Grace Gems for APRIL 2018

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Ever since you rose from your bed this morning—there has been an eye watching you!

(Francis Bourdillon, "The Odd Five Minutes" 1873)

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!" Hebrews 4:13

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning—there has been an eye watching you!
Wherever you have been and whatever you have been doing—that eye has seen you. It has gone with you to your work. It has seen you with your companions. It has been on you when you were alone.

It has seen not merely all that you have done, but why you did it. Your thoughts, your feelings, your motives, which even your nearest friend has not fully known—have all been open to that eye of which I speak. For it is an all-seeing eye—the eye of God!

"His eyes are on the ways of men—He sees their every step!" Job 34:21

"He knows the secrets of the heart!" Psalm 44:21

"You have set our iniquities before You—our secret sins in the light of your presence!" Psalm 90:8

Have you thought of Him whose eye has been upon you today?
Have you given so much as one thought to Him, since the day began?

You have need to pray, great need—for you are dependent upon God for everything. You are entirely in His hand!

If you went to your work this morning strong and well—it was only because God made you so and kept you so.

If you have had enough to eat today, if you are clothed comfortably and have a home to live in—it is only because God supplies your needs. You would have nothing—if God did not supply you. You live—only because He gives you life. He could take all your comforts from you—if it pleased Him. He could lay you on a bed of sickness this very day—He could in a moment, strike you dead!

Have you even spoken to Him today? Have you prayed to Him today?

"I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!" Luke 12:5

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My aim and object!

(James Smith)

My object is to lead the mind . . .
  from self—to Jesus;
  from sin—to salvation;
  from the troubles of life—to the comforts of the gospel.

My aim is . . .
  to humble the sinner—and exalt the Savior;
  to strip the creature—and place the crown on the head of God's free grace!

I cannot ascribe too much to Jesus—or too little to man!

My object has always been to keep Christ constantly before the eye, and to enforce the precepts of the Divine Word on the Lord's people—by the consideration of what Christ is to them, and has done for them—so that the love of Christ may constrain them to every good word, and every good work.

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If God would take the covering
off the mouth of Hell!

(Joseph Alleine, "Alarm to the Unconverted" 1671)

O unbeliever! Look down into the bottomless pit! Do you see how the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever? What do you think of those chains of darkness? Can you be content to burn forever? Do you see how the worm gnaws—how the fire rages? Do you see that great gulf of perdition? Will you take up your habitation there?

O lay your ear to the door of Hell! Do you hear the curses and blasphemies, the weepings and wailings? How they lament their follies, and curse their day! How do they roar and gnash their teeth! How deep their groans! How inconceivable their miseries!

O how fearful would the cry be—
if God would take the covering
off the mouth of Hell, and let the cry of the damned ascend in all its terror among men! And of their moans and miseries—this is the piercing, killing emphasis and theme: "Forever! forever!"

As God lives, you are but a few hours away from all this—unless you are converted! If there is anything that may be called madness and folly, and anything that may be counted absurd, brutish, and unreasonable, it is this—to go on in your unconverted state!

O sinners, see what a God you have to deal with. If you will but turn, "He will have compassion on you—He will subdue your iniquities, and cast all your sins into the depths of the sea!"

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We have the unspeakable consolation!

(James Buchanan, "Comfort in Affliction" 1837)

"He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32

We have the unspeakable consolation of knowing that the same divine and compassionate Redeemer who suffered, and bled, and died for us—has the entire management of our affairs; and that nothing can happen in the course of providence, which is not appointed by Him "Who loved us and gave Himself for us!"

In proportion to our persuasion of His love for us, should be our confidence in His government over us. And what proof of sincerity, or what pledge of love, can we desire—which is not given by His past dealings on our behalf? If He died for us on the cruel cross—then certainly He will now, when all things are put under His power, "make all things work together for our good!"

We may rest assured that the love which He manifested for us on earth, is but a pledge of the love which He still bears to us—and that He will neither forget nor forsake us, until He has accomplished the grand end of His mission, by our deliverance from all evil, and our joyful entrance into the glorious kingdom of Heaven!

Oh! how cheering to know, that amidst the joys of Heaven—Jesus has not forgotten any one of His "little flock" for whom He suffered in the garden and on the cross!

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Do you know that man?

(Archibald Brown)

"What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave?" Psalm 89:48

How few men meditate on their own death! "All men think all men mortal, but themselves!"

I was talking with a friend only this afternoon about the continual procession of funerals that goes past my house on a Sunday afternoon; and as we were talking I could not help saying to myself, "I find it so difficult to realize that I may be looking on the very hearse which before long will carry me!"

Have you ever tried to look at your own death? It will do you no harm; so take up the Word of God, and read, "It is appointed for man to die once—and after that comes judgment!" Hebrews 9:27.

Do you see that man lying there on that bed? Do you hear how labored his breathing is? Do you see what big drops of sweat stand upon his brow? You take him by the hand, and he tries to speak to you—but he cannot. And there in the corner of the room you hear the suppressed sobbing of the wife as she folds her little child to her bosom. The dying man's breath gets heavier, and the doctor says, "There is nothing more that I can do."

Do you know that man?
Why, it is yourself!

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes 7:2

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This is not a world of chance—it is our Father's world!

(J.R. Miller)

"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will." Ephesians 1:4-5

"In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." Ephesians 1:11

This is not a world of chance—it is our Father's world! Events do not happen without divine order and direction. There is a great divine plan running through the ages—which includes all things, and subordinates all forces and all experiences to itself. Our Scripture passages above are full of this great thought.

We will never fully understand these great truths, with their tremendous reach of meaning. We may say, however, at least, that they assure us of a divine plan for the elect—a divine love, a divine purpose of mercy, dating from the infinite past—and running through the eternal ages to come!

All of the elect are eternally secure in Christ the Redeemer!

"Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies." Romans 8:33-34

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Often with his lips, and always by his life!

(George Everard, "An Ordination Sermon" 1883)

"Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

A faithful minister must preach often with his lips, and always by his life.

Preach a crucified Savior, out of crucified hearts!

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"We preach to people who must live forever . . .
    in Heaven—or Hell;
    with God—or devils;
    in an eternity of joy—or of torment!"
Thomas Doolittle

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Great in mercy!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"For as the heavens are high above the earth—so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him!" Psalm 103:11

His mercy is so great, that it forgives great sins to great sinners after great lengths of time—and then gives great favors and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great Heaven of the great God!

"The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy!" Psalm 145:8

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The worst days I have ever had!

(Charles Spurgeon)

The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.

Great hearts can only be made by great troubles.

The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation.

The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our heart, upon the black horse of affliction!

I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had, have turned out to be my best days! And when God has seemed most unfriendly to me, He has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless Him more than for anything else, it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things, the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me.

Our Father's wagons rumble most heavily, when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of His grace.

Love letters from Heaven, are often sent in black-edged envelopes.

The cloud that is black with horror, is big with mercy. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings!

When Jesus is with you in the vessel, the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.

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This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us—so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus has borne the penalty of sin on behalf of His people.

Behold the wonder!

There He hangs upon the cross!

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

Son of God and Son of Man—there He hangs, bearing unutterable pains, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.

Oh, the glory of that sight!

The innocent One, punished!
The Holy One, condemned!
The ever-blessed One, made a curse!
The infinitely glorious One, put to a shameful sin-atoning death!

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That very church which the world likes best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

That very church which the world likes best, is sure to be the church which God abhors most!

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them!" 2 Timothy 3:2-5

"We have learned to live with unholiness in our churches, and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a church meeting, where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God's professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to church with a stick of striped candy, in the form of religious movies, games and entertainments." Tozer

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At all times, and under all circumstances!

("Every Day!" Author unknown, 1872)

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace—that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

We might have been summoned to appear before the throne of Divine Justice—and then every mouth would be stopped, and all would stand guilty before God.

But behold! We are invited to come to the throne of grace! And for what purpose? That we might obtain mercy, that we might receive a free pardon—complete forgiveness of all our sins! And not only this, but that we might "find grace to help in time of need."

The throne of grace is never vacant. The gracious King ever sits there in all His power and in all His willingness, to bless His redeemed people.

The throne of grace is always accessible. Not once a year merely, nor once a week, nor once a day, may we approach it—but at all times, and under all circumstances.

Oh, what a privilege, my soul, is this! To be permitted, nay, invited and welcomed—to come to the throne of grace whenever you are in want, and for whatever you need! May I come as I have often come before—only more reverently, more trustfully, with larger desires and fuller expectation.

