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nChrist
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« Reply #4410 on: December 12, 2018, 05:08:18 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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The man who has God for his portion!

(James Smith, "Gleams of Grace" 1860)

"You are my portion, O LORD!" Psalm 119:57

If God is my portion, then I ought to be content without any other portion. He is . . .
  enough in poverty,
  enough in persecution,
  enough in life,
  enough in death,
  enough for evermore!

If God gives me Himself--then it is more than as if He had given me the whole world, or ten thousand worlds like this! O how happy was the apostle Paul, who knowing God to be his portion could say, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in need!" Philippians 4:11-12

If God is my portion, I ought to be thankful. It is enough. There is no losing it. What dignity, what honor is conferred on the man who has God for his portion! I deserved to be stripped of everything, and to be turned out of God's presence eternally penniless, wretched, and miserable. But instead of this, God in His free grace, in His infinite mercy--gives me . . .
  a heavenly mansion,
  a glorious city,
  an eternal kingdom,
  more, He gives me Himself!
God in all His glory, in all His grace--is mine!

If God is my portion, then I ought to be living upon Him. If I live upon anything outside of God--then I live upon what is finite, and will change. But if I live upon God, I live upon the infinite, and upon what is unchangeable. As a believer, I should live befitting the dignity of my lofty character, position, and prospects. The man of fortune ought not to live like the pauper. Just so, the Christian ought to live above other men.

If God is my portion, I ought to be making a proper use of it. I should set my portion over and against . . .
  all my pains and privations,
  all my griefs and grievances,
  all my sadnesses and sorrows.

I should look above all my trials and troubles--and rejoice that throughout eternity, I shall have . . .
  eternal ease--instead of pain,
  eternal plenty--instead of privation,
  eternal joy--instead of grief,
  eternal gladness--instead of sadness,
  and eternal bliss--instead of sorrow!

Beloved, is the Lord your portion? Are you living upon Him as such?

But if God is not your portion--then what is?
Where are your thoughts most?
Where do your affections center?
After what do you pursue?
The world? It is a poor, fleeting, unsatisfying portion!
It will be found insufficient, unsatisfactory, and perishing!

Unless God is your portion, you will be . . .
  unsatisfied in life,
  wretched in death, and
  indescribably miserable to all eternity!

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!" Psalm 73:26
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« Reply #4411 on: December 13, 2018, 06:21:43 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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The Savior's abiding presence with His redeemed people!

(J.R. Miller, "The Practical Value of a Promise")

"O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
 You perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
 You are familiar with all my ways!
 Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O LORD!" Psalm 139:1-4

Doctrines are not such cold, lifeless things as some would have us to believe. There is no doctrine of Scripture which is not fitted to affect the life of him who believes it. Consider the proper influence upon us, of the doctrine and promise of the Savior's abiding presence with His redeemed people. If we believe and always recollect that Christ is truly with us always--how will it affect us?

For one thing it will make us very thoughtful and careful in all our words and acts. Christ is present in His holiness as well as in His love and tenderness. His pure eyes see all our life, and see into our hearts. He is ever beholding us--our real inner life.

The thought of the Master's eye upon us should . . .
  make us holy,
  rebuke our sins, and
  hold us back from evil.

We cannot do wicked things in the presence of even a pure and holy human friend. But could we be continually conscious of Christ's perpetual presence with us, of His eye ever resting upon us, then . . .
  Could we run into sin?
  Could we live carelessly?
  Could we trifle?
  Could we speak sharp, bitter, or unkind words?
  Could we do unholy, unlovely things?

Surely the realizing of His perpetual abiding presence would make us live reverently, purely, lovingly--so as always to please and never to grieve Him.
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« Reply #4412 on: December 14, 2018, 05:47:01 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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http://www.gracegems.org/
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Prayer is just talking to Jesus

(J.R. Miller, "The Practical Value of a Promise")

"The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
 He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;
 He hears their cry and saves them.
 The LORD watches over all who love Him." Psalm 145:18-20

The firm believing of this promise will give new meaning and reality to prayer. Many people are perplexed at times, as they think about prayer. Is there really an ear to hear the words we speak when we bow in prayer? How can God hear us so far away? Then suppose ten thousand of God's children, in different parts of the world, are praying at the same moment--how can He hear them all, and disentangle the confusion of the words as they come up to Him, and distinguish the supplications of each?

