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nChrist
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« Reply #4530 on: April 27, 2019, 02:14:33 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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All the Hell that you shall ever have!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659)

Consider Christian, that all your . . .
  trials and troubles,
  calamities and miseries,
  crosses and losses,
which you meet with in this world--is all the Hell that you shall ever have!

Here and now, you have your Hell.
Hereafter, you shall have your Heaven!

This present life is the worst of your condition--the best is yet to come!

Lazarus had his Hell first--and his Heaven last.
Dives had his Heaven first--and his Hell at last.

You have all your pangs, and pains, and throes here--that ever you shall have!
Your ease, and rest, and pleasure--is yet to come.

Here you have all your bitters--your sweets are yet to come!

Here you have your sorrows--your joys are yet to come.

Here you have all your winter nights--your summer days are yet to come!

Here you have your evil things--your good things are yet to come.

Death will put an end to all your sins, and to all your sufferings!

Death will be an inlet to those joys, delights, and comforts--which shall never have an end!

Who can seriously meditate upon this, and not be silent under God's most smarting rod?
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« Reply #4531 on: April 28, 2019, 01:18:00 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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Everything on this side Hell is mercy!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659)

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

Oh! labor every day to be more humble and more low and little in your own eyes. "Who am I," says the humble soul--"to complain of trials. I am not worthy of the least mercy, I deserve not a crumb of mercy, I have forfeited every mercy!"

It is only pride that puts men upon complaining and contending with God.

A humble soul will lie quiet at the foot of God; it will be contented with bare necessities. A dinner of green herbs is relished to the humble man's palate; whereas a stalled ox is but a coarse dish to a proud man's stomach.

A humble heart looks upon . . .
  small mercies as great mercies;
  and great afflictions as small afflictions;
  and small afflictions as no afflictions;
  and therefore sits mute and quiet under all.

Do but keep humble, and you will keep silent before the Lord.

Pride kicks, and grumbles, and frets--but a humble man has still his hand upon his mouth. Everything on this side Hell is mercy--much mercy, rich mercy to a humble soul; and therefore he remains mute under God's smarting rod.


John Berridge: "The heaviest afflictions on this side Hell--are less, far less than my iniquities have deserved! Oh, boundless grace! The chastening rod of a reconciled Father, might have been the flaming sword of an avenging Judge! I might now have been weeping and wailing with devils and damned spirits in Hell! I will bear the indignation of the Lord--because I have sinned against Him. It is of His mercy alone, that I am not consumed!"


Ruth Bryan: "Seek a resigned, submissive will--it will greatly lighten every outward cross. Murmuring thoughts ill become worms who deserve the lowest Hell; everything on this side Hell is more than we deserve."
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« Reply #4532 on: April 29, 2019, 04:05:06 PM »

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Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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The birthmarks of a true child of God

(Al Martin)

"How may I be certain that I am saved?"

To live and to die believing a wrong answer has horrific and irreversible consequences!

The Spirit of God guided John to write his first epistle in order to help professing Christians give the right answer to this all-important question (1 John 5:13). John describes the convictions and patterns of life that are true of every one who has been born of the Holy Spirit and united to Jesus Christ. I have designated these as "the birthmarks of a true child of God." John identifies at least five such birthmarks. It is important to note that John uses present-tense verbs, indicating a pattern of ongoing action and conviction.

(1) Faith in the Christ of Scripture. We read in 5:1 that "everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God." This birthmark is also emphasized in 1 John 5:6; 1 John 2:18-19; 1 John 2:23-25; 1 John 4:2-3; and 1 John 5:10.

(2) Pursuit of a life of Christlike holiness and personal righteousness. In 1 John 2:29, John writes, "If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him." This birthmark is further insisted upon in 1 John 1:5-7; 1 John 2:6; 1 John 3:2-3; 3:4-10; and 1 John 5:18-19.

(3) Pursuit of a life of obedience to God's commandments. John's words in 2:3-5 affirm this birthmark with unmistakable clarity: "By this we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commandments. Whoever says 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him." See also 1 John 2:17; 1 John 3:24; and 1 John 5:3.

(4) A life of brotherly love. John writes in 1 John 3:14: "We know we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and . . . no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." This statement is buttressed by similar assertions in 1 John 2:8-10; 1 John 3:11; 1 John 4:7-8; 1 John 4:12; 1 John 4:20-21; and 1 John 5:1.

