Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

THE LORD THUNDERS IN THE FIRE

                   
Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Mat 18:19  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  

Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 

Isa 59:19  So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Heb 13:6  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Eze 14:14  Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the LORD GOD      






Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Nature Of The Trying Fire

1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is

What is the fire? We have, as we see, the claus "for the day shall declare it,” which no doubt applies to the day of the Lord’s appearing, but I think there is an application of the words “the fire itself shall prove” in that day, which is specific, which is along a certain line.

Passing over to another part of the Scriptures, let us ask what the nature of the devouring by the dragon is in Revelation 12:4. 

There we see the great red dragon standing waiting to devour the man-child the moment he is born.

What is the character of the devouring?

How will the dragon seek to devour?

I do not think it would be an adequate answer to say that this is a way of describing a great persecution from without, a physical persecution of the saints. 

That is not an adequate explanation; because the Blood of the Lamb is not the ground upon which you overcome physical persecution.

You go through physical persecution, you are not delivered out of it. 

You can appeal to the Blood of the Lamb as much as you like in the day of persecution from without, and the Blood of the Lamb does not avail to release you from it. 

There is a support through it. But here in this twelfth chapter of Revelation the man-child is seen escaping the jaws of the dragon, being delivered from him, and being caught up to the throne. 

It is an absolute deliverance from the dragon who stands waiting to devour.

Now what is the nature of the devourer? The nature of the devourer is explained by the nature of the victory. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony...” 

It may be outwardly they suffer death, loving not their lives even unto death, but there is something inward which means that, even while they are delivered up unto death outwardly, they overcome spiritually.
 

Here is something in which these escape the dragon and are not swallowed up by him; and that will tell you, if you think for a moment, what the nature of the devourer is. 

It seems to me that the devourer is related to the faith of the overcomer. It is a matter of swallowing up their faith. 

Faith in what? Faith in all that upon which they stand for their eternal salvation.

The accuser is there, and if, with no more multiplication of words, we reduce it to this, you will see what we mean.

It is a question precisely of an inward spiritual, living relationship to Christ Himself.

In that day, when the enemy moves in that intensified form against an overcomer-company to swallow that company up, there will be the most severe and intense testing and trying out of an inward relationship to the Lord.

It will certainly come along one line, if not entirely along the one line, namely, of being tempted to believe that the whole foundation has given way.

In other words, the great effort of the adversary will be to bring to a place where the hope of salvation is gone, where the saints have had cut from under them their assurance in Christ. 

The devouring will be in relation to their faith, the awful blackness of being out of the pale and hope of salvation.

That is not mere hypothesis; that is an actuality.

There are many true children of God in that affliction now, and the enemy is pressing that, and will press that more and more toward the end.

You and I, beloved, by reason of being given certain conditions and circumstances: physical, circumstantial, mental, will be tested on that matter, tested right out as to what we have been using to build with. 

What does your building represent? Is it so much teaching, so much doctrine, so much theory, so many meetings, so many prayers, so much Bible reading, Bible study, so much activity in the Lord’s work? 

Is that the structure? Supposing it all goes, and you are no longer able to do anything: no longer able to pray, no longer able to study the Word, no longer able to go to the meetings, no longer able to work for the Lord outwardly, what do you have left?

Supposing all that structure is all that you have, and your whole Christian life is represented by that, and it all goes, what do you have left?

Do you have Christ inwardly? That will be the test..

The work is that which we are doing now in the building up of our Christian lives. What are we using? What are we working with? 

I believe that the only thing which will satisfy the Lord is that we should be able to stand with Him in any place, though it be in hell itself.

The Lord might test us by the fires in that way, as to whether we are able to stand not merely when we are in the good fellowship of Christian people, with all the helps around us, with all advantages at our disposal spiritually, but when we are alone, cut off, shut up, or in some place where it is ninety-nine percent the devil and hell.
 

What is it that will make it possible for us to stand in such an hour?

Nothing but an inward, clear, living knowledge of Christ Himself. 

Each man’s work shall be tried; the fires shall make manifest of what sort it is. 

The work relates to the building up of ourselves as Christians.

What is it that is represented by our Christian lives? Is it the place in which we meet? Is it the teaching we receive there? Is it anything like that?

You may be assured that that is going to be put in the fire, and then the question will be how much of Christ has through that become a living, inward reality, a part of your very being, so that you do not say: I know of certain teaching, and I belong to a certain fellowship! but, I HAVE CHRIST!

That is our work, and each man’s work shall be tried.
 

The enemy will stand ready to swallow up, and he will swallow up all that he can. 

