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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Righteous Judgment

Righteous Judgment

Read Matthew 7:1-5

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me remove the speck from your eye"; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

In our society of so-called "tolerance," we are often struck with an opposition of people who cry that we have no right to judge them. In fact, I've even heard some go so far as to claim that "Jesus never judged people. He even taught that we are not to judge!" Strangely enough, they will quote Matthew 7:1 in attempts to convince others that Jesus has condemned all judging.

In the first two words of this passage, Jesus does tell us to "Judge not..." But these two words have been perverted and twisted to teach that when one calls the actions of another error and expresses that continuance in such ways will condemn the soul, that individual is judging, which is supposedly "condemned" in the Bible. But from the context of this passage, what judging is forbidden? Is it judging that makes a distinction between right and wrong? Is there never a time and place for seeing and reprimanding a fault?

If we take the view that judging is completely and totally forbidden, then that would make the doctrinal and moral purity of the church impossible to maintain. This would violate other teachings and divine examples that Christ has revealed in His word (see: Matt. 7:15; John 5:30; 7:24). It would commit us to neutrality and that is the very opposite of the stance Christ wants us to take.

What many fail to realize is that Jesus taught, (in the same context of instructing us to "judge not") that we are given the right and responsibility to make judgments in order to help our fellow man with their problem of sin, provided we have first "removed the plank from our own eye." Jesus expects you to be able to see clearly, so that you can "remove the speck from your brother's eye". So there are judgments to be made, within ourselves, and of others.

But then, what judging is the Lord telling us not to practice? In our text, Jesus is forbidding the judging that if for the purpose of putting down others to exalt one's self. It is the habit of finding fault in others when really there are more faults within yourself. How can you expect to help a person with a few transgressions when you are overwhelmed with sin? Jesus simply teaches that in order to pass righteous judgment on another, we ought to first examine ourselves. Let us remove the plank in our eye. Then, and only then, can we see clearly to remove the speck in our brother's eye.

The teaching of Jesus in this passage is concerned with the attitude of a man, not a complete absence of our judgment. Christ is not permitting us to avoid making hard decisions or taking difficult stands. He is warning us not to have a bitter, hypercritical, faultfinding spirit. That is a haughty attitude God will not tolerate.

However, as God's children, although we must be cautious in our judgments concerning ourselves and others, we cannot ignore our Lord's commands that instruct us to make judgments. In John 7:24, Jesus said "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment". Here we are clearly commanded to judge with righteous judgment.

But what does it mean to judge with righteous judgment? Jesus revealed this earlier in John 5:30: Jesus spoke,saying "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."

If we seek and follow the true will of God, which can only be found in His word, then when it comes time for us to help people discern between right and wrong, then we will not judge with our opinions or what we think is right, but just like the mind that Christ had, we will only seek to do the will of the Father. Following the limitations for judgment that are taught throughout the scriptures, all we are to do in order to judge righteous judgment is to hear God's word, and judge using His standard.

How can anyone honestly say that Jesus didn't judge? For that matter, when our Lord's true followers make righteous judgments, based on His word, in order to expose sin and false teachings, and to help the lost to be saved, why would anyone ever think that Jesus would condemn them for that? Jesus has plainly revealed that those who abide in His ways will judge with righteous judgment.

~John Hagenbuch~

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Importance of Being In the Spirit

The Importance of Being In the Spirit

The phrase "in the Spirit" occurs several times in the book of the Revelation. It represents the way of escape for the Lord's people from the oppression of the earthly conditions which surround and beset them. John, being so oppressed on the island of Patmos, found deliverance from earth's limitations into the much larger realm of things as they are in heaven. The book of the Revelation shows, as perhaps few other books of the Bible do, how real and absolute is heaven's government. In the matter of the whole Church (represented by the seven churches), the nations, the great world systems (represented religiously by Babylon and politically by the Beast), and even to the hidden warfare with spiritual evil, it was made clear to John, and so to us all, that it is really the heavens which rule.

Emerging from this truth of heaven's absolute dominion is that fact that through the adversities and sufferings of His people, God is providing a fruitful ministry of spiritual fullness and wealth.

