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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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We Converse so Little with God

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

The reason why we are so troubled with our nakedness, with any wants that we have, is because we converse so little with God, so little with spiritual things; conversing with spiritual things would lift us above the things of the world. Those who are bitten or struck by a snake, it is because they tread on the ground; if they could be lifted up above the earth they need never fear being stung by the snakes which are crawling underneath. (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

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Iranian-Born Christian Pastor Tortured in Tehran Prison

IslamAn Iranian-born pastor who is a U.S. citizen is undergoing physical and mental torture in a notoriously brutal Tehran prison while an international campaign for his release mounts, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison for establishing a network of Christian house churches years ago and for “attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam.” Since his conviction Jan. 27, Abedini has not been allowed to communicate with his wife and two children who live in the United States.

Read more at Baptist Press. . .

The Purity of the Pastor’s Motivation

Dan Jones Preaching in Wales

If there is a problem with preaching today, certainly part of the problem lies with the man who is preaching. Al Martin addresses now the purity of the pastor’s motivation:

[In Preaching] pure motivation will involve love of the truth. We are called upon to declare the whole counsel of God (See Acts 20:27). Paul declares that only as he did this was he pure from the blood of all men. He declared the whole spectrum of divine revelation. There is only one reason why we preach that men are lost, bound in their sins, and under the condemnation of God — it is that God declares it to be so, and out of love to His truth we proclaim it. Whether it is palatable or unpalatable truth, our love of the truth is such that we want the whole world to know all that God has revealed.

[Another] area touching this matter of purity of motivation is love to men. I am convinced, brethren, that this is what will drive us to applicatory preaching. We must have such a love for men that we cannot stand to see them slumber under our ministries. We must have such a love that it will drive us to a sense of responsibility to do all within our power to make the truth of God live to them. M’Cheyne said, ‘The man who loves you the most is the man who tells you the most truth about yourself.’ In II Corinthians 7, Paul asks a question, ‘Am I sorry that I made you sorry?’ In answer to his own rhetorical question he said, ‘I am glad I made you sorry, because your sorrow led to your salvation.’ In another place he said, ‘Am I loved the less because I tell you the truth?’ He went on to say, ‘I am sorry, but I am going to love you anyway and continue to tell you the truth even if you don’t love me.’ What hinders us from being faithful to men is really a form of self-love. We love our own feelings so much that we are not willing to run the risk of offending people and getting them mad at us. Oh, they may perish in hell, but that is all right just so long as they perish loving us. I have heard people say of certain ministers, ‘That man surely preached in a fearless manner.’ Why, brethren, that ought to be said of every one of us, because our love to men must be such that we are willing to communicate the truth, truth that they may not relish, but which is for their good and their salvation. (“What’s Wrong with Preaching Today?”)

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