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nChrist
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« Reply #4080 on: December 18, 2017, 02:39:22 PM »

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

And then He turns the picture!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858.)

"He told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops!' Then he said, 'This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to myself: You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy--eat, drink and be merry!'
But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
This is how it will be with anyone who stores up treasure for himself--but is not rich toward God." Luke 12:16-21

Let us mark in these verses--what a withering exposure our Lord makes of the folly of worldly-mindedness. He draws the picture of a rich man of the world, whose mind is wholly set on earthly things. He paints him scheming and planning about his property, as if he was master of his own life, and had but to say, "I will do a thing"--and it would be done.

And then He turns the picture--and shows us God requiring the worldling's soul, and asking the heart-searching question, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?"

"Folly," he bids us to learn--nothing less than "folly," is the right word by which to describe the conduct of the man who thinks of nothing but his money. The man who "stores up treasure for himself--but is not rich toward God"--is the man whom God declares to be a fool!

It is a solemn thought, that the character which Jesus brings before us in this parable, is far from being uncommon. Thousands in every age of the world have lived continually doing the very things which are here condemned! Thousands are doing them at this very day! They are laying up treasure upon earth--and thinking of nothing but how to increase it. They are continually adding to their hoards, as if they were to enjoy them forever--and as if there was no death, no judgment, and no world to come!

And yet these are the men who are called clever, and prudent and wise! These are the men who are commended, and flattered and held up to admiration! Truly the Lord does not see, as man sees! The Lord declares that rich men who live only for this world, are utter fools!

Let us pray for rich men. Their souls are in great danger!

"Heaven," said a great man on his death-bed, "is a place to which few kings and rich men come."

Even when converted, the rich carry a great weight, and run the race to Heaven under great disadvantages. The possession of money has a most hardening effect upon the conscience. We never know what we may do--if we were to become rich. "The love of money is the root of all evil. While some have coveted after it, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Timothy 6:10

Poverty has many disadvantages--but riches destroy far more souls than poverty!
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« Reply #4081 on: December 22, 2017, 12:55:25 AM »

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

The queen of the Christian graces!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858.)

"Everyone who exalts himself--will be humbled; and he who humbles himself--will be exalted." Luke 14:11

Humility may well be called the queen of the Christian graces. To know our own sinfulness and weakness, and to feel our need of Christ--is the start of saving religion.

Humility is a grace which has always been a distinguishing feature in the character of the holiest saints in every age. Abraham and Moses and Job and David and Daniel and Paul--were all eminently humble men.

Above all, humility is a grace within the reach of every true Christian. All converted people should work to adorn the doctrine they profess, with humility. If they can do nothing else--they can strive to be humble.

Do you want to know the root and spring of humility?
One word describes it. The root of humility is right knowledge.

The person . . .
  who really knows himself, and his own heart,
  who knows God, and His infinite majesty and holiness,
  who knows Christ, and the price at which he was redeemed
--that person will never be a proud person.

He will count himself, like Jacob, unworthy of the least of all God's mercies. He will say of himself, like Job, "I am vile!" He will cry, like Paul, "I am the chief of sinners." He will consider others better than himself. Philippians 2:3

Ignorance, nothing but sheer ignorance--ignorance of self, of God, and of Christ--is the real secret of pride.

From that miserable self-ignorance, may we daily pray to be delivered.
The wise person knows himself--and will find nothing within to make him proud.
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« Reply #4082 on: December 22, 2017, 12:56:31 AM »

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

She left her heart behind her!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858.)

"Remember Lot's wife!" Luke 17:32

We should observe in these verses--what a solemn warning our Lord gives us against unsound profession.

Lot's wife went far in religious profession. She was the wife of a "righteous man." She was connected through him with Abraham, the father of the faithful. She fled with her husband from Sodom, in the day when he escaped for his life by God's command.

But Lot's wife was not really like her husband. Though she fled with him--she left her heart behind her! She willfully disobeyed the strict injunction which the angel had laid upon her. She looked back towards Sodom--and was at once struck dead! She was turned into a pillar of salt, and perished in her sins! Remember her--says our Lord, "Remember Lot's wife!"

Lot's wife is meant to be a beacon and a warning to all professing Christians. It may be feared that many will be found like her, in the day of Christ's second coming. There are many in the present day, who go a certain length in religion. They speak the "language of Canaan." They use all the outward ordinances of religion. But all this time, their souls are not right in the sight of God. The world is in their hearts--and their hearts are in the world. And by and bye, in the day of sifting--their unsoundness will be exposed. Their Christianity will prove rotten at the core! The case of Lot's wife will not stand alone.

