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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Overcomer's Reward

Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. 

My heart, be thou stirred up to persevere in the Holy War, for the reward of Victory is great. 

Today we eat of heavenly food which falls about our camps; the food of the wilderness, the food which comes from heaven, the food which never fails the pilgrims to Canaan.

But there is reserved for us in Christ Jesus a still higher degree of spiritual life and a food for it which, as yet, is hidden from our experience.

In the golden pot which was laid up in the ark there was a portion of manna hidden away, which though kept for ages never grew stale.

No one ever saw it; it was hid with the Ark of the Covenant, in the Holy of Holies.

Even so, the highest life of the believer is hid with Christ, in God.

We shall come to it soon, Being made victorious through the grace of our LORD Jesus, we shall eat of the King's meat and feed upon royal dainties.

We shall feed upon Jesus. He is our "hidden manna," as well as the manna of the wilderness.

He is all in all to us in our highest, as well as in our lowest, estate.

He helps us to fight, gives us the victory, and then is Himself our reward. LORD, help me to overcome. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Willed Blindness

In Paphos there lived a sorcerer named Elymas, who posed as a prophet. He belonged to the governor's retinue.

Seized with jealousy because the governor wanted to hear the word of the Lord from Paul and Barnabas, Elymas tried to turn him aside from faith.

Having seen the light, Elymas preferred darkness and preferred also that others remain in darkness if their turning to the light should turn them away from him. 

He thus willfully falsified the truth and was struck blind.

The result of deliberate deception is blindness. 

The man who, to preserve his own position, deceives himself or another, is a swindler (this is what Paul called Elymas), "rascal, son of the devil, enemy of all goodness" (Acts 13:10).

Act 13:8  But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Act 13:9  Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

Act 13:10  And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

Act 13:11  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 

God is light and in Him is not any darkness at all. 

If we guard some corner of darkness in ourselves, we will soon be drawing someone else into darkness, shutting them out from the light in the face of Jesus Christ.

"Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen" (Book of Common Prayer).

~Elisabeth Ellliot~

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Follow The WORD Alone

What happens if "our" scenario of the second coming of Christ does not pan out in our lifetime? Will we lose faith?

Will we be discouraged? Forelorn?

You see, our plans and interpretations; The LORD does "NOT" follow! It is His WORD He goes by! Not "Our" interpretation of His WORD according to what we read in the newspaper, or see on the mainstream news, or the alternative news!

Lets walk completely in and by the Spirit of GOD, and Let Him show us! 

Our limited finite minds CANNOT discern the Many moves of The LORD!

Only the Mind Of Christ in the Holy Spirit can give us the Understanding we seek!

So Let us all "The Church" by Surrender receive more and more the Mind of Christ and follow HIM!

Mar 13:23-27  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 

And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Call Of Warning

You have no power to say, "I'll hear the trumpet tomorrow." 

It may not blow tomorrow. 

You haven't got the control of the trumpet, God has. And God's Holy Spirit is the breath by which the trumpet sounds.

And you cannot order the Holy Spirit to speak to you another time. He says, "Today if you will hear, today... I guarantee nothing after today, I call today." "Today if you will hear His voice..." 

Yes it's love, it's mercy, but it is solemn warning.

There seems to be two tones mingling in this sound, it's a joyful sound, it's a joyful sound, how blessed, how pleasant is the Gospel sound, it's the Gospel sound and 'Gospel' means 'good news'.

It's good news sounding forth: God has, by His Son, His Son's death, His Son's bearing of our sin and our judgement, God has provided redemption. 

That's good news for you, dear friends, for you He's provided. That's the joyful sound.

The psalmist speaks of the joyful sound and they're blessed who hear the joyful sound.

And yet, and yet, mingled with the joyful sound there is a solemn sound. 

The Bible speaks of solemn festivities; solemn festivities, the mingling of joy and solemnity because of the tremendous issues that are involved.

And you would not have me do other than tell you that it is, it is a solemn and a very terrible thing to close your heart and your ears to God speaking.

There's a lot involved, a lot involved, oh, everything is involved! 

I remember so well some years, yes many years ago, I was visiting in the house of a friend and there came to that house that evening a man and we got talking after the evening meal.

And he said, "I, somehow or other, I felt I'd got to come over here tonight." He'd come right across from the other side of the village. 

"Somehow I felt I'd got to come over here tonight, I don't know why, I can't explain it at all, but there it is." So I said, "Oh well, probably as we talk on we will discover why."

And I began to talk to him. It wasn't very long before we discovered the why, God had some interest in that life for which I'd been brought there that night. And I said "What about it?" and he said, "Well, I must go away and think about it." 

