To Ponder:

“Without holiness, no one will see the Lord!” Hebrews 12:14. Most men hope to go to Heaven when they die; but few, it may be feared, take the trouble to consider whether they would enjoy Heaven if they got there. Heaven is essentially a holy place;
its inhabitants are all holy; its occupations are all holy. To be really happy in Heaven, it is clear and plain that we must be somewhat trained and made ready for Heaven while we are on earth. We must be saints before we die–if we are to be saints afterwards in glory.
We need the work of the Holy Spirit–as well as the work of Christ;
we need renewal of the heart–as well as the atoning blood;
we need to be sanctified–as well as to be justified. What could an unsanctified man do in Heaven, if by any chance he got there? No man can possibly be happy in a place where he is not in his element, and where all around him is not congenial to his tastes, habits and character. When an eagle is happy in an iron cage, when a sheep is happy in the middle of a lake, when a fish is happy on the dry land–then, and not until then, will I admit that the unsanctified man could be happy in Heaven!
The book of Revelation says expressly, “Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27. (J.C. Ryle)

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To Ponder:

O, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His mercy endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34. O, give thanks to the Lord, Christian, for He has not dealt with you after your sins, nor rewarded you according to your iniquities! He has pardoned your sins, justified your soul, renewed your nature, and given you a title to everlasting life! He has thus prevented your ruin, borne your follies, supplied all your needs, guided your steps, and promised to conduct you to glory! His mercy has been ever great toward you! O, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His mercy endures forever! (James Smith, Sunny Subjects for All Seasons, 1858)

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To Ponder:

Sin is the only evil thing–it is the evil of evils! Sin is the poison which the old serpent spat into our virgin nature! In sin there is both pollution and enmity. Sin is compared to a “thick cloud” (Isaiah 44:22), which not only hides the light of God’s face–but brings down showers of His wrath! Sin is worse than all evils. There is more evil in a drop of sin–than in a sea of affliction! Sin is the cause of all evil. Out of this viperous womb of sin, come “evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.” Sin is the quintessence of evil. Sin puts a sting into death (1 Corinthians 15:56). Sin is worse than Hell! Hell is a burden only to the sinner–but sin is a burden to God! Amos 2:13. (Thomas Watson, “Religion Our True Interest”)

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To Ponder:

“The first general work of the Spirit, as we have seen, is that he should bring back to our memories the things that Christ spoke for our guidance and comfort. This was to be the work of the Holy Spirit with respect to the apostles, who were to be the writers of Scripture. This is also his work with respect to believers to the end of the world. Now the things that Christ has spoken and done are ‘written that we might believe, and believing, have life through his name’ (John 20:31). They are written in Scripture. This, then, is the work of the Spirit which Christ has promised. He shall bring to our remembrance, and give us understanding of, the words of Christ in the Scripture for our guidance and comfort. Is this now the work of the spirit which is abroad in the world and perverts many? The business of this false spirit is to deny the things that Christ has spoken which are written in the Word and, instead, to claim new revelations of his own, to lead men from the written Word in which the whole work of God and all the promises of Chris are recorded. Such was the spirit of the Montanists and that of Mohammed and of all who claim new revelations today.” “Communion with God” John Owen

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To Ponder:

“Worship has always been characteristic of the people of God. When God created man He made him in His own ‘image’ and ‘likeness’ (Gen. 1:26-27). The chief end of God’s image-bearers was ‘to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.’ Human nature was programmed to worship God. But when sin entered the world at the fall, the program became corrupted. Human beings are still worshippers; but since the fall they ‘worship and serve the creature rather than the  Creator’ (Rom. 1:25). The word ‘godly’, which occurs frequently in the Bible, means to be ‘godlike’. It is the will of God that all His children are godly (1 Thess. 4:3): this is good and pleases God (1 Tim. 2:3); to ‘live…godly lives in the present age’ is also one of the reasons why the saving grace of God appeared (Titus 2:11-12). God wants to reproduce His holy character in His people” “The Church, Glorious Body, Radiant Bride” Mark Johnston

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To Ponder:

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light, than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne and coming down from Heaven to attend to the wants and woes of His redeemed people. How can we but love Him, when we know that He numbers the very hairs of our heads, marks all our paths, and orders all our ways? When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it, for “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.  You have recorded each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8. Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah, your whisper can incline His ear unto you, your prayer can stay His hand, your faith can move His arm! Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. For the eyes of the Lord run to and for throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him. (Charles Spurgeon)

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To Ponder:

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God–to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Upon some points, a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that an invisible hand is always on the world’s rudder. He also knows that wherever providence may drift–Jehovah steers it. That reassuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He knows that God is always wise, and knowing this he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes–that nothing can occur which ought not to occur. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose it, than have it–if God so wills. The worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing which could befall me–if God ordains it!” “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God–to those who are called according to His purpose.” The Christian does not merely hold this as amere theory, but he knows it as a certain fact. Everything has worked for good as yet. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results. So believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil–the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what You will, my God–as long as it comes from You. There has never come a bad portion from Your table, to any of Your children!” (Charles Spurgeon)

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