So heaven came in on Patmos, and turned what would have been misery and crippling limitation into something tremendously fruitful for the Church throughout many generations. There can be no question as to the untold value of John's ministry which resulted from this Revelation of Jesus Christ.

What was true in the case of John himself is revealed to be also the case for many of the Lord's servants. Those of us who have even a small experience of being shut up and hemmed in by difficult circumstances will perhaps realize a little of what the great apostle must have felt. He had so much spiritual wealth; he was the sole survivor of the apostles; he could realize how greatly the churches needed him; and yet he was, banished to a lonely island, cut off from all opportunity either of fellowship or service. In some way Paul before him had gone through a similar circumstance in his Roman imprisonment, and could also at times have felt singularly frustrated as to useful service to Christ. Yet how much poorer the Church would have been without his "prison epistles". So he and John had this in common, that the seeming limitation of being prisoners for Christ had produced unlimited spiritual helpfulness to many generations of Christians.

It may well be that what was true of them will be found to be valid for the whole Church. The vision at the end of this book is of  a Church of such vast measurements that its dimensions seem to have been grossly exaggerated. The simple implication is that heaven will have overruled the earthly trials and tribulations of God's suffering saints and made out of them a fruitful means of dispensing Christ's riches to the whole universe for all eternity. This is the significance of being "in the Spirit."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

The Spirit of True Religion

I can think of one thing that is a common concern among all Christians and that should be carefully examined by them. I am  sure that if it were either neglected, overlooked, or mistaken by them, there would be some sad consequences. This is something that is essential to Christian salvation.

What is the one thing? It is the renewal of the original life and power of the Spirit of God in us. Nothing else is needed by us, nothing else is intended for us, either by the law, the Prophets, or the Gospel. Nothing else can make sinful man become a godly creature again. Everything else, no matter what it is - however glorious and divine in outward appearance - is dead and helpless unless it has the Spirit of God breathing and living in it. All Scripture bears full witness to this truth. No angel, no person, no church, no reformation can do anything for us without the Spirit of God.

Everything written in the Bible was written only to call us back from the spirit of satan, the flesh, and the world, to be again fully dependent upon and obedient to the Spirit of God. Out of love and thirst for our souls, the Holy Spirit seeks to have His original power of life in us. When this is done, all that the Scriptures can do for us to also done. The Spirit of God brings back to life the corrupted spirit within us!

~William Law~

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Classic Christian Authors

Classic Christian Authors

Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They'll stay faithful as long as it's safe and doesn't involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

God wants you to understand the Word of God. The Bible is not a mystery book. It's not a book of philosophy. It's a book of truth that explains the attitude and heart of almighty God.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

If you put your faith in yourself and your abilities, intellect and dreams, then your foundation is only as strong as you are.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Disappointment is inevitable. But to become discouraged, there's a choice I make. God would never discourage me. He would always point me to Himself to trust Him. Therefore, my discouragement is from satan. As you go through the emotions that we have, hostility is not from God, bitterness, unforgiveness, all of these are attacks from satan.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Wherever you go, God is with you - watching over you, protecting you, and providing the truth you need for every situation. The question is, will you open your heart to His Word, apply it to your life, and allow God to change you so that He can use you in ways far greater than you can imagine?

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

God allows us to face difficulties so that our faith will be stretched and refined. The trials we face provide an excellent opportunity for us to declare our dependence on God and not on ourselves. The way we win the battle with discouragement is by humbling ourselves before God and telling Him that we need Him. There is only one way to do this, and it is through prayer.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

The Fullness of God in You

Have you ever wondered if you are a "whole person"? We all have struggles in life that could make us feel incomplete, but the apostle Paul says we can be "filled up to all the fullness of God" (v. 19). What does that look like?
A "whole person" is generally satisfied with life. He feels loved and is able to love others in return. Difficulties and hardships don't devastate him, because he is able to go through them with confidence in God. He isn't a complainer or someone who is quick to blame others. A positive attitude guards his mind since he knows that the Lord will work everything out for good (Rom. 8:28).
Being a Christian doesn't automatically make us feel complete. Fullness comes only when we experience God's love for us. For many years, I knew theologically that the Lord loved me. I even preached about it, but I didn't really feel it. Only after I took a deep look at my life and started dealing with events that had fractured my soul in childhood did I begin to experience His love in an intimate way. Once I felt the security of His love for me, I discovered great joy in walking in obedience to His will. The reason was that I knew I could trust Him to meet all my needs in His time and way.
Do you feel God's love, or is it just a biblical fact to you? If you long for wholeness, the key is to experience an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. This is possible only when you're willing to open up and let the Lord search your heart. He'll reveal what's holding you back from accepting His love.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

