CHRISTIAN : There are good thoughts of divers kinds ; some respecting ourselves, some respecting God, some respecting Christ, and some respecting othe...moreCHRISTIAN : There are good thoughts of divers kinds ; some respecting ourselves, some respecting God, some respecting Christ, and some respecting other things.
IGNORANCE : What be good thoughts respecting ourselves ?
CHRISTIAN : Such as agree with the Word of God.
IGNORANCE : When do our thoughts agree with the Word of God ?
CHRISTIAN : When we pass the same judgement on ourselves which the Word passes. To explain myself : the Word of God saith of persons in a natural condition : " There is none righteous, there is none that doeth good." It saith also that " every imagination of the heart of man is only evil, and that continually " ( Genesis 6:5; Romans 3 ). And again : " The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth " ( Genesis 8:21 ). Now, then, when we think thus of ourselves, having sense thereof, then are our thoughts good ones, because they are in accordance to the Word of God.
IGNORANCE : I will never believe that my heart is thus bad.
CHRISTIAN : Therefore, thou never hadst one good thought concerning thyself in thy life. But let me go on. As the Word passeth judgment upon our ways ; and when the thoughts of our hearts and ways agree with the judgment which the Word giveth of both, then are both good, because agreeing thereto.
IGNORANCE : Make out your meaning.
CHRISTIAN : Why, the Word of God saith that man's ways are crooked ways, not good, but perverse ; it saith, they are naturally out of-the good way, that they have not known it ( Psalm 125:5; Proverbs 2:15; Romans 3:12 ). Now when a man thus thinketh of his ways, I say when he doeth ensibly, and with heart humiliation, thus think, then hath he good thoughts of his own ways, because his thoughts now agree with the judgment of the Word of God. (less)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,...moreLove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
During the great Welsh Revival a minister was said to be very successful in winning souls. By one sermon that he preached, h...moreThe Holy Spirit and Prayer
During the great Welsh Revival a minister was said to be very successful in winning souls. By one sermon that he preached, hundreds were converted. Far away in a valley news reached a brother minister of the marvelous success of this sermon. He desired to find out the secret of the man's great success. He walked the long way and came to the minster's poor cottage, and the first thing he said was, " Brother, where did you get that sermon ? " He was taken into a poorly furnished room, and the minister pointed to a spot where the carpet was worn threadbare, near a window that looked out upon the everlasting hills and solemn mountains, and said, " Brother, there is where I got that sermon. My heart was heavy for men. One night I knelt there - and cried for power as I never preached before. The hours passed util midnight struck, and the stars looked down on a sleeping world, but the answer did not come. I prayed on until I saw a faint streak of gray shoot up, then it was silver - silver became purple and gold. Then the sermon came and the power came and men fell under the influence of the Holy Spirit. "
Our gracious King does not maintain a stately etiquette in His court like that which has been observed by princes among men, where a little mistake or...moreOur gracious King does not maintain a stately etiquette in His court like that which has been observed by princes among men, where a little mistake or a flaw would secure the petitioner's being dismissed with disgrace. Oh, no. The faulty cries of His children are not severely criticized by Him. The Lord High Chamberlin of the palace above, our Lord Jesus Christ, takes care to alter and amend every prayer before He presents it, and He makes the prayer perfect with His perfection and prevailing with His own merits. God looks upon the prayer as presented through Christ, and He forgives all of its own inherent faultiness. How this ought to encourage any of us who feel ourselves to be feeble, wandering,and unskillful in prayer !
In holy awe I bow before you, the triune God. Again I have seen how the mystery of prayer is the mystery of the holy Trinit...moreThe Holy Spirit and Prayer
In holy awe I bow before you, the triune God. Again I have seen how the mystery of prayer is the mystery of the holy Trinity. ( the Godhead ) I adore the Father who ever hears, the Son who ever lives to pray, and the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, to lift us up in that ever-blessed, never-ceasing place of prayer. I bow , my God, in adoring worship before this infinite condescension that through the Holy Spirit takes us into the divine Life and fellowship of love.
