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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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« Reply #1500 on: February 18, 2009, 09:25:20 AM »

THE LORD PRESERVETH THE SIMPLE--- Psalm 116:6

"The Lord preserveth the simple. I was brought low, and he helped me." --- Psalm 116:6.

He who walks in godly simplicity and humility, accounting his own infirmities always the greatest, will best be preserved from being puffed up and sifted by the enemy of souls; and truly, nothing should humble us more than justification by free grace.

The more we consider and carefully cherish that, the more this simple, child-like, quiet temper will increase; for there is nothing in ourselves which can be depended upon, but all must be freely received from Christ, this, at the same time cutting off all vain boasting, brings us low, settles ou peace in Christ, who is our all, and is sure enough to be rested upon.

It is only from thee, O my dear Saviour, I can learn true simplicity; teach me, therefore, to turn thine eyes, not upon others, but upon thyself. humble me to the uttermost, and fashion me after thine own mind, that I may be careful to avoid everything that is contrary to love.

Keep me, O my light, from all self-dependence and self-conceit, bridle my carnal reason, and pull down all vain imaginations. Grant that my eye may be fixed only upon one thing needful which lasts eternally; and that in all my words, deeds, and gestures, I may always resemble the simplicity, innocence, fidelity, and love of a little child. --- Matthew 18:3.

Rich grace, free grace, most sweetly calls,
Directly come who will,
Just as you are, for Christ receives
Poor helpless sinners still.

'Tis grace that feeds our souls;
Grace keep us inly poor;
And oh nothing else but grace
May rule for ever more!
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« Reply #1501 on: February 19, 2009, 09:08:52 AM »

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD --- Psalm 23:1

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." --- Psalm 23:1.

He says it himself. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither any man pluck them out of my hand." --- John 10:10, 28.

Reader! is the Lord Jesus thy shepherd? Has he called thee out of the wilderness? called thy heart from the love of sin and the world, and brought thee into a close atttendance on his ordinances?

And does he refresh and feed thy soul with his word? Canst thou distinguish the Shepherds's voice from the voice of an hireling? And does thy heart cleave to the Shepherd in faith and love, adoring person, and approving his laws, as well as admiring his doctrines?

Then fear not; the Lord is with thee; Jesus is thy Shepherd; Thou shalt want nothing that is really good. Follow the Shepherd till he bring thee to glory.

My shepherd is the living Lord;
Now shall my wants be supplied;
His providence and holy word
Become my safety and my guide.

My wandering feet his ways mistake
But he restores my soul to peace,
And leads me, for his mercy's sake
In the fair path of righteousness.
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« Reply #1502 on: February 20, 2009, 09:58:29 AM »

EVERLASTING GOSPEL --- Revelation 14:6

"The everlasting gospel . . ." --- Revelation 14:6.

The gospel is properly called "glad tidings," for these reasons: we are polluted with the filth of sin; in it is opened a fountain for sin and uncleanness. The way to heaven is blocked up by our sins; it reveals "a new and living way, through the flesh of Christ."

We are imprisoned debtors by multiplied transgressions; it shows that a price, the most inestimable, has been paid to discharge us. We have by nature hard, cold, and impenitent hearts; in it is promised a heart of flesh.

We can of ourselves do nothing, it shows that through Christ we can do all things. We feel that we are liable to err and backslide; it declares, that God will scourge us till we return to him, but not take his loving-kindness from us. We know that we are liable to many calamities; it teaches us that they shall all work together for our good.

We see that we are dying creatures; by it we are assured that we have a Forerunner in heaven, and an eternal habitation with God in glory. Lord, send abroad and bless this gospel!

Salvation! let the echo fly
The spacious earth around
While all the armies of the sky
Conspire to raise the sound.
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« Reply #1503 on: February 21, 2009, 10:03:21 AM »

IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM--- Titus 1:10.

"They profess that they know God; but in works deny him." --- Titus 1:10.