The God to Whom We Pray

What’s your view of the Lord? Do you see Him as the One who can handle all the challenges you bring before Him? Nehemiah knew God in this way. Upon hearing about Jerusalem’s destruction, he mourned, fasted, and prayed for intervention. His supplication (Neh. 1:5-11) offers a glimpse of how he viewed the Almighty.
First, the Hebrew term Yahweh refers to One who is absolute in faithfulness. Next, the title Elohim indicates infinite power and sovereignty over the universe. Finally, Adonai means “ruler over all.” Nehemiah was bringing his request before the throne with full confidence in God.
And the Lord answered his prayer in a powerful, dramatic way. As cupbearer in the palace, Nehemiah tasted food and drink first to protect King Artaxerxes from possible poisoning. For a servant in this position, to look sad was very risky (2:1), yet the terrible news disheartened him.
So the Lord worked a miracle: when the king asked what was troubling his cupbearer, Nehemiah expressed concern for the Jewish people. Instead of punishing him, Artaxerxes let him go to rebuild what had been destroyed, and even supplied the materials! God handled what seemed like an overwhelming, impossible burden for Nehemiah, and He can do the same for us.
Having the right view of the Lord will allow us to approach Him with absolute confidence. And we know that He will hear and answer our prayers (Ps. 86:7). Remember that He is absolute in faithfulness and infinite in power. Our heavenly Father is the ruler over all.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Classic Christian Quotes

Classic Christian Quotes

Prayer is an act of faith, just by praying to God, you are declaring your trust in someone other than yourself. Your faith is increased as you pray and watch how God answers your prayers. God says in Jeremiah 33:3, Call to Me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. God is awesome in power and there is never a time when He is not beside you. He is faithful and holy.

~Charles F. Stanley~

We must remember that the shortest distance between our problems and their solutions is the distance between our knees and the floor.

~Charles F. Stanley~

God is responsible for the consequences of our obedience. WE are responsible for the consequences of our disobedience.

~Charles F. Stanley~

It is not the trials in your life that develop or destroy you, but rather your response to those hardships.

~Charles F. Stanley~

From the world's perspective, there are many places you can go to find comfort. But there is only one place you will find a hand to catch your tears and a heart to listen to your every longing. True peace comes only from God.

~Charles F. Stanley~

A Matter of the Heart

God cares deeply about the motivations of our hearts.  Yesterday, we saw that the heart is what matters most in giving.  In Matthew 6:6, 17-18, we are shown just how important the heart is to God.
First Jesus deals with our heart when we pray,
"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
Next He deals with our heart when fasting,
"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
Jesus wants you and me to pray with the right heart, not seeking the praise of others.  And the same is true with fasting.  When you fast, you are not supposed to let everybody know.
When you fast, if somebody says, "Hey, would you like to go to lunch today?" and you reply, "I can't.  I'm fasting," they may think, "Wow, he's spiritual!" but that is all the reward you get, right there, so you better enjoy it.
What is Jesus' point?  When we give to the poor, when we pray, when we fast, we do not do it to get the applause or recognition of men.  We do it out of obedience to God, out of love for our fellow men, and just wanting to help somebody else who is trying to make it through the day on this planet.
That is why we should do it.  That is the right motivation of the heart. 

~Bayless Conley~

Giving When No One Sees

Matthew 6:1-4 gives some important insight into giving,
"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.  Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."
Jesus points us to a truth that is vital to us as Christians:  Giving is an issue of the heart.
God will not honor your giving if, when you give, your heart is saying, "I want everyone to know what I'm doing.  I want to be noticed when I give.  I want everyone to know just how generous and kind I am and what a benevolent heart I have."
We should give with a pure motive.  When we give with the right motive, not to be seen by men but out of a right heart, God will reward us openly.  That may not exactly translate into dollars and cents, but it will translate into tangible blessings, things that people can see.
If nobody else knows you kicked in the extra hundred bucks, don't worry about it.  God sees, and He has a way of rewarding you openly.  Everyone will recognize the hand of God is on you.  God's blessings will come into your life.
So when you give, check your heart to make sure you are giving with the right motive.

