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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)

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.

 

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

LACK OF POWER

Lack of Power

Why have Christians so little of the Power of God in their lives and the world ?

We have left our first love !
We have driven our beloved away from us !
We have embraced the standards of the World !
We have undervalued the Word of God !
We have sinned and hidden the face of God from us !
We have been ashamed of professing Christ boldly !
We have spurned real fellowship with Him !
We have grown cold in prayer, praise, and petition !
We have allowed faith to become little, weak, and misplaced !
We have been inconsistent in love and faithful living !
We have set our affections on the things of earth !
We have turned our eyes away from Jesus !
We have served mammon rather than God !
We have thought so highly of ourselves that we have fallen !
We have hardened our hearts in the deceitfulness of sin !
We have been too proud to be humble and lowly in heart !
We have disobeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit !

ARE SOME OF THE REASONS..

and if you search your own heart, you will, with the Spirits help, understand what you have done, failed to do, and so return, grow, and flourish in the presence and power of the Lord.

But the Lord God is gracious, full of mercy, loving kindness, and tender mercies. He will not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax…

Lord forgive us. Lord restore us, Lord move us to seek thy face without delay. Lord restore unto us the years that the locust have eaten. Lord revive thy people again, that they might rejoice in Thee. LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Lord make known Your power. Arise Lord go forth with Your people. Quicken Your people to do Your will. Give success unto the Gospel. Pour honour upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Glorify Him in the Salvation of sinners in this our day and generation.

And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.     Jeremiah 24:7

…. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the LORD of hosts….  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.       Malachi 3:7-10

© Jeff Maxwell 16/5/2015

A SIGHT OF SIN AND A SIGHT OF JESUS

A Sight of Sin and a Sight of Jesus

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”—

Zech. 12:10

 We can only properly deal with sin as, at the same moment, we personally and closely deal with Jesus. 

A spiritual sight of one’s SIN, apart from a believing sight of  the Lord Jesus Christ, will plunge the soul into the deepest despair. A sight of atoning blood must accompany the sight of our guilt.

Seen and dealt with alone, dissociated from the Saviour, sin is the darkest and most appalling object that can engage human study. But God has graciously and marvellously met the case. The instrument that exhibits sin in its greatest blackness at the same moment exhibits it in its fullest pardon.

A sight of sin and a sight of Jesus, as presented in the cross, is found in no other spot in the universe. Nowhere, not upon earth, where sin’s ravages are vividly and fearfully traced— not in hell, where sin’s punishment is fully and eternally endured—is sin seen as in the light of Christ’s cross.

God’s hatred of its nature and infliction of its penalty, as exhibited in the soul-sorrow, and bodily suffering of His beloved Son, is a demonstration unsurpassed, yes, unparalleled. Oh, how great the love of God to provide such a mirror in which to see at the same moment both the enormity of sin and the completeness of its forgiveness—the utter blackness of its guilt—and the snow-white purity of its cleansing.

There was but one Being in the universe who concentrated upon Himself so much sin— yet, “He knew no sin”—and in whom met so much punishment of sin, as Jesus, the Sin Bearer of His Church.

What defective views and realizations have we of this truth! How shallow our sounding of its infinite depths, how faint our experience of its preciousness and power ! And yet it is all and everything to us in the momentous matter of our comfort, holiness, and hope. If Jesus did not bear my transgression and curse; He did nothing for me, and I am yet in my sins. If He did, then the load is gone, the burden is annihilated, all transferred to Him, and by Him borne into eternal oblivion.

I am no longer my own sin bearer; my sins were all laid on Jesus, not by my hand, but by the hand of God. Since, then, Jesus has dealt with my sins, my only care should be first to realize their full pardon, and then to live a holy life as not to recommit those sins which Christ bore, and for which He sorrowed in Gethsemane, bled and expired on the tree, and so crucify the Son of God afresh.

Deeply interesting to the believing, spiritual mind is the theme of our present chapter. To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God. There are many of the Lord’s people who see sin, but who do not see Jesus at the same moment—who do not look at their sins through the medium of the cross.

To look at sin through the divine holiness, as reflected in the divine law, is to look and despair, to look and die!

BUT to look at sin through Christ—to see it in the blood that cleanses it, in the righteousness that covers it, in the love that pardons it fully, freely, and forever; oh, this is to look and hope, to look and live!

