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from Charles Spurgeon~

As precious liquors are best kept in clean vessels–so sound doctrine is best kept in a pure heart and life. Who, indeed, would knowingly pour a choice wine into a tainted cask? It would be foolish to do so.

When we hear of men living in sin, and yet claiming to be children of God–we are disgusted with their pretenses, but we are not deceived by their professions.

In the same manner, we care little for those who are orthodox Christians in creed–if it is clear that they are heterodox in life. He who believes the truth–should himself be true. How can we expect others to receive our religion–if it leaves us foul, false, malicious, and selfish?

We sicken at the sight of a dirty dish, and refuse even good food when it is placed thereon. So pure and holy is the doctrine of the cross, that . . .
he who hears it aright, will have his ears cleansed,
he who believes it aright, will have his heart purged, and
he who preaches it aright, will have his tongue purified.
Woe unto that man who brings reproach upon the gospel–by an unholy life!

Lord, evermore make us pure vessels fit for Your own use, and then fill us with the pure wine of the grapes of sound doctrine and wholesome instruction. Do not allow us to be such “foul cups”–as to be only fit for the wine of Sodom!

“For the grace of God . . . teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires–and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” Titus 2:12

HT: Grace Gems

“Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”
Job 5:7

“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.”
Job 14:1-2

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”
John 16:33

God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God has not promised, sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God has not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He has not told us, we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

God has not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.

But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love!

“God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever!”
Revelation 21:4

~Annie J. Flint, 1919

HT: Grace Gems

              “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us! God is love.”
                                                      (1 John 4:16)

The sweeter the truth–the more backward we often are to receive and believe it. Therefore it must be presented to us again and again. What is more pleasant, than the fact that “God is love”?

Yet so quickly we doubt it, or forget it, or fail to realize it. Therefore the Gospel presents it to us again and again, and in almost every possible form. Twice within the scope of a few verses, John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16).

Belief in this portrayal of God lies at the root of our holiness, happiness, and peace. To the extent that we believe that “God is love”–we will . . .
consecrate ourselves to His service,
enjoy peace in our consciences,
and be happy in His ways.

God loves us, and therefore He planned our salvation, sending His one and only Son to take away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself. He also sent His Holy Spirit to teach us our need of Christ and lead us to Him. And, finally, He has put His blessed Word in our hands so that through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope.

God loves us–and therefore He . . .
chastens us,
strips us, and
empties us.
He will not let us live satisfied without Himself.

God is love–therefore He has provided an atonement for all our sins. His justice is satisfied, and Heaven is prepared for us!

Yes, though we were sinners by nature, and deeply feel it–though we are not all that we wish to be, and deeply deplore it–yet God loves us!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, who in His love and in His pity has redeemed me!

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!”
                                              (1 John 4:10)

~James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”

HT: Grace Gems

“And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching.”
“But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part” Luke 10:39, 42

Let not the many trifles of time affect, distract, and bewilder you; but let the one thing needful be the constant object of pursuit and desire.  Live at the feet of Jesus–and you are safe.

Seek, above all things, to enjoy Jesus–and you will be happy.

Aim in all things to glorify Jesus–and you will be holy.

Look daily for the coming of Jesus–and you will be consistent.

Seek to  . . .
know Him,
love Him,
believe Him,
obey Him, and
enjoy Him!

O Jesus! manifest Yourself to me; draw me to Your feet, and keep me there!

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~James Smith, ‘The Pastor’s Morning Visit’

HT: Grace Gems

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It is astonishing that such a worm should be 
so favored with discoveries of His beauty–whom 
glorified saints and angels gaze with ineffable
delight. But, after all, I know not a thousandth
part of what He is, and what I have in Him. 

Surely Christ is all! 

How little, how verily nothing, am I.

Oh! that my lips, my life, and every action– 
might speak His praise and glorify His name, 
who is a Heaven to me! 

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~Ruth Bryan, ‘Gleanings from the Inner Life”

HT: Grace Gems

~J.A. James, “The Duties of Parents” 1828

On parents it depends in a great measure, what their children are to be . . .
happy–or miserable in themselves,
a comfort–or a curse to their relationships,
an ornament–or a deformity to society,
a seraph–or a fiend in eternity!

