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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #1515 on: March 04, 2009, 08:54:24 AM »

IF ANY MAN WILL COME --- Luke 9:23.

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself." --- Luke 9:23.

Doing this, all the rest is easy. If we know that we are nothing, are unworthy of everything, and have nothing of our own, we can lose nothing.

We have no property since we are but stewards of the Lord. We have no honour or shame of our own, after the manner of the world; this being ou only honour, if God be glorified; this is our only shame, if he be dishonoured by us.

The glory of God we must have at heart, and in his cause be like lions, but in our own cause like lambs.

Therefore, when we are crossed in things which do not concern the glory of God, and the real good of our neighbour, but our own interests, and are unwilling to suffer anything, we shall miscarry, and be involved in greater troubles: but denying ourselves, we shall lose only a good deal of vexation; and instead of this, receive Christ with all his spiritual and temporal blessings, as far as we want them; which alone can make us cheerful and happy.

But whoever desires to please the world, seeking himself and his own glory, cannot be a follower of Christ. And how will it be with him in the hour of death and judgment?

By this everyone, learned and unlearned, may try themselves: whom do they please? God or the world?

Oh! hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me may live;
My vile affections crucify;
Let not one darling lust survive!
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« Reply #1516 on: March 05, 2009, 06:56:52 AM »

HE IS PRECIOUS --- 1 Peter 2:7.

"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious." --- 1 Peter 2:7.

Reader, put these following questions to thine own heart, as in the presence of God, if thou canst answer affimatively, doubt not thy real interest in him, and in his great salvation: Is the Lord Jesus Christ precious to me, as he is to all who believe? Once he was to me without form or comeliness, and I saw no beauty in him; is he now to me the chiefest of ten thousand, yea, altogether lovely?

Do I behold an infinite amiableness and glory in his person, a transcendent excellency in his righteousness, an inexhausted fulness in his grace, and a heaven of happiness in his love? Do I esteem him above every name, love him above every creature and thing, and value an interest in him before ten thousand worlds?

Is the language of my soul, "None but Christ, none but Christ?" "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee."

Is all the world, all that is admired in it, esteemed to me as dung, and beheld with the greatest contempt, when compared with a glorious Christ, the ravishing sweetness of his love, and the unsearchable riches of his grace?

Do I wish nothing so ardently, seek nothing so diligently, and rejoice in nothing so greatly, as to win Christ, and be found in him? Be this my portion, and I can say, I want, I wish, I ask no more!

In vain I seek for rest
In all created good,
It leaves me yet unblest,
And makes me pant for God.
And sure at rest I cannot be,
Until my heart finds rest in thee!
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« Reply #1517 on: March 06, 2009, 09:25:09 AM »

FOR HE IS THY LORD --- Psalm 45:9-11, 13.

"Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. The king's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. Hearken O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is the Lord; and worship thou him." --- Psalm 45:9-11, 13.

Observe, O my soul, that the celestial Bridgegroom does not require any ornament, merit, worthiness, or beauty of thine own. No; he will wash thee himself with his blood, he will adorn thee, and make thee truly amiable to himself and to his Father.

Oh sweet and eternal truth! "He has loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood." And being clothed with his righteousness, we have more than angelic beauty. If we have received the spirit of adoption, let us cleave to Christ alone, love him above all things, and walk in his commandments.

This is not only our duty, but a needful evidence of our sonship.

The King of saints, how fair his face,
Adorn'd with majesty and grace;
He comes with blessings from above.
And wins the nations to his love.

At his right hand our eyes behold
The queen array'd in purest gold;
The world admires her heavenly dress,
Her robe of joy and righteousness.

He forms her beauties like his own;
He call and seats her near his throne;
Fair stranger, let thine heart forget
The idols of thy native state.

So shall the King the mor rejoice
In thee, the favourite of his choice;
Let him be loved, and yet adored,
For he's thy Maker and thy Lord.
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« Reply #1518 on: March 07, 2009, 09:41:34 AM »

FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD --- Galatians 5:24.