He cannot swallow up Christ. 

If Christ is in us, in a closer relationship with us than any human relationship, so that Christ has become a very part of us, the enemy cannot devour that.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hindrance To Prayer

Psa 37:5  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

I once thought that after I prayed that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer to pass.


He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise, and only do what He bade me.

It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle into our own hands is often tremendous.

We all know how impossible it is to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not, but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working. 

~C.H.P.~

Spiritual forces cannot work while earthly forces are active.

It takes God time to answer prayer. We often fail to give God a chance in this respect. It takes time for God to paint a rose.

It takes time for God to grow an oak. It takes time for God to make bread from wheat fields.

He takes the earth. He pulverizes. He softens. He enriches. He wets with showers and dews. He warms with life. He gives the blade, the stock, the amber grain, and then at last the bread for the hungry.

All this takes time. Therefore we sow, and till, and wait, and trust, until all God's purpose has been wrought out. 

We give God a chance in this matter of time. We need to learn this same lesson in our prayer life. It takes God time to answer prayer.

 ~J. H. M.~

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Church An Intercessory Instrument

Now we must also see that the Church is here to be an intercessory instrument for the Holy Ghost for two purposes. 

Here we have got the Book of Esther very much in mind. And just to mention that will explain to you what we mean.

In the first place we have the intercessory instrument as represented by Esther for the purpose of preserving the Life of God's people; preserving the testimony to that Life of the Lord's people. Oh, that is a big calling and vocation. 

Here is this satanic scheme as illustrated in Haman who is out to blot out the people of God as the instrument of the testimony of God in the earth, though at the time a poor, decadent instrument, nevertheless the people of God; and Esther comes into relation to the throne in order to have that foul plan of the enemy reversed, destroyed, and the testimony of life maintained.

That is the Church's vocation, that is what God is after securing, a company who will be to Him an instrument in this day to save the testimony of God in a decadent spiritual age and day; and many of the Lord's people are failing, are in captivity, weakened, robbed of their place, robbed of their witness, robbed of their power by the evil one because of their own idolatry, because they have been guilty of dividing God's rights and not giving Him His whole place. 

Idolatry is not merely the falling down and worshipping of gods of wood and stone. 

Idolatry is anything, beloved, anything in all the universe which detracts from God. If a young man takes to the smallest degree the place of God in a young woman's life, and the other way round as well; husband and wife, parent and children, business, home, anything that comes in to take God's place. 

We can be idolators with our time, with our money, with our affections. 

If God's place is interfered with by another consideration, that is idolatry, and it was idolatry which brought about this spiritual condition amongst the people of God, and it always does.

Oh, God would bring back His people, bring back His people into a relationship with Himself that they shall truly be His right representative on the earth. 

To do that, He must get those into relationship with Himself Who will become an intercessory instrument like Esther to save the testimony of the Life of the Lord's people.

For that, He calls us, and such must take this thing upon their hearts as a tremendous burden; that is, the state of the Lord's people must become a heart-ache, a heart-break.

The spiritual condition of those who are the Lord's must ever be a tremendous burden upon the heart of the instrument that God would have for saving the situation, and in order to save that situation He must put that burden upon some hearts.

Esther took it on her heart, she took her people before the Throne, and to such an extent, that she took her life in her hands, saying "If I perish, I perish," "but I give myself to this business without any personal interest or consideration whatever; in this matter, I live or die."

Oh that God would find a company of men and women today like that, so burdened, so weighed down, so distressed by the spiritual condition of His own people, by the fact that the world is not having registered upon it the testimony of God through His own people. Oh for such an instrument. 

Would that the Holy Ghost would light upon us and turn us into at least a part of that instrument for today.

This instrument is to be God's instrument, by the Holy Ghost, of bringing about the overthrow of Satan.

Oh, wonderful work, oh, wonderful work, "God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." 

Within the decadent Church, Laodicea today - overcomers, through whom the Lord will bring about the undoing and the overthrow of Satan. 

Solemn business, terrific business, but it is the Lord's decision, not ours.

He has chosen to do it, and if He has chosen to do it, He is well able to do it, and if the Holy Ghost constitutes the instrument, it will be done.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Waiting And Working

And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth unto the plain, and I will there talk with thee Ezek. 3:22.
     
Did you ever hear of any one being much used for Christ who did not have some special waiting time, some complete upset of all his or her plans first; from St. Paul's being sent off into the desert of Arabia for three years, when he must have been boiling over with the glad tidings, down to the present day?
     
You were looking forward to telling about trusting Jesus in Syria; now He says, "I want you to show what it is to trust Me, without waiting for Syria."
     
