Friday, December 26, 2008


"This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

Many are celebrating our LORD's first coming this day; let us turn our thoughts to the promise of His second coming. This is as sure as the first advent and derives a great measure of its certainty from it. He who came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly come to take the reward of His service. He who came to suffer will not be slow in coming to reign. This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy. Today we are in our concealment and humiliation, even as He was while here below; but when He cometh it will be our manifestation, even as it will be His revelation. Dead saints shall live at His appearing. The slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the days of their mourning shall be ended. The long rest and inconceivable splendor of the millennial reign will be an abundant recompense for the ages of witnessing and warring. Oh, that the LORD would come! He is coming! He is on the road and traveling quickly. The sound of His approach should be as music to our hearts! Ring out, ye bells of hope!
(from Faith's Checkbook for December 25th)

Monday, December 15, 2008


"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).

Oh, that these happy times were come! At present the nations are heavily armed and are inventing weapons more and more terrible, as if the chief end of man could only be answered by destroying myriads of his fellows. Yet peace will prevail one day; yes, and so prevail that the instruments of destruction shall be beaten into other shapes and used for better purposes. How will this come about? By trade? By civilization? By arbitration? We do not believe it. Past experience forbids our trusting to means so feeble. Peace will be established only by the reign of the Prince of Peace. He must teach the people by His Spirit, renew their hearts by His grace, and reign over them by His supreme power, and then will they cease to wound and kill. Man is a monster when once his blood is up, and only the LORD Jesus can turn this lion into a lamb. By changing man's heart, his bloodthirsty passions are removed. Let every reader of this book of promises offer special prayer today to the LORD and Giver of Peace that He would speedily put an end to war and establish concord over the whole world.
( From Faith's Checkbook for December 15th)

Friday, December 5, 2008


Matthew 24:24; Titus 1:2; 2 Peter 3:13

All those that God had foreordained,
These shall and must believe;
Not all the craft of earth or hell
Shall one of these deceive.
Daniel Herbert (1751-1833)
Our Lord Jesus Christ said, in His Olivet Discourse, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24). We live in a world of "false" things, but there is only one true Christ (Messiah), who is also God's true Prophet to sinners, and He said, "if possible, even the elect." But that means it is NOT possible. Ours is a day filled with those who aspire to do "great signs and wonders," religiously, socially, and politically. But the question is, Can one single soul chosen by God be finally and fatally deceived? Can one of God's precious elect be lost? Can even one of Christ's sheep ultimately perish?

What about false preachers and false teachings that the elect hear? Will this deceive them? What about Arminianism and the boastings of those who exalt man's so-called "free will"? Suppose God's elect are wrapped up in false churches or mistaught in certain things, does this damn them? Or, what if those "chosen in Christ" do not hear the gospel of grace preached by a sovereign grace preacher, are they condemned still? Think through this, beloved. Remember, "deception" is in the world, and we must not think it is just confined to Muslims, or Hindus, or Buddhists, or Jews, or Mormons, etc.
No matter what our path is destined to be, if we are truly God's elect, we CANNOT be deceived, and this is our hope: "In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2). If even a single one of God's elect fails to be glorified, then His promises are null and void. But, praise His name, "He cannot lie." By grace alone, we shall behold the glory of Christ in a coming perfect world of righteousness, "according to His promise" (2 Peter 3:13). As Herbert plainly wrote, "ALL those that God foreordained SHALL and MUST believe." And they "shall" believe on Christ, the only suitable and appointed Savior, for only "believers" in the Lord Jesus Christ have "eternal life" (John 6:47). There is great peace in knowing that "Not all the craft of earth or hell shall ONE of these deceive." See also John 10:28 and Romans 8:29-30. Hallelujah!
"O that the hand of mercy may now lead you to Christ." C. H. Spurgeon


2 Corinthians 1:3-11

I pray you've had a blessed Thanksgiving. I wanted to share a few encouraging verses from 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 about "The God of All Comfort." I think this passage is very appropriate during some challenging times.

In our small group alone we've experienced a recent death of an extended family member; we have several family members, or extended family members, with medical problems or illnesses; we have a pending job loss/change; we have one who is having to lay off workers; we have one starting a new job and considering a move; and we've had a prayer request for encouragement during spiritual dryness.

But God is the "God of all comfort" during our afflictions (verse 4). Why do we endure these afflictions? "So that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort that we ourselves are comforted by God." I pray that all of us will be comforted by these scriptures, and that others will see Christ in how we respond during our afflictions. Isn't it wonderful to know that others may be comforted by the comfort God has extended to us? Our current afflictions may very well be used by God to help others in similar circumstances down the road.