~Bayless Conley~

The Secret to God's Provision

In Luke 12:31-32 Jesus tells us,

"But seek the kingdom of God...." (In Matthew 6:33, He said, "Seek first the kingdom of God...and all these things shall be added to you.")  "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

The secret to receiving God's provision is to put God's Kingdom first, then everything else will be added to you.  That includes all the things you worry about and strive after.  God promises He will add them to you.
I know for some people it is just too simplistic.  It is just a childish notion to be brushed aside.  But, to do so is a grave mistake.  Never underestimate the power of obedience.  When we obey God and get our priorities in line, it unlocks and releases incredible blessings in our life.
When we put the spiritual above the material, when we put the cause and the mission of God's Kingdom before our own personal desires, it will cause things to be added to our lives.
I remember reading about J.L. Kraft.  He began his business by selling cheese on the streets in Chicago, but failed miserably.  One day a Christian friend told him, "J.L., you don't have God first in your life, or in your business.  Put Him first in all things you do, and you will see a different outcome."
From that day on, he put God's Kingdom first in every way and he built the largest cheese empire in the world. 
First things first.  Jesus said, "Do not worry.  Just get your priorities in line, and God will take care of you."

~Bayless Conley~

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Classic Christian Authors # 1

Classic Christian Authors # 1

The world, so fair, so fascinating!(Hetty Bowman, "Life, Its Duties and Discipline")

It is possible that these words may meet the eye of some whose hearts are still set on the world, and the things of the world. 

Firm are the meshes in which the world entangles the heedless footstep!

Potent is the spell which the world weaves around the thoughtless and unwary! 

The mazes of pleasure firmly enslave the soul!

The world, so fair, so fascinating! How shall it be given up? How shall the fingers be unclasped from that bright cup which seems so full of happiness? 

Says the worldling, "Surely the sacrifice need not be made yet! The world and its pleasures need not yet be exchanged for the cross of self-denial and sacrifice! Not yet! Not yet!"

But listen, dear reader, and if the words seem harsh--remember that they are the words of Him whose heart yearns with tenderness, pity, and compassion for the lost and the perishing: 
  "No man can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24 
  "If any man loves the world--the love of the Father is not in him." 
  "Friendship with the world is enmity with God." 

What shall we say to these things? Shall we, speak peace to you--when there is no peace? Shall we flatter you with the hope that all may yet be well? Shall we point you to a crown of unfading glory--while your heart still rebels against the light and easy yoke of the Crucified One? Nay! 

Rather would we remind you of the solemn warning, that "The end of these things is death!" A day will come when your eye will grow dim, and the death-damp gather on your brow, and your feet enter the dark valley. Where, then, will be your hope? Where, then, will be your refuge? 

And when that day has passed, and another, yet more terrible, has dawned--when the eternal throne shall be set, and the books opened, and the dead, small and great, stand before God--then where will you conceal yourself, that you will not hear the awful sentence, "Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire!"

It is because we would save you from such a fearful doom--a doom which, as surely as the Word of God is true, will overtake all, however naturally amiable and cordial they may be, yet reject the Savior's offered mercy--that we would earnestly entreat you in Christ's stead, "Be reconciled to God!"


