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WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE A CHRISTIAN ?

WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE A CHRISTIAN ?

Many do not understand what a Christian is !

There are lots stereotypes of what people think a Christian is that entirely miss the point.

Christians are not perfect goody goodies.

Christians accept that they are sinners, they have failed to Love God as they ought, they have broken God’s rules, they have fallen short of God’s expectations, they have made bad mistakes, they are no better than anyone else.

What is the difference then ? How are they Christians ?

They were Spiritually dead, without God and without hope, like we all were and most are.

BUT

Christians have been found by the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, taken into the fold, and been saved by His Grace and Goodness alone.

They have been forgiven because Jesus Christ took their place and suffered on the Cross for them.

They are forgiven and accepted by God because of what Jesus Christ has done for them.

They, as Christians, are now followers of Christ Jesus.

They have not become perfect, but have a real relationship with Jesus Christ.

Why do you need to be a Christian?

BECAUSE YOU are eternally lost if you are not,
with…… NO Saviour, NO Salvation, and NO Hope.

Why not start reading John’s Gospel in the Bible.
You can ask here if you do not understand anything.

© Jeff Maxwell 2018(Rev.2020)

GETTING OLDER

GETTING OLDER

As we get older we have many fond memories that fill our minds with pleasure and delight.

It is also true that our minds blot out memories that we rather forget for various reasons, or that we deem to be insignificant and unimportant in our lives.

Such as our sins, the breaking of God’s laws, offences committed against God…. if we even acknowledge HE exists.

These are easily forgotten and hidden from our memories, as insignificant and of none importance.

We think of ourselves as “good people”, “doing no-one any harm”, “commending ourselves for our charitableness”, and “doing good works”, having a reasonable reputation before all.

These are the types of thoughts that one hears when attending funerals of “good folks”.

The reality is: that what we think of ourselves, or what others think of us, does not matter…….
for one day we have to answer to Almighty God for every idle word, every seemingly insignificant action, and every offence against God’s Laws.

When we are eventually before God’s Judgement Seat,… and WE WILL BE, all these forgotten memories will return and all those actions will be vivid in our minds and we will have to answer for them.

God’s Law is quite clear if we offend in one point we are guilty of all,

WOW… WE are ALL guilty of breaking the 1st commandment “You shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

What is the answer to this great catastrophe, this day of confirmation of our guilt, this realisation of judgement and condemnation ?

The Bible contains a Doctrine called …
“Justification by Faith alone “

This “Faith alone” is a living Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone for our need.

“Justification” in the Old Testament can be defined as ” to declare judicially that one’s state is in harmony with the demands of the law” and Paul in the New Testament uses it to mean “the act of God declaring men free from guilt and acceptable to Him”

In simple terms, this means that God can, account / accept a person as righteous and free from the guilt of the Law before Him.

This can only be done on the basis of God’s Justice being satisfied by the merits of Jesus Christ being set down to our account.

Glance a moment at God’s Judgement Seat and “one” before Him, Judged, Guilty, and Condemned ….

BUT

Jesus Christ appears as that “ones” advocate.
JESUS declares to God the Father that His Righteousness, His fulfilment of the Law, is set down to that “ones” account and therefore they can be made free from all the claims of the Law.

This is Salvation indeed “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ” John 8:36

But this scenario will never happen, if we continue to live our present lives apart from God and without the radical change of becoming believers , followers of Jesus Christ, being obedient to and loving Jesus Christ and His Word.

The Bible calls this change being “Born again” in John’s Gospel.

We are called to Repent and Believe, to have a new direction and a new focus in life.

“Repentance” and “Faith” are not from within ourselves, they are both the Gifts of God.

What shall we do then ? The answer is to ……

“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
Hebrews 3:1-3 (NIV)

There is a way of escape, the warning has been given, all are without excuse, every mouth (word of excuse) has been stopped.

What shall YOU do with the Gospel, the Good News, now presented to YOU?

Neglect it ? or seek it with all your heart ?

© Jeff Maxwell 26/04/2018

NECESSARY PETITION

NECESSARY PETITION

For those who watch and pray.

Abba Father revive your work in the midst of the years.

Make known yourself to those who are lost and dead in sins.

Lord speak with that voice that wakes the spiritually dead.

Call forth your chosen people from the darkness of the world

Place into the hands of Jesus the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Cause the wheat to spring up from the ground into a bountiful harvest.

