Monday, March 31, 2014

King Felix and St. Paul Continued...

Taken from:
Discipline and Other Sermons 
(1881 edition)
 by Charles Kingsley

The first time St. Paul came before him, Felix seems to have seen at once that Paul was innocent, and a good man; and that, perhaps, was the reason he sent for him again, and, strangely enough, heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

And what he heard we may very fairly guess, because we know from Paul's writings what he was in the habit of saying.

St. Paul told him of righteousness - a word of which he was very fond. He told Felix of a righteous and good God, who had manifested to man his righteousness and goodness, in the righteousness and goodness of his Son Jesus; a righteous God, who wished to make all men righteous like himself, that they might be happy forever.

Perhaps Paul called Felix to give up all hopes of having his own righteousness - the false righteousness of forms, ceremonies and superstitions - and to ask for the righteousness of Christ, which is a clean heart and a right spirit; and then he set before him, no doubt, as was his custom, the beauty of righteousness, the glory of it, as Paul calls it; how noble, honorable, divine and godlike a thing it is to be good.

Then Paul told Felix of temperance. And what he said we may fairly guess from his writings. He would tell Felix there were two elements in every man, the flesh and the spirit, and that those warred against each other; the flesh trying to drag him down, that he may become a brute in fleshly lusts and passions; the spirit trying to raise him up, that he may become a son of God in purity and virtue. But if so, what need must there be of temperance!

How must a man be bound to be temperate, to keep under his body and bring it into subjection, bound to restrain the lower and more brutal feelings in him, that the higher and purer feelings may grow and thrive in him to everlasting life!

Truly the temperate man, the man who can restrain himself, is the only strong man, the only safe man, the only happy man, the only man worthy of the name of man at all. This, or something like this, Paul would have said to Felix.

Paul did not, as far as we know, rebuke him for his sins. He left him to rebuke himself. He told him what ought to be, what he ought to do, and left the rest to his conscience. Poor Felix, brought up a heathen slave in that profligate court of Rome, had probably never heard of righteousness and temperance, had never had what was good and noble set before him. Now Paul set the good before him, and showed him a higher life than any he had ever dreamed of - higher than all his viceregal power and pomp - and bade him see how noble and divine it was to be good.   To be continued...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Paul Before King Felix.

Taken from:
Discipline and Other Sermons 
(1881 edition)
 by Charles Kingsley

And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”  Acts 24:25

This is a well-known text, on which many a sermon has been preached, and with good reason, for it is an important text. It tells us of a man, who, like too many men in all times, trembled when he heard the truth about his wicked life, but did not repent and mend; and a very serious lesson we may draw from his example.

But even a more important fact about the text is that it tells us what were really the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion in those early times, about twenty-five years, seemingly, after our Lord's death; what St. Paul used to preach about; what he considered was the first thing which he had to tell men.

Let us take this latter question first. About what did St. Paul reason before Felix?

About righteousness (which means justice), temperance, and judgement to come.

I beg you to remember these words. If you believe the Bible to be inspired, you are bound to take its words as they stand. And therefore I beg you to remember that St. Paul preached not about unrighteousness, but righteousness; not about intemperance, but temperance; not about hell, but about judgement to come; in a word, not about wrong, but about right.

I hope that does not seem to you a small matter. I hope that none of you are ready to say, "It comes to the same thing in the end." It does not come to the same thing. There is no use rebuking a man for being bad unless you first tell him how he may become better and give him hope for himself, or you will only drive him to recklessness and despair. You must show him the right road before you can complain of him for going on the wrong one.

But if St. Paul had reasoned with Felix about injustice, intemperance and hell, one could not have been surprised. For Felix was a thoroughly bad man, unjust and intemperate, and seemingly fitting himself for hell.

He had begun life as a slave of the emperor in a court which was a mere stink of profligacy and villainy. Then he had got his freedom, and next, the governorship of Judea, probably by his brother Pallas's interest, who had been a slave like him, and had made an enormous fortune by the most detestable wickedness.

When in his governorship, Felix began to show himself as wicked as his brother. The violence, misrule, extortion and cruelty which went on in Judea was notorious. He caused the high-priest at Jerusalem to be murdered out of spite. Drusilla, his wife, he had taken away from a Syrian king, who was her lawful husband. Making money seems to have been his great object; and the great Roman historian of those times sums up his character in a few bitter words thus: "Felix," he says, "exercised the power of a king with the heart of a slave, in all cruelty and lust."