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I sometimes wish that I could have seen Him on the Cross!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree." 1 Peter 2:24

I delight in the thought that I shall see Jesus on the Throne of God, but I sometimes wish that I could have seen Him on the Cross—for it was there that His love reached its climax, as He bore my sins in His own body on the tree!

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sovereign die!
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

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Surely God is good to Israel—to those who are pure in heart!

("Every Day!" Author unknown, 1872)

"Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD!" Deuteronomy 33:29
Were God's ancient people distinguished among all nations for their privileges and blessings? Then much more happy are God's spiritual Israel. They are redeemed from a viler slavery than that of Egypt, and with a more glorious manifestation of power and grace.

Believers now have not the tabernacle in the wilderness, nor the temple at Jerusalem—but they have all the precious realities typified by them. They are not mere outer-court worshipers, but have access to the Holy of holies through the blood of the Lamb.

They are not fed with the manna of the desert, but with "the True Bread of Heaven."

They do not drink of the waters of the rock of Horeb, but of the river of life flowing from the Rock, Christ Jesus.

They do not have in prospect an earthly Canaan, but a heavenly city, whose builder and Maker is God.

They do not have a temporal inheritance—but an incorruptible, undefiled and unfading inheritance!

Israel of old had the shadows, Christians now have the substance.

"Surely God is good to Israel—to those who are pure in heart!" Psalm 73:1

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Morality without Christ

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

You moral and upright people without Christ—you are as surely lost as the despicable reprobate!

You chaste and respectable people without Christ—you will be as surely damned as the vile prostitute who walks the streets at midnight!

"Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!" Luke 13:3

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"This is all the comfort that can be given to a moral man—that he shall have a cooler Hell than others." Thomas Brooks

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You will find no bottom!

("Every Day!" Author unknown, 1872)

"He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities.
 The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Dwell, my soul, with wonder and adoration on the glorious grace of your great Substitute. Perfectly pure and innocent—He took the place of the guilty, and paid the penalty of the broken law! To redeem us from its curse—He was made a curse for us! In the foresight of all He would have to endure as the Substitute of transgressors—He came willingly from the throne of His glory, and "took upon Him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross!"

With what clearness is the great truth of the substitution of Christ stated in the Word of God:
"Christ died for the ungodly!"
"He was delivered for our offences."
"He gave Himself for our sins."
"He has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust."
"Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree."

The guilt of all who believe in Christ was imputed to Him—and His perfect obedience is imputed to them. God "made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

Dwell, my soul, upon the grace of the precious Savior. Drop your sounding line into this depth of redeeming love—but you will find no bottom! No! not while you live here, or dwell in the realms of glory—for the love of Christ surpasses knowledge!

"May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ—though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:18-19

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Is the young man safe?

(James Smith)

"Is the young man Absalom safe?" 2 Samuel 18:29

Young men are exposed to dangers—the greatest dangers. They are in danger of falling . . .
  into sin,
  into infidelity,
  and into Hell!

Their danger arises . . .
  from their corrupt passions—which are apt to be fierce and fiery;
  from their inexperience—the path of life is new and strange to them;
  from false friends—who feed their vanity, and gratify their lusts;
  from wicked associates—which are often fascinating, and always injurious;
  from Satan the seducer—who watches them, lays in wait for them, and seeks their destruction.

In a wicked world like this,
with deceitful hearts like ours, and
with such evil influences acting upon us,
we are all in danger—but the young especially, and young men most of all.

"Is the young man safe?"

Absalom was not safe, nor are many young men now.
If they are mirthful, vain, or foolish;
if they are selfish, conceited, or covetous;
if they are careless, reckless, or indifferent
—then they are not, they cannot be safe!

There is no real safety, but in vital union with Christ. Until a young man is . . .
  convinced of sin,
  sensible of his danger,
  and embraces Christ—
we cannot pronounce him safe.

The shipwrecked sailor is not safe until he is picked up by the life-boat, or otherwise conveyed on shore. Just so, the lost sinner is not safe as he is floating on the treacherous waters of this world, until the life-boat of free grace picks him up, and brings him to Christ as the harbor of safety!

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All this I have done for you—do you love Me?

