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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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Speech and Piety

Al Martin:

Another area of practical piety, which holds peculiar danger for the minister, is that of his non-professional speech. A dear servant of God once said to me, ‘You cannot be a clown and a prophet both. You have got to make a choice.’ I hope I have made the right choice. This does not mean we shall not be truly human and that we shall feel there is something sinful in the natural ability to laugh, and in the natural exhilaration that comes from a hearty laugh. But the unnatural effort to be a ‘joker’ amongst our people must be done away. The transition from the clown to the prophet is a difficult metamorphosis If seriousness — not fleshly somberness, but true seriousness — is not the mark of our lives in our normal contacts with our people, let us not expect that when we ascend the pulpit, some kind of magical process will immediately cause them to sit trembling before the words of God. They will rather think that we are play-actors. If they never see us regarding the issues of eternity seriously in their presence individually and non-professionally, we shall not see them gripped by the sobriety of these issues as we communicate them ministerially. The problem with our preaching, brethren, is the shoddiness of our lives in the realm of practical piety as expressed in domestic life and in our speech. (“What’s Wrong with Preaching?”)

 

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The Incontrovertible Truth

Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill:

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on [in ignorance].

Simple Trust and Dependence as the Way to Peace

Charles H SpurgeonDo you realize that a simple trust and dependence upon Christ is the way of salvation? If you do know this, your peace has come, for Christ purchased it with his blood. According to Charles H. Spurgeon:

[Many] have not obtained peace, I fear, because they do not yet have a clear idea of the true way of finding it. Although it has been preached to us so often, it is still little understood. The way of peace with God is seen through a haze by most men, so that no matter how plainly you put it, they will, if it is possible, misunderstand you. Your salvation does not depend upon what you do, but upon what Christ did when he offered himself as a sacrifice for sin. All your salvation takes root in the death throes of Calvary; the great Substitute bore your sin and suffered its penalty. Your sin shall never destroy you if upon that bloody tree the Lord’s chosen High Priest made a full expiation for your sins; they shall not be laid against you any more forever. What you have to do is simply to accept what Jesus has finished. I know your idea is that you are to bring something to him; but that vainglorious idea has ruined many, and will ruin more. When you are brought empty-handed, made willing to accept a free and full salvation from the hand of the Crucified, then, and then only, will you be saved.

But men will not look to the cross. No, they conspire to raise another cross; or they aspire to adorn that cross with jewels; or they labor to wreathe it with sweet flowers; but they will not give a simple look to the Savior, and rely alone on him. Yet no soul can ever obtain peace with God by any other means; while this means is so effectual that it has never failed, and never shall. (Advice for Seekers)

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