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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 5

Favorite Pastor Quotes 5

The terms upon which God in the gospel offers Christ!

(
Matthew Mead)

The terms upon which God in the gospel offers Christ, are:

1. That we shall receive a broken Christ with a broken heart.
A broken Christ with a broken heart--is a witness of our humility.

A broken Christ respects His suffering for sin.
A broken heart respects our sense of our sin.


2. That we shall receive a whole Christ with the whole heart.
A whole Christ with a whole heart--is a witness of our sincerity.

A whole Christ includes all of His offices--as King, Priest, Prophet, and Mediator. Without any one of these offices, the work of salvation could not have been completed.

A whole heart includes all our faculties.

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Following "Wherever"
Charles Naylor
 
One day as Jesus was passing along the highway, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go!" (Luke 9:57). This man no doubt was greatly impressed by the wonderful works and noble character of Christ. He thought that companionship with such a man would be full of blessing and richness. Just to see and hear Jesus, would be worth any man's time and effort — to hear the gracious words that came from His lips would enrich mind and heart — to see the mighty works done would inspire. To him it seemed to be one of the most desirable of all things.
Christ's answer to him, however, showed that following Him might well mean something more than this man had ever considered. Jesus way did not always lead through pleasant places. His path was not always to be rose-strewn — not always would the multitude look on Him with favor. Whether this man followed Jesus we are not told, but following evidently meant more to him now than it had meant before.
There are many today who, like that man of old, say, "Lord, I will follow you," with no clear idea of what it means. It was not hard to follow him when the multitude shouted, "Hosanna!" and threw palm-branches before him.
In the same way, it is easy for us to follow him today when his cause is popular, when people are proclaiming the truth of what we teach and approving of our service. It is no task to follow Jesus when it brings praise and admiration. It is no task to follow in the calm after his "Peace, be still," on Gennesaret. Who would not follow gladly to the mount of transfiguration to behold his glory? But to follow him "wherever" means more than this.
It is our privilege to share in his glory, his triumph, and his exaltation; but if we have a part in these, as true followers we must also follow him in his humiliation. Are we willing to follow him . . .
when the multitude laughs and mocks at him,
when his cause is unpopular,
when instead of praise, we have reproaches,
when instead of smiles, we have sneers?
Then comes the test whether we will follow him all the way.
On one occasion, after he had preached — the multitude forsook him and only the Twelve were steadfast. In these days many are offended at the Word. Are we willing to accept it all? Are we willing to listen to it all? Are we willing to obey it all? God wants "wherever" men and women, who will . . .
hear 
the whole Word, 
believe 
the whole Word,
and obey the whole Word.
If we shrink from obedience to any part — we lack just that much of being "wherever" disciples. Christ lived a dedicated life — he was dedicated to his Father's will and accomplished his work — he gave himself solely to this. He allowed nothing to come between him and the fulfillment of God's purpose. With him, nothing counted except that he should finish his work.
There is a purpose, a moving purpose, in every life. There is one thing above all other things that is the chief purpose of our life. In many cases that purpose is to please self — to follow out a course of our own choosing.
The dominant purpose in the heart of every true follower is the same as it was in the life of Christ — to do the will and work of the Father. He who shrinks from either, may hesitate to call himself a true follower.
Christ sacrificed all — even his life. A "wherever" follower has the same spirit of sacrifice — he will not withhold himself nor that which is his. The early church rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer" for Christ.
Let us today look into our own hearts and see if we are animated by the same spirit. That spirit is a very different spirit from that which is seen in those who are offended by a word or a look, and who are ready to resent the slightest act that encroaches upon their rights.
How empty are the claims of many who profess to be real followers of Jesus! They follow where it pleases them — but as soon as something happens not to their liking, they are ready to draw back!
Christ had nowhere to lay his head. We have no record that he ever owned anything but the clothes he wore. A "wherever" follower is not ashamed of the poor. And if he himself is poor — then he is not ashamed of his poverty. But Christ was not always poor. We read that "he became poor." He sacrificed — that others might be enriched. The same spirit of sacrifice will make us willing to sacrifice what we have, for the enrichment of others.
If there were more "wherevers" among us, we would not hear of a lack of funds to carry on the Lord's work. Think of a stingy "wherever"! Can you imagine such a combination? Yet many professed followers fail in their duty to give to the cause of Christ.
Let us bring the question home to ourselves. Let us examine our own hearts and lives. Are we willing to follow Christ all the way — even when we are rejected by our friends and relatives, through sneers and revilings? We might drink of the wine of Cana — but will we wear the thorns? We might be willing to walk on the waters with Jesus — but how about Gethsemane? We may be willing to eat of the loaves and fishes — but are we willing to go with him to Golgotha? We would gladly sit with him on his throne — but will we bear the cross with him to Calvary? We can easily follow him where the way is easy and when our emotions are exalted and our hearts full of praise — but will we follow him . . .
when the skies grow dark,
when we are troubled,
when bitter trials come,
when it takes courage to face what is before us?