Let us remember Lot's wife, and resolve to be real in our religion. Let us never rest until we have the true grace of God in our hearts--and have no desire to look back to the world.
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« Reply #4083 on: December 22, 2017, 12:57:34 AM »

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

How much time is wasted!

(Elizabeth Hasell)

"The time is short!" 1 Corinthians 7:29

How valuable is time! God has given it to us only minute by minute--to show us how precious a thing it is that He grants in these small drops.

How soon is time over! How short is the longest life! And yet time is given to prepare for eternity! As we spend our time--so shall we spend eternity! The question "Where shall I spend eternity?" must be decided in time. When eternity begins, it will be too late.

Time is given us to serve the Lord in.
Time is given us to repent in and to believe the gospel.
Time is given us to do our duty in our station.
Time is given us to do good to others.

How much time is wasted! Idle gossip from house to house, too much attention to dress, and foolish reading--are so many things to waste precious time!

But there is one idea I would like you to have, one thought that I trust the Spirit may write and keep in all our hearts--for Satan and the world would wish us to think far otherwise. This is it: Time is given us to prepare for eternity! I am answerable to God for my use or abuse of time.

Let us pray to God to give us grace to spend our time in His service, in doing our duty in our day and generation, and in preparing for the life to come. Then, when time shall be over, we shall enter upon a glorious eternity through Christ our Lord.

The ungodly and the careless will then wish, when wishing will be vain--that they had in like manner devoted their time to God. What would lost sinners give at the last, for one short day! Oh, then, be wise now. Be wise in time. Consider your ways, and prepare for a life that shall never end!

"So teach us to number our days--that we may get a heart of wisdom!" Psalm 90:12
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« Reply #4084 on: December 24, 2017, 05:04:41 AM »

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

How solemnly this brings out the world's estimate of the Savior!

(Arthur Pink, "Why Four Gospels?" 1921)

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a feeding-trough, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

Why was it that the Father allowed His blessed Son, now incarnate, to be born in a stable? Why were the cattle of the field, His first companions? What spiritual lesson are we intended to learn from His being placed in a feeding-trough? Weighty questions!

He was laid in a feeding-trough because there was no room in the inn. How solemnly this brings out the world's estimate of the Savior! There was no appreciation of His amazing condescension.

He was not wanted!

It is so still. There is no room for Him in the schools, in society, in the business world, among the great throngs of pleasure seekers, in the political realm, in the newspapers, nor in many of the churches. It is only history repeating itself.

All that the world gave the Savior, was . . .
  a feeding-trough for His cradle,
  a cross on which to die, and
  a borrowed grave to receive His murdered body.
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« Reply #4085 on: December 28, 2017, 05:49:20 PM »

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

Everyone had a home, but Him!

(James Smith, "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household")

"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests--but the Son of man has no place to lay His head!" Matthew 8:20

What an astonishing fact!

Here is the Creator of all things--without a home!

Here is the Ruler of the universe--without a habitation!

Here is the eternal, immortal King--more destitute than the birds of the air, or the beasts of the forest!

"Then each one went to his own home--but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives." John 7:53-8:1

Everyone had a home, but Him!

What brought Him into these circumstances?

LOVE!

Love for whom?

Love for sinners--the vilest, the basest of mankind!

Why did He stoop so low?

He became poor--that we might become rich!

He was without a poor cottage on earth--that we might possess a splendid mansion in Heaven!

He was destitute in time--that we might possess a glorious portion in eternity!

O Jesus, how astonishing is Your love!

O my soul, admire, adore, and praise--the wondrous love of your beloved Lord!

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich--yet for your sakes He became poor; so that you through His poverty might become rich!" 2 Corinthians 8:9
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« Reply #4086 on: December 28, 2017, 05:50:37 PM »

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

(John Newton)

The more vile we are in our own eyes--the more precious Christ will be to us!

  ~  ~  ~  ~

How unspeakably wonderful it is--to know that all our concerns are held in those hands which bled for us!

  ~  ~  ~  ~

Our sea may sometimes be stormy--but we have an infallible Pilot, and shall infallibly gain our port.

  ~  ~  ~  ~

Our work is great--our time is short--and the consequences of our labors are infinite.
"Hold me up--and I will be safe!" Psalm 119:117

  ~  ~  ~  ~

My grand point in preaching--is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken heart.

