God Is Our Home

“The eternal God is thy refuge.” — Deuteronomy 33:27 The word refuge may be translated “mansion,” or “abiding-place,” which gives the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fulness and sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is at home that we feel … Read More

Making the Most of Your Life

The love of the mountain, the strenuous hiking, and the intense enjoyment of the beauty of nature seen close up were each a very important but yet overlooked and now forgotten part of the life of the famous hymn writer Frances Ridley Havergal, author of hymns like “Take My Life and Let It Be,” “Like a River Glorious,” and “Who Is on the Lord’s Side.” Instead, her image is largely one of saintly invalidism. Nor is she appreciated for her … Read More

When We Are Most Liable to Temptation

“Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Luke 22:46 When is the Christian most liable to sleep? Is it not when his temporal circumstances are prosperous? Have you not found it so? When you had daily troubles to take to the throne of grace, were you not more wakeful than you are now? Easy roads make sleepy travellers. Another dangerous time is when all goes pleasantly in spiritual matters. … Old Erskine wisely remarked, “I like … Read More

Finishing Well

Endings are important. Paul says in II Timothy 4 “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course.” Yet fighting the good fight was also a day-by-day process for Paul. We finish each hour, each day, each test well, which all builds toward our ultimate end of finishing well. Sometimes one day or even one hour is all we can face at one time. For those who fight wars, or grieve the loss of a loved one, or watch … Read More

“With Christ We Can Do all Things”

“Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” – Luke 5:4 We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of … Read More

“God fails thee not”

“Why go I mourning?” Psalm 42:9 Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost … Read More

“Glory Begun Below”

“They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” – Joshua 5:12 Israel’s weary wanderings were all over, and the promised rest was attained. No more moving tents, fiery serpents, fierce Amalekites, and howling wildernesses: they came to the land which flowed with milk and honey, and they ate the old corn of the land. Perhaps this year, beloved Christian reader, this may be thy case or mine. Joyful is the prospect, and if faith be … Read More

“I will help thee”

“I will help thee, saith the Lord.” – Isaiah 41:14 This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for Me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with My blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? … Read More

“Do as thou hast said.”

“Do as thou hast said.” – 2 Samuel 7:25 God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; He intended that they should be used. God’s gold is not miser’s money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, “Lord, do as Thou hast said.” We glorify God when we plead His … Read More

“The iron did swim.”

“The iron did swim.” – 2 Kings 6:6 The axe-head seemed hopelessly lost, and as it was borrowed, the honour of the prophetic band was likely to be imperilled, and so the name of their God to be compromised. Contrary to all expectation, the iron was made to mount from the depth of the stream and to swim; for things impossible with man are possible with God. I knew a man in Christ but a few years ago who was … Read More

Jesus prays for us

“I have prayed for thee.” – Luke 22:32 How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, He pleads for us; and then we are not praying, He is advocating our cause, and by His supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter – “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but” – what? “But go and pray for yourself.” … Read More

Be Proud of Your Calling

”Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.“ – 1 Corinthians 7:20 Some persons have the foolish notion that the only way in which they can live for God is by becoming ministers, missionaries, or Bible women. Alas! how many would be shut out from any opportunity of magnifying the Most High if this were the case. Beloved, it is not office, it is earnestness; it is not position, it is grace which will enable us to … Read More

Continue in Prayer

“Continue in prayer.” Colossians 4:2 It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob … Read More

He was made to be sin for us

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 Mourning Christian! why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in Him; thou art in God’s sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, … Read More

What is consecration?

There is no reason, in the nature of the case, why the children of God should not become consecrated from the very moment of conversion. It should be the normal state of Christians. And with many it is so. Redeemed from eternal death, they instantly give themselves to their Deliverer, as those alive from the dead. But with most this is not the case. And so it is necessary, at some future period of their lives, when the claims of … Read More

This Wonderful Christ

It [Hebrews 7] gives us the certainty that, for every human heart which asks for God, this wonderful Christ, personal, eternal, human, Divine, is quite immediately accessible. The hands of need and trust have but to be lifted, and they hold Him. And He is the Son. In Him we have the Father. We do indeed “draw nigh to God through Him.” Therefore we will do it. The thousand confusions of our time shall only make this Divine simplicity the more … Read More

What Are You Living For?

