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nChrist
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« Reply #4140 on: February 23, 2018, 11:14:01 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 epithet employed to designate the character of God's people

(William Nicholson, "Fears Dispelled" 1862)

"Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob" Isaiah 41:14

The epithet employed to designate the character of God's people is "worm." This word is used to describe a base, weak, vile, and despised thing, "How much less man, who is but a maggot--a son of man, who is only a worm!" Job 25:6

(1.) This epithet implies baseness.
A worm is a creature of little worth;
its residence is the ground;
it has no beauty in it.
What is more contemptible than a worm?

Just so, man's origin as to his body, is the dust. In his fallen state, he is empty, having no good in him--and lighter than vanity. Sin has . . .
  degraded him,
  enervated his powers, and
  alienated his heart from God.

This baseness is frequently felt by Christians . . .
  when they think of the grandeur and glory of God,
  when they think of their sins and imperfections,
  when they think of their duties and trials, their ignorance, and their tendency to return to the dust from whence they came.

(2.) This epithet implies pollution. A worm is regarded as unclean. Its element is putrescence.

Just so, man is now degraded from his original dignity even below the brute creation! Yes, he has debased himself even unto Hell! "Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness--only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil!" Isaiah 1:4-6

Every Christian feels his tendency to pollution--he feels himself to be a worm.

(3.) This epithet implies danger. A worm is a creature frequently exposed to danger. Every foot is ready to crush it.

Just so, the body of man is liable to casualties--to death, sudden or protracted, from insignificant causes. And the precious soul of man is surrounded by danger--sin, the world, sinful pleasures, and Satan, are ready to crush it!

(4.) This epithet implies weakness. A worm is not able to make resistance, defend itself, or attack its opponent.

Just so, what resistance can a rebel sinner make against God! Ah! he is only a worm. "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground!" Isaiah 45:9

What can a believer do against his enemies--the world, the flesh, and the devil--without Divine aid? Without it, he feels himself to be a worm.

"Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel--for I Myself will help you, declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!" Isaiah 41:14
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« Reply #4141 on: February 24, 2018, 04:08:46 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 will never trifle with men's souls!

(A.W. Tozer)

It is very strange that people who modestly decline to risk an opinion on matters which do not closely concern them at all, such as philosophy or science for instance--are often ready and eager to pronounce with finality on matters of religion, which above all else is vital to their welfare for this world and that which is to come.

This follows the popular notion that everyone is capable of discovering the true way to Heaven for himself--and that one man's belief is as good as another's.

A second tenet in this creed, is that no one has the right to question the belief of anyone else, or to try to influence him in any way in religious matters.

This leads naturally to the third tenet, which is that we should practice complete acceptance toward every expression of religious belief, however base or ill-founded it may be, and accept it as a legitimate way of worshiping God, even if it isn't ours.

All this has about it a certain savor of charity and slips well off the lips of politicians, who are forced to try to please everyone--and liberal ministers who find it profitable to do so. But the true Christian can never bring himself to sell out his soul in that manner. The man who has heard the voice of Jesus saying, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me"--can never get the consent of his heart to thus trifle with religion. He has been smitten with the love of God, and the wonder of the cross--and he can never again be flexible in things which concern his soul and the souls of his fellow men.

He will live beside, be patient with, minister to, pray for and love any religionist of whatever color or creed--from a Catholic Cardinal, to a medicine man from the bush--but never will he compromise the truth to stay on good terms with anyone.

He will never trifle with men's souls!
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« Reply #4142 on: February 25, 2018, 04:45:41 PM »

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

In our eagerness to make converts

(A.W. Tozer)

In our eagerness to make converts, I am afraid we have been guilty of using the techniques of modern salesmanship--which is of course to present only the desirable qualities in a product, and ignore the rest. We go to men and offer them a cozy home on the sunny side of the hill. If they will but accept Christ--then He will . . .
  give them peace of mind,
  solve their problems,
  prosper their business,
  protect their families and
  keep them happy all day long.

They believe us and come--and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them.

The teachings of Christ reveal Him to be a realist in the finest meaning of that word. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find Him making over-optimistic promises. He told His hearers the whole truth, and let them make up their minds. He never ran after the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth--to try to win him with rosy promises.

He would have men follow Him, knowing the cost--or He would let them go their ways.

All this is but to say that Christ is honest. We can trust Him. He knows that He will never be popular among the lost world--and He knows that His followers need not expect to be. The wind that blows in His face will be felt by all who travel with Him, and we are not intellectually honest when we try to hide that fact from others.
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« Reply #4143 on: February 27, 2018, 01:15:36 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 love that surpasses knowledge!