Let us decide to be true when the way is strewn with stones or hedged with thorns, when the clouds hang low — as well as when all is bright and encouraging. Let us cast away all shrinking, and say from our hearts and by our lives, "I will follow wherever you go!"
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How much influence has the love of Christ had over us? 

(Jared Waterbury, "Meditations and Prayers")

"The love of Christ constrains us!" 2 Corinthians 5:14

The love of Christ! What a motive to one who has felt its constraining influence! Can we say that we have not only experienced the love of Christ to us--but have felt in return, the outgoings of love to our blessed Savior? 

How much influence has the love of Christ had over us? 
Has it led us to practice self-denial for Jesus' sake? 
Has it fed the flame of our devotions?
Has it been the secret spring of our charities? 
Do we daily go up to Calvary, and study our obligations at the foot of the cross? 

See, on that cross, the adorable Savior! Behold Him, who is the equal of the Father, stretched in bleeding agony--expiring under an inconceivable weight of sorrow--to redeem us wretched, guilty men! All this He does . . .
  to rescue us from sin and from Hell,
  to make us heirs of God,
  to purchase for us an unfading and incorruptible inheritance!

And what have we ever done for Him? Let us weep, that we have made such returns of ingratitude and sin. 
Let us renew our vows at the foot of the cross. 
O let us go forth to our work with increased diligence. 
Be it ours, to say with Paul, "For whether we live--we live unto the Lord; and whether we die--we die unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore, or die--we are the Lord's!" Romans 14:8 

PRAYER.
O, our adorable Savior, when we reflect on Your matchless love, which led You first to pity us, then to come into this polluted world to redeem us; when we think of all that You have done and suffered for us sinful worms--we are lost in wonder, and we cannot find language to express our infinite obligations! But O, what poor returns have we made for all Your love and compassion! Well might we bury our faces in the dust; nor, but for your mercy, could we venture to look up to You. 'Twas not enough that the sins of ourunregenerate state were laid upon you; we have added to that oppressive load, by sinning against love and mercy--Your dying love and boundless mercy! 

Yet does Your love, O Savior, overtop all these mountains of iniquity! 
It says "Your sins, which are many, are all forgiven!" 
May this love reach and melt our obdurate hearts. 
May it constrain us to "live, not to ourselves, but to You, who has died for us and risen again." 

And while the children of this world are laboring to aggrandize self--let us, forgetful of self, be absorbed in the work of glorifying our adorable Redeemer. "For us, to live may it be Christ." When we can no longer glorify You on earth--then, O Savior, let us have a place in that bright world where love--that grace which outlives faith and hope--shall endure forever!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4


Favorite Pastor Quotes 4

The best course to prevent falling into the pit!

(Thomas Brooks)

"Avoid every kind of evil!" 1 Thessalonians 5:22 

It is our wisest and our safest course to stand at the farthest distance from sin; not to go near the house of the harlot, but to fly from all appearance of evil. "Keep to a path far from her--do not go near the door of her house!" Proverbs 5:8

The best course to prevent falling into the pit--is to keep at the greatest distance from the pit. He who will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit--may find by woeful experience, that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit! 

Sin is a plague, yes, the greatest and most infectious plague in the world; and yet, ah! how few are there that tremble at it, that keep at a distance from it! 