To many of us today the meaning of success has deteriorated to power, fame and above all money. If it is true that you can, in part, judge a people by their television commercials, then it would be accurate to assume that our greatest gauge of success at this time is money. If you are rich, you are successful. We feel that if we are having a hard time financially we aren’t “making it,” and we have a compulsion not … Read More

Life on the Line

A child lying on the operating table suddenly stopped the anesthesiologist as he began to prepare her for a surgery she had endured many times before. “Wait!” she cried. “I need to tell you something.” Relieved that her cry had not been one of pain, the young doctor stopped what he was doing and waited. “I may not live through the surgery this time,” the child said with an attitude of wisdom beyond her eight years. “I don’t want you … Read More

Our Saviour’s Prayer

“And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed.” – Matthew 26:39 There are several instructive features in our Saviour’s prayer in His hour of trial. It was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from His three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the Church, will not suffice, these are very precious, but the best beaten spice will smoke in your censer in your … Read More

The Indispensableness of the Holy Spirit

“Spices for anointing oil.” – Exodus 35:8 Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without His aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it … Read More

The Tenderness of Our Lord Jesus

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30. It is most delightful to see how familiarly our Lord Jesus talked with his disciples. He was very great, and yet he was among them as one that serveth; he was very wise, but he was gentle as a nurse with her children; he was very holy, and far above their sinful infirmities, but he condescended to men of low estate; he was their Master and Lord, … Read More

Godliness or Gloominess

He who affirms that godliness is gloominess knoweth not what he saith. The Lord desireth to teach us, at the very beginning of our Christian career, that he would have us be happy, happy only in himself. He makes us glad when we are but beginners, and little in Israel, that we may see that we can be made blessed by simple faith, without any other assistance. “Christians might avoid much trouble,” says Dr. Payson, “if they would only believe … Read More

Immortal Until Our Work Is Done

Euthanasia is not without appeal. Nobody wants to suffer or to see others suffer. While those of us who are Christians are confident regarding our eternal destiny, most of us do not relish thinking about how we may die. The destination is sure, but the road to it may be full of pain. I can echo the words of C. S. Lewis when he said: “You would like to know how I behave when I am experiencing pain, not writing … Read More

Fit to Be in the Oval Office

Years ago when I was a young teacher and Ronald Reagan was governor of California, my favorite aunt needed to be put in a convalescent home due to a severe illness. It was a new experience for our family since anyone who was sick or in need was always cared for by family. After returning from a weekend away, my parents and I went to visit her and were horrified by what we saw. She was sitting in a chair … Read More

An Amusing Anecdote About Billy Graham

Presenting another, more human view of Billy Graham, Ruth Grapham often referred to him as “Puddleglum,” the Marsh-wiggle in The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis. For those who have not read the Chronicles of Narnia, or who do not remember Puddleglum, a typical interchange between Puddleglum and his friends reads like this: “Good-by, dear Puddleglum,” said Jill going over to the Marsh-wiggle’s bed. “I’m sorry we called you a wet blanket.” “So’m I,” said Eustace. “You’ve been the best … Read More

Ruth Bell Graham: Reference Points

It is difficult for me as a counselor to deal with some of the extreme views so frequently put forth by certain Christians. Some who want God’s reference point for morality, purity, or holiness seem frequently to ignore His standard on love and compassion. Others who go to an opposite extreme speak of a cheap kind of love that demands little in the way of holiness. Most of us have difficulty understanding other people’s pain unless it is a pain … Read More

Divine Comfort

Bishop H. C. G. Moule (1841–1920) is my favorite Bible commentator. Amy Carmichael wrote about a letter she once received from Bishop Moule, in which he describes our Lord’s divine comfort: A letter, slipped into a book by mistake less than twenty years ago, has lately reappeared as such things kindly do sometimes. It was written from Auckland Castle soon after Mrs. Moule’s death had left the Bishop very lonely, for his daughter Tesie had died a little while before, … Read More

The Divine Discipline

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.” — Deuteronomy 32:11, 12. The Israelites had for their guide, instructor, and tutor, in order to prepare them for Canaan, none other than Jehovah himself. … God himself was their guide and their instructor. And it is so with us. The Holy Spirit … Read More

Hot Coffee and Cold Lemonade

Shortly after our family first moved to California from Chicago, we began attending a large church in downtown Los Angeles. After church we sometimes walked several blocks through the downtown area to a cafeteria that had flowing fountains throughout the building and seemingly endless choices of foods. On our way we almost always encountered a “street beggar.” Beggars weren’t called “the homeless” in those days, but they were the same as today: displaced, hungry, needy. Indelibly etched upon my memory … Read More

