. Diversion should be used only in subserviency to business. So much, and no more, should be used, as doth most fit the mind and body for the work of our general and particular callings.

You have need to IMPROVE every talent, advantage, and opportunity, to your utmost, WHILE TIME LASTS; for it will soon be said concerning you, according to the oath of the angel, in Rev. 10:5, 6, “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, THAT THERE SHOULD BE TIME NO LONGER.”

GEORGE MUELLER THE CALVINIST

GEORGE MUELLER THE CALVINIST

Most people only know George Mueller as someone who cared for Orphans and educated them and had great testimonies of God’s miraculous supply for his ministry. But few know that what influenced Mueller to be the man he was and do the ministry he did was his conversion to the Doctrines of Grace which goes by the nickname ‘Calvinism’.

For the benefit of those who are new to the Faith and may not have heard of George Mueller, we must start with some introduction –

George Mueller was a native German (a Prussian). He was born in Kroppenstaedt on September 27, 1805 and lived almost the entire nineteenth century. He died March 10, 1898 at the age of 92. He saw the great awakening of 1859 which he said “led to the conversion of hundreds of thousands.” He did follow up work for D. L. Moody, preached for Charles Spurgeon, and inspired the missionary faith of Hudson Taylor.

He had read his Bible from end to end almost 200 times. He had prayed in millions of dollars (in today’s currency) for the Orphans and never asked anyone directly for money. He never took a salary in the last 68 years of his ministry, but trusted God to put in people’s hearts to send him what he needed. He never took out a loan or went into debt. And neither he nor the orphans were ever hungry.

GEORGE MULLER’S REGENERATION

His father was an unbeliever and George grew up a liar and a thief, by his own testimony. His mother died when he was 14, and he records no impact that this loss had on him except that while she was dying he was roving the streets with his friends “half intoxicated.” He went on living a bawdy life, and then found himself in prison for stealing when he was 16 years old. His father paid to get him out, beat him, and took him to live in another town (Schoenbeck). Mueller used his academic skills to make money by tutoring in Latin, French, and mathematics. Finally his father sent him to the University of Halle to study divinity and prepare for the ministry because that would be a good living. Neither he nor George had any spiritual aspirations. Of the 900 divinity students in Halle, Mueller later estimated that maybe nine feared the Lord.

Then on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of November, 1825, when Mueller was 20 years old, he was invited to a Bible study and, by the grace of God, felt the desire to go. “It was to me as if I had found something after which I had been seeking all my life long. I immediately wished to go.” “They read the Bible, sang, prayed, and read a printed sermon.” To his amazement Mueller said, “The whole made a deep impression on me. I was happy; though, if I had been asked, why I was happy I could not have clearly explained it. “I have not the least doubt, that on that evening, [God] began a work of grace in me. . . . That evening was the turning point in my life.”

That’s true. But there was another turning point four years later that the biographies do not open for the reader, but which for Mueller was absolutely decisive in shaping the way he viewed God and the way he did ministry.

GEORGE MULLER’S CONVERSION TO THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE

He came to England in the hope of being a missionary with the London Missionary Society. Soon he found his theology and ministry convictions turning away from the LMS, until there was a break. In the meantime, a momentous encounter happened.

Mueller became sick (thank God for providential sickness!) and in the summer of 1829 he went for recovery to a town called Teignmouth. There in a little chapel called Ebenezer at least two crucial discoveries were made: the preciousness of reading and meditating on the word of God, and the truth of the doctrines of grace. For ten days Mueller lived with a nameless man who changed his life forever. Mueller said, “Through the instrumentality of this brother the Lord bestowed a great blessing upon me, for which I shall have cause to thank Him throughout eternity.

Before this period I had been much opposed to the doctrines of election, particular redemption, and final persevering grace; so much so that, a few days after my arrival at Teignmouth, I called election a devilish doctrine. . . I knew nothing about the choice of God’s people, and did not believe that the child of God, when once made so, was safe for ever. . . . But now I was brought to examine these precious truths by the word of God.”

