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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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Boaz
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 08:42:09 AM »

Some of our readers may be total strangers to all such distressing experiences, and wonder why any real Christian should call into question the exact character of his or her illumination, troubling themselves not at all whether their enlightenment be natural or supernatural. Poor souls, it is greatly to be feared that a rude awakening is awaiting them from their Satan-induced sleep. But what shall we say to those who are awake and deeply concerned about their eternal interests? How are such to determine the matter? We answer, test the point. Was there not a time when you “saw no beauty in Christ that you should desire Him?” Is it so with you now? Or has He become in your eyes the “altogether lovely” One? You may be afraid to call Him yours, yet if your heart truly yearns for Him, then you must have been spiritually enlightened.the “oil” is in your vessel.

Second, oil softens. Oil was much used by the ancients for medicinal purposes, and we moderns might well take a leaf out of their books. It will melt caked wax in the ear; make tender a calloused bunion. It is very useful for tumours: repeated applications softening, then causing to burst, and then healing. Thus it is in the operation of the Holy Spirit. He finds the elect hard and obdurate by nature, and swollen with pride and self-conceit; but Divine grace softens them, melting their flinty hearts, bursting the tumours of selfrighteousness, and imparting a contrite spirit. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Eze. 36:26).

When Divine grace has been imparted the heart is supernaturally softened. But right here the sincere soul experiences still greater difficulty, and is ready to exclaim emphatically, Then I must still be in an unregenerate state, for my heart is “as hard as the nether millstone.” Wait a moment, dear friend, and test the matter. What are the marks of a “hard heart” as given in Scripture? Are they not a total absence of a feeling sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, an utter unconcern whether God be pleased or displeased with my conduct, no mourning in secret when Christ has been dishonoured by me? Is that true of you, who are so ready to conclude you are still in a state of nature? If it is not, if sin is your burden and your soul grieves over your lack of conformity to Christ, then your heart must have been spiritually softened.the “oil” is in your vessel.

Third, oil heals. Hence we find the great Physician, under the figure of the good Smaritan, having compassion on the assaulted traveler, binding up his wounds and “pouring in oil and wine” (Luke 10:34); and He is still caring thus for His people through the gracious ministry of the Spirit. How often the blessed Comforter applies “the balm of Gilead” to the sin-afflicted people of God. What horrible bruises and putrifying sores do sin and Satan inflict upon the souls of the saints, yet how frequently and tenderly does the Spirit mollify and relieve them. First, He works repentance in the heart, which is a purging grace, carrying away the foul and poisonous love of sin; and then He strengthens hope, which is a comforting grace so that the joy of the Lord once more becomes his strength. Divine grace removes the load of guilt from the conscience, applies the cordial of the promises, and gives the weary pilgrim a lift by the way.“set him on His own beast” (Luke 10:34).

Here, then, is another property and effect of Divine grace: it heals the soul. We can well imagine some fearful reader exclaiming, Alas, that cuts off my hope, for their is no soundness in me. Listen, dear friend, no Christian is completely and perfectly healed from the disease of sin in this life, but he is delivered from the most fearful and fatal effects of it; and it is at this point you are to examine yourself. What are the worst things which the Fall has produced in man? Enmity against God, the love of sin, the idolizing of self. Test yourself by these things. Do you still hate God?.if so, would you repine because you love Him so feebly! Are you still in love with sin?.if so, why do you grieve over its workings! Is self now your idol?.if so, why do you, at times, loath yourself! Sin has not been eradicated, but its wounds are being healed.the “oil” is in your vessel.