Grace Instead of Grace

Fellow and Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, Lord Bishop of Durham, Teacher, Bible Expositor, Bishop Moule is my favorite Bible commentator. Said Amy Carmichael: Sometimes, when we are distressed by past failure and tormented by fear of failure in the future should we again set our faces toward Jerusalem, nothing helps so much as to give some familiar Scripture time to enter into us and become part of our being. The words “Grace for grace” have been a help to … Read More

Defeat Prepares for Victory

That “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, freely shared his views on emotions like depression, views which did not include labeling them as sin. Today’s piece from one of Spurgeon’s sermons brilliantly deals with a biblical view of depression. For more on this subject as well as a whole gamut of emotions as dealt with by Spurgeon, please read Bright Days, Dark Nights: With Charles Spurgeon in Triumph Over Emotional Pain. * * * AS it is recorded that David, … Read More

Don’t Add to Our Lord’s Atonement

“If thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.”— Exodus 20:25 God’s altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace of human skill or labour might be seen upon it. Human wisdom delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved tastes of fallen nature; instead, however, of improving the gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not … Read More

Responding to Lies and Criticism

Where I have known that there existed a measure of disaffection to myself, I have not recognized it, unless it has been forced upon me, but have, on the contrary, acted towards the opposing person with all the more courtesy and friendliness, and I have never heard any more of the matter. If I had treated the good man as an opponent, he would have done his best to take the part assigned him, and carry it out to his … Read More

Growing in Knowledge of Christ

“Get thee up into the high mountain.” – Isaiah 40:9 Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley … Read More

The Power of Words

“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” (Proverbs 12:18, KJV) “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” (Proverbs 12:18, NLT) “But on the other hand, the tongue of the wise, which is in itself pure gentleness and a comfort to others, since, far from wounding, rather, by means of comforting, supporting, directing, exhortation, exercises a soothing and calming influence. …” (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on Proverbs 12:18) … Read More

Dealing with Gossip

The blind eye and the deaf ear will come in exceedingly well in connection with the gossips of the place. Every church, and, for the matter of that, every village and family, is plagued with certain Mrs. Grundys, who drink tea and talk vitriol. They are never quiet, but buzz around to the great annoyance of those who are devout and practical. No one needs to look far for perpetual motion, he has only to watch their tongues. At tea-meetings, … Read More

Memories as Comfort

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” – Lamentations 3:21 Memory is frequently the bondslave of despondency. Despairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left … Read More

Parts of God’s Method

“He led them forth by the right way.” – Psalm 107:7 Changeful experience often leads the anxious believer to enquire “Why is it thus with me?” I looked for light, but lo, darkness came; for peace, but behold trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved. Lord, thou dost hide Thy face, and I am troubled. It was but yesterday that I could read my title clear; to-day my evidences are bedimmed, and … Read More

The Tenderness of Christ

“He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom.” – Isaiah 40:11 … “He carries the lambs in His bosom.” Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love them much? Here is tender nearness: so near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer. Here is hallowed familiarity: there are precious love-passages between Christ and His weak ones. Here is perfect safety: in His bosom who … Read More

A Little Stay on Earth Will Make Heaven More Heavenly

  “All the days of my appointed time will I wait.” – Job 14:14 A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly. Nothing makes rest so sweet as toil; nothing renders security so pleasant as exposure to alarms. The bitter quassia cups of earth will give a relish to the new wine which sparkles in the golden bowls of glory. Our battered armour and scarred countenances will render more illustrious our victory above, when we are welcomed to … Read More

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” – Psalm 22:1 We here behold the Saviour in the depth of His sorrows. No other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as that in which His cry rends the air – “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and … Read More

Paul’s First Prayer

“For behold he prayeth” – Acts 9:11 Poor Saul had been led to cry for mercy, and the moment he began to pray, God began to hear. Do you not notice, in reading the chapter, what attention God paid to Saul? He knew the street where he lived; “Go to the street that is called Straight.” He knew the house where he resided; “inquire at the house of Judas.” He knew his name; it was Saul. He knew the place … Read More

The Angel of God Stands Near

“For there stood by me this night the angel of God.” — Acts 27:23 Tempest and long darkness, coupled with imminent risk of shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sad case; one man alone among them remained perfectly calm, and by his word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had heart enough to say, “Sirs, be of good cheer.” There were veteran Roman legionaries on board, and brave old mariners, and yet … Read More