Who has not at times been puzzled and even perplexed by such questions? But the promise of Christ's abiding presence makes it all plain. He is not way off in any imagined central Heaven, up to which all prayers of earth must fly through the air before they can be heard or answered. He is close beside each one of us!

We remember how it was when Jesus was on the earth in human form.
The people came to Him with their needs and sorrows.
Those who sinned came with their confessions, bathing His feet with their penitential tears.
Those who were in trouble came with their burdens.

That is what prayer is now, only now Christ can be with millions at the same moment of time, as He could not be when in the flesh.

Prayer is just talking to Jesus . . .
  weeping at His dear feet, if we have sinned;
  leaning upon His bosom, if we are weary or in sorrow;
  breathing our heart's longings into His ear;
  telling Him our needs, whatever they may be.

Does not the realization of this truth of the Lord's presence with us, take from prayer all its mystery?

"Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age!" Matthew 28:20
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« Reply #4413 on: December 15, 2018, 11:39:44 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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What shall we ask God to do?

(J.R. Miller)

"We do not know what we should pray for as we ought." Romans 8:26

A minister sat with a father and mother by the bed of a child who was hovering between life and death. He was about to pray for the little sufferer, and turning to the parents he asked, "What shall we ask God to do?" After some moments the father answered, with deep emotion: "I would not dare to choose--leave it to God."

Would it not be better always to leave the decision to God, letting Him choose what it is best for Him to do for us or to give to us? We are not in the world to always have ease and pleasure, to always succeed, to do great things--we are here to grow into strength and beauty of life and character, to accomplish the will of God, and to have that will wrought out in our own life. Ofttimes . . .
  the present must be sacrificed for the future,
  the earthly given up to gain the Heavenly, and
  pain endured for the sake of spiritual refining and enriching.
Christ does not seek to take away the burden--rather, He would make us strong and brave to bear it.

If we are willing to let God choose for us, and accept what He gives--we shall never fail to receive the best. Perhaps not what the world would call the best--but always God's best. We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, and we had better leave it to God.

We should be content to leave the guidance and choices of our lives in His hands. Think how wise He is--knowing all things, knowing how to choose the best for us. Who does not know that this is better, safer, wiser than if we were to choose the way for ourselves?

The truest prayer is often that in which we creep into the bosom of God and rest there in silence. We do not know what to ask, and we dare not say even a word, lest it might be the wrong word, hence we simply wait before God in quietness and confidence. We know that what is best--our Father will do, and we trust Him to do what He will.

We are sure that God could relieve us of the things which are so hard for us to bear--could, if He desired to. This is God's world, and nothing can get out of His hands. All we have to do is to lay our need before the throne of mercy, and to let God answer us as He will.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A beautiful story is told of a devout home in which were twin boys who were greatly beloved. In the absence of the father, both boys suddenly died. When the father returned, not knowing of the sorrow in his home, the mother met him at the door and said, "I have had a strange visitor since you went away."

"Who was it?" asked the father, not suspecting her meaning.

"Five years ago," his wife answered, "a friend lent me two precious jewels. Yesterday he came and asked me to return them to him. What shall I do?"

"Are they his?" asked the father, not dreaming of her meaning.

"Yes, they belong to him and were only lent to me."

"If they are his, he must have them again, if he desires."

Leading her husband to the boys' room, the wife drew down the sheet, uncovering the lovely forms, as white as marble. "These are my jewels," said the mother. "Five years ago God lent them to me, and yesterday He came and took them back again."

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"Going a little farther, He fell with his face to the ground and prayed: My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will--but as You will." Matthew 26:39

"O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it--may Your will be done." Matthew 26:42

"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
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« Reply #4414 on: December 16, 2018, 06:04:51 PM »

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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Market-Driven Christianity

(Don Fortner)

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men--or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men--I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Religion in America is big business. Scads of money, powerful personalities, huge egos, and positions of prominence, influence, and recognition are at stake in the business of religion, just as they are in any other business. There was a time when the concern of churches and preachers in this country was the glory of God and the truth of God. Today, like any business, the concern is for success.

Christianity today is market-driven. The goal of all marketing is to make both the buyer and the seller satisfied. Consequently, market-driven churches, in utter abandonment of God's glory and God's truth, in their insatiable quest for success and recognition--do whatever it takes to win customers and keep them.