He was led to embrace the doctrines of grace—the robust, mission-minded, soul-winning, orphan-loving Calvinism that marked William Carey, who died in 1834, and that would mark Charles Spurgeon, who was born in 1834. About forty years later, in 1870, Mueller spoke to some young believers about the importance of what had happened to him at Teignmouth. He said that his preaching had been fruitless for four years from 1825 to 1829 in Germany, but then he came to England and was taught the doctrines of grace.

“In the course of time I came to this country, and it pleased God then to show to me the doctrines of grace in a way in which I had not seen them before. At first I hated them, “If this were true I could do nothing at all in the conversion of sinners, as all would depend upon God and the working of His Spirit.” But when it pleased God to reveal these truths to me, and my heart was brought to such a state that I could say, “I am not only content simply to be a hammer, an axe, or a saw, in God’s hands; but I shall count it an honor to be taken up and used by Him in any way; and if sinners are converted through my instrumentality, from my inmost soul I will give Him all the glory; the Lord gave me to see fruit; the Lord gave me to see fruit in abundance; sinners were converted by scores; and ever since God has used me in one way or other in His service.”

This discovery of the all-encompassing sovereignty of God became the foundation of Mueller’s confidence in God to answer his prayers for money. He gave up his regular salary. He refused to ask people directly for money. He prayed and published his reports about the goodness of God and the answers to his prayer. These yearly reports were circulated around the world, and they clearly had a huge effect in motivating people to give to the orphan work. Mueller knew that God used means. In fact, he loved to say, “Work with all your might; but trust not in the least in your work.” But he also insisted that his hope was in God alone, not his exertions and not the published reports. These means could not account for the remarkable answers that he received.

Mueller’s faith that his prayers for money would be answered was rooted in the sovereignty of God. When faced with a crisis in having the means to pay a bill he would say, “How the means are to come, I know not; but I know that God is almighty, that the hearts of all are in His hands, and that, if He pleaseth to influence persons, they will send help.” That is the root of his confidence: God is almighty, the hearts of all men are in his hands, and when God chooses to influence their hearts they will give.

He had come to know and love this absolute sovereignty of God in the context of the doctrines of grace, and therefore he cherished it mainly as sovereign goodness. This gave him a way to maintain a personal peace beyond human understanding in the midst of tremendous stress and occasional tragedy. “The Lord never lays more on us,” he said, “in the way of chastisement, than our state of heart makes needful; so that whilst He smites with the one hand, He supports with the other.” In the face of painful circumstances he says, “I bow, I am satisfied with the will of my Heavenly Father, I seek by perfect submission to His holy will to glorify Him, I kiss continually the hand that has thus afflicted me.”

And when he is about to lose a piece of property that he wants for the next orphan house, he says, “If the Lord were to take this piece of land from me, it would be only for the purpose of giving me a still better one; for our Heavenly Father never takes any earthly thing from His children except He means to give them something better instead.” This is what I mean by confidence in God’s sovereign goodness. This is the root of Mueller’s faith and ministry.

When he was 71 years old, Mueller spoke to younger believers:

“I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it. . . . What is the food of the inner man? Not prayer, but the word of God; and . . . not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.”

Which brings us back now the satisfaction of Mueller’s soul at the death of his wife, Mary. He said, “My heart was at rest. I was satisfied with God. And all this springs, as I have often said before, from taking God at his word, believing what he says.”

The aim of George Mueller’s life was to glorify God by helping people take God at his word. To that end he saturated his soul with the word of God. At one point he said that he reads the Bible five or ten times more than he reads any other books. His aim was to see God in Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead in order that he might maintain the happiness of his soul in God. By this deep satisfaction in God George Mueller was set free from the fears and lusts of the world. And in this freedom of love he chose a strategy of ministry and style of life that put the reality and trustworthiness and beauty of God on display. To use his own words, his life became a “visible proof to the unchangeable faithfulness of the Lord.