The limited space now at our disposal prevents us doing more than barely mentioning a number of other features. Oil makes the joints flexible and nimble, and therefore was much used by athletes; so grace enables the Christian to “serve in newness of spirit” (Rom. 7:6) and run the race set before him. It is an excellent thing for those who have stiff joints, for it penetrates to the bones (Psa. 109:18). It makes the countenance fresh and comely (Psa. 104:15): what is more attractive to the spiritual eye than a gracious character. It sweetens our persons, so that we are unto God a “sweet savour of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15), whereas the wicked are a “smoke in His nostrils” (Isa. 65:5). It gladdens, and thus we read of “the oil of joy” (Isa. 61:3): the heart is exhilarated when grace is active. It is an aid to digestion; so, only as grace is active within us, can we assimilate our spiritual food.

Oil and water will not intermingle: the old man is not bettered by the new, nor is the new corrupted by the old. Oil cannot be made to sink beneath the water, but always floats on top; so grace in the believer is indestructible, and at the end it will be seen to have fully triumphed over sin. Oil is a super-eminent liquid, for it will not incorporate itself with anything lighter; it will have the highest place above all other liquids. So the graces of the Spirit are of a superior character.as far above the gifts of nature as spiritual blessings excel earthly things. Oil quietens troubled waters, giving relief to a ship in a storm: so grace often subdues the turbulent workings of sin. What a blessed promise is that in Psalm 92:10, “But my horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil”: new supplies of grace, blessed revivings are granted God’s tried people. Yes, there is “oil in the dwellings of the wise”.virgins (Prov. 21:20. The Lord be pleased to add His blessing to this little meditation.

N.B. This short article is not designed for the searching and exposing of empty professors, but for the establishing and comforting of “the living in Jerusalem.” If the latter will prayerfully re-read its paragraphs and honestly measure themselves by their contents, they should be able to “prove” themselves (2 Cor. 13:5). It is not the absence of sin, nor the decreasing of its power within, which evidences regeneration, but the presence of a contrary and holy principle, which is known by its spiritual longings and efforts.

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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2009, 11:22:42 AM »

The Breaker!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

"The Breaker has gone up before them. He will bring you through the gates of your cities of captivity, back to your own land. Your King will lead you; the Lord Himself will guide you!" Micah 2:13

Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things do not remain as they would have been, had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe which has obstructed the way. Cheer up O faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ traveled the road--but He has slain your enemies upon life's road!

Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross!

Do you fear death? He has been the death of death!

Are you afraid of hell? He has barred the gates of hell from being entered by any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition!

Whatever foes may be before the Christian--they are all overcome! 


There are lions--but their teeth are broken! 


There are serpents--but their fangs are extracted! 


There are rivers--but they are bridged or fordable! 


There are flames--but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire!

The Breaker, Christ--has taken away all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, you may go safely and joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand! What shall you do--but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe! His head is broken! He may attempt to injure you--but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be sure--and your treasure shall be beyond all count!

"Proclaim aloud the Savior's fame,
 Who bears the Breaker's wondrous name;
 Sweet name; and it befits Him well,
 Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell!"

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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2009, 09:22:15 PM »

Consider Jesus– in Obedience to Human Law

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's." –Matt. 22:21

The obedience of Jesus, whether natural or moral--whether yielded to a divine or a human law--was, like all that He did, worthy of Himself. In no instance did He exhibit anything approaching resistance to constituted authority. Rebellion against Satan and sin was the only insubordination that marked our Lord's life on earth. On no occasion did either His doctrine or His practice come into direct and hostile antagonism with the State. The example before us is striking and conclusive of this. We read that the "Pharisees took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk." They came to Him and inquired, "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?" But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why are you tempting me, you hypocrites?" Had He pronounced it unlawful, caught in their snare, they would instantly have denounced Him to Herod as teaching treason against Caesar, and thus have evoked the rage of the people and the hostility of the government. But mark the wisdom and equity with which He defeated the design and exposed the craft and wickedness of His enemies, and in so doing, enunciated and enforced the moral precept which we are now to consider--"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." The consideration of the duty we owe, as Christians and citizens, to human law, may not be out of place, since there exists a strong and growing tendency to override all human law, and to ignore all civil authority, than which there is not a more direct violation of God's word or a more palpable violation of the spirit of Christianity.