"They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." --- Galatians 5:24.

Although the flesh be alive still, and frequently stir, yet it cannot fulfil its desire when it is fastened to the cross with the crucifying of the flesh we have to do as long as we live. This is the cross we are to take up daily, and which either prevents more outward crosses, or at least yields great comfort in them.

The cross being an extraordinary good means to experience the sweetness of the word of God, thou must always be ready and prepared for it, O my soul. And if none come from it, take care to break thine own will in everything. Painful and hard as this may seem at first, yet it will certainly very soon grow easier, and be a matter of real joy.

Blessing and peace will attend thy ways and steps, and thou shalt glorify God for having resigned and guided, not by thy own, but for his good will and pleasure. Self-will, on the other hand, creates nothing but vexation, trouble, and uneasiness.

It is punished by itself, deprives us of real blessings; and therefore deserves, and is best, to be broken and crucified in its first motions.

Still I feel a fleshly part,
Much corruption in my heart;
Oh! I'm very vile indeed!
Of thy blood I sure have need.

Break, Oh break this heart of stone!
Form it for thy use alone;
But each vanity depart;
Build thy temple in my heart.
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« Reply #1519 on: March 08, 2009, 11:04:21 AM »

ABLE AND HIS BLOOD OFFERING --- Genesis 4:4, 5.

"And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect." --- Genesis 4:4, 5.

Here are two brothers, bringing each of them an oblation to the Lord. Cain, as an husbandman, brought of the produce of the ground he cultivated; Abel, as a shepherd, some of the firstlings of his flock, with the fat of them; consequently, both believed that there was a God that made the world, and was to be worshipped; and yet one was accepted, and the other rejected.

Cain's sacrifice was wholly eucharistical, or a thank-offering to God, for the blessings of his providence. Abel's was not only of the eucharist, but of the expiatory kind; and while it was an expression of gratitude for the blessings of Providence, it was typical of the offering of Christ, and expressive of his hope of redemption through him; but what made the chief difference between them was, that Cain presented his offering while his heart was withheld, and without faith in Christ; so was of the wicked one.

Abel brought both his person and sacrifice, an offering to the Lord: he presented his oblation, and performed the other parts of worship, with faith in God, and the promised Saviour, and with sincerity, humility, and love.

Thus God has respect to him and his offering; accepted first his person as justified, then his offering; but neither the person nor offering of Cain found acceptance with God.

Reader, mark the difference; by this, Abel speaks to thee; art thou in a state of acceptance with God by faith in Jesus? Is thy whole dependence for pardon and life on Christ crucified? Dost thou obey from a principle of love? Then thou shalt be blessed with righteous Abel here and for ever.

Thank-offerings paid to God
Still need the atoning blood;
Faith makes them with acceptance go,
As Cain and Abel here do show.
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« Reply #1520 on: March 10, 2009, 09:30:40 AM »

BLOOD MAKETH AN ATONEMENT --- Leviticus 16:30, 31; 17:11.

"On that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls by a statute for ever. The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 16:30, 31; 17:11.

Our great day of atonement is that on which Christ shed his blood for us on the cross, and thereby made atonement for us. Now, if it was necessary for the Israelites to afflict their souls and chastise their bodies, on the great day of atonement, how much more ought we to pray for humility and repentance, as evidence of our interest in the propitiation made by Christ Jesus!

And as they abstained from all labour on that day, when th high priest alone was employed, so should we abstain from all our sinful works, and particulary from all self-sufficiency of righteousness, and seek our salvation only in the meritorious blood of the atonement shed by our High Priest; for the life of our souls is in the blood of Jesus.

O my Redeemer, may I with an afflicted soul, ever seek my atonement, life, and salvation, in thy blood and death; and may I lie down and rise up in a comfortable hope that I am pardoned through thy blood, thy Spirit bearing witness to my conscience.

Father, God, who see'st in me
Only sin and misery;
See thine own annointed one!
Look on thy beloved Son!
Turn from me thy glorious eyes
To that bloody sacrifice.