He was sustained in this extraordinary life by his deep convictions that God is sovereign over the human heart and can turn it where he wills in answer to prayer; and that God is sovereign over life and death; and that God is good in his sovereignty and withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly.

George Mueller wrote –
“I had not before seen from the Scriptures that the Father chose us before the foundation of the world; that in Him that wonderful plan of our redemption originated, and that He also appointed all the means by which it was to be brought about…

Before this period I had been much opposed to the doctrines of election, particular redemption, and final persevering grace: so much so that, a few days after my arrival at Teignmouth I called election a devilish doctrine. I did not believe that I had brought myself to the Lord, for that was too manifestly false; but yet I held, that I might have resisted finally. And further, I knew nothing about the choice of God’s people, and did not believe that the child of God, when once made so; was safe for ever. In my fleshly mind I had repeatedly said, “If once I could prove that I am a child of God for ever, I might go back into the world for a year or two, and then return to the Lord, and at last be saved”.

But now I was brought to examine these precious truths by the word of God. Being made willing to have no glory of my own in the conversion of sinners, but to consider myself merely as an instrument; and being made willing to receive what the Scriptures said; I went to the Word, reading the New Testament from the beginning, with a particular reference to these truths. To my great astonishment I found that the passages which speak decidedly for election and persevering grace were about four times as many as those which speak apparently against these truths; and even those few, shortly after, when I had examined and understood them, served to confirm me in the above doctrines. As to the effect which my belief in these doctrines had on me, I am constrained to state, for God’s glory, that though I am still exceedingly weak, and by no means so dead to the lusts of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, as I might and as I ought to be, yet, by the grace of God, I have walked more closely with Him since that period.

My life has not been so variable, and I may say that I have lived much more for God than before. And for this have I been strengthened by the Lord, in a great measure, through the instrumentality of these truths. For in the time of temptation, I have been repeatedly led to say: “Should I thus sin? I should only bring misery into my soul for a time, and dishonour God; for, being a son of God for ever, I should have to be brought back again, though it might be in the way of severe chastisement”.

Thus, I say, the electing love of God in Christ (when I have been able to realize it) has often been, the means of producing holiness, instead of leading me into sin. It is only the notional apprehension of such truths, the want of having them in the heart, whilst they are in the head, which is dangerous.”

[Quoted from the Biography of George Mueller by John Piper and a few others]

A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE OPEN DOOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA

A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE OPEN DOOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Dear Lord Jesus
We thank Thee for this open door of facebook and other Social-media which Thou hast given us to proclaim Thy Word! As You said long ago unto Thy Church, “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it!” You have graciously given us this opportunity to preach Thy Truth and feed Thy sheep. We do not take this lightly Lord, but pray that you will use our witness to accomplish that which You have promised – i.e. “My Word shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it!” 

Oh may Thy Spirit accompany Thy Word that is preached and open the eyes of those whom Thou hast ordained to eternal life and also establish those whose eyes and ears Thou hast already opened. And grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word in season and out of season!

Lord whilst You were here You said, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work!” We know not how long this door of opportunity to preach Thy Word will be open, so while we still have this blessing, grant unto us the ability to make the most of it and minister to as many as we can.

And Lord Thou knowest the dangers of the Internet and the evil that lies at the door to trip Thy servants; so grant us we pray the strength in the inner man to resist all temptation to sin that we might be vessels of honor through whom You can work. We pray with the man after thine own heart – “Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe!”

And lastly dear Lord there are so many of Thy sheep in different parts of the world who have no saints to fellowship with and long to either own a device with which they can interact with or learn to use a device they already have. . . please help such saints and supply their need accordingly and encourage their hearts.

Oh dear LORD we wait for Thee; the desire of our soul is to Thy Name, and to the remembrance of Thee! Not unto US, O LORD, not unto US, but unto THY NAME give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake!

