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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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Chinese To Build An Aircraft Carrier

Quoting The Hindu:

The Chinese government has for the first time officially revealed that it has launched a program to build an aircraft carrier, an already widely-known project that has recently stirred debate over China’s naval intentions and capabilities. . . .

The announcement comes against the backdrop of rising naval tensions between China and several of its neighbors in recent months. Territorial tensions over claims in the South China Sea have resurfaced, as have maritime disputes between China and Japan over the disputed Diaoyu or Senkaku islands.

A Christmas Creed

Author Unknown:

  • I believe in Jesus Christ and in the beauty of the gospel begun in Bethlehem.
  • I believe in the one whose spirit glorified a little town; and whose spirit still brings music to persons all over the world, in towns both large and small.
  • I believe in the one for whom the crowded inn could find no room, and I confess that my heart still sometimes wants to exclude Christ from my life today.
  • I believe in the one who the rulers of the earth ignored and the proud could never understand; whose life was among common people, whose welcome came from persons of hungry hearts.
  • I believe in the one who proclaimed the love of God to be invincible:
  • I believe in the one whose cradle was a mother’s arms, whose modest home in Nazareth had love for its only wealth, who looked at persons and made them see what God’s love saw in them, who by love brought sinners back to purity, and lifted human weakness up to meet the strength of God.
  • I confess my ever-lasting need of God: The need of forgiveness for our selfishness and greed, the need of new life for empty souls, the need of love for hearts grown cold.
  • I believe in God who gives us the best of himself. I believe in Jesus, the son of the living God, born in Bethlehem this night, for me and for the world.

Is It True That Unto Me A Son Is Given?

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9)

Has Christ been born unto you? Surely there is no more important question you can ask yourself this Christmas. Do you have assurance of your salvation? May these words from Charles H. Spurgeon help you see the glory of Christ:

Although the main matter of regeneration lies within, yet it manifests itself without. Say, then, has there been a change in you in the exterior? Do you think that others who look at you would be compelled to say, this man is not what he used to be? Do not your companions observe a change? Have they not laughed at you for what they think to be your hypocrisy, your Puritanism, your sternness? Do you think now that if an angel should follow you into your secret life, should track you to your closet and see you on your knees, that he would detect something in you which he could never have seen before? For, mark, my dear hearer, there must be a change in the outward life, or else there is no change within. . . . The proof of the Christian is in the living. To other men, the proof of our conversion is not what you feel, but what you do. To yourself your feelings may be good enough evidence, but to the minister and others who judge of you, the outward walk is the main guide. At the same time, let me observe that a man’s outward life may be very much like that of a Christian, and yet there may be no religion in him at all. . . .

I will just put another question. If thou hast been born again, there is another matter by which to try thee. Not only is thy inward self altered, and thy outward self too, but the very root and principle of thy life must become totally new. When we are in sin we live to self, but when we are renewed we live to God. While we are unregenerate, our principle is to seek our own pleasure, our own advancement; but that man is not truly born again who does not live with a far different aim from this. Change a man’s principles, and you change his feelings, you change his actions. Now, grace changes the principles of man. It lays the axe at the

Charles H. Spurgeon

root of the tree. It does not saw away at some big limb it does not try to alter the sap; but it gives a new root, and plants us in fresh soil. The man’s inmost self, the deep rocks of his principles upon which the topsoil of his actions rest, the soul of his manhood is thoroughly changed, and he is a new creature in Christ. . . .

Man grows from childhood up to manhood naturally; in grace men grow from manhood down to childhood; and the nearer we come to true childhood, the nearer welcome to the image of Christ. For was not Christ called “a child,” even after he had ascended up to heaven? “Thy holy child Jesus.” Brethren and sisters, can you say that you have been made into children? Do you take God’s Word just as it stands, simply because your heavenly Father says so? Are you content to believe mysteries without demanding to have them explained? Are you ready to sit in the infant class, and be a little one? Are you willing to hang upon the breast of the church, and suck in the unadulterated milk of the Word—never questioning for a moment what your divine Lord reveals, but believing it on his own authority, whether it seemed to be above reason, or beneath reason, or even contrary to reason? Now, “except ye be converted and become as little children,” this child is not born to you; except like a child you are humble, teachable, obedient, pleased with your Father’s will and willing to assign all to him, there is grave matter of question whether this child is born to you. But what a pleasing sight it is to see a man converted and made into a little child. . . .

I pause a minute to beg your personal attention. I am trying, if I may, so to preach that I may make you all question yourselves. I pray you let not one of you exempt himself from the ordeal but let each one ask himself, is it true that unto me a Son is given? Now, if this Son is given to you, you are a son yourself. “For unto as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” “Christ became a Son that in all things he might be made like unto his brethren.” The Son of God is not mine to enjoy, to love, to delight in, unless I am a son of God too. Now, my hearer, have you a fear of God before your eyes—a filial fear, a fear which a child has lest it should grieve its parent? Say have you a child’s love to God? Do you trust to him as your father, your provider, and your friend? Have you in your breast “The spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father?” Are there times with you when on your knees you can say, “My Father and my God.” (“A Christmas Question”)

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