Be warned! False doctrine and worldliness always go hand in hand. Worldliness usually leads the way. The early modernists did not aim at destroying biblical Christianity. They simply tried to make Christianity palatable to an unbelieving world. It cannot be done. When Christianity becomes acceptable to unregenerate people--it has ceased to be Christianity!

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing!" 1 Corinthians 1:18
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« Reply #4415 on: December 20, 2018, 11:21:06 AM »

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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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But there is a condition

(J.R. Miller, "In All Your Ways!")

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

We all need direction in our life paths.

We turn to our friends for counsel, but human wisdom is inadequate. It is short-sighted and cannot certainly know what is best. It is ignorant and may mislead unwittingly. Wrong advice, though meant for good, has wrecked many a life destiny! Human guidance is not enough; we need something truer, wiser, safer--something infallible; and that is just what we have assured to us in this promise of divine direction.

But there is a condition--we must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways. The "all" is emphatic. Most of us acknowledge the Lord in some of our ways. We turn to Him in the time of great trials, or in great and sore dangers. Even scoffers and atheists have been known, in the moment of peril, as in a storm at sea--to fall upon their knees and call upon God for help. The worst people, when alarming sickness is on them, or when death stares them in the face, want to take hold of the hand of God. There are none of us who do not at certain times crave divine direction and help.

But the promise reads, "In all your ways"--that is the condition of the promised direction.

We are very willing to acknowledge God while He directs us in the paths in which we are inclined to go--paths that are pleasant and agreeable to us. We can easily submit to the sweet will of God, when it is indeed sweet to our natural taste. But how is it when God directs us to go the way we do not want to go--to do the thing that is unpleasant, and will cause pain, or require sacrifice or loss?

How is it when the voice of God, answering to our request . . .
   bids us to take the path which leads to a cross;
   bids us to turn away from the pleasant thing that we crave;
   bids us to give up the dear friendship, which is drawing us away from Him;
   bids us give into His hand, the child or loved one we so desire to keep with us?

"In all your ways" means the hard ways--as well as the easy ways; the thorny path--as wall as the path of flowers. Yet we are continually coming to points at which we hesitate. We say: "In all but this, dear Lord--I can take Your way and do Your will." Still the answer comes, "In all My ways, My child."

There must be no reserve, no withholding, no exception.

The beloved sin must be given up--though it seems only a little one, though giving it up is like cutting off a right hand or plucking out a right eye.

The hard path must be taken--though it leads among thorns that pierce the feet, over the sharp stones, and through fire and flood.

The painful duty must be done--though it costs us popularity, ease, or position; though it leads to poverty, suffering, or homelessness.

The bitter grief must be accepted--though it seems to take all, and leave nothing.
It must be accepted sweetly, lovingly, cheerfully, with unquestioning surrender.

The lesson is plain. Nothing must be withheld from God--whether it be in obedience, or in submission.

The darling sin must be given up.

The rough path must be walked over.

That hard duty must be accepted.

We must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, if we would have Him direct our paths.
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« Reply #4416 on: December 22, 2018, 06:12:21 AM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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One essential element of all true prayer

(J.R. Miller, "According to His Will")

"Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed: My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:39

One essential element of all true prayer, is its final reference of all requests to the will of God. Yet this quality of prayer is often forgotten or overlooked in our pleading. We often pray earnestly--but it is for the doing of our own will that we ask, not for the doing of our Father's will. Yet nothing is clearer than that no prayer is acceptable to God which, after all its intensity and importunity--is not referred to God and left to His superior wisdom.

How can we know what is best for us?
How can we tell whether or not the thing we desire would prove a real blessing if we had it?
How do we know that it will be best for us to have the bitter cup which is held out toward our quivering lips, pass away?

Then there is another way of looking at it. Is it the true child spirit for us to insist on having our own way with God, to press our will without regard to His? Are we not God's creatures, His redeemed children? Is it not ours, then, in all things to learn obedience and submission to Him?

The beloved disciple has given us this word: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." This, then, is the test of all praying--it must be according to God's will.

But how can we know what His will is?

There are certain classes of blessings which we know it is God's will to give us. This is true in general of spiritual blessings. But in things which concern this present life, we cannot be sure. Yet no prayer which is not according to God's will can be heard or answered. The least shade of self-will vitiates any prayer. Things that we know to be according to His revealed will in Scripture, we may press with all boldness. In such cases, our will is God's will. We never can want to receive spiritual blessings, half so earnestly as He wants to give them to us.