  ~  ~  ~  ~

I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ--and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master.

  ~  ~  ~  ~

We serve a gracious Master--who will overrule even our mistakes to His glory and our own advantage.

  ~  ~  ~  ~

Can we wish, if it were possible, to walk in a path strewed with flowers--when His path was strewed with thorns?

  ~  ~  ~  ~

May we sit at the foot of the cross--and there learn . . .
  what sin has done,
  what justice has done,
  what love has done.

  ~  ~  ~  ~

Healing and wounding are equally from His hand--and equally tokens of His love and care over us.
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« Reply #4087 on: December 28, 2017, 05:51:45 PM »

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

The humble Christian

(John Newton)

"By the grace of God, I am what I am!" 1 Corinthians 15:10

The humble Christian will not be easily angered--nor will he be dogmatic and judgmental.

He will be compassionate and tender towards the infirmities of his fellow-sinners; knowing, that, if there is any difference between himself and others--it is grace of God that has made it. He knows that he has the seeds of every evil in his own heart!

Also, under all trials and afflictions, the humble Christian will look to the hand of the Lord, and lay his mouth in the dust--acknowledging that he suffers much less than his iniquities have deserved.

These are some of the advantages and good fruits which the Lord enables us to obtain from that bitter root, indwelling sin.
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« Reply #4088 on: December 28, 2017, 05:52:50 PM »

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

A weak, defenseless, thoughtless creature--and prone to wander!

(John Newton)

"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." John 10:11

This great and good Shepherd has a flock, whom He loved from everlasting--and whom having loved, He will love to the end. He . . .
  humbled Himself for their sakes,
  submitted to partake of their nature and their sorrows,
  took upon Him the form of a servant,
  and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh.

He died for His sheep, "the just for the unjust," to redeem them . . .
  from the curse of the law,
  from the guilt and dominion of sin,
  from the power of Satan--and to bring them to God.

They, by nature, are all "gone astray, every one to his own way". But having thus bought them with His blood--in His own appointed time He seeks, finds, and restores His sheep. By the power of His Word and Spirit--He makes Himself known to their hearts, causes them to hear and understand His voice, and guides them into His fold. They are under His immediate protection and government.

Considered as individuals, they are fitly described by the name of sheep. A sheep is a weak, defenseless, thoughtless creature--and prone to wander! If once gone astray--it is seldom known to return of its own accord.

A sheep has neither strength to fight with the wolf, nor speed to escape from him; nor has it the foresight of the ant, to provide its own sustenance.

Such is our character, and our situation--
  unable to take care of ourselves,
  prone to wander from our resting-place,
  exposed to enemies which we can neither withstand nor avoid,
  without resource in ourselves,
  and taught, by daily experience, the insufficiency of everything around us.

Yet, if this Shepherd is our Shepherd, as weak and helpless as we are--we may be of good courage. If we can say with David, "The Lord is my Shepherd"--then we may make the same inferences which he did, "Therefore I shall not want. Therefore I need not fear."

"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish! No one can snatch them out of My hand!" John 10:27-28
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« Reply #4089 on: December 30, 2017, 03:38:22 PM »

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

Behold Him!

(John Newton)

"God made Him who had no sin--to be sin for us." 2 Corinthians 5:21

Behold the beloved Jesus, perfectly spotless and holy--yet made an example of the severest justice.

Behold Him . . .
  prostrate and agonizing in the garden;
  enduring the vilest insults from wicked men;
  torn with whips, and nails, and thorns;
  suspended, naked, wounded, and bleeding upon the cross--forsaken by God!

Sin was the cause of all His anguish. He stood in the place of sinners, and therefore was not spared.

Not any, or all, the evils which the world has known--afford such proof of the dreadful effects and detestable nature of sin, as the knowledge of Christ crucified!
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« Reply #4090 on: December 30, 2017, 03:39:34 PM »

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

The Bible

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness--that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

    Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its stories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

    Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.

    It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

    It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter.

    Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of Hell disclosed.

    Christ is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.

    It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

    Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.

    It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, and a river of pleasure.

    It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
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« Reply #4091 on: December 31, 2017, 02:59:48 PM »

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

The sweet, twin hounds of heaven!

(Don Fortner)

"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!" Psalm 23:6

Happy New Year!

Children of God, how thankful we ought to be!