To that full atonement made,
To that utmost ransom paid,
Hear his blood's prevailing cry:
Let thy mercy then reply:
Then, through him, the sinner see:
Then, in Jesus, look on me.
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« Reply #1521 on: March 10, 2009, 09:31:22 AM »

BY THE GRACE OF GOD --- 1 Corinthians 15:10.

"By the grace of God I am what I am." --- 1 Corinthians 15:10.

Be this my motto, both as to my natural and spiritual life:- how else could I have existed at all? Had not foreknowledge planned, and wisdom contrived, and power put every atom together, and fixed my scene of action, I had never been here.

Nor is this God of grace less to be seen in every motion of my soul towards him; had not every spring been in him, this table on which I lean, had felt as much bias toward him as I.

The first check of conscience, the first thrill of fear, the first view of guilt, the first tear of pentitence, were all his own: the first drawings of the Spirit, the first sight of Christ, the first dawn of hope, were all his own: every succeeding step in the path of duty, every attainment in grace, every victory over the world and sin, every evidence and token of the safety of my everlasting state, and every sweet interval of communion I have had with him, were still all his own; and the last labour of love, the last act of faith, and conquest over sin, death, and hell, together with an admission into eternal glory, must and shall be all his own likewise.

The spring is love; the means is Christ; the footing firm; the headstone "shall be brought forth with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it;" and grace shall be crowned with everlasting glory.

Whate'er I am, whate'er I hope,
Proceeds from bounty of rich grace;
Grace makes and holds my body up,
An heals my spirit's sickly face.

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« Reply #1522 on: March 11, 2009, 07:31:00 AM »

THE LOVE OF CHRIST CONSTRAINETH US --- 2 Corinthains 5:14, 15.

"The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthains 5:14, 15.

If the love and power of Christ constrains us, we must needs be meditating and relying on him and his death. This will cut off all workings of our own, and make room for Christ to work everything in us, and through us.

O Lord, may thy love on the cross fire my frozen heart also; that I may now begin to love and praise thee purely and fervently, and to offer my whole life up to thee as an entire sacrifice of love.

Raise your triumphant songs
To an immortal tune;
Let the wide earth resound the deeds
Celestial grace has done.

Sing how eternal love
Its chief beloved chose,
And bade him raise our wretched race
From ssin's destructive woes.

Now, sinners, dry your tears,
Let hopeless sorrows cease;
Bow to the sceptre of his love,
And take the proffered peace.

Lord, we obey thy call;
We lay an humble claim
To the salvation thou hast brought,
And love and praise thy name.
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« Reply #1523 on: March 12, 2009, 07:42:00 AM »

DO IT WITH THY MIGHT --- Ecclesiastes 9:10.

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, wither thou goest." --- Ecclesiastes 9:10.

The business of life is to glorify God, and to work out our own salvation: all other concerns are subordinate to these; "The time is short:" as the tree falleth, so it lieth;" and where death strikes down, there God lays out either for mercy or misery; so that I may compare it to the Red Sea; If I go in an Israelite, my landing shall be in glory, and my rejoicing and triumph, to see all mine enemies dead upon the sea-shore; but if I go in an Egyptian, if I be on this side of the cloud, on this side of the covenant, and go in hardened among the troops of Pharaoh, justice shall return in its full strength, and an inundation of judgment shall overflow my soul for ever.

Or I may compare death to the sleep of the ten virgins, of whom it is said, "They all slumbered and slept;" we shall all fall into this sleep. Now, if I lie down with the wise, I shall go in with the Bridegroom; but if I sleep with the foolish, without oil in my lamp, without grace in my soul, I have closed the gates of mercy upon me for ever.

I see then this life is the time wherein I must go forth to meet the Lord: this is the hour wherein I must do my work; and the day wherein I must be judged according to my works is at hand.

I know not how soon I may fall into this sleep; therefore, Lord, grant that I may live every day in thy sight, as I desire to appear the last day in thy presence.

