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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

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

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

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

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

THE GOSPEL IS URGENT NEWS

GOSPEL URGENCY

Have I lost the urgency of the Gospel ?

Yes ” I ” …. ” Me.”…. indeed ” MYSELF “

Not the Church, the Pastor, the Evangelist,
the young Peoples Worker, the Church Planter,

BUT ” I ” ” me ” ” myself “

Have I lost the urgency of the Precious Gospel committed to me?

Have I done anything today to make Christ known…. ?

to those dying, yes, dying in sin ?

If I walked by and saw a person sinking into the mire

only moments to live…

Would I walk on by ? Looking the other way ?

I would feel useless and inadequate for the situation ..

BUT ….. I would do something, surely !

Yet ” I ” have Family Sinking in Sin !
Yet ” I ” have Friends Sinking in Sin !
Yet ” I ” have Colleagues Sinking in Sin !
Yet ” I ” have Neighbours Sinking in Sin !

” I ”   am weak,   ……..      ” I ”    am inadequate …..

BUT the Gospel is not ….

” It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth “

Am    ” I ”    ashamed of Gospel ”       Romans 1:16

12 disciples ” turned the world upside down “

How far has my influence for the Gospel spread ?

Where’s ” MY ” URGENCY today !!

Where’s ” MY ” Boldness in the Gospel !!

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

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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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RUNNING THE RACE – World Athletics Moscow

RUNNING THE RACE

I have been watching with interest the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

I admire the way that all of these athletes are so dedicated to achieve honours in their chosen discipline.

They work hard, they deny themselves, they are disciplined, they put aside everything that would hinder them in their goal.

This is not a momentary effort either, the majority of them have been pursuing their excellence for many a year, in it for the long term.

They achieve a medal and high honours but are not satisfied, they press on to the next event, ever expecting to get better, they put disappointments behind them and press on.

These are the crème del la crème, the high achievers, but we should remember that there are many others with the same dedication who you will never see in the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games. They expend themselves equally with the best but will never be high achievers. Then there are others, who try hard at first, make every effort, about whom you have great expectations, but hurdles and difficulties come along, they fall by the wayside, they look back, then turn back, giving up the race.

We will long remember Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Meseret Defar, Brianna Rollins for their outstanding achievements this year, but who remembers Xue Lei, Jason Smyth, Felpipe Gomes, Cristian Valenzuela, El Amin Chentouff, all gold medal winners from the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, few indeed, if any, I expect.

The Christian is in a race, set before him is the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, around him are many witnesses, he is encouraged not to run in vain, he must not labour in vain, he must lay aside every weight and every sin that so easily besets him, he must run with patience, he must so run that he might obtain, as he strives for the mastery he must be temperate in all things, he must run but not uncertainly, he must fight but not as one that beats the air, he must bring his body into subjection, he must continue to run well and not let any hinder him.

What is this race, above all its the Christian Life, the obeying the truth, its becoming Christ like, communicating the Gospel, holding forth the Word of Life, its running to obtain an incorruptible crown, that the Christian may rejoice in the day of Christ. The Christian does not run for worldly honours, or to be remembered here on earth, as few will be, he might not be amongst the crème del la crème, but he will be regarded from on high, he will not achieve gold medals but he shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare him, as a man spares his own son that serves him.

The Christian has every advantage in this race, he runs with a manual of instructions, of help and encouragement. He has, as Terezinha Guilhermina of Brazil the blind T12 runner, a guide who runs alongside, who will never fall, as Guilherme Soares,  just before the finish line, tripping her up. The Christian is given a comforter within who is always present to be called upon and has Power to share. The Christian does not travel alone, he has many who accompany him along the way. Above all the Christian has a dedicated direct line to one who has successfully run the race before who, can impart wisdom, knowledge, comfort, and encouragement.