Such was the wicked upstart whom God, for the sins of the Jews, had allowed to rule them in St. Paul's time and before him St. Paul had to plead for his life.  To be continued...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Can the Soul Die?

Last night, I listened to a sermon online about hell. This preacher said he didn't believe the fire that describes hell was a literal fire but was symbolic of how a person would feel inside forever. They would be full of horror etc. forever, because the soul cannot die.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say the wicked will live forever. Nowhere.

Jesus himself said, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

Destroy. What does that mean? Living forever in torment? No.

"The soul who sins shall die." Ezekiel 18:20

God does say the smoke of their death will go on forever. Smoke is all that is left after something is burned up. It is the result of a fire, not the fire itself. We will not forget the result of sin forever. This will keep the universe safe forever since we will never be tempted to experiment with sin. We will always remember the result of living a life apart from God.

"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 14:11

"And now they sin more and more, And make for themselves molten images, Idols skillfully made from their silver, All of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, "Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves! Therefore they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that goes early away, like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor or like smoke from a window. Hosea 13:2,3

"But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD's enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke." Psalm 37:20

"Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever.And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch." Isaiah 34:9,10

"And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts." Malachi 4:3

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." Malachi 4:1

Writing of Babylon, which represents the wicked and confusion of the world at the end of time, the Bible says after she is destroyed by God, "The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” Rev. 19:3

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades (hell) gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Revelation 20:13,14

This verse says plainly that death and hell (one's punishment) will be destroyed in the lake of fire at the time of judgement.

Does God want to punish people? No.

"Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?' Ezekiel 33:11

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Revelation 20:12

There is nothing fairer than being judged on what you have done. If you have used people and hurt them, you will be judged for that. "When I select an appointed time, It is I who judge with equity." Psalm 75:2 Equity means:

1. The state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair.
2. Something that is just, impartial, and fair.

Is God reasonable? Is God sane? Is God full of love and compssion? If this is true, he will not punish people forever and ever keeping them alive in torment.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Power of Prayer.

From the book, Quiet Talks on Prayer
1904, abridged
Written by S.D. Gordon

There is one inlet of power in the life - anybody's life - any kind of power; just one inlet: the Holy Spirit. He is power. He is in everyone who opens his door to God...To yield to his mastery, to cultivate his friendship, to give him full swing, that will result in what is called power - the Holy Spirit in control.

There are five outlets of power; five avenues through which this One within shows himself and reveals his power.

First: through the life and what we are. If we be right, the power of God will be constantly flowing out, though we be not conscious of it. It throws the keenest kind of emphasis on a man being right in his life. There will be an eager desire to serve...

Second: through the lips, what we say. It may be said stammeringly and falteringly, but if said your best with the desire to please the Master, it will be God-blessed. I have heard a man talk; he stuttered and blushed and got his grammar badly tangled, but my heart burned as I listened. And I have heard a man talk with smooth speech; it rolled off me as easily as it rolled out of him. Do your best and leave the rest.

Third: through our service, what we do. It may be done bunglingly and blunderingly. Your best may not be the best, but if it is your best it will bring a harvest.

Fourth: through our money, what we do not keep, but loosen out for God. Money comes nearest to omnipotence of anything we handle.

Fifth: through our prayer, what we claim in Jesus' name.

By all odds the greatest of these is the outlet through prayer...The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray. It is not the only thing, but it is the chief thing. The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I don't mean those who talk about prayer, nor those who say they believe in prayer, nor those who can explain about prayer; I mean those who take time and pray.
They don't have time. It must be taken from something else.

There are people who put prayer first and group the other items in life's schedule around and after prayer.These are the people today who are doing the most for God; in winning souls, in solving problems, in awakening churches, in supplying both men and money for mission posts...

Man's willingness is God's channel to the earth. God never crowds nor coerces. Everything God does for man and through man He does with the man's consent. God can do nothing for the man with a shut hand and shut life. There must be an open hand and heart and life through which God can give what he longs to. An open life, an open hand, open upward, is the pipe line of communication between the heart of God and this poor befooled old world. Our prayer is God's opportunity to get into the world that would shut him out.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Personal Stories.