Blessed Lord Jesus, teach me to understand that it is the indwelling Spirit flowing from you and uniting to you who is the Spirit of prayer. Teach me what it is as an empty, wholly consecrated vessel, to yield myself to Him as my life. Teach me to honor and to trust Him as a living person to lead my life and my prayers. Teach me to wait in holy silence in prayer and give Him place to breathe within me His unutterable intercession. Teach me that through Him it is possible to pray without ceasing - to pray without failing - because He makes me a partaker of the never-ceasing and never-failing intercession in which you, the Son, appear before the Father. Lord, fulfill in me your promise " In that day you will ask in my name, I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. " Amen.
The joy which I had can not be described. I walked up and down in my room for a long time, tears of joy and gratitude to the Lord raining plentifully...moreThe joy which I had can not be described. I walked up and down in my room for a long time, tears of joy and gratitude to the Lord raining plentifully over my cheeks , praising and magnifying the Lord for His goodness, and surrendering myself afresh, with all my heart, to Him for His blessed service. I scarcely ever felt more the kindness of the Lord in helping me.
" One night, when my wife was at prayer meeting, I began to grow very uneasy and miserable. I did not know what was the matter with me, but I finally...more" One night, when my wife was at prayer meeting, I began to grow very uneasy and miserable. I did not know what was the matter with me, but I finally retired before my wife came home. I could not sleep all that night. I got up early, told my wife I would eat no breakfast, and went down to the office. I told the clerks they could take a holiday and shut myself up in the inner office. I kept growing more and more miserable, and finally I got down and asked God to forgive my sins, but I would not say 'for Jesus' sake,' for I was a Unitarian and I did not believe in the atonement. I kept praying,'God, forgive my sins'; but no answer came. At last in desperation I cried, 'O God, for Christ's sake forgive my sins,' and found peace at once."
The judge had no access to God until he came in the name of Christ, but when he thus came, he was heard and answered at once.
. . . " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength " ( Mark 12:30 ). Such a...more. . . " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength " ( Mark 12:30 ). Such a love as this occupies the whole heart, takes up all the affections, fills the entire capacity of the soul, and employs the utmost extent of all its faculties.
One who thus loves is continually rejoicing in God. His delight is in the Lord, his Lord and his all, to whom we give thanks in all things. All his desire is toward God and to the remembrance of His name. His heart is always crying out, " Whom have I in heaven but Thee. "
Indeed, what can he desire but God ? Not the world or the things of the world, for he is crucified to the world and the world is crucified to him. He is crucified to the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life. He is dead to pride of every kind : For " love is not puffed up. " One who is dwelling in love, dwells in God, and God in him ; and he is less than nothing in his own eyes. For the love of God is a mark of the altogether Christian.
Jesus called Satan a murder. " He was a murder from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth. . . he is a liar and the father of lies " ( J...moreJesus called Satan a murder. " He was a murder from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth. . . he is a liar and the father of lies " ( John 8:44 ). But his main interest is not killing. It is damning. In fact, he much prefers his followers have long and happy lives - to mock suffering saints and hide the horrors of hell.
His power to damn human beings lies not in himself, but in the sins that he inspires and the lies that he tells. The only thing that damns anybody is unforgiven sin. Hexes, enchantments, voodoo, seances, curses, black magic, apparitions, voices - none of these cast a person into hell. They are the bells and whistles of the devil. The one lethal weapon he has is the power to decieve us. His chief lie is that self-exaltation is more to be desired than Christ exaltation, and sin preferable to righteousness. If that weapon could be taken out of his hand, he would no longer have the power of eternal death.
That is what Christ came to do - take that weapon out of Satans hand. To do this, Christ took our sins on Himself and suffered for them. When that happened, they could be used no more by the devil to destroy us. Taunt us ? Yes. Mock us ? Yes. But damn us ? No. Christ bore the curse in our place. Try as he will, Satan cannot destroy us. The wrath of God is removed. His mercy is our shield. And Satan cannot succeed against us.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matt.5:4
IF YOU HAVE SPIRITUAL POVERTY and true humility, they will lead you to godly sorrow....moreBlessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matt.5:4
IF YOU HAVE SPIRITUAL POVERTY and true humility, they will lead you to godly sorrow. That's what Jesus meant by "mourn" here in this second beatitude.Paul told the Corinthians about this kind of sorrow : "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. "For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you" 2 Cor. 7:10-11
Of the nine different New Testament words that indicate the commonness of human sorrow, the one Matthew used here is the most severe. Usually it was used only to denote the loss of a loved one (cf. Mark 16:10; Rev.18:11,15). It coveys the notion of deep, inner agony that is not necessarily expressed by outward weeping or wailing.