One eye upon sin, and one eye upon sin’s atonement, will enable the soul to walk humbly and filially with God. One eye looking at self and one eye looking at Christ will so regulate the experience of the soul, so accurately adjust its moral compass, as to keep the balance between presumption and despair; leading to a humble, holy, watchful walk as it regards sin on the one hand, and to an assured, happy, hopeful sense of pardon, acceptance, and glory on the other.

No fact in Christian experience is more certain than this, that sin is never properly seen until Christ is known; and that Christ is never fully known, until sin is seen in its existence, guilt, and power.

It is a sense of our vileness, guiltiness, and condemnation that takes us to Christ; and when we see Christ, and accept Christ, and enter into believing rest in Christ, we then have the deepest conviction of the greatness, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and at the same moment the most assured conviction of our full and eternal deliverance from its guilt, tyranny, and condemnation. 

This harmony of tint— the blending of light and shade—sin and Christ—forms one of the loveliest and most impressive pictures of the many which illustrate the history of the Christian’s life. 

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

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell

 

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REJECTION

 REJECTION

At some point in our lives all of us have felt rejected in some degree or other.
Some people feel rejected with a real reason for it. Some people feel rejected all the time, mostly, without justification.

When feeling rejected we need to make a very honest evaluation of why we feel this way.

We need to examine ourselves firstly, being honest if we are responsible for the situation and quickly making  amends, putting the situation right, if we can. Secondly, if we find the responsibility belongs elsewhere, to someone else, we need to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, and again, make moves towards reconciliation. Thirdly, if we find there is no basis for feeling this way we should speak forcibly to ourselves and reject these feelings.

When thinking about rejection, to be sure, almost certainly, we have to admit, we have rejected others or caused them to feel rejection, because of our attitudes. We may be totally unaware that we have done this, but, if and when it is made known to us, we need to take immediate steps to remedy the situation. The worse thing for us is to have caused rejection and never to be aware of it, for then there is no possibility of reconciliation.

When considering our relationship with God it is absolutely certain that we are responsible for the separation between us and God.

Behold your sins have made a separation between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2.

The worse thing for us is, having caused this separation, this barrier, the worse thing for us, is to be unaware of it. Many do not consider  their relationship to God, see no fault in themselves concerning it, and have no desire for a  relationship with God, so never seek reconciliation. This is the worst situation to be in because they will always be separated from God.

Some readily acknowledge there is a problem between themselves and God, so make every effort to put the situation right. They fail miserably because it is not possible for us to make amendment for our sins when dealing with God. Some struggle for years to resolve this problem by themselves, but always fail, so come to a place of despair or give up. This is a bad situation to be in as there never will be a reconciliation on this basis.

The best situation to be in, is to realise that there is a problem in our relationship with God, and seek a reconciliation with God, while admitting our total inability to make any restitution for sin.

God is well aware that there is a problem and from our point of view, an insurmountable problem. He knows the responsibility lies with us, He knows our inability to put things right, and yet He desires a reconciliation with us.

God is Kind, Compassionate and Forgiving, so desires a reconciliation, but He cannot simply overlook our sins and iniquities. That would offend His Holiness and Justice, there must be grounds, a justification for Him to forgive and restore a right relationship between ourselves and Himself.

Because He knows our inability He has acted to remedy this situation. He has reached out in Love and Compassion towards us. He has provided a way of Justification and Reconciliation, but this has been at great cost to Himself.
You see He sent His only Son to seek and to save those that are lost, indeed those who are dead in trespasses and sins, who have no strength to move towards God. His Son took their place and bare in His body their sins on the tree at Calvary. He took their punishment and opened a door for Reconciliation so that God could be just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus.*

To have a right relationship with God you need Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to believe in His (Jesus’) righteousness for the remission of sins, and the restoration of that right relationship with the Father.

God the Father has reached out, desiring reconciliation with us, having made the way possible through the death of His Son Jesus Christ, will you respond to His gracious offer of Mercy and Reconciliation ?

* Romans 3:21-26

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 © Jeff Maxwell January 2015

FLEEING TO CHRIST Rev G B Cheever

Let us flee to Christ, and, by His Grace, live the life of righteousness, and so our last end shall be like His !

Of true peace in death there is no possibility but by being in Christ: but even the peace of a true Christian may be greatly obscured and troubled if he has been willing to live at a distance from His Saviour.

