Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Going on towards the grave

“Redeeming the TIME, because the days are Evil.” [Eph 5:16]
In a sermon preached during a New-year’s Eve watch-night service, just before midnight, Charles Spurgeon said the following. “Remember, my hearers, it may seem a light thing for us to assemble tonight at such an hour, but listen for one moment to the ticking of that clock!” [At this point, a few minutes until midnight, the preacher paused, and amid solemn silence, everyone heard the clock with its tick, tick, tick.] “It is the beating of the pulse of eternity. 
You hear the ticking of that clock! It is the footstep of death pursuing you. Each time the clock ticks, death’s footsteps are falling on the ground close behind you. Ah! solemn is the thought, but before that clock strikes 12, some here may be in hell; and, blessed be the name of God, some of us may be in heaven! But O, do you know how to estimate your time, my hearers? Do you know how to measure your days? Oh! I have not words to speak tonight. Do you know that every hour you are nearing the tomb – that every hour you are nearing judgment – that the archangel is flapping his wings every second of your life, and, trumpet at his mouth, is approaching you?
Do you know that you do not live stationary lives, but are always going on, on, on, towards the grave? Do you know where the stream of life is hastening some of you? To the rapids – to the rapids of woe and destruction! What shall the end of those be who obey not the gospel of God? Ye will not have so many years to live as ye had last year!
See the man who has but a few shillings in his pocket, how he takes them out and spends them one by one! Now he has but a few coppers, and there is so much for that tiny candle, so much for that piece of bread. He counts the articles out one by one: and so the money goes gradually from his pocket. Oh! if you knew how poor you are, some of you! You think there is no bottom to your pockets; you think you have a boundless store of time – but you have not!
O take care! take care! time is precious! and whenever we have little of it, it is more precious; yea, it is most precious. May God help you to escape from hell and fly to heaven. I feel like the angel, tonight, who put his hand upon Lot, and cried- ‘Escape! look not behind thee! stay not in all the plain: flee to the mountain, lest thou be consumed!’”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Too many nominal Christians

(Arthur Pink)

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven."Matthew 7:21

"Holding to the form of godliness but denying its power." 2 Timothy 3:5 

Never have there been so many millions of nominal Christians as there are today--and never has there been such a small percentage of real believers. Never has Christendom been so crowded with those who have a form of godliness, but who are strangers to its transforming power. We seriously doubt whether there has ever been a time in the history of this Christian era when there were such multitudes of deceived souls within the churches, who truly believe that all is well with their souls, when in fact the wrath of God abides on them!

It is not that those empty professors who call themselves Christians are all conscious hypocrites, rather are they deceived souls; and the tragic thing is that in most churches there is nothing in the preaching which is at all calculated to un-deceive them; instead, there is only that which bolsters them up in their delusion! 

There is a large class in Christendom today who are satisfied with a bare profession. They have heard some of the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and have given an intellectual assent thereto, and they mistake that for a saving knowledge of the Truth. Their minds are instructed--but theirhearts are not reached, nor their lives transformed! They are still worldly in their affections and ways. There is . . .
  no real subjection to God,
  no holiness of walk,
  no fruit to Christ's glory.

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hallowed by Thy name

After reading this post, I decided to re-post A. W. Pink's writing on the Lord's prayer, starting with 'hallowed be Thy name'.  I will include the link to the teaching on the entire prayer at the end of this post.