In Jesus’ precious Name. Amen!

Thy unworthy and unprofitable servant

Michael Jeshurun

 

DON’T PUT GOD IN A BOX

DON’T PUT GOD IN A BOX

Erik Raymond

When you read the NT you see the demonstration and description of miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Right away on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the people are speaking in tongues. Not long after we see the dead raised, lame healed, and people transported. It is a powerful outbreaking of the Holy Spirit in an arresting way.

When you read these things (and their corresponding descriptions, instructions, and warnings) a Christian must ask if these so-called miraculous gifts are operative today (i.e. the gifts of tongues, healing, & prophecy). Do we today see the same types of things happening as we did in the early chapters of Acts?

As a pastor I have been asked this question more times than I can count, particularly by people who are visiting and considering joining the church. My answer in short is “no”. I do not believe that the gifts of tongues and healing are present today as we saw in the early church. Much of what today gets passed off as tongues and healing are not what the Bible shows, namely known languages spoken and understood; and people being instantaneously (and fully) healed with a word or a touch. I tell them that my position (cessationist) is based upon observation: I see a tapering off of the miraculous gifts (tongues and healing) in the NT with the close of the Apostolic era and I do not see them consistently displayed in church history. Therefore, I don’t believe they are normative in the life of the church today. (note: prophecy is defined in different ways, but I would say that God is not giving new revelation today either. If you want to take prophecy as preaching, admonishing or exhorting-that’s fine.)

Don’t Put God in a Box

What is the response to this? “Don’t put God in a box.”

What they are saying with this is that my view that these miraculous gifts have ceased means that I only believe that God can work in this way or that way. In other words, God can’t do this and he doesn’t do that. They would say that I have, theologically speaking, accomplished the staggering if not strange feat of confining God’s activity in the world. As they go on they typically say something like, “God can do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to miraculously work in a village in Africa this way—he can. If he wants to communicate with me in a dream—he can. If he wants to miraculously heal someone—he can.”

How Do We See God Working?

Now we see the issue clearly. It is not so much the gifts as the activity of God. We also see something of the reflex of 21st Century, particularly Western Evangelicalism. The thought is that the evidence of God working in the world is the miraculous. God shows up and we all know it. We know God is working when tragedy is averted, disease is healed, life is spared, and the occurrence of personal experiences that cannot be explained.

But, what if God’s work is far more than this? What if his activity in the world is not limited to our perception of the miraculous? What if God’s activity in the world is less like Superman—rushing in to ‘save the day’ and then rushing out before he is spotted—and more like Atlas—holding the weight of the world on his shoulders? What if God is not actor in the story of our life but that we are in his story? What if God is the writer, director, producer, main character, and set designer?

The doctrine of Providence helps us here. Providence is God’s infinite power that upholds and governs all things that come to pass. As the Heidelberg Catechism says,

“God’s providence is his almighty and ever present power, whereby as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures and so governs them so that: leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed all things, come to us not by change but by his fatherly hand.”

The main things you need to know about this is that God is not disconnected from what is happening in the world today. God is upholding, governing, and ordering all things as with his very hand.

“Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. .” (Psalm 135:6)

“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3)

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” (Ephesians 1:11)

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30)

What do You Mean by a “God Thing”?

Those who believe that I have put God “in a box” seem to believe that God only shows up when something miraculous happens. But those in the Reformed tradition would see in God’s providence that he is actively involved in everything. We don’t use words like “That was a God-thing” because EVERYTHING is a “God-thing” —he upholds, governs, and orders all things as with his very hand. This includes things like miracles and seemingly unexplainable events where God may directly intervene or even used secondary means.

So who is putting God in a box after all? On the one hand you have people who see God only in the so-called miraculous events of life and on the other you have people who see God working in all things. If I’m putting God in a box then it is a pretty big box, and it’s labeled “Divine Providence”. Whereas others, perhaps unwittingly, put God in a much smaller box, and it’s labeled “The Miraculous”. Do you really want to do that?