But there are other things concerning which we cannot be certain--which we cannot know what the will of God may be. If you are very sick--you cannot be sure whether it may be the Father's purpose that you should recover, or that you should die. If your child, or your mother, or some other loved one is in the shadow of death--you cannot be sure what the will of the Lord is, whether longer life or death. If you have some bodily affliction or infirmity, some burden of trial or pain, or something in your circumstances that it seems to you that you cannot bear, you may earnestly pray God to take it away--but you cannot be sure that it is your Father's will to remove it.

How, then, can you ask "according to His will"--when you cannot know what His will is? There is but one way: ask what you want, ask in a childlike, trustful, loving spirit--and then leave it all to your Father, ending your supplication with the refrain of our Lord's garden prayer, "Yet not as I will, but as You will."

It follows, then, that the answers to many prayers do not come in the granting of the thing asked for--but in grace to do without it. We have a striking illustration of this in our Lord's pleadings in Gethsemane. The cup did not pass from Him, but the struggle died away in His heart and at the close He was at peace. He had not received what He had sought--but He had gained the victory. He had been victorious, not by prevailing with God--but by prevailing over Himself and bringing His own spirit into perfect acquiescence to His Father's will. Was not that better by far, than if the bitter cup had passed away?

So we learn that sometimes God answers our prayers, not by bringing His will down to ours--but by lifting our will up to His. Far oftener than we think, in matters which belong to this present earthly life, are prayers answered in this way. The things we seek are not given--but as we plead in the spirit of submission, divine grace is poured into our souls, and we grow strong so as to need no longer to cry for relief. We can now bear the heavy load, without asking to have it lightened. We can now endure the sorrow, without beseeching God to spare us from it. We can now go on in quiet peace, without the new blessing which a little while ago we thought was so essential to our happiness. We have not been saved from the battle we so shrank from entering--but we have fought it through, and have gained the victory.

We sometimes talk thoughtlessly and shallowly about answers to prayer. We tell people that if they go to God in trouble, that He will deliver them. But that is not the promise. Take this one word from the Psalms for example: "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain you." We quote this, however, for ourselves and for others as if it read, "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will remove it, or bear it for you."

But the promise is, "and He shall sustain you." It is not an assurance . . .
  that the bitter cup shall pass from us,
  that your sick child shall recover,
  that your property shall not be lost,
  that your broken health shall be restored.
It is a pledge only that you shall be sustained, that you shall not faint under the burden, that if it is not lifted away, as most likely it will not be--you shall be helped to carry it.

God's ways may not bend to yours, but you will be enabled to walk with Him. Your prayer may not bring God down to you--but instead it may lift you up to God. And is not that the better, the larger blessing?

The final result of all such prayers of submission, is peace.
Lying at our Father's feet, in our strong cryings and tears . . .
  we learn obedience,
  our sobbings end in praises,
  our struggles end in acquiescence,
  our tears are dried,
  and we rise victorious.
We may not get our own way--but we are glad, happy and peaceful in God's way.
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« Reply #4417 on: December 22, 2018, 06:13:43 AM »

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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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His Heaven mine--my Hell His!

(Octavius Winslow)

It is astonishing that I should so be one with Christ, that all that He is becomes mine, and all that I am becomes His!

His glory mine--my humiliation His.

His righteousness mine--my guilt His.

His joy mine--my sorrow His.

His riches mine--my poverty His.

His life mine--my death His.

His Heaven mine--my Hell His!

The daily walk of faith, is a continuous development of the wonders of this wondrous truth.
That in traveling to Him empty--I should return from Him full.
That in going to Him weak--I should come away from Him strong.
That in bending my steps to Him in all darkness, perplexity, and grief--I should retrace them all light, and joy, and gladness.
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« Reply #4418 on: December 23, 2018, 06:04:18 PM »

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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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They sing best in their cages!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name!"  Psalm 33:21

Christians can rejoice even in the deepest distress. Although trouble may surround them, they still sing. Like many birds--they sing best in their cages!

The waves may roll over them, but their souls soon rise to the surface and see the light of God's countenance.

In times of trouble, the presence of the Son of God in the fiery furnace with him fills his heart with joy.

He is sick and suffering, but Jesus visits him and makes his bed for him.

He is dying, but Jesus puts His arms around him and cries, "Fear not, beloved, to die is to be blessed--the waters of death have their fountainhead in Heaven. They are not bitter--they are as sweet as nectar, for they flow from the throne of God."

