Hope

Hope

Monday, January 31, 2011

Openness


Lord of immortality, before whom angels bow and archangels veil their faces,

enable me to serve Thee with reverence and godly fear. Thou who art Spirit and requirest

truth in the inward parts, help me to worship Thee in spirit and in truth. Thou who art

righteous, let me not harbour sin in my heart, or indulge a worldly temper, or seek

satisfaction in things that perish.

I hasten towards an hour when earthly pursuits and possessions will appear vain,

when it will be indifferent whether I have been rich or poor, successful or disappointed,

admired or despised. But it will be of eternal moment that I have mourned for sin,

hungered and thirsted after righteousness, loved the Lord Jesus in sincerity, gloried in

His cross. May these objects engross my chief solicitude! Produce in me those principles

and dispositions that make Thy service perfect freedom.

Expel from my mind all sinful fear and shame, so that with firmness and courage I

may confess the Redeemer before men, go forth with Him hearing His reproach, be

zealous with His knowledge, be filled with His wisdom, walk with His circumspection, ask

counsel of Him in all things, repair to the Scriptures for His orders, stay my mind on His

peace, knowing that nothing can befall me without His permission, appointment and

administration.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big God...



BIG GOD: What Happens When We Trust Him

by Britt Merrick


Faith is trust. It is a confidence in the power and goodness of God that leads us to make good decisions and allows us to surrender our lives to Him. As we strive to mature spiritually and lead lives pleasing to God, we all want more faith. Hebrews 6:12 says that we are to be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. One of the best ways to grow in faith is to imitate the lives of people who have shown great faith.


Hebrews 11 guides us through the lives of men and women like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Rahab, David and others who have done just that. Real people with real lives and real problems, who had faith in a great God and trusted Him at pivotal moments in their lives. By drawing on some of the greatest lives of faith in the Bible, readers will come to see that God was worthy of these men’s and women’s trust and faith during biblical times in the same way that He is worthy of ours today.

Check it out: http://brittmerrick.com/brittmerrick/?page_id=375

Monday, January 10, 2011

Preaching...


“Take heed to yourselves, lest you live in those sins which you preach against in others, and lest you be guilty of that which you daily condemn.” – Richard Baxter



“Preach all your sermons over to yourself. Remember that your own heart must ever be your first congregation.” – F.B. Meyer


“Beware of entrance into controversy unless faithfulness to Christ makes it imperative.” – George Henderson


“...the work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones


“The primary task of the church and of the Christian ministry is the preaching of the Word of God.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones


“It was said of George Fox “In his preaching he wore out clothes, horses, critics, persecutors, and eventually himself.”


“He with whom the ministry is a secondary thing, may be a correct, a learned, an elegant, even an oratorical, but will never be a powerful preacher.” – J. W. Alexander


“I preached as never sure to preach again and as a dying man to dying men.” –Richard Baxter


“A perversion of the pulpit is surely followed by spiritual apostasy in the church.” – R. L. Dabney


“Preach not calmly and quietly as though you were asleep, but preach with fire and pathos and passion.” – C.H. Spurgeon


“When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.” – Abraham Lincoln


“O my brethren, my heart is enlarged towards you. I trust I feel something of that hidden, but powerful presence of Christ, whilst I am preaching to you.” – George Whitefield


“A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach; he must have teeth in his mouth, and be able to bite and fight.” – Martin Luther


“I know of no surer way of a people’s perishing than by being led by one who does not speak out straight and honestly denounce evil. If the minister halts between two opinions, do you wonder that the congregation is undecided? If the preacher trims and twists to please all parties, can you expect his people to be honest? If I wink at your inconsistencies will you not soon be hardened in them? Like priest, like people. A cowardly preacher suits hardened sinners. Those who are afraid to rebuke sin, or to probe the conscience, will have much to answer for. May God save you from being led into the ditch by a blind guide.” – C.H. Spurgeon


“He that is more frequent in his pulpit to his people than he is in his closet for his people, is but a sorry watchman.” – John Owen


