To Ponder:

“Looking unto Jesus!” Hebrews 12:2. Only three words, but in these three words is the whole secret of spiritual life. Look unto Jesus in the Scriptures, to learn there who He is, what He has done, what He gives, what He desires. Looking unto Jesus in the Scriptures, we find in His character–our pattern; in His teachings–our instruction; in His precepts–our law; in His promises–our support; in His person and in His work–a full satisfaction provided for every need of our souls. “You study the Scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same Scriptures that testify about Me!” John 5:39.

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To Ponder:

Dear friend,

Your constitution, your situation, your temperament, all that is either comfortable or painful in your lot–is of God’s divine appointment. The hairs of your head are all numbered! The same power which produced the planets, is necessary to the production of a single hair; nor can one of them fall to the ground without His notice, any more than the stars can fall from their orbits! In providence, no less than in creation, He controls the very greatest as well as the very smallest things. Healing and wounding are equally from His hand–and equally tokens of His love and care over us. Our faithful and good Shepherd affords to us strength according to our day. He knows our frame, and will lay no more on us than He will enable us to bear–no more than He will cause to work for our good. Our comforts of every kind come free and undeserved–and when we are afflicted, it is because there is a need-be for it. He does it not willingly. Our trials are either beneficial medicines, or honorable appointments, to put us in such circumstances as may best qualify us to show forth His praise. Our sea may sometimes be stormy, but we have an infallible Pilot, and shall infallibly gain our port! Therefore do not be afraid; only believe! (Letters of John Newton)

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To Ponder:

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.  Punish him with the rod–and save his soul from death!” Proverbs 23:13-14. To leave the roots of weeds growing in the garden among the flowers–is to insure the springing up of those weeds by and by, to mar the beauty of the garden. In the same way, some parents have such foolish hearts that they cannot bear to correct a child lest they cause it pain. They forget that to leave an uncorrected fault in a child, or to allow any wrong habit to grow up in its life unchecked–is the greatest unkindness they could possibly do the child! No tender feeling should ever prevent a parent from trying to correct a fault in a child. Love must always seek the best. “Chasten your son while there is hope–and do not set your heart on his destruction!” Proverbs 19:18. (J.R. Miller)

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To Ponder:

rejoice

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4. Just so, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing,” says Paul, speaking of his own experience. The believer’s joy does not exclude sorrow, but attends it, sustains under it, and raises above it. Joy in the Lord should be constant–for He is the same. There is as much ground for joy in Him in the winter of adversity–as in the summer of prosperity. He is as good when he chides us–as when He comforts us. He is as gracious when He lays us low–as when He raises us up. He is as kind when He takes away–as when He gives. If our joy springs chiefly from creature good and agreeable circumstances–then it must be fluctuating at the best, and at times it will entirely dry up. But if our chief joy is in God, then the spring of it never fails! “When all created streams are dried,  His fullness is the same!” Observe, my soul, that joy in the Lord is not only encouraged–but commanded. After once giving the admonition, the apostle says, “Again I say, Rejoice.” The Lord would have His children happy in His love, restful under the shelter of His wings, and peaceful in the midst of storms. Seek then to know more of Him, live upon His fullness, dwell on His unchanging grace–and so will you be joyful in Him even in the midst of tribulation! (“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

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To Ponder:

 

the-power-of-prayerSurely a Christian should be willing to give up anything which stands between him and heaven. A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing! A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown. (J. C. Ryle)

We shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians. (Charles H. Spurgeon

Sometimes it is so with me that I would rather die than pray! (Thomas Shepherd)To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. (Martin Luther

Prayer will keep us from sin and sin will keep us from prayer! (Jonathan Edwards)

A church building may be filled to overflowing, but what that church body is on their knees together before God, that is what they are and no more. (Paraphrase of Jonathan Edwards)

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To Ponder:

old-stone-wall

 

We might as well preach to stone walls! “For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words–but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction!” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5. The gospel is preached in the ears of all men–but it only comes with power to some. The power which is in the gospel, does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher–otherwise men would be converters of souls. Nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning–otherwise it could consists of the wisdom of men.  We might preach until our tongues rotted, until we should exhaust our lungs and die–but never a soul would be converted, unless there were mysterious power going with it–the Holy Spirit changing the will and heart of man. O Sirs! We might as well preach to stone walls, as preach to men–unless the Holy Spirit is with the Word, to give it power to convert the soul. (Charles Spurgeon)

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To Ponder:

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8. “Do you love Me?” John 21:17. Does not Jesus in thus appealing to me, in effect say: “For you, I left the realms of glory, and the adoration of ten thousand times ten thousand holy ones! For you, I became incarnate, took on the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. For you, I obeyed the law, and wrought a perfect righteousness for your justification. For you, I endured the cross, and despised the shame. For you, I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to those who plucked off the hair. For you, I endured the crown of thorns, and gave My hands and My feet to be nailed to the tree. For you, I shed My blood, and laid down My life! I loved you with a love of pity and compassion–when you were dead in trespasses and sins! I opened your eyes, revealed to you your sinfulness and guilt, and awakened your cry for mercy. I sought you in your wanderings–and found you! I brought you up out of the horrible pit, and miry clay–and set your feet upon the rock. I have loved you with an everlasting love–and therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you! All this I have done for you–do you love Me? “We love Him, because He first loved us!” 1 John 4:19. (“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

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