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If any occupation or amusement or association is found to hinder our communion with God or our enjoyment of spiritual things--then it must be abandoned. Whatever I cannot do for God's glory--must be avoided! (Arthur Pink)

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The Word that was NOT Said

by J. R. Miller


Many of the sins of most good people—are sins of 'not doing'. We need always to put into our prayer of penitence the confession, "We have left undone—those things which we ought to have done." This is true of our sins of speech. In one of the Psalms is a resolve that we all need to make, "I will take heed to my ways—that I sin not with my tongue." Some of us have a great deal of trouble with our tongues. We say many harsh words, perhaps bitter words which cut and sting! We may plead, as our defense of what we say—that the things we say of others are true. But we have no right to blurt out words that give pain to another, merely because they may happen to be true!
"The ill-timed truth we should have kept
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung!"
There is a great deal of sweet forgiveness in every true heart which has been filled with the love of Christ. The Master's emphatic lesson, that we should forgive, not seven times—but seventy-seven times, has been learned by many patient and gentle believers, for it must be confessed that in too many homes—there is almost measureless need for forgiveness. But is it not most unjust in anyone—to make such demands on love, to make life so hard—for one who has entrusted the heart to his keeping? Should he blame anyone but himself—if some day he finds that he has wearied and worn out the love which has been so patient, so long-suffering, with him?
Forgive you—O, of course, dear,
A dozen times a week!
We women were created—
Forgiveness but to speak.

"You'd die before you'd hurt me!"
This I know tis true.
But it is not, O dearest,
The things you mean to do—

It's what you do, unthinking,
That makes the quick tear start;
The tear may be forgotten,
But the hurt stays in my heart!

And though I may forgive you
A dozen times a day,
Yet each forgiveness wears, dear—
A little love away!

And one day you'll be grieving,
And chiding me, no doubt,
Because so much forgiving—
Has worn my great love out!
But it is possible never to treat our friends unkindly in word or act—and yet to sin grievously against them. We sin against others continually, in restraining kindly speech, in withholding words which we ought to have spoken—cheerful, encouraging, helpful words.
We often think, after the opportunity has passed, of some strong, true word we might have spoken at a certain moment—but which we did not speak. Perhaps "we had not thought" to say it. With many of us the mind works slowly—and we do not think of the fine answer we could have given—or the wise word we might have uttered—until it is too late! Our best thoughts—are ofttimes after-thoughts, too late to be uttered, and avail us nothing. Or the good word may have been kept in the heart unspoken, through timidity or shyness. Bashfulness is sometimes a hinderer of usefulness. We want to speak—but we cannot conquer our natural shyness—and so the kindly or cheering words we were eager to utter—lie unexpressed in our hearts, and our friend does not know that we wished to hearten or encourage or comfort him—in his time of trouble or suffering.
Or it may be lack of moral courage—which restrains speech, when we had the chance to say noble words for Christ. There is a great deal more evil wrought through moral cowardice—than most of us would care to admit. We are afraid of a sneer. We are not brave enough to stand alone.
We wrong our friends, too, most of us, at times, by not speaking courageously in their defense—when their character or conduct is unjustly assailed. Many of us have bitter thoughts of our own behavior, when we remember how we failed one we love in an hour when he needed us to stand up for him in his absence. The word we did not say—burns before our eyes in appalling characters, and shames us.
There is another large class of words unspoken which count seriously against us in life's records. These are words of kindly interest and affection, which it is in our heart to say—but which find no utterance in speech. Especially in home interactions, do such silences work hurt. Perhaps we are careful never to say a word that would cause pain—if we reach this self-restraint, we think that we have attained a high ideal of Christian living. But this is only negative. Not doing people harm—is not the same as doing them good. We sorely wrong our loved ones—by keeping back, by holding in our hearts, unspoken thoughts of love—which we ought to have uttered in their ears!
There is altogether too much reserve in many friendships. We are too watchful of words of commendation. It is a great thing to a child to get a word of praise for something that has been well done, some task given, some lesson set, some duty required, or even for a blundering effort that was the best the child could make. It is like a refreshing cordial to a weary one, toiling and struggling faithfully, though perhaps without the reward of apparent success—to have a word of appreciation and of good cheer spoken heartily and sincerely. It brightens all of one's day of task-work, and puts new courage into one's heart—if in the morning, thoughtful love speaks its gracious word of tenderness. Through all the hours—the light shines, and the song sings!
Yet too many of us seem not to think of this. We love the dear ones of our home—but somehow the love is congealed in our heart and we fail to get it thawed out, and so those whom we ought to help with their burdens, cares, trials and sorrows—go unhelped by us through long dreary days and months!
"Loving words will cost but little
Journeying up the hill of life;
But they make the weak and weary
Stronger, braver for the strife.
Do you count them only trifles—What to earth are sun and rain Never was a kind word wasted;
Never one was said in vain!"
It will do each of us good—to think seriously of our own particular habit in this regard. Do we sin against our loved ones—by keeping back the words of appreciation or commendation, and the expressions of affection, which continually press up to the very door of our lips for utterance, and yet are withheld? Are there hearts close to us, that are starving for their daily bread of love which we have to give, which it is our duty to give—but which we do not dispense?
Someone says, "Children do not dream of the fire under the snow, in the reticent nature of their parents." But is it not a grievous sin against children—for parents to allow the snow to cover up the fires in this way? Would it not be infinitely better—if the love found a language, if the parental pride, the enthusiasm, when beautiful things come out in the children's lives, the gladness when they do well—if these feelings and emotions were expressed? Nothing else so woos out the best in us—as love does.
But it is not in homes only—that we sin against others by not speaking the word we ought to speak. In all our fellowship with people—there is too much of the same thoughtless and unloving reticence. We cannot lift men's heavy burdens off their shoulders—but we could make them braver and stronger to bear these burdens—if we would but speak the ringing word of cheer that we might speak! Do we always do it?
A popular writer, referring to years of hard and disheartening toil in her own early life, tells of the help she got from a friend whenever she met him. He would say, "How goes it, Louisa? Keep your heart up. God bless you!" She says she always went back to her lonely room and her struggles, after meeting this friend, comforted and heartened by his cheering words. It would not cost any of us much—to form the habit of saying a bright, hopeful word to everyone we meet; and we cannot know what helpfulness there would be for others, in this habit.
There is never any lack of appreciative words—when one is dead. Everybody then comes with some reminiscence of his kindness, some grateful expression concerning him. But that is not the right time for love's gentle thoughts to thaw out. It is too late!