(Horatius Bonar, "The Chief Among Ten Thousand")

"To Him who loves us, and has freed us from our sins by His blood!" Revelation 1:5

The name of Him who loves us is not given, because it would be superfluous to state it. Only One could be meant. His is love like Himself . . .
  infinite,
  unchanging,
  never ending,
  yet free!

Love stronger than death or the grave--love that loves us . . .
  out of sin,
  out of the grave,
  out of Hell,
  into Heaven!

It is the love whose breadth and length, depth and height, are immeasurable--the love that surpasses knowledge!

"May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should--how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is!" Ephesians 3:18

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:19
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« Reply #4144 on: February 27, 2018, 06:06:51 PM »

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

Reverent and sweet submission

(Joseph Hall, 1574-1656)

"I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9

He is not worthy to pass for a child of God, who does not receive His stripes with reverent meekness. Tears may be allowed--but a murmuring frown is no better than rebellion.

Let infidels, then, and ignorants, who think they suffer by chance--repine at their adversities, and be dejected with their afflictions.

For me, who knows that I have a Father in Heaven who is full of mercy and compassion, whose providence has measured out the due proportions of my sorrows, counting my sighs, and reserving the tears which He wrings from me, in His bottle--why do I not patiently lie down and put my mouth in the dust, meekly submitting to His holy pleasure, and blessing the hand from which I smart?

"You keep track of all my sorrows.
 You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
 You have recorded each one in Your book!" Psalm 56:8
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« Reply #4145 on: March 02, 2018, 02:16:58 PM »

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

When we eat an apple

(Letters of John Newton)

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11

Remember your exalted privilege--you have the Bible in your hands, and are not bound to follow books or preachers any farther than what they teach agrees with the Oracles of Truth. We have great reason to be thankful for the instructions and writings of spiritual men--but they are all fallible, even as ourselves.

One is our master, even Christ--what He says, we are to receive implicitly--but we do not owe implicit subjection to the best of our fellow-worms. The Bereans were commended because they would not implicitly believe even the Apostle Paul--but examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true. May the Lord give us a spirit of humility and discernment in all things.

When we eat an apple--we first cut out the blemishes, then eat what is good, and lastly throw the core away. Such a rule I would observe in reading human authors--the best may be defective, and the wisest may be mistaken. We are not only permitted, but enjoined, to call no man master.

"Examine everything carefully--hold fast to that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21
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« Reply #4146 on: March 02, 2018, 02:18:08 PM »

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

Unto you who believe--He is precious!

("Every Day!" Author unknown, 1872)

"Unto you who believe--He is precious!" 1 Peter 2:7

It is to unbelievers only, that Christ is "as a root out of a dry ground"--having no form nor loveliness.

To those who know Him, and put their trust in Him--He is the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely! To those who believe, He is precious . . .
  in all the offices He sustains,
  in all the relations He bears,
  as their atoning Sacrifice,
  as the Lord their righteousness,
  as the source of their spiritual life,
  as their Teacher,
  as their Example,
  and as their Guide.

O my soul, is Jesus precious to you?

Do you realize something of His worth?

Is He your Refuge, your Hiding-place?

Are you sheltered in Him?

Is He your Shepherd, your Guardian, your Friend?

Do you feel that, whatever you are called to part with--you cannot part with Christ?

Do you feel that that He is your Savior, your Life, your All?

Oh, then cleave to Him, serve Him earnestly, and live to His glory!

And know to your comfort, that as unworthy and sinful as you are--you are precious to Him. He bought you with His precious blood, He claims you as His own, and He will treasure you among His jewels when He comes to gather them up!

"Yes, Christ is precious to my soul,
 My transport and my trust;
 Jewels to Him are gaudy toys,
 And gold is sordid dust!"
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« Reply #4147 on: March 02, 2018, 02:19:20 PM »

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

No trial comes sooner, or falls heavier, or lasts longer!

(Letters of John Newton)

"Affliction does not come from the dust--nor does trouble spring from the ground." Job 5:6

"I was silent; I would not open my mouth--for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9

I trust that your sickness will work for good--because the Lord has sent it. We are sure that He does not afflict His children without a need be. He does all things well.

He weighs the mountains in the scales, and the hills in a balance. He likewise weighs, measures, and proportions our trials to our strength and our malady--with greater accuracy than the most skillful earthly physician can prescribe his medicines.