("Every Day!" Author unknown, 1872)

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8

"Do you love Me?" John 21:17

Does not Jesus in thus appealing to me, in effect say:

"For you, I left the realms of glory, and the adoration of ten thousand times ten thousand holy ones!

  For you, I became incarnate, took on the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

    For you, I obeyed the law, and wrought a perfect righteousness for your justification.

      For you, I endured the cross, and despised the shame.

        For you, I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to those who plucked off the hair.

          For you, I endured the crown of thorns, and gave My hands and My feet to be nailed to the tree.

             For you, I shed My blood, and laid down My life!

           I loved you with a love of pity and compassion—when you were dead in trespasses and sins!

        I opened your eyes, revealed to you your sinfulness and guilt, and awakened your cry for mercy.

      I sought you in your wanderings—and found you!

   I brought you up out of the horrible pit, and miry clay—and set your feet upon the rock.

 I have loved you with an everlasting love—and therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you!

 All this I have done for you—do you love Me?"

"We love Him, because He first loved us!" 1 John 4:19

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Little children, keep yourselves from idols!

("Every Day!" Author unknown, 1872)

"You shall have no other gods before Me!" Exodus 20:3

Though there is no danger of our bowing down to graven images—to gods that have eyes and see not, ears and hear not—none are exempt from the danger of being idolaters in spirit. There are gods many and lords many, in lands of Bibles and gospel privileges—as truly as in heathen countries!

Wealth, honor, sports and pleasure—are the idols of multitudes.
Gold is as truly worshiped—as Baal once was!
Self is as really the idol of many now—as Diana of the Ephesians was anciently.

Then, too, there are "household gods"—idols in family life. Affection in the various relationships we sustain, which is proper and lovely in a right degree—too often becomes idolatrous.

Christians have need to be warned against idolatry, as well as others. The exhortation, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols!" was addressed to believers.

Remember, my soul, that whatever may lead your highest affection and supreme devotion away from God your Savior—would be to you an idol!

Help me, O Lord, to watch and pray against the sin of idolatry in all its forms. Show me more of Your glory and Your grace—and ever hold the highest place in my heart!

"The dearest idol I have known,
 Whatever that idol be,
 Help me to tear it from Your throne,
 And worship only Thee!"

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(Octavius Winslow)

Cultivate a profound reverence for God's Word. Nothing is more grievous to the Holy Spirit than a trifling with Revelation. The words of Scripture are divinely inspired, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

Beware of referring to it with levity. To use the words of Scripture irreverently, or to employ its phraseology flippantly, is . . .
  to cast discredit upon inspiration,
  to press it into the service of the flesh, and
  to make the Word of God the jest book of the profane.
This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Spirit!

Stand in awe of this Holy Book!

God says, "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My Word." Isaiah 66:2

"Then all who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel..." Ezra 9:4

"My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of Your laws." Psalm 119:120

"My heart stands in awe of Your Word." Psalm 119:161

"God's name is taken more times in vain in churches than anywhere else.
The blasphemy in the sanctuary is worse than the blasphemy in the street!" MacArthur

(Editor's note: How very sad is it that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with 'bible jokes' and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today's pseudo Christian music, movies and children's literature use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.)

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We find that they are empty bubbles!

(J.C. Ryle)

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world!" 1 John 2:15-16

The possession of the whole world and all that it contains, will never make a person happy. Its pleasures are false and deceptive! Its riches, rank, and honors, have no power to satisfy the heart! So long as we have not got them—they glitter, sparkle, and seem desirable. The moment we have them—we find that they are empty bubbles, and cannot make us feel content!

And, worst of all, when we possess this world's good things to the utmost bound of our desire—we cannot keep them! Death comes in and separates us from all our property forever! Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth—and of all our possessions, we can carry nothing with us.

Such is the world, which occupies the whole attention of thousands!

Such is the world, for the sake of which millions are every year destroying their souls!

"This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave!" 1 John 2:17

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I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees

(George Whitefield)

My mind being now more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books and praying over, if possible, every line and Word. This proved food indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above. I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month—than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men!

"I went to my room and locked my door, and putting the Bible on a chair, I went down on my knees at the chair. There I remained for several hours in prayer and meditation over the Word of God; and I can tell you that I learned more in those three hours which I spent in this way, than I had learned for many months previously." George Muller

"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long!" Psalm 119:97

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My last words shall be

(William Grimshaw)

When I come to die, I shall have my greatest grief and my greatest joy.

