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The Cross and Gospel of Christ

The Cross and Gospel of Christ

What is your attachment to the gospel of Christ?

Is it increasingly precious to your soul, sanctifying your heart, and influencing your life?

Would you bid high for the truth of Jesus, at any cost to your personal ease or worldly advantage, and sell not that truth, for earth’s richest gem or greatest rewards?

Do you increasingly love the truth of Jesus, because it searches, rebukes, and humbles you, yet, also strengthens, comforts, and sanctifies you?

Do you feel a growing love for those doctrines that are especially identified with, springing from, and leading the soul to, the Cross of Jesus?

That is how you may test the closeness of your soul to the Crucified Christ.

Christ being precious to you, then oh how precious will be the truth He taught!

Purer than the purest silver, richer than the richest gold, sweeter than the sweetest honey, lovelier than the fairest gem, will be to you those doctrines, precepts, and promises which your Lord and Saviour demonstrated in His life and by His teachings.

They demand your simple faith, your fervent love, your holy walk, your zealous evangelism, and, if need be, your testimony at the martyr’s stake.

The doctrines of the substitutionary offering, the expiatory suffering, the atoning blood, the imputed righteousness of Christ, derive their virtue, their power, and their efficacy from, the divine dignity and spotless holiness of His person, and need to be combined with your increasing love and unswerving faith.

The precepts which encourage your bearing Christ’s cross, your confession of His name, your self-denying service in His cause, your death to the world, and your simple, unreserved obedience to His commands, will be to you His easy yoke and His light burden.

Test, then, your spiritual nearness to the Cross by your ardent attachment to the doctrines of the Cross.

“If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine.”

“O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

“How sweet are your words unto my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

“Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.”

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell 7/12/2014

RECENTLY READ AND RIPE FOR CONTEMPLATION

RECENTLY READ AND RIPE FOR CONTEMPLATION

COUNTING THE COST

If any reader of this paper really feels that he has counted the cost, and taken up the cross, I bid him persevere and press on. I dare say you often feel your heart faint, and are sorely tempted to give up in despair. Your enemies seem so many, your besetting sins so strong, your friends so few, the way so steep and narrow, you hardly know what to do. But still I say, persevere and press on.

The time is very short. A few more years of watching and praying, a few more tossing’s on the sea of this world, a few more deaths and changes, a few more winters and summers, and all will be over. We shall have fought our last battle, and shall need to fight no more.

The presence and company of Christ will make amends for all we suffer here below. When we see as we have been seen, and look back on the journey of life, we shall wonder at our own faintness of heart. We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross, and thought so little of our crown. We shall marvel that in “counting the cost” we could ever doubt on which side the balance of profit lay. Let us take courage. 

We are not far from home. It may cost much to be a true Christian and a  consistent believer; but it pays. 

J C RYLE   (Holiness page 81/82 James Clark & Co. Edition 1956)

FOOD OF LOVE

The food of love is a sense of sin,

and a grateful sense of forgiveness.  

If you and I felt more deeply the guilt of our past lives, we should love Jesus Christ better.

If we had but a clearer sense that our sins deserve the deepest hell, that Christ suffered what we ought to have suffered in order to redeem us from our iniquities, we should not be the cold hearted creatures we are.

We are perfectly monstrous in our want of love to Christ, but the true secret of it is a forgetfulness of our ruined and lost estate, and a forgetfulness of the sufferings by which we have been redeemed from that condition.

O that our love might feed itself and find renewal of its strength in remembering what Sovereign Grace has done.

C H Spurgeon

( Flashes of Thought No:508 1880)

DIFFICULT TIMES

Steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise of faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace Him, this is the patience of the saints.

Matthew Henry

When in prosperity, we are ready to think our mountain will never be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready to think that our valley shall never filled up. But to conclude that tomorrow must be as this day, is absurd as to think that the weather, when fair or foul, will be always so.

Matthew Henry

Oh, He is a sweet Master! One smile from Jesus sustains my soul amid all the storms and frowns of this passing world. Pray to know Jesus better. Have no other righteousness, no other strength, but only Jesus. Soon we shall see Him coming in the clouds of heaven. May you be kept faithful to death. 

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

TEARS FOR SIN

Let your tears fall because of your sins;

but,

at the same time,

let the eye of faith steadily behold the Son of Man lifted up,

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

those that are bitten by the old serpent  my look unto Jesus and live.

Our sinnership is that emptiness into which our Lord pours His Mercy.

C H Spurgeon

 From Breaking the Silence   ( A Letter written from Menton  31/12/1891 approx 1 month before his death on 31/1/1892)

Adversity

Adversity is the best University.

Schola crucis est Schola lucis. 

School of the Cross is the School of Light.
Or

The School of Affliction is the School of Instruction.

Afflictions teach us to know God, not only in His power and greatness, in His anger, and His hatred for sin, but also in His Goodness and Mercy: For God so sweetens the bitter cup of affliction that a Child of God will taste more of God’s love in one month’s affliction than in many years of prosperity.

Add to this – afflictions teach us to know God experimentally and affectionately not just cerebrally but cordially (not just with the mind but the heart) so to know Him, as to love and fear  Him, and to fly to Him as our Rock and Hiding place in the day of our distress.

He that seeks after God in the night of adversity does not seek Him to see Him, to know Him formally or superficially, but to embrace Him, lean on Him, and know Him experimentally.