Awake, my sluggish soul,
The heavenly race to run;
Believe and pray, and speed thy way,
For night is drawing on.
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« Reply #1524 on: March 13, 2009, 05:56:51 AM »

SIN IS A REPROACH --- Proverbs 14:34.

"Sin is a reproach to any people." --- Proverbs 14:34.

Be not deceived, therefore, with false notions of faith. Where there is true faith, no sin has dominion. Sin will be ever stirring, often raging, and sometimes prevailing; but never reigning, where true faith is.

A believer, through a strong and sudden temptation, may be captivated by sin, but he is no willing captive; he hates sin, and prays and watches against it; and, as faith increases, his power over sin increases too.

A man, having no feeling of the desperate wickedness of his heart, may imagine he has faith enough; but being once convinced of that, he soon perceives that it is the hardest thing in the world to believe; it requires the same power by which Christ was raised from the dead.

St. Paul most emphatically describes it with six remarkable words. Ephesians 1:19, 20. How then can any man think it an easy matter to believe?

Oh the dreadful blindness and security which all the world runs into! May the Lord open their eyes!

Lord, how secure my conscience was,
And felt no inward dread!
I was alive without the law,
And thought my sins were dead.

My hopes of heaven were firm and bright;
But, since the precept came
With a convincing pow'r and light,
I find how vile I am.

I'm like a helpless captive, sold
Under the power of sin;
I cannot do the good I would,
Nor keeping my conscience clean.

My God, I cry, with every breath,
For thy kind pow'r to save,
To break the yoke of sin and death,
And thus redeem the slave.
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« Reply #1525 on: March 14, 2009, 07:19:22 AM »

AT THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD --- Numbers 9:17-19.

"At the commandment of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched; and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and journeyed not." --- Numbers 9:17-19.

Thus the spiritual Israelites; they ought not to undertake anything from their own will, lest confusion and disappointment should encompass every path.

The unconverted are full of their own will, how should they succeed? They are bewildered here, and run into perdition eternally.

Sometimes the faithful may, with a good design, when they are engaged in a good work, outrun the will of God, and not wait for his counsel.

And yet the Israelites journeyed not, though the cloud tarried many days, and they might imagine they were losing time on their journey.

O my God, grant that in all things, even in my best works, I may be guided by thine eye, and wait for thy counsel with a resigned temper!

May I speak or be silent, work or rest, when and as thou wilt; then shall my ways be blest, and thou wilt never leave me nor foresake me.

My God, the steps of pious men
Are order'd by thy will;
Though they should fall, they rise again,
Thy hand supports them still.

I chose the path of heav'nly truth,
And God inspired my choice;
Not all the wealth of all the earth
Could make me so rejoice.
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« Reply #1526 on: March 15, 2009, 09:38:32 AM »

IN HIM WAS LIFE --- John 1:4.

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men." --- John 1:4.

Whatever notional knowledge men may have of Divine truths, as they are docrinally proposed in the Scripture; yet if they know them not in their respect unto the person of Christ, as the foundation of the counsels of God; if they discern not how they proceed from him, and centre in him, they will bring no saving, spiritual light unto their understandings; for all spiritual life and light is in him, and from him alone.

The difference between believers and unbelievers, as to knowledge, is not so much in the matter of their knowledge, as in their manner of knowing.

Unbelievers, some of them, may know more, and be able to say more of God, his perfections, and will, than many believers; but they know nothing as they ought, nothing in a right manner, nothing spiritually and savingly, nothing with a holy heavenly light.

The excellency of a believer is not they he hath large apprehensions of things, but what he doth apprehend, which may perhaps be very little, he sees it in the light of the Spirit of God, in a saving, soul-transforming light.

And this is that which gives us communion with God, and not prying thoughts, or curious raised notions. In this knowledge, Lord, give me to increase every day!

Dear Lord, annoint my head and heart,
And light and life bestow on me,
Light that will gospel truth impart;
And life to make me live to thee.
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« Reply #1527 on: March 16, 2009, 09:34:04 AM »

NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES --- Romans 15:1.

