Don’t rely on “the Church”

“Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land. The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants.

This is our first duty–we are to begin at the family hearthHe is a bad preacher, who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched–but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements.

To teach our children is a personal duty. We cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or to the church. These can assist us–but cannot relieve us from the sacred obligation. Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High God.

Parental teaching is a natural duty. Who is so fit to look to after child’s well-being, as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish!

Family instruction is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots, atheism is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter.

It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has often saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions.

May every house into which this counsel shall come, honor the Lord in this matter and receive His smile!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892

“These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates!” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

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Cast your cares upon Him

A ship is made to go in the water, and no matter how deep the sea nor how wild the tempest–all goes well as long as the water does not get into the ship. The problem of managing a ship, is not to keep the ship out of the water–but to keep the water out of the ship!

In this sinful world, we cannot avoid all cares and trials and temptations. The goal of of true Christian living is to keep these cares and trials and temptations from getting into our souls. Some people let all their frets and worries at once into their hearts–and they soon live out their lives in sourness, irritability, and discontent. They become thus miserable themselves–and they make all around them miserable. They cast, not cooling, healthful, refreshing shade on others–but melancholy, darksome, chilling shadows.

Learn to keep your cares in your hands–and out of your hearts. Nothing in this world is more beautiful than a Christian life with many trials and cares–yet remaining ever peaceful and joyous amid them all. This is the real goal of noble Christian living.

– J.R. Miller

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Published in: on July 21, 2019 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Do Everything to the Glory of God

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

This rule is designed to be one of the chief directors of our lives. It is to guide all our conduct, and to constitute a test by which to try our actions. Whatever can be done to advance the honor of God is right; whatever cannot be done with that end is wrong. Whatever plan a man can form that will have this end is a good plan; whatever cannot be made to have this tendency, and that cannot be commenced, continued, and ended with a distinct and definite desire to promote his honor, is wrong, and should be forthwith abandoned.

What a change would it make in the world if this rule were everywhere followed! How differently would even professing Christians live! How many of their plans would they be constrained at once to abandon! And what a mighty revolution would it at once make on earth, should all the actions of men begin to be performed to promote the glory of God!

– Albert Barnes, Barnes Notes

Published in: on March 25, 2019 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3

To be poor in spirit is to have a humble opinion of ourselves; to be sensible that we are sinners, and have no righteousness of our own; to be willing to be saved only by the rich grace and mercy of God; to be willing to be where God places us, to bear what he lays on us, to go where he bids us, and to die when he commands; to be willing to be in his hands, and to feel that we deserve no favor from him. It is opposed to pride, and vanity, and ambition.

– Albert Barnes, 1798-1870, Barnes Notes

How to be a better Christian

I will meditate on your precepts. Psalms 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than companionship, and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting on God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labor in his service. We ought to meditate on the things of God, because by this we get the real nutriment from them. Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we wish to have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully on the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must tread the grapes well, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we wish to get the wine of consolation from it. Our bodies are not nourished by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening for a while to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating on it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make very slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their prayer closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they wish to have the grain, but they will not go out into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs on the tree, but they will not pick it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, oh Lord, and let this be our resolve this morning, “I will meditate on your precepts.”

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892, Morning & Evening

Stand like a Pillar

” But Mordecai bowed not.” – Esther 3:2

There was stern stuff in this old Jew. He was not going to prostrate himself before one so haughty and so depraved as Haman, albeit that he was the king’s favorite. To be the only one in a city office that does not laugh at the questionable story; to stand alone on shipboard against the gambling mania; to refuse to countenance cleverness which is divorced from cleanness, and genius which is apart from goodness—this is to do as Mordecai did in the gate of the king’s palace.

Only God can give this power, since of ourselves we are as reeds shaken by the wind. Sooner might a single ear of wheat resist the breeze that bends all its companions in the same direction, than we stand alone, while all our associates bow, unless God himself enable us.

