• 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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  • May 2020
    M T W T F S S
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The Bible is God’s Word

The Sovereignty of GodA.W. Pink:

To recognize that the Bible is God’s Word, and that its precepts are the precepts of the Almighty, will lead us to see what an awful thing it is to despise and ignore them. To receive the Bible as addressed to our own souls, given to us by the Creator Himself, will cause us to cry with the Psalmist, “Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies….Order my steps in Thy Word” (Psalm 119:36, 133). (Sovereignty of God)


The Problem with Trust

TrustDo you have difficulty with trusting people? Sometimes I do. Do you trust God in every circumstance of your life? If I look deep into my heart, I find that sometimes the answer is “No!”

You may define “trust” as a “firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” Are you trustworthy person?

I have always tried to be a trustworthy person who keeps his word to others. However, there have been times in my life when I failed in this regard. I don’t know about you, but I hate being fallible when it comes to promises. I know I cannot control every circumstance or the actions of other people. My will can be thwarted by nature, by other human beings, and by my own weaknesses – even when a promise is made with the best of intentions. A person may have character and ability and try to live a life of integrity, but promises should be made sparingly and vows to God even more so.

Conversely, we may be certain that God will keep His promises. The psalmist declares, “In God I have put my trust: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (56:11) “Trust in Him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” (62:8) We may know people who put little trust in God, but how many people do you know who trust Him in excess? D. L. Moody wrote, “Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment; trust in your friends and they will die and leave you; trust in money and you may have it taken from you; trust in reputation and some slanderous tongue may blast it; but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.”

If you are really going to trust in God, you must be able to answer one question in the affirmative. “Do I believe that God is absolutely in control of the universe down to the smallest detail?” If you do not believe this, you can never trust Him. If you really believe in God’s sovereignty, then you can rest in His providential care. “In God I have put my trust: I will not be afraid.” (Psalm 56:11) “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2) Despite all circumstances, we may confidently place our trust in God. Only He knows what is best for us. Only He knows our deepest needs.

Samuel at Gilgal


BibleAs some of you already know, my favorite Bible verse is Psalm 63:1:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 ESV)

I would like to read your favorite Bible verse! Please share it with me in the comments section of this article.

My Hope is Strong in Him

In the words of St. Augustine:

“How much Thou hast loved us, O good Father, Who hast spared not even Thine own son but delivered him up for us wicked people. How thou hast loved us, for whom He who thought it not robbery to be equal with Thee became obedient even unto the death of the cross, He who alone was free among the dead, having power to lay down his life and power to take it up again, for us he was to Thee both Victor and Victim. For us he was to Thee both Priest and Sacrifice, turning us from slaves into Thy sons being Thy Son and becoming a slave. Rightly is my hope strong in Him.”

Guilt and Sins are no Small Matter

Do you deny your love of sin? You know they are wrong but you excuse yourself based on what others are doing, or what you see on TV, or in movies. Are you neglecting your great and only salvation? How shall you escape the justice of natural consequences or the impending wrath of justice to come? According to Andrew Bonar:

“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).

“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).

The crucified and risen Jesus, and nothing else, brings us nigh to God. The crucified and risen Jesus, apart from all besides, reconciles us to God. The crucified and risen Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. He has borne an awful testimony that the wages of sin is death, and has thus opened the way of salvation for the very chief of sinners, the very basest and vilest of men.

Reader! Have you ever felt this blood of Christ to be precious blood? Have you been convinced of sin, and convinced of righteousness? Have you ever felt God’s holy justice in requiring such a sacrifice, and His holy love in providing it, not sparing His only begotten Son? Have you ever felt the necessity for that blood being shed, and sprinkled upon your soul before you could be pardoned? It is the blood, and the blood alone, which maketh atonement for the soul. It was to this blood of Christ, seen by faith through the types of the ceremonial law, that David was looking in the Fifty-first Psalm, when, in bitterness for his guilt, he cried, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psa. 51. 7). Has the insupportable burden of sin ever thus fixed your eye upon that blood whence alone pardon and relief can come?

Or are you yet easy-minded about the state of your soul? Does your conscience tell you that it would make no material difference to you, if you were to be told that now there was to be no longer any access to the mercy-seat for you? Dear reader, think what you are doing. Is sin a fancy? Is the wrath of God a vain imagination? If these were matters of little consequence, if they were as small matters as you now think them, would God have given His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life? (“The Mercy Seat)

A Praying Heart





According to Bishop J. C. Ryle:

A right heart is a PRAYING heart. It has within it “the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father” (Rom. 8:15). Its daily feeling is, “Your face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalm 27:8). It is drawn by an habitual inclination to speak to God about spiritual things—weakly, feebly, and imperfectly perhaps—but speak it must. It finds it necessary to pour out itself before God, as before a friend, and to spread before Him all its needs and desires. It tells Him all its secrets. It keeps back nothing from Him. You might as well try to persuade a person to live without breathing, as to persuade the possessor of a right heart to live without praying.

The Purified Heart

Quoting J. C. Ryle:

A right heart is a PURIFIED heart (Acts 15:9; Matt. 5:8). It loves holiness, and hates sin. It strives daily to cleanse itself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1). It abhors that which is evil, and cleaves to that which is good. It delights in the law of God, and has that law engraved on it, that it may not forget it (Psalm 119:11). It longs to keep the law more perfectly, and takes pleasure in those who love the law. It loves God and people. Its affections are set on things above. It never feels so light and happy as when it is most holy; and it looks forward to heaven with joy, as the place where perfect holiness will at length be attained.

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