"Well," I said, "Don't think too long, arrive at a conclusion as quick as you can."

He went away, we didn't hear anything of him for a little while. 

Strangely enough, I was in that same home some few weeks afterwards and the same man arrived at the same time! He looked a little sheepish when he found I was there again, and at any rate I was for business.

Before long I came down and said "Well, what about that matter?" it came out, "You said that you believe that God had brought you right across the city for that thing, that night. What about it?"

And he said, "Yes, I thought about it, and then I went to consult someone about it and asked them..." (a minister by the way, a minister whom he happened to know) "and he said 'Oh don't you worry about those things. Don't worry about those things, don't you become fanatical. It's alright, it's alright.'" 

Well, I said, "Oh, so it's this man or it's God! 

You said that you believed that God had brought you and spoken to you and raised an issue and then you allow man to contradict God and say 'it doesn't matter what God says.'" 

Well, we got down and again he came to it and he said, "I can't get away from it, I believe, I believe that's what God wants." 

He got right to the point again, but he wouldn't give in; he wouldn't have that transaction.

He went away again, and it was some months before I saw him and for the third time this thing happened, and still he didn't respond to God.

And then sometime afterward I happened to be right on the other side of the city and was walking along a certain road and I saw a man coming toward me on a cycle and he got within recognition distance of me and saw who it was and wheeled round on his cycle and went for dear life.

And I heard later that that man had gone headlong into sin and lost all hope, down deep into a lost condition. 

Don't run that risk. 

When God speaks, when God brings you where the trumpet is sounding it's a very, very big thing that is at stake: whether you respond or whether you say, "Well, I'll think about it" or "I must ask So-and-so about it and see what they say."

Or any other kind of prevarication. No, no, the Lord says "Today, if you will hear His voice..." While it is today... everything may hang upon that.

I'm not trying to be emotional, I'm not trying to be sensational, but I am saying that the trumpet sounds, the trumpet sounds, you've heard it, the Spirit of God speaking to you and telling you tonight what God wants where you are concerned.

He wants you to Himself as one of His redeemed ones in the enjoyment of that redemption.

It is for you to say, "Yes I hear and I respond, I come, I answer the call." May God so influence you that you will do that.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Is The Daily Cross?

What is our daily cross? It is that one or more things which are unavoidable in our lives, and which produce suffering of body or mind or heart.

It is that thing which in our poor judgment seems to hinder the easy flow of our religious life.

Sometimes our cross may be composed of a combination of things, but as a general rule, it is some one instrument or cause of suffering to the soul.

Were there no suffering of some kind involved, then there could be no cross at all, for the only thing in a cross is its pain.

The outward form of the daily cross may change with years, or the same cross may continue till death; but in some form it abides.

It is as impossible for the true saint not to have some cross as it is to walk in the sunshine without having shadow.

The Holy Ghost gives us to understand plainly that the multitudes of jolly, ease-loving, and easy-going religionists, who bear no daily suffering with Jesus, are only sectarian-born religious bastards, and not really kingdom-born souls (Heb 12:8).

It is your daily cross that makes you weep more than any other thing; that sends you to frequent prayer; that leads you to ransack the promises; that makes you cry out, like Jesus, "Father, why is this?" that causes you to reach out to the everlasting arms which sustain you (Deu 33:27); that makes you sick of the world and selfishness; that gives you longings for heaven.

Oh, precious old homely, daily cross, what deep and far- reaching effects thou hast wrought through all these prayer-paved years!

~G. D. Watson~

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

All Untruth Is Satanic

Satan is described as the liar and the father of lies.   

For that reason all untruth is an abomination to God. 

God has consigned all liars to the lake of fire; He has excluded from the New Jerusalem everything that maketh a lie.

God hates everything that is not true, and true right through and through like Himself. 

He must have truth in the inward parts. 

The interference of Satan with God's creation - man - resulted in man becoming something false where God is concerned: he is a misrepresentation of God's mind; and he is a deceived creature.

"The god of this age", says Paul, "hath blinded the mind of the unbelieving". 

Man is a deceived, blinded creature; but God desires "truth in the inward parts".

Now, you see how large a matter this is, and one is hard-pressed to know what to say, and what not to say about it.

But let us dwell for a moment upon this clause "the inward parts" - the inward parts.

You will detect in this Psalm that that is running right through. Here it is: "create in me a clean heart"; "renew a right spirit within me"; "a broken spirit and a contrite heart Thou wilt not despise".  

You see, it is all this innermost realm of things that has now arisen as the real need. 

No more deception, no more falsehood, no more mockery, no more make-believe, no more going on as though it is all right when it is not all right; no more using external means to cover over inward unreality; no more going to meetings, and saying prayers, and joining in the whole system, when the inward parts are not right before God.

