Monday, March 30, 2009

Preach With Your Sword!

It is the job of all God's men to take the sharp two edged sword of the word of truth and plunge it deep into the heart of man. If man is to die to self before he can be born again, then let us with steady hand, aim straight and with all our loving might, sink in the blade up to the hilt!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Atheist!

God has made it clear in his word that an atheist but a man who will neither glorify Him, nor give thanks to Him! His thinking has become futile and his foolish heart is darkened! He claims to be wise, but he has become a fool! He spends his days gathering in his tattered bag a few worthless trinkets from this fallen age, and while doing so overlooks the pearl of great price! He has most willingly allowed himself to be blinded by the false eternal! Deceived into living for a few pleasures in this fallen, evil age, he trades his birthright for a bowl of soup! He blindly sends his eternal, immortal soul to hell while he spends his days chasing after the wind! He does not see that his life is a mist, a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. There is no fear of God before his eyes, though it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. God has given him a conscience, yet he sears it as with a hot iron in his continued rebellion. He is an enemy of God through his unbelief, suppressing the truth through his wicked works – and although he knows God’s righteous decree that all who do such things deserve eternal punishment, he not only continues to do these very things, but also approves of those who practice them. Yet God is patient with him, not wishing that any should perish, but that all would repent and cry out to Him for salvation. The very fact that these many years he has kept him from peril, granting him each new day an opportunity to repent, is a testament to His great mercy and loving kindness! The grace of God that has been extended to us has been extended to him also! But this will not always be the case. One day the hand outstretched to draw him in will be retracted, and the upheld hand that holds back the penalty of the law will lowered, and the atheist will be swept away under the wrath of God by his own iniquity and sins. Dear atheist, if God did not want to save you he would not have sent you a Saviour to be slaughtered on the cross for your sins. If God did not want to save you He would have brought justice down on you the minute you first broke His law. If God did not want to save you He would not be leading you to blogs like this, bringing you into the hearing of the gospel. Dear Atheist, I am no better! I do not deserve the grace that has been given me, yet He has saved me and He can save you too! Seek Him now while He may be found, because when you breathe your last breath and step out from time into eternity you will find yourself standing before a just and Holy God who will give you what your sins deserve! There will be no excuse, you have heard the gospel, you have heard of His Son - Jesus Christ - sent as an atoning sacrifice to save you, but if you reject that mercy - how do you expect to escape? How shall you escape if you neglect so great a Salvation?

Others May, You Cannot!

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
(Matthew 16:24-25)

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.

God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

By G.D. Watson

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We Must Hang On His Word!

Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
Luke 19:47-48

A few thoughts:

1. Jesus was always about his Father's business, it wasn't a Sunday morning and Wednesday night deal! And it wasn't just something he did either, it was who he was! He poured out his life in service for the Father - ought not we do the same? Ought not we pour out our lives in the service of the One who loved us to death, even death on a cross? Can we say as Him, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

2. His words broke the proud of heart, and bound the broken hearted. Brought sinners to repentance and condemned the self righteous! His words were full of authority, truth and life. Wisdom poured forth in his speech. The people hung on his every word - ought not we do the same? One greater than Solomon has come, who's words are full of grace and truth, yet do we hear him? Do we heed him? Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says... Listen to what He says so that it would never be said about you - "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?"

3. The truth will anger the proud hearted, self righteous individual. Anyone who thinks he is something, when he is nothing, will hate those who point that out to him! They hate the truth because it contradicts what they do, say and think, and like an axe to the root it cuts them down. The Pharisees prided themselves in their ability to see, but Christ showed them they were blind. They prided themselves in their keeping of the law, but Christ showed them that not only did they break the law, but they neglected the weightier matters - love, justice, mercy. They hated Christ because He was full of truth and life, and they were hypocrites, full of darkness and death! Ought not we speak the truth as Christ? Yes! God has commanded us to speak the truth! Whatever light you have received from Him, whatever revelation of the truth, let it shine from a stand so that those around may see His goodness, and turn and seek His face!

4. While we are hanging onto the Words of Christ the enemy has a difficult time finding a way to shipwreck our faith. His goal is to destroy Christ (if that were possible!) and cause as many as could be deceived into crucifying for themselves the Son of God! He will do all he can to tempt them away from the Word - and those he cannot draw away from it's hearing, he will blind them to its understanding!

We must lash ourselves to the Word of God! Meditate on it day and night! Get it deep down into our hearts, think much upon it and never let it depart from our lips!

The man who spends his time in the water of God's Word will be like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and who's leaf does not wither. When the hot noon day sun of tribulation beats down upon his back he will not wither and fall, on the contrary, he will experience great growth and bring forth much fruit to the Father's glory!

5. In order for the deceiver, the antichrist, to appear and deceive many, the many must lose sight of the true Christ! There are many in this day and age who are not hanging on the Words of Christ! They know not his voice, they know not the Truth! No one who knows the genuine article will trade it for a cheap imitation! No one who knows the true Shepherd will follow the voice of a stranger - his speech will sound strange and foreign to them. His philosophies vain and shallow! He will be as one from the world and speak to them from the viewpoint of the world and the world will listen to him, but it will strike a discord with the living Word that lives inside every true believer. His words are Truth and they are life! We must hang onto the Words of Christ like a man in a swollen river hangs onto the rope of his rescuers!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Greatest Reward!

