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Posts Tagged ‘Comfort’

The Wednesday Word: Jesus is Very Near

The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18).

Do you ever feel that the Lord’s face is hidden from you? You say, “I cannot sense Him. I can´t seem to recognize his presence. “

We´ve all been there…if you haven´t, just wait a while.

In the meantime, here’s some good news; your not being able to sense Him doesn’t mean that the Lord is not near. In reality, the Lord is never nearer than when we feel and think we are at a loss to discover Him.

One old time preacher said it like this, “God is never nearer to His people than when they cannot see His face; He is never closer than when they do not hear His voice.”

He is there even when it seems that all hope has been knocked out of the ball park.

Look at Hagar, she left Ishmael under the shrubs, and said, “Let me not see the death of the child” (Genesis 21:16). What happened then? God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water” (Genesis 21:19). The Lord had been there all the time.

And what about Abraham? He “Lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns” (Genesis 22:13). The Lord had been there all the time.

Again, consider Mary Magdalene. Remember her? On the resurrection morning, she was the first at the tomb. She was the one who, when she discovered the stone had been moved, ran and fetched Peter and John. After the two disciples had concluded their investigations of the vacated tomb they returned home, but Mary, remained. She had lost her Saviour. She couldn’t find him. She was distraught, distressed and despairing. She wept. Someone had taken Jesus’ body. Poor, precious Mary. She didn’t realize that, although she could neither see nor feel the Lord’s presence, Jesus was very near.

In John 20:14-15, a man came into the picture and she supposed he was the gardener, so she pleaded with him to reveal where the body had been taken. But this was no gardener. This was the creator of the Universe. Then He said to her, ‘Mary’ and she turned herself, recognized Him and said, ‘Rabboni’, which is to say, Master. Even when she could not sense, feel or discover His presence, He had been there.

Mary illustrates the nearness of the Lord even when we don’t know where He is.

Also, consider this, Jesus held his first post-resurrection conversion with a woman. But not just any woman. Here Jesus gave primacy to a woman who had been a notorious sinner and demoniac (Mark 16:9). What wonderful matchless grace. Her sins were gone. Jesus had paid for them with his own blood. Far from holding her sins against her, Jesus made her the first preacher of the great and glorious facts of the resurrection and ascension (John 20:17).

“Days are filled with sorrow and care,

Hearts are lonely and drear.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

“Cast your care on Jesus today,

Leave your worry and fear.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

“Troubled soul, the Saviour can feel

Every heartache and tear.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Peace cannot be found in newly invented doctrines

March 16, 2015 1 comment

Spurgeon 1They are God’s sweet lullaby, wherewith he singeth his children to sleep, even in storms. They are God’s sheet anchors, which are cast out into the sea, to hold our little vessels fast in the midst of tempests. There is a “peace of God which passeth all understanding,” which accrues to a man who is a strong believer, but you know the tendency of the day is to give up old land marks and to adopt new ones, and to avow anything rather than the old-fashioned divinity. Well, my dear friends, if any of you like to try new doctrines, I warn you, that if you be the children of God you will soon be sick enough of those new-fangled notions, those newly invented doctrines, which are continually taught. You may, for the first week, be pleased enough with their novelty; you may wonder at their transcendental spirituality, or something else, which entices you on, but you will not have lived on them long, before you will say, “Alas! alas! I have taken in my hands the apples of Sodom; they were fair to look upon, but they are ashes in my mouth.” If you would be peaceful, keep fast to the truth, hold fast the form of sound words: so shall “your peace be like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Comfortable Gifts

October 27, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 1We shall divide God’s gifts into five classes. First, we shall have gifts temporal; second, gifts saving; third, gifts honorable; fourth, gifts useful; and fifth, gifts comfortable. Of all these we shall say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

5. Lastly, GIFTS COMFORTABLE are of God. O, what comfortable gifts do some of us enjoy in the ordinances of God’s house, and in a ministry that is profitable. But how many churches have not a ministry of that kind; and why then have we? Because God hath made a difference. Some here have strong faith, and can laugh at impossibilities; we can sing a song in all ill weathers — in the tempest as well as in the calm. But there is another with little faith who is in danger of tumbling down over every straw. We trace eminent faith entirely to God. One is born with a melancholy temperament, and he sees a tempest brewing even in the calm; while another is cheerful, and sees a silver lining to every cloud, however black, and he is a happy man. But why is that? Comfortable gifts come of God. And then observe that we ourselves, differ at times. For a season we may have blessed intercourse with heaven, and be permitted to look within the veil? But anon, these delightful enjoyments are gone. But do we murmur on that account? May he not do as he will with his own ? May he not take back what he has given ? The comforts we possess were his before they were ours.

“And shouldst thou take them all away,
Yet would I not repine,
Before they were possessed by me
They were entirely shine.”

There is no joy of the Spirit — there is no exceeding blessed hope — no strong faith — no burning desire — no close fellowship with Christ, which is not the gift of God, and which we must not trace to him. When I am in darkness and suffer disappointment, I will look up and say, he giveth songs in the night; and when I am made to rejoice, I will say, my mountain shall stand fast for ever. The Lord is a Sovereign Jehovah; and, therefore, prostrate at his feet I lie, and if I perish, I will perish there.