But where the soul is in Christ, relying on His precious blood and righteousness, and the affections are habitually fixed upon the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, then indeed dying is but going home; and such blessedness is worth all the daily watchfulness in life, that can possible be given for it.

Such blessedness makes the soul live on the borders of Heaven, in the Land Beulah; for to be in the land Beulah is to be spiritually minded, and that is the secret of all the blessed visions to be seen in that land.

“To be spiritually minded is life and peace;”  and they who are eminently so, are eminently happy. Nor is any labour to be accounted painful, in comparison to the sweetness of so resting upon God.

The way of blessedness may be trying, the steps taken may cost much self denial, but the results are unspeakably glorious and delightful.

Nor is there any happiness to be compared with that which is to be enjoyed by a growing Christian, a saint, whose life is truly hid with Christ in God. The happiness of walking with God daily is very great.

It is blessedness to breathe after God, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and to long for the communication of His Spirit. It is blessed to feel with the Psalmist that the soul thirsts for God, thrice blessed to cry out  “As the hart pants for the water-brook so pants my soul after Thee, O God !”

If the experience of such desires be blessed, much more is the fruition of them, when God reveals himself to the soul that waits on Him. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

A watchful earnest attention to the increase of one’s personal piety, makes every part of the Christian’s experience animated and delightful . There is a divine relish in all the exercises of the Christian life, a savour of Heaven, a foretaste of the enjoyments of the saints in glory.

The Word of God is precious, the duty of prayer is precious, the vision of faith is clear and strong, and heavenly realities come in with vivid power upon the soul, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. He will hold it up to their view, unfold its rich blessings in their sight, and show them that they have a part and a place in it. He will open and expound its glories, its glories of wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of Christ, its glories of spiritual things, into which the angels desire to look, its glories in the purchased possession of the saints and the riches of their heavenly inheritance, amid the wonders of that infinite love, by which such celestial, everlasting treasures were procured.

All this, and infinitely more than can be described, is the heritage of them that fear the Lord, that rest upon the Saviour, and who earnestly endeavour, renouncing every sin, to maintain daily that close walk with him which he requires, and to follow on after that perfection, which he has exhibited as the only right standard of the soul.

Is not this a life to be chosen, to be greatly desired, to be laboured after with exceeding great diligence, perseverance and earnestness ? Is it not worth a great deal of self-denial and fervent energy in prayer, and a great deal of time given to the, Word of God, and to all the secret exercises of the Christian life ?

Is it not worth a great many sacrifices of external ease and comfort, if that were necessary, and of external business, if that presses too urgently ? Is it not worth every thing, and are not all things else laid in the balance with it empty and worthless ?

Is it not the pearl of great price which he that is wise will readily sell all that he hath to be master of; the one thing needful, for the attainment of which all other things may well be given up, and forgotten as of no moment?

Yea, it is the kingdom of God and his righteousness, without which the universe cannot make you happy, but with which all things else shall be added unto you. Give what God will, without that you are poor, but with that rich, take what He will away. For when He gives himself, He gives all blessings.

Who would not rather be the poorest wanderer that walks the earth, the most down trodden and despised outcast of creation, and have his daily meals at God’s spiritual table, his daily walks with his Redeemer, his daily visits of refreshment at the full fountain of his love, than without that refreshment to possess the riches of all kingdoms, or be the worshipped idol of the world .

Yea, who would not rather be perishing for want of daily bread, or begging from door to door, if that were necessary, and yet daily faithful in prayer, growing in grace, and having his life hid with Christ in God, than surrounded with all affluence and at ease amidst all luxuries, and yet living in that worldly frame and at that distance from the Saviour, and in that gloomy coldness of spirit, which worldly prosperity, without great secret diligence in walking with God, so invariably produces !

 

Rev G B Cheever.  

Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan)

Extracted and typed by Jeff Maxwell

 

 

 

 

A DEVOTIONAL MEDITATION ON PSALM 130

A devotional meditation on Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.

2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

The Psalmist firstly indicates that he is in the depths. Many believe and accept that the Psalmist here is none other than David; others say we can not be certain. I am content to call him “The Psalmist” in this meditation, without prejudice to either argument.

“out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord” .