Make the fowls of the air lodge in the branches which grow from a mustard seed.

Send forth labourers into your vineyard to reap the fruit of your hands.

Equip your people to do your work and glorify you for your great and glorious doings.

Lord purify your people that they may be light in the world, the salt the earth.

Lord indeed move with your Spirit through our lands to raise up a people for thyself.

Lord make them a sweet smelling savour of Christ unto the saved and unto the lost.

Lord bring forth a fitting bride, clothed in white, for your Son Christ Jesus.

Send forth Thy victorious, all glorious, Son to conquer and prevail.

It is time for Thee to work O Lord,

lift Thy Voice, lift up Thy Hands,

spread forth Thy arms, gather in and redeem,

from the grasp the evil one, wresting Thy own children,

from the darkness of death.

Amen

© Jeff Maxwell 2015 (Revised 2020)

“GOOD”   FOLKS  NEED GOD’S SALVATION

“GOOD”     FOLKS  NEED  GOD’S   SALVATION

In this world’s estimate there are many good, upright, morally responsible people living today and I sincerely hope that you are one of  those. The world indeed would be a better place if there were more.

But I have to tell you that God estimates “Goodness” in a different way to us and tells us that we all, without any exception, need to know Jesus Christ as our Saviour.  God says “There is none righteous no not one” Romans 3:10

Why does He say this?  He says it because He has given us His Law as His Standard, not that we may compare ourselves and say we are “Good” ,  but to show us what we are really like, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 10:20.

We cannot keep the Ten Commandments. Read Matthew 5 and see how Jesus  applied them and you will have to say, if you are honest, that you have broken God’s Law, more than once. That confirms you are sinner in God’s sight !   “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10

Where does our sin leave us. It leaves us spiritually dead now and physical death follows.  “For the wages of sin is death;” Romans 6:23.  So the Law, the Ten Commandments, confirms us all guilty before God, stops all our excuses, so that none of us can claim that we are righteous and “Good” enough for God.

Now what is your response to knowing that you are a sinner in God’s sight ? How does it make you feel ? I trust that you are very concerned and that you, like John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim” in Pilgrim’s Progress, feel the burden of your sin and want to have it dealt with.

THERE   IS  HOPE  FOR  US  IN CHRIST JESUS.

We cannot save ourselves. Salvation is the “gift of God”   it is “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:23   “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.”  Romans 10:4

This Righteousness comes by Faith !

That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

So two things are needed.

 “Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ”  That is acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the only means of  Salvation and be prepared to say that openly.

“Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead”

That is believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Believe that He overcame death and therefore can give us spiritual life now and eternal life to come.

If you are saved by God’s grace and goodness your life will completely change. How ? Here are some ways.

 

You will have a real sorrow for your sin against God and know true repentance.
You will thirst to hear and read God’s Word, the Bible, as this is how God communicates with us.
Your vital breath will be Prayer, you will long to talk to and wait upon God.
Your tongue will speak of Christ and His Salvation whenever and wherever you can.
Your hands will find opportunity to serve God in every way he desires you to.
You will love God and keep his commandments.
Now, none of these things can save you but are evidences that you have been saved.
You will be like a blind man that can say “Once I was blind but now I see.

Do you acknowledge your sin ? Are you truly seeking salvation ?
Are you looking to Christ and His righteousness alone for salvation ?

It is my desire and prayer that you will seek God until you know that you are saved and that by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.

© Jeff Maxwell 13/04/2020

COVID-19 ISOLATED MEDITATION

COVID-19 Meditation.

These days are distressing, all life is frail,
Toil appears, in every sphere;
If you’re expecting, the norm to prevail,
Wake up now, become aware.

However secure, your life seems to be,
In a moment, all can change;
If change and decay, all around I see,
Why do you think, this so strange ?

My flesh is as grass, as flowers soon fade
As white mists, soon blown away;
Days pass as shadows, so never evade,
Life’s gone ! and never replayed.

In Powers that be, our trust is misplaced,
Resources, are not secure;
Limitation in life, soon must be faced,
Our health we cannot procure.

You may be feeling, some calm before storm,
Yet whirlwind, soon shall you see;
Your efforts alone, will never transform,
Whatever God’s Will decrees.

If fear fills your brow, you need to declare,
Fear has some uses so clear;
It makes you aware, it helps you prepare,
To long for God, to come near.

A life without God, is always in vain,
So soon it comes to an end;
If true life obtains, Jesus Christ must reign,
And be the sinners true friend.