The affliction that Paul experienced in Asia (verse 8) was to make them not rely on themselves, but on "God who raises the dead" (verse 9). Brothers and sisters, our afflictions make us rely not on "ourselves," but on God. On Him we have set our hope (verse 10), "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (verse 3). Let's not rely on ourselves, but on Him!

How can you help someone who is afflicted today? Paul says (verse 11), "You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many." Let's love and help one another through prayer. Pray that the Father of mercies and God of all comfort will strengthen us, encourage us, and help us to endure our afflictions.

"For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too" (verse 5). Our hope is in Christ and He will deliver us -- let us always be prepared to share this hope we've been given. When afflictions come, may our hope be unshaken (verse 7), may we patiently endure (verse 6), and may we be comforted by these words, "He will deliver us again" (verse 10). We have a loving Father "who raises the dead" (verse 9). Amen!

"There is a multitude of tender mercies in God essentially, and all mercies are from God originally; mercy is His genuine offspring and His delight. All our comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in Him." Matthew Henry

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"From this day will I bless you" (Haggai 2:19).

Future things are hidden from us. Yet here is a glass in which we may see the unborn years. The LORD says, "From this day will I bless you." It is worthwhile to note the day which is referred to in this promise. There had been failure of crops, blasting, and mildew, and all because of the people's sin. Now, the LORD saw these chastened ones commencing to obey His word and build His temple, and therefore He says, "From the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider. From this day will I bless you." If we have lived in any sin, and the Spirit leads us to purge ourselves of it, we may reckon upon the blessing of the LORD. His smile, His Spirit, His grace, His fuller revelation of His truth will all prove to us an enlarged blessing. We may fall into greater opposition from man because of our faithfulness, but we shall rise to closer dealings with the LORD our God and a clearer sight of our acceptance in Him. LORD, I am resolved to be more true to Thee and more exact in my following of Thy doctrine and Thy precept; and I pray Thee, therefore, by Christ Jesus, to increase the blessedness of my daily life henceforth and forever. (From Faith's Checkbook for November 19th).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord....And Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:61-62). Referring to this story, Charles Wesley wrote these lines:
Turn, and look upon me, Lord,
And break my heart of stone!
Give me, through Thy dying love,
The humble, contrite heart.
Do you and I not need this "look" from Christ to melt us down, causing us to weep over our sins? It is true that Jehovah "looks" to those who are "poor and of a contrite spirit" (Isaiah 66:2), but it is actually this "look" from the Lord to us personally (as to Peter) that enables us to be "poor and contrite," and weep before Him. O for weepers to be restored to the modern church! How we need this vital order to become reality to us: looking, remembering, weeping!
And why? Because, as Wesley says, only by this look can our hearts of stone be changed. Calvary's cry was, "Father, forgive them." Does this not melt your
heart of stone? Does this not cause you to go to a secret place, weeping over your personal sins that sent Christ to the cursed tree? What else could possibly break our hard, stony hearts but Calvary's love?
Today I watched a portion of a Roman Catholic "Solemn Mass." I marvelled at the blindness and ignorance of priests and people in bowing before idols, and going through elaborate rituals. It did nothing for me spiritually. But all too often neither do our Protestant religious services. Let us "examine ourselves" here. Why be critical of Catholics and those of other denominations when we ourselves may be religiously as hard-hearted as they? With Wesley, let us ever seek the Lord Jesus Christ to be truly merciful to us, and say,
Turn, and look upon me, Lord,
And break my heart of stone.

Monday, November 3, 2008


"Reader, remember this: if thy knowledge do not now affect thy heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict thy heart; if it do not now endear Christ to thee, it will at last provoke Christ the more against thee; if it do not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in thy eyes, it will at last make thee the more vile in Christ's eyes."

"A man's most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions. "

"The best way to do ourselves good is to be doing good to others; the best way to gather is to scatter. "

Thomas Brooks, English Puritan, 1608-1680

Friday, October 17, 2008



"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings." Psalm 112:7

Trials from within, and from without, are nothing new to the world or the Christian. Today, many seem to be shaken, or shaking, with the barrage of news about the stock market, oil prices, and politics. Dear hearts let us be reminded that as Christians we should not be fearful concerning these things. The Christian should not dread the arrival of bad news.