"Ah! woe for the word that is never said
—Until the ear is deaf to hear,
And woe for the lack to the fainting head
—Of the ringing shout of cheer!
Ah! woe for the laggard feet that tread
—In the mournful wake of the bier!

A pitiful thing the gift today—
That is dross and nothing worth,
Though if it had come but yesterday
It had brimmed with sweet the earth;
A fading rose in a death-cold hand,
That perished in need and dearth!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 3

Favorite Pastor Quotes 3



If this is happiness--then give me misery!

(Thomas Sherman, "Divine Breathings; Or, a Pious Soul Thirsting after Christ")

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen, and lived in luxury every day." Luke 16:19
How apt are many at the sight of a rich worldling--to envy him for what he has.
But, for my part, I rather pity him for what he lacks!
He has money--but he lacks wisdom to use it wisely;
he has a soul--but it lacks grace;
he has the creature--but he lacks the Creator;
he has a mansion--but he lacks Heaven.
In his life, he floats upon a torrent of vanity--which rolls along into an ocean of vexation!
And after death, it will be said of him, "Take this unprofitable servant, bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness! Consign his soul to the eternal lake of fire and brimstone!"
Where now is the object of your envy?
It is not his gold which can then rescue him,
nor his mansion which can then satisfy him,
nor his friends who can then comfort him.
Therefore, if he is worth the envying--then who can be worth the pitying?
If this is happiness--then give me misery!
Lord, rather make me poor, with a holy heart--than rich, with an evil heart of unbelief!
"Have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue--because I am in agony in this fire!" Luke 16:24
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment--but the righteous to eternal life!" Matthew 25:46
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Romans 7:15-25