How happy! How God has blessed us! He has . . .
  loved us with an everlasting love,
  chosen us as the objects of His grace,
  redeemed us by the precious blood of His dear Son,
  called us to life and faith in Christ,
  forgiven all our sins,
  justified us,
  sanctified us and
  preserves us!

But that is not all.

The Lord our God daily loads us with all the bounty of His grace in Christ in daily providence. The sweet, twin hounds of heaven (Goodness and Mercy) have been at our heels all the days of our lives--and shall continue to pursue us right into Heaven's glory!
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« Reply #4092 on: January 02, 2018, 04:09:03 PM »

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

Behold my talents, my eloquence and my zeal!

(Octavius Winslow, "Eminent Holiness Essential to an Efficient Ministry")

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

Pride is a protean evil--assuming a thousand varied and opposite forms.

There is no soil so holy, in which the root of pride will not strike.
There is no employment so sacred, on which pride will not engraft itself.

Pride will even make the cross of Christ a pedestal on which to erect its deformed visage! Yes, while exalting Jesus--we may be found but exalting ourselves. And while exclaiming, "Behold the Lamb of God!"--we may be but veiling His true glory behind our insignificant persons; virtually exclaiming, "Behold my talents, my eloquence and my zeal!" Is there not in us, my brethren, a manifest deficiency of the lowly, self-annihilating humility of the Divine Master whom we serve, and whom it should be our aim and glory to resemble?

The glory of God! What a persuasive motive to ministerial holiness! Let it be ours, my brethren--our one, sole, undeviating aim. Let us sacrifice everything that would divert us from it--fame, applause, reputation, popularity, worldly comfort, the dearest interests of self. If any of these come in competition with the honor of divine truth and the glory of God--then let them go!

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart!" Proverbs 16:5
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« Reply #4093 on: January 04, 2018, 10:44:48 PM »

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

One year nearer to Heaven--or nearer to Hell!

(Arthur Pink, "Studies in the Scriptures" January, 1926)

Another year has passed away--gone into eternity with all its sad and glad records.

Sad, because of our sins and our failures--all of which have been observed and recorded by the All-seeing eye!
Sad, because numbers who "did run well"--do so no longer.

Glad, because of the "goodness and mercy" which have surely followed us day by day.
Glad, because . . .
  weak ones have been strengthened,
  sorrowing ones have been comforted, and
  hungry ones have been fed with the Bread of Life.

How is it with you--progression or regression?

One thing is certain--January, 1926 finds you one year nearer to Heaven--or nearer to Hell!

Reader! You have entered this New Year, either accepted in God's Beloved--or under God's holy wrath! How unspeakably solemn are the alternatives!

To any unsaved reader who scans these lines, we would say: You have commenced this year on earth--and you may end it in Hell, where a ray of hope never enters. "Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace. Thereby good will come to you." Job 22:21

To the Christian--not to the professing one, but the the genuine believer--we would say: What a bright hope is yours! How precious is the thought, that before 1926 ends, you may be "forever with the Lord!" The bud of promise--may burst into the full fruit of unspeakable bliss! The springtime of faith and hope--may give place to the unending summertime of blessedness and eternal glory.

Since this is the case, let us be reminded of our solemn responsibility at the dawn of another year . . .
  to yield ourselves afresh to God,
  to seek His face with full purpose of heart,
  to supplicate Him for new supplies of grace--
that we may serve Him as never before!

"The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." Romans 13:11-12

"So teach us to number our days aright--that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
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« Reply #4094 on: January 04, 2018, 10:47:10 PM »

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

The book for the afflicted

(Octavius Winslow)

"Before I was afflicted I went astray--but now I obey Your Word." Psalm 119:67

The Bible is the book for the afflicted. We fly to it in times of adversity. It is then that we . . .
  read it more attentively,
  counsel with it more closely,
  understand it more clearly,
  relish it more sweetly, and
  receive it into the heart more experimentally, as the engrafted Word.

Affliction illuminates the Bible--as though a new book had been composed--or another constellation in the spiritual hemisphere had burst upon the telescope of faith!

We know more of the Lord Jesus through one sanctified affliction--than by all the treatises the human pen ever wrote!

Welcome whatever makes you more acquainted with God!

Despise nothing that will deepen your intimacy with Jesus.

Welcome the cross--though it may be heavy!

Welcome the cup--though it may be bitter. Receive it as an blessing sent to you from your Father--receive it as a heavenly message to your soul.
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