Jesus recognized the existence of the civil power as an institution of God himself: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." (Rom. 13:1, 2). Such must be our starting-point in all our relations to civil government. Recognizing the human ordinance to be of divine appointment, the question of reverence to authority and of obedience to law will not reasonably admit of a moment's hesitation.

Jesus rendered unhesitating and implicit submission to both CIVIL and ECCLESIASTICAL law. We have seen it in reference to the State; another example is before us of His reverence for the Temple. When "tribute money" was demanded--or the didachma, or half-shekel levied for the religious purposes of the temple--He acknowledged its lawfulness, and, lest He should give offence by refusing to obey, He at once wrought a miracle, and paid the money (Matt. 17:24-27). Thus complete was our Lord's obedience to God and man. Upon no civil or religious law would He trample, since He had declared, "It becomes us to fulfill ALL righteousness." If a law presses upon conscience, or contravenes religious liberty, the remedy is obvious--not disobedience, but repeal; not tumultuous assemblies and inflammatory harangues, but constitutional petition. The Legislature and the Throne are accessible to the lowest and most oppressed subject of the land.

Jesus taught us that subjection to the civil magistrate was not incompatible with reverence to, and the fear of, God. How skillfully He combines them both: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." As disciples of Jesus, as children of God, as Christian citizens, let us so walk as to stand complete in all the divine will. First, and above all, let us obey God. Then will follow, in the Family relation, obedience to parents; in the State, obedience to magistrates; and in the Church of Christ, "obedience to those who have the rule over us" (Heb. 13:17).

"Let Caesar's due be ever paid
To Caesar and his throne;
But consciences and souls were made
To be the Lord's alone."
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 11:55:46 AM »

Surely something must be amiss with the scales!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"You are to have honest balances, honest weights, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt." Leviticus 19:36

Weights, and scales, and measures—were to be all according to the standard of justice.

Surely no Christian will need to be reminded of this in his business, for if justice were banished from all the world beside—it should find a shelter in true Christian hearts!

There are, however, other scales and balances which weigh moral and spiritual things—and these often need examining. We will call in the Judge right now.

Those scales in which we weigh our own and other men's characters—are they quite accurate? Do we not turn our own ounces of goodness—into pounds; and other people's pounds of excellence—into ounces? See to just weights and measures here, Christian!

Those scales in which we measure our trials and troubles—are they according to standard? Paul, who had far more to suffer than we have—called his afflictions light. Yet we often consider our afflictions to be heavy! Surely something must be amiss with the scales! We must see to this matter, lest we get reported to the court above, for unjust dealing!

Those scales with which we measure our beliefs—are they quite fair? The precepts and doctrines should have the same weight with us as the promises—no more and no less! With many, one scale or the other is unfairly weighted. It is a grand matter to give just measure in God's truths. Christian, be careful here!

Those scales in which we estimate our obligations and responsibilities look rather small. When a rich man gives no more to the cause of God, than the poor contribute—is that an honest weight, an honest measure, a just balance?

Reader, we might lengthen the list—but we prefer to leave it as your day's work—to find out and destroy all unjust scales, balances, weights, and measures!
 

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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 10:35:38 AM »

They were not carried on beds of ease to heaven!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Woe is me—that I dwell among these scoundrels of Meshech! It pains me to live with these people from Kedar!" Psalm 120:5

As a Christian, you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry, "Woe is me!"

Jesus did not pray, "O that you should be taken out of the world!" And what He did not pray for—you need not desire! Better far in the Lord's strength—to meet the difficulty, and glorify Him in it.

The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are upon you—and that more is expected from you, than from others! Strive to give no occasion for blame. Like Daniel, let your godliness and piety be the only faults which they can discover in you.