My own case is far less severe, but the same in principle, that when I thought the door was flung open for me to go with a bound into literary work, it is opposed, and doctor steps in and says, simply, "Never! She must choose between writing and living; she can't do both."
     
That was in 1860. Then I came out of the shell with "Ministry of Song" in 1869, and saw the evident wisdom of being kept waiting nine years in the shade.

God's love being unchangeable, He is just as loving when we do not see or feel His love.

Also His love and His sovereignty are co-equal and universal; so He withholds the enjoyment and conscious progress because He knows best what will really ripen and further His work in us.

~Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal~
     
I laid it down in silence,This work of mine,And took what had been sent me~A resting time.

The Master's voice had called me To rest apart; "Apart with Jesus only," Echoed my heart.
     
I took the rest and stillness From His own Hand, And felt this present illness Was what He planned.

How often we choose labor,When He says "Rest"- Our ways are blind and crooked; His way is best.
     
The work Himself has given, He will complete.
     
There may be other errands For tired feet;There may be other duties For tired hands,The present, is obedience To His commands.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Spiritual Conflict Implies A Spiritual Position

This warfare is related to a position. It is a consciousness which only comes to us in a certain realm.

You may be a Christian, and as a Christian you may realize that you are up against adversities, difficulties, oppositions, and things which make the Christian life strenuous and full of conflict, calling out all the militant features of life, and yet you may not have entered into the ultimate things of the testimony of the Lord Jesus and the ultimate realm of the battle of the saints. 

But if you come as a believer to a revelation of the fullness of Christ in His personal sovereignty and lordship, in the greatness of the work of His cross in every realm, and then into the light of the Church which is His Body, you enter immediately into a new realm of conflict, the battle changes its character, and you begin to develop a consciousness, or a consciousness begins to grow in you, that you are up against something far more sinister, far more intelligently evil than those wrongs that abound in the world. 

You become increasingly conscious that it is with the devil, directly and nakedly, and with his forces that you are having to do.

But that consciousness is bound up with a specific position, and the experience of believers is that as they go on with the Lord (which means going upward, away from the earthlies to the heavenlies, more and more away from the old creation to the new creation life, and more and more away from the flesh to the spirit) the more closely do they come into contact with the ultimate spiritual forces of the universe, and the conflict assumes new forms and the warfare takes a new character. 

It is a warfare linked up with a specific position to which the believer comes, and with the consciousness which comes in only in a certain realm.

It is in a fuller measure a spiritual warfare, and being that, it pre-supposes a spiritual state on the part of the believer.

To put that in another way: the more spiritual we become, the more spiritual does the warfare become; and the more spiritual the warfare is in our consciousness and in our knowledge, so we may realize that we have become more spiritual.

When we are carnal our warfare is carnal, and I refer to believers and not to unbelievers. The unbeliever is not spoken of as carnal. He is natural.

When we are carnal as believers, our warfare and our weapons are carnal. That is, we meet men on their own level and answer back their challenge with that with which they challenge us.

If they come out in argument we counter with argument; if they come out with reason we meet them with reason; if they come out with fierce temper we meet them in the heat of the flesh; and if they come out to us with criticism, well, we give them what they give us and try to go one better, meeting them always on their own level.

That is carnal warfare, using carnal weapons.

When we cease to be carnal and leave all carnal ground, becoming wholly spiritual, we find ourselves in a new realm at the back of men, dealing with spiritual forces directly and not with merely carnal forces.

We have come into touch with something at the back of carnal man, and the carnal man is utterly helpless in the presence of a spiritual man for the simple reason that he cannot get the spiritual man to come down to his level. 

Therefore he is disarmed, and sooner or later he will have to recognize that that spiritual man is his superior.

But the superiority is not just in that the spiritual man is on a new level. It is that he is meeting not the man naturally, but the forces behind the man. It is spiritual warfare now. 

We cease to fight after the flesh; we cease to fight man; we cease to battle with flesh; our warfare is in another realm altogether.

That represents spiritual advance, spiritual growth, and it represents spirituality.

And when we come into real spiritual warfare a spiritual state is pre-supposed. In that realm the natural man's resources are utterly useless. They are ruled out, because for that warfare only spiritual equipment is either permissible or effective.

The warfare then is with spiritual weapons, spiritual resources and spiritual equipment. 

So Ephesians 6 finds us in the heavenlies, battling, not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, but we are equipped with a spiritual armor, the armor of God. 

~T. Austin Sparks~

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Realm of Spiritual Exercise


Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

In our natural, physical man we have five senses. We have our sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Those are the five senses of our physical natural life.