Yesterday, something pretty bad happened to me. I can't go into details, but it was something that triggered my childhood abuse. That evening my heart started beating fast and I felt angry and wanted to break something. I also knew from experience that I would have violent nightmares when I went to bed.

I couldn't sleep, so in desperation I took two sleeping pills. I passed out for maybe an hour and woke up stumbling all over the apartment. I had prayed earlier for God to help me out of my mess because I was thinking about running away from home again and other things;

So, I began to read a book I had just bought. It was not a religious book, it was an anthology of winning news articles. One of them was about an innocent man who was accused of killing his wife. This was before DNA could be tested. To make a long story short, he was convicted although lots of info that would have proven his innocence was left out of the trial because of the DA at the time.

So, this man lost his wife in a horrific way, and he lost his child who was given to his wife's sister. He was allowed visits with his son twice a year, but when the boy was twelve and knew why his father was in jail, he changed his name to his aunt's name and said he didn't want to visit any longer.

This is the lowest that this husband and father felt. He had already been in jail around 10 years.Fifteen years later, he was proven innocent and freed. They caught the man who did do it. He was a serial killer who killed other people after he killed this man's wife.

Anyway, What stunned me, since I was in a tizzy about my own tortured soul, was how the pain of losing his son turned this man to God. He said he prayed and two weeks later he felt and saw a burning light all around himself. It was full of love and compassion. He said he knew it was God and from that moment on he had peace of mind. He became a believer.

Meanwhile, his son was in college working towards becoming a minister. Wow. So, through this terrible tragedy both father and son accepted Jesus as Christ and were saved. What a story.What pain they had to go through in order to be drawn to God!

If I did not have the pain I have in my life, would I be a Christian? I don't know. My childhood pain had taught me to never treat my children in that way. Then, when I looked at the face of my baby I melted. I wanted to bring her up in a loving Christian way and I tried to do my best.

After reading the story of that man who was wrongly accused of murder, I felt better about my struggles with mental illness. I felt that compared to my suffering - his was worse and yet God brought through that pain the eternal life of the son and his father. Wow. Etern al Life. They both now have Eternal Life. It is evident how God can bring eternal good out of an ugly, evil deed as was done by a serial killer.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

God's World.

God's World.

Written by: Charles Kingsley

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1

It may seem hardly worth while to preach upon this text. Everyone thinks that he believes it. Of course, they say, we know that God made the world. Teach us something we do not know, not something which we do. Why preach to us about a text which we fully understand and believe already?

Because, my friends, there are few texts in the Bible more difficult to believe than this, the very first; few texts which we need to repeat to ourselves again and again, in all the chances and changes of this mortal life; lest we forget it just as we are most sure of it.

We know it was very difficult for people in olden times to believe it, else why did all the heathens of old, and why do all the heathens now, worship idols?

We know that the old Jews, after it had been revealed to them, found it very difficult to believe. Else why were they always deserting the worship of God and worshiping idols and devils, sun, moon and stars and all the host of heaven?

We know that the early Christians, in spite of the light of the Gospel and of God's Spirit, found it very difficult to believe it. Doubtless they believed it a thousand times more fully than it had ever been believed before. They would have shrunk in horror from saying that anyone but God had made the heavens and the earth. But Christians clung, for many hundreds of years, even almost up to our own day, to old heathen superstitions, which they would have cast away if their faith had been full, and if they had held with their whole hearts and souls and minds, that there was one God, of whom are all things. They believed the Devil and evil spirits had power to raise thunderstorms, and blight crops, and change that course of nature of which the Psalmist had said that all things served God, and continued this day as at the beginning. For God had given them a law which could not be broken. They believed in magic, astrology and a hundred other dreams, which all began from secret disbelief that God made the heaven and the earth...

And therefore I tell you here; as the church has told Christian people in all ages; if any of you have any fancy for such follies, any belief in charms and magic, any belief you can have your fortune told by astrologers, gypsies, or such like, you must go back to the Bible and learn better the first text in it. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." God's is the kingdom, the power and the glory of all things visible and invisible. All the world around us, with its wonderful secrets is governed, from the sun over our heads, to the smallest blade of grass beneath our feet, by God, and by God alone. Neither evil spirit nor magician has the smallest power over one atom of it; and our fortunes do not depend on the influences of the stars or planets, ghosts or spirits, or anything else but on ourselves, of whom it is written, God shall judge every man according to his works.

"When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?" Isaiah 8:19

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Must I Do?