“We have utterly failed in our preaching of Jesus if we have not set Him forth to you as ‘a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined’.” – R. M. M’Cheyne


“Ministers knock at the door of men’s hearts; the Spirit comes with a key and opens the door.” – Thomas Watson


“A preacher’s life should be a commentary upon his doctrine… Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life.” – Thomas Brooks


“Do I want to be heard? Do I want to be seen? Do I want anything on the line of finances? If I have these things in my heart I have no right to be there. The one thing that must move us must be the constraining love of God to minister for Him. A preacher always loses out when he gets his mind on finances. It is well for Pentecostal preachers to avoid making much of finances except to stir up people to help our missionaries on financial lines. A preacher who gets big collections for the missionaries need never fear, the Lord will take care of his finances. A preacher should not land at a place and say that God had sent him. I am always fearful when I hear a man advertising this. If he is sent of God, the saints will know it.” – Smith Wigglesworth


“A man, who had his eyes up to heaven, the best of books was in his hand, the law of truth was upon his lips, and he stood as if he pleaded with men.” – John Bunyan, Pilgrims Progress


“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” – Leonard Ravenhill


“The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.” – C.H. Spurgeon


“Leave Christ out? O my brethren, better leave the pulpit out altogether. If a man can preach one sermon without mentioning Christ’s name in it, it ought to be his last, certainly the last that any Christian ought to go to hear him preach.” –C.H. Spurgeon


“The man who is a preacher, if he has lost the unction, will be well repaid if he will repent and get right with God and get the unction back.” – Smith Wigglesworth


“A prayerful ministry is the only ministry that brings the preacher into sympathy with the people.” – E.M. Bounds


“If a minister becomes absorbed in the financial affairs of the church, he not only offends his congregation, but hinders his own spiritual life. How can a preacher be concerned in a man’s soul and, in the man’s pocket book at the same time?” – T.A. Gonce


My friends, we have too many orators. I am tired and sick of your “silver-tongued orators.” I used to mourn because I couldn’t be an orator. I thought, Oh, if I could only have the gift of speech like some men! I have heard men with a smooth flow of language take the audience captive, but they came and they went, their voice was like the air, there wasn't any power back of it; they trusted in their eloquence and their fine speeches. That is what Paul was thinking of when he wrote to the Corinthians: — “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.’

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Light...


“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”


Genesis 1:4

Light might well be good since it sprang from that fiat of goodness, “Let there be light.” We who enjoy it should be more grateful for it than we are, and see more of God in it and by it. Light physical is said by Solomon to be sweet, but gospel light is infinitely more precious, for it reveals eternal things, and ministers to our immortal natures. When the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual light, and opens our eyes to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we behold sin in its true colours, and ourselves in our real position; we see the Most Holy God as he reveals himself, the plan of mercy as he propounds it, and the world to come as the Word describes it. Spiritual light has many beams and prismatic colours, but whether they be knowledge, joy, holiness, or life, all are divinely good. If the light received be thus good, what must the essential light be, and how glorious must be the place where he reveals himself. O Lord, since light is so good, give us more of it, and more of thyself, the true light.

No sooner is there a good thing in the world, than a division is necessary. Light and darkness have no communion; God has divided them, let us not confound them. Sons of light must not have fellowship with deeds, doctrines, or deceits of darkness. The children of the day must be sober, honest, and bold in their Lord’s work, leaving the works of darkness to those who shall dwell in it forever. Our Churches should by discipline divide the light from the darkness, and we should by our distinct separation from the world do the same. In judgment, in action, in hearing, in teaching, in association, we must discern between the precious and the vile, and maintain the great distinction which the Lord made upon the world’s first day. O Lord Jesus, be thou our light throughout the whole of this day, for thy light is the light of men.

- Spurgeon

Monday, January 3, 2011

Firm Foundation...

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.


Saint Augustine

My Prayer for this new year is a Firm Foundation...
 
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!

What more can He say than to you He hath said—

To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,

For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;

For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not harm thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,

I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”



"Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." -Isaiah 64:8-