My greatest grief—that I have done so little for Jesus.

My greatest joy—that Jesus has done so much for me!

My last words shall be: "Here goes an unprofitable servant!"

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Later you will understand

(Charles Naylor, "When Adversity Comes" 1944)

"You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7

A few years ago a young preacher came to me and told me his troubles. He was passing through a time of darkness that he could not understand. Several months ago he called upon me again, and in the course of our conversation he referred to the time of trouble through which he had passed. He said, "Those things that I could not understand at that time, have taught me lessons which have prepared me to help many souls as I never could have, had I not had those severe trials."

Yes, things look different now. He can now see God's hand in it. He can see that those difficult things were a blessing to his own soul and to the souls of others. He can see that he had been in God's school of adversity and knew it not. He thought these things were destructive to him, but when he looked back upon them with clear vision and a knowledge of God's purpose—he saw real blessing in them. He saw them as manifestations of the wisdom and kindness of God, and he thanked God for those things which had been bitter and hard to bear.

Are you passing through difficult things which you cannot now understand?

Does it look as if these things are ruining you?

Just trust God and be patient. Out of your night of bitterness, out of your darkness and woe—will come strength of character, a blessed realization of God's faithfulness, and a knowledge of Him and yourself which can come to you in no other way. You will look back in time to come, and thank God for His wise care and tender love for you which brought you to these things, and realize that it was His hand leading you to better and richer things beyond.

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Because the Lord loves you

(Letters of John Newton)

"For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline." Revelation 3:19

My Dear Friend,
Because the Lord loves you—He appoints trials for you. Like most effectual medicines, they are neither pleasant to the taste nor in their operation, when first taken—but afterwards they yield a harvest of righteousness and peace. He sends them not for His own pleasure, but for our profit.

He could relieve you in a moment, but He does not. The plain inference is, that it is good, it is best for us to be afflicted!

I have had my trials, and I can from experience bear testimony to His all-sufficiency and faithfulness.

He does all things well. How can He who is infinitely wise and good, do otherwise?

"My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in." Proverbs 3:11-12

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Wonderful are the effects when a crucified, glorious Savior is presented!

(Letters of John Newton)

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You!" Psalm 73:25-26

There is nothing that I desire more, than frequent, lively, and heart-affecting views of Jesus; who, like the brazen serpent of old, was lifted up on the cross—that we, beholding Him by faith, might live; even though the old serpent has so often stung us and filled us with the baneful, painful poison of sin!

Wonderful are the effects when a crucified, glorious Savior is presented . . .
  by the power of the Spirit,
  in the light of the Word,
  to the eye of faith!

This sight of the crucified, glorious Savior . . .
  destroys the love of sin,
  heals the wounds of guilt,
  softens the hard heart,
  fills the soul with peace, love and joy,
  and makes obedience practical, desirable and pleasant.

If we could see more of Him—we would look less at other things. But, alas! Unbelief places a veil before our sight, and worldly-mindedness draws our eyes another way. Some vain hope, or vain fear, or vain delight—comes in like a black cloud and hides our Beloved from our eyes.

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He who walks by Scripture rule

(Thomas Brooks)

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word." Psalm 119:9

"I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11

If you would not be outwitted by any of Satan's evil schemes, then walk by the rule of the Word of God.

He who walks by Scripture rule, walks most safely.
He who walks by Scripture rule, walks most honorably.
He who walks by Scripture rule, walks most sweetly.

When men throw off the Word, then God throws them off—and then Satan takes them by the hand, and leads them into snares at his pleasure.

He who thinks himself too good to be ruled by the Word, will be found too bad to be owned by God; and if God does not, or will not own him—then Satan will by his stratagems overthrow him. Those who walk by Scripture rule, shall be kept in the hour of temptation.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2

"Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth." John 17:17

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The ultimate evil and the ultimate outrage in the universe!

(John Piper)

What makes sin sin is not first that it hurts people, but that it blasphemes God.
This is the ultimate evil and the ultimate outrage in the universe.