(15) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (16) If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. (17) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. (19) For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. (20) Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (21) I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. (22) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (25) I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
New King James Version   
Though converted for about twenty years when he wrote Romans, Paul comments in verse 17 that sin sufficiently strong enough to pull him in the wrong direction still remained in him. In verse 18, he leaves no doubt that sin was still in him. In verse 19, he admits to occasional sin, and in verse 20, he again states that sin still existed in him, and in verse 21, that evil was present with him. In verse 23, he says that a war raged within him between the law of sin and the law of his mind, and he mentions these two again in verse 25.
The evil that lived in him was the remnant of what he had absorbed of Satan's world before his conversion on the road to Damascus. The law of his mind was his new heart from God that he desired so strongly to rule his life. The war was between the remnant of Satan's world and his new heart. Galatians 5:16-17 confirms this last thought:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Each influence on his mind was communicating to him. This is why we cannot physically escape Babylon. It has left its mark on our perspectives, attitudes, and characters; we carry it with us regardless of our location. Nevertheless, our escape from Babylon can be accomplished because, if it could not, God would not have commanded us to do it.
We achieve it by choosing to allow the law of our mind to triumph against the law of sin and death, even though to do so may require many painful sacrifices during the battle. Where does one find the strength necessary to make the sacrifices required? What might we need to supply us motivation?
First, we need to consider a vital promise. Paul proclaims in Philippians 4:19: "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ." This assurance could just as easily been read as, "He shall supply all our need gloriously!" It is full of exuberant expectation.
What do we need? We need faith in the fact that God is, that He is indeed with us personally and individually, and that His Word is true and absolute. In addition, we need vision and hope regarding the value of what is to be gained or lost through making the right choices. We need much more, but certainly not least, we need God's love for Him and fellow man.

 ~John W. Ritenbaugh~
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Unanswered?
"Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily" (Luke 18:6, 7).
God's seasons are not at your beck. If the first stroke of the flint doth not bring forth the fire, you must strike again. God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed; He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, but not just when and where we have settled in our own expectations. Hence the need of perseverance and importunity in supplication.
In the days of flint and steel and brimstone matches we had to strike and strike again, dozens of times, before we could get a spark to live in the tinder; and we were thankful enough if we succeeded at last.
Shall we not be as persevering and hopeful as to heavenly things? We have more certainty of success in this business than we had with our flint and steel, for we have God's promises at our back.
Never let us despair. God's time for mercy will come; yea, it has come, if our time for believing has arrived. Ask in faith nothing wavering; but never cease from petitioning because the King delays to reply. Strike the steel again. Make the sparks fly and have your tinder ready; you will get a light before long. --C. H. Spurgeon
I do not believe that there is such a thing in the history of God's kingdom as a right prayer offered in a right spirit that is forever left unanswered. --Theodore L. Cuyler

~L. B. Cowman~

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 2

Favorite Pastor Quotes 2


Our Heavenly Father's Unconditional Love


Scripture tells us that love is the very essence of who God is (1 John 4:7). So if you don't believe that He loves you unconditionally, you'll never really know Him or have genuine peace about your relationship with Him.
How do you define "love"? It is Jesus unselfishly reaching out to mankind, giving Himself to us and bringing good into our life regardless of whether or not we accept Him. Romans 5:8 tells us that His care and concern are so immeasurable that He laid down His life for us while we were still His enemies. In fact, the Bible says that He first began to express His love toward us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-5). That means your actions had absolutely nothing to do with His love for you!
God's commitment to us has absolutely no conditions or restrictions and isn't based on whether we love Him back. Nor does He have more love for "good" people who may strike us as more worthy. He loves us even in our sin, even when we don't repent. Does that give us license to disobey? No. It gives us power to live holy lives, walk obediently with Him, and learn to love Him the way He deserves. To follow Him is to receive the love He has been offering all along.
Every single moment, whether awake or asleep, we all live under the canopy of the Lord's wondrous, absolute love for us. But to fully experience that love, you must receive it. Say yes to this amazing gift that God wants to pour out on you. Bask in it, and let it overflow to those around you.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~
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Rich Blessings

Let me ask you a question.  Do you believe God wants to bless you?  You may say, "Yes," but in your heart do you really believe this to be true?
Take a moment to read Ezekiel 34:26,
"...I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing."
I believe the Bible teaches us that just like there are seasons of trial, there are seasons of exceptional blessing that come from God.  And those seasons of exceptional blessing should not be taken for granted.  We should capitalize on them and seize the momentum when those seasons come.
Don't get me wrong, God is good all the time, and He is good to all.  His tender mercies are over all His works.  He causes His sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  The fact of the matter is, God is good even to people who are not good because it is His nature.
However, there are richer, more frequent blessings that come from the hand of God.  And they come to those who do a particular thing.
Tomorrow I want you to look with me in the book of Galatians.  As we look at these verses, we will find that though God is good to all, the richer and more frequent blessings come to those who do a particular thing.  Together we will see what that thing is.
Today, I just want you to grasp the truth that God does want to bless your life in an extraordinary way.