Jesus, a Friend!
Author unknown

"There is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:23
Who do you think this Friend is? JESUS! You are right. I was sure you could not hesitate a moment — it is indeed the man Christ Jesus. "There is no other name under Heaven given among men," to which this character so properly belongs. Men of high degree are vanity, and men of low degree are a lie, and men of every degree are broken reeds — there is no dependence upon any of them. They speak fair, and for a little carry it fair — but they fail at last. Either through fickleness or frailty, from insincerity or inability — they fail us when most we need their help. Not so our "elder brother," our Divine friend — He is Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Say now, Christian, could I have mentioned one with whom you would rather wish to spend an hour? To you, I know He is precious — at all times precious.
Jesus Christ is the most ancient friend — this is a circumstance which should greatly endear Him to us. "Your own friend, and your father's friend, forsake you not;" intimating that such a person — one who had been a fast friend to our family for a great number of years — is to be highly valued.
And herein Christ infinitely excels the oldest friend we have. Hear what He says of Himself, "When he appointed the foundations of the earth, then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men." Here was unselfish and unparalleled friendship!
Under the Old Testament we see Him frequently appearing as the "Angel of the Lord," and the "Angel of the Covenant" — with messages of love to His people. But nothing can express it so emphatically as His own word. "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them. In His love and in His pity, He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old." Isaiah 63:9
If a perfect stranger were to come to us in our distress, and offer to relieve us, we would hardly know how to trust him. "How do I know who or what he is? Perhaps he only mocks my woe. If he does as he says, I shall thank him; but I am afraid to believe it until I see it."
Now, with respect to Christ, this objection is removed. He is no stranger — He is one that we have been long acquainted with — He has been a friend to the family as far back as we can remember, and further too. "We have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us," how kind He was to them; and we have had a thousand proofs of His kindness to us. And shall I distrust Him now? No! Though my present trial is very heavy, and such as I never experienced before — I can trust Him. "I remember the days of old, the years of the right hand of the Most High," and have not the least doubt that He who has been my father's friend, and my own friend for so many years — will continue to be a friend to me, as often and as long as I shall need Him.
Jesus Christ is an affectionate friend. We often meet with people who make great professions of kindness and respect; nothing but "my dear friend," at every word; and "how glad they would be to serve us." While at the same time we have reason to think they have not merely no real regard — but an actual dislike, and would, underhand, rather do us an unkindness!
But Jesus is not one of these. Never was deceit found in His mouth. Whenever He makes professions of love — His heart and hand go along with them. Try Him in those things which are the usual expressions of regard between one friend and another — and you will see how in all things Christ has the pre-eminence.
For example — hearty friends mutually sympathize with one another, and take part in one another's joys and griefs. Christ does so, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:15-16
Hearty friends love one another's company — and take every opportunity of being together; and when obliged to separate — they contrive to meet again as soon as possible. Christ does just so. He "walks among the golden candlesticks," and "loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob."
Hearty friends seek one another's interest. Do a kindness to one — and the other esteems it as done to himself. Do an injury to one — and the other resents it as done to himself. Christ felt the rage of Saul against the Church, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
Hearty friends freely unbosom themselves to one another. And they are mindful of one another, though absent. In all these, and many other ways, Jesus shows Himself a most tender and affectionate friend.
Jesus Christ is a faithful friend. There are some who would be thought very good friends — as they do nothing but flatter us, and commend everything we say and do — though it is never so wrong; and humor us in all our follies and vices. But there is no friendship in all of this. It is sometimes very hard to act thefaithful part, on the one side — or to bear a faithful part on the other.
But Christ is a faithful friend. "As many as I love — I rebuke and chasten."
Jesus Christ is a powerful friend. We may have many sincere friends — and yet be never the better for them. They may wish us well — but that may be all they can do. They may be poor and feeble, and need help themselves. But if we have a friend as rich as he is kind — then we think ourselves well off — and if ever we come to be in straits, we know where to go for a supply.
And who is so rich as Christ? He is appointed heir of all things. "It has pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell."
He is a constant friend. "Having loved his own who were in the world — he loved them to the end!" This is not always the case with human friendships. Sometimes a trifle shall dissolve them. Those who have been hearty friends for years may become bitter enemies to one another.
But where Christ once fixes His love — He never takes it away! His affection does not change with our condition. He never looks shy upon us because we are poor and in distress.
Christ's friendship not only extends itself through all the changes of life — but also through death and eternity. Earthly friends, let them stick never so close — must part at death. If they accompany us to the brink of the grave, there they take their leave, and bid us a long farewell. But Christ is a friend who will stick closest — when all earthly comforts drop off!
If we have such a friend as Jesus — let us show ourselves grateful and affectionate towards Him. He sympathizes with us in all our griefs and joys. Do we so with Him? Do we prefer Him above our chief earthly joy?
"I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine!" Song of Songs 6:3
"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!" Isaiah 43:1-3
"Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:25-26
"Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!" 1 Peter 2:7

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Excerpts From the Fountain of Life

Excerpts From the Fountain of Life # 2

O Wretched Idol

O that dreadful idol - myself!