But there is also an inner man called the "hidden man of the heart," and that inward man has what corresponds to the outer man's five senses.

There is a faculty of spiritual sight, of spiritual hearing, of spiritual smelling or sensing, of spiritual taste and spiritual touch, and these senses are very important for hearing, that is a desperate situation.

What loss there is if there is no sensing – sensing as in the matter of smell, so that you at once scent things. 

I know how wrongly that has been used, in an everlasting attempt to scent heresy and fault and wrong, but there is a right faculty of spiritual scent to the life of the inward man... yes, more important even than the senses of the physical man.

We know how we feel the tragedy of people who have lost any of those outward senses. It is a great loss; it is an imperfect life, a life of limitation.

But it is equally true of the inward man. To be without spiritual sight is a tragic loss and a terrible limitation; or without spiritual hearing, that capacity for answering to the Spirit – "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith":

I believe it was to that that reference was made concerning our Lord-His scent shall be in the fear of the Lord quick of scent, right on the mark in scenting what the Lord wanted.

And how true it was of His heavenly life: what it saved Him to scent the enemy and what the enemy was up to, to scent what the Father wanted and when He did not want things. 

It is important to be quick of scent.

And so with our taste and with our touch – our contact, and what we register by contact. 

This is a very real inward man, and these are the senses which form the basis of spiritual capacity: these are the things to be exercised, to be "put through it" for increase and development.

~T. Austin Sparks~


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Noah MOVED With GODLY Fear!

                                                                                
Heb 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 

Noah having recieved an oracle from GOD in which he was told to build an ark. This ark was the first that ever was in the world. There was to be entrance of all creatures into it two of every kind male and female. They were to be preserved in it as well as Noah and all his family. It was also to be the destruction of all that were not to be in the ark~all without it~the wicked!

This Divine Warning concerning these things was delivered to Noah and received by him showing he was favored of GOD. That his faith rested in the Word of God that was spoken to him.

Noah moved with fear not of his own damnation or distrust of the salvation of himself and his family in the ark but  with an awful sense of the judgments of God upon the wicked; and with reverence of God, from whom he received the oracle; and with a religious fear, with which he worshipped God.

Immediately, and without delay, he set about the building of the ark, and made it exactly according to the pattern which was given him.

And his end in it was to secure his family, himself and his wife, his three sons and their wives, from the flood, which he believed would shortly come upon the world, according to the word of God.

And in this his faith was seen: and from this it may be observed,that as God saved Noah and his family in the waters, so he can, and does, save his people in afflictions; and also, that true faith is attended with obedience.

The inhabitants of the world, the world of the ungodly: as a preacher, he declared they would be condemned, in case of unrepentance and unbelief; and his words heard, and his actions seen by them, were aggravations of their condemnation.

For by his works, as well as by his words, he reproved, and condemned them; by building the ark, as he declared his own faith, so he condemned their unbelief.
 

~John Gill~





Thursday, December 11, 2014

Trust and Do~Do and Trust

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Trust and do are words which go well together, in the order in which the Holy Spirit has placed them. 

We should have faith, and that faith should work

Trust in God sets us upon holy doing: we trust God for good, and then we do good.

We do not sit still because we trust, but we arouse ourselves and expect the LORD to work through us and by us.

It is not ours to worry and do evil but to trust and do good. We neither trust without doing nor do without trusting. 

Adversaries would root us out if they could; but by trusting and doing we dwell in the land.

We will not go into Egypt, but we will remain in Immanuel's land-the providence of God, the Canaan of covenant love.

We are not so easily to be got rid of as the LORD's enemies suppose.

They cannot thrust us Out nor stamp us out: where God has given us a name and a place, there we abide.

But what about the supply of our necessities?

The LORD has put a "verily" into this promise. As sure as God is true, His people shall be fed.

It is theirs to trust and to do, and it is the LORD's to do according to their trust. 

If not fed by ravens, or fed by an Obadiah, or fed by a widow, yet they shall be fed somehow. Away, ye fears!

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Following Christ Will Not Prevent Our Having Earthly Sorrows And Troubles

Here are the chosen disciples of the Lord Jesus in great trouble. 

The faithful little flock, which believed when priests and scribes and Pharisees were all alike unbelieving, is allowed by the Shepherd to be much disturbed.

The fear of death breaks in upon them like an armed man.

The deep water seems likely to go over their souls. Peter, James and John, the pillars of the Church about to be planted in the world, are much distressed.

Perhaps they had not reckoned on all this. Perhaps they had expected that Christ's service would at any rate lift them above the reach of earthly trials.