Are we distressed like the world? Distracted like the world? Fearing like the world? Are we so in love with the world, and what we have that we are afraid of losing it all? It may be that we do lose much or all -- here on earth. But our hope is not here. Not in flesh and blood. Not in Democrat or Republican. Not in the future of the economy or stock market, or 401K, or any other thing or any other person---is it? None of these can help us.

As the old hymn says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”. I like that, don’t you? Don’t those words cheer you just a little? Our hope is in God – “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You” (Psalm 39:7). Our hope is in Christ! “The Lord Jesus Christ, our hope" (I Timothy 1:1). We encourage others with our hope “O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy” (Psalm 130:7). We should continue in hope. “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 1:13). We hope in Christ’s glorious appearing. “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:13-14).

Now, I hope you enjoy this encouragement from C. H. Spurgeon on Psalm 112:7, to take courage, and have continued confidence in the faithfulness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

"Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them, what do you more than other men? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?

"Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals hardly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?

"Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, ‘Stand still and see the salvation of God.’ For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, 'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid'”

(From Morning & Evening, Sept. 15).

Monday, October 6, 2008



"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

If God so willed it we could live without bread, even as Jesus did for forty days; but we could not live without His Word. By that Word we were created, and by it alone can we be kept in being, for he sustaineth all things by the Word of His power. Bread is a second cause; the LORD Himself is the first source of our sustenance. He can work without the second cause as well as with it; and we must not tie Him down to one mode of operation. Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God. We have heard believers say that in deep poverty, when bread ran short, their appetites became short, too; and to others, when common supplies failed, the LORD has sent in unexpected help. But we must have the Word of the LORD. With this alone we can withstand the devil. Take this from us, and our enemy will have us in his power, for we shall soon faint. Our souls need food, and there is none for them outside of the Word of the LORD. All the books and all the preachers in the world cannot furnish us a single meal: it is only the Word from the mouth of God that can fill the mouth of a believer. LORD, evermore give us this bread. We prize it above royal dainties.

From Faith’s Checkbook for July 4th. Emphasis mine-cw

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


By Charles Woodruff

Do you ever feel like God is sifting you? Are you puzzled by the purpose of pressures and problems in your life? None of us are without them. Some have more and some have less. If we are Christians we have to keep in mind Romans 8:28; "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" These blessed words are written only for Christians. It has been a comfort for believers since Paul wrote the inspired words nearly 2000 years ago. The unbeliever knows nothing of this, and could not claim this truth (if he would even be interested), without first being regenerated. It is a blessed tonic for the children of God, called a "Divine Cordial" by the Puritan, Thomas Watson, in his classic book on the subject.

There are many things in our lives that do not seem to be working for our good, but God says through His apostle that they indeed do work for good. Often we cannot see the good when going through a trial. We may even ask God to remove the trial, and often He does not. We are called according to His purpose, and He has a purpose in our trials and tribulations. Jesus said "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"(John 16:33).

I believe the following meditation by Mr. Spurgeon says it very well.


"For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all sections, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:9).

The sifting process is going on still. Wherever we go, we are still being winnowed and sifted. In all countries God's people are being tried "like as corn is sifted in a sieve." Sometimes the devil holds the sieve and tosses us up and down at a great rate, with the earnest desire to get rid of us forever. Unbelief is not slow to agitate our heart and mind with its restless fears. The world lends a willing hand at the same process and shakes us to the right and to the left with great vigor. Worst of all, the church, so largely apostate as it is, comes in to give a more furious force to the sifting process. Well, well! Let it go on. Thus is the chaff severed from the wheat. Thus is the wheat delivered from dust and chaff. And how great is the mercy which comes to us in the text, "Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth"! All shall be preserved that is good, true, gracious. Not one of the least of believers lose anything worth calling a loss. We shall be so kept in the sifting that it shall be a real gain to us through Christ Jesus.
(From Faith's Checkbook for September 23rd).

Sunday, September 7, 2008


by Charles H. Spurgeon Jr.