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." --- Romans 15:1.

"Considering thy self, lest thou also be tempted." --- Galatians 6:1.

"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant." --- Romans 14:4.

Extraordinary quickenings and strengthenings being often followed by perculiar temptations, conflicts, and sufferings, require a particular watchfulness, if we would be earnest not to provoke the Lord to visit us with sore punishments for our carelessness.

Fear, therefore; rejoice withtrembling; and, as a needful means to secure thyself from falling, temper thy joy with true humility and gentleness towards the faults of others.

Be never so high-minded, O man, at the miscarriages of others, so as to think thou wouldst not do so, should it happen to be thy case: for, if God does not hold thee up himself, thou wilt surely make greater mistakes.

Therefore, thou hadst not better look upon others, but upon thyself; and for fear of falling, be continually watchful in prayer. A great many would not have fallen so deep had they been truly humble, and more charitable in judging of others.

He who exalteth himself above others, and does not bear with the weak, is sometimes humbled and debased under the very weakest of all. Bear, therefore, since God bears with thee; and he that bears most with others shows the greatest strength.

Jesus Lord, we look to Thee;
Let us in thy name agree;
Each to each unite, endear,
Come and spread thy banner here.

Make us of one heart and mind,
Courteous, pitiful, and kind;
Lowly, meek in thought and word,
Altogether like our Lord.
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« Reply #1528 on: March 17, 2009, 08:33:44 AM »

THOU ART MY ROCK --- Psalm 31:3.

"Thou art my rock and fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me." --- Psalm 31:3.

"They shall come with weeping, and with supplication will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel." --- Jeremiah 31:9.

He that comes in this manner will certainly be led of God. Now, O Lord, I am blind, and heartily desire also to be directed by thee alone in all my ways and steps, in great and little things.

Suffer me never to follow my own spirit and natural inclinations, whatever good appearance they may have. Be pleased to cross them continually, whenever they are contrary to thy will.

Often I have been deceived by false appearances already; my zeal has not always been according to knowledge; I have put my natural passions in the place thereof, and thought I was contending for the faith once delivered tothe saints, and have afterwards found it no better than the effects of a party spirit.

Be then a father to me, O Lord, and instruct thy waiting child in al necessary truths, and lead me in all thy rightoeus ways.

Thou art my portion, O my God,
And Christ my living way;
Incline my heart to keep thy word,
And on my Christ to stay.

But if I run beside thy paths,
In mercy stop my race;
And turn my feet to thy commands,
And heal me by thy grace.

I would be always wholly thine;
Oh save thy servant, Lord!
Thou art my shield, my hiding place,
My hope is in thy word.

Thou hast inclined this heart of mine
Thy statutes to fulfil;
And thus, till mortal life shall end,
Would I perform thy will.
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« Reply #1529 on: March 18, 2009, 07:57:55 AM »

TRUST YE IN THE LORD --- Isaiah 26:3, 4.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." --- Isaiah 26:3, 4.

"Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me." --- Isaiah 27:5.

To enjoy an undisturbed peace, great care must be taken that we do not look and depend upon anything in ourselves, since all is but imperfect, and ever will be so.

We are to trust only in the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world, to feed our souls continually in the gospel of peace, and be ever seeking him by diligent prayer, watchful, faithful, quiet, and humble: for we never lose anything of our peace, except it is stolen by some pride, or other unguarded affections.

Hence from my soul, sad thoughts, begone,
And leave me to my joys;
My tongue shall triumph in my God,
And make a joyful noise.

Darkness and doubts had veil'd my mind,
And drown'd my head in tears;
Till sov'reign grace, with shining rays,
Dispell'd my gloomy fears.

Oh what immortal joys I felt,
And raptures all divine,
When Jesus told me I was His,
And my Beloved mine!

In vain the tempter frights my soul,
And breaks my peace in vain,
One glimpse, dear Saviour, of thy face
Revives my joys again.
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