~Bayless Conley~
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 No Greater Love


Perhaps the most intense love and protective instinct in the experience of mankind is that of parents toward their children. There is little that most mothers or fathers wouldn't do for a baby. If a truck posed a threat to the little one, it wouldn't surprise us if they jumped in front of the moving vehicle without a second thought.
Wouldn't you like to be cared for with this kind of intensity? You are. In fact, the Lord's love toward you is far deeper and more secure than that of even the most caring, tuned-in human parent. And what God did for us is proof. Romans 5:8 says that while we were living in disobedience, He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us.
Think about a father giving up his child for people who choose to rebel against him. What a tremendous sacrifice and cost! Jesus' death took the place of the punishment that we deserved. If we accept this gift and decide to follow God, He no longer sees us as guilty. Rather, He justifies us, makes us righteous, and changes our ultimate destiny: instead of facing everlasting separation from Him, we will enjoy His presence eternally. What's more, almighty God adopts us as His children forever. Our heavenly Father guides, protects, and counsels us as we walk through life--and promises us that we are secure in Him throughout eternity.
How incredible that the Creator of the universe would love you and me in this way! Do you know and experience the security and sweetness of His care? Gratitude and praise should flow from your heart. In turn, love others deeply out of thankfulness for the love that you have received.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~
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The Path to Maturity

1 Peter 5:10 provides a very critical principle for those times when we are going through trials, a principle that is easy to miss,
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
You need to realize that even though God did not initiate your trouble, He can still use it to work something good in you.  What the devil means for evil, God can turn into something good.
Even though the devil's purpose is to destroy you, if you will respond correctly, God can work good things.  Notice the verse says after you have suffered a short season, God will perfect.  It brings maturity to you.
While we might hate it, how we respond in times of trial makes us who we are--and it fits us to accomplish God's will.  I hate some of the things I have gone through!  But you know what?  I would not be who I am had I not experienced those things.  It has fitted me to do the will of God.
And while it may not seem like it, your present difficulty may be instrumental in your future success.
It reminds me of the guy who was shipwrecked on a deserted island.  One day he decided to go across the island for food.  When he got to the other side he looked back and saw a plume of smoke in the sky.  He ran back only to find that his shack burnt to the ground!
It stung him to the core!  Except the next morning a ship arrived and rescued him.  When he asked the sailors, "How'd you know I was here?" they said, "We saw your smoke signal."
Your present trials just may be fitting you for something you would never expect! 

~Bayless Conley~
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Lord, I Love You, but...


Most of us are quick to declare our love for God, but at times our reluctance to serve Him tells a different story. Honestly consider whether you have ever found yourself saying or thinking, I love you, Lord, but don't call me to do that! Or perhaps you served Him, but with a flawed attitude: If no one else will do it, then I guess I will. What causes us to be reluctant servants?
Busyness: Sometimes our schedules are so full that there's no space to follow the Lord when we hear Him calling us to minister in a certain area. We all need "margins" in our lives if we want to abide in God's will.
Inadequacy: Perhaps you feel unqualified to serve, and you're thinking, Surely there's someone more gifted who could do that job. But that's just an excuse; the Lord promises to equip those He calls (2 Cor. 3:4-6).
Selfishness: Sacrificial service is never convenient. It may require that we change our plans, give up our comforts, or even make financial sacrifices.
Lack of love: This is the hardest for us to admit--that we just don't care enough. Our reluctance to serve others reveals a lack of devotion to the Lord. Those who love Christ with all their heart will joyfully serve Him by ministering to those in their families, workplaces, communities, and churches.
Are you quick to follow the Lord's leading when a need arises, or are you a reluctant servant who's preoccupied with your own plans and desires? Any service we offer in Jesus' name will not be in vain. You'll experience the joy of giving and the assurance that the Lord won't forget your sacrifice.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes

Favorite Pastor Quotes

His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

(James Smith, "The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion")

"You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive--and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You." Psalm 86:5 

What a beautiful representation of God is this! How comforting, at the close of another day's cares and troubles, sorrows and sins--to be reminded that our "God is good," and especially that He is "ready to forgive"--ready to pardon all the faults and follies of this day--ready to pass them by, and still treat me as His beloved child!

He only requires me to confess and be sorry for my sins--and in a moment, all is forgiven, all is forgotten, and forgotten forever! 

