Monday, February 24, 2014

The easiest cross for each one to bear!

J.R. Miller "The Shining Light" 1911

"He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." Matthew 10:38

It is his cross, and not some other man's--that each one is to take up. It is the particular cross that God lays at our own feet, that we are to bear.

We are never to make crosses for ourselves--but we are always to accept those which are allotted to us by God.

Sometimes we think our lot is peculiarly hard, and we compare it with the lot of this or that other person, and wish we had his cross instead of our own. But we do not know what other people's crosses really are. If we did, we might not want to exchange. The cross that seems woven offlowers--if we put it on our shoulders, we might find filled with sharp thorns under the flowers! The cross of gold that seems so bright--we would find so heavy that it would crush us! The easiest cross for each one to bear, is his own!

"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Grand Instrument By Which Souls Are Converted

J.C. Ryle
The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Ghost is the grand instrument by which souls are first converted to God. That mighty change is generally begun by some text or doctrine of the Word brought home to a man's conscience. In this way the Bible has worked moral miracles by thousands. It has made drunkards become sober, unchaste people become pure, thieves become honest, and violent-tempered people become meek. It has wholly altered the course of men's lives. It has caused their old things to pass away, and make all their ways new. It has taught worldly people to seek first the kingdom of God. It has taught lovers of pleasure to become lovers of God. It has taught the stream of men's affections to run upwards instead of running downwards. It has made them think of heaven, instead of always thinking of earth, and live by faith, instead of living by sight. All this it has done in every part of the world. All this it is doing still. What are the pretended Romish miracles, which weak men believe, compared to all this, even if they were true? Those are the truly great miracles which are yearly worked by the Word.

J.C. Ryle, How Readest Thou? (Moscow: Charles Nolan Publishers, 2002), 29.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I cannot be so unreasonable as to expect two Heavens!

I cannot be so unreasonable as to expect two Heavens!

(Joseph Hall, "Contemplations" 1574-1656)

Every man has a Heaven and a Hell.

Earth is the ungodly man's Heaven. His Hell is to come.

The godly have their Hell upon earth, when they are vexed with afflictions and temptations. Their Heaven is above in endless happiness!

If it is difficult for me on earth--it is well that my afflictions are so short and easyI cannot be so unreasonable as to expect two Heavens!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The happiest homes in the world!

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Light" 1911)

"Godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Nothing is lovelier in life, than the spirit of contentment. 

mars the beauty of many a face. Discontent spoils all one's world. Out of whatever window he looks, the discontented person sees something that is not pleasing.

But to a contented person, there is only good seen everywhere. The happiest homes in the world are not those in which are the finest carpets, the costliest pictures, the most luxurious furniture--but those in which glad, peaceful hearts dwell. A contented heart beautifies the plainest surroundings, and even the hardest conditions.

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength!" Philippians 4:11-13 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Christ is All

Christ Is All

"Christ is all." My beloved friends, in what is he all? Christ is all in the entire work of salvation. Let me just take you back to the period before this world was made. There was a time when this great world, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all which now exist throughout the whole of the vast universe, lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn cup. There was a time when the Great Creator lived alone, and yet he could foresee that he would make a world, and that men would be born to people it; and in that vast eternity a great scheme was devised, whereby he might save a fallen race. Do you know who devised it? God planned it from first to last. Neither Gabriel nor any of the holy angels had anything to do with it. I question whether they were even told how God might be just, and yet save the transgressors. God was all in the drawing up of the scheme, and Christ was all in carrying it out. There was a dark and doleful night! Jesus was in the garden, sweating great drops of blood, which fell to the ground; nobody then came to bear the load that had been laid upon him. An angel stood there to strengthen him, but not to bear the sentence. The cup was put into his hands, and Jesus said, "Father, must I drink it?" and his Father replied, "If thou dost not drink, sinners cannot be saved"; and he took the cup and drained it to its very dregs. No man helped him. And when he hung upon that accursed tree of Calvary, when his precious hands were pierced, when:—
"From his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flowed mingled down,"
there was nobody to help him. He was "all" in the work of salvation.

And, my friends, if any of you shall be saved, it must be by Christ alone. There must be no patchwork; Christ did it all, and will not be helped in the matter. Christ will not allow you, as some say, to do what you can, and leave him to make up the rest. What can you do that is not sinful? Christ has done all for us; the work of redemption is all finished. Christ planned it all, and worked out all; and we, therefore, preach a full salvation through Jesus Christ.

– Charles Spurgeon, Christ Is All