• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,390,685 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,275 other followers

  • October 2020
    M T W T F S S
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • Recommended Reading

MEDICINE FOR THE BROKENHEARTED

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18 ESV)

Have you ever suffered from a broken heart? Most people have on some occasion in their lives. Perhaps it occurred after the death of a family member; perhaps it was a divorce; maybe a devastating illness; or the loss of a job. A broken heart may happen because you were denied entrance into the university you had hoped to attend, or because someone you thought was your best friend has begun to ignore you in favor of a new friend. A broken heart may be simple or complex in its cause. None of us are exempt from suffering its effects. It may give us a feeling of hopelessness. Solomon wrote:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)

Continue reading

THOUGHTS FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! (Psalm 25:7 ESV)

Physical beauty is fleeting. Physical strength is used up by time. Even the mind of a genius is slowed by age. Yet, in our youth we often carry a false sense of immortality in which we view ourselves as invincible. We demonstrate this by magical thinking (i.e. self-absorbing daydreams & fantasies) and through foolish actions that may injure us or change our lives for the worse in years to come. We blind ourselves to inevitable consequences for a few moments of pleasure. We too quickly reject the traditional beliefs of our parents and the church without really trying to understand them. We reject anything that is not popular or the current fad. Our lives are consumed by sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, jealousy, envy, strife, and drunkenness, which prevent our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. (Galatians 5:19-21 ESV) If we ever, over the years, learn the truth of these matters, the majority of our lives may have passed us by. Perhaps this is best illustrated by the Chinese proverb: “Too soon old; Too late wise.”

Continue reading

TRAVELING ON THE GOOD WAY

Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’ (Jeremiah 6:16, ESV)

In this age of the Global Positioning System (GPS), we may navigate our cars to any place we desire and enjoy a large measure of certainty that our GPS devices will guide us to the correct location. However, it is often not so easy to navigate the highways of life. The decisions we make in finding our way may put us far from Bunyan’s “Celestial City”.

The verse above provides wisdom for the journey of life. Where various routes meet and we are unsure of the way, we should look to the Scriptures to guide our travel. The Scriptures will lead us to Christ and salvation. This ancient book, the Bible, is the best map and directory.

Continue reading

AMUSING OURSELVES

J. R. Miller:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)

J. R. Miller

J. R. Miller

Amusements are proper, both as to kind and degree—just so far as they make us better Christians. Whenever they become hindrances to us in our Christian living or in our holy walk – they are harmful, however innocent they may be in themselves.

How do your amusements influence your spiritual life? They may be very pleasing to you. They may afford great gratification. But what is their effect on you, as a Christian? Are they hindering your love for Christ, and your growth in grace? We ought to be honest enough with ourselves, to answer these questions truthfully, and then act accordingly. (“In Green Pastures”)

HAPPINESS IN CHRIST

John CalvinJohn Calvin:

“The happiness promised us in Christ does not consist in outward advantages–such as leading a joyous and peaceful life, having rich possessions, being safe from all harm, and abounding with delights such as the flesh commonly longs after. No, our happiness belongs to the heavenly life!”(Institutes , 2, 15, 4).

THE HANDBOOK FOR LIFE

Michael HortonMichael Horton:

To preach the Bible as ‘the handbook for life,’ or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture, as we can see clearly from the questions they asked Jesus. For the Pharisees, the Scriptures were a source of trivia for life’s dilemmas. 

SLOUCHING AWAY FROM HOLINESS

D.A. Carson:

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

SOMEDAY

Samuel A CainWhat is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14 ESV)

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 ESV)

Human beings cannot predict the number of their days upon this earth, nor does anyone know the day and time he will pass through the gates of eternity. How will people remember you after you have shuffled off this mortal coil? Will people miss you because of the good you have done in their lives? Time is ticking, so how does your life stack up thus far?

