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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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Grace for the Humble

Charles SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“He giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).

Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them, Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the LORD the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honor to give it to them.

Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the LORD may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, “I fear I am not humble.” It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the LORD will give us to taste of His favor. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted by the grace of God.

God can and does Speak

Paul CopanPaul Copan:

God can and does speak to unbelievers through reason, beauty, moral failure, and the existence of evil. As a cloud of apologetical witnesses can testify, God has used philosophical arguments for his existence, scientific supports for the universe’s beginning (Big Bang) and its fine-tuning, and historical evidences for the resurrection of Jesus to assist people in embracing Christ—just as God uses the preaching of the gospel (Romans 1:16) or the loving character of a Christian community (John 13:35). These are all part of the holistic witness to the reality of God and the gospel, all of which the Spirit of God can use to lead unbelievers to embracing Jesus Christ.

The Spirit of Love

Andrew MurrayWithout the fruit of the Spirit, we cannot live a daily life of love. We desperately need to be filled with the Spirit of love if we are to render any service to God or become more like Christ. Andrew Murray writes:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love …” (Galatians 5:22 ESV)

Why is a lamb always gentle? Because that is its nature. Does it cost the lamb any trouble to be gentle? No. Why not? It is so beautiful and gentle. Has a lamb to study to be gentle? No. Why does that come so easy? It is its nature. And a wolf – why does it cost a wolf no trouble to be cruel, and to put its fangs into the poor lamb or sheep? Because that is its nature. It does not have to summon up its courage; the wolf nature is there.

And how can I learn to love? I cannot learn to love until the Spirit of God fills my heart with God’s love, and I begin to long for God’s love in a very different sense from which I have sought it so selfishly – as a comfort, a joy, a happiness, and a pleasure to myself. I will not learn it until I realize that “God is love,” and to claim and receive it as an indwelling power for self-sacrifice. I will not love until I begin to see that my glory, my blessedness, is to be like God and like Christ, in giving up everything in myself for my fellow men. May God teach us this! Oh, the divine blessedness of the love with which the Holy Spirit can fill our hearts! “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” (“The Fruit of the Spirit is Love”)

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