(5) An experience of the manifold ministries of the Holy Spirit. In 1 John 2:20, John asserts that true children of God will remain in fellowship with the church and the Apostolic truth present in the church because they have been anointed by the Holy One. Other aspects of the Spirit's ministry to everyone who has been born again are found in 1 John 2:27; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:8; and 1 John 4:13.

The things John has written in order that we may "know that we have eternal life" must never be looked upon as the basis upon which we possess eternal life (1 John 5:13). John has clearly asserted that "whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:12). These various "birthmarks" are the inevitable and necessary evidences that we "have the Son," but they are not the Son who is our righteousness Himself. Nevertheless, without these birthmarks, our claim to know that we are saved is utterly without a biblical foundation.
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« Reply #4533 on: April 30, 2019, 03:43:34 PM »

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Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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We see hands, and feet and side--all distilling crimson streams of precious blood

(Charles Spurgeon)

"The precious blood of Christ!" 1 Peter 1:19

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet and side--all distilling crimson streams of precious blood.

It is precious because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it . . .
  the sins of Christ's people are atoned for;
  they are redeemed from under the law;
  they are reconciled to God, made one with Him.

Christ's blood is also precious in its cleansing power. It "cleanses from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet--they shall be as white as snow!" Through Jesus' blood, there is not a spot left upon any believer--no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God.

The blood of Christ is likewise precious in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood--which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when our eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same.

The blood of Christ is precious also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and leads it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great--as that which streams from the veins of Jesus!

And precious, unspeakably precious, is this blood--because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus--fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat.

The precious blood of Jesus!
  Sin dies at its presence.
  Death ceases to be death.
  Heaven's gates are opened.

The precious blood of Jesus! We shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!
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« Reply #4534 on: May 01, 2019, 03:19:02 PM »

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Marthas and Marys

(J. C. Ryle, Mary & Martha, Luke 10:38-42)

Observe how different the characters and personalities of true Christians may be. The two sisters of whom we read in this passage were both faithful disciples. Both had believed. Both had been converted. Both had honored Christ, when few gave Him honor. Both loved Jesus--and Jesus loved both of them. Yet they were evidently women of very different character!

Martha was active, stirring and impulsive; feeling strongly, and speaking out all she felt.
Mary was quiet, still and contemplative; feeling deeply, but saying less than she felt.

Martha, when Jesus came to her house, rejoiced to see Him, and busied herself with preparing suitable refreshment.
Mary, also, rejoiced to see Him, but her first thought was to sit at His feet and hear His word.

Grace reigned in both hearts--but each showed the effects of grace in different ways.

We shall find it very useful to ourselves to remember this lesson.
We must not expect all believers in Christ to be exactly like one another.
We must not set down others as having no grace, because their experience does not entirely tally with our own.

The sheep in the Lord's flock have each their own peculiarities.

The flowers in the Lord's garden are not all precisely alike.

All true servants of God agree in the principal things of religion.
All are led by one Spirit.
All feel their sins, and all trust in Christ.
All repent, all believe, and all are holy.
But in minor matters, they often differ widely.

Let no one despise another on this account.

There will be Marthas and there will be Marys in the Church, until the Lord comes again.
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« Reply #4535 on: May 02, 2019, 03:22:18 PM »

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A self-loather

(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

"They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices." Ezekiel 6:9

True repentance is a daily turning of the soul further and further from sin--and a daily turning of the soul nearer and nearer to God and holiness.

True repentance includes . . .
  a true sense of sin,
  a deep sorrow for sin,
  a hearty loathing of sin, and
  a holy shame and blushing for sin.

A true repenter strives for . . .
  a clean head, and a clean heart;
  a clean lip, and a clean life.

To repent is for a man to loathe himself, as well as his sin.

Is this easy for man, who is so great a self-lover, and so great a self-exalter, and so great a self-admirer--to become a self-loather? To repent is to cross sinful self, and to walk contrary to sinful self.

True repentance lies in a daily dying unto sin, and in a daily living unto Him who lives forever.

"Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices." Ezekiel 36:31
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« Reply #4536 on: May 03, 2019, 03:41:49 PM »

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http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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All honey would harm us!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659, London.)

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

Our mourning shall last but until morning.

God will turn . . .
  our winter's night, into a summer's day,
  our sighing, into singing,
  our grief, into gladness,
  our mourning, into music,
  our bitter, into sweet,
  our wilderness, into a paradise.

The life of a Christian is filled up with interchanges of . . .
  sickness, and health,
  weakness, and strength,
  want, and wealth,
  disgrace, and honor,
  crosses, and comforts,
  miseries, and mercies,
  joys, and sorrows,
  mirth, and mourning.