There is a profession of a special kind, which in its own nature is exposed to the reproach of the world: "They that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

There is a being in Christ, and not living godly; for there are branches in the vine, by profession, that bring forth no fruit; men that have not in them the mind that was in Christ Jesus, which torments the men of earth: but they that will live godly, that is, engage in a profession that shall, on all occasions, and in all instances, manifest the power of it, they shall suffer persecution.

We see many every day keep up a profession; but such a profession as will not provoke the world. Now this is to be ashamed of the gospel, to be ashamed of the power and glory of it, to be ashamed of the Author of it.

No man can put Jesus Christ to greater shame than by professing the gospel without showing the power of it, Phillipians 3:18. There can be no more vile and sordid hypocrisy than for any to pretend unto inward, habitual sanctification, while their lives are barren in the fruits of righteousness and obedience.

Reader, of all the dangers in profession, beware of customary, traditional, or doctrinal owning of gospel truths, without an experimental acquanitance with the reality and efficacy of them; for all such will have their portion where is "wailing and gnashing of teeth."

O fairest Pearl of price
Thy riches let me see,
And freely sacrifice
The world's esteem for thee;
For thee I would count all things loss,
And glory in thy cross!

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« Reply #1504 on: February 22, 2009, 01:11:33 PM »

THY SEED AND HER SEED --- Genesis 3:15.

"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." --- Genesis 3:15.

By "the seed of the woman" is to be understood Christ the Saviour; not excluding his friends and followers in every age of the world. This prediction of a Saviour signified to our first parents these four things;

1. That the promised Saviour was not to be the man's but the woman's seed, or born of a virgin:

2. That he was to be a man by that expression, "Thou shalt bruise his heel:"

3. That he should break the head of the serpent, or destroy his power and dominion over mankind, and punish him, and all his votaries, with an utter destruction; and,

4. That in order to our Saviour's doing so, he must have his own heel, or human nature, that lowest part of his meditatory person, bruised by the serpent, or persecuted and put to death by the devil and his emissaries.

This was the first intimation of a Saviour that was made to the world, it was made to the serpent, for his immediate confusion; made in the presence of our first parents, and before their sentence was pronounced, to inspire them with the hope of pardon and life, and with a sense of the distinguishing mercy of God, who, before he denounced so much as any temporal punishment, animated them with the hope of eternal redemption.

Arise, arise, thou woman's seed,
And bruise the serpent in my heart!
Employ thy vengeance on his head,
And deadly strokes each day impart.
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« Reply #1505 on: February 23, 2009, 08:58:48 AM »

THAT WHICH SEEMETH HIM GOOD --- 2 Samuel 10:12.

"The Lord do that which seemeth him good." --- 2 Samuel 10:12.

A Christian still feels the motion of self-will, and, consequently, of sin in his heart. And if it be asked, How can Christ, and sin dwell together in one heart? The answer is, As a king and rebels in one kingdom or town; he does not agree or correspond with them, but subdues them, and maintains peace.

But where self-will has the dominion, there is nothing but trouble and confusion; for unsanctified passions, and a bad conscience, not only are inward torments, but often occasion perplexity and damage in our worldly affairs; whereas in the blood of Christ we have a good conscience, abundance of peace, and can be content and happy in the most indifferent circumstances.

Take heed, therefore, O my dear Christian, never to be led by thy own spirit, were it even in such things as seem to bring glory to God, if it is not of his own appointment.

Our hearts are sometimes very deceitfully desirious of what pleases ourselves, while we pretend to seek God's glory: and were we not crossed in these our designs, they would prove a great burden to our life. Blessed is he who not only prays with his lips, but is heartily willing also that nothing but the will of the Lord should be done in everything.

It is God alone that understands what may be good or dangerous to our spiritual or temporal circumstances. We being often blinded or drawn by our lusts, are too much inclined to choose at random what would be, perhaps, most detrimental.