Perhaps they thought that He, who could raise the dead and heal the sick and feed multitudes with a few loaves and cast out devils with a word would never allow His servants to be sufferers upon earth.

Perhaps they had supposed He would always grant them smooth journeys, fine weather, an easy course and freedom from trouble and care.

If the disciples thought so, they were much mistaken.

The Lord Jesus taught that a man may be one of His chosen servants and yet have to go through many a trouble, and endure many a pain.

It is good to understand this clearly. It is good to understand that Christ's service never did secure a man from all the ills that flesh is heir to, and never will.

If you are a believer, you must reckon on having your share of sickness and pain, of sorrow and tears, of losses and crosses, of deaths and bereavements, of partings and separations, of vexations and disappointments so long as you are in the body.

Christ never promises that you shall get to Heaven without these.

He has promised that all who come to Him shall have all things pertaining to life and godliness; but He has never promised that He will make them prosperous, or rich, or healthy, and that death and sorrow shall never come to their family.

I have the privilege of being one of Christ's ambassadors. In His name I can offer eternal life to any man, woman or child who is willing to have it. 

In His name I offer pardon, peace, grace, glory, to any son or daughter of Adam who reads this message. 

But I dare not offer that person worldly prosperity as part and parcel of the Gospel. 

I dare not offer him long life, an increased income and freedom from pain.

I dare not promise the man who takes up the cross and follows Christ that in following Him he shall never meet with a storm.

I know well that many do not like these terms. 

They would prefer having Christ and good health, Christ and plenty of money, Christ and no deaths in their family, Christ  and no wearing cares, Christ and a perpetual morning without clouds.

But they do not like Christ and the cross, Christ and tribulation, Christ and the conflict, Christ and the howling wind, Christ and the storm.

Is this the secret thought of anyone who is reading this message? Believe me, if it is, you are very wrong. Listen to me, and I will try to show you have yet much to learn.

How would you know who are true Christians-if following Christ was the way to be free from trouble?

How would we discern the wheat from the chaff-if it were not for the winnowing of trial?

How would we know whether men served Christ for His own sake or from selfish motives-if His service brought health and wealth with it as a matter of course?

The winds of winter soon show us which of the trees are evergreen and which are not.

The storms of affliction and care are useful in the same way. They reveal whose faith is real and whose is nothing but profession and form.

How would the great work of sanctification go on in a man if he had no trials?

Trouble is often the only fire which will burn away the dross that clings to our hearts. 

Trouble is the pruning-knife which the great Gardener employs in order to make us fruitful in good works.

The harvest of the Lord's field is seldom ripened by sunshine only. It must go through its days of wind and rain and storm.

If you desire to serve Christ and be saved, I entreat you to take the Lord on His own terms.

Make up your mind to meet with your share of crosses and sorrows and then you will not be surprised. For lack of understanding this, many seem to run well for a season, and then turn back in disgust, and are cast away.

If you profess to be a child of God, leave to the Lord Jesus to sanctify you in His own way. 

Rest satisfied that He never makes any mistakes. Be sure that He does all things well.

The winds may howl around you, and waters swell. But fear not, He is leading you by the right way, that He may bring you to a city of habitation.

Psa 107:7  And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, December 5, 2014

Check Your Alliance

2Ch 25:9  And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this.
 

AMAZIAH had many good qualities, but he did not clearly see how impossible it was for Israel to be allied with Judah without invalidating the special Divine protection and care on which Judah had been taught to rely.

We must understand that God cannot be in fellowship with us if we tolerate fellowship with the ungodly.

We must choose between the two.

If we can renounce all creature aid, and trust simply in the eternal God, there is no limit to the victories He will secure; but if, turning from Him, we hold out our hand toward the world, we forfeit his aid.

0 child of God, let not the army of Israel go with thee! 

Do not adopt worldly policy, methods, or partnership. However strong you make yourself for the battle in alliance with these, you will fail. 

Indeed, God Himself will make you fall before the enemy, that you may be driven back to Himself.

But you say that you have already entered into so close an alliance that you cannot draw back.

You have invested your capital, you have gone to great expenditures Yet it will be better to forfeit these than Him. 

Without these aids, and with only God beside you, you will be able to rout Edom, and smite ten thousand men.

Would that men knew the absolute deliverance which God will effect for those whose hearts are perfect towards Him!

The soldiers of Israel committed depredations on their way back. This was the result of the folly and sin of Amaziah's proposal.

We may be forgiven, and delivered, and yet there will be after consequences which will follow us from some ill considered act. 