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AND WORSHIP

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AND WORSHIP

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

‘Professional Sports’ be it Boxing, Football, Soccer, Cricket or whatever – is an ABOMINATION TO GOD! And you CANNOT take something which God hates and clean it up to ‘give Him glory’! Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh! When you see someone bragging about Floyd Mayweather, Lionel Messi or Tiger Woods etc you have to wonder WHO truly is their God. For the true Christian this is not even an option, for with the Apostle he says – “God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world!” [Gal 6:14]

Are you telling me that God hates all sports and is against it?

Let us make this plain – it is not wrong or sinful for a father to take his children out to the park to toss a Frisbee or a ball and have some fun. Neither is it sinful for the neighborhood kids to come together for a friendly ball game. But ‘Professional Sports’ at both college and state level is MORE than just a ‘game’! It is a RELIGION and an IDOLATROUS one at that! And as we shall see it has all the features of that which constitutes what the Scripture terms as ‘WORKS OF THE FLESH’! [Gal 5:19-21]

“That which is HIGHLY ESTEEMED among men is ABOMINATION IN THE SIGHT OF GOD”! [Luke 16:15]

This verse alone should settle it once and for all whether ‘professional sports’ is well pleasing to God or an abomination to Him.

HOW ‘highly esteemed’ is sports today?

Commenting on the amazing sports frenzy that has permeated the land, sports psychologist Dr. Alan Goldberg of the University of Connecticut said: “Sports [is] like a RELIGION, and the god of that religion that we all worship is the god of winning” (www.CNSNews.com, August 31, 2001). An extensive survey commissioned in 1983 found that seven in every 10 Americans watches, reads, or talks about sports every day. A study, the most comprehensive ever undertaken of America’s attachment to sports, found that almost 35 million people are “ardent sports fans” who watch sports events on television at least once a week, and in some cases, every day. In 1983 that WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS polled 2,000 8th-grade students to see which persons they most admired. There was not a single name on the list who was not an entertainer or a sports figure.

In 1982, the famous sports announcer Howard Cosell, while viewing the largest Sunday football game attendance in Texas history, said “the Cowboys are more than a football team in Dallas; they are a RELIGION.” He exclaimed, “Look at the loyalty of those people! Look at the signs they have made. Truly, the Cowboys are A RELIGION IN DALLAS.” HE WAS RIGHT. Professional football has become a religion all across America. On Sunday, December 27, 1987, 75,000 Denver Broncos football fans battled blizzard conditions to reach Mile High Stadium by the 2 p.m. kickoff. The airport was closed at 12:30 p.m. that Sunday and remained closed until 6 a.m. Monday. Thousands of people were stranded at the airport, but those extreme conditions did not stop the football-mad crowd.

The noise level in a domed ballpark has been recorded at 125 decibels. If you did not know that it was coming from a stadium you would think that there was a war going on. This was in Minnesota’s Metrodome in Game 2 of the 1987 World Series (USA Today, Oct. 18-20, 1991, p. A1). That is louder than a launch of the massive Saturn V rockets which carried men to the moon. The noise level for a Saturn V launch was 120 decibels.

To sports fans it matters little what morality their sports heroes have. A survey of 1,240 adults completed in 1995 and published in SPORTS MARKETING NEWSLETTER asked people to name the athletes they most admired. The first four were Magic Johnson (HIV positive and an admitted adulterer), Tonya Harding (convicted conspirator for the violent attack upon fellow-skater Nancy Carrigan), O.J. Simpson (held financially liable by a jury for murdering his wife), and Mike Tyson (convicted rapist).

Fallen man will worship anything other than the true God. And for multitudes their SPORTS HEROES HAVE BECOME THEIR GODS. Charles S. Prebish, associate professor of religious studies at Pennsylvania State University said, “Sport is America’s newest and FASTEST-GROWING RELIGION, far outdistancing whatever is in second place”.

