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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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TEMPTATIONS

george-whitefield-pictureGeorge Whitefield:

The riches of His free grace cause me daily to triumph over all the temptations of the wicked one, who is very vigilant, and seeks all occasions to disturb me.

 

 

READING THE BIBLE

Charles SpurgeonCharles Haddon Spurgeon:

Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul as oak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!

 

THE BIBLE

A. W. TozerA. W. Tozer:

The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD

       Thanksgiving
 
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
                Serve the LORD with gladness!
                Come into his presence with singing!
        Know that the LORD, he is God!
                It is he who made us, and we are his;
                we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
        Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
                and his courts with praise!
                Give thanks to him; bless his name!
        For the LORD is good;
                his steadfast love endures forever,
                and his faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100:1-5 ESV)

INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE WITH PREJUDICE

Bible StudyJ.I. Packer:

We approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the Church and the world…It is easy to be unaware that it has happened; it is hard even to begin to realize how profoundly tradition in this sense has molded us.

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Samuel A CainAnd let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

In the churches where I have been a member, I have noticed that there seems to always be a group of people who attend church but never seek to become a member. Why is this?

Some say they have had bad experiences in churches where they were formerly members. Others may say they don’t trust the church leadership because human beings are fallible creatures. Perhaps they did not feel that the pastor paid them enough attention. Maybe they were offended by an elder. There are also people who refuse to join because they disagree with one item in the church’s statement of faith. Many simply believe that church membership is not a requirement for Christians. Some do not join because they want to avoid participation in the various church ministries. They may love to hear the pastor preach, but hearing is the limit of their participation in church. Continue reading

HERE IS THIS SIN

philpotJ. C. Philpot:

Here is this sin,
Save me from it!
Here is this snare,
Break it to pieces!
Here is this lust,
Lord, subdue it!
Here is this temptation,
Deliver me out of it!
Here is my proud heart,
Lord, humble it!
Here is my unbelieving heart,
Take it away and give me faith—give me submission to Your mind and will. Take me as I am with all my sin and shame and work in me everything well pleasing in Your sight!

DRAWING NEAR TO GOD

J.C.-RyleJ. C. Ryle:

I would offer counsel, first, to all who are anxious and troubled respecting their soul’s salvation, and yet know not what to do. Reader, if you are such a person, I charge you and entreat you, I beseech you and invite you, to come into the way of which I have been speaking in this tract. I beseech you to come to God by the old and tried way,–the way of faith in Jesus Christ. Draw near to God, pleading the name of Jesus. Begin this very day to cry mightily unto God, in the name of Jesus, on behalf of your soul. Say not you have anything to plead for yourself. You have nothing to plead. Your life, your thoughts, your ways, all alike condemn you. Say nothing about yourself but this,–that you are a sinner, a great sinner, a guilty sinner, a condemned sinner; but because you are a sinner, you turn to God. Come unto Him in the name of Jesus, saying, you have heard that through Jesus a sinner may come near Him. Tell Him that you are a sinner, a great sinner, and an unworthy one. But tell Him that you come in the faith of His promises, in the confidence of His own Bible invitation; and in the name of Jesus, and for the sake of Jesus, and on account of Jesus, you ask to be received, heard, pardoned, forgiven, and accepted. Tell Him that you wish to have your name–even that name of yours, connected hitherto with worldliness, thoughtlessness, carelessness, and sin added to the list of God’s dear children. (“Able to Save“)

THE BIBLE

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

We are warned by the Word both of our duty, our danger, and our remedy. On the sea of life there would be many more wrecks if it were not for the divine storm-signals which give to the watchful a timely warning. The Bible should be our Mentor, our Monitor, our Memento Mori, our Remembrancer, and the Keeper of our Conscience.

 

 

IDOLS

Works of Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

Idols are but vanities and lies: in them is no help. As to power or knowledge, they are nothing. As the apostle says, 1 Cor. 8:4, “An idol is nothing in the world.” As to images, they are so far from having power to answer prayer, that they are not able to act, “They have hands, and handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither speak they through their throat.” They, therefore, that make them and pray to them, are senseless and sottish, and make themselves, as it were, stocks and stones, like unto them: Psa. 115:7, 8, and Jer. 10:5. “They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not; they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil; neither also is it in them to do good.” Continue reading

TRUST AND OBEY

Samuel A CainTrusting and obeying Christ may not be simple at times. Let’s face the truth, it can be very uncomfortable. Some of your old friends may stop calling. Some in your family may think you are nuts. The guys at work may not hang out with you as before. You find that Christianity does not make you immune to health problems and you may lose your high salary job because your company is downsizing. Yet, no matter what negatives the world throws your way, you must still trust and obey Christ. We must join the Apostle Paul in saying, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:7-8 ESV)

PREACHING MATTERS

Steve LawsonSteven J. Lawson:

“It matters to God what is preached. And it matters to Him how it is preached. No man is free to preach whatever and however he so chooses.”

 

THE FATHER OF MERCY

Samuel A CainBe merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36 ESV)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7 ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies… (2 Corinthians 1:3 ESV)

A Christian should be constantly aware of God’s mercy in his life. Do not take this blessing for granted. The mercy I am writing about here comes from the personal experience of God’s mercy. It is forgiveness for the sinner and love for those who are suffering. The Christian shows mercy because of his gratitude for the mercy of God. We are told by Luke, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. ‘Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;’” (Luke 6:36-37 ESV) Continue reading

MAKING PEARLS

Pearl-oyster11Charles H. Spurgeon:

I wish, brothers and sisters, that we could all imitate “the pearl oyster”—A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. It cannot reject the evil, but what does it do but “cover” it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl! Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which otherwise would have harmed us.

 

 

HOPE

William Gurnall:

Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “the rejoicing of hope” (Hebrews 3:6).

 

 

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