Sin may be forgiven, but its secondary results are sometimes very bitter. We must expect to reap as we sow.

~F. B. Meyer~

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our Holiest Example

I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved  (Psalm 16:8).
 
This is the way to live. With God always before us, we shall have the noblest companionship, the holiest example, the sweetest consolation, and the mightiest influence. 

This must be a resolute act of the mind. "I have set," and it must be maintained as a set and settled thing.

Always to have an eye to the LORD's eye and an ear for the LORD's voice--this is the right state for the godly man. 

His God is near him, filling the horizon of his vision, leading the way of his life, and furnishing the theme of his meditation. 

What vanities we should avoid, what sins we should overcome, what virtues we should exhibit, what joys we should experience if we did indeed set the LORD always before us!

Why not? This is the way to be safe. The LORD being ever in our minds, we come to feel safety and certainty because of His being so near. 

He is at our right hand to guide and aid us; and hence we are not moved by fear, nor force, nor fraud, nor fickleness.

When God stands at a man's right hand, that man is himself sure to stand.

Come on, then, ye foemen of the truth! Rush against me like a furious tempest, if ye will. God upholds me. God abides with me. Whom shall I fear?

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, November 30, 2014

God Is In The Front Line

Deu 31:8  And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

In the presence of a great work or a great warfare, here is a text which should help us to buckle on our harness.

If Jehovah Himself goes before us, it must be safe to follow. 

Who can obstruct our progress if the LORD Himself is in the van? 

Come, brother soldiers, let us make a prompt advance! Why do we hesitate to pass on to victory? 

Nor is the LORD before us only; He is with us. Above, beneath, around, within is the omnipotent, omnipresent One. 

In all time, even to eternity, He will be with us even as He has been. How this should nerve our arm! 

Dash at it boldly, ye soldiers of the cross, for the LORD of hosts is with us! 

Being before us and with us, He will never withdraw His help. 

He cannot fail in Himself, and He will not fail toward us. He will continue to help us according to our need, even to the end. 

As He cannot fail us, so He will not forsake us. 

He will always be both able and willing to grant us strength and succor till fighting days are gone.

Let us not fear nor be dismayed; for the LORD of hosts will go down to the battle with us, will bear the brunt of the fight, and give us the victory. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, November 28, 2014

Two Old Women And MIGHTY Revival!!!

There are two things that I would like to say in speaking about the revival in the Hebrides. First, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I did not bring revival to the Hebrides. 

It has grieved me beyond words to hear people talk and write about the man who brought revival to the Hebrides. My dear people, I didn't do that. 

Revival was there before I ever set foot on the island. It began in a gracious awareness of God sweeping through the parish of Barvas. 

Then I would like to make it perfectly clear what I understand of revival. 

When I speak of revival, I am not thinking of high-pressure evangelism. I am not thinking of crusades or of special efforts convened and organized by man. That is not in my mind at all.
 

Revival is something altogether different from evangelism on its
highest level. Revival is a moving of God in the community and
suddenly the community becomes God conscious before a word
is said by any man representing any special effort.


Now I am sure that you will be interested to know how, in November 1949, this gracious movement began on the island of Lewis. 

Two old women, one of them 84 years of age and the other 82-one of them stone blind, were greatly burdened because of the appalling state of their own parish. 

And those two women were greatly concerned and they made it a special matter of prayer. 

A verse gripped them: "I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground." 

They were so burdened that both of them decided to spend so much time in prayer twice a week. On Tuesday they got on their knees at 10 o'clock in the evening and remained on their knees until 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning--two old women in a very humble cottage.

One night, one of the sisters had a vision. Now remember, in revival, God works in wonderful ways. 

A vision came to one of them, and in the vision she saw the church of her fathers crowded with young people. Packed to the doors, and a strange minister standing in the pulpit. 

And she was so impressed by the vision that she sent for the parish minister. And of course he knowing the two sisters,
knowing that they were two women who knew God in a wonderful way, he responded to their invitation and called at the cottage.
 

That morning, one of the sisters said to the minister, "You must
do something about it. And I would suggest that you call your
office bearers together and that you spend with us at least two
nights in prayer in the week... 


Well, that was what happened, the minister called his office bearers together and seven of them met in a barn to pray on Tuesday and on Friday. And the two old women got on their knees and prayed with them.

Well that continued for some weeks indeed, I believe almost a
month and a half. 


Until one night one young man, a deacon in the church, got up and read Psalm 24. "Who shall ascend the hill of God? Who shall stand in His holy place?  He that has clean hands and a pure heart who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity or sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing (not a blessing, but the blessing) of the Lord."