One can understand the worldly people making a ‘god’ out of sports. But what about Christians? Houston’s First Baptist Church announced in June 1994 that “if there is a sixth game between the Rockets and the Knicks” the Sunday P.M. service might be changed.

1John 5:21 says, “Little children, KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS. Amen.”

Professional and collegiate sports are a GOD OF THIS WORLD. They are worshiped, loved, praised and talked about constantly. They are even a source of gambling for many. Satan uses sports very effectively to take men’s minds off eternity and their need of a Saviour. Children grow up with sports heroes as their champions. Many even desire to be like their idol and grow up to be famous and great. Many church members know more about some sport, team or man than they do about Jesus Christ and his word. THIS IS IDOLATRY!

Idolatry is not just bowing before Mary or Joseph or any other statue. Webster’s dictionary defines an “idol” as any object of ARDENT OR EXCESSIVE DEVOTION. It is a shame that so many professing Christians bow to the shrine of sports.

“Every one that is PROUD IN HEART is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished”. [Prov 16:5]

What is it that professional sports thrives on? You guessed it- PRIDE! “HE is the best; WE are the best; I am the best; WE win the most games; hit the best; run the best; throw the best; the best defense; the best offense; the best goalkeeper” etc the wise man in Proverbs warns that – the high look and the proud heart are SIN. 1 Timothy 3:6 reminds us that PRIDE brought the downfall of the devil. 2 Timothy 3:2, says pride is one of the characteristics of apostate people in the last days. 1 John 2:16 warns that THE PRIDE OF LIFE IS NOT OF THE FATHER BUT IS OF THE WORLD, and God’s people are not to love the world.

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IS BASED ON SELFISHNESS.

When the well-known evangelist Billy Sunday turned his back on a successful professional baseball career in 1893, he gave ten reasons for leaving. Reason number two was “Because it develops a spirit of jealousy and selfishness; one’s whole desires are for personal success regardless of what befalls others.” As a matter of fact, SPORTS TEACHES US TO BE HAPPY WHEN OUR OPPONENTS FAIL OR WHEN ANOTHER PLAYER IS INJURED SO THAT I AM PROMOTED TO HIS POSITION. Winning and promotion of self are what matter most.

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IS FULL OF COVETOUSNESS.

Covetousness is one of the definitions of modern professional sports. Loyalty to the team or country is out of the question. Unlike the true Christian who is not for sale (because Christ has already bought him) the professional sportsman will play against his own for a price!

Professional sports in the West today is an orgy of greed, and the Bible says this is a sin akin to idolatry. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” [Col 3:5].

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IS PERMEATED WITH THAT WHICH THE BIBLE CONDEMNS AS LICENTIOUS, ILLICIT AND FILTHY.

Consider the ever-present ungodly beer commercials, the beer drinking, the drunkenness, the gambling, the diabolic, fleshly rock music, the sensual dancing, the indecent clothing, the cursing and blasphemy. What does the Bible tell us about such things? “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” [Eph 5:11].

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS STARS ARE FREQUENTLY IN THE NEWS FOR THEIR MORAL PERVERSIONS, FOR RAPE AND ASSAULT CHARGES, FOR PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS, FOR DRUG ARRESTS, FOR UGLY DIVORCES. The sports announcers are also frequently caught in immoral situations. One of the top U.S. announcers recently was charged with indecency and unlawful assault of and restraint of women. He pled guilty of a lesser charge of assault to avoid more serious charge of forced sodomy. During the trial, his perverted sex life was displayed to the public. In the last few days an announcer on a popular baseball television broadcast was charged with public indecency after urinating from a window onto some police officers below. You will read of things like this almost on a daily basis in the sports section of the newspaper. Professional sports is a trashy environment.

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS DESPISES THE CHURCH.