He is aware that he is in deep trouble, either by outward circumstances, heart felt emotions, or inward spiritual condition. The text does not confirm which, but the whole context clearly shows that a consciousness of sin is evident. He readily admits his trouble, he does not hide it. This trouble weighs heavily on his mind, takes him to the depths, keeps him awake at night, but does not bring him to despair…   for he

“cried unto the Lord”   

The Psalmist  is earnestly pleading with the Lord to help him, for there is no depths we can sink into, except into hell, from which, we cannot call upon the Lord. He cries from deep within, from the certainty of his need, with a lively expectation, as we shall see further on.

“O Lord” 

Refers the One and Only God, the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all. This is the God who is revealed as to His Eternal Power and Godhead  by Creation, so that we are without excuse; but is progressively revealed as to His Nature, Attributes, and His Fullness in the Bible, the Word of God.

“Lord hear my voice”

“Lord”  here and in verse 6 is “Adonai” while in 1, 5, and 7 it is “Jehovah” and in verse 3 it is “Jah” the shortened form of Jehovah.

This plea is not, that the Lord will hear him, for the Lord hears all and misses nothing. The desire here is, that the Lord will hear his voice with grace and favour, in mercy and loving kindness. That the Lord will come to his aid and relieve his troubles, lifting him out of the depths.

“let  thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications”

He wants the Lord’s ears to be attentive, that is alert, attuned, and focussed on his voice. Now here is a wonder; that anyone could expect that Lord God, in all His Omnipotence, would, as it were, bow, stoop down and listen to one in the deepest depths, who had no seeming claim upon his attention. Why does the Psalmist expect this? It is because he has had dealings with God before and believes His Word, which over and over again, promises that God will listen to and answer the lowly and humble of heart.  Just a side note: The Psalmist does not believe the Lord has “ears” this is anthropomorphic, speaking of God in human terms to aid our understanding. God is Spirit and is cognisant of all things.

“the voice of my supplications”

His “supplications”  demonstrates his earnestness. It is stronger  than the “cry” of verse one. He wants the Lord to hear his prayers and pleas concerning himself, and perhaps for others, if his troubles stem from a consideration of others, as might be indicated by the last two verses.

The Psalmist is in trouble and wants help, whether this help concerns his “sins” is not confirmed but clearly the Psalmist is aware that Sin separates from God and that in the matter of prayer, sin is a great hindrance.

“if  thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities,”

“If” – There is no question… God does notice, take account, and call to account, all sins and iniquities. The “if” here really denotes a certainty as shown by many other scripture texts.

“O Lord” – refers the One and Only God, the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all. See above.

“shouldest mark iniquities” – means to note and take account of them. Many, men and women, boys and girls, think that they can sin and break God’s rules without any redress by God at all. But God, as this Psalmist knows and feels keenly, keeps an accurate account, so that the Psalmist is aware that his personal sin, and from verse 8, Israel, the National sins, are a real problem when approaching the Lord God.

“who shall stand” – is to show that none could be in the presence of Almighty God and have any acceptance with God in their own pretended righteousness. We have all sinned and come short of God’s requirements, so that in our own strength we cannot ever stand in God’s presence and expect to gain any favour.

“but  there is forgiveness with Thee” – God alone can forgive sin, but because of His Holiness and Justice, He can forgive only on the basis of the finished substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. What does this mean? It means that Jesus Christ, God’s own son, who was sinless and undefiled,  took upon Himself Sin, and suffered and died on the cross at Calvary, for God’s own chosen people, who God gave to His Son. Death was not the end, for on the third day, Jesus arose victorious over sin and death, ascending unto His Father, entering in with His own precious blood to make satisfaction for the sins of His people.

“that he may be feared” – not a servile, quaking, demeaning fear, but to behold God with awesome reverential fear, that causes us to cling to him as a loving, forgiving, merciful Father. Many do not like to think of a God who should be feared, they prefer a God of their own making that is ALL Love, but that is not the God of the Bible, He is to be obeyed, respected, and to held in reverential fear. We should be afraid to sin against Him, afraid to disobey Him, but it is the kind of fear that should be out of love towards Him, for what He is and does. It should grieve us deeply to resist His Will for us and to fall short of His Purposes for us.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait,”

The Psalmist waits patiently. His is a humble, submissive attitude, not a demanding insistent one, expecting God to act immediately. Waiting and hoping are closely linked together, as he waits, he lives in hope, expectant of the Lord’s goodness. His soul waits, there is no turmoil within, no restlessness of mind and heart, the trial of the depths, do not defeat him, it drives him to patience, faith, and hope. The Psalmist’s waiting and hoping is spoken of in a tense that shows that it is his normal habit, he habitually waits and hopes, it is his normal demeanour.