And then that young man closed his Bible. And looking down at the minister and the other office bearers, he said this- "It seems to me to be so much humbug to be praying as we are praying, to be waiting as we are waiting, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God."

And then he lifted his two hands and prayed, "God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? " But he got no further.

That young man fell to his knees and then fell into a trance. Now don't ask me to explain this because I can't. He fell into a trance and is now lying on the floor of the barn.

And in the words of the minister, at that moment, he and his other office bearers were gripped by the conviction that a God-sent revival must ever be related to holiness, must ever be related to Godliness. 

Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?

When that happened in the barn, the power of God swept into the parish. And an awareness of God gripped the community such as hadn't been known for over 100 years. 

An awareness of God - that's revival, that's revival. 

And on the following day, the looms were silent, little work was done on the farms as men and women gave themselves to thinking on eternal things gripped by eternal realities.

~Duncan Campbell~

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mountains Turned To Plains

Zec 4:7  Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

At this hour a mountain of difficulty, distress, or necessity may be in our way, and natural reason sees no path over it, or through it, or round it.

Let faith come in, and straightway the mountain disappears and becomes a plain. 

But faith must first hear the word of the LORD--"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." 

This grand truth is a prime necessity for meeting the insurmountable trials of life. 

I see that I can do nothing and that all reliance on man is vanity. "Not by might."

I see that no visible means can be relied on, but the force is in the invisible Spirit. 

God alone must work, and men and means must be nothing accounted of. 

If it be so that the Almighty God takes up the concerns of His people, then great mountains are nothing. 

He can remove worlds as boys toss balls about or drive them with their foot.

This power He can lend to me. If the LORD bids me move an Alp I can do it through His name.

It may be a great mountain, but even before my feebleness it shall become a plain; for the LORD hath said it. 

What can I be afraid of with God on my side?

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Tragic Answer To Prayer

Psa 106:15  And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.  

What a sad 'but' that is! It represents God's frustration and disappointment. 

It means that God has so left the decision and choice with man that He will not force or coerce.

It points to the fact that God has a great intention where His people are concerned but they may miss it.

But when all that has been said, the reason for the tragedy was and can be persistent insistence on having what the people who pray want rather than what the Lord had so evidently shown to be His will.

It is therefore possible for God to yield to us, to answer our prayer, and for the result to be an everlasting regret and reproach.

What are the alternatives? 

The context of the verse in Psalm 106, and the reference to Numbers 6, shows that it all hinged upon the food question.

The Manna was too mysterious, too inscrutable, too delicate, too heavenly, too miraculous, too 'spiritual'. It contrasted with the tangible, certain (?), understandable, and naturally gratifying food of Egypt.

The fact is that their spiritual life had dropped to such a low level as to make them forget the tyranny, labour, heartbreak, and groanings in Egypt, and to be in an illusionary mentality about that terrible history. 

Get spiritually low and the world holds out false attraction. 

Granted that the life of faith and a supernatural basis of life has trials and difficulties for the flesh and the natural man, but it has a daily miracle of sustenance at its heart. 

The point of departure with them was whether their own souls were to be gratified or whether they were to be a testimony to the Lord.

The phrase "leanness into their souls" indicates that, firstly, thinness, scantiness, smallness, starvation, tenuity, weakness, and contraction in spiritual stature and measure are quite contrary to a God who is so full, abundant, and beneficent. 

Such contraction and limitation could never be a testimony to Him.

In the next place, the words indicate that the heavenly, the supernatural, the spiritual, and the way of faith is really the way of spiritual robustness and substance.

How lean-souled many of the Lord's people are! 

How little many of them and many churches have to give! 

How rare it is to find those - individually or collectively - who have much more than they need themselves and plenty for others!

Starvation conditions are all too common among the Lord's people. 

There are many reasons for this, but our verse says that it is the preference for the earthly to the heavenly, and an unwillingness to forego the natural for the spiritual. 

This whole matter is threshed out in the First Letter to the Corinthians, a church characterized by spiritual leanness, weakness, and smallness.

Spiritual leanness can be a judgment. "He sent leanness into their souls", while he gave them their request for natural fatness.

At any cost let us set the highest value and importance upon spiritual fulness, the fulness of Christ, and never by any means limit Him, or be instrumental in limiting Him in others! 

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Lurking Assassin


Envy is the basest of human passions. 

It might well be impersonated as a lurking assassin, dagger in hand, haunting the darkest chambers of the soul; disguised, too, with iron mask, to conceal, as best it may, its own vile features and malignant thoughts.
 