Not many decades past, professional sports was not played on Sundays in respect for the Lord’s Day and the command of God that Christians not forsake the assembling of themselves together. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” [Heb 10:24-25]. The only thing that has caused more people to absent themselves from the house of God than sports, is television in general. Holidays such as Thanksgiving, which once were days dedicated particularly to worshipping God and enjoying family time, today are more likely to be consumed by professional sporting events.

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AND SUPERSTITIONS

Many times I have heard sports announcers say that there is not a more superstitious group than professional sports players. Some obsessively wear the same pair of socks or underwear every game. Great numbers of them have their various lucky charms. Some go through inflexible superstitious routines prior to each game or each at bat or each play. As the pagans of old they are confiding in their “lucky stars,” but this is a form of idolatrous witchcraft [Deut. 18:10-12]. Our times are not in the hands of the stars. Our fortunes are not influenced by charms and rituals.

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS STINKS OF COMMERCIALISM

Professional sports has always had a strong financial motivation. It is, after all, an occupation pursued for profit. There was a time, though, when it appeared that money was not the only motive, or even the overriding motive, for sports players. Today, by contrast, the commercial aspect to professional sports is all pervasive, and the words of those who claim not to be caught up in the gross commercialism of the game sound hollow. Star players are granted multimillion dollar contracts merely for permitting a company to use their name and likeness to sell everything from automobiles to toothpaste. The names and logos of businesses appear on the players shoes, clothes, caps, equipment, everywhere. We wonder when the players will begin allowing themselves to be tattooed with business ads. The stadiums are literally plastered with advertisements. So are the Internet sites and the television and radio productions. Absolutely everything having to do with professional sports today is commercialized to the hilt.

BUT WHAT ABOUT CHRISTIAN SPORTS STARS WHO WITNESS FOR THE LORD?

What would you say of a Rock musician who prays before a concert or has crucifixes all over the stage? Some do. At the PMRC hearings, Dee Snider vocalist of Twisted Sister mentioned in his Statement to the Senate that he considers himself CHRISTIAN, saying “I was born and raised a Christian and I still adhere to those principles. Alice Cooper too claims to be a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN.

“But THAT can’t be” you say, “Those guys are so OBVIOUSLY demonic”! “And what they REPRESENT is obviously devilish”!

BUT YOU DO NOT SEE PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AS UNGODLY though it is associated with drinking alcohol, drugs, gambling, high emotions– anger, frustration, loss of self-control, mob violence, excitement; secular music, immodestly dressed cheerleaders, lasciviousness, groupies, fans who are IDOLATROUS OF THEIR FAVORITE TEAM PLAYERS, and above all: fans WHO CURSE THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS— when their favorite team is losing, etc –

Let me be blunt about this. If you do not see this, then there is a marvelous blindness upon you!

IF THEREFORE THE LIGHT THAT IS IN THEE BE DARKNESS, HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS! [Matt 6:23]

Yes, the Lord Jesus sat with drunks and harlots, but Scripture makes it plain that he was “SEPARATE from sinners” [Heb 7:26].

Let me know when Tim Tebow, Pacquiao or any other ‘Christian’ professional sportsman is witnessing in the stands either with a banner or tracts saying –
“PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD! HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT”!

THEN maybe I’ll believe you.

You don’t witness for the Lord by kneeling down in a stadium or painting John 3:16 on your cheek while you are still a part of the ABOMINATION!

What communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath HE THAT BELIEVETH WITH AN INFIDEL? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God . . WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, SAITH THE LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. [2Cor6:14-18]

[The above article prepared from various sources on the web. All the glory to God alone!]

