Daily Archives: November 19, 2011

From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

     How much of our conversations with others lead to any benefit?  Do we quibble and strive over things of no importance.?  What a waste to spend our time contending with people over things that don’t matter.

“Avoid foolish questions.”

Tit_3:9

Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The old schoolmen did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions. After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion no more promotes knowledge than love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field. Questions upon points wherein Scripture is silent; upon mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; and upon mere modes of observing human ceremonials, are all foolish, and wise men avoid them. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept

(Tit_3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.

There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my conversation adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus? Such enquiries as these urgently demand our attention; and if we have been at all given to cavilling, let us now turn our critical abilities to a service so much more profitable. Let us be peace-makers, and endeavour to lead others both by our precept and example, to “avoid foolish questions.”

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From Winslow’s “Morning Thoughts”

     Sometimes we forget that as brothers and sisters in Christ it’s as important to look out for their reputation and their well being as it is our own.   The thing that distinguished the early christians was their love and commitment to each other.  It was the witness of that love that propelled christianity across the globe.  We must give witness to that same kind of love for each other in our lives.   

“Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity boasts not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

TRUE Christian love will excite in the mind a holy jealousy for the Christian reputation of other believers. How sadly is this overlooked by many professors! What sporting with reputation, what trifling with character, what unveiling to the eyes of others the weaknesses, the infirmities, and the stumblings of which they have become cognizant, marks many in our day. Oh! if the Lord had dealt with us as we have thoughtlessly and uncharitably dealt with our fellow-servants, what shame and confusion would cover us! We should blush to lift up our faces before men. But the exercise of this divine love in the heart will constrain us to abstain from all envious, suspicious feelings, from all evil surmisings, from all wrong construing of motives, from all tale-bearing-that fruitful cause of so much evil in the Christian Church-from slander, from unkind insinuations, and from going from house to house retailing evil, and making the imperfections, the errors, or the doings of others the theme of idle, sinful gossip-“busy-bodies in other men’s matters.” All this is utterly inconsistent with our high and holy calling. It is degrading, dishonoring, lowering to our character as the children of God. It dims the luster of our piety. It impairs our moral influence in the world. Ought not the character of a Christian professor to be as dear to me as my own? And ought I not as vigilantly to watch over it, and as zealously to promote it, and as indignantly to vindicate it, when unjustly aspersed or maliciously assailed, as if I, and not he, were the sufferer? How can the reputation of a believer in Jesus be affected, and we not be affected? It is our common Lord who is wounded-it is our common salvation that is injured-it is our own family that is maligned. And our love to Jesus, to His truth, and to His people, should caution us to be as jealous of the honor, as tender of the feelings, and as watchful of the character and reputation, of each member of the Lord’s family, be his denomination what it may, as of our own. “Who is weak,” says the apostle, “and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?” Oh how graciously, how kindly does our God deal with His people! Laying His hand upon their many spots, He seems to say, “No eye but mine shall see them.” Oh! let us in this particular be “imitators of God, as dear children.” Thus shall we more clearly evidence to others, and be assured ourselves, that have “passed from death unto life.”

 