If ever a man was sent of God, my father was -- a true apostle and a faithful ambassador of Jesus Christ. Although my judgment may be deemed very partial, I venture to express the opinion that, since the days of Paul, there has not lived a greater or more powerful exponent of the doctrines of grace, or a more able and successful preacher of the "saying" which is "worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." There was no one who could preach like my father. In inexhaustible variety, witty wisdom, vigorous proclamation, loving entreaty, and lucid teaching, with a multitude of other qualities, he must, at least in my opinion, ever be regarded as the prince of preachers. From the days when, as a little boy, I sat behind the platform, in the high-backed and well-cushioned seat in the dear old Tabernacle, with silver pencil-case and neat pocket-book, to take notes of my beloved father's sermons, until this present time, I have looked upon him as "the prime minister of England."
There was one trait in his noble and godly character, which, among many others, always shone with a lustre peculiarly its own. His humility was of a Christlike character. Words of eulogy concerning himself were ever painful to him, his motto in this, as in all other matters, being, "not I, but Christ;" yet, from his own child some meed of praise may surely come, and the son would fain render all due honour to the best of fathers. His blameless example, his holy consistency, his genial love, his generous liberality, his wise counsel, and his fearless fidelity to God and His truth, are all on a par with his fatherliness; and in my heart, as in all those with whom he came into contact, these qualities have been enshrined. The matchless grace and goodness, manifested in the home, found their counterpart in his public career, and proved how completely the spirit of the Master permeated the whole life of His servant. What my father was to me, to the Church of Christ, and to the world at large, none can ever fully estimate, but those who knew him best understood the secret of his magic power, for they felt that he "had been with Jesus," and that Jesus lived in him.
C. H. SPURGEON AUTOBIOGRAPHY, VOLUME 2, THE FULL HARVEST, pp. 278-279 (Banner of Truth, 1973).
The famous Spurgeon of London is thus memorialized by one of his twin sons. Note please the emphasis upon Spurgeon's "humility" and "holy consistency," some of the marks which his son and others saw to be "the secret of his magic power." To some small degree may this grace, goodness, and Christlikeness be ours. Adapted by w.F. Bell

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

Here is the way of mercy for a guilty and repenting sinner. He must cease from the habit of covering sin. This is attempted by falsehood, which denies sin; by hypocrisy, which conceals it; by boasting, which justifies it; and by loud profession, which tries to make amends for it. The sinner's business is to confess and forsake. The two must go together. Confession must be honestly made to the LORD Himself, and it must include within itself acknowledgment of the wrong, sense of its evil, and abhorrence of it. We must not throw the fault upon others, nor blame circumstances, nor plead natural weakness. We must make a clean breast of it and plead guilty to the indictment. There can be no mercy till this is done. Furthermore, we must forsake the evil; having owned our fault, we must disown all present and future intent to abide in it. We cannot remain in rebellion and yet dwell with the King's majesty. The habit of evil must be quitted, together with all places, companions, pursuits, and books which might lead us astray. Not for confession, nor for reformation, but in connection with them we find pardon by faith in the blood of Jesus.
(from Faith's Checkbook for August 16th)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008



QUESTION: Do we ever really learn anything from the past?

Providentially, I came across the following quotes about politics, nestled in the back of a book I have had for many years. In light of the current hoopla in America about politics and who are the best political candidates, may these "words of truth and soberness" from past politicians and writers speak powerfully to us as reminders that "All is not gold that glitters." Christ alone is "The Truth." I cannot verify the accuracy or the exact source of these quotes, but they are given as published by a large publishing company:

"Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
Mao Tse-tung

"Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war, you can be killed once, but in politics many times."
Sir Winston Churchill

"Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary."
Robert Louis Stevenson

"Politics makes strange bedfellows."
Charles Dudley Warner

"The politician is an acrobat. He keeps his balance by saying the opposite of what he does."
Maurice Barres

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."
Nikita Khrushchev

"Politics is such a torment that I would advise everyone I love not to mix with it."
Thomas Jefferson

"I learned one thing in politics. If you go into it, then sooner or later you have to compromise. You either compromise or get out."
Hugh Sloan

"Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him."
Charles de Gaulle



Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have read of a gentleman, who, meeting with a shepherd in a misty morning, asked him what weather it would be. "It will be," said the shepherd, "that weather which pleases me." And being courteously requested to express his meaning, replied, "Sir, it shall be whatever weather pleases God; and whatever weather pleases God, pleases me."
"Rest in the Lord [Be silent before Him]; and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7).
"I charge you, O my soul, not to mutter, nor to murmur, but to be silent under the afflicting hand of God. Be still, leave your muttering, leave your murmuring, leave your complaining, leave your chafing, and vexing, and lay your hand upon your mouth, and be silent. O my soul, be quiet, be silent, else you will one day be called in question for all those inward mutterings, uproars, and passions that are in you, seeing no sufficient cause can be produced why you should murmur, quarrel, or wrangle under the righteous hand of God." (from Thomas Brooks; The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod, 1659)
If America is guilty of any sin above another, it is this sin of complaining and murmuring! May we be freed from this abominable cursing at the providences of God. "Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD" (Lamentations 3:39-40). "Do all things without murmurings and disputings" (Philippians 2:14).