Then he brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Acts 16:30

This question was asked by a Roman jailer who was in of Paul and Silas. He had thought his prisoners had escaped and was about to take his own life when Paul stopped him. "But Paul shouted to him, "Stop! Don't kill yourself! We are all here!" After seeing the conduct of these two men, the jailer asked a question that is important to all humans, "What must I do to be saved?"

Excerpt from the book: Sermons on Biblical Characters

Written by: Charles G. Chappell, D.D.

I am wondering now if it is a big question to you. Remember, it is not, "What must I do to be decent or respectable? These things are alright, but they are not supreme....

What is implied in this question when it is asked intelligently? There is implied first of all that there is an absolute difference between being saved and lost. There is implied in it that there are two classes of people, not the cultured and the uncultured, not the learned and the unlearned. They are the saved and the lost. They are those who have life and those who do not have life.

I am perfectly aware that we of today do not like such dogmatic divisions. But I call your attention to the fact they are the divisions made in the New Testament. They are the divisions Jesus made. He put people into two classes, and only two.

There were two gates, one broad and the other narrow. There were two foundations on which a man might build, one was of sand and the other of rock. Mark you, he did not dived men into the perfect and imperfect, but into those who had life and those who did not have it. He said, "He that has the son has life, and he that has not the son does not have life." 

This question implies, in the third place, not only the an is lost who asked it, but that there is a possibility of his being saved.  Here was a man conscious of being lost, conscious of being sin-scarred, stained and guilty, yet he believes, and is right in believing, that salvation is possible for him. He believes that even he can be saved to the uttermost. There is such a thing as salvation and it is possible for me, even me, to lay hold of it.

And you too must realize that, otherwise it will do you no good to realize the fact you are a sinner. It is not enough to know you are lost. You must also believe you may be saved. It is not enough to realize you are weak; you must believe it is possible for you to be strong. You must believe in the power of God to remake men, otherwise for you the question is only a question of black despair.

"What must I do to be saved?" There is an answer to this question. It is an answer that is absolutely dependable. There is nothing in all the world of which I am more sure than I am of the correctness of the answer to this question. I am as sure of it as I am of my own existence. I am as sure of it as I am of the fact of God.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."
What is it to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? It is to believe Jesus Christ can do what he claims to do and what he has promised to do and to depend on him to do it.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Light in Our Hearts.

Horace Bushnell

From the book: Sermons on Biblical Characters

Written by: Charles G. Chappell, D.D.

Horace Bushnell, while a student at Yale, felt that he was in the way of a great revival that was sweeping through the University. He did not want to stand in the way of this. He did not feel he could come out on the side of Jesus Christ for he did not believe in Christ.

"What then do you believe?" a voice within him seemed to ask. "I  believe there is an absolute difference between right and wrong," was the answer. "Have you ever put yourself on the side of right to follow it regardless of the consequences?" was the next question. "I have not," was the answer, "but I will."

So, Horace Busnell knelt there in his room and dedicated himself to the service of the right. And what was the result? After he had been a preacher in Hartford, Connecticut for forty-seven years he said, "Better than I know any man in Hartford I know Jesus Christ."

I believe that Jesus spoke the simple truth when he said, "If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from myself." However little you may believe at this present moment, if you will be loyal to what you do believe, if you follow the light that you have, it will bring you into the brightness of day.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Life is a School.


by  Charles Kingsley

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you." Deuteronomy 8:2-5

This is the lesson of our lives.  This is training, not only for the old Jews, but for us.  What was true  of them, is more or less true of us.  And we read these verses to teach us that God’s ways with man do not change; that his fatherly hand is over us, as well as over the people of Israel; that we are in God’s schoolhouse, as they were; that their blessings are our blessings, their dangers are our dangers; that, as St. Paul says, all these things are written for our example. ‘And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger.’

How true to life that is!  How often there comes to a man, at his setting out in life, a time which humbles him; a  time of disappointment, when he finds that he is not so clever as he thought, as able to help himself as he thought; when his fine plans fail him; when he does not know how to settle in life, how to marry, how to provide for a family.  Perhaps the man actually does hunger, and go through a time of want and struggle.

 Then, it may be, he cries in his heart - How hard it is for me!  How hard that the golden days of youth should be all dark and clouded over!  How hard to have to suffer anxiety and weary hard work, just when I am able to enjoy myself most!

It is hard: but worse things than hard things may happen to a man.  Far worse is it to grow up, as some men do, in wealth, and ease, and luxury, with all the pleasures of this life found ready to their hands.  Some men, says the proverb, are ‘born with a golden spoon in their mouth.’  God help them if they are!  Idleness, profligacy, luxury, self-conceit, no care for their duty, no care for God, no feeling that they are in God’s school-house - these are too often the fruits of that breeding up.  How hardly will they learn that man does not live by bread alone, or by money alone, or by comfort alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  Truly, said our Lord, ‘how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven.’

 Not those who earn riches by manful and honest labor; not those who come to wealth after long training to make them fit to use wealth: but those who have wealth; who are born amid luxury and pomp; who have never known want, and the golden lessons which want brings. - God help them, for they need his help even more than the poor young man who is at his wit’s end how to live.  For him God is helping.  His very want, and struggles, and anxiety may be God’s help to him.  They help him to control himself, and do with a little; they help him to strengthen his character, and to bring out all the powers of mind that God has given him. God is humbling him, that he may know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.

God, too, if he trusts in God, will feed him with manna - spiritual manna, not bodily.  He fed the Jews in the wilderness with manna, to show them that his power was indeed almighty - that if he did not see fit to help his people in one way, he could help them just as easily in another.  And so with every man who trusts in God.  In unforeseen ways, he is helped.  In unforeseen ways, he prospers; his life, as he goes on, becomes very different from what he expected, from what he would have liked; his fine dreams fade away, as he finds the world quite another place from what he fancied it: but still he prospers.  If he be earnest and honest, patient and God-fearing, he prospers; God brings him through.  His raiment doth not wax old, neither doth his foot swell, through all his forty years’ wandering in the wilderness.  He is not tired out, he does not break down, though he may have to work long and hard.  As his day is, so his strength shall be.

 God holds him up, strengthens and refreshes him, and brings him through years of labor from the thought of which he shrank when he was young. And so the man learns that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; that not in the abundance of things which he possesses, not in money; not in pleasure, not even in comforts, does the life of man consist: but in this - to learn his duty, and to have strength from God to do it.  Truly said the prophet - ‘It is good for a man to learn to bear the yoke in his youth.

Monday, March 10, 2014



by George Mcdonald

"Then he said to the crowd, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."   Luke 9:23,24

Christ is the way out, and the way in;
The way from slavery, conscious or unconscious, into liberty;
The way from the unlike-home of things to the home we desire but do not know;
The way from the stormy skirts of the Father's garments to the peace of his bosom.

He is not only the door of the sheepfold, but the shepherd of the sheep;
He is not only the way, but the leader of the way,
And the rock that followed,
And the captain of our salvation.

We must become as little children and Christ must be born in us;
We must learn of him and the one lesson he has to give is himself;
He does first of wall what he wants us to do;
He is first of all he wants us to be.

We must not merely do as he did;
We must see things as he saw them;
Regard them as he regarded them;
We must take the will of God as the very life of our being;
We must neither try to get our own way, nor trouble ourselves as to what may be thought or said of us.
The world must be nothing to us.

By the "world" I mean all ways of judging, regarding, and thinking, 
Whether political, economical, ecclesiastical, social, or individual, which are not divine,
Which are not God's way of thinking, regarding or judging,
Which do not take God into account,
Do not set his will as supreme, as the one and only law of life;

Which do not care for the truth of things, but the customs of society, or the practice of the trade;
Which heed not what is right, but the usage of the time.
From everything that is against the teaching and thinking of Jesus,
From the world in the heart of the best man in it, especially from the world in his own heart,
The disciple must turn to follow him.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Finding Rest in God.

by D. L. Moody

 “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and My burden is light."  Matthew 11:28

If you probe the human heart, you will find a want, and that want is rest. The cry of the world to day is, “Where can rest be found?” Why are theaters and places of amusement crowded at night? What is the secret of Sunday driving, of the saloons and brothels? Some think they are going to get it in pleasure, others think they are going to get it in wealth, and others in literature. They are seeking and finding no rest."