MAKE THY FACE TO SHINE UPON THY SERVANT

MAKE THY FACE TO SHINE UPON THY SERVANT

C.H. Spurgeon

“And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.” [Ex 34:35]

A FAST of forty days does not improve the appearance of a man’s countenance: he looks starved, wrinkled, old, haggard. Moses had fasted forty days twice at the least; and according to many competent authorities the tenth chapter of Deuteronomy seems to imply that he fasted forty days three times in quick succession. I will not assert or deny the third forty days; but it is certain that, with a very slight interval, Moses fasted forty days, and then forty days more; and it is probable that to these must be added a third forty. Small attractiveness would naturally remain in a face which had endured so stern an ordeal; but the Lord whom he served made his face brilliant with an unusual lustre. The glory of the light of God upon his countenance may have been the reason why he remained so hale in after years of old age.

With this as my preface, I shall now come immediately to my subject. Here is Moses with a strange glory upon his countenance. We will first answer the question, HOW CAME THIS GLORY TO BE THERE? The skin of Moses’ face shone: how came it to do so?

The answer is, first, it was a reflection of the glory which he had seen when he was with God in the holy mount. It was the result of that partly-answered prayer, “I beseech thee, show me Thy glory.”

God is light, and they that look upon him are enlightened, and reflect light around them. Moses spake with God face to face as a man speaketh with his friend, and this made his countenance glow. As the sun shining upon a reflector has its light thrown back again, often in a most brilliant fashion, so that the reflector looks like a minor sun; so was it with, the face of Moses when it reflected the glory of the Lord. The face of Moses was to God what the moon is to the sun. A saint shines on men when God has shone on him. We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the presence of the Lord. Would you shine in the valley?— first go up the mount, and commune with God. Would you shine, my brethren, with superior radiance? then be this your fervent prayer, “Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant.” If the Lord lift upon thee the light of His countenance, there will be no lack of light in thy countenance. In God’s light thou shalt give light.

The light on the face of Moses was the result of fellowship with God. That fellowship was of no common order. It was special and distinguished. I do not doubt that Moses walked with God after the fashion of believing men in the pursuit of his daily calling; but he spent two periods, of forty days each, in solitary fellowship with God. Everybody was away; Aaron, Joshua, and all the rest were far down below, and Moses was alone with God. His intercourse with God was intense, close, and familiar; and that not for one day, but for eighty days, at the least. Protracted fellowship brings a nearness which brief communion cannot attain. Each morning’s sun found him still in the light of God; each evening’s dew found his soul still saturated with the divine influence. What must be the effect of such whole-hearted, undisturbed fellowship with God? He heard no hum of the camp below; not even the lowing of cattle, or bleating of sheep came up from the foot of the mount.

Moses had forgotten the world, save only as he pleaded for the people in an agony of prayer. No interests, either personal or family, disturbed his communion; he was oblivious of everything but Jehovah, the Glorious One, who completely overshadowed him. Oh, for the enjoyment of such heavenly communion! My brothers and sisters, have we not lost a great deal by so seldom dwelling apart, so little seeking continuous, absorbing fellowship with the Most High? I am sure we have. We snatch a hasty minute of prayer; we afford a hurried quarter of an hour for Bible reading, and we think we have done well. Very far am I from saying that it is not well. But if for minutes we had hours, the gain might increase in proportion.

Oh, for nights of prayer! Oh, for the close shutting of the closet door, and a believing drawing nigh to God! There is no limit to the power we might obtain if such were the case. Though our faces might not be lit up with splendour, our lives would shine, our characters would become more pure and transparent; and our whole spirit would be so heavenly, that men would regard with wonder the brightness of our being. Thus, you see, the face of Moses shone because he had long looked upon the face of God.

What honour God may put upon any one of us if we really put honour upon Him! My brothers, my sisters, if you are consecrated to God as Moses was, He can give you an unconscious influence which others will be compelled to recognize. Upon your brow the heavenly light of grace will rest; from your eyes the lamp of truth will shine. Walk in the light, as God is in the light, and have fellowship with Him; and then you, too, shall shine as God’s light-bearers, and your whole life shall be as the star which guided the wise men to Christ. Influencing men for God, the gracious will follow you, and the wicked will be awed by you, even as “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy.”

O LORD make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach me Thy statutes. Amen! [Psalm 119:135]