Much study of doctrine will make you a theologian. Much labouring under the law will make you a Pharisee. Much pursuing of Christ will leave you rewarded. Though you will be broken, and humbled, you will find Him! God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. And how does He reward them? Not with mere trinkets of this fallen age but by giving Himself – the greatest reward of all.

He has given us one of infinite worth – Jesus Christ. The pearl of great price! If anyone returns back to the world, it is because they have never found that pearl. Oh, what a loss! To trade such a great treasure for dung, a birthright for a bowl of soup! Truth is: when you lay truly lay hold of Christ, by faith, He takes your breath away! The world starts to dim, your desire for it fades and from joy over you trade everything you have, even your life, to follow Him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave!

Recently here in Australia, a retired judge committed purgery in an attempt to avoid a $77 speeding fine. As a result, he has landed himself a three year sentence in prison with a two year non parole period, lost his title of QC, will lose the right to practice law, might well lose his Order of Australia honour and $200,000 a year pension and now has the dubious honour of being the first Australian judge to be sent to jail.

While admitting his guilt, the former Federal Court judge tried to defend his integrity as a basically honest man who made a "mistake" by lying. In defending his character, he said: "I don't think I'm the slightest bit dishonest. I just made a mistake."

The "I lied, but I'm basically honest", or the "That might make me a liar, but at least I'm not a murderer" defense is probably the most common defense people will use on the day of judgement when they stand before a Holy God to give an account of their lives. Some might even argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why? Because God has commanded all men to speak truth! You shall not lie is the ninth commandment.

Oh what tangled webs we weave, when we practise to deceive!

Some people's falsehood brings them much strife in this age, as Mr Einfield has since discovered, but everyones falsehood will bring them trouble in the age to come! As the Scripture says, "All liars will have their part in the lake of fire" Revelation 21:8b

And there is no escaping this fact... we are all liars!

Yet, though we are condemned by the law, and we find ourselves like Mr Einfield - set to lose everything, even our very soul in the fires of Hell - we are not alone! We have One who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ the Righteous One! He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world!

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Makes You Better?

"What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have--that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God--why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?" 1 Corinthians 4:7

Christian! By nature--you are no better than others! What would you be--without the continual influence of the Spirit? O believer, whatever you are--you have nothing to make you proud. The more you have--the more you are in debt to God--and should you be proud of that which renders you a debtor?

Consider your origin--look back to what you were. "Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins!" Ephesians 2:1. Consider what you would have been--but for divine grace!

It is only God's grace--which has made you to differ! Great believer--you would have been a great sinner--if God had not made you to differ! O you who are valiant for truth--you would have been as valiant for error--if grace had not laid hold upon you!

Therefore, do not be proud, though you have a wide domain of grace--for once, you had not a single thing to call your own--except your sin and misery!

Oh! strange infatuation, that you--who have borrowed everything, should think of exalting yourself! How foolish--that you--a poor dependent pensioner upon the bounty of your Savior--are yet proud! Shame on you--O silly heart!

CH Spurgeon

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fancy A Cruise?

The church of Jesus Christ is not a cruise ship on the way to heaven, but a battleship stationed at the very gates of hell. We should not be contenting ourselves with a pleasent afternoon walk on the deck of our own salvation, but manning the guns and fighting for souls!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Except What Is Common To Man!

I find this a comforting thought - No temptation has seized you except what is common to man! The enemy sometimes does well to whisper in our ear this lie: that the temptation's which oft besiege us are like none that any other soul suffers. Oh, if he can trap you with that thought, he can inflict great agony of soul. For if we believe the lie that we are altogether unworthy to come to our Lord and Saviour (because of our many sins and evil inclinations) we remain cut off from hope and help.

In the same way that a pride of lions maneuver to separate an antelope from the safety of the pack, so too does our enemy seek to draw us away from the safety of abiding in our Lord and Saviour. But, when we realize that the temptations which assail us are common to man, even to Christ himself (though He was tempted, yet remained without sin), the enemy is disarmed of this great dividing weapon.

He tries many ways to divert our attention, shift our gaze, weaken our faith, dash our hope – for while our eyes behold the Christ, and our hearts long after the Son of the living God, and our confidence remains in Him, the things of this world remain somewhat dim, the flesh somewhat subdued and temptation’s somewhat lacking in power.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Psalm Of Deliverence!

Father, has anyone ever trusted in you and been put to shame? Has anyone ever put their hope in you and not been delivered? I cried out to you and you delivered me! I called upon your name and you heard my cry! You did not despise me oh Lord, but you covered my shame! While I lay broken and bleeding in the disgrace of my iniquity, you bound up my wounds and poured the oil of gladness into my heart. You are the Lord God of all flesh! Is there anything too hard for you? You make straight paths for those who put their trust in you! In the midst of the tempest you speak and the soul is calmed! Blessed are those who put their trust in you, whose hope is in the Lord!