A Thought On Standing and the Voice of Truth

     It doesn’t take a long look at the world in which we live to see that we’ve got serious problems.  To be honest, we don’t even have to look at the world.  We can just look at our own country.  All anyone has to do to see how bad things really are is to look at our government, it’s officials, and it’s policies.  Now, I’m not a fan of Barak Obama, but I don’t blame him for everything that’s wrong in government.  Government has been going in the wrong direction, in my opinion, for a long time.  Yet, it’s not governments fault for the situation in which our country finds itself.  In fact what we see in government today is only a symptom of something far more serious.  In fact, all the the things we see in our country, all the things that plague our country, are the result of only one thing.
     If you want to understand what is at the root of the problems we face in our country all you have to do is look to history, in particular the history of Israel as described in the Bible.  The reason history keeps repeating itself is because people refuse to learn from it.  The reason the nation of Israel failed and was conquered was because it’s people failed to honor the God who called them to be His own.  It was the people who failed their country, not the other way around. 
     Yes, there is corruption in our government, but the reason there’s corruption in our government is because there’s corruption in us.  In Proverbs 14:34 it says “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”  Therein lies the problem with our country.  Our people are like the Israelites of the Old Testament in that God’s chosen people embraced the pagan rituals and practices of the people’s around them.  They turned their backs on God, and He left them to the consequences of their actions.  
     We only have to look at the history of Israel to see the root of our problem, but, so too, can we look to this nations’ history to find the solution.  Can our nation be restored to greatness?  I believe it can be restored.  I believe this nation can once again be the beacon of light and freedom that, I believe, God intended it to be.  How that restoration begins is by our people, God’s people, raising their voice in supplication to God Almighty repenting of our sins, begging forgiveness, and taking our stand upon the rock that cannot be moved. 
     You, Christian, must take your stand for Christ, and your country.  You must make a commitment to live your life as your Lord and Savior lived His.  You cannot be the Pharisee, the Sadducee, the one who sees the need and leaves it to others to meet.  You, Christian, cannot embrace the things of the world surrounding you.  Do you speak against filth and allow it into your homes?  Do you use your freedom to pursue your lusts?  You, You, and You will you stand? 
     Karl Kraus said, “Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.”   We, as a people, as a country, have prostituted ourselves in that we have taken our God-given abilities, talents, our names-that are to be treasured above rubies and gold, and sold them all for purposes unworthy of who God called us to be.  How long Christian will you sit idle and allow evil to have it’s way?  Do you think your Lord and Savior will be proud of you for standing aside when you see the wrong around you, for not speaking against it?  Would your Lord stand in front of a liar and a thief and say “It’s okay.  Go ahead and do what you want.”  Why do you? 
     You call yourself  a christian, are you?  Do you know what your Bible says?  Do you believe it?  It’s time to determine who you are, Christian.  Do you believe that you are called to be responsible for your life and your choices?  Do you believe that God has called you to work; to work when, where, how, and with what we have to do so?  Do you believe in Jesus?  Do you trust Him?  Do you have faith in Him?  Do you believe in the love He showed? Then live as if you do.
     You, men of God, where are you?  Why do you not stand?  It’s up to You.  Are you going to stand as Christ stood, sacrifice as he did, are you going to give your all for your God, your family, your children, and for your country who needs you so?  You, women of God, where are you?  Will you not stand along side your men?  Will you not fight for your children?  Will you not drop to your knees and pray?  
     Gandhi said, “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”  Will you be; will you become, the people God has called you to be?  Will you stand for your country and for your God?  Will you be the voice of truth, or will you murmur with the rest?    

From “Music For The Soul” from Alexander Maclaren

 

     How would you define your relationship with Christ?  How would you answer this question, “Christ is my . . . .?” 

 

A COMPANIONSHIP THAT CHEERS

 

Shall two walk together , except they have agreed?- Amo_3:3

There are three phrases in the Old Testament very like each other and yet presenting different facets or aspects of the same great truth. Sometimes we read about “walking before God,” as Abraham was bid to do. That means ordering the daily life under the continual sense that we are ever in the great Taskmaster’s eye. Then there is “walking after God,” and that means conforming the will and active efforts to the rule that He has laid down; setting our steps firm on the paths that He has prepared, that we should walk in them; and accepting His providences. But also, then, high above both these conceptions of a devout life, is the one which was realized in the case of the patriarch Enoch – walking “with God.” For to walk before Him may have with it some tremor, and may be undertaken in the spirit of the slave, who would be glad to get away from the jealous eye that rebukes his slothfulness; and “walking after Him” may be a painful and partial effort to keep His distant figure in sight; but to “walk with Him ” implies a constant, quiet sense of His Divine presence which forbids that I should ever be lonely, which guides and defends, which floods my soul and fills my life, and in which, as the companions pace along side by side, words may be spoken by either, or blessed silence may be eloquent of perfect trust and rest.

But far above us as such experience seems to sound, such a life is a possibility for every one of us. We may be able to say, as truly as our Lord said it, “‘ I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” It is possible that the dreariest solitude of a soul, such as is not realized when the body is removed from men, but is felt most in the crowded city, where there is none that loves or fathoms and sympathies, may be turned into blessed fellowship with Him. Yes! but that solitude will not be so turned unless it is first painfully felt. As Daniel said, ” I was left alone, and I saw the great vision.” We need to feel in our deepest hearts that loneliness on earth before we walk with God.

If we are so walking, it is no piece of fanaticism to say that there will be mutual communications. As really as it was ever true that the Lord said unto Abraham, or Isaiah, or Paul, it is true that He now speaks to the man that walks with Him. Frank speech on both sides beguiles many a weary mile when lovers or friends foot it side by side. And this pair of friends, of whom I have spoken, have mutual intercourse. God speaks with His servant now, as of old, “as a man speaketh with his friend.” And we, on our parts, if we are truly walking with Him, shall feel it natural to speak frankly to God. As two friends on the road will interchange remarks about trifles, and, if they love each other, the remarks about the trifles will be weighted with love, so we can tell our smallest affairs to God; and, if we have Him for our Pilgrim-Companion, we do not need to lock up any troubles or concerns of any sort, big or little, in our hearts, but may speak them all to our Friend that goes with us.