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nChrist
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« Reply #3945 on: July 28, 2017, 05:16:47 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

It is not our business to re-write Bible verses!

(J.R. Miller)

"I will praise the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips." Psalm 34:1

It is not hard to praise the Lord at some times.
There are days when all is bright.
There is no sickness in our house.
No recent sorrow has left our heart sad.
It is easy then, to praise the Lord.

But there are other times when things are different. Business is not prosperous--or health is broken.
We begin to say this verse--but we cannot get through it: "I will praise the Lord at  . . . "

We cannot bless the Lord for the broken health--or for the empty chair. Yet there the words stand. We cannot make them read: "I will praise the Lord at some times; His praise will be on my lips on certain days--days when the sun shines."

It is not our business to re-write Bible verses--but it is our business rather to bring our lives up to the standard of the inspired words. So we must learn to say the verse just as it is written.

We must learn to bless the Lord on the dark days--as well as the bright days.
We must learn to praise God in pain--as well as in pleasure.

Have we learned this lesson?
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« Reply #3946 on: July 29, 2017, 04:20:41 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Absalom's Monument!

(J.R. Miller)

"They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him . . . During his lifetime, Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King's Valley as a monument to himself . . . He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom's Monument to this day." 2 Samuel 18

It has been said that every man lives for a funeral--that is, a man's funeral often tells what kind of a man he has been. Absalom had already built a splendid monument, which he meant should mark his grave. Instead, however, of being laid away to rest in honor by a weeping nation, beneath the shadows of a noble monument--his mangled body was hurled in dishonor into a pit in the forest, and covered with a large heap of rocks.

It was still true, however, that Absalom built his own monument. His own hand dug the grave of shame into which his body was cast. Sin's harvest is sure and terrible!

Too many young men think that it is unmanly to be holy, true-hearted, and pure--and that a "fast life" is the manly one. We have, in the story of Absalom, an illustration of the career of one who lived such a life--and we must notice that the story is written out to its last chapter.

The trouble too often is, that men do not think of what the end will be.
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« Reply #3947 on: August 01, 2017, 03:52:55 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!

(J.R. Miller)

"As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God." 1 Kings 11:4

The trouble was all in Solomon's heart! It is the heart which needs watching and keeping with all diligence. The heart must be wholly devoted in its aim and motive, to God and His service.

Solomon had a corner in his heart for the Lord--and then other corners for the gods of all the other nations. The Savior's words are: "You cannot serve both God and mammon."

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion! There is plenty of it these days. It abhors the preaching of the stern truths of God's Word about sin and punishment, and about holiness. It sends well-near everybody to Heaven--and regards Hell as a mere fable! It calls holy Christians "puritanic" or "strait-laced." It calls great sins "escapades," and finds no use for such psalms as the fifty-first.

It is not hard to see in this verse, however--which of the two kinds of religion pleases God best, and which leads to the best end.
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« Reply #3948 on: August 01, 2017, 03:54:13 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Asahel Nettleton quotes (1783-1844)

Only Christ could build a bridge to God, with only two pieces of wood!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The conversion and salvation of sinners is owing entirely to the sovereign mercy of God!
It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs--because sinners always will wrong, and always run wrong.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Every sinner is now on trial--he is now invited to the bleeding Savior.
He is urged by all the horrors of Hell, to enter Heaven.
But death closes the possibility for ever!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The Christian life is a life of paradoxes:
   We must realize we are blind--to see.
   We must become fools--to be wise.
   We must suffer--to reign.
   We must die--to live.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If I might be the means of saving one soul--I would prefer it to all the riches and honor in the world.
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« Reply #3949 on: August 01, 2017, 03:55:34 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

All life's tangles!

(J.R. Miller)

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Our affairs are forever getting tangled, like threads in a child's hands--and we cannot straighten out the tangles ourselves! We cannot see how anything beautiful or good can come out of our poor living, or our feeble striving.

Our days are full of disappointments, and our night's rest is broken by anxieties. Yet it is the Christian's privilege to commit all life's tangles into the hands of Jesus Christ. He can take our broken things--and build them up into beauty!

One of the finest windows in a great cathedral is said to have been made out of the fragments of broken glass which the workmen had thrown away as worthless. A skillful hand gathered them up--and wrought them into lovely form.

In the same way, Jesus Christ can take . . .
  our failures,
  our mistakes,
  our follies,
  our broken fragments of life,
  and even our sins--
and make them into beautiful life and character!

"Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5
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« Reply #3950 on: August 03, 2017, 05:37:48 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!

(Francis Bourdillon, 1864)

There is One who knows just what we are. The Lord Jesus Christ says, "I know your works!" His eye is always upon us. He knows us exactly as we are--each one of us. Mere profession does not deceive Him. Mere head knowledge does not pass with Him for repentance, faith, and holiness. He knows our hearts--and He knows our lives.

The mockery of an empty profession,
the mere pretense of a religion that is all in the head or on the lips,
the unhumbled heart,
the coldness, the hardness, the lack of faith and gratitude and love
--He knows them all!

"You do not realize that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!" Revelation 3:17

The very first lesson we must learn--is what we are.

What are we, then? Just what the Laodiceans were, but did not know themselves to be: "Wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!"

What--all of us?
Yes--all of us!

We are "wretched," for we are in great misery and danger--and all the more wretched because we do not know it.

We are "miserable," worthy to be pitied, even while we flatter ourselves that all is well with us, for we are but deceiving ourselves.

We are "poor," for we have no spiritual wealth--no supply whatever for the needs of our souls.

We are "blind," ignorant of our own hearts--ignorant of God--ignorant of truth and of the way of life.

We are "naked," with no righteousness of our own in which we can appear--no covering, no defense, no refuge.

We are all this--and, worst of all, we do not know it! If we knew it and bewailed it--then our case would not be so bad. In other words, if we knew ourselves to be sinners--then it might be hoped that we would seek the Savior of sinners. But we shall never seek Him--until we feel our need of Him!
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« Reply #3951 on: August 04, 2017, 01:36:34 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Every true citizen of Heaven!

(Francis Bourdillon, 1864)

"They admitted that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them!" Hebrews 11:13-16

Every true citizen of Heaven not only has his home in Heaven, but his heart is there too. Not only does he look forward to dwelling there hereafter--but even now he seeks to be holy and heavenly in life and character. Thus he is known by all that he does and says--to be one who belongs to Heaven, and that more and more, as he gets nearer to his eternal home.

Those who live the life of faith, and love their Savior, and strive to serve God--are different in their whole conduct from men of the world. It is plain that they are not of this world. Their life shows it. Their citizenship is in Heaven.

There ought to be no mistaking a citizen of Heaven. But, alas! There is too much of worldliness and carelessness even in those who are in the narrow way. Too often it would be hard to know them as travelers towards Zion, seeking the heavenly country.

What! Shall those who are to live forever with God--have so little fellowship with Him now? Shall those whose treasure is in Heaven, where no rust nor moth can corrupt--care so much for the perishing things of this world? Shall those for whom Jesus has gone to prepare a place--fret against the little hardships and discomforts along the way? Thus the Christian should often remind himself of the heavenly home to which he belongs. It would help him to be heavenly in heart and life.

"Our citizenship is in Heaven--and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ!" Philippians 3:19-20

We look for Jesus--we expect Him--we are waiting for Him. He said that He would return, and told us to watch for His coming. He has told us to be ready, so that when He comes, we may receive Him with joy.

This is the position of the Christian on earth--waiting for his Lord and Savior!

We do not know when He will come, and we do not know how He will come. He may come while yet we are living--or we may die before His coming; no one knows.

To be thus looking for the coming of the Lord . . .
  must have a great effect on a man's character and life,
  must keep him from living in sin or in carelessness,
  must make him watchful, diligent, and in earnest,
  must tend greatly to a spiritual mind,
  must lead him to draw off his affections from the world--and to fix them upon eternal realities!

Thinking of Him,
looking for Him,
wishing for Him,
doing His will,
engaged in His work--
this is what Jesus would have us to do and be.
Lord, make us so more and more!
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« Reply #3952 on: August 05, 2017, 06:15:20 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

It will be a great benefit to us in every way, to learn this lesson

(J.R. Miller, "Morning Thoughts" 1906)

"Do not worry about anything--but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Learning not to worry, is one of the lessons that every Christian should master.

Worry is a terribly wasteful experience:
   it uses up the strength we need for our duty,
   it unfits us for doing our work well,
   it is dishonoring to God, for He has promised to care for us, if only we do His will faithfully,
   it is utterly fruitless, for it does not take away the things that it frets over.

The Bible gives many lessons on the subject--but none that makes plainer just how we are to eliminate worrying from our life, than what Paul here tells us to do.