As the departing saint wades through the stream and the billows gather around him, the same voice sounds in his ears, "Fear not, I am with you! Be not dismayed, I am your God."

As he nears the borders of the infinite unknown, Jesus says, "Fear not, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom!"

Thus strengthened and consoled, the believer is not afraid to die. No, he is even willing to depart, for since he has seen Jesus as the morning star, he longs to gaze upon Him as the sun in its strength. "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23

Truly the presence of Jesus is all the Heaven we desire!
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« Reply #4419 on: December 24, 2018, 10:35:29 PM »

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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Their constant pleasure-ground!

(Henry Law)

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed are those who find their constant pleasure-ground in the luxuries of the Bible!
They commune with the mind of God.
They listen to a heavenly voice.
They bask in rays of purest light.
They feed in wholesome pastures of refreshment.
They fear no poison from the weeds of error.
No devious path can lead their steps astray.
Wisdom from above guides sweetly them.
The Spirit, as great Teacher of the Church, instructs the students.
They advance safely, happily, from grace to grace.

The lessons are as vast as the mine from which they spring.
They are as pure as the realms to which they call.
They warn of sin--its filth--its misery--its end.
They unfold Jesus in all the glories of redeeming love.
They exhibit holiness, as the only road to holy Heaven.

Reader! heed a beneficial admonition:
Study the Bible, as holding treasure for your soul.
Study in the earnestness of prayer.
Study with eternity outspread before you.
Study with the lowliness of a poor sinner before a speaking God.
Study with faith devoutly grasping every word.

Do not close not the volume without inquiring,
"Is sin more hateful--is the world more worthless--is the flesh more treacherous in my sight?
 Is Jesus brought nearer to my adoring soul?
 Is my heart won to more entire devotedness?
 Am I more resolute to live for Him, who died for me?"
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« Reply #4420 on: December 26, 2018, 01:29:00 PM »

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We do not know which to wonder the most at

(Charles Spurgeon)

Isaiah 49:14. "Zion said: The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me!"

How amazed the divine mind seems to be at this wicked unbelief! What can be more astounding, than the unfounded doubts and fears of God's favored people?

Isaiah 49:15-16. "Can a mother forget the baby at her bosom and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Behold! I have engraved you on the palms of My hands!"

The Lord's loving word of rebuke should make us blush. He cries, "How can I have forgotten you--when I have engraved you on the palms of My hands?"

We do not know which to wonder the most at: the faithfulness of God--or the unbelief of His people. He keeps His promise a thousand times--and yet our next trial makes us doubt Him. He never fails--and yet we are as continually vexed with anxieties, molested with suspicions, and disturbed with fears.

"Behold!" is a word intended to excite admiration. Here, indeed, we have a theme for marveling. Heaven and earth may well be astonished that sinful rebels should obtain so great a nearness to the heart of infinite love, as to be written upon the palms of His hands.

The name is there, but that is not all: "I have engraved you--your image, your case, your circumstances, your sins, your temptations, your weaknesses, your wants, your works--I have engraved you, everything about you, all that concerns you--I have engraved you altogether on the palms of My hands!"

Will you ever say again that God has forsaken you--when He has engraved you upon His own palms?
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« Reply #4421 on: December 27, 2018, 05:07:06 PM »

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An easy Hell!

(Thomas Watson, "The Art of Divine Contentment")

"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need." Philippians 4:11-12

Whatever affliction or trouble a child of God meets with--it is all the Hell he shall ever have! Whatever eclipse may be upon his name or estate--it is but a little cloud which will soon be blown over, and then his Hell is past!

Death begins a wicked man's Hell.
Death ends a godly man's Hell.

Think with yourself, "What is my affliction? It is but a temporary Hell. Indeed, if all my Hell is here on earth--it is but an easy Hell. What is the cup of affliction--compared to the cup of damnation!"

Lazarus could not get a crumb; he was so diseased that the dogs took pity on him--and as if they had been his physicians, licked his sores. But this was an easy Hell--the angels quickly fetched him out of it!

If all our Hell is in this life--and in the midst of this Hell, we have the love of God--then it is no more Hell, but paradise! If all our Hell is here on earth, we may see to the end of it; it is but skin-deep, it cannot touch the soul. It is a short-lived Hell. After a dreary night of affliction, comes the bright morning of glory!

Since our lives are short--our trials cannot be long!