Saviour, to my heart be near,
Exercise thy shepherd's care!
Guard my weakness by thy grace,
Let me feel a constant peace.
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« Reply #1506 on: February 24, 2009, 11:33:18 AM »

THE LORD WILL REGARD --- Psalm 102:17.

"The Lord will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer." --- Psalm 102:17.

"They looked unto him, and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed." --- Psalm 34:5.

See also the instance of the woman of Canaan. Matthew 15:21-28. And what Christ says, Luke 11:5-13; and chapter 18:1-8. Likewise of a tossed vessel. Matthew 8:24-27.

The load of outward and inward affliction, is not always prayed away with a few words, or in a few days.

Sometimes it is necessary even to wrestle with God, and be very instant too; how else could faith and practice be exercised?

If, therefore, the trials be sharp and lasting, it is not to weaken our faith, but to stir us up to be more instantly zealous in prayer, and in the right use of the word of God; and by these means to be so much more gloriously delivered and strengthened in faith; for whatever God sends upon us, it is not for the lessening; but for the increase of our faith.

God is the refuge of his saints,
When swords of sharp distress invade;
Ere we can offer our complaints,
Behold him present with his aid.

Let mountains from their seats be hurl'd
Down to the deep, and buried there;
Convulsions shake the solid world,-
Our faith should never yield to fear.

Though loud the troubled ocean roar,
Our souls may yet in peace abide;
While every nation, every shore
Trembles and dreads the swelling tide.
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« Reply #1507 on: February 25, 2009, 09:33:44 AM »

THE HIGH AND HOLY PLACE --- Isaiah 57:15, 16.

"I dwell in the high and holy place, with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth, the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." --- Isaiah 57:15, 16.

To insist too much upon the sensible joys of faith, might make weaker souls weaker still. Many a sincere Christian's heart is like a bottle of a very narrow passage, which can receive the dew of heavenly comfort only by little drops.

But dost thou feel thyself quite naked, and void of all good? Christ will surely cover thee with a robe of righteousness. Go entirely out of thyself, looking only to him for everything; and whatever gifts of joy, peace, and holiness may be given thee, be very thankful for them, yet trust not in them, but in Christ alone. This will make thee sure, and keep thy heart at rest.

Thus saith the high and lofty One,
I sit upon my holy throne;
My name is God, I dwell on high,
Dwell in my own eternity.

But I descend to worlds below,
On earth I have a mansion too;
The humble spirit and contrite
Is an abode of my delight.

The humble soul my words revive;
I bid the mourning sinner live;
Heal all the broken hearts I find,
And ease the sorrow of the mind.
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« Reply #1508 on: February 26, 2009, 08:16:04 AM »

LORD, BY THY FAVOUR . . . --- Psalm 30:7.

"Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled." --- Psalm 30:7.

See, my soul in this verse, a picture of thine own experience; how much art thou like David! When I look up to heaven how often do I see the sun both shine and set! When I look down into myself, how often do I see my comforts rise and fall!

One while I am upon Mount Tabor, and have a glance of heaven; another while I lie in the valley of Bochim weeping; because I have lost sight of my heavenly country.

When God would quicken my affections, he gives me a glance of heaven, that so I may be in love with what I see. When I begin to bless myself, and rest in my happy privileges, he draws a veil over the bright vision, that I may rest in nothing but himself, nor loathe what I so greatly love.

He suffers my happiness here to be imperfect, that so I may be pressing on to that place where I shall be perfectly happy for ever.

Lord, when thou showest thyself, let me love thee; when my mountain stands strong, let me praise thee; when thou withdrawest thyself, let me follow thee; when thy countenance is hid, let me believe still that thou lovest me; under all my changes here, let my soul be always breathing, panting, longing, and reaching after thee, till I shall so perfectly enjoy thee that I may never lose thee anymore.