All honey would harm us, and all wormwood would undo us; a composition of both is the best way to keep our souls in a healthy constitution. It is best and most for the health of the soul--that the warm south wind of mercy, and the cold north wind of adversity--both blow upon it. And though every wind which blows, shall blow good to the saints; yet certainly their sins die most, and their graces thrive best, when they are under the frigid, drying, nipping north wind of calamity--as well as under the warm, nourishing south wind of mercy and prosperity.
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« Reply #4537 on: May 04, 2019, 02:09:18 PM »

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http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Head, hand, heart, lip, and life

(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

True holiness is diffusive. It extends, diffuses, and spreads itself all over the whole person . . .
  the head and the heart;
  the lip and the life;
  the inside and the outside.

The understanding is nourished on holiness,
the mind is adorned with holiness,
the will is bowed to holiness, and
all the affections are sprinkled, yes, clothed with holiness . . .
  love is holy love,
  grief is holy grief,
  joy is holy joy,
  sorrow is holy sorrow,
  fear is holy fear,
  care is holy care,
  zeal is holy zeal.

Real holiness spreads itself over head, hand, heart, lip, and life.

"May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23
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« Reply #4538 on: May 07, 2019, 02:48:38 PM »

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Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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His exaltation is our exaltation!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior" Acts 5:31

"And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name" Philippians 2:8-9

Jesus, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried--now sits upon His throne of heavenly glory! The highest place that Heaven affords, is His by undisputed right.

It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in Heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father's right hand, and though as Jehovah He had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share--yet as the Mediator, the honors which Jesus wears in Heaven are the heritage of all the saints!

It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ's union with His people. We are actually one with Him; we are members of His body; and His exaltation is our exaltation!

He has a crown, and He gives us crowns too. He has a throne--but He is not content with having a throne to Himself. On His right hand there must be His queen, arrayed in "gold of Ophir." He cannot be glorified without His bride. "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne!" Revelation 3:21

Look up, believer, to Jesus--let the eye of your faith behold Him with many crowns upon His head; and remember that you will one day be like Him, when you shall see Him as He is! You shall not be so great as He is--for you shall not be divine. But still you shall, in a measure--share the same honors, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which He possesses!

Christian! Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for He has "made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign forever and ever!"

Oh! wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in Heaven's courts now--and soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him there, to behold His glory, and to share His joy!
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« Reply #4539 on: May 12, 2019, 09:06:15 PM »

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A comfort to the believer, and a terror to the unbeliever!

(R.C. Sproul)

"His eyes are on the ways of men; He sees their every step!" Job 34:21

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good." Proverbs 15:3

"Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" Jeremiah 23:24

The doctrine of God's omnipresence appropriately fills us with awe.

In addition, the doctrine also proves to be comforting. We can always be certain of God's undivided attention. We don't ever need to stand in line or make an appointment to be with God. When we are in God's presence, He is not preoccupied with events on the other side of the world.

The doctrine is, of course, not at all comforting to the unbeliever. There is no place to hide from God! There is no corner of the universe where God is not. The wicked in Hell are not separated from God--only from His benevolence. His wrath is with them constantly.

For the unbeliever, the doctrine highlights the fact that people cannot hide from God. Their sins are done in God's presence. Like Adam, they seek to hide. However, there is no corner of the universe that God's gaze, either in love or wrath, fails to reach.

God's omnipresence is a comfort to the believer, and a terror to the unbeliever!

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:13
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« Reply #4540 on: May 12, 2019, 09:08:04 PM »

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http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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These scars are the memorials of the fight!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne!" Revelation 5:6

Why should our exalted Lord appear in His wounds, in glory?

The wounds of Jesus are His glories, His jewels, His sacred ornaments. To the eye of the believer, Jesus is lovely because He is "white and ruddy"--white with innocence, and ruddy with His own blood. We see Him as the Lily of matchless purity--and as the Rose crimsoned with His own gore. Christ is lovely in His life and His teaching--but oh! there never was such a matchless Christ as He who hung upon the cross! There we behold . . .
  all His beauties in perfections,
  all His attributes developed,
  all His love drawn out,
  all His character expressed!

Beloved, the wounds of Jesus are far more lovely in our eyes than all the splendor and pomp of kings! The thorny crown is more attractive than any imperial diadem. Jesus wears the appearance of a slain Lamb as His court dress in which He wooed our souls, and redeemed them by His complete atonement.