But let me say, brethren, that so far from this doctrine of Divine Sovereignty making you to sit down in sloth, I hope in God it will have a tendency to humble you, and so to lead you to say, “I am unworthy of the least of all thy mercies. I feel that thou hast a right to do with me as thou wilt. If thou dost crush me, a helpless worm, thou wilt not be dishonored; and I have no right to ask thee to have compassion upon me, save this, that I want thy mercy. Lord, if thou wilt, thou art able to pardon, and thou never gavest grace to one that wanted it more. Because I am empty, fill me with the bread of heaven; because I am naked, clothe me with thy robe; because I am dead, give me life.” If you press that plea with all your soul and all your mind, though Jehovah is a Sovereign, he will stretch out his scepter and save, and thou shalt live to worship him in the beauty of holiness, loving and adoring his gracious sovereignty. “He that believeth” is the declaration of Scripture “and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” He that believeth in Christ alone, and is baptized with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, shall be saved, but he who rejecteth Christ and believeth not in him, shall be damned. That is the Sovereign decree and proclamation of heaven — bow to it, acknowledge it, obey it, and God bless you.

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

There is no attribute more comforting than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty

September 8, 2014 1 comment

CharlesSpurgeonThere is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that ‘Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation — the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands — the throne of God, and His right to sit upon that throne.

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

Predestination should be publicly taught and insisted upon, in order to confirm and strengthen true believers in the certainty and confidence of their salvation

Chapter V

SHOWING THAT THE SCRIPTURE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION SHOULD BE OPENLY
PREACHED AND INSISTED ON, AND FOR WHAT REASONS.

UPON the whole, it is evident that the doctrine of God’s eternal and unchangeable predestination should neither be wholly suppressed and laid aside, nor yet be confined to the disquisition of the learned and speculative only; but likewise should be publicly taught from the pulpit and the press, that even the meanest of the people may not be ignorant of a truth which reflects such glory on God, and is the very foundation of happiness to man. Let it, however, be preached with judgment and discretion, 1:e., delivered by the preacher as it is delivered in Scripture, and no otherwise. By which means, it can neither be abused to licentiousness nor misapprehended to despair, but will eminently conduce to the knowledge, establishment, improvement and comfort of them that hear. That predestination ought to be preached, I thus prove:-

IV.-Predestination should be publicly taught and insisted upon, in order to confirm and strengthen true believers in the certainty and confidence of their salvation.* For when regenerate persons are told, and are enabled to believe, that the glorification of the elect is so assuredly fixed in God’s eternal purpose that it is impossible for any of them to perish, and when the regenerate are led to consider themselves as actually belonging to this elect body of Christ, what can establish, strengthen and settle their faith like this? Nor is such a faith presumptuous, for every converted man may and ought to conclude himself elected, since God the Spirit renews those only who were chosen by God the Father and redeemed by God the Son. This is a “hope which maketh not ashamed,” nor can possibly issue in disappointment if entertained by those into whose hearts the love of God is poured forth by the Holy Ghost given unto them (Rom 5:5).

* Our venerable Reformers, in the 17th of our XXXIX. Articles, make the very same observation, and nearly in the same words: “The godly consideration of predestination and our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, because it doth greatly establish end confirm their faith of everlasting salvation to be enjoyed through Christ,” etc.

The holy triumph and assurance resulting from this blessed view are expressly warranted by the apostle, where he deduces effectual calling from a prior predestination, and infers the certainty of final salvation from effectual calling: “Whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified” (Rom 8:). How naturally from such premises does the apostle add, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Who and where is he that condemneth them? Who and what “shall separate us from the love of Christ? In all these things we are,” and shall be, “more than conquerors through Him that hath loved us, for I am persuaded [pepeismai, I am MOST clearly and assuredly confident]* that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So elsewhere the foundation of the Lord, 1:e., His decree or purpose, according to election, standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His,” which is particularly noted by the apostle, lest true believers might be discouraged and begin to doubt of their own certain perseverance to salvation, either from a sense of their remaining imperfections or from observing the open apostasy of unregenerate professors (2Ti 2:). How little obliged, therefore, are the flock of Christ to those persons who would, by stifling the mention of predestination, expunge the sense and certainty of everlasting blessedness from the list of Christian privileges!

* Certus sum, Ar. Montan. Certa fide persuasum mihi habeo, Erasm. Victa omni dubitatione, Bengel. “I am assured,” Dutch version.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

Question 72-Puritan Catechism

Spurgeon 3Q. How is the Word made effectual to salvation?

A. The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convicting and converting sinners, (Psalm 19:7) and of building them up in holiness and comfort, (1 Thessalonians 1:6) through faith to salvation. (Romans 1:16)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-16-Assurance and Perseverance

February 6, 2014 3 comments

Assurance and Perseverance

 

1. What is meant by assurance of Salvation?

It is an undoubting conviction of our acceptance in Christ.

2. Do all the people of God attain it?

It is not attained by all.

3. Is not assurance an essential of saving faith?

It is not; doubts and fears assail believers sometimes to the end of life.

4. Is it not desirable to attain this grace?

It is not only very desirable, but we are expressly commanded to seek for it.

5. Do any in whom the work of grace has begun ever finally fall?

They do not.

6. How do we know this?

We learn it from the Scriptures; moreover, salvation is the work of God, who cannot fail in what He undertakes.

7. Do not such persons sometimes fall into grievous sin?

They do; and years may elapse before they are finally rescued therefrom.

8. Can a child of God be contented in this state?

No; the renewed nature God has given him must be disturbed at the presence of sin.

9. What is his plain duty when he finds himself in this condition?

Still to trust in his Saviour, praying to Him for pardon and for help to avoid sin.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine