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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Means of Grace

Charles H. Spurgeon

From the pen of Charles H. Spurgeon:

Happy is the nation which is blessed with the means of grace. No man was ever saved by the means of grace apart from the Holy Spirit. You may hear the sermons of the man whom God delights to honor; you may select from all your divines the writings of the man whom God did bless with a double portion of his Holy Spirit; you may attend every meeting for prayer; you may turn over the pages of his blessed book; but in all this, there is no life for the soul apart from the breath of the Divine Spirit. Use these means, we exhort you to use them, and use them diligently; but remember that in none of these means is there anything that can benefit you unless God the Holy Spirit shall own and crown them. These are like the conduit pipes of the market place; when the fountain-head flows with the water then they are full, and we do derive a blessing from them; but if the stream is held back, if the fountain head does cease to give forth its current, then these are wells without water, clouds without rain; and you may go to ordinances as an Arab turns to his skin bottle when it is dry, and with your parched lips you may suck the wind and drink the whirlwind, but receive neither comfort, nor blessing, nor instruction, from the means of grace.

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It Is Not Politically Correct To Have Best Friends

Jonah Goldberg

From the desk of Jonah Goldberg:

I read a profoundly depressing story in the New York Times about how ‘some educators and other professionals who work with children’ don’t think kids should have best friends. ‘I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,’ said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at a St. Louis day school. ‘We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends. Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,’ she continued. ‘We say he doesn’t need a best friend.’ As a result of this thinking, best friends are broken up. Buddies are put on separate teams, assigned different classes, etc. It’s not quite the sort of thing cult leaders and North Korean prison guards do, but in principle it’s not too far off either. The response from across the ideological spectrum on the Web has mostly been outrage and disgust. … For the record, I think removing best friends from childhood is a barbarous and inhumane act. . . .

Read more here. . . .

All Good Is In Jesus Christ

John Calvin

From John Calvin’s Preface to the French Bible (1539):

“All good which could be thought or desired is to be found in Jesus Christ alone.

For He was humbled to exalt us, He became a slave to free us,

He became poor to enrich us; He was sold to redeem us,

Made captive for our deliverance, condemned for our absolution;

He was made a curse for our blessing, an offering for sin for our righteousness,

He was marred that we might be restored, He died for our life.

So that by Him harshness is softened, anger appeased, darkness made light,

Injustice justified, weakness made strong, dejection consoled,

Sin prevented, scorn despised, fear made sure,

Debt canceled, toil made light, sadness rejoiced,

Misfortune made blessed, difficulty eased, disorder ordered,

Division united, disgrace made noble, rebellion quelled,

Threats threatened, ambushes uncovered, assaults assailed,

Effort weakened, combat combated, war warred against,

Vengeance avenged, torment tormented, damnation damned,

Hell held prisoner, death done to death and immortality made immortal.”

Terrorism In Arizona

From a report by Katie Pavlich:

It seems as though illegal immigration advocates will never be satisfied. After Judge Susan Bolton blocked the most controversial parts of SB 1070, essentially taking out all real power from the bill, a group known as “Freedom for Arizona,” committed an act of domestic terrorism by spreading out over 15 tires connected by rope and covered in tar, a banner, brown paint and shards of broken glass across I-19 in Arizona, a busy interstate with a 65 mph speed limit covering approximately 70 miles between Tucson and Nogales. This action not only stopped all traffic flow, but could have killed innocent people in the process.

The goal of the tires, glass and paint was to stop all deportations back to Mexico as well as stopping all capital flow to damage the economy. The banner placed across the interstate read, “Stop All Militarization! The Border is Illegal!”

Continue reading. . . .

Robert Heinlein On Tyranny

Quoting American science fiction writer Robert Heinlein:

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

Why The Aims Of The Church Can Become Perverted

E. M. Bounds

One of the devil’s most insidious and successful methods to deceive is to lure the Church toward worldliness while misleading her through a false spirituality. Satan may appear as an angel of light as he leads the soul to death. The strength of the Church lies in its piety, not in numbers and programs. It is popular today, however to call a church strong when its membership is large, when it has social position, financial resources; when the pews are filled by fashion, intelligence, money and influence. The church that defines its strength in such a way is on the highway to apostasy. The strength of the Church does not consist of any of these things. Faith, holiness and zeal are the elements of power in the church. E. M. Bounds writes in his article, “The Devil and the Church,” that:

The devil is too wise, too large in mental grasp, too lordly in ambition, to confine his aims to the individual. He seeks to direct the policy and sway the scepter of nations. In his largest freedom, and in his delirium of passion and success, ‘he goes out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth.’ He is an adept in deception, an expert in all guileful arts. An archangel in execution, he often succeeds in seducing the nations most loyal to Christ, leading them into plans and principles which pervert and render baneful all Christly principles. The Church itself, the bride of Christ, when seduced from her purity, degenerates into a worldly ecclesiasticism.

The ‘gates of hell shall not prevail’ against the Church. This promise of our Lord stands against every Satanic device and assault: But this immutable word as to the glorious outcome does not protect the Church from the devil’s stratagems which may, and often do, pervert the aims of the Church and postpone the day of its final triumph.

The devil is a hydra-headed monster, but he is hydra-headed in plans and wisdom as well as in monstrosities. His master and supreme effort is to get control of the Church, not to destroy its organization, but to abate and pervert its Divine ends. This he does in the most insidious way, seemingly innocent, no startling change, nothing to shock nor to alarm. Sometimes the revolutionizing and destructive change is introduced under the disguise of a greater zeal for Christ’s glory. Introduced by some one high in church honor, often it occurs that the advocate of these measures is totally ignorant of the fact that the tendency is subversive.

Muslim Justice

When not complaining about ”Islamophobia’, the Muslim community busies itself with racking up dead Christians. Two weeks ago, a young family was beaten to death by an Islamic mob in Pakistan. Last week, a Pentecostal pastor was gunned down in Russia. Christian children were hacked to death in Nigeria over the weekend. And, on Monday, two Christian brothers falsely accused of blasphemy were murdered while in handcuffs outside a courtroom (pictured).

Find out more here. . . .

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