With Christ at the helm, the frailest of barques,
Will come to the further shore;
With pilot onboard, its safe to embark,
This Ark most safe, I implore.

We aren’t immune, from sins consequences,
The whole of creation groans;
But by Christ alone, my dire offences,
His shed blood, alone atones.

The future to face, His love I embrace,
All good to me He desires;
You cannot replace, provisions of Grace,
In life or death, it transpires.

Amen.


© Jeff Maxwell 24/3/2020

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY

GOD’S   SOVEREIGNTY

As thy days are so shall thy strength be.
God sets the boundary for the sea.
Whether or not we would disagree.

Waxing or waning in harmony.
The moon plies it course unfailingly.
God declaring His Sovereignty. 

Wisdom and power belong to Him.
Kings are appointed but not by whim.
Wonderful providence shown herein. 

He is the Potter we are the clay.
Shaped by His Hand for life everyday.
Though some are unwilling to obey.

Sometimes our lot is in pastures green.
Blessings abound and life is serene.
How quickly we agree to His scheme.

Every new day brings change and decay
Sometimes we linger long in sickbays.
Sensing His care and constant surveys.

Living or dying by His Decree
God declares He is the Appointee
Showing He is not an Absentee. 

How do I react to Sovereign truth.
God controlled my life before my youth.
His Word declares it and that is proof.

His future plans I await with joy.
My present times I fully employ.
My soul convinced He will not destroy. 

So I wait with peace God’s future plans.
Content that nothing can break loves bands
And wrest me out of  my Saviour’s hands

© Jeff Maxwell 13 April 2018

 

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to seek Him above…
who sought me.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to acknowledge Him…
who found me.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to let God’s Spirit…
guide my life.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to reflect in life…
Jesus Christ.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to pray fervently…
constantly.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to live a pure life…
in God’s sight.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to live the new life…
before all.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to increase talents…
I received.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to preach Gospel truth …
to the lost.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to always practice…
what I preach.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to bring some succour…
to the poor.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to encourage all…
Christ’s brethren.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to bring constant praise..
to our God.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to ever prepare…
to meet God.

All my Life should be…
a God Glorifying…
opportunity…
to humbly give thanks…
EVERMORE.

© Jeff Maxwell 6th April 2018

John Newton’s Works: A Recommendation.

John Newton’s Works: A Recommendation.

This is a great set of books including most of the Works of the Rev. John Newton.*
The 3rd Edition is now very collectable and not often seen complete.
The Banner of Truth Trust printed their edition from this 3rd edition printed in 1824.

* The life of the Rev. Mr. Grimshaw is omitted as the copy-right was in the hands of others.

You cannot read many of these letters and sermons without feeling that spiritually you have been fed and watered. They do good to your soul. The life of John Newton, first as a slave and then a Minister of the Gospel, is well-known, superficially, because not many have taken the time to read the whole of his life and circumstances.

Some of John Newton’s hymns are likewise well-known, take for instance “Amazing Grace” and “How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds” or “Glorious things of Thee are spoken” and “Sometimes a light surprises” but in the Olney hymns, written with William Cowper, there are 348 hymns of which William Cowper wrote 67 and the other 281 came from the hand of Newton himself. Many are unknown today but repay the time it takes to read them, abundantly.

There are within these volumes such tender gems, as when Newton writes “Letters to a wife”,   his wife !! , and says ” Oh! that it was possible for you to go with me where I go, to cheer and enliven me amidst fatigues and difficulties, without sharing  them ! How light would they seem to me! But I submit. At least, happen what may, it will give me pleasure to think that my better, dearer part, is in safety at home.

Many instructive hours can be spent reading Newton’s Cardiphonia (the utterance of the heart) and other letters, if you are like me, you will be able to identify and find a resonance with what he writes, often he bares his own heart, the inner working of his mind, the longings of his soul, and the spiritual battles that war within his breast, which at least, in my case, gives me an assurance that I am not travelling the narrow way alone, others have passed this way before, having similar experiences, and finding such sweet succour in Christ alone to answer their deepest spiritual needs.

May I heartily recommend you to own and read of the Works of the Rev. John Newton. J.M.

Vol 1 CONTENTS
Memoir of the author.
41 Letters on religious subjects by OMNICRON and VIGIL
Cardiphonia or the Utterances of the Heart in the course of real correspondence.