But God is prepared to enable us. Listen: ‘I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right and of my righteousness.’ {Isa. 41:10} But the mistake we are so apt to make is to brace ourselves up by resolution and firm determination, in anticipation of some impending struggle. To do this is to fail. Live in Christ, look up into his face, derive from Him strength for the moment and at the moment; and often wrap about thee that exceeding great and precious promise, ‘I will make him to become a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go no more out; and I will write on him the name of my God.’ Oh to stand like a pillar amid men, bearing up the temple arch of truth, and inscribed with God’s name, while the crowds go and come on the pavement beneath!

F. B. Meyer, Our Daily Homily

All Things for Good

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Christians have unfailing grounds of satisfaction and contentment, for they know that all their affairs are managed by a wise and gracious Providence.

The calamities which the believer suffers are unstinged to him through the Redeemer’s cross, which, like the tree that Moses cast into the waters of Marah, makes bitter things sweet.

He is not visited with any unnecessary evil, and those evils which visit him are made good on the whole, by the tendency which they have to do him good, and make him good.

Reproaches and tribulations, sicknesses and deaths, are the common lot of men. And they are very evil things to those who are strangers to God–but they are good to those who love God, for they are appointed and useful means to make them partakers of God’s holiness, and prepare them for that blessed world where sins and sorrows are no more!

– George Lawson, 1821, A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Published in: on October 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Submitting

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” – Ephesians 5:21

“Submitting yourselves one to another.” Maintaining due subordination in the various relations of life. This general principle of religion the apostle proceeds now to illustrate in reference to wives, (Eph 5:22-24); to children, (Eph 6:1-3); and to servants, (Eph 6:5-8). At the same time that he enforces this duty of submission, however, he enjoins on others to use their authority in a proper manner, and gives solemn injunctions that there should be no abuse of power. Particularly he enjoins on husbands the duty of loving their wives with all tenderness, (Eph 5:25-33); on fathers, the duty of treating their children so that they might easily obey them, (Eph 6:4); and on masters, the duty of treating their servants with kindness, remembering that they have a Master also in heaven, (Eph 6:9). The general meaning here is, that Christianity does not break up the relations of life, and produce disorder, lawlessness, and insubordination; but that it will confirm every proper authority, and make every just yoke lighter. Infidelity is always disorganizing; Christianity never.

– Albert Barnes, Barnes Notes on the New Testament

He is Deranged

And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. – Mark 3:21

He is beside himself. He is delirious, or deranged, The reason why this report gained any belief was, probably, that our Lord had lived among them as a carpenter; that he was poor, and unknown; and that now, at thirty years of age, he broke off from his occupations, abandoned his common employment, spent much time in the deserts, denied himself the common comforts of life, and set up his claims to be the Messiah, who was expected by all the people to come with great pomp and splendor. The charge of derangement on account of attention to religion has not been confined to our Savior. Let a man be made deeply sensible of his sins, and spend much of his time in prayer, and have no relish for the ordinary amusements or business of life; or let a Christian be much impressed with his obligation to devote himself to God, and act as if he believed there was an eternity, and warn his neighbors of their danger; or let a minister show uncommon zeal, and waste his strength in the service of his Master, and the world is not slow to call it derangement. And none will be more ready to originate or believe the charge than an ungodly and infidel parent or brother; a self-righteous Pharisee or professor in the church. At the same time, men may endanger themselves on the bosom of the deep, or in the bowels of the earth, for wealth; or may plunge into the vortex of fashion, and folly, and vice, and break in upon the hours of repose, and neglect their duties to their family, and the demands of business, and in the view of the world it is wisdom, and proof of a sane mind! Such is the consistency of boasted reason; such the wisdom and prudence of worldly men!

– Albert Barnes, 1798 – 1870, Barnes Notes Commentary

 

 

Confronting an Evil World

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. – 1 Peter 4:14

No one can live for God’s glory and be entirely comfortable in this world. You shouldn’t be obnoxious or try to be a misfit, but if your life is Christlike, then you will bear some of the reproach He bore.

We live in a day when many are want to make Christianity easy, but the Bible says it is hard. Many want to make Christians lovable, but God says they’ll be reproachable. Christianity must confront the system by being distinct from it. It must expose sin before it can disclose the remedy.

Be sure your life reflects your commitment to Christ. That’s what will make you distinct from the world.

– John MacArthur, Truth for Today