Seeing then that we are what we are by nature now, this represents a re-constituting of us.

Anything that does not minister to that is false in itself.

Any system of religion that just puts on from the outside, and covers over the inner life by mere rite and ritual is false, it is not true. 

The work of God is to reconstitute human nature. And that, of course, involves two things.

On the one side, it involves a breaking down. And if you know anything about God's dealings with lives who come into His hands, there is undoubtedly a large place for that - a progressive breaking down; a getting to the root of things, and undeceiving us.

If we have any illusions about ourselves, they will all be gone when God has done with us.

If we are governed by any kind of falsehood about ourselves, and our position, and our work, when God has done with us, that will all be gone.

He is going to break us down until we see ourselves stark, as an unclean thing, with all our righteousnesses as filthy rags.

So He will break us down, and He does.
But there is the other side, of course, all the time, for God is not only, and always negative; there is the constructing, bringing up to the place where anything that is false, anything that is not absolutely transparent and true, straight, clear, is hateful to us. 

More and more our inner man revolts against our own falsehood.

Any exaggeration comes back on us at once with conviction of wrong; any false statement hits us hard, and we know that we have not spoken the truth.

It is a tremendous thing to get into the hands of the Holy Spirit, until, like God, the one thing that we hate is anything that is false.

"I hate", said David, "every false way". We must come there. But we must be lovers of the truth.  

And this is going to pursue us everywhere; it will pursue us into our own life within ourselves, that we are not deceiving ourselves at all.

Before God we know exactly what God thinks about us, and we know where we stand in the light.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, April 19, 2015

An Expert Searcher

Eze 34:11  For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 

This He does at the first when His elect are like wandering sheep that know not the Shepherd or the fold.

How wonderfully doth the LORD find out His chosen! Jesus is great as a seeking Shepherd as well as a saving Shepherd. 

Though many of those His Father gave Him have gone as near to hell-gate as they well can, yet the LORD by searching and seeking discovers them and draws nigh to them in grace. 

He has sought out us: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out alsoThe LORD repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness.

They may fall into gross error, sad sin, and grievous hardness; but yet the LORD, who has become a surety for them to His Father, will not suffer one of them to go so far as to perish.

He will by providence and grace pursue them into foreign lands, into abodes of poverty, into dens of obscurity, into depths of despair; He will not lose one of all that the Father has given Him.

It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception.

What a promise to plead, if at this hour I am compelled to cry, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep!"

~Charles Spurgeon~ 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

These Poor swine!

Mar 5:2  And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Mar 5:3  Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

Mar 5:4  Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

Mar 5:5  And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

In this demoniac, we have a sample of the work of Satan — when he gets full control in a man.

He destroys every beautiful thing in the life, and leaves only ruin! 

No chains could bind this demoniac.

When sin is on the throne, all other influences and constraints become like spiders' threads in comparison!

No chain is strong enough to bind the man who has yielded himself to the sway of the Evil One!

The love of a godly mother is a strong bond but many a child tears off this holy chain and rushes into wayward and evil paths! 

Home ties are strong but these too are broken asunder, by the victim of Satan's ungodly rule.

We see that the demoniac cut and gashed himself with stones. This illustrates what in many ways, Satan's captives do.

They may not literally go about cutting their flesh with knives or bruising their bodies with stones; but they do gash and bruise their souls!

Sin always wounds the life and one of its fearful consequences is the self-destruction it works.

Every sin one commits leaves an ugly scar!

We grieve God by our wrongdoing, and we harm others when we sin against them; but we always injure ourselves by every evil word we speak, by every wrong act we commit, even by the evil thoughts we think in our hearts.

The self-hurt of sin is one of its saddest consequences! 

Demons find their pleasure in working mischief, and in ruining lives.  

Godly men count that day lost in which they have done no act of kindness to another.

Demons count the day lost in which they have stained no pure soul or led no one into sin!

We ought to tear off Satan's mask and show him as he is!

Evil comes to us pretending to be a friend.

It holds flowers in its hands and whispers entrancing words, promising rich rewards: "Only do this and it will bring you pleasure, honor, wealth and joy!"

That is the way sin talks. But this is all false. 

Sin is never a friend to man. It never does good to anyone but always harm. 

However plausibly Satan may present his temptations under the guise of pleasure — his secret aim is to destroy the soul he tempts.

Nothing gives the Evil One so much pleasure as to see a fair and beautiful life stained and debauched!

It is most comforting to us, to find that Christ is able to dislodge even the most obdurate and persistent demon!