No trial comes sooner, or falls heavier, or lasts longer--than the necessity of the case requires. He knows our frame, and remembers that we are but dust. He will lay no more upon us than He will enable us to bear.

Like as a father pities his children--so the Lord pities His redeemed children. His love is perfect, and He will not withhold whatever He sees is necessary to promote our best welfare--however painful and displeasing it may be to the flesh. Earthly parents often, through a weak and mistaken tenderness--spare their children, to their hurt. But as God supplies His children with food--so they must take His medicines, however distasteful, when He sees they would not be so well without them.

My good friend, be willing that the Lord should carry on His work in His own way--and do not prescribe to Him how He shall deal with you.

All shall work together for good.
Everything is needful--that He sends.
Nothing can be needful--that He withholds.

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

"It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn Your decrees." Psalm 119:71

"I know, O LORD, that in faithfulness You have afflicted me." Psalm 119:75
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« Reply #4148 on: March 03, 2018, 06:18:34 PM »

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


Short pithy quotes from William Law

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If our life is not a course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection--we do not live the lives of Christians.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He who has learned to pray--has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

We may justly condemn ourselves as the greatest sinners we know--because we know more of the folly of our own heart than we do of other people's.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Humility is nothing else but a right judgment of ourselves.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He who complains of the weather--complains of the God who ordains the weather!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

SELF is the root, the tree, and the branches--of all the evils of our fallen state.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Prayer is the nearest approach to God and the highest enjoyment of Him, that we are capable of in this life.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Feasts and business and pleasure and enjoyments seem great things to us, while we think of nothing else; but as soon as we add death to them--they all sink into an equal littleness.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Saving grace draws us out of the vanity of time--into the riches of eternity!
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« Reply #4149 on: March 04, 2018, 06:06:11 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 shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state!

(Letters of John Newton)

"Now I know in part--then I shall know fully." Soon we shall see cause to number our sharpest trials, among our choicest mercies! Then we shall say, "He has done all things well."

Our trials are but for a season. We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! Yet a little while, and all our sorrows will be left below--and this poor earth will be exchanged for a glorious Heaven!

Our present troubles will soon be to us--as the remembrance of a dream when we awake!

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen--but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary--but what is unseen is eternal!" 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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« Reply #4150 on: March 05, 2018, 03:01:25 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 have been grieved by several letters directed to Doctor Newton

(Letters of John Newton)

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst." 1 Timothy 1:15

Dear Sir,
I have been grieved by several letters directed to Doctor Newton. I beg you to inform my friends in Scotland, that if any letters come to me addressed to Doctor Newton--I shall be obliged to send them back unopened. I know no such person--I never shall, and I never will, by the grace of God.

Do not think I am displeased with you, or any of any kind friends, who mean kindness and honor by such an address. I only beg for my peace sake, that it may not be repeated.

I have been informed that a college in America, I think in New Jersey, has given me the honorary degree of Doctor. As to the title itself, I renounce it heartily--nor would I willingly be known by it, if all the universities in Europe conferred it upon me!

My youthful years were spent in slavery in Africa, and I ought to take my degrees (if I take any) from thence. Shall such a compound of misery and mischief as I then was--be called Doctor? Surely not!

(Charles Spurgeon)
I very much object to the designation, "To the Reverend C.H. Spurgeon"--for no 'reverence' is due to me!

Assuredly, 'Reverend' and 'sinner' make a curious combination.
And as I know I am the second--I repudiate the first.

To me, it is surprising that such a flattering title should have been invented--and more amazing still, that men should be found who are angry if this title is not duly given to them.



(Arthur Pink)
In ourselves we are poor, sinful erring creatures--and daily do we have occasion to blush and hang our heads in shame. Therefore we respectfully request that none will address us as 'Reverend'. No worm of the dust is due such a title.

"It is the Lord your God you must follow--and Him you must REVERE." Deuteronomy 13:4
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« Reply #4151 on: March 07, 2018, 12:18:23 AM »

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

Wise counsel for Preachers


The year was 1768. A twenty-eight year old preacher by the name of Augustus Toplady, who wrote many of our best hymns, including "Rock of Ages", spent the afternoon in London with Mr. Brewer--an older, veteran Gospel preacher, whom he greatly admired and from whom he learned much. This is what Mr. Brewer said to the young Toplady, as Toplady later recorded in his diary:

"I cannot conclude without reminding you, my young brother, of some things that may be of use to you in the course of your ministry:

    1. Preach Christ crucified, and dwell chiefly on the blessings resulting from His righteousness, atonement, and intercession.