Screwtape is a demon in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. In the book, Screwtape recalls one of his “patients” remarking to him upon entering hell, “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.” Continue reading

THIS PRESENT LIFE

John CalvinJohn Calvin:

In seeking the convenience or tranquility of the present life, Scripture calls us to resign ourselves, and all we have, to the disposal of the Lord, to give him up the affections of our heart, that he may tame and subdue them. We have a frenzied desire, an infinite eagerness, to pursue wealth and honor, intrigue for power, accumulate riches, and collect all those frivolities which seem conducive to luxury and splendor. On the other hand, we have a remarkable dread, a remarkable hatred of poverty, mean birth, and a humble condition, and feel the strongest desire to guard against them. Hence, in regard to those who frame their life after their own counsel, we see how restless they are in mind, how many plans they try, to what fatigues they submit, in order that they may gain what avarice or ambition desires, or, on the other hand, escape poverty and meanness.

To avoid similar entanglements, the course which Christian men must follow is this: first, they must not long for, or hope for, or think of any kind of prosperity apart from the blessing of God; on it they must cast themselves, and there safely and confidently recline. For, however much the carnal mind may seem sufficient for itself when in the pursuit of honor or wealth, it depends on its own industry and zeal, or is aided by the favor of men, it is certain that all this is nothing, and that neither intellect nor labor will be of the least avail, except in so far as the Lord prospers both. Continue reading

THE GOSPEL

Milton VincentMilton Vincent:

“For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me.” (The Gospel Primer)

Christian Philosophy

thinking capDid you know you have philosophy of life? It influences the way you see the world. It is made up of your prejudices, personal and cultural experiences, education, the influence of family and friends, ideas and beliefs, your approach to religion, and reasoning skills. Your philosophy is like a lens through which you see the world. Through our personal philosophy we, consciously or unconsciously, make decisions about reality. People are often unconscious of it, but everyone has a personal philosophy through which they interpret why good and bad things happen, and the meaning of life.

Christians should approach life from a Biblical philosophy. This means that Christians should interpret life and reality through the lens of God’s Word. Christians need to understand that we are immersed in the culture of this present world and that it is not neutral. It’s a part of fallen creation. We may become so enamored of fitting in with the world system around us that we become captive to it. Then our philosophical view begins to lose touch with reality – God’s reality.

Escaping this condition requires you to base your philosophical view on something outside of popular culture. God, through Scripture, speaks to us from outside of human time, space, and popular ideology. He unveils to us a paradigm shift through which we can see what is good and real and true. We may begin to view all of life through the lens of God’s Word.

The Christian must be a life long student of the Bible and make a personal commitment, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to place God’s Word above every other view of life. Only then will he develop a personal philosophy which is compatible with God’s Word and being a Christian.

Are you seeing the world through the lens of Scripture, or do you allow popular culture to decide that view? Only Scripture can be the source of a true Christian Philosophy.

Samuel at Gilgal

Thinking of Ourselves

thinking capRobert Kellemen:

Sometimes Christians assume that we should never think of ourselves. That is not what Paul teaches in Romans or Philippians. In Romans 12:3, he tells us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but rather with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given each of us. Paul is teaching us to ground our sense of self in our identity in Christ—who we are in and to Christ. Paul does not highlight self-image or self-esteem; he emphasizes our Christ-image and Christ-esteem. (The Gospel for Real Life)

Make a Difference

Don't Waste Your LifeJohn Piper:

“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.” (Don’t Waste Your Life)

There are no Contingencies with God

Trusting GodJerry Bridges:

From our limited vantage point, our lives are marked by an endless series of contingencies. We frequently find ourselves, instead of acting as we planned, reacting to an unexpected turn of events. We make plans but are often forced to change those plans. But there are no contingencies with God. Our unexpected, forced change of plans is a part of His plan. God is never surprised; never caught off guard; never frustrated by unexpected developments. God does as He pleases, and that which pleases Him is always for His glory and our good. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

Follow Christ

Don't Waste Your LifeJohn Piper:

“Don’t follow a defeated foe. Follow Christ. It is costly. You will be an exile in this age. But you will be free.”

“There is a warning. The path of God-exalting joy will cost you your life. Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” In other words, it is better to lose your life than to waste it. If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full. This is not a book about how to avoid a wounded life, but how to avoid a wasted life. Some of you will die in the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life above Christ is a tragedy.”

%d bloggers like this: