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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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WHEN FORGIVENESS IS DIFFICULT

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)

Have you ever been hurt by someone? When we are hurt, we often desire for the offender to suffer as we have. We call it “justice”. Yet, how often do we offend God or grieve the Holy Spirit by our addictions to various sins? Christians know the hunger for forgiveness when we sin. We pray for mercy for our transgressions, not justice.

How can we ask God for forgiveness when we fail to offer forgiveness to others? Paul writes:

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WHAT IS STRONG FAITH?

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5 ESV)

I think it is interesting to note here that Jesus responds to the statement above by telling His apostles they need faith “like a grain of mustard seed.” Jesus makes the point that even a small amount of faith may accomplish wonderful things if it is placed in God. One of the most important things we learn is that what we place our faith in matters most.

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MISERIES

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Charles H. SpurgeonOften in this present world, the most wicked men are the most prosperous, while the most holy are the most afflicted. This present world is not the place where the Judge of all usually punishes sin. He ordinarily reserves his wrath for the Day of Judgment, and the world to come. This is not the land of punishment, and your having more afflictions than others, may be because God loves you; certainly it is not because he hates you.

Some of God’s people are chastened every morning, and vexed every evening and the Lord’s hand lies heavy on them. Yet there is God’s goodness in that heavy hand, and infinite loving kindness in their tribulations. God only gives the wicked prosperity as we give husks to swine– he gives them this world’s transient things because he loves them not. I beg you then, do not misconstrue your sufferings of body and mind– they may be tokens of mercy; they certainly are not indicators of any special wrath.

GO DOGS AND EAT

Charles Spurgeon:

That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:15 ESV)

Charles H. SpurgeonI believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear professors pleading that they may do this, and do that—that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, “Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your cravings show how rotten your hearts are. If you are hungering after such dogs food—go dogs, and eat the garbage!

Worldly amusements are fit food for pretenders and hypocrites. If you were God’s children, you would loathe the thought of the world’s evil joys. Your question would not be, “How far may we be like the world?” but your cry would be, “How can we get away from the world? How can we come out of it?” (“The Soul Winner”)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

TRIBULATION!

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Charles H. SpurgeonWe cannot show our courage unless we have difficulties and troubles. A man cannot become a veteran soldier if he never goes to battle. No man can get his sea legs if he lives always on land. Rejoice, therefore, in your tribulations, because they give you opportunities of exhibiting a believing confidence and, thereby, glorifying the name of the Most High. But take heed that you have faith, true faith in God—do not become a puppet of impressions— much less a slave of the judgments of others. To have David’s faith, you must be as David. No man may take up a confidence of his own making— it must be a real work of the Spirit and growth of Grace within—grasping with living tendrils the promise of the living God. (1892, Sermon #2237)

REVIVAL THAT GLORIFIES GOD!

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Charles SpurgeonSpasms of any sort are not desirable things, least of all spasmodic religion! I want a revival that keeps on every day in the year, all the years in the century! That is the kind of revival that glorifies God—not a temporary ripple on the surface—but a great swell that comes rolling up from the depths! May God send it! He can do such a work by His Spirit and there are indications that He is going to permit us to see greater things than ever. All these many years, in this place, souls have been saved in one continued stream by the preaching of the Gospel—scarcely ever more and very seldom less—but oh, for a grand spring tide, a mighty flood that shall bring many to Christ and to the Church! (1891, Sermon #2229)

PREACH CHRIST TO SINNERS

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Charles H. Spurgeon“My message to every man or woman who desires salvation, ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.’ Do not begin by hoping in mercy and redemption, for these are not to be found apart from the Lord—but go at once to that Divine Person with whom there is mercy and plenteous redemption—then both of those will be granted to you. I wish I knew how to put this so plainly that every bewildered and cast-down spirit would catch my meaning and accept its counsel. I would also have preachers learn a lesson from the point I have been driving at. Let them not so much preach sinners to Christ as preach Christ to sinners. I am persuaded that a full and clear declaration of what Jesus is, as to His Person, offices, Character, work and authority would do more to produce faith than all our exhortations. ‘Whoever believes in Him has everlasting life’—but how shall they believe unless they hear of Him?” (1891, Sermon #2199)

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