First of all, we are simply not to worry: "Do not worry about anything."
There is no room for exceptions, special circumstances, and all that.
We are not to worry about anything.

What then shall we do with the matters that we are disposed to worry over? Put them into the hands of God in prayer--and leave them there! If we do this--then the peace of God will guard our hearts and thoughts from all anxiety.

It will be a great benefit to us in every way, to learn this lesson.
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« Reply #3953 on: August 06, 2017, 03:31:44 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

He preached only a few months!

(J.R. Miller, "Morning Thoughts")

"Herod immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went and beheaded John in the prison." Mark 6:27-28

Jesus knows how His followers can best serve Him.

He sent the apostles out to teach and heal. John the Baptist, however--He permitted to be seized, to languish in prison, and to be cruelly beheaded.

Just so, we should be willing to serve our Master in any way He desires. He may want us to give a long life to active usefulness--or He may want us to serve and honor Him by enduring persecution and being murdered.

The life of John seemed to be a failure. He preached only a few months! He was a great preacher, too, and hundreds went to hear him. It seemed to his friends a pitiful waste of life, an irreparable loss to the heavenly kingdom--when he was murdered.

But John's work was done. He accomplished all that he was sent into the world to do. There really was no reason for his living an hour longer.

When one dies in youth, we are apt to deplore his death as untimely. But God makes no mistakes! "Every man is immortal--until his work is done!"
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« Reply #3954 on: August 07, 2017, 04:05:34 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

For a rational man to be so attached to a bubble, is a most irrational thing!

(Don Fortner)

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

Worldliness is an undue attachment to this world. It is living for this world--its riches, its honor, its joys and its cares. It is living by the principles of this world: greed, covetousness, deceit and lust.

Nothing is more dangerous to the souls of men--than the love of the world.
Nothing more effectually chokes out the influence of the gospel in a man's heart--than the cares of this world.
Nothing is more difficult to avoid--than an undue attachment to this world.

Therefore, John sets these four words up as a beacon. They stand in blazing letters to warn us of great danger: "LOVE NOT THE WORLD!"

Beloved, this world and all that it offers, is no more than a bubble that soon must burst! Your money, your farms, your houses, your influence, your families--everything here is temporary. It will all vanish away!

We laugh at the small child who cries when the bubbles he is playing with burst. But, for a rational man to be so attached to a bubble, is a most irrational thing!

What fools they are who love and seek this world! I cannot warn you enough of the danger of worldliness--of loving, seeking, and living for this world!

Are you God's child? Are you risen with Christ? Do you live in the hope of eternal glory?

Then count this world to be a dead thing.
Live no longer for this world.
Set your heart on things above.
Live above this pile of rubbish that must soon burn.
Live to do the will of God, seek the glory of Christ, further the gospel of the grace of God, and serve the people of God. Quit seeking those things for which unbelieving men live, and seek those things which are above--life, immortality, and glory.
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« Reply #3955 on: August 08, 2017, 04:27:10 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Toys and playthings of the religious babyhouse!

(J.C. Philpot, "The Good Shepherd and His Work")

"I will feed My flock." Ezekiel 34:15

"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word--that you may grow thereby." 1 Peter 2:2

The only real food of the soul--must be of God's own appointing, preparing and communicating.

You can never deceive a hungry child. You may give it a plaything to still its cries. It may serve for a few minutes; but the pains of hunger are not to be removed by a doll. A toy horse will not allay the cravings after the mother's milk.

So it is with babes in grace--a hungry soul cannot feed upon playthings.

Altars,
robes,
ceremonies,
candlesticks,
bowings,
mutterings,
painted windows,
intoning priests, and
singing men and women--
these dolls and wooden horses--these toys and playthings of the religious babyhouse, cannot feed the soul that, like David, cries out after the living God. (Psalm 42:2)

Christ, the bread of life, the manna that came down from Heaven--is the only food of the believing soul. (John 6:51)

"Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!" Jeremiah 15:16
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« Reply #3956 on: August 10, 2017, 05:20:45 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Endless, sinless, sorrowless immortality!

(John MacDuff, a prayer)

"Weeping may endure for a night--but  joy comes in the morning!" Psalm 30:5

Here, Lord, I have "no continuing city." I would not desire to live here always.

Change is the portion of my earthly pilgrimage. Lord, wean me from this uncertain world!