No one could bind this demoniac, nor resist his superhuman strength. 

But at His word the foul spirit was compelled to leave the man he had possessed for so long.

No human hand can break the chains of sinful habits. No mere resolution can free one from Satan's bondage.

Only Christ can set the devil's captives free!  

Those who have long been trying in vain to reform, to break away from evil practices...see in Christ, the Friend who alone can deliver them and save them. 

No demon-power can resist His command. Only Christ can free the poor slaves of Satan, and save them from his terrible sway!

Mark 5:13  And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 

In the swine, under demoniac possession, rushing down the steep cliff and perishing in the lake - we have another illustration of the end of all Satan's ruinous work.

It is with men as it was here with the swine. 

It never yet has been known that Satan impelled anyone upward to a better life or to anything noble and lofty; he always drives down sin's steep ways into choking floods.

God's ways leads upward - it is always uphill to Christ and to heaven. 

But the devil always drives downward. These poor swine, demon-possessed, rushed down the steep bank, into the lake and perished. 

Just so do human souls, demon-possessed, rush down sin's precipitous course and perish!

It would be well to keep this dreadful picture in our mind when we are tempted in any way by the devil; for if we follow him - this is the way it will surely end with us! 

~J. R. Miller~

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Choice Is HIS Choice

Psa 47:4  He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. 

Our enemies would allot us a very dreary portion, but we are not left in their hands.

The LORD will cause us to stand in our lot, and our place is appointed by His infinite wisdom.

A wiser mind than our own arranges our destiny, The ordaining of all things is with God, and we are glad to have it so; we choose that God should choose for us.

If we might have our own way we would wish to let all things go in God's way.

Being conscious of our own folly, we would not desire to rule our own destinies.

We feel safer and more at ease when the LORD steers our vessel than we could possibly be if we could direct it according to our own judgment.

Joyfully we leave the painful present and the unknown future with our Father, our Savior, our Comforter.

O my soul, this day lay down thy wishes at Jesus' feet!

If thou hast of late been somewhat wayward and willful, eager to be and to do after thine own mind, now dismiss thy foolish self, and place the reins in the LORD's hands.

Say, "He shall choose." If others dispute the sovereignty of the LORD and glory in the free will of man, do thou answer them, "He shall choose for me."

It is my freest choice to let Him choose. As a free agent, I elect that He should have absolute sway.

~Charles Spurgeon~


Sunday, April 12, 2015

To Grow Bitter Is to Be Beaten

He who is able to endure has learned one secret of the overcoming life. 

To endure is to bear patiently whatever the revolving years may bring us.

It is to accept quietly and cheerfully the intractable elements of life.

It is to pass through difficult or tragic hours free from any embittering of spirit, for to grow bitter is always to be beaten. 

We say "what can't be cured must be endured"; but that is scarcely the endurance of the Scriptures.

Such endurance is a joyless thing. It is forced submission to necessity.

The endurance of which the Bible speaks is of a happier character than that; it is a glad and even grateful acquiescence. 

Paul and Silas, in the prison at Philippi, did not accept things in a joyless way.

They were happy; there was a lilt within their hearts; they sang so loudly that the prisoners heard them.

And that is the endurance of the Scripture the bearing of things in a happy kind of fashion; an acceptance with the note of triumph in it.

Of that gracious and beautiful endurance the New Testament indicates three sources.

~George H. Morrison~

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Summer Will Come

Isa 30:18  And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

Where showers fall most, there the grass is greenest. I suppose the fogs and mists of Ireland make it "the Emerald Isle"; and whenever you find great fogs of trouble, and mists of sorrow, you always find emerald green hearts; full of the beautiful verdure of the comfort and love of God.

O Christian, do not thou be saying, "Where are the swallows gone? They are gone; they are dead."

They are not dead; they have skimmed the purple sea, and gone to a far-off land; but they will be back again by and by.

Child of God, say not the flowers are dead; say not the winter has killed them, and they are gone.

Ah, no! though winter hath coated them with the ermine of its snow; they will put up their heads again, and will be alive very soon.

Say not, child of God, that the sun is quenched, because the cloud hath hidden it. Ah, no; he is behind there, brewing summer for thee; for when he cometh out again, he will have made the clouds fit to drop in April showers, all of them mothers of the sweet May flowers.

And oh! above all, when thy God hides His face, say not that He hath forgotten thee.

He is but tarrying a little while to make thee love Him better; and when He cometh, thou shalt have joy in the Lord, and shalt rejoice with joy unspeakable.

Waiting exercises our grace; waiting tries our faith; therefore, wait on in hope; for though the promise tarry, it can never come too late.