    2. Avoid all needless controversies in the pulpit--except it be when your subject necessarily requires it; or when the truths of God are likely to suffer by your silence.

    3. When you ascend the pulpit, leave your learning behind you. Endeavor to preach more to the hearts of your people--than to their heads.

    4. Do not affect too much oratory. Seek rather to profit your hearers--than to be admired by them."

N.B. Christian ministers would do well to print out these four simple principles, tuck them in their Bibles, and refer to them every time they preach!
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« Reply #4152 on: March 07, 2018, 05:55:24 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 sword of God's truth!

(Arthur Pink, "Faithfulness")

"Their speech is filled with flattery." Psalm 5:9

This is the identifying mark of the "hireling," the false pastor. He aims at pleasing his hearers, making them feel satisfied with themselves, ever patting them on the back.

"But he who has My Word--let him speak My Word faithfully" (Jeremiah 23:28.)--no matter how unpalatable it may be to the flesh, how much of a weariness to those who wish to have their ears tickled with novelties, or how loud the outcry against it is!

Ministerial faithfulness includes . . .
  loyalty to his Master,
  devotion to His interests,
  steadfast adherence to the preaching of His Word,
  dispensing the truth unto those whose souls are committed to Him,
  not mixing it with his speculations, much less substituting false doctrine.

A far higher motive than the pleasing of his hearers must actuate and regulate ministerial service.

Faithful preaching will render the minister unpopular, and will empty churches--not fill them!

"Then you will know the truth--and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32) Souls are caught fast in the meshes of Satan's lies--and nothing but the sword of God's truth can cut them free!

"A faithful man--who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6). Why is this? Because it is the part of fallen human nature to take the line of least resistance, and choose the path easiest to the flesh. But remember, my reader, whoever you are, that, "Lying lips are abomination to the Lord--but those who deal faithfully are His delight." (Proverbs 12:22)

"Be faithful unto death--and I will give you a crown of life!" (Revelation 2:10)
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« Reply #4153 on: March 08, 2018, 05:44:46 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 characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

(J.C. Ryle)

"John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!" Luke 3:7-8

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers like John the Baptist.
  A morbid dislike to strong language;
  an excessive fear of giving offence;
  a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking--
are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no 'charity' in flattering unconverted people--by abstaining from any mention of their vices, or in applying smooth names to their damnable sins!

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, "Woe unto you--when all men shall speak well of you!" (Luke 6:26)

In the other it is written, "Obviously, I'm not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people--I would not be Christ's servant." (Galatians 1:10)
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« Reply #4154 on: March 09, 2018, 05:26:59 PM »

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

Christ, the example of ministers

(Jonathan Edwards)

It is not only our great duty, but will be our greatest honor, to imitate Christ, and do the work that He has done--and so act as co-workers with Him.

The ministers of Christ should be persons of the same spirit that their Lord was of--the same spirit of humility and lowliness of heart; for the servant is not greater than his Lord.

They should be of the same spirit of heavenly-mindedness, and contempt of the glory, wealth, and pleasures of this world.

They should be of the same spirit of devotion and fervent love to God.

They should follow the example of His prayerfulness; of whom we read from time to time of His retiring from the world, away from the noise and applause of the multitudes, into mountains and solitary places, for secret prayer, and holy converse with His Father.

Ministers should be persons . . .
  of the same quiet, lamb-like spirit that Christ was of;
  of the same spirit of submission to God's will;
  of the same patience under afflictions, and meekness towards men;
  of the same calmness and composure of spirit under sufferings from the malignity of evil men;
  of the same spirit of forgiveness of injuries;
  of the same spirit of charity, of fervent love and extensive benevolence;
  of the same disposition to pity the miserable, and to weep with those who weep;
  of the same spirit of . . .
    condescension to the poor and lowly,
    tenderness and gentleness toward the weak,
    and great and sincere love to enemies.

They should also be of the same spirit of zeal, diligence, and self-denial for the glory of God, and advancement for his kingdom, and for the good of mankind; for which things sake Christ went though the greatest labors, and endured the most extreme sufferings.

And in order to our imitating Christ in the work of the ministry, in any tolerable degree--we should not have our hearts weighed down, and time filled up with worldly affections, cares, and pursuits.

The duties of a minister that have been recommended, are absolutely inconsistent with a mind much taken up with worldly profit, glory, amusements and entertainments.
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