Vol 2  CONTENTS
Cardiphonia Continued.
Six Sermons (Or Discourses) as intended for the Pulpit
20 Sermons preached in the Parish Church at Olney.

Vol 3 CONTENTS
A review of Ecclesiastical History
Book 1 The first period of Christianity
Book 2 The second period of Christianity
Olney Hymns  Books 1: 2 : 3

Vol 4  CONTENTS
Fifty Sermons on Various subjects.

Vol 5  CONTENTS
Tracts
Apologia in four letters.
A Plan of Academical Preparation for the Ministry
A Monument of Praise of the Lord’s Goodness in the Memory of Dear Eliza Cunningham
Sermons 7 on various subjects.
Letters to a wife written during three voyages to Africa from 1750 to 1754.
Letters to a Wife written in England from 1755 to 1785.
7 Appendix’s

Vol 6  CONTENTS
Letters intended to be a sequel to Cardiphonia (143 in all)
Miscellaneous Papers Extracted from periodical publications.

Ps. The Banner of Truth have now produced a 4 volume set which has been entirely reset, some archaic words updated, and notes added. It also includes Newton’s Authentic Narrative in which he tells the story of many remarkable events in his life, in fourteen letters to his friend Rev. T. Haweis of Northamptonshire.

© Jeff Maxwell 2017

 

FRIENDSHIP

FRIENDSHIP

Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.”
Thomas Brooks

He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God.
Abraham Kuyper

By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the noblest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable
Jeremy Taylor

He that forgets his friend is ungrateful to him; but he that forgets his Saviour is unmerciful to himself.
John Bunyan

I am convinced, by the way, that friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism. When the reality of Christ is introduced into a relationship of love and trust that has already been established, the effect is powerful. And it seems that invariably, when someone becomes a true follower of Christ, that person’s first impulse is to want to find a friend and introduce that friend to Christ.
John MacArthur

The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers

Show me a man’s books and show me a man’s companions–and I will tell you what sort of a man he is.
William Tiptaft

Love is friendship set on fire.
Jeremy Taylor

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.
E B Browning

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Christ Jesus is that FRIEND (of Sinners) that stays closer than a brother.

MY SIN AND SALVATION

MY SIN AND SALVATION

The ink has long since dried upon the page
That early wrote my sin:
There is no possibility that age
Should let me now begin.

To purge away my sins of deepest dye
Hide and obscure them all:
No merits have I, that will rectify
The sin that made me fall

The longer I live, the worse it shall get
Darker the page shall be:
With sins so damming, I cannot object
To death applied to me.

No effort of mine, can set me quite free
God’s Holy judgement I see:
It’s out of my hands, I cannot decree
My perfect liberty.

To where shall I turn, to whom shall I go ?
To shift the penalty:
Undo the damage, remove all the woe
Gain immortality.

There is a testament, which speaks the truth
I cannot pass it by:
It tells the contrite sinner, there is proof
That one for him did die

The Just for the unjust, so can it be
That God’s Son died for me
The great Creator hung upon a tree
To die at Calvary

God’s wrath appeased, with one sacrifice
Atonement has been made
The shedding of His precious blood, the price
Our ransom fully paid

The benefits of this redemption sure
Holy Spirit apply
Wash me and cleanse me, cure me, I implore
That I from death may fly

So I return to give this grateful praise
I have escaped from Hell
By Jesus Christ I have been fully raised
Higher than tongue can tell

© Jeff Maxwell 3/2/2016

THE GOSPEL FEAST

 

THE GOSPEL FEAST

“Come; for all things are ready.”

Luke 14:17

Ye devotees of pleasure, ye lovers of the world,

ye egregious triflers with your immortal interest;

ye, who, though hastening to your graves,

are still sporting on destruction’s brink,

and indulge a false and fatal levity,

though the precipice is before you,

and one single step would determine your doom for ever;

ye, who are pursuing phantoms,

and grasping at shadows,

while you suck happiness in a world lying in wickedness,

and,

amidst all your cares and schemes for this world,

forget you are to die,

neglect your souls,

and never take one solemn anxious thought about eternity;

to you also I bring the invitation of my text:

 

“Come; for all things are ready.”

I invite you this day,

in the Name of my great Lord and Master,

to Christ, to happiness, to heaven.

Ye have been long toiling for that which is not bread,

and spending your strength for what can yield little satisfaction in life,

and none at all in the hour of death.