“and in his word do I hope.”

The Psalmist here declares that he hopes in God’s Word. He is confident that God is merciful and forgiving, that he will find grace in God’s eyes. Why ? It is a matter of faith, he trusts God. As “waiting” and “hoping” are inseparably linked so is “faith” and “hope”, we believe God and therefore our hope make us not ashamed, it gives us that inner confidence to wait patiently and trust God to deliver us from the deepest depths. God has spoken that is all I require.

“My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning”.

This verse shows that he waits eagerly and expectantly “More than they that watch for the morning.” The night can be long, and the wait tedious, especially for those in trouble, but the Psalmist is not waiting for the morning, he is waiting for the Lord. He has a real longing for the Lord to be attentive, to answer his distress and supplication. This is no half hearted desire, that is soon diminished or a weak cry, that is soon stifled by his own self pity. The repetition is for emphasis “More than they which watch for the morning” Here is real longing, an earnest desire, a lively expectation, a patient hope, a fervent faith, waking, watching, waiting, for the appearance of his Lord.

“Let Israel hope in the LORD”

Here is a change, the Psalmist previously seems to have been talking personally, perhaps now he has been graciously answered by the Lord and obtained his supplications. He turns to exhortation, he cannot keep his blessing to himself, he would share it with all Israel. The Psalmist’s faith and hope is centred, fixed, and anchored on the Lord, no other is worthy, suitable, or able: so his exhortation is that Israel should hope and trust in the Lord.

” for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.”

The Psalmist gives two reasons why Israel should hope in the Lord. He affirms firstly that “there is mercy with the Lord”,  that is his firm belief and the basis of all his cries and supplications. Secondly  “with Him is plenteous redemption” . The Lord is able to show mercy, loving kindness and to redeem out of all situations, the idea is that the Lord is able to multiply both mercy and redemption. There are no depths that the Lord is not able to lift the believer out of, if we wait, pray, and hope in the Lord. Is there not much encouragement here?

“And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities”

The Psalmist adds an additional encouraging thought “And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” the phrase, being singular, shows that the Psalmist has the Nation in mind, but the import is that God is able to forgive sins and he is the one that they should look to. What an encouragement to us, that all Spiritual Israel will be redeemed and forgiven, of all that God has given to Christ he shall lose nothing.

Permit me another aside, what if the Psalmist’s trouble stems from his awareness of Israel’s spiritual condition and iniquities? That his view of these brought him to the depths and drove him to both to wait on and make supplications to the Lord. Many Pastors are brought low by the condition of the Church and are driven to earnest prayer. How does your Church’s sins and your nation’s sin move you? Do they move you at all? I could guess  there is a relationship, a correlation, as to how your own sins affect you e.g. to what extent they drive you to wait on the Lord,   …..   and your attitude to the Church’s and National sins !

Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Omnipotent Reigns and is able to deliver from the deepest, darkest place either in outward circumstances, heart felt emotions, or an inward spiritual condition. Praise His Blessed and Holy Name.

© Jeff Maxwell 03/03/2014

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

QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION

 

A QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION

I asked this question.

As a comment on the article  “RUNNING THE RACE-World Athletics Moscow”       

Tell me please.

Why is there not as much rejoicing and giving of praise, when a Christian finishes his earthly course, as when an athlete wins the race ?

Surely we are deficient in this !

I asked it here and on facebook, and not surprisingly, as yet, I have not had any comments or answers !
As I feel concerned about this subject I would like to stimulate debate by making a comment myself and chose to do so here as well.

Here we go then …..

When we come to glory we will realise the extent of rejoicing and praise there is on that side when a saved sinner enters into their rest. That rejoicing and praise will properly reflect the amazing sacrifice that was made with the extent of Grace that was daily in effect to bring that one to glory. The joyful adoration of God will be, because all their eyes are opened and their understanding enlightened fully.

The feeling of loss and sadness when loved one’s / fellow believer’s pass on, is very real, and that temporarily deadens the emotions of rejoicing and praise that we might otherwise feel and express.