I like to have a text like this, because it takes us all in. “Come unto me all ye that labor.” That doe not mean a select few—refined ladies and cultured men. It does not mean good people only. It applies to saint and sinner. Hospitals are for the sick, not for healthy people. Do you think that Christ would shut the door in anyone’s face, and say, “I did not mean all; I only meant certain ones”? If you cannot come as a saint, come as a sinner. Only come! A lady told me once that she was so hard-hearted she couldn’t come. “Well,” I said, “my good woman, it doesn’t say all ye soft-hearted people come. Black hearts, vile hearts, hard hearts, soft hearts, all hearts come. Who can soften your hard heart but Himself?

The harder the heart, the more need you have to come. If my watch stops I don’t take it to a drug store or to a blacksmith’s shop, but to the watchmaker’s, to have it repaired. So if the heart gets out of order take it to its keeper, Christ, to have it set right. If you can prove that you are a sinner, you are entitled to the promise. Get all the benefit you can out of it. Now, there are a good many believers who think this text applies only to sinners; It is just the thing for them too. What do we see to-day? The Church, Christian people, all loaded down with cares and troubles. “Come unto me all ye that labor.” All! I believe that includes the Christian whose heart is burdened with some great sorrow. The Lord wants you to come.

Sometimes Christians go into their closet and close their door, and they get so carried away and lifted up that they forget their trouble; but they just take it up again the moment they get off their knees.

I was in Wales once, and a lady told me this little story: An English friend of hers, a mother, had a child that was sick. At first they considered there was no danger, until one day the doctor came in and said that the symptoms were very unfavorable. He took the mother out of the room, and told her that the child could not live. It came like a thunderbolt. After the doctor had gone the mother went into the room where the child lay and began to talk to the child and tried to divert its mind. “Darling, do you know you will soon hear the music of heaven? You will hear a sweeter song than you have ever heard on earth. You will hear them sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. You are very fond of music. Won’t it be sweet, darling?

And the little tired, sick child turned its head away, and said, “Oh mamma, I am so tired and so sick that I think it would make me worse to hear all that music.” “Well,” the mother said, “you will soon see Jesus, You will see the seraphim and cherubim and the streets all paved with gold”; and she went on picturing heaven as it is described in Revelation. The little tired child again turned its head away, and said, “Oh mamma, I am so tired that I think it would make me worse to see all those beautiful things!” At last the mother took the child up in her arms, and pressed her to her loving heart. And the little sick one whispered: “Oh mamma, that is what I want. If Jesus will only take me in His arms and let me rest!”

Dear friend, are you not tired and weary of sin? Are you not weary of the turmoil of life? You can rest on the bosom of the Son of God.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Let Your Light Shine as the Stars.

Excerpts from the chapter: True Wisdom
from the book, "Overcoming Life and Other Sermons".
by D.L. Moody

“They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; 
and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”  Dan. 12:3

God has left us down here to shine. We are not here to buy and sell and get gain, to accumulate wealth, to acquire worldly position. This earth, if we are Christians, is not our home; it is up yonder. God has sent us into the world to shine for Him—to light up this dark world. Christ came to be the Light of the world, but men put out that light. They took it to Calvary, and blew it out. Before Christ went up on high, He said to His disciples: “Ye are the light of the world. Ye are my witnesses. Go forth and carry the Gospel to the perishing nations of the earth.” So God has called us to shine, just as much as Daniel was sent into Babylon to shine.

Let no man or woman say that they cannot shine because they have not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have. Daniel probably did not have much influence down in Babylon at first, but God soon gave him more, because he was faithful and used what he had.

Then we must remember that we are to let our light shine. It does not say, “Make your light shine.” You do not have to make light to shine; all you have to do is to let it shine. I remember hearing of a man at sea who was very seasick. If there is a time when a man feels that he cannot do any work for the Lord it is then—in my opinion. While this man was sick, he heard that someone had fallen overboard. He was wondering if he could do anything to help to save the man. He laid hold of a light, and held it up to the port-hole. The drowning man was saved. When this man got over his attack of sickness, he went on deck one day and was talking with the man who was rescued. The saved man gave this testimony. He said he had gone down the second time, and was just going down again for the last time, when he put out his hand. Just then, he said, someone held a light at the port-hole, and the light fell on it. A sailor caught him by the hand and pulled him into the lifeboat. It seemed a small thing to do to hold up the light; yet it saved the man’s life.

 There is one thing you cannot bury with a good man; his influence still lives. They have not buried Daniel yet: his influence is as great today as it ever was. Do you tell me that Joseph is dead? His influence still lives and will continue to live on and on. You may bury the frail tenement of clay that a good man lives in, but you cannot get rid of his influence and example. Paul was never more powerful than he is to-day.