Saturday, July 19, 2008



The Apostle reminds us that at a time of apostasy, at a time of gross godlessness and irreligion, when the very foundations are shaking, one of the most striking manifestations of the lawlessness is "disobedient to parents" (2Ti 3:2)...When will the civil authorities learn and realize that there is an indissoluble connection between godlessness, and a lack of morality and decent behavior?...The tragedy is that the civil authorities—irrespective of which political party is in power—all seem to be governed by modern psychology rather than by the Scriptures. They all are convinced that they can deal with unrighteousness directly, in and by itself. But that is impossible. Unrighteousness is always the result of ungodliness, and the only hope of getting back any measure of righteousness into life is to have a revival of godliness. That is precisely what the Apostle is saying to the Ephesians and to ourselves (Eph 6:1-4). The best and the most moral periods in the history of this country, and every other country, have always been those periods that have followed mighty religious awakenings. This problem of lawlessness and lack of discipline, the problem of children and of youth, was just not present fifty years ago as it is today. Why? Because the great tradition of the Evangelical Awakening of the 18th century was still operating. But as that has gone, these terrible moral and social problems are coming back, as the Apostle teaches us, and as they have always come back throughout the running centuries.
Present conditions therefore demand that we should look at the Apostle's statement. I believe that Christian parents and children, Christian families, have a unique opportunity of witnessing to the world at this present time by just being different. We can be true evangelists by showing this discipline, this law and order, this true relationship between parents and children. We may be the means under God's hand of bringing many to a knowledge of the Truth. Let us therefore think of it in that way.
(from Free Grace Broadcaster; Summer 2008. Originally from Life in the Spirit in Marriage, Home & Work: An Exposition of Ephesians 5:18 to 6:9: Baker Book House, 1975 -emphasis mine-cw)

Saturday, July 5, 2008


“But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord; and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid” (Jeremiah 39:17).

When the Lord’s faithful ones are suffering for Him, they shall have sweet messages of love from Himself, and sometimes they shall have glad tidings for those who sympathize with them and help them. Ebed-melech was only a despised Ethiopian, but he was kind to Jeremiah, and so the Lord sent him this special promise by the mouth of his prophet. Let us be ever mindful of God’s persecuted servants, and He will reward us.

Ebed-melech was to be delivered from the men whose vengeance he feared. He was a humble black man, but Jehovah would take care of him. Thousands were slain by the Chaldeans, but this lowly Negro could not be hurt. We, too, may be fearful of some great ones who are bitter against us; but if we have been faithful to the Lord’s cause in the hour of persecution, He will be faithful to us. After all, what can a man do without the Lord’s permission? He puts a bit into the mouth of rage, and a bridle upon the head of power. Let us fear the Lord, and we shall have no one else to fear. No cup of cold water given to a despised prophet of God shall be without its reward; and if we stand up for Jesus, Jesus will stand up for us.
(From Faith's Checkbook for July 5th).

Thursday, June 26, 2008


But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me. Psalm 40:17

Are there not solemn seasons in your soul, when you think upon the Lord? When you lie awake, perhaps at midnight, thinking upon God, upon His truth, His love, His word, His dealings with your soul, and your desires, prayers, and breathings all flow forth to His sacred Majesty; is not this some evidence that you are thinking upon His name? And be assured that if you think upon Him, He has thought upon you.
Look at the giddy multitude. Do they think upon God? Is Jesus ever felt to be precious to their soul? Do they pant after Him as the hart after the water brooks? No; their language is, "There is no God." It is not their spoken language, but it is their inward language. But through mercy you can say that you think upon God; and thus there is some evidence, though you cannot rise up to the assurance of it, that He thinketh upon you. And if He thinks upon you, His thoughts are thoughts of good, thoughts of peace, and not of evil. Does He not read your heart? Does not His holy eye look into the very secret recesses of your soul? And if He thinks upon you, will He leave you, give you up, abandon you in the hour when you need Him most? No; He who thought upon you in eternity, will think on you in time, in every trial, every temptation, every sickness, and in the solemn hour when soul and body part. Through life and death He will still think on you, and will bring you at last to that Heavenly abode where these two things will be blessedly combined, the Lord's ever thinking upon His Zion, and His Zion ever thinking upon Him.
(Ears From Harvested Sheaves for May 12th)

Friday, June 13, 2008


"Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew" (Deuteronomy 33:28).