We have need to be redeemed from ourselves, as much as from the devil and the world!

I would like to make a sweet bargain, and shuffle out self, and substitute Christ my Lord in place of myself! Not I, but Christ! Not my will, but Christ's! Not my ease, not my lusts, not my home - but Christ, Christ!

O wretched idol, myself! When shall I see you wholly cast out, and Christ wholly put in your place?

The Knife that Stabbed Christ to the Heart!

"They will look at Me, whom they have pierced. Then they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and they will cry bitterly for Him as one cries for a firstborn son" (Zechariah 12:10).

Do you complain of the hardness of your hearts, and lack of love to Christ? Behold Him dying for your sins! Such a sight, (if any in the world will do it) will melt your hard hearts.

It is reported of Johannes Milieus, that he was never observed to speak of Christ and His sufferings, but his eyes would drop tears.

Are you too little touched and unaffected with the evil of sin? Look at the Cross of Christ, and see what efficacy there is in it to make sin forever bitter as death to your soul.

Suppose your own father had been stabbed to the heart with a certain knife, and his blood were still upon it. Would you delight to see, or endure to use that knife any more?

Sin is the knife that stabbed Christ to the heart!

Sin shed His blood!

If God Should Damn You for All Eternity

If the death of Christ was that which satisfied God for all the sins of the elect, then certainly there is an infinite evil in sin, since it cannot be expiated but by an infinite satisfaction. Fools make a mock at sin, and there are but few people who are duly sensible of, and affected with - the evil of sin.

If God Should damn you for all Eternity, your eternal sufferings could not pay for the evil that is in one vain thought! Perhaps you think that this is harsh and severe - that God should hold His creatures under everlasting sufferings for sin. But when you have well considered, that the One against whom you sin, is the infinite blessed God; and that sin is an infinite evil committed against Him;and when you consider how God dealt with the angels that fell, for one sin - you will alter your minds about it. 

O the depth of the evil of sin! If ever you will see how dreadful and horrid an evil, sin is, you must measure it either by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, who is wronged by it; or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who died to pay its penalty; and they you will have deeper apprehensions of the evil of sin.

Its Ensnaring Beauty

"The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

Jesus did not come to amass earthly treasures, but to bestow heavenly ones. His great and heavenly soul neglected and despised those things, that too many of His own people too much admire and live for. He spent not an anxious thought about those things that eat up thousands of our thoughts.

Indeed He came to be humbled, and to teach men by His example the vanity of this world, and pour contempt upon its ensnaring beauty.

Cain's Club!

The greatest innocence and piety cannot exempt from persecution and injury. Who more innocent than Christ? And who more persecuted? The world is the world still. "I have given them your Word, and the world has hated them." The world lies in wait as a thief for those who carry this treasure. Persecution follows piety - as the shadow does the body. "All who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution." Whoever resolves to live holy - must never expect to live quietly.

All who will live godly, manifest holiness in their lives, will gall the consciences of the ungodly. Holiness enrages them,for there is an enmity and antipathy between them! This enmity runs in the blood; and it is transmitted with it from generation to generation. "Just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh, persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now." So it was, and so still it is. Cain's Club is still carried up and down crimsoned with the blood of Abel!"

O that your spirits, as well as your conditions, may better harmonize with Christ. He suffered meekly, quietly, and self-denyingly. Be like Him. Let it not be said of you, as it is of the hypocrite - that he is like flint, which seems cold; but if you strike him, he is all fiery.

To do well, and suffer ill, is Christlike.

Holy Father, Keep Them In Your Name

"I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in Your Name" (John 17:11).