Lord, guide me in this Christain race,
And keep mine eye intent on thee;
Rejoicing when I see thy face,
And trusting when I cannot see.
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« Reply #1509 on: February 27, 2009, 10:02:18 AM »

I WILL KEEP THEE . . . --- Revelation 3:10.

"The Lord will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer." --- Psalm 102:17.

"Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." --- Luke 22:31, 32.

"Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. '--- Amos 9:9.

"I will keep thee from the hour of temptation." --- Revelation 3:10.

Sometimes we may imagine ourselves to be divinely convinced of the will of God, both by seeming outward providences, and inward persuasions of faith; and yet it is possible that the siftings of Satan are at the bottom; however, the Lord will overrule him at last, and order all things to the best for his people.

May the Lord make us watchful against our own spirit, and against the evil one, especially when he is transformed into an angel of light, that it may not be in his power to sift us so as to gain an advantage over us, by our listening to his inward suggestions, or yielding to his subtle temptations!

In vain the baffled prince of hell
His cursed projects tries;
We that were doom'd his endless slaves
Are raised above the skies.

O may my Jesus guard me safe
From every ill design,
And to his heavenly kingdom keep
This feeble soul of mine!

God's my everlasting aid,
And hell shall rage in vain;
To him be highest glory paid
And endless praise. Amen.
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« Reply #1510 on: February 28, 2009, 09:05:25 AM »

LET IT BE THE HIDDEN MAN --- 1 Peter 3:3, 4.

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." --- 1 Peter 3:3, 4.

"In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength." --- Isaiah 30:15.

A Christian's best accoutrements and festival clothes, in which he daily celebrates his sabbath, are cAlled (Colossians 3:10, 12, 14,) "The new man, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering: and above all, charity."

These are our true ornaments, and we should seek to be dressed in them -- Reader, what dost thou adorn most? body or soul? O thou meek and quiet Lamb of God, justly I blush before thee, when I consider my impatience, though I am never innocent like thee!

I humbly beseech thee to forgive me these my transgressions, since thou hast made sufficient atonememt for all by thy meritorious silence; but to deliver me from this choleric, hot, and peevish temper also; and give me grace, in all inward and outward troubles, to have the long-forbearing mind which was in thee!

Make me daily more and more like a lamb, that on all occasions, grevious and joyful, I may be duly composed, and show that excellent ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, not in many words, but in reality and power. Amen.

Giver of concord, Prince of Peace,
Meek, lamb-like Son of God,
Bid our unruly passions cease
And quench them with thy blood.

Oh let us find the ancient way
Our wond'ring foes to move,
And force the heathen to say,
"See how these Christians love!"
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« Reply #1511 on: March 01, 2009, 09:47:28 AM »

THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE --- Luke 13:7-9.

"Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none: why cumbereth it the ground? Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." --- Luke 13:7-9.

Thou fruitless fig-tree! thou barren professor! dost thou hear this, and not tremble? God is come seeking fruit:- will thy bare profession, thy knowledge of the principles of religion, satisfy the great God? Will the notions of truth in thy head, thy talking and disputing, thy hearing the word preached, thy commending or censoring sermons and preachers, just as thou art in the mood, will this serve thy turn? -- and wilt thou thus endeavour to ward off the heart-searching God?

Know thou, God is come to seek for fruit, and for good fruit from thee; not the fruit of good words only, but the fruit of good works; and not the fruit of talking well, but of walking well, the fruit of holiness in life and conversation:- fruit short of this God will not regard.

If thy conscience be awakened, look to thy merciful High Priest, consider well his intercession for such a barren soul as thou art: "Lord, let it alone," etc. Father, let this man live one year longer;- Oh turn away from thine anger!

I will yet see what may be done;- I will try what corrections may do;- perhaps the rod may work more upon him than my word has hitherto done, and may tend to make his barren heart fruitful; I will also stir up my servants to awaken him by a more sharp and searching manner; and if these new efforts be blesse to him, all shall yet be well, thy grace magnified, and his soul saved; if not, then thou shalt cut him down.