 

One of the reasons for our deficiency is that we fail to see and appreciate NOW what God has been doing in their lives. We see good points, faults, failings, natural abilities, but do not fully appreciate what God is doing in the lives of those closest to us. We are not moved to give enough thanks now, much less then, when we feel our sadness and loss.

 

Another reason is that we fail to prepare for this great event. We all live, as if we shall always live! 

We do not converse about death (it’s still taboo), we do not prepare ourselves for the loss of loved ones. I have tried to engage with some who should have been mindful of the approaching end and it is not easy to get a useful conversation. I often fail to see an emotional anticipation of soon, being in His presence. If we talked more about our fears and anticipations, we could encourage and comfort now …. then come with more rejoicing and praise at this momentous event.

 

Why is there not as much rejoicing and giving of praise, when a Christian finishes his earthly course, as when an athlete wins the race ?

“Are we deficient in this?   YES     can we change?  YES  please Lord by your Grace.

© Jeff Maxwell 19/08/2013

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Truth to Tell and Ponder Well

Truth  to  Tell   and   Ponder   Well

How frail mankind

     How great is God

          How soon we die

                Face the Creator

                           Judge of all

 

Need an advocate

       Jesus our surety

            Takes our place

                   Speaks for us

                          Sets us free

 

God is satisfied

       Wrath turned away

                 Peace restored

                    Alive in Christ

                        For evermore

 

Go and tell

       Across the world

              Such great news

                     To one and all

                            Jesus Saves

 

Have you heard

            What to do

                Repent and live

                       Turn from Sin

                              Trust in HIM                         

© Jeff Maxwell 30/09/2012

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Psalm 103:8-18

 

 

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CHRISTIAN CHARACTER AND WITNESS

Christian Character and Witness

If you don’t speak for Christ at all

your life should be lived,

so it speaks so loud,

that all may SEE you are a Christian.

 

  A life of  J  oy

  Even amidst  bad times

  A life of  E  ndurance

  Even amidst   hardships

  A life of   atisfaction

  Even amidst  want.

  A life of   sefulness

  Even amidst  busyness

  A life of   elflessness

  Even amidst  need

 

  A life of   Faithfulness

  Even amidst  apostasy

  A life of  Peace

  Even amidst  strife.

  A life of  Hope

  Even amidst  chaos.

  A life of  Love

  Even amidst  tragedy.

  A life of  Self-control

  Even amidst  provocation

  A life of  Obedience

  Even amidst  trials

  A life of  Patience

  Even amidst  difficulties

  A life of  Kindness

  Even amidst  hatefulness

  A life of  Goodness

  Even amidst  spitefulness

  A life of  Forgiveness

  Even amidst  retribution

  A life of  Gentleness

  Even amidst  conflict

  A life of  Integrity

  Even amidst  corruption

  A life of  Meekness

  Even amidst  egotism

  A life of  Purity

  Even amidst  immodesty

  A life of  Gratitude

  Even amidst  greediness

  A life of  Contentment

  Even amidst  restlessness

  A life of  Perseverance

  Even amidst  fickleness

  A life of  Submission

  Even amidst  unruliness

  A life of  Compassion

  Even amidst  indifference

  A life of  Friendship

  Even amidst  hostility

  A life of  Zeal

  Even amidst  lukewarmness

But you should have

courage enough

to speak for Christ

who saved you.

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

x

MY GOD

My GOD

My Times are in His Hands
My Soul is in His Care
My Spirit He Restores
My Sins He Forgives
My Righteousness He Imputes

My Fears He Subdues
My Tears He Relieves
My Joy He Bestows
My Longings He Satisfies
My Work He Supplies

My Faith He Imparted
My Helmet He Purchased
My Sword He Fashioned
My Breastplate He Fitted
My Peace He Prepared

My Prayers He Hears
My Groans He Shares
My Cries He Receives
My Pleas He Desires
My Sighs He Transforms

My Life He Guides
My Family He Provides
My Moments He Improves
My Future He Includes
My Inheritance He Assures

© Jeff Maxwell 2012  On the death of a friend.

GOSPEL WORK AND MESSAGE

The Gospel Work and Message.

May the Lord guide some lost wandering souls into an area of harvest  today.

May the sickle be sharp and effective in gathering that harvest in.

May the “Fishers of Men” put the net out of the side of the boat as directed by the Lord and have a bountiful catch.