As our riches take wings and fly away--so do our sufferings!

Let us learn then, to be content whatever our circumstances.
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« Reply #4422 on: December 28, 2018, 05:19:59 PM »

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Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Sin is shut out--and they are shut in!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"The sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more!" Isaiah 65:19

The glorified weep no more, because all causes of grief are gone!
There are no broken friendships, nor blighted prospects in Heaven.
Poverty, famine, peril, persecution and slander--are unknown there.
No pain distresses, and no thought of death or bereavement saddens.

They weep no more, because they all are perfectly sanctified!
No "evil heart of unbelief" prompts them to depart from the living God.
They are without fault before His throne, and are fully conformed to His image!
Well may they cease to mourn--who have ceased to sin!

They weep no more, because all fear of change is past!
They know that they are eternally secure!
Sin is shut out--and they are shut in!
They dwell within a city which shall never be stormed!
They bask in a sun which shall never set!
They drink of a river which shall never run dry!
They pluck fruit from a tree which shall never wither!

Countless cycles may revolve--but eternity shall not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their immortality and blessedness shall co-exist with it. They are forever with the Lord!

They weep no more, because every desire is fulfilled!
They cannot wish for anything--which they don't already have in full possession.
  Eye and ear,
  heart and hand,
  mind and imagination,
  desire and affection,
  all the faculties--
are completely satisfied!

As imperfect as our present ideas are of the things which God has prepared for those who love Him--yet we know enough by Scriptural revelation, that the glorified saints are supremely blessed.

The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them.

They bathe forever in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessedness!

That same joyful rest remains for us! It may not be far distant.
Before long, sorrow's dewdrops will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss!

"The sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more!" Isaiah 65:19
 
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain!" Revelation 21:4

"Therefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:18
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« Reply #4423 on: December 30, 2018, 04:42:13 PM »

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http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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The devil's chessboard!

(Charles Spurgeon, "Flowers from a Puritan's Garden" 1883)

"So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes!" 2 Corinthians 2:11

"Be watchful; the world is the devil's chessboard! You can hardly move backward or forward, but he is ready to attack you with some temptation!"

Those who play at the game of chess know that great caution is needed. Your opponent is working toward a design of which you know nothing; and while you imagine that you are doing exceedingly well, he is entrapping you!

The game of life, as against Satan, is one in which . . .
  his maneuvers and artifice,
  his long practice and stratagems,
  his superior skill and deceptiveness,
  and his unscrupulous schemes--
give him an immense advantage over our poor self-conceited folly!

Lord, help us! You know our adversary; be pleased to deliver us out of his hand.

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes!" Ephesians 6:11
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« Reply #4424 on: December 31, 2018, 10:42:21 AM »

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Marvelous Mercy by James Smith
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
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December 31, 1855

(James Smith, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862)

The following is an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:

December 31, 1855.
The last day of the year 1855--a year characterized by . . .
  many severe trials,
  many sore temptations,
  and innumerable mercies.

In some things, it closes differently to what I expected--but how differently it may have closed!

I might have been in Hell! O terrible thought!

I might have been on a sick bed, tormented with excruciating pain, or reduced to a state of infantile weakness.

I might have been in great and sore troubles, tossed with tempests, and not comforted.

I might have been without a pastorate--and without a loving people.

Or I might have been guilty of some heinous sin, lost my character, and been a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth!

Blessed, forever blessed be the Lord--that such is not my case!
My health is good,
my hope in Christ is steady,
my congregation good, and
I trust the Lord will yet work a great work by me.

And now, Lord, I desire to confess before you the sins of this past year:
  I have sinned with my tongue--and with my temper.
  I have sinned in my heart--and in my life.
  I have omitted duties.
  I have committed sins.
  My motives have often been impure.
  My aims have not been sufficiently high and holy.
  I have been impatient, fretful, irritable, rash, jealous, envious, discontented and ungrateful.

O may the blood of Jesus wash out every stain!

I renounce all hope--but what centers in Jesus!

I have no refuge, no hiding-place, no strong tower, no place of safety--but Jesus.

Christ in His person,
Christ in His finished work,
Christ in His glorious intercession--
is all my hope, all my confidence, all my joy!
 
I am His servant--and wish to serve Him alone.
I am His subject--and wish to be ruled by Him alone.
I am His purchased property--and wish to be consecrated entirely, eternally, and altogether to Him!
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