Our primary duty in prayer is to disregard ourselves and to give God the preeminence in our thoughts, desires, and supplications. This petition necessarily comes first, for the glorifying of God’s great name is the ultimate end of all things. All other requests must be subordinate to this one and be in pursuance of it. We cannot pray aright unless the glory of God be dominant in our desires. We are to cherish a deep sense of the ineffable holiness of God and an ardent longing for the honoring of it. Therefore, we must not ask God to bestow anything that would contradict His holiness.
"Hallowed be Thy name." How easy it is to utter these words without any thought of their solemn import! In seeking to ponder them, four questions are naturally raised in our minds. First, what is meant by the word hallowed? Second, what is signified by God’s name? Third, what is the import of "hallowed be Thy name?" Fourth, why does this petition come first?
First, the word hallowed is a term from Middle English used here to translate a form of the Greek verb hagiazo. This term is frequently translated "sanctified." It means to set apart for a sacred use." Thus, the words "hallowed be Thy name" signify the pious desire that God’s matchless name might be reverenced, adored, and glorified, and that God might cause it to be held in the utmost respect and honor, that its fame might spread abroad and be magnified.
Second, the name of God stands for God Himself, calling to the mind of the believer all that He is. We see this in Psalm 5:11: "Let them also that love Thy name [that is, Thyself] be joyful in Thee." In Psalm 20:1 we read, "The name of the God of Jacob defend thee," that is, may the God of Jacob Himself defend thee. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower" (Prov. 18:10), that is to say, Jehovah Himself is a strong tower. The name of God stands for the Divine perfections. It is striking to observe that when He "proclaimed the name of the Lord" to Moses, God enumerated His own blessed attributes (see Ex. 34:5-7). This is the true significance of the assertion that "they that know Thy name [that is, Thy wondrous perfections] will put their trust in Thee" (Ps. 9:10). But more particularly, the Divine name sets before us all that God has revealed to us concerning Himself. It is in such appellations and titles as the Almighty, the Lord of hosts, Jehovah, the God of peace, and our Father that He has disclosed Himself to us.
Third, what thoughts did the Lord Jesus intend for us to entertain in our hearts when He taught us to pray, "Hallowed be Thy name"? First, in the widest sense, we are to plead thereby that God, "by His overruling providence, direct and dispose of all things to His own glory" (The Westminster Larger Catechism). Hereby we pray that God Himself sanctify His name—that He cause it, by His providence and grace, to be known and adored through the preaching of His Law and Gospel. Furthermore, we pray that His name might be sanctified and magnified in and by us. Not that we can add anything to God’s essential holiness, but we can and should promote the manifestative glory of His holiness. That is why we are exhorted thus: "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name" (Ps. 96:8). We do not have the power within ourselves to hallow the name of our God. Yet Christ instructs us, by putting an imperative, passive verb in our mouths, to command our Father, saying, "Let Thy name be hallowed!" In this mandatory petition, we are taught to call upon our Father to do what He must do, according to the tenor of the words that He spoke through Isaiah: "And concerning the work of My hands command ye Me" (Isa. 45:11)! It is because God’s name must be hallowed among His creatures that our Master instructs us so to pray. "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us" (1 John 5:14). Since our God has so clearly stated His mind, every true believer must desire the hallowing of God’s name among men and must be determined to advance the revealed glory of God on the earth. We are to do this especially by prayer, since the power to accomplish this great end resides only in God Himself. By prayer we receive the empowering of the Holy Spirit to hallow and glorify God in our own thoughts, words, and deeds.
By praying, "hallowed be Thy name," we beg that God, who is most holy and glorious, might enable us to acknowledge and honor Him as such. As Manton forcefully expressed it,
In this petition the glory of God is both desired and promised on our part; for every prayer is both an expression of a desire and also an implicit vow or solemn obligation that we take upon ourselves to prosecute what we ask. Prayer is a preaching to ourselves in God’s hearing: we speak to God to warn ourselves—not for His information, but for our edification.
Alas, that this necessary implication of prayer is not more insisted upon in the pulpit today, and more clearly perceived in the pew! We but mock God if we present to Him pious words and have no intention of striving with our might to live in harmony with them.
For us to hallow or sanctify His name means that we give God the supreme place, that we set Him above all else in our thoughts, affections, and lives. This high purpose of life is antithetical to the example of the builders of the tower of Babel, who said, "Let us make us a name (Gen. 11:4), and of Nebuchadnezzar, who said, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?" (Dan. 4:30). The Apostle Peter commands us to "sanctify the Lord God in [our] hearts" (1 Pet. 3:15). An awe of His majesty and holiness should so fill our hearts that our whole inner beings bow in entire and willing subjection to Him. For this we must pray, striving to obtain right views and a deeper knowledge of Him, that we may worship Him aright and serve Him acceptably.
This petition not only expresses the desire that God sanctify Himself in and through us, enabling us to glorify Him, but it also voices our longing that others may know, adore, and glorify Him.
In the use of this petition we pray that the glory of God may be more and more displayed and advanced in the world in the course of His providence, that His Word may run and be glorified in the conversion and sanctification of sinners, that there may be an increase of holiness in all His people, and that all profanation of the name of God among men may be prevented and removed (John Gill).
Thus, this petition includes the asking of God to grant all needed effusions of the Spirit, to raise up faithful pastors, to move His churches to maintain a Scriptural discipline, and to stir up the saints to an exercise of their graces.
Fourth, it is now obvious why this is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer, for it provides the only legitimate basis for all our other requests. The glory of God is to be our chief and great concern. When we offer this petition to our heavenly Father, we are saying, "Whatever comes to me, however low I may sink, no matter how deep the waters be through which I may be called to pass, Lord, magnify Thyself in and through me." Mark how blessedly this spirit was exemplified by our perfect Savior: "Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name" (John 12:27, 28). Though it was necessary for Him to be baptized with the baptism of suffering, yet the Father’s glory was Christ’s great concern.
The following words beautifully summarize the meaning of this petition:
O Lord, open our eyes that we may know Thee aright and may discern Thy power, wisdom, justice, and mercy; and enlarge our hearts that we may sanctify Thee in our affections, by making Thee our fear, love, joy, and confidence; and open our lips that we may bless Thee for Thine infinite goodness; yea, O Lord, open our eyes that we may see Thee in all Thy works, and incline our wills with reverence for Thy name appearing in Thy works, and grant that when we use any one of them, that we may honour Thee in our sober and sanctified use thereof (W. Perkins).
In conclusion, let us point out very briefly the uses to be made of this petition. (1) Our past failures are to be bewailed and confessed. We are to humble ourselves for those sins whereby we have hindered God’s manifestative glory and profaned His name, such as pride of heart, coldness of zeal, stubbornness of will, and impiety of life. (2) We are to earnestly seek those graces whereby we may hallow His name: a fuller knowledge of Himself, an increase of holy fear in our hearts; increased faith, hope, love, and worship; and the right use of His gifts. (3) Our duties are to be faithfully practiced, that there may be nothing in our conduct that would cause His name to be blasphemed by unbelievers (Rom. 2:24). "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).

from 'The Lord's prayer' by A. W. Pink

This is why the world hates you

(Arthur Pink)

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you!" John 15:18-19 

"Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you!" 1 John 3:13 

The world will not hate mere professors

The man . . .
  who is conformed to this world,
  who takes part in its politics,
  who shares its pleasures,
  who acts according to its principles--
even though he claims the name of Christ, will not be ostracized or persecuted. 

The woman . . .
  who is conformed to this world,
  who follows its fashions,
  who enjoys its society,
  who desires its amusements,
--will not be shunned by it. 

The world loves its own. But those who walk in separation from the world (and they are few in number), those who follow a rejected Christ, will know something of what it means to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings (Philippians 3:10).

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18