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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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JESUS CAME FOR US

And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. (Mark 2:14 ESV)

Every culture has people who are unpopular for one reason or another. How would you feel if you answered the door bell to find an agent of the IRS who has come to audit your taxes? However, Levi was a very different type of tax collector than we have experienced.

Levi was considered to be a traitor and collaborator by the Jews because he worked for the occupying Romans who ruled Israel during this time. Tax collectors in Israel were hated men because they not only worked for the enemy, they were thieves. The Romans sold tax collecting franchises to anyone who could afford them. Once you owned the right to collect taxes, you would collect so much to give to the Romans and then you were allowed to add whatever amount you wanted to the tax for your fee.

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DRAWING NEAR TO GOD

J.C.-RyleJ. C. Ryle:

I would offer counsel, first, to all who are anxious and troubled respecting their soul’s salvation, and yet know not what to do. Reader, if you are such a person, I charge you and entreat you, I beseech you and invite you, to come into the way of which I have been speaking in this tract. I beseech you to come to God by the old and tried way,–the way of faith in Jesus Christ. Draw near to God, pleading the name of Jesus. Begin this very day to cry mightily unto God, in the name of Jesus, on behalf of your soul. Say not you have anything to plead for yourself. You have nothing to plead. Your life, your thoughts, your ways, all alike condemn you. Say nothing about yourself but this,–that you are a sinner, a great sinner, a guilty sinner, a condemned sinner; but because you are a sinner, you turn to God. Come unto Him in the name of Jesus, saying, you have heard that through Jesus a sinner may come near Him. Tell Him that you are a sinner, a great sinner, and an unworthy one. But tell Him that you come in the faith of His promises, in the confidence of His own Bible invitation; and in the name of Jesus, and for the sake of Jesus, and on account of Jesus, you ask to be received, heard, pardoned, forgiven, and accepted. Tell Him that you wish to have your name–even that name of yours, connected hitherto with worldliness, thoughtlessness, carelessness, and sin added to the list of God’s dear children. (“Able to Save“)

MY HOPE LIVES

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon:

“My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, HE is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me. Hallelujah!” (Morning and Evening)

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