Still time flies with its wonted velocity;

and the king of terrors is drawing from his quiver the arrow,

that shall, ere long, lay you in the dust.

Satan, the world and sin,

strongly unite to keep you in their servitude;

and spread ten thousand baits to allure you to destruction.

but shall their call be obeyed  ?

and God’s invitation disregarded ?

Shall hell be preferred to heaven ?

the care of you bodies to that of your souls ?

Shall time engross all your solicitude,

and eternity, dread eternity, none ?

Shall the adversary of God and man

call with a more attractive voice,

than He who bled for sinners ?

and the biting pleasures of sensuality,

be preferred before the joys that are at God’s right hand ?

God forbid !

O sirs, pause a moment !
Consider what you are, whither you are going.

Your souls are at stake,

and you must soon stand before the living God in judgement.

 

Obey the call of the Gospel:

and all shall yet be well;

disobey it;

and the call itself shall be more than a thousand witnesses against you:

and he who gives it,

shall be clear of your blood.

But, embrace the invitation;

and my soul shall rejoice over you,

even mine;

and you shall rejoice with joy unspeakable,

When the Judge comes in the clouds of heaven’

and time shall be no more.

Amen.

Richard De Courcy 1745- 1804
Sermons by the Late Richard De Courcy Vicar of Alkmond 1810
Sermon III   An invitation to the Gospel Feast.

 

AN EVENING PRAYER

AN EVENING PRAYER

O God, your greatness is unsearchable. Your name is most excellent in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens. Thousands minister unto you and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before you.

We feel ourselves in your awesome presence to be nothing, less than nothing, and vanity: we do not presume to approach you because we are deserving of your notice, for we have sinned, we have incurred your righteous displeasure,  we acknowledge that you are justified when you speak, and clear when you judge. 

But our necessities compel us to come; and your promises encourage us. You are near to those with a broken heart, and save those with a contrite heart. You have provided and revealed a Mediator, who has not only obeyed, but magnified the law, and made it honourable; and you have made us accepted in the beloved. We behold an innumerable multitude returning from your throne of grace, successful, rejoicing, and encouraging us to go forward. They were not, though guilty and destitute, refused, nor upbraided; but freely obtained pardon, holiness, righteousness, strength, and were blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

O look upon us Lord, and be merciful unto us, as you have done to those that love your name ! Convince us of sin both in its penalty, and in its pollution; and may we mourn over it with a godly sorrow. Give us that faith by which we shall be enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and believing may we have life through His Name. May we not only have life, but have it more abundantly.

We often question the reality of our grace; because  the imperfections of our Christian life are too obvious not to be acknowledged, and to great not to be deplored. Our souls cleave unto the dust; quicken us according to your Word. Strengthen us in the things that are ready to die. May we not only live in the Spirit, but also walk in the Spirit. May we put on the Lord Jesus Christ. May the same mind be in us which was also in Him; and may we feel our dignity and delight to go about doing good. As He suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His footsteps, may we learn to suffer with the same spirit as He did. When reviled, may we not revile again, but commit ourselves to Him that judges righteously. Who ever is the instrument of our grief, may we never lose sight of your over-ruling agency, in preparing and presenting it, but be able to say, “The cup which my Father gives me shall I not drink it ?” In patience may we possess our souls. May we calmly enquire what you are doing with us. Let us not by weeping, hinder sowing, nor by sorrowing, hinder duty.

We live in a world of changes, and have no continuing city, so we seek one to come; having our minds kept in perfect peace, being stayed upon God. Be with us Lord to the end of our journey, and after honouring you by the life we have lived, may we glorify you by the death we shall die. When heart and flesh shall fail, be the strength of our heart and our portion for ever, for at death we shall fall asleep in Jesus, and in the resurrection morning, He will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like His own glorious body, so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Who can understand his errors ? Forgive O God, the sins of the past day, in thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty. We bless you for our preservation, in our going out and coming in, and in all our ways. We bless you for all the supplies and indulgences which your good providence has afforded us.

Now, O Lord, keeper of Israel, we commit our souls and our bodies to your all sufficient care. Suffer no evil to befall our persons, and no plagues to come near our dwelling. May our sleep be sweet, or if you hold our eyes waking, may we remember you upon our bed, and meditate on you in the night watches. So now with the innumerable company who never slumber nor sleep, who rest not day or night, we would join in ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power unto him that sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever Amen.

William Jay (1769  – 1853)

English nonconformist Pastor for sixty years at Argyle Chapel in Bath.