If, under means of grace,
No fruits of grace appear
It is a dreadful case;
Though God may long forbear
At length he'll strike the threaten'd blow,
And lay the barren fig-tree low.
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« Reply #1512 on: March 01, 2009, 09:48:04 AM »

FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD --- Galatians 2:20.

"I live by the faith of the Son of God." --- Galatians 2:20.

In spiritual things we are too often living upon self; we seek in frames, forms, creatures, and animal life, that inward peace and stablity of mind which is only to be found in the Redeemer.

Outward duties are well in their place: they are to be performed, but not to be trusted in; they are as the scaffold to the building, a means to carry on the work; but not the work itself.

When favoured with the gracious presence of Jesus, they are blessings, without it, they are nothing. The whole dependence must be on Jesus: he is the way, the truth, and the life; without him, prayers, praises, rites, and ordinances, are carcases without a soul.

This is the case with every external service that is destitute of the presence and blessing of the Holy Spirit, who alones imparts communion of heart, and a quickening of the soul in faith, and in love of Jesus, and often a delightful view of that which is behind the veil of the ordinances, (such as no carnal eye can behold,) a purely spiritual discovery of the Lord in his goodness, beauty, grandeur, and glory.

Vain are our fancies, airy flights,
If faith be cold and dead;
None but a living power unites
To Christ the living head.

'Tis faith changes all the heart,
'Tis faith that works by love,
That bids all my sinful joys depart,
And lifts the thoughts above.
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« Reply #1513 on: March 02, 2009, 08:49:50 AM »

NARROW IS THE WAY --- Matthew 7:13, 14.

"Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; but narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." --- Matthew 7:13, 14.

This sounds too harsh in the ears of the old man, who would not have the law made use of in these gospel times, either to the converted or unconverted; and yet to the old man, the law, and not the gospel, properly belongs.

St. Paul, the great preacher of the gospel, made use of the law to rouse unconverted Felix from his security, Acts 24:25; and to warn the unconverted Romans from falling into it again. Romans 8:13.

Which way dost thou walk? Examine thyself. Is it the narrow way? Art thou quite sure of it? Venture not to go on any further at random.

It is a matter of great consequence; if thou wilt be safe, try better for it; thou mayest be easily deceived. Alas! thou art surely in the broad road to destruction, if thou still lovest and art conformed to the world.

Art thou but indifferent with regard to the things of God, relishing more the vanities, pleasure, companies, treasures, and honours of this world? thou art not in the good narrow way that leads unto life. Oh, consider this well, and stop short before it is too late, and thou drop into the bottomless pit of perdition!

Strait is the way, the door is strait,
That leads to joys on high;
'Tis but a few that find the gate,
While crowds mistake and die.

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« Reply #1514 on: March 03, 2009, 09:10:46 AM »

MEMORIAL BEFORE THE LORD --- Exodus 28:29, 30.

"Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breast-plate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually. And thou shalt put in the breast-plate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, (namely, light and integrity). . . ." --- Exodus 28:29, 30.

Now am I, saith the believer, for ever in gracious remembrance with God, since my great High Priest and Advocate, Christ Jesus, bears my name continually before him in his heart.

Whenever I am in trouble about my sins, his powerful meditation will surely obtain mercy for all my transgression, and supply my wants abundantly. God not denying him anything, I can through him continually be heard, and obtain graace; for he makes perpetual intercession for me in heaven; by which all my prayers, at all times, and even now, are sanctified, and presented to the Father, who heareth him always.

Oh, who would not send up his petition to heaven in faith.

Now may our joyful tongues
Our Maker's honour sing;
Jesus, the Priest, receives our songs,
And bears them to the King.

Before his Father's eye
Our humble suit he moves:
The Father lays his thunder by,
And looks, and smiles, and loves.

No fiery vengeance now,
Nor burning wrath comes down;
If justice calls for sinners' blood,
The Saviour shows his own.
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