Bring me to live under the influence of eternal realities. I rejoice to think of the happy myriads already in glory--safe in the presence of the Master they love, with every tear drop wiped away. May the thought of that endless, sinless, sorrowless immortality reconcile me to all of earth's severest discipline.

Let me not murmur under the heaviest cross--in the prospect of such a crown. Let me not refuse to pass cheerfully through the hottest furnace which is to refine and purify me for this exceeding and eternal weight of glory!  Allow me to bear with calm serenity, whatever cross You see fit to lay upon me.

"They will be His people--and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain--for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:3-4
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« Reply #3957 on: August 10, 2017, 05:21:48 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

How is it that we strive so hard to build our nest here?

(Mary Winslow)

"Those who use the things of the world--as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away!" 1 Corinthians 7:31

"The world and its desires pass away--but the man who does the will of God lives forever!" 1 John 2:17

Oh, how uncertain are all events in this changing world! We are here for a little while, and then pass away--the believer to his happy, happy home in Heaven, prepared for him by infinite and eternal love!

How is it that we strive so hard to build our nest here--and cling so fondly and with such tenacity to the creature?

Did we fully believe all that Christ says to us--then how more willing would we be to depart and be with Him!

O eternity! With all your solemn realities--how is it that we frail creatures of a clay think so little of you! A few more struggles and you and I, dear friend, will be there!

How soon, how very soon, we shall be fitted for the companionship of Jesus Himself, and shall be with Him, beholding Him in all His unveiled loveliness, and bathing in the ocean of His love!

Does not the thought often gladden your heart, while it dissolves in sweet contrition, that ever it should have sinned against One who so loved us as to lay down His precious life for us?
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« Reply #3958 on: August 11, 2017, 04:21:35 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

I know this--and I know that!

(J.C. Ryle)

"In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice: Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!" Luke 4:33-34

"Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting: 'You are Christ the Son of God!' But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ." Luke 4:41

We should notice, in this passage, the clear religious knowledge possessed by the devil and his agents. Twice in these verses we have proof of this. "I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" was the language of an an evil spirit in one case. "You are Christ the son of God," was the language of many demons in another. Yet this knowledge was a knowledge unaccompanied by faith, or hope, or charity. Those who possessed it were miserable evil beings--full of bitter hatred both against God and man.

Let us beware of an unsanctified knowledge of the truths of Christianity. It is a dangerous possession, but a fearfully common one in these latter days. We may know the Bible intellectually--and have no doubt about the truth of its contents. We may have our memories well stored with its leading texts, and be able to talk glibly about its leading doctrines. And all this time the Bible may have no influence over our hearts, and wills, and consciences. We may, in reality, be nothing better than the demons!

Let it never content us to know religion with our heads only. We may go on all our lives saying, "I know this--and I know that!"--and sink at last into Hell with the words upon our lips! Let us see that our knowledge bears fruit in our lives.

Does our knowledge of sin make us hate it?
Does our knowledge of Christ make us trust and love Him?
Does our knowledge of God's will make us strive to do it?
Does our knowledge of the fruits of the Spirit make us labor to show them in our daily behavior?
Knowledge of this practical kind is really profitable.

Any other religious knowledge will only add to our condemnation at the last day!
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« Reply #3959 on: August 12, 2017, 03:49:18 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

He became poor!

(William Dyer)

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: although He was rich, for your sake He became poor--so that by His poverty you might become rich!" 2 Corinthians 8:9

He who was so rich--became so poor!

He who was Lord of all--had nothing at all!

He who made Heaven and earth--had no home of His own!
As He was born in another man's house--so He was buried in another man's tomb!

He who gives crowns of glory to others--had only a crown of thorns for Himself!

The foxes and the fowls had more than Jesus! "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of My own, not even a place to lay My head!" Matthew 8:20. The foxes had holes to lay their heads in--but Christ had not a place to lay His head on.

"He became poor!" Yes, poor indeed, and so poor that He had not a penny! You will say, that a man is very poor--who has not a penny! Truly such a one was Christ--he had not a penny to pay the tax until He got it out of the fish's mouth!

Oh! admire and wonder at this! Is not Jesus . . .
  the brightness of God,
  the paradise of angels,
  the beauty of Heaven,
  the Redeemer of man,
  the destroyer of death,
  the King of saints!
And that He should become so poor for us--oh! this is astonishing to angels and men!
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