The Bible speaks of envy as one of a dastard, unlovely  triad..."envyings, murders, drunkenness." 

It is a miniature hell wherever the foul fiend of envy has been allowed to intrude.

Hence no nobler moral victory, yet no more difficult one can there be, than exorcizing this demon of the abyss, tortured and maddened by the sight of goodness it cannot reach, its impotence to tear the wreath honorably won from brows better and worthier than its own, and turn it into ashes.  

From envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, Lord, deliver us!

~John Macduff~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Threefold Disloyalty

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21

I am chargeable, the Master says, with a threefold disloyalty.

For my purposes are low. I lay up for myself treasure on earth. 

I am worldly in aim, and I measure everything from the worldly point of view. 

My heart is an earthly disposition, which gives its tinge and tone to all my universe.

And my heart is divided. I seek to serve two masters...God and my own selfish interests. 

And that, of course, means that I am alienated from God, for He will not be content with a spasmodic and conventional allegiance. 

I must be His altogether, His without these miserable reservations.

And my trust is imperfect. I forget my Father's wisdom, my Father's power, my Father's love.

I do not learn the lesson of repose which wayside flowers and happy birds should teach my spirit.

I do not cast all my care on Him who cares for me. I am fretful, distracted, anxious, worried.

I have need that the Master should touch my hot hands, with healing from His own, that the fever may leave me and I may rest.

Ah, my Lord, so mighty and so merciful, rescue me from my besetting sins.

May the low purposes be sublimed and heavenly.
May the divided heart be united to fear Your name.
May the imperfect trust become full and perpetual.

~Alexander Smellie~

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weapons Doomed To Fail

 Isa 54:17  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

There is great clatter in the forges and smithies of the enemy. They are making weapons wherewith to smite the saints.

They could not even do as much as this if the LORD of saints did not allow them; for He has created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire.

But see how busily they labor! How many swords and spears they fashion!

It matters nothing, for on the blade of every weapon you may read this inscription: It shall not Prosper.

But now listen to another noise: it is the strife of tongues. 

Tongues are more terrible instruments than can be made with hammers and anvils, and the evil which they inflict cuts deeper and spreads wider.

What will become of us now? Slander, falsehood, insinuation, ridicule-these are poisoned arrows; how can we meet them? 

The LORD God promises us that, if we cannot silence them, we shall, at least, escape from being ruined by them.

They condemn us for the moment, but we shall condemn them at last and forever.

The mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped, and their falsehoods shall be turned to the honor of those good men who suffered by them.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, November 14, 2014

SAFE WALKING

Psalms 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.

The paths of the Lord! My soul! never follow your own paths. 

If you do, you will be in danger often of following sight rather than faith--choosing the evil, and refusing the good.

But "commit your way unto the Lord and He shall bring it to pass."

Let this be your prayer, "Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths."

Oh! for Caleb's spirit, "to wholly follow the Lord my God"--to follow Him when self must be sacrificed, and hardship must be borne, and trials await me. 

To "walk with God"--to ask in simple faith, What would You have me to do?

To have no will of my own but this, that God's will is to be my will. Here is safety here is happiness! 

Fearlessly follow the Guiding Pillar. He will lead you by a right way, though it may be by a way of hardship, and crosses, and losses, and privations--to the city of God. 

Oh! the blessedness of thus lying passive in the hands of God, saying "Undertake for me God!" 

Oh! the blessedness of dwelling with holy gratitude on past mercies and interpositions; trusting these as pledges of future faithfulness and love; and hearing His voice behind us, amid life's many perplexities, exclaiming, "This is the way walk in it!"

Happy, surely, are every people who are in such a case!

It will be for you, Reader, if you can form the resolve in a strength greater than your own: This God shall be my God forever and ever; He shall be my Guide even unto death! 

~John Macduff~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Do We Love A Taking God As Well As A Giving God?

By knocking upon a barrel, we see whether it is full or empty, cracked or sound. 

Just so, by the knocks of providence given us in affliction, we are revealed for what we really are.   

Not only does affliction thus try our characters but prosperity does the same.

When we are afflicted, it is wise to watch the result upon ourselves.
 
Can our faith bear trial or is it a mere counterfeit?
 

Do we love a taking God as well as a giving God?
 

Do we cleave to Christ when under a cloud or is our religion only a fair-weather amusement?

Heart-searching may thus be greatly helped, and we shall run less danger of self-deception.

It will be an awful thing to be mere empty barrels
, and never know it until death deals a blow with his rod of iron, and we answer to it with hollow sounds of despair!


~Charles Spurgeon~