From  1st week Thursday Evening.

The Domestic Minister’s Assistants; or, Prayers for the use of Families. (Twelfth Edition 1830)

© Reproduced and Modernised  Jeff Maxwell March 2016

 

YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME … John 15:16

John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

This verse, especially the first part of it, is often quoted in support of God’s Decree of Election proper, while the context  is of being chosen disciples (v 8), appointed Apostles, preachers of the Gospel (v 27).

This work is God’s free gift to them out of undeserved grace and favour; to live out and preach the Gospel.
The main thrust of the verse and indeed most the chapter, is that they “go and bring forth fruit and that their fruit should remain” this is what they have been chosen to and appointed to bring forth.

They should earnestly engage in the work God has given them, they must labour and toil to make Christ known and bring forth fruit that will remain. What fruit ? Fruit in their own lives as they abide in the vine, then the fruit of the Gospel, lives transformed by the message that is preached. Hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

Another fruit of the Gospel is obedience to the Lord’s commands specifically in this context it is to love one another as He has loved us (v 12 & 17). The quality of that love is to be the same as His love for us. The example is this  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (v 13) and you are my friends if you do what I command you (v 14) Christ’s life, that He laid down, is the supreme example of this love.

Now there are three immediate applications for this love,

firstly love among those who preach the Gospel, sometimes not evident today,

secondly love to those who respond to and believe the Gospel, a love for the brethren.

Lastly love to all whom the Gospel is preached, in reality love for mankind, even those who are naturally hard to love. Are we bringing forth this fruit ?

Now we must remember that although they are appointed to bring forth fruit that remains, it is not in their power to produce fruit in their own lives or to produce fruit for the Gospel or fruit in the lives of men or women.

They must abide in the vine, they must be diligent, faithful labourers, working together with God, waiting and expecting God the Father to give the increase and the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in their lives and in the lives of men and women. This is why the last clause is included  “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Producing fruit of the Gospel in themselves and in the lives of men or women is impossible for them or us; But the Lord graciously adds the promise to ask of Him and He will give it them and indeed us.

So they must be diligent in asking God, but be careful why and how they do it,  “you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2-3)

How many disciples today and preachers of the Gospel  seem to want the fruit of the Spirit in their lives to boost their own standing and egos. ?

How many long for much increase for the Gospel so that they may “Profit” out of  and “Lord” it over what is God’s heritage ?

How many are there who humbly long for fruit in their own lives, fruit from Gospel proclamation, and fruit in the lives of believers ? how many are there who plead with God constantly for this ? and with no other motive than the Glory of God.

© Jeff Maxwell March 16th 2016

Lord continue to work in me and bring forth fruit to thy Glory. Amen.

TIME AND TIDE

TIME AND TIDE

Time and tide wait for no man.

Your life is hastening on.

Soon you will face eternity.

Death will usher it in.

God will Judge you by Christ Jesus.

Your mouth will be stopped.

You will be judged guilty before God.

You will die in your sins.

Unless you have an advocate

Sentence will be passed.

Eternal punishment yours.

There is hope in this life.

There is a Saviour.

Jesus Christ is His Name.

He dealt with sin on the Cross.

He shed His Precious Blood.

His Righteousness can avail for you.

He can set you free.

Repent and Believe.

While there is still time.

For time and tide wait for no man.

 

© Jeff Maxwell March 2016

” I ” LIVE; YET NOT ” I “

” I ”    LIVE; YET NOT   ” I “

I …   often sin

I …   often fail

I …   often fall short

I …   often miss the mark

I …   do these things

But   ” I “

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ lives in me:

and the life which I now live 

in the flesh 

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

 

CHRIST  MAKES  ALL  THE  DIFFERENCE !

 

Because as Patrick Hamilton wrote ….

“Christ is the Saviour of the world. 

Christ is our Saviour. 

Christ died for us. 

Christ died for our sins. 

Christ offered himself for us. 

Christ bear our sins upon his back. 

Christ bought us with his blood. 

Christ washed us with his blood. 

Christ came in the world to save sinners. 

Christ came in the world to take away our sins. 

Christ was the price that was given for us and for our sins. 

Christ was made debtor for our sins. 

Christ hath paid our debt, for he died for us. 

Christ hath made satisfaction for us and for our sin. 

Christ is our righteousness. 

Christ is our wisdom. 

Christ is our sanctification. 

Christ is our redemption. 