The more we dwell alone, the more safe shall we be. God would have His people separate from sinners, His call to them is, "Come ye out from among them."...A worldly Christian is spiritually diseased. Those who compromise with Christ's enemies may be reckoned with them. Our safety lies, not in making terms with the enemy, but in dwelling alone with our Best Friend. If we do this, we shall dwell in safety despite the sarcasms, the slanders, and the sneers of the world. We shall be safe from the baleful influence of its unbelief, its pride, its vanity, its filthiness. God also will make us dwell in safety alone in that day when sin shall be visited on the nations by wars and famines. The LORD brought Abram from Ur of the Chaldees, but Abram stopped halfway. He had no blessing till, having set out to go to the land of Canaan, to the land of Canaan he came, He was safe alone even in the midst of foes. Lot was not safe in Sodom though in a circle of friends. Our safety is in dwelling apart with God.
(From Faith's Checkbook for June 12th).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


One of the most flagrant sins of our age is that of irreverence, the failure to ascribe the glory which is due the august majesty of God. Men limit the power and activities of the Lord in their degrading concepts of His being and character. Originally, man was made in the image and likeness of God, but today we are asked to believe in a god made in the image and likeness of men. The Creator is reduced to the level of the creature: His omniscience is called into question, His omnipotence is no longer believed in, and His absolute sovereignty is flatly denied. Men claim to be the architects of their own fortunes and the determiners of their own destiny. They know not that their lives are at the disposal of the Divine Despot. They know not they have no more power to thwart His secret decrees than a worm has to resist the tread of an elephant. They know not that, "The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all" (Psalm 103:19). (emphasis mine, cw)

Friday, May 23, 2008


Exodus 3:1-6; Acts 7:29-34


Actor Charlton Heston died recently, and in an interview made with him before his death, Heston related that his most moving experience in the film, The Ten Commandments, was the "burning bush" scene. This was touching to me, says a lot about Heston himself, and gives me many holy thoughts about the great importance of us all attending Burning Bush University.

The wording of Exodus 3:1-6 is unsurpassed by any other Bible passage, or by any secular literature. Note carefully the graphic language used here: "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." Moses was a poor shepherd here in the lonely desert of Midian. "Moses kept the flock." That is important to know. Moses had been born in Egypt, taken in by royalty, trained and learned in Egyptian ways, words, and wisdom (Acts 7:22), but he was "cast out" in fear of Pharaoh after murdering an Egyptian. Next, Moses "led the flock to the backside of the desert." Here, being even further removed, Moses learns a lesson he never forgot. "And came to the mountain of God." What solemnity! "Even to Horeb." In the Sinai peninsula (of all places) is "the mountain of God [Elohim]." Moses had no such "mountain" in Egypt, but now he comes to it in the desert of Sinai. How strangely does the sovereignty of God guide His elect people in our experiences with Him.

"And the angel of the LORD [Yahweh] appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush." "When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight" (Acts 7:31). What a sight to marvel at! Greater than anything he had ever seen in Egypt! An unconsumed, burning bush out in the desert! "And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." Well he might, and so would we. Then, the mighty Elohim-Yahweh, "called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses." Only seven people in the entire Bible had their names called twice (that we know of), and Moses is one of them. How sacred is this spot and this scene! "Put off thy shoes...for the holy ground." What a sight, what an experience, what an encounter with God!

"He turned aside." If we ever learn anything of the one, true God, we must be "turned aside" from the vanities and wisdom of this world. It was the faithful commentator, Matthew Henry, who said: "Moses saw more of God in a desert than ever he had seen in Pharaoh's court." So it is with you and I. "And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." Humility is a rarity in Egypt with its pomp and grandeur. But Yahweh knows exactly how to get us on our faces! And in the humbling and stripping of sinners, true "fear" grips our hearts, and an awesome reverence permeates our being. Shoes [worldly things] are "cast aside" in heart-felt repentance, and there is true submission to the great God of heaven. Yes, indeed, no wonder Moses said, "I will now turn aside, and see THIS GREAT SIGHT," for no other "sight" we have even comes close to this one.