~C. H. Spurgeon~

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Without Fear Of Man

Deut. 28:10  And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.

Then we can have no reason to be afraid of them. This would show a mean spirit and be a token of unbelief rather than of faith. 

God can make us so like Himself that men shall be forced to see that we rightly bear His name and truly belong to the holy Jehovah.

Oh, that we may obtain this grace which the LORD waits to bestow!

Be assured that ungodly men have a fear of true saints. They hate them, but they also fear them. 

Haman trembled because of Mordecai, even when he sought the good man's destruction.

In fact, their hate often arises out of a dread which they are too proud to confess. 

Let us pursue the path of truth and uprightness without the slightest tremor. Fear is not for us but for those who do ill and fight against the LORD of hosts.

If indeed the name of the eternal God is named upon us, we are secure; for, as of old, a Roman had but to say Romanus sum, I am a Roman, and he could claim the protection of all the legions of the vast empire;

So every one who is a man of God has omnipotence as his guardian, and God will sooner empty heaven of angels than leave a saint without defense.

Be braver than lions for the right, for God is with you.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Confession Of Sin

Lev 5:5  And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:

Lev 5:6  And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.   

It is said that sometimes a soldier will come from the battle bleeding from a hidden wound which he has received without knowing it.

So in the rush of life we may contract defilement by touching uncleanness, or speaking rashly, which in the sight of God will leave a foul stain upon the white robe of the soul.

The presence of unconscious sin with us is the reason why we are often unable to pray or read the Word of God at night.

We are aware of a certain distance, a vail, a cloud, which has settled down between us and the beatific vision.

At such times we do well to examine ourselves and the past more critically; for probably we shall be able to detect the hidden cause, which, when we know it, must be confessed and placed on the head of our guilt-offering, whilst we yield ourselves to God as a whole burnt-offering, in a new act of self-surrender.

But confession is all important. We must confess our sins, if the faithful Lord is to forgive them. 

Confession is taking God's side against ourselves. It is the act of judging evil in the light of the Throne.

It is like the unpacking of a box, in which one begins with the lighter things at the top, and works steadily down to the heavy articles underneath. It is the repetition in the heart of Joshua's calling the roll of Israel until Achan, the son of Carmi, was taken.

When the atonement has been made as touching sin "in any of these things," there is forgiveness. 

Dare to believe that this is so, Openi-tent soul, who hast made Christ's soul an offering for thy sin. 

He says: "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins." Go thy way, and sin no more.

~F. B. Meyer~

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grow In His Strength

Deut. 32:11  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

Deut. 32:12  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.  

Our Almighty Parent delights to conduct the tender nestlings of His care to the very edge of the precipice, and even to thrust them off into the steeps of air, that they may learn their possession of unrealized power of flight, to be forever a luxury; and if, in the attempt, they be exposed to unwonted peril, He is prepared to swoop beneath them, and to bear them upward on His mighty pinions.

When God brings any of His children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count upon Him to deliver them.

~The Song of Victory~

When God puts a burden upon you He puts His own arm underneath.      

There is a little plant, small and stunted, growing under the shade of a broad-spreading oak; and this little plant values the shade which covers it, and greatly does it esteem the quiet rest which its noble friend affords. But a blessing is designed for this little plant.

Once upon a time there comes along the woodman, and with his sharp axe he fells the oak. The plant weeps and cries, "My shelter is departed; every rough wind will blow upon me, and every storm will seek to uproot me!"

No, no, saith the angel of that flower; "now will the sun get at thee; now will the shower fall on thee in more copious abundance than before; now thy stunted form shall spring up into loveliness, and thy flower, which could never have expanded itself to perfection shall now laugh in the sunshine, and men shall say, 'How greatly hath that plant increased! How glorious hath become its beauty, through the removal of that which was its shade and its delight!'"

See you not, then, that God may take away your comforts and your privileges, to make you the better Christians?

Why, the Lord always trains His soldiers, not by letting them lie on feather-beds, but by turning them out, and using them to forced marches and hard service.

He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long march with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs.

This is the way in which He makes them soldiers--not by dressing them up in fine uniforms, to swagger at the barrack gates, and to be fine gentlemen in the eyes of the loungers in the park.

God knows that soldiers are only to be made in battle; they are not to be grown in peaceful times.

We may grow the stuff of which soldiers are made; but warriors are really educated by the smell of powder, in the midst of whizzing bullets and roaring cannonades, not in soft and peaceful times.

Well, Christian, may not this account for it all? Is not thy Lord bringing out thy graces and making them grow? 

Is He not developing in you the qualities of the soldier by throwing you into the heat of battle, and should you not use every appliance to come off conqueror?