Christ is our satisfaction. 

Christ is our goodness. 

Christ hath pacified the Father of Heaven. 

Christ is ours, and all his. 

Christ hath delivered us from the law, from the devil, and hell. 

The Father of Heaven hath forgiven us for Christ’s sake.”

(Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528
Burnt for his faith in St Andrews
Patrick’s Places —  THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL.)

IT IS NOT ” I ”    ….    But   CHRIST

Let me ask YOU is Christ for you ? or are YOU at war with HIM ?

Can YOU say ” I am crucified with Christ ” ? ? ?

 

© Jeff Maxwell Feb 2016

 

PATRICK HAMILTON ……… THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH

THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH

1

Faith is to believe God;

” Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15.)

“He that believes God, believes his Word.” (John 5.)

To believe God, is to believe his Word, and account what He speaks as true. 

He that believes not God’s Word, believes not God Himself.

He that believes not God’s Word, counts God false, a liar,

and believes not that God can and will fulfil his word;

and so he denies both the power of God and God himself.

2

Faith is the gift of God.

“Every good thing is the gift of God.” (James 1.)

Faith is good.

Therefore, faith is the gift of God.

The gift of God is not within our power 

“Faith is the gift of God.”

Therefore, faith is not within our power.

3
Faith pleases God.

He that lacks faith cannot please God.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11)

All that comes not of faith, is sin; for without faith no man can please God.

Besides, he that lacks faith, trusts not God.

He that trusts not God, trusts not in His Word.

He that trusts not in His Word, holds God false and a liar.

He that holds God false and a liar, does not believe that God can do what He promises, so he denies  that God is God.

And how can a man, being of this mind, please God? 

No way; even if he could do all the work of man and angel.

All that is done in faith, pleases God

“The Word of the Lord is righteous, and all His works are faithful” (Psalm 33)

“Lord, Your eye looks for faith.”

That is to say, Lord, You delight in faith.

God loves him that believes in Himself.

How can they then displease Him?

He that has true faith, is just and good.

 A good tree brings forth good fruit.

Therefore, all that is done in faith pleases God.

4

He that has faith, and believes God, cannot displease him.

Moreover, he that has faith believes God.

He that believes God and believes His Word.

He that believes His Word, knows well that He is true and faithful, and may not lie.

He knows well that God can and will fulfil his Word.

How can he then displease Him?

For you can not do any greater honour unto God, than to count Him true.

Will you say then, that theft, murder, adultery, and all vices please God?

No, assuredly ; for they can not be done in faith:

“for a good tree bears good fruit.”

He that has the faith knows well that he pleases God; for all that is done in faith pleases God. (Heb. 11.)

5

Faith is certainty, an assuredness.

“Faith is a sure confidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11.)

“The Spirit bears itself with our spirit that we are the children of God.” (Rom. 8.)

Moreover, he that has the faith, knows well that God will fulfil his word

Therefore, faith is a certainty, an assuredness.

 

Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528 (Burnt for his faith in St Andrews)

Patrick’s Places.

© Extracted, Edited, Arranged  and Modernised by Jeff Maxwell Feb 2016

PATRICK HAMILTON ….. THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL

THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL

The law shows us our sin; the Gospel shows us a remedy for it.

The law shows us our condemnation; the Gospel shows us our redemption.

The law is the word of wrath; the Gospel is the word of grace.

The law is the word of despair; the Gospel is the word of comfort.

The law is the word of unrest; the Gospel is the word of peace.

The law says, Pay thy debt; the Gospel says, Christ has paid it.

The law says, you are a sinner, despair, you shall be dammed; the Gospel says, your sins are forgiven you, be of good comfort, you shall be saved.

The law says, Make amends for your sins; the Gospel says, Christ has made it for you.

The law says, Where is your righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction; the Gospel says, Christ is your righteousness, your goodness, and satisfaction.

The law says, you are bound and obliged to me, to the devil, and to hell; the Gospel says, Christ has delivered you from them all.

 

Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528. ( Burnt at St Andrews for his Faith)

From Patrick’s Places

The Nature and the Office of the Law, and of the Gospel

A disputation between the Law and the Gospel.

 

Lightly edited by Jeff Maxwell  2016

 

 

Making Christ known.

Making Christ known.

Christians are called to be Ambassadors for Christ, to Live, Preach, Share, Make Known the Gospel to all.

More over we are to earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints. If you don’t know what the Bible teaches how can you do these things ?

