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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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OVERCOMING SATAN

For some have already strayed after Satan. (1 Timothy 5:15 ESV)

Not only are you fighting against normal human problems, but you now have engaged in war with Satan and demons and sin itself. (John MacArthur)

Many no longer believe in Satan. They think that he is the product of the uneducated, superstitious mind. The Scriptures are largely ignored concerning Satan and his minions in our current free-thinking culture. We look at evil with enlightened eyes and see a disease which only needs the right medicine to cure it.

Evil thrives on being unacknowledged. It separates man from God. It is an unrelenting malevolence against mankind. This is a spiritual battle on a cosmic scale and most are blind to its existence. (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV) How is the master of evil overcome? James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, writes:

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DISCERNMENT: GOD’S WAY

Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people? (1 Kings 3:9 ESV)

We often find it difficult to see what will result in the future from a decision that is made. If our minds are not clouded by uncontrolled emotions, we may clearly see the immediate consequences, but fail to see beyond that for many reasons. Many times we will need to make choices which involve discerning good from evil. In the verse above, Solomon asks God for the wisdom to discern between good and evil. We do not, however, have to be the king of Israel to be frequently faced with evil’s deceptive charms. As long as you live, evil will desire to devour your life. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

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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.

SECRET SINS

Thomas Brooks:

You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. (Psalm 90:8 ESV)

Thomas BrooksGod is privy to your most secret sins! His eye is as much upon secret sins, as it is upon open sins. God has an eye upon our inmost evils. He sees all that is done in the dark. As we are never out of the reach of God’s hand, so we are never from under the view of God’s eye.

Oh! what dreadful atheism is bound up in that man’s heart, who is more afraid of the eye of his father, his neighbor, his child — than he is of the eye and presence of the eternal God! Those who wallow in secret sins, act as if there were:

  • no God to behold them,
  • nor conscience to accuse them,
  • nor judgment-day to arraign them,
  • nor justice to condemn them,
  • nor Hell to torment them!

All men’s secret sins are printed in Heaven, and God will at last read them aloud in the ears of all the world! Though they may escape the eyes of men — yet they shall never escape the judgment of God!

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14 ESV)

THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD

george-whitefield-pictureGeorge Whitefield:

The spirit of the world is hatred; that of Christ is love; the spirit of the world is vexation; that of Christ is pleasure: the spirit of the world is sorrow; that of Christ is joy: the spirit of the world is evil, and that of Christ is good: the spirit of the world will never satisfy us, but Christ’s spirit is all satisfaction: the spirit of the world is misery; that of Christ is ease.

CONTINUING IN THE FAITH

Samuel A CainAnd I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13 ESV)

Many Christians are disillusioned by the times we live in. Wickedness, dishonesty, and violence appear to be increasing. An anti-Christian attitude has taken hold of the media and those who believe themselves our intellectual, cultural élite. The disintegration of the family and the growing numbers of abused children are alarming. Because of compromise with a secular culture, the Gospel is no longer preached with authority in many of our churches. Many lament: “What can we do?” Continue reading

THE WORLD’S THEOLOGY

James Montgomery BoiceJames Montgomery Boice:

“Claiming to be wise, they became fools,” (Romans 1:22 ESV)

The world’s theology is easy to define. It is the view . . . that human beings are basically good, that no one is really lost, that belief in Jesus Christ is not necessary for salvation.

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