The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear

HAVING often said in this room that a minister ought to have one blind eye and one deaf ear, I have excited the curiosity of several brethren, who have requested an explanation … A part of my meaning is expressed in plain language by Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes (7:21): “Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee.” The margin says, “Give not thy heart to all words that are … Read More

The Rule of the Race

“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.“ – Hebrews 12:1, 2. THE apostle saith, “Let us run.” He has in his mind’s eye the Olympic games, where all the different tribes of Greece were gathered together in general … Read More

Cultivating Contentment

“I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” — Philippians 4:11 These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. “Ill weeds grow apace.” Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any … Read More

A Daily Supply of Grace

“And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” – 2 Kings 25:30 Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king’s palace with a store to last him for months, but his provision was given him as a daily pension. Herein he well pictures the happy position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really wants. We do not … Read More

Be Constant in Prayer

“When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, then thou shalt bestir thyself.” – 2 Samuel 5:24 The members of Christ’s Church should be very prayerful, always seeking the unction of the Holy One to rest upon their hearts, that the kingdom of Christ may come, and that His “will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven;” but there are times when God seems especially to favour Zion, such seasons … Read More

God Intends His Promises to Be Used

“Do as thou hast said.” – 2 Samuel 7:25 God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; He intended that they should be used. God’s gold is not miser’s money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, “Lord, do as Thou hast said.” We glorify God when we plead His … Read More

Divine Multiplication

Never mind who sees, if God approves. If he smiles, be content. We cannot be always sure when we are most useful. A certain minister with very great difficulty reached a place where he had promised to preach. There was deep snow upon the ground, therefore only one hearer came. However, he preached as zealously as if there had been a thousand. Years after, when he was traveling in that same part of the country, he met a man who … Read More

“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”

“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” – 1 Samuel 7:12 The word “hitherto” seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, “hitherto the Lord hath helped!” Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, “hitherto hath the Lord helped us!” We delight to look down a … Read More

“For your sakes he became poor.”

“For your sakes he became poor.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9 The Lord Jesus Christ was eternally rich, glorious, and exalted; but “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.” As the rich saint cannot be true in his communion with his poor brethren unless of his substance he ministers to their necessities, so (the same rule holding with the head as between the members), it is impossible that our Divine Lord could have had fellowship with us … Read More

God’s Provision for Our Life

“The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” – Proverbs 16:33 If the disposal of the lot is the Lord’s, whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by Him, how much more the events of our entire life — especially when we are told by our blessed Saviour: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered: not a sparrow falleth to … Read More

“Thou, O God, hast prepared of Thy goodness for the poor.”

“Thou, O God, hast prepared of Thy goodness for the poor.” — Psalm 68:10 All God’s gifts are prepared gifts laid up in store for wants foreseen. He anticipates our needs; and out of the fulness which He has treasured up in Christ Jesus, He provides of His goodness for the poor. You may trust Him for all the necessities that can occur, for He has infallibly foreknown every one of them. He can say of us in all conditions, … Read More

God’s Delays in Answering Prayer

“Therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you.” – Isaiah 30:18 God often DELAYS IN ANSWERING PRAYER. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day – he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul besought the Lord thrice that “the thorn in the flesh” might … Read More

A Word to Soul-winners

Some five years ago I was the subject of fearful depression of spirit. Certain troublous events had happened to me; I was also unwell, and my heart sank within me. Out of the depths I was forced to cry unto the Lord. Just before I went away to Mentone for rest I suffered greatly in body, but far more in soul, for my spirit was overwhelmed. Under this pressure I preached a sermon from the words, “My God, my God, … Read More

Master of My Ears

HAVING often said in this room that a minister ought to have one blind eye and one deaf ear, I have excited the curiosity of several brethren, who have requested an explanation; for it appears to them, as it does also to me, that the keener eyes and ears we have the better. Well, gentlemen, since the text is somewhat mysterious, you shall have the exegesis of it. A part of my meaning is expressed in plain language by Solomon, … Read More

“Come and Dine”

“Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.” – John 21:12 In these words the believer is invited to a holy nearness to Jesus. “Come and dine,” implies the same table, the same meat; ay, and sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our head upon the Saviour’s bosom. It is being brought into the banqueting-house, where waves the banner of redeeming love. “Come and dine,” gives us a vision of union with Jesus, because the only food … Read More

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