But there are many that seem to enter the race, to start on the pathway to life, the Christian pathway, but fall away. Hurdles and difficulties come along, they fall by the wayside, they look back, then turn back, giving up the race. They turn as a dog to its vomit again, return as a sow to wallow in the mire, become as Lot’s wife, who heeds the warning, flees from the city of destruction, but then looks back in disobedience and is turned into a pillar of salt.

Now my questions are. What kind of athlete are you? What kind of race are you running? What is the expected end of your journey? How are you overcoming obstacles? Are you persevering unto the end?

Sally Pearson (100 metre hurdler) said, after coming second in her race,  “every single person out there is a competitor” are you in the Christian Race, is this true of you, are you a competitor ?    Ben Johnson said (of Usain Bolt) that successfully winning the races,  “is such a sweet place to be”

Are you a real competitor who is enjoying the sweetness of the presence of Jesus as you Run Christian’s Race to Glory ?

Are you pressing  toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ?  Philippians 3:14

The Saviour says at the end of the race “Well done good and faithful servant….. Enter into the joy of your Lord”  Matthew 25:21

CONSIDER

Mark 13:13
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Hebrews 3:14
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

See also:    1 Corinthians 9:24-27  :   Philippians. 2:16 :  Galatians 2:2  : Galatians. 5:7

© Jeff Maxwell 17/08/2013

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HEAVEN LONGED FOR …….

Long after heaven ! –  your God is present there, unveiled in Glory – God your Father, God  your Saviour, God  your everlasting Comforter.

Long after heaven ! – it is full of holiness. Sin has never sullied it ! No evil shall pollute it ! All its inhabitants are pure : the Angels and the Redeemed are without fault before the Throne of God

Long after heaven ! – it is the “rest that remains for the people of God” –  it shall remain a their rest for ever ! There  pain, trouble, and weariness are never felt ! There  Satan, sin, and sorrow cannot enter ! There peace and prosperity continually abide. There God is worshiped in perfection forever.

Long after heaven ! – it is the end of groaning for all creation; – it is the paradise of  your perfection in soul and body ! There you shall know even as you are known ! There you shall reach the manhood of  your being, regain once and for ever the lost likeness of your Creator, and hear again the voice of the Lord God walking with you in the tenderness of His amazing love and the plenitude of His everlasting friendship !

Long after heaven ! – it is a glorious home !   It is the house of Lord Jehovah !   The created home of thy Eternal Father !   The purchased home of thy Elder Brother !    The holy home of the Lord  your Saviour !   It is the safe and happy home of Angels !   It is the eternal home of all pure and holy beings !    It is the everlasting home of the whole family of the Redeemed !  It is the inheritance of your brothers and sisters in the Faith !
There are they gathered together in safety;
there they are all joined together in love;
there they all “dwell” together in unity,
there they give full expression of the love, joy, and peace of Salvation,
there they delight to fully worship, honour, and glorify the Triune God;
There they abide forever and go no more out of “the house of the Lord .”

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2013
(From:  Anon.   From Christian’s Penny Magazine vol. 2 1847)

MOTTO 2013

 MOTTO 2013

“I am hunting after poor sinners in these ungospelized wilds.”

In the preface to his book on George Whitefield, *1 J P Gledstone quotes Whitefield’s words above concerning his forest preaching. *2

This will make a great motto for us in the light of our Lord’s command *3

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

We now live a land, where the Gospel is seldom preached to sinners where they are, although it is often preached in Church’s to those who are already claiming to be Christians.

Perhaps 2013 can be an opportunity for all of us to spread the Gospel to sinners with whom we rub shoulders with every day. They are perhaps lost sheep and need to be found, by the Good Shepherd, who gave his life for the sheep.

May I wish you all a very Blessed and Spiritually prosperous New Year.

*
1  George Whitefield M.A., Field Preacher by James Paterson Gledstone (3rd Edition 1902).
2 As a missionary in the American backwoods.
3 Mark 16:15

© Jeff Maxwell 2007 revised 2013
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