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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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FROM THIRST TO LIVING WATERS

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)

In the verses above, on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus announces the source of true satisfaction for spiritual thirst. The crowd around Him are like the woman of Samaria who was standing by the side of the true well of living water and did not know it. Jesus invited all who were in need of spiritual comfort to come to Him by faith and receive living water. This flowing, living water represents new life and the comforting graces of the Holy Spirit.

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GAINING GOSPEL PROGRESS

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, (Philippians 1:27)

I must thank a former pastor of mine, Kurt Gebhards, for the title of this post. He preached an outstanding series of sermons on this subject a number of years ago. I have included a link if you wish to hear those sermons.

As Christians our lives are to be saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine. (John 15:1-4) By His word of truth, we are brought forth as a new creation. (James 1:18 ESV) Our way of living is sanctified by the truth of the gospel (John 17:17 ESV) because the word of God is at work within us. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV) It is by the reading, careful study, and meditation of the Scriptures, along with constant prayer and hearing the Word preached, that we are trained in righteousness to produce godly lives.

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EMOTIONS AND SELF-CONTROL

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28 ESV)

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, (2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV)

Emotions are a part of human life. They may change because of changing circumstances or the conscious decisions we make, but often it may seem that our feelings have a mind of their own. In any given situation (good or bad) if we are not consciously making rational decisions about what is happening around us, our subconscious emotions may quickly fill the gap. Sometimes the results are not pretty.

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UNDERSTANDING THE END FOR WHICH WE WERE MADE

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 ESV)

There are many people, including Christians, who do not  godhave a clear understanding of the purpose for which God made them.The Westminster Shorter Catechism states this doctrine by way of a question and answer:

Q: “What is the chief end of man?”

A: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

The ultimate end or chief purpose of man is to glorify and enjoy God. Too few people have any concern for the glory of God and therefore, certainly cannot enjoy Him.

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GOD’S WORD

Charles Haddon SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon:

“It is God’s Word that saves souls, not our comment upon it, however correct that comment may be! Let us, then, be scrupulously careful to honor the Holy Spirit by taking the weapon which He has prepared for us, believing in the full Inspiration of the sacred Scriptures and expecting that God will prove their Inspiration by their effect upon the minds and hearts of men.” (1892, Sermon #2246)

THE CHRISTIAN MIND

Samuel A CainSet your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, (Colossians 3:2 ESV)

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15 ESV)

My college philosophy professor once said, “The man who does not know truth will not recognize evil when it comes. The man who knows truth will also know evil.” It is through the mind of Christ that we know truth. Paul writes in Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)

Natural man is born with the predisposition to set his mind on desiring the pleasures of this world, even though they bring him sorrow. (Romans 8:5-6 ESV) If a man is born again, he has access to the mind of Christ in a way which was impossible before the Holy Spirit came to dwell in him. (1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV) This partnership of the Holy Spirit and man seeks the wisdom of Christ in order to live a holy life like Jesus. Such wisdom enables us to avoid vain “philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 ESV) Continue reading

THE PURE WORD OF GOD

Charles SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“What can you do, you children, playing with your little wooden swords – what can you do against men covered from head to foot with the steel mail of the habit of sin? Sunday school teachers, teach your children more and more the pure Word of God! And preachers, do not try to be original, but be content to take of the things of Christ and show them to the people, for that is what the Holy Spirit, Himself does – and you will be wise to use His method and His sword. No sinner around you will be saved except by the knowledge of the great Truths contained in the Word of God. No man will ever be brought to repentance, to faith and to life in Christ, apart from the constant application of the Truth through the Spirit.” (1891, Sermon #2201)

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