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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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Christians Afflicted

John Bunyan

Quoting John Bunyan:

Do not even such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and the fading of the best it yield? Doth not God by these things (ofttimes) call our sins to remembrance, and provoke us to amendment of life? How then can we be offended at things by which we reap so much good…? Therefore if mine enemy hunger, let me feed him; if he thirst, let me give him drink. Now in order to do this, (1) we must see good in that, in which other men can see none. (2) We must pass by those injuries that other men would revenge. (2) We must show we have grace and that we are made to bear what other men are not acquainted with. (4) Many of our graces are kept alive, by those very things that are the death of other men’s souls…. The devil, (they say) is good when he is pleased; but Christ and His saints, when displeased.

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The Happiness Of Mankind

Thomas Jefferson

Quoting Thomas Jefferson:

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of mankind. (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383.)

Do You Belong To The Christian Club?

W. Robert Godfrey is president and professor of church history at Westminster Seminary California. A member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Dr. Godfrey has also written several books including An Unexpected Journey. In the article below, he points out the great need for change in many American churches:

Many American churches are in a mess. Theologically they are indifferent, confused, or dangerously wrong. Liturgically they are the captives of superficial fads. Morally they live lives indistinguishable from the world. They often have a lot of people, money, and activities. But are they really churches, or have they degenerated into peculiar clubs?

What has gone wrong? At the heart of the mess is a simple phenomenon: the churches seem to have lost a love for and confidence in the Word of God. They still carry Bibles and declare the authority of the Scriptures. They still have sermons based on Bible verses and still have Bible study classes. But not much of the Bible is actually read in their services. Their sermons and studies usually do not examine the Bible to see what it thinks is important for the people of God. Increasingly they treat the Bible as tidbits of poetic inspiration, of pop psychology, and of self-help advice. Congregations where the Bible is ignored or abused are in the gravest peril. Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them.

What solution does the Bible teach for this sad situation? The short but profound answer is given by Paul in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We need the Word to dwell in us richly so that we will know the truths that God thinks are most important and so that we will know His purposes and priorities. We need to be concerned less about “felt-needs” and more about the real needs of lost sinners as taught in the Bible.

Continue reading here. . . .

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