Error abounds today as it has always done,

Have we equipped ourselves ?

Have we a firm grasp upon the doctrines within the Word ?

Have we protected ourselves from being led astray by every peddler of false doctrine ?

Do we know how to answer every man that asks us the reason of the hope that we have ?

We will not have every answer immediately to hand but do we know where to point the serious, the gainsayer, and the heretic ?

We are servants of the Most High GOD who have been given talents and told to occupy until HE comes and who will be called to give account.

How will you or I feel if the verse below is true of us on any day….. but especially on that day when we meet our Saviour face to face ?

“Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.” 2 Kings 7:9

Rather may this be true of us! ……..

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  1 Thess. 1:8

Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

2 Cor. 2:14

Be prepared, be ready, be enthusiastic, go and make Christ Jesus known!

The disciples “turned the world upside down”

 Why do the vast amount of true Christians (not false professors) have so little effect today ?

God does not change.

 

© Jeff Maxwell 2016

A WELCOME DEAFNESS AND BLINDNESS

A WELCOME DEAFNESS AND BLINDNESS

Neither give place to the devil. Eph. 4:27

As Christians it is possible to give place to the devil. It is possible to be overcome for  a season, to give way to the old man instead of putting on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Pride goes before a fall, so let him that thinks he stands take heed in case he falls, for it is possible to be tossed to and fro, and carried away with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

Even more so, when the devil turns his immediate attention to us, to undermine us and attempt to bring us down, all be it, by the permission of God and with the limitations of the Father.

We are in a spiritual warfare and while we often fight against the flesh and members of our own household, we also wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 

You need a deafness in your life, let your ears be deaf to the devil, do not give any opportunity, occasion, scope, or room for the devil, do not yield to him, resist him with everything within you, resist unto the shedding of your blood. 

Be willing to give your very life not to be overcome by the devil, do not to listen to him, do not heed his suggestions, do not give in to his influences, do not let the devil get a foothold in your mind or heart, let not Satan take possession of your mind or move your heart to disobey.

 You need a blindness in your life, a blindness to all that the devil would set before your eyes, and he will try to use this means to overcome you, stimulating  the lust of the eyes, the inordinate desires for what you see,  greed for the material things, the love of money,  the desire to have power, influence, to be well thought of and popular in the wrong circles.

All these things and more will he set before your physical eyes and ears, the eyes of your understanding, and the deep desires of your heart, be blind to them, set your affections on things above, desire spiritual things, desire spiritual growth, desire the fruit of Spirit above all other things.

The devil can be very subtle, he tries to appear as an angel light, to deceive and to destroy. He tries every means, fair and foul. He uses our nearest and dearest, he delights in lies, he is the father of lies, he uses half truths, misrepresentations, insinuations, and all deviousness.

He will exploit all weakness in character, in thought processes, in understanding, in affections, any weakness he can find. He uses a full frontal attack and he comes in an indirect way, by a circuitous route to achieve his abominable purposes and undermine our faith.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, to be aware makes it possible to be prepared.

We should be both forearmed and prepared;  not letting Satan get an advantage over us, we should not be ignorant of his devices.

To be conscious of the sins that so easily overcome us, helps us to be able stand against the wiles of the devil and to be able stand in the evil day. To be aware of the sins of youth, the  sins of the middle years, and the sins of old age make it possible for us to be prepared and armed for the battle.

Think not that the battle is ever ended or won, we face our foe till the end of our days, but with the knowledge, that to each one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ and  strength sufficient for each day.

Bear in mind that although the devil is powerful he is a defeated foe, defeated by Christ on the Cross of Calvary and in Christ we shall be victorious, we shall overcome if we faint not, those that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

So be not ignorant of his devices, know the wiles of the devil, be ready, be prepared, put on the whole armour of God for your protection, so that in the evil day, you may stand your ground, and having faced all, remain standing.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth around your waist, wearing the breastplate of righteousness, with your feet prepared with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  Taking also the shield of faith to extinguish all the devil’s  flaming arrows; with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Praying always in the Spirit  with every kind of prayer and supplication and be alert praying for all the Lord’s people with perseverance for  the spiritual warfare that we are ALL called to who love the Lord and who are the children of God.

Is there a welcome Deafness and Blindness,         yes there is.  

Be deaf and blind to the devil and all his lies, neither give place to the devil. Eph 4:27

© Jeff Maxwell 2015

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