Here is rich comfort for the Children of God, under the greatest afflictions.
For the best of  Saints are subject to the worst afflictions.
This is the lot of all God’s children, Christ Himself was not excepted or exempt.

Let us labour that we may reap good by our afflictions and that “the good” may abide upon us after our recovery from the afflictions.

Let us labour that the good we get by afflictions may not vanish away with our afflictions after we are recovered; so we may be able to say with David ” It was good that I was afflicted” and to say that it was good; not only after the event but to say “it is good that I am afflicted now and it will be good if I am afflicted in the future.”

We need to be good Scholars in the School of Afflictions; for if we are, God will either deliver us out of affliction with much blessing or send us to Heaven by our afflictions to our eternal blessing. Amen

Extracted, edited and compiled by Jeff Maxwell ©

© Jeff Maxwell 2014

Encouragement and Challenge

Encouragement and Challenge 

I read this this evening and would like to share it with as many as possible,  please……….

ABIDE IN HIM, little children, who I have always preached unto you, that when He shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. Let every new sight of your wicked heart, and every new wave of trouble, drive your soul to hide in Him, the Rock of your salvation. There is no true peace but in a present hold of the Lord our Righteousness.

ENJOY THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS — keep yourself in the Love of God. If you abide in Christ, you shall abide in His love — your joy, let no man take from you. “These things write we unto you that your joy may be full.”

BE YE CLEAN  that bear the vessels of the Lord” ” He that says he abides in Him should walk as He walked.” Ah, how many falls will I have to mourn over when I return, if my God send me back to you ! — how many unseemly quarrellings and miscarriages among you that are God’s own ! — how many unlovely tempers among those that follow Him, who is altogether lovely !  Oh take heed ; do not give the enemy cause to blaspheme ;  naming the name of Christ, depart from all iniquity.

CONTINUE IN PRAYER. How many messages have been carried to you publicly and from house to house, and yet how little success !  I bless God for all the tokens He has given that the Spirit of God has not departed. Still the Spirit has not yet been shed on us abundantly. The many absentees on the Sabbaths — the thin meetings on Thursday evenings — the absence of men from all the meetings for the worship of God — the few private prayer meetings — the little love and union among Christians — all show that the plentiful rain has not yet fallen, to refresh our corner of the heritage. Why is this ? This is the day of Christ’s Power ; why are the people not made willing ?  Let James give the answer : “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” ” Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

(2nd Pastoral letter to the people of God among his flock. Quoted in “Burning and Shining Lights: Rev Robert Steel 1868  page 155.)

Typed and lightly edited by J Maxwell 2013

Consider this question !

When we sin against God and know His forgiveness.. we are so often, and rightly so, taken up with sorrowful thoughts concerning that sin, that we fail to “ENJOY THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS” as R M M’Cheyne encourages us to.

How do we keep these two things in proper balance ? i.e. Enjoy the forgiveness of our sins with a due sense of Godly sorrow for those sins.

Your Comments please !

CHRIST IS ABOVE ALL

CHRIST JESUS

Christ has come to us that we might come to Him.

Christ has many joint heirs, but no successors.

Christ in the heart is better than corn in the barn.

Christ in the heart is Heaven on earth.

Christ is a great Saviour for great sinners.

Christ is a physician who asks no fees.

Christ is all in all to all His people.

                   “My Christ, he is the heaven of heavens:

                          My Christ what shall I call?

                  My Christ is first, my Christ is last,

                         My Christ is all in all ………………………………………… Mason

Christ has gone from our sight, but abides in our hearts.

Christ is in all believers and all believers are in Christ.

Christ is not loved at all, if not loved, above all.

Christ is our adornment, as well as our atonement.

Christ is the hope of our glory, and the glory of our hope.

Christ is our mercy, merit, myrrh, and our mirror.

Christ is our patron and our pattern.

Christ is preparing saints for heaven, and heaven for saints.

Christ is the souls sole solace.

                 “I have heard the voice of Jesus,

                       Tell me not of ought beside;

                 I have seen the face of Jesus.

                        All my soul is satisfied.

Christ sends none away empty but those who are full of themselves.

Christ sweetens our comforts and sanctifies our crosses.

Christ’s crimson blood cleanses crimson sins.

Christ was born a man that we might be born again.

Christ’s merit covers our demerit.

Christ pleads for us above, let us plead for him bellow..

Christ receives the Devil’s castaways.

Christ may wait long, but he will not wait forever.

C H Spurgeon ( The Salt Cellars 1889  vol 1 A-L  page 111 Et seq.)

x

THE SECRET OF TRUE HAPPINESS

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN

If you cannot find peace and happiness within your heart you will not find it whatever situation you are in or wherever you live.

To find true peace and happiness you need the Triune God to dwell with you: God as your Father; Christ Jesus as your Saviour, the Holy Spirit as your Guide and Comforter.

If you have this, then Bunyan’s Jail (Gaol), Latimer’s stake, Solomon’s Palace, and Dives’ condition, will not have power to remove that peace and happiness.

Whatever your circumstances, wherever you dwell, you will be content.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

God’s Riches

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

“We do not diminish God’s riches by receiving from them.”

“God’s riches are absolutely inexhaustible”

“We daily receive bounty from the Riches of God but seldom realise to what extent”

“If our thanks were proportionate to the Riches of God received we would be seldom off our knees”

“According to His Riches in Glory by Christ Jesus…..Superlative riches enjoyed by God’s children, NOW and for EVERMORE”

©Jeff Maxwell's Original Sayings 2011
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