The question now remains, Have we seen "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6)? Have we been to Burning Bush University? I can assure you that you will never see this "sight" at either UCLA or UGA, as you can only get your B.D.D. from B.B.U. = Backside of the Desert Degree is only given out at Burning Bush University! How we need an encounter with the living God today, in His grace and mercy, through our Lord Jesus Christ. May it be so!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. 1 Peter 1:17

Our life is but a vapor. We are but pilgrims and strangers on this earthly ball, mere sojourners, without fixed or settled habitation, and passing through this world as not our home or resting place. The Apostle, therefore, bids us pass this time, whether long or short, of our earthly sojourn, under the influence and in the exercise of godly fear. We are surrounded with enemies, all seeking, as it were, our life, and therefore we are called upon to move with great caution, knowing how soon we may slip and fall, and thus wound our own consciences. grieve our friends, gratify our enemies, and bring upon ourselves a cloud a darkness which may long hover over our souls. Our life here below is not one of ease and quiet, but a warfare, a conflict, a race, a wrestling not with flesh and blood alone, but with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. We have to dread ourselves more than anything or anybody else, and to view our flesh as our greatest enemy. This fear is not a slavish, legal fear, such as that which John speaks of, and of which he says that 'it hath torment,' but that holy, godly, and filial fear which is the first fruit and mark of covenant grace, and is a 'fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.' How needful, then, is it to pass the time of our sojourning here in the exercise of this godly, reverential fear! And let no one think that this filial fear is inconsistent with faith even in its highest risings, or with love in its sweetest enjoyments.
J.C. Philpot - 1802-1869 (Ears From Harvested Sheaves,
for April 23rd)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Galatians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:20-21; James 1:26-27

J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)
A religion that does nothing for a man's soul is practically worthless, and a religion that never manifests itself in a man's life is as worthless as a religion that does nothing for his soul. Death is stamped upon both. Religion to be worth anything must be a living religion, a religion that proceeds from a work of grace upon the heart, communicating life to the soul, and exercising an influence wheresoever it exists, and in whomsoever it resides.
We cannot love those whom we don't know. We cannot love God till we know Him, nor the Son of God till we know Him, nor the people of God till we know them, nor the truth of God till we know it; therefore there is a union between knowledge and love. It is not a letter knowledge, a speculative, dry, doctrinal knowledge; but a spiritual knowledge, a knowledge communicated by a divine revelation, let down into the soul by spiritual manifestations, and divine acquaintance with divine things by a divine power.
Now this is the only knowledge really worth possessing, to know God by His own manifestations and Jesus by His own revelations, sweet visits and affections, by tasting how sweet and precious they are. Head knowledge can never communicate spiritual love; it merely stands in the letter. A man may have his head full of the letter; he may hold the clearest creed, and possess the soundest theory, with a brain crammed with texts of Scripture, and all the while his heart may be hatred itself towards God, and towards the people of God. But spiritual knowledge, divine teaching, and heavenly acquaintance with "the truth in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21), must be the parent of spiritual love; for to know God is to love Him. -- "The Fruits of a Living Religion"
J. C. Philpot contended for a pure and experimental religion (salvation from sin), as clearly seen in the above. This kind of preaching is sorely lacking in the modern church, and few have actually ever heard it. This is one reason Philpot is not popular. Judge for yourself, dear reader. We either have "the Jews' religion" (Galatians 1:13-14), which is carnal and vain, or we have been divinely taught to know Christ Himself as "the truth" (Ephesians 4:20-21), which is manifest in the "pure religion" of proper words and actions (James 1:26-27). May the Lord Jesus Christ truly become our All (Colossians 3:11). "Meditate on these things."
May we "know" experimentally the "power" of "pure" and "living" religion (salvation)!

Monday, April 7, 2008


“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee”(Deuteronomy 28:10).
Then we can have no reason to be afraid of them. This would show a mean spirit, and be a token of unbelief rather than of faith. God can make us so like Himself, that men shall be forced to see that we rightly bear His name, and truly belong to the Holy Jehovah. Oh, that we may obtain this grace, which the Lord waits to bestow!

Be assured that ungodly men have a fear of true saints. They hate them, but they also fear them. Haman trembled because of Mordecai, even when he sought the good man’s destruction. In fact, their hate often arises out of a dread which they are too proud to confess. Let us pursue the path of truth and uprightness without the slightest tremor. Fear is not for us, but for those who do ill and fight against the Lord of hosts. If indeed the name of the Eternal God is named upon us, we are secure; for, as of old, a Roman had but to say"Romanus sum" (I am a Roman), and he could claim the protection of all the legions of the vast empire; so every one who is a man
of God has omnipotence as his guardian, and God will sooner empty Heaven of angels than leave a saint without defense. Be braver than lions for the right, for God is with you. (From Faith's Checkbook for April 7th).

Saturday, March 29, 2008


“I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee” (Acts 18:10).