 Let me quote a few words by Dr. Chalmers:  "Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storms of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love and mercy, on the hearts of the thousands you come in contact with year by year; you will never be forgotten. No, your name, your deeds will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven."

 "Let your light shine before others, 
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5:16

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our Restless Heart.

Unspoken Sermons
by George Macdonald

If I find my consciousness to be that of one in some sort of prison;
If I find that I can neither rule the world in which I live nor my own thoughts or desires;
That I cannot quiet my passions, order my likings, determine my ends, will my growth, forget when I want to, or recall what I forget;
That I cannot love when I would, or hate where I would;
That I am no king over myself;
That I cannot supply my own needs, do not even always know which of my seeming needs are to be supplied and which should be treated as impostors;

If, in a word, my own being is in every way too much for me;
If I can neither understand it, be satisfied with it, nor better it;
May it not well give me pause - the pause that ends with prayer?

When my own scale seems too large to manage;
When I reflect I cannot account for my existence, have had no poor hand in it, neither, should I not like it, can do anything towards causing it to cease;
When I think that I can do nothing to make up to those I love, any more than to those I hate, for evils I have done them and sorrows I have caused them;

That in my worst moments I disbelieve in my best, in my best I loathe my worst;
That there is in me no wholeness, no unity;
That life is not a good to me, for I scorn myself;
When I think all or any of these things, can it be strange if I think also that surely there ought to be somewhere a being to account for me, one to account for himself, and make the round of my existence just;

One whose very being accounts and is necessary to account for mine;
Whose presence in my being is imperative, not merely to supplement it, but to make to myself my existence a good thing?

To know God is present, to have consciousness of God where he is the essential life, must be absolutely necessary to that life!
He that is made in the image of God must know him or be desolate; the child must have the Father!

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” 
― Augustine of HippoThe Confessions of Saint Augustine

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What is it to Covet?


to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet 
to wish for, especially eagerly: He won the prize they all coveted.

yearn to possess or have (something).
"the president-elect covets time for exercise and fishing"
synonyms:desire, yearn for, crave, have one's heart set on, want, wish for, long for, hanker after/for, hunger after/for, thirst for

by D.L. Moody

The most dangerous thing about this sin is that it is not generally regarded as very heinous. Of course we all have a contempt for misers, but all covetous men are not misers. Another thing to be noted about it is that it fastens upon the old rather than upon the young. Let us see what the Bible says about covetousness:—

“Mortify therefore your members . . . covetousness, which is idolatry.” “No covetous man hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.” “They that will be (that is, desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6: 9, 10

Covetousness enticed Lot into Sodom. It caused the destruction of Achan and all his house. It was the iniquity of Balaam. It was the sin of Samuel’s sons. It left Gehazi a leper. It sent the rich young ruler away sorrowful. It led Judas to sell his Master and Lord. It brought about the death of Ananias and Sapphira. It was the blot in the character of Felix. What victims it has had in all ages!

Do you say: “How am I going to check covetousness?” Well,—I don’t think there is any difficulty about that. If you find yourself getting very covetous—very miserly—wanting to get everything you can into your possession—just begin to scatter. Just say to covetousness that you will strangle it, and rid it out of your disposition.

A wealthy farmer in New York state, who had been a noted miser, a very selfish man, was converted. Soon after his conversion a poor man came to him one day to ask for help. He had been burned out, and had no provisions. This young convert thought he would be liberal and give him a ham from his smoke house. He started toward the smoke-house, and on the way the tempter said, “Give him the smallest one you have.” He struggled all the way as to whether he would give a large or a small one. In order to overcome his selfishness, he took down the biggest ham and gave it to the man. The tempter said, “You are a fool.” But he replied, “If you don’t keep still, I will give him every ham I have in the smoke-house.”

If you find that you are selfish, give something. Determine to overcome that spirit of selfishness, and to keep your body under, no matter what it may cost. Mr. Durant told me he was engaged by Goodyear to defend their rubber patent, and he was to have half of the money that came from the patent, if he succeeded. One day he woke up to find that he was a rich man, and he said that the greatest struggle of his life then took place as to whether he would let money be his master, or he be master of money, whether he would be its slave, or make it a slave to him. At last he got the victory, and that is how Wellesley College was built.