Yet genuine, biblical mourning produces results that are surprisingly wonderful because God does something tangible in response to it - the forgiveness of our sins - a holy infusion of real happiness that breathes into you a sigh of relief.
Therefore, this is not simply a psychological or an emotional experience that makes you feel better. No, this mourning is met by blessedness. Genuine spiritual mourning invites communion with the true God, to which He responds with an objective reality - the reality of forgiveness that David knew : "How blessed is he whose trangressions is forgiven, whose sin is covered ! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit !" (Ps.32:1-2)
I was cynical. Not about God, but about God's politics. Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my sht...moreI was cynical. Not about God, but about God's politics. Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick- my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world's poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord's call - and they were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from a half Catholic's point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.
SEPTUAGINT - The oldest Bible translation in the world was made in Alexandria, Egypt, where the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek fo...moreSEPTUAGINT - The oldest Bible translation in the world was made in Alexandria, Egypt, where the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek for the benefit of the Greek-speaking Jews of that city. A Jewish community had existed in Alexandria almost from it's foundation by the Great in 331 B.C. In two or three generations this community had forgotten it's native Palestinian language. These Jews realized they needed the Hebrew Scriptures rendered into the only langauge they knew . . .Greek.
This version is commonly called the Septuagint, from the Latin word for seventy. this name was selected because of a tradition that the Pentateuch was translated into Greek by about seventy elders of Israel who were brought to Alexandria especially for this purpose.
PENTATEUCH - A Greek term meaning " five-volumed " which refers to the first five books of the Old Testament. . . also called- " The Law ". . ." The Torah ". . . (less)
We thought we needed more information. We thought that we would make better decisions if we knew more. The apple offered control of our lives. . . of...moreWe thought we needed more information. We thought that we would make better decisions if we knew more. The apple offered control of our lives. . . of other lives. If we just had the apple, our own personal apple, no one, not even God, could tell us what to do. So we got the information; we drove at breakneck speed through the information highway. We raced through the orchard, making a network of brickyards between apple trees. Now we have information We sit so immobilized by so much information that we can no longer make choices. . . We have no way to weigh so much information. Dazed and intoxicated by the glut, we are paralyzed to act, to feel, to move. The apple juice drips from our chins as we stare blankly at images of each other, images we can manipulate and alter on the screen. Oh, Lord, we have to much information ! And we have lost. . . with our innocence. . . our wisdom, our outrage, our delight. . .our Eden.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, " Abba, Father !" Rom...moreFor you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, " Abba, Father !" Romans 8:15
You and I as believers in Christ have been chosen to know, believe, and understand that God is God. Heaven is His throne. Earth is His footstool. Awesome creatures never cease day or night singing, " Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty."
Lightning flashes from His throne. The winds do His bidding. The clouds are His chariot. The earth trembles at the sound of His voice. When He stands to His feet, His enemies are scattered.
And yet this very One is our Father, our Abba. He demands and deserves our respect. Without it, we are powerless.
And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says,Abraham believed in ( adhered to, trusted in, and relied on ) God, and this was accou...moreBe a Friend of God
And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says,Abraham believed in ( adhered to, trusted in, and relied on ) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness ( as conformity to God's will in thought and deed ), and he was called God's friend. James 2:23
It's obvious some people are closer to God than others. These " closer friends " of God speak of talking to Him as if they know Him personally. Their faces shine with enthusiasm as they testify, " And God told me . . . " while skeptical acquaintances grumble to themselves, " Well, God doesn't talk to me like that !"
Why is that ? Does God have favorites ? No, Scipture teaches that each person determines his or her own level of intimacy with God, depending on their willingness to seek Him and put time into developing a relationship with Him. Everyone has been extended the same open invitation to " fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace " ( Hebrews 4:16 ) . At this moment, you are as close to God as you choose to be.