Nor are these only the ornaments of Christ--they are the trophies of His love and of His victory! He has redeemed for Himself a great multitude whom no man can number--and these scars are the memorials of the fight!

Ah! if Christ delights to retain the thought of His sufferings for His people--then how precious should His wounds be to us!

    "Behold how every wound of His,
     A precious balm distills,
     Which heals the scars that sin had made,
     And cures all mortal ills!

     Those wounds are mouths that preach His grace,
     The ensigns of His love;
     The seals of our expected bliss,
     In paradise above!"
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« Reply #4541 on: May 12, 2019, 09:09:28 PM »

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The only weapon to fight sin with!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37

We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to our own strength to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" Galatians 3:3

Take your sins to Christ's cross, for the old man can only be crucified there. The only weapon to fight sin with, is the spear which pierced the side of Jesus!

To give an illustration: you want to overcome an angry temper--how do you go to work? It is very possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus with it. How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was, and I trusted Him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the same way! I must go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, "Lord, I trust You to deliver me from it." This is the only way to give it a death-blow.

Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle you? You may struggle against this evil as long as you please--but you will never be delivered from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus. Take it to Christ. Tell Him: "Lord, Your name is Jesus, for You save Your people from their sins. Lord, this is one of my sins--save me from it!"

Ordinances are nothing, without Christ as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances, and your tears--the whole of them put together, are worth nothing apart from Him. "None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good;" or helpless saints either. You must be conquerors through Him who has loved you, if conquerors at all.
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« Reply #4542 on: May 12, 2019, 09:10:57 PM »

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It profits us nothing!

(Arthur Pink)

"Though I understand all mysteries and all knowledge . . . and have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2

We must distinguish between things that differ, namely, a knowledge of spiritual things--and actual spiritual knowledge.

A knowledge of spiritual things can be acquired by the unregenerate.
Spiritual knowledge is peculiar to the children of God.

A knowledge of spiritual things is merely intellectual and theoretical.
Spiritual knowledge is vital and effectual.

One may take up "Bible study" in the same way as another would the study of philosophy or science. He may pursue it diligently and enthusiastically. He may obtain a familiarity of the letter of Scripture and a proficiency in understanding its terms, far in advance of the hard-working Christian who has less leisure and less natural ability. Yet what is such knowledge worth, if it . . .
  does not affect the heart,
  fails to transform the character and
  make the daily walk pleasing to God!

Unless our "Bible study" is conforming us, both inwardly and outwardly, to the image of Christ--it profits us nothing!


Don Fortner: "Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things." Titus 2:10. Let us take great care to conform our lives to our doctrine. Doctrine and duty cannot be separated. Every truth discovered in the Word of God ought to be applied to our lives. If our character and conduct does not reflect the grace and glory of God revealed in the gospel, our doctrine is utterly meaningless!
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« Reply #4543 on: May 14, 2019, 05:15:57 PM »

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A holy man!

(J.C. Ryle)

Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of . . .
  agreeing with God's judgment,
  hating what He hates,
  loving what He loves, and
  measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.

A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. He will not only live a life of faith in Him and draw from Him all his daily peace and strength, but he will also labor to have the mind that was in Him and to be conformed to His image!
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« Reply #4544 on: May 15, 2019, 01:04:24 PM »

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A beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"The Lord takes pleasure in His people!" Psalm 149:4

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people's interests which He does not consider. There is nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to Him. Not merely does He think of you, believer, as an immortal being--but as a mortal being too. Do not deny it or doubt it: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered!" It would be a sad thing for us if His mantle of love did not cover all our concerns--for what harm might be wrought to us if any of our matters did not come under our gracious Lord's care!

Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your smaller affairs. The breadth of His tender love is such that you may resort to Him in all matters; for as a father pities his children--so does He pity you, His redeemed child. The smallest interests of all His saints--are all borne upon the broad bosom of the Son of God. Oh, what a heart is His, that does not merely comprehend the salvation of His people--but comprehends also, all their diverse and innumerable concerns!

Do you think, O Christian, that you can measure the love of Christ? Think of what His love has brought you--justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal life! The riches of His goodness are unsearchable; you shall never be able to tally them--or even conceive them. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ!

Shall such a love as this have half our hearts? Shall it have a cold love in return? Shall Jesus' marvelous loving-kindness and tender care, meet with but faint response and tardy acknowledgment?

O my soul, you are no desolate wanderer--but a beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

"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. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:18-19
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