Then He is "abundant in mercy." The fountain of His mercy has not yet run dry. Run dry! It is not in the least diminished! His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

God has plenty of mercy for miserable sinners . . .
  mercy to pardon them,
  mercy to purify them,
  mercy to comfort them,
  mercy to save them--
mercy for all who call upon Him!

O my soul, take home tonight this lovely representation of your God, and believing that He is good, ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy--go to Him, call upon Him, and plead with Him. Then you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help you in every time of need. 

Good and gracious God, I adore You for Your goodness; I bless You that You are ready to forgive; I rejoice that You are abundant in mercy. And now, O Lord, glorify Your mercy in me--show Your readiness to forgive, in me! Let my heart be eased of every sorrow--and let my conscience be cleansed from every sin! Let me lie down to rest tonight guiltless--rejoicing in the glorious fact that You have blotted out my sins as a cloud, and my transgressions as a thick cloud, and are now at eternal peace with me!

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That miracle of Divine grace wrought in the soul

(Arthur Pink)

Regeneration is that miracle of Divine grace wrought in the soul . . .
  which enlists the affections Godward, 
  which brings the human will into subjection to the Divine,
  and which produces a real and radical change in the life. 
That change is from worldliness--to godliness; from disobedience--to obedience. 

At the new birth, the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and that love is manifested in a dominating longing and sincere purpose to please in all things, the One who has plucked me as a brand from the burning. There is a greater difference between the genuine Christian and the deceived professing Christian--than there is between a living man and a corpse. None need remain in doubt, if they will honestly measure themselves by the Holy Word of God.

Ah, dear readers, the test is fruit! Not knowledge, not boastings, not orthodoxy, not joy--but fruit; and such "fruit" as mere nature cannot produce. It is the fruit of the Vine--namely, likeness to Christ, being conformed to His image. May the Holy Spirit search each one of us.

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Five Short Rules for Christians

(Brownlow North)

1. Never neglect daily private prayer; and when you pray, remember that God is present, and that He hears your prayers.

2. Never neglect daily private Bible reading; and when you read, remember that God is speaking to you, and that you are to believe and act upon all that He says.

3. Never let a day pass without trying to do something for Jesus. Every day reflect on what Jesus has done for you--and then ask yourself, "What am I doing for Him?"
4. If you are in doubt as to a thing being right or wrong--then go to your room and kneel down and ask God's blessing on it. If you cannot do this, then it is wrong.

5. Never take your standard of Christianity from other Christians--or argue that because such and such people do so and so--therefore, you may. You are to ask yourself, "How would Jesus act in my place?"--and strive to follow Him alone.

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If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be

(Charles Spurgeon)

"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men--they were astonished and theytook note that these men had been with Jesus!" Acts 4:13 
 
A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read "Lives of Christ"--beautifully and eloquently written. But the best life of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people. 

If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be--we would be pictures of Christ! Yes, such striking likenesses of Him that the world would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, "He has been with Jesus! He has been taught of Him! He is like Him! He has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and everyday actions!"

"He who says he abides in Him--ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6

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The lock-smith's great bunch of keys!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"He has given us His very great and precious promises!" 2 Peter 1:4
 
God's promises are precious, because they tell of exceedingly great and precious things. We have promises in the Bible which time would fail us to repeat, which for breadth and length are immeasurable. They deal with every great thing which the soul can need: 
  promises of pardoned sin, 
  promises of sanctification, 
  promises of teaching, 
  promises of guidance, 
  promises of upholding, 
  promises of ennobling, 
  promises of progress, 
  promises of consolation, 
  promises of perfection.

In this blessed book you have . . . 
  promises for time--and promises for eternity; 
  promises for every condition every believer!

I sometimes liken God's promises to the lock-smith's great bunch of keys which he brings when you have lost the key of your chest, and cannot unlock it. He feels pretty sure that out of all the keys upon his ring, some one or another will fit, and he tries them with patient industry. At last--yes--that is it--he has loosened the bolt, and now you can get at your treasures! 

In the same way, there is always a promise in the volume of inspiration, suitable to your present case.

The promises are precious in themselves . . .
  from their suitability to us,
  from their coming from God,
  from their being immutable,
  from their being sure of performance, and
  from their containing wrapped up within themselves, all that every child of God can ever need!

"He has given us His very great and precious promises!"