Seek to be useful—as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, "If I were in a more favorable position, I might be able to serve the Lord's cause. But I cannot do any good where I am!" But the worse the people are among whom you live—the more need they have of your exertions! If they are crooked—the more necessity that you should set them straight! If they are perverse—the more need have you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the physician be—but where there are many sick? Where is honor to be won by the soldier—but in the hottest fire of the battle?

When weary of the strife and sin which meets you on every hand—consider that all the saints have endured the same trial! They were not carried on beds of ease to heaven—and you must not expect to travel more easily than they! They had to hazard their lives unto the death, in the midst of the battlefield—and you will not be crowned—until you also have endured hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, "Be courageous! Be strong!" 1 Corinthians 16:13
 

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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 10:51:11 PM »

WHY GOD PERMITS DEMONIC ACTIVITY
By Don Rogers
1. To be an agent of TESTING (Job 1 & 2; Luke 22:31-32)
· Satan was permitted to destroy Job’s family, wealth and afflict him physically.
· Satan was permitted to sift Peter when Jesus was captured.
2. To be an agent of CHASTISEMENT (Isaiah 5 – The Parable of the Vineyard)
· When the vineyard did not produce good fruit, its protection from the enemy was
taken away so it could be trampled on. The rain was taken away to stifle its
growth.
· When Christians do not produce fruit, we will be more vulnerable to the enemy
and the blessings will decrease.
3. To be an agent of JUDGMENT (Judges 9 and 1 Kings 22)
· God used an evil spirit to bring judgment on Abimelech and the men of
Shechem.
· God used a lying spirit to lead king Ahab to his death.
4. To be a HUMBLING agent (2 Cor. 12:7-10) Paul’s testimony
· “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great
revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to
torment me.”
5. To demonstrate GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY – (Daniel 10; 2 Kings 6)
· An angel sent to Daniel to bring an answer to his prayer had to fight a demonic
prince over Persia. He got the assistance of Michael, the archangel, to get
through.
· When the army of the King of Aram surrounded Dothan in order to capture
Elisha, the prophet, the Lord provided a heavenly army to protect Elisha. When
the enemy army came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike these
people with blindness.” They were made blind and Elisha told them they were in
the wrong place and led them to Samaria.
6. To train God’s people to use His AUTHORITY and POWER (1 Peter 5:8-9)
· “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith,
because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the
same kind of sufferings.”
· “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome
all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm you.”
© 2005 – Spiritual Warfare Ministries, Inc.
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2009, 03:33:06 AM »

The knife which killed her husband!

(Thomas Watson, "The Ten Commandments")

The Lord's Supper is the looking-glass in which we see
Him whom our souls love; it is the chariot by which we
are carried up to Christ. God has appointed the Lord's
Supper to cheer and revive our sad hearts. When we
look on our sins—we have cause to mourn; but when
we see Christ's blood shed for our sins—we rejoice!

In the Lord's Supper our spiritual needs are supplied,
our strength is renewed; there we meet with Christ
—and He says to us, "All I have is yours! My love is
yours, to pity you! My mercy is yours, to save you!"
Christ's blood is the key which opens heaven—else
we had all been shut out!

The end of the Lord's Supper, is to work in us an
endeared love to Christ. When Christ bleeds for us,
well may we say, "Behold how He loved us!" That
is a heart of stone—which Christ's love will not melt!

Another end of the Lord's Supper is the mortifying of
corruption. To see Christ crucified for us—is a means
to crucify sin in us. How can a wife endure to see the
knife which killed her husband! How can we endure
those sins—which made Christ veil His glory and shed
His blood! Sin has rent the white robe of Christ's flesh,
and dyed it of a crimson color. The thoughts of this
should make us seek to be avenged on our sins!
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(1 Pet 5:6-7)  "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: {7} Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
http://www.myspace.com/chandru777
Boaz
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2009, 07:18:58 AM »

Let not your heart be troubled.
To render evil for evil is brutish;
to render evil for good is devilish;
to render good for evil is Christian.

"Blessed are the meek."
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(1 Pet 5:6-7)  "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: {7} Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
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