We are being prepared for Heaven

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. – Titus 1:2

LOOK upon all the Lord’s covenant dealings with you as but preparatory to your approaching emancipation from all sin, suffering, and sorrow. Welcome your trials—they are sent by your Father. Welcome the stroke of His rod—it is a Parent smiting. Welcome whatever detaches you from earth, and wings your spirit heavenward. Welcome the furnace that consumes the dross and the tin, and brings out the precious gold and silver, to reflect in your soul, even now, the dawnings of future glory. Oh! be submissive, meek, and quiet, under God’s chastening and afflicting hand, and receive all His dispensations as only tending to fit you more perfectly for “the inheritance of the saints in light.” Let his “hope of eternal life” cheer and comfort the bereaved of the Lord, from whose hearts have fled the loved and sanctified ones of earth, to the eternal heaven. Oh! how full of consolation is this prospect! Where have the departed fled, who sleep in Jesus? They have but exchanged the region of darkness and shadow for the regions of light and glory. They have gone from the scene of impurity, defilement, and sin, to the place of perfect holiness, complete sanctification, and eternal love.

– Octavius Winslow, 1808-1878, Morning Thoughts

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He lived poor and died poor

“Jesus replied—Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20

Jesus does not say, Kings have palaces—but I have none. Nor does He say that rich men have houses and lands and mansions to entertain their followers—but I have none; but, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but I have no place to lay My head.”

Your outward condition is not worse than Christ’s was, when He was in the world. Christ’s condition was low, yes, very low and humble in this world. He was born in a stable, lived on the charity of others, and did not have enough money to pay His taxes. The great Architect of the world had no place to lay His head—but emptied Himself of all, and became poor to make us rich, not in goods—but in grace; not in worldly wealth—but in the treasures of the eternal world. He lived poor and died poor.

Are you houseless, are you penniless, are you poor, and low, and base in this world? So was Christ! Remember “the servant is not greater than his Lord!”

It is unfitting to see the Head all begored with blood and crowned with thorns—and the members to be decked with roses and jewels, and to smell of rich spices, and perfumes!

Are you in a worse condition than Christ was, in this world? Oh no, no! Why then do you murmur and complain? Why do you say there is no sorrow like your sorrow, nor any suffering compared to your suffering? O sirs! it is honor enough for the disciples of Christ to fare as Christ fared in this world. Why should the servant be in a better condition than His Lord? Did you but seriously and frequently meditate and ponder upon the poverty and low estate of Christ while He was in this world, your hearts would be more calm and quiet under all their crosses and losses!

Thomas Brooks, London’s Lamentations, 1670

No secular and Sacred

A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in which he finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he has an attitude of unrestrained abandon and total surrender about him.

– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Published in: on January 23, 2017 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Providence

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. – Ephesians 1:11

It is most important for us to learn that the smallest trifles are as much arranged by the God of Providence–as the most momentous events!

He who counts the stars–has also numbered the hairs of our heads!

Our lives and deaths are predestined–but so, also, are our sitting down and our rising up.

I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam, does not move an atom more or less than God wishes.

I believe that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its ordained orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens.

I believe that the chaff from the hand of the winnower–is as much steered by God, as the stars in their course.

The creeping of an aphid over the rosebush–is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence.

The fall of a leaf from a poplar tree–is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche!

– Charles Spurgeon, 1834-1892

Published in: on January 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Looking for Blessings

Do we take the blessings that the common days bring to us? Do we extract the honey from every flower which grows by our path? Do not angels come to us unawares in homely or unattractive disguise, walk with us, talk with us, and then only become known to us when they have flown away—when their places are empty? Shall we not learn to see the goodness and the beauty in the gifts which God sends to us? Their very commonness veils their blessedness. Let us seek for the good in everything. Then, though we see it not, let us never doubt that a blessing lies hidden in every gift of God to us. Every moment brings us some blessing—even the rough hand of trial holds in its clasp, some treasure we love.

 – J. R. Miller, 1840-1912, In Green Pastures

Luck?

“The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” Proverbs 16:33

“Luck!” There is no such thing in our world,
none in nature, none in human affairs.

Luck means that an event has no cause at all. It is a bad word–a heathen term. Drop it from your vocabulary! Trust nothing to luck, and expect nothing from it. Avoid all practical dependence upon it or its kindred words . . .
fate,
chance,
fortune.

Never forget your dependence upon God. He can exalt you to prosperity–or sink you into the lowest depth of adversity. He can make everything to which you set your hand to prosper–or to fail. Devoutly acknowledge this. Abhor the atheism that shuts God out of His own world!

J. A. James, 1785—1859, The Young Man’s Friend
and Guide Through Life to Immortality

Published in: on October 28, 2016 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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The true recipe for a miserable existence

The first law of true religion is submission to God’s will. Where it does not exist, there is no piety–and just as truly there is no tranquility of soul.

What a hideous sight to see a human creature in full rebellion against God’s providence . . .
repining at His allotments;
fighting against His dispensations;
and cursing His judgments!

The true recipe for miserable existence is this: Quarrel with Providence!

When God means to make us happy, He teaches us submission–a resignation of everything into His hands, and an acknowledgment that whatever He does is wisest and best.

O how sweetly even afflictions fall, when there is such a temper to receive them! “Shall we accept good from God–and not trouble?” Job 2:10. Such a disposition tends to tranquility of soul; and even amidst chastisement, there is internal quiet.

“The Lord gave–and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

“He is the Lord–let Him do what is good in His eyes.” 1 Samuel 3:18 

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

– James W. Alexander, Consolation 1852