May the Good Shepherd and the under shepherd successfully seek the lost sheep today.

May the good seed be planted to bring forth a harvest tomorrow.

May the mire yield up those to be washed and sanctified in the Precious Blood of the Lamb.

May the darkness of sin be overcome with Light of the Gospel.

May the strongholds of this world be assaulted and broken down.

May the “horrible pit”  be commanded to give up some to the Salvation of the Lord.

May the day of wrath and judgement be turned into a day of peace and forgiveness for some poor soul.

May a “day of good tidings be proclaimed” and that we do well, by not holding our peace.

May the “supper” be prepared, the “wedding garments” distributed, and many be invited to “come” from the highways and byeways.

May the “pearl of great price” be discovered and all parted with to gain the eternal prize.

May the “leaven” permeate the whole lump but the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees find no growth.

May the old serpent be restricted and his poison be neutralised.

May the “dens of iniquity” be turned into the houses of the “just made good.”

May the “despised, rejected, man of sorrows” be enthroned as the Lord of Glory in hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh.

AMEN

© Jeff Maxwell 2012

Prayer for the week ahead

Prayer for the week

O MOST merciful Saviour, we come to offer you the incense of worshipping hearts. We come as those who by faith behold Him that is invisible, we speak to you as simply as if our bodily eyes saw you, as if you were openly seated in the midst of us, and your hand were visibly outstretched to give the gift we ask.

We thank you for your mercies, for the safety and rest of the night, for the hopes and the duties of the day. We cannot know what the day will bring, but we know that it will bring most surely your Love and Grace, and continual opportunities of doing your will and giving ourselves up to your use. Knowing you, we know all we need to know of the unknown future, near or far away.

May this week, then, be a week of holy peace and happiness in our home and in each heart. If it pleases you, keep us from all accident, illness, and evil tidings.

However, above all, fill us from within with that holy calm, which circumstances cannot take away, for you are dwelling and ruling in us. May we feel and realize your presence, in the coming week, and in the secret power of it, may we meet with peace the common things of life, all calls to act and think for others, all crossings of our wills, all pains and joys. Let nothing take us unawares, inasmuch as we are abiding in you.

For your own Name’s sake. Amen.

(Bishop H. C. G. Moule, I841.)

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2012

Human Frailty and God’s Reliability

When we came back from Spain recently, I uploaded my pictures to my computer and decided to make some more original Christian Posters to magnify the Lord our God.

This is a start and I will publish some more in the days to come.

If you like them, please encourage my, by saying so.

The Lord is good in giving us rest and refreshment for our sometimes weary bodies, indeed holidays are a good time to reflect and recuperate.

Some of you may know I was made redundant nearly two months ago, after 45 years of almost continuous work. Now is a time of change so I would ask you to pray with me that the Lord would guide me in the days to come regarding the direction my life should take now. One of the difficult things to know is the mind of the Lord and then to actively follow the pathway He sets before us. Change like this not only affects the individual but also affects those who are closely connected with them.

I was asked by the careers adviser to assess my skills and estimate my strengths and benefits to a future employer in a different sphere than I have been used to. I find great difficulty in doing this, as I believe that ones own estimate of oneself can err so easily, either to think more highly of oneself than one ought or to underestimate our character and attainments. The idea of selling myself to others is somewhat alien to my way of thinking.

Well enough of me; but these recent days  have reminded me of the prevenient grace of our God, not in the Arminian sense, but in the sense that God goes before and provides before for our future needs. It occurred to me that we are seldom thankful enough for what God has already done for us.

Our prayers are taken up with what we desire God to do for us in the future rather than reflecting on and praising Him for what he has already done. Our situations could be far worse than they are but for His intervention in the past and the supply of that grace and those things which we have need of.

How great it is to read “He knoweth the way that I take” and “Before they call I will answer” and “My God shall supply all our needs” and “I being in the Way the Lord led me”.

He has fulfilled these great promises in the past so we can be confident that He will in the future. That is one way of looking at the future, but a better way is to exercise faith and believe that, merely because He has said that He will do these things, He will do them !

When we have faith like this it does not matter about our past experiences because Faith will lead us to higher ground. God’s Word and His Precious Promises are more reliable than our previous experiences and a far better ground to rest upon.

But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of
them that diligently seek him.  

Hebrews 11:6

© Jeff Maxwell 2012

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