The world is a sinful, infecting and disturbing place; it lies in wickedness. It is a hard thing for such poor, weak, imperfect creatures to escape the pollutions of it. And if they do, yet they cannot escape the troubles, persecutions, and strong oppositions of it. Seeing therefore I must leave Your own dear children, as well as Mine, in the midst of a sinful, troublesome, dangerous world, where they can neither move backward nor forward, without danger of sin or ruin; O, since the case stands so, look after them, provide for them, and take special care of them all. Holy Father, consider who they are - and where I leave them. They are Your children - left in a strange country. They are Your soldiers - in the enemies grounds. They are Your sheep - in the midst of wolves. They are Your precious treasure - among thieves. "And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in Your name" (John 17:11).

Cursed Sin!

O how inflexible and severe is the justice of God! What, no abatement? no sparing mercy? No, not even to His own Son!

Cultivate a deep indignation against sin.

Oh cursed sin! It was you who slew my dear Lord! For your sake He underwent all this! If your vileness had not been so great, His sufferings had not been so many. Cursed sin! You were the knife which stabbed Him! You the sword which pierced Him! 

Empty Titles

"Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey - either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?"

It is but a mockery to give Christ the empty titles of "Lord" and "King" - while you give your real service to sin and satan. What is this but to be like the Jews - to bow the knee to Him, and say, "Hail Master!" and crucify Him? Here is honey in the tongue- and poison in the heart!

~John Flavel~

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Excerpts From the Fountain of Life

Excerpts From the Fountain of Life

When Most Lame and Defective in Themselves

Happy were it,k if puzzled and perplexed Christians would turn their eyes from the defects that are in their obedience, to the fullness and completeness of Christ's obedience; and see themselves complete in Him, when most lame and defective in themselves.

By the Hand of His Own Father!

To wrath, to the wrath of an infinite God without mixture - to the very torments of hell was Christ delivered - and that by the hand of His own Father! Surely then, that love is fathomless, which made the Father of mercies deliver His only Son to such miseries for us sinners!

The Most Precious Thing in Heaven or Earth

In giving Christ to die for poor sinners, God gave the richest jewel in His cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value.

Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is! Ten thousand thousand worlds - as many worlds as angels can number, would not outweigh Christ's love, excellency and sweetness! O what a lovely One! What an excellent, beautiful, ravishing One - is Christ!

Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises,like the garden of Eden, into one; put all flowers, all smells, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness and dearest well beloved Christ - than one drop of rain to all the seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths!

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as His Son was - what kind of love is this!

Stupefying, Damning, Intoxicating!

Imagine the self-revenges, the self-torments, which the damned suffer for their folly; and what a value they would set upon one offer of salvation.

It is astonishing, that you should despise a mercy in which your own souls are so dearly, so deeply, so everlastingly concerned, as they are in this gift of God.

Oh, what a monster are you, to cast your soul away thus!

What! will you slight your own souls? Don't you care whether they are saved, or whether they are damned? Have you imagined a tolerable hell? Is it easy to perish?

Have you not only turned God's enemies, but your own too? Oh see what monsters, sin can turn people into!

Oh the stupefying, damning, intoxicating power of sin!

Christ Is So In Love With Holiness,

that at the price of His blood, He will buy it for us!

See the greatness and dreadfulness of that breach which sin made between God and us. No less a sacrifice than Christ Himself must make atonement. Judge of the greatness of the wound which sin made, by the magnitude of the remedy which Christ made.

All our repentance, could we shed as many tears for sin, as there have fallen drops of rain since the creation, could not have atoned for our sin!

A Double Spot

"A lamb without blemish or spot" (1 Peter 1:19)

Every other man has a double spot on him: the heart-spot,and the life-spot; the spot of original sin, and the spots of actual sin.

But Christ was without either - His life was spotless and pure. "He did no iniquity." And though tempted to sin, yet He was never defiled in heart or practice.

Yours! Mine!

Lord, the condemnation was Yours, that the justification might be mine!

The agony was Yours, that the victory might be mine!

The pain was Yours,and the ease mine!

The stripes were Yours, and the healing balm issuing from them mine!

The vinegar and gall were Yours, that the honey and sweet might be mine!

The curse was Yours, that the blessing might be mine!

The crown of thorns was Yours, that the crown of glory might be mine!

The death was Yours, the life purchased by it mine!

You paid the price, that I might enjoy the inheritance!

~John Flavel~