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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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Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

Every Christian should say: ‘Have I wealth now? I should prepare for poverty. Have I health now? I should prepare for sickness. Have I liberty? Let me prepare myself for imprisonment. How do I know what God may call me to? Have I comfort and peace now in my conscience, does God shine upon me? While I have this let me prepare for God’s withdrawing from me. Am I delivered from temptations? Let me prepare now for the time of temptations.’ If you would do so, the change of your condition would not be so grievous to you. (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

When the Disagreeable Happens

John of the CrossJohn of the Cross:

“Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you remember Christ crucified and be silent.”

The Prison Years of Paul

William GurnallThe prison years of Paul’s life might quite naturally be assumed as the low point of his evangelistic career. However, we know this is not so. William Gurnall offers this analysis:

Paul was now in bonds, yet not so close kept as to be denied pen and paper; God, it seems, gave him some favor in the sight of his enemies: Paul was Nero’s prisoner, but Nero was much more God’s. And while God had work for Paul, he found him friends both in court and prison. Let persecutors send saints to prison; God can provide a keeper for their turn.

But how does this great apostle spend his time in prison? Not in publishing invectives against those, though the worst of men, who had laid him in; a piece of zeal which the holy sufferers of those times were little acquainted with: nor in politic counsels, how he might wind himself out of his trouble, by sordid flattery of, or sinful compliance with, the great ones of the times. Some would have used any picklock to have opened a passage to their liberty and not scrupled, so escape they might, whether they got out at the door or window. But this holy man was not so fond of liberty or life, as to purchase them at the least hazard to the gospel. He knew too much of another world, to bid so high for the enjoying of this; and therefore he is regardless what his enemies can do with him, well knowing he should go to heaven whether they would or no. No, the great care, which lay upon him, was for the churches of Christ; as a faithful steward, he labors to set the house of God in order before his departure. We read of no dispatches sent to court to procure his liberty; but many to the churches, to help them to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free. There is no such way to be even with the devil and his instruments, for all their spite against us, as by doing what good we can wherever we [are]. The devil had as good have let Paul alone, for he no sooner comes into prison but he falls a preaching, at which the gates of Satan’s prison fly open, and poor sinners come forth. (The Whole Armour of God)

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