Saturday, February 15, 2014

From Isaac Ambrose (1600's):

Christ welcomes them into his glorious presence. If the father could receive his prodigal but repenting son with hugs and kisses, how will Christ now receive His saints, when they come as a bride to the solemnization of the marriage? His very heart springs (as I may say) at the sight of His Bride! No sooner [does] He see her and salute her, but He welcomes her with such words as these: “O my love, my dove, my fair one—come now and enjoy thy Husband! Many a thought I have had of thee: before I made the world, I spent my infinite eternal thoughts on thy salvation. When the world began, I gave thee a promise that I would betroth thee unto me in righteousness, in judgment, in loving kindness, in mercy, and in faithfulness (Hos 2:19-20). 

[For thy sake I] was incarnate, lived, died, rose again, and ascended. And since My ascension, [I] have been interceding for thee and making ready the bride-chamber, where thou and I must live forever and ever. Now I come hither into the clouds to meet thee more than half the way. My meaning is to take thee by the hand and to bring thee to My Father. Now do I take thee for My own—O My sister, My spouse, thou art as dear to Me as My own dear heart! Come, see into My bosom, and see here love written in the golden letters of free grace. Come near, for I must have thee with Me…Sometimes thy sins have made a wall of partition between Me and thee. Sometimes I withdrew and was gone; I hid Myself beyond the curtains. And for a time, thou hast lain hid in the closet of the grave. But now we will never part more: Indeed, I will bring thee to My Father, and I will say to Him, ‘Father, behold! Here [is] My spouse that I have carried unto Myself.’ In the meantime, welcome to thy Jesus. I have purchased thee with My blood, I have paid dear for thee, and now I will wear thee as a crown and ornament forever.”

Friday, February 7, 2014

I bet when Spurgeon preached this, the people sat on the edge of their seats (with even a few laughs throughout)...

Faith is something like this. There is a story told of a captain of a man-of-war, whose son—a young lad—was very fond of running up the rigging of the ship; and one time, running after a monkey, he ran up the mast, till at last he got on to the maintruck. Now, the maintruck, you are aware, is like a large round table put on to the mast, so that when the boy was on the maintruck there was plenty of room for him; but the difficulty was—to use the best explanation I can—that he could not reach the mast that was under the table; he was not tall enough to get down from this maintruck, reach the mast, and so descend. There he was on the maintruck; he managed to get up there, somehow or other, but down he never could get. His father saw that, and he looked up in horror; what was he to do? In a few moments his son would fall down, and be dashed to pieces! 

He was clinging to the main-truck with all his might, but in a little time he would fall down on the deck, and there he would be a mangled corpse. The captain called for a speaking trumpet; he put it to his mouth, and shouted, "Boy, the next time the ship lurches, throw yourself into the sea." It was, in truth, his only way of escape; he might be picked up out of the sea, but he could not be rescued if he fell on the deck. The poor boy looked down on the sea; it was a long way; he could not bear the idea of throwing himself into the roaring current beneath him; he thought it looked angry and dangerous. How could he cast himself down into it? So he clung to the main-truck with all his might, though there was no doubt that he must soon let go and perish. The father called for a gun, and pointing it up at him, said, "Boy, the next time the ship lurches, throw yourself into the sea, or I'll shoot you!" He knew his father would keep his word; the ship lurched on one side, over went the boy splash into the sea, and out went brawny arms after him; the sailors rescued him, and brought him on deck. Now, we, like the boy, are in a position of extra-ordinary danger, by nature, which neither you nor I can possibly escape of ourselves. 

Unfortunately, we have got some good works of our own, like that maintruck, and we cling to them so fondly, that we never will give them up. Christ knows that unless we do give them up, we shall be dashed to pieces at the last, for that rotten trust must ruin us. He, therefore, says, "Sinner, let go thine own trust, and drop into the sea of my love." We look down, and say, "Can I be saved by trusting in God? He looks as if he were angry with me, and I could not trust him." Ah, will not mercy's tender cry persuade you?—"He that believeth shall be saved." Must the weapon of destruction be pointed directly at you? Must you hear the dreadful threat—"He that believeth not shall be damned?" It is with you now as with that boy—your position is one of imminent peril in itself, and your slighting the Father's counsel is a matter of more terrible alarm, it makes peril more perilous. 

You must do it, or else you perish! Let go your hold! That is faith when the poor sinner lets go his hold, drops down, and so is saved; and the very thing which looks as if it would destroy him, is the means of his being saved. Oh! believe on Christ, poor sinners; believe on Christ. Ye who know your guilt and misery come, cast yourselves upon him; come, and trust my Master, and as he lives, before whom I stand, you shall never trust him in vain; but you shall find yourselves forgiven, and go your way rejoicing in Christ Jesus.

Source, Spurgeon's Sermon on Justification by Faith

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How To Glorify God
Learning from Psalm 66
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Psalm 66:2 tells God’s people to “sing the glory of His Name” and to “make His praise glorious.” So how does one glorify God? What can this psalm teach as far as “glorifying God”? I would like to look at Psalm 66 and provide 10 ways that believers can glorify God.

1. Loud and Triumphant Jubilation in God.
The opening verses of the psalm demand loud shouts and triumphant trumpet blasts extolling God. The command extends to all the earth beckoning all to loudly worship God.

2. Singing and Rejoicing in the Great Worth of God’s Name.
All must sing the glory of God’s Name. God’s Name is manifested in His character, in His person, in His deeds, in His ways and works. The psalm pleads for perpetual praise of God’s honor!

3. Longing for the Day when Every Knee Will Bow Before Him.
The Bible prophesies that every knee will bow before God (Isa 45:23; Phil 2:10) and that every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord (Phil 2:11). This certainly will happen. All men will bow before God’s throne. Rebels will be forced to bow; God’s children will gladly bow. All will bow low.

4. Reflecting on the Past Works of God.
Remembering the past gives fuel for rejoicing in the present. God’s faithfulness to past generations gives weight to the certainty of God’s faithfulness to us now. Reflect and remember.

5. Resting and Finding Comfort in God’s Kingship.
Never has there been a moment when God has not ruled and reigned as the heavenly King. God’s glorious sovereignty and powerful kingship allows God’s people to rest and have comfort in Him and in His power.

6. Enduring Through Hardships With Hope, Perseverance, and Trust.
Even when God afflicts and brings the hammerblow into believer’s lives, God’s children rest confident in God’s Fatherly hand. God’s people endure every furnace of fire, billow of trouble and hardship with trust in the Father.

7. Fulfilling the Unconquerable Commitment to Worship and Thank God.
The Old Testament worshipers brought sacrifices so as to be forgiven. They obediently fulfilled vows to bring the animals. No sacrifice was too great. So God’s people today come to Christ, our Atonement, and worship Him only.

8. Telling What God Has Done for Your Soul.
“Let me tell of what God has done for my soul!” the psalmist heralds. God’s people must tell out, proclaim loudly, and boast in the cross of Christ and magnify God for what He has done for the magnification of His holy Name.

9. Fighting for Purity and Winning the Battle in the Heart.
The spiritual life is fought primarily in the heart. It is predominantly an inward, internal, invisible war. Every child of God hates his sin and refuses to give sin a hidden, cherished, beloved place in his heart. Fight for purity in the heart.

10. Praying with Confident Earnestness & God-centered Gladness.
Prayer fortifies the believer and prompts worship and joy. It excellerates piety.Pray with earnestness and anticipation.
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