It is indeed a fearsome thing to be a parent, and is enough to awaken the anxious, trembling inquiry in every parent’s heart: “Lord, who is sufficient for these things?” 

graceless parent is a most dreadful character! Oh! to see the father and mother of an expanding family, with a crowd of young immortals growing up around them–and teaching worldliness to their offspring, and leading them to perdition by the power of their own example!

A sheep leading her lambs into a den of hungry tigers, would be a shocking sight! But to see parents conducting their children to the bottomless pit–is most horrible!!

HT: Grace Gems

(Theodore Cuyler)

“As your days–so shall your strength be.”
Deuteronomy 33:25

Sufficient to each day are the duties to be
done–and the trials to be endured. God never
built a Christian strong enough to carry today’s
duties and tomorrow’s anxieties piled on the
top of them!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each
day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:34

HT: Grace Gems

Indelible impressions!

(William Bacon Stevens, “Parental Responsibility“)

We aid and abet the spiritual death of our children, by our irreligious example–both in doing that which is positively wrong, and in neglecting to do what is as positively required. As young as our child is–it has learned to join together precept and practice. And if we are professors of religion, our child has put along side of this profession–our daily walk and conversation, and is perpetually drawing inferences from the one to the other, either for, or against, the truth which we profess.

Uncurbed tempers, ill-governed passions;
unbridled tongues, uncharitable words;
lack of meekness, and gentleness, and truth;
lack of sobriety of mind, and kindliness of heart;
the absence of that strict conscientiousness which should mark all our actions;
neglect of the Bible and of prayer;
disregard of the means of grace;
irrepressible worldliness, in ever dwelling upon “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and with what shall we be clothed?”
–are leaving indelible impressions upon the minds of our offspring! So that, copying our habits of thought, speech, and action–our child’scharacter in its essential characteristics, may be formed for eternity; before its mind is able to receive the precepts which perhaps we occasionally teach.

~Grace Gems

“Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord!” 
Hebrews 12:14

Are we holy? Shall we see the Lord?

In this hurrying, bustling world–let us stand still for a few minutes and consider the matter of holiness. It is a solemn thing to hear the Word of God saying, “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord!”

A man may go great lengths in religion–and yet never reach true holiness.

What is true practical holiness?
It is not knowledge–Balaam had that.
It is not great profession–Judas Iscariot had that.
It is not doing many things–Herod had that.
It is not zeal for certain matters in religion–Jehu had that.
It is not morality and outward respectability of conduct–the rich young ruler had that.
It is not taking pleasure in hearing preachers–the Jews in Ezekiel’s time had that.
It is not keeping company with godly people–Joab and Gehazi and Demas had that.

Yet none of these were holy people! These things alone, are not holiness. A man may have any one of them–and yet never see the Lord!

Let me try to draw a picture of Biblical holiness, that we may see it clearly before the eyes of our minds.

1. Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture.

2. A holy man will endeavor to shun every known sin, and to keep every known commandment.

3. A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. A holy man will follow after meekness, patience, gentleness, patience, kind tempers, and government of his tongue.

5. A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial.

6. A holy man will follow after love and brotherly kindness.

7. A holy man will follow after a spirit of mercy and benevolence towards others.

8. A holy man will follow after purity of heart.

9. A holy man will follow after the fear of God.

10. A holy man will follow after humility.

11. A holy man will follow after faithfulness in all the duties and relations in life.

12. Last–but not least, a holy man will follow after spiritual-mindedness. 

~J.C. Ryle, “Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots

HT: Grace Gems

 

 

God approves and honors heart-religion in the present life. He looks down from Heaven, and reads the hearts of all people. Wherever He sees . . .

   heart-repentance for sin,

   heart-faith in Christ,

   heart-holiness of life,

   heart-love to His Son,

   His law, His will, and His word

   . . . wherever God sees these things, He is well pleased.

~ J.C. Ryle, ‘Formal Religion

HT: Grace Gems