Sin is . . .

  the glory of God not honored,

    the holiness of God not reverenced,

     the greatness of God not admired,

      the power of God not praised,

       the truth of God not sought,

        the wisdom of God not esteemed,

          the beauty of God not treasured,

            the goodness of God not savored,

              the faithfulness of God not trusted,

           the commandments of God not obeyed,

        the justice of God not respected,

      the wrath of God not feared,

    the grace of God not cherished,

  the presence of God not prized,

the person of God not loved.

The infinite, all-glorious Creator of the universe, by whom and for whom all things exist (Romans 11:36)—who holds every person's life in being at every moment (Acts 17:25)—is disregarded, disbelieved, disobeyed, and dishonored by everybody in the world. That is the ultimate outrage of the universe.

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Let this comfort you:

(Letters of John Newton)

"My times are in Your hands!" Psalm 31:15

What a mercy it is that all our concerns are in sure hands! Not a hair of our heads can fall to the ground, but by the appointment of Him who orders and marshals the stars and calls them all by their names!

Diseases and sicknesses are His messengers, and, when they have answered His end—then He will recall them. But on many accounts there is a need be that we should sometimes be in heaviness for a season. O may we learn to take up the cross, and to kiss the rod of affliction. We need to look through all second causes—to Him who appoints and over-rules, and without whose permission, not a hair of our heads shall fall to the ground.

The Lord has promised to direct, moderate, sanctify, and relieve every trial of every kind. I long to have a more entire submission to His will, and a more steadfast confidence in His Word—to trust Him and wait on Him—to see His hand, and praise His name, in every circumstance of life, great and small.

Is sickness your present cross? It can come no sooner, nor fall heavier, than He bids it. And when His end is answered, and His hour comes to give relief—then sickness departs at His word. The cure becomes easy then, even where it seemed desperate before.

Our comforts are never safer than when we can fully trust the Lord to do with them, and with us—as He sees fit. He will not willingly or unnecessarily grieve His redeemed children. When His arm seems lifted up to strike them—how often does He put it into their hearts to run toward Him and humble themselves before Him, and thus prevent the blow!

We shall have cause to be thankful for all our afflictions—if the Lord is pleased to employ them as means to make us more humble and broken-hearted, and to wean our hearts from this vain world.

Sickness often gives us a sensible proof of the vanity of everything earthly. May the Lord sanctify our sicknesses and pains, to quicken our desires for that better world, when pain shall be no more!

Let this comfort you: that Jesus is the Great Physician!

"Great crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet; and He healed them!" Matthew 15:30

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It has been said that God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. Is this true?

(Charles Naylor)

What is God's attitude toward unregenerate man?

It has been said that God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. Is this true?

Let us hear the voice of inspiration:

"You hate all workers of iniquity . . . The Lord abhors murderers and deceitful men" (Psalm 5:5, 6).
Does that express an attitude of affection on God's part?

Again, we read, "The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence, His soul hates. On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot!" (Psalm 11:5-6).

"Because they did all these things, I abhorred them!" (Leviticus 20:23). 

"I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you." (Leviticus 26:30). 

"And when the LORD saw it, He abhorred them!" (Deuteronomy 32:19). 

We read further, "God is angry with the wicked every day!" (Psalm 7:11).

"The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished!" Proverbs 16:5

God is not so meek and indulgent that nothing will arouse His indignation. He hates all that is sinful. He could not love righteousness, without hating iniquity. He could not love the righteous, without hating the wicked. To love both, would be to abolish all moral distinctions. Of the impenitent sinner it is said, "The wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). It is only sin that renders him hateful, but man is responsible for his state of sinfulness and chooses evil; therefore to deal with the sin, God must deal with the man.

Not only does God hate man's sin, every sinful word, thought, and deed—but He also hates every evil desire.

The natural man loves evil. That love of evil, which is a part of his nature—God abhors. All desire that runs out after impurity or for that which is unholy—merits and excites God's indignation and abhorrence. Every evil ambition that arises in his soul, repels God. Every evil disposition, every evil feeling, hatred, envy, malice, revenge, selfishness, pride, jealousy, deceit, hypocrisy, and all the long catalog of evil things, of which man's heart is the source—are obnoxious to God. All tendency to oppose the will of God, all rebellion at His providences—can only excite hatred in God.

God can love only what is what is pure and holy. All else He hates, and must hate with all the strength of His righteous character!