So long as the Lord had work for Paul to do in Corinth, the fury of the mob was restrained. The Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed; but they could neither stop the preaching of the gospel, nor the conversion of the hearers. God has power over the most violent minds. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him when it breaks forth, but He still more displays His goodness when He restrains it; and He can restrain it.
“Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased" (Exodus 15:16).

Do not, therefore, feel any fear of man when you know that you are doing your duty. Go straight on, as Jesus would have done, and those who oppose shall be as a bruised reed and as smoking flax. Many a time men have had cause to fear because they were themselves afraid; but a dauntless faith in God brushes fear aside like the cobwebs in a giant’s path. No man can harm us unless the Lord permits. He who makes the devil himself to flee at a word, can certainly control the devil’s agents. Maybe they are already more afraid of you than you are of them. Therefore, go forward, and where you looked to meet with foes you will find friends. (From Faith's Checkbook for March 29th).

Friday, March 21, 2008


“Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble” (Proverbs 3:23).

That is to say, if we follow the ways of wisdom and holiness we shall be preserved in them. He who travels by daylight along the highway is under some protection. There is a way for every man, namely, his own proper calling in life, and if we devoutly walk therein in the fear of God He will preserve US from evil. We may not travel luxuriously, but we shall walk safely. We may not be able to run like young men, but we shall be able to walk like good men. Our greatest danger lies in ourselves: our feeble foot is so sadly apt to stumble. Let us ask for more moral strength that our tendency to slip may be overcome. Some stumble because they do not see the stone in the way: divine grace enables us to perceive sin, and so to avoid it. Let us plead this promise, and trust in Him who upholds His chosen. Alas! our worst peril is our own carelessness, but against this the Lord Jesus has put us on our guard, saying, “Watch and pray. Oh for grace to walk this day without a single stumble! It is not enough that we do not actually fall; our cry should be that we may not make the smallest slip with our feet, but may at the last adore Him “who is able to keep us from stumbling.” (From Faith's Checkbook for March 21st).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" Hebrews 2:10).
A Captain in today's U.S. military is a high ranking officer. In the U.S. Navy the rank of Captain is equivalent to U.S. Army Colonel, which is higher up the ladder than the Air Force, Army or Marines Captain. So when we see the King James phrase "captain of their salvation" we realize it is an officer of high rank in the military. But, actually the same Greek word is translated "author" in Hebrews 12:2. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Some versions say "leader", "originator", "founder", "author", etc... Jesus Christ is all that. He is the author, leader, originator of this life changing event, this thing, this joy which we call salvation. Our following of this leader is not to simply be going forward in a congregation one time to make a confession of faith, but is a lifetime of endeavoring to follow Him who is the Good Shepherd. The sheep do follow Him. I remember well the hymn we sung so often in my Southern Baptist childhood "Where He Leads me I will Follow".(see link: ).

To sum it up, a captain is a leader. There is much more we could say, but that is beyond the purpose of this short meditation. As His sheep, we should be prepared to do as the old hymn says, and follow Him today wherever He leads and "Go with Him, with Him, all the way".

Thursday, February 28, 2008


“The lip of truth shall be established for ever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment” Proverbs 12:19

Truth wears well. Time tests it, but it right well endures the trial. If, then, I have spoken the truth, and have for the present to suffer for it, I must be content to wait. If also I believe the truth of God, and endeavor to declare it, I may meet with much opposition, but I need not fear, for ultimately the truth must prevail.

What a poor thing is the temporary triumph of falsehood! “A lying lip is but for a moment!” It is a mere gourd, which comes up in a night, and perishes in a night; and the greater its development the more manifest its decay. On the other hand, how worthy of an immortal being is the avowal and defense of that truth which can never change; the everlasting gospel, which is established in the immutable truth of an unchanging God! An old proverb saith, “He that speaks truth shames the devil.” Assuredly he that speaks the truth of God will put to shame all the devils in hell, and confound all the seed of the serpent which now hiss out their falsehoods.

O my heart, take care that thou be in all things on the side of truth, both in small things and great; but specially, on the side of Him by whom grace and truth have come among men!
(From Faith's Checkbook for February 26th)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Our heading for this blog uses Psalm 119:105 to call attention to God's word as our necessary daily guide "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Often we fail because we are not readers of the word. If we read it at all, we read it superficially. If we read it, meditate on it, memorize it, then it will be a blessed help to us. Remember in this same Psalm it is written "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11). This does not keep us from sin altogether, for we are told "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Also we are told "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:10). So we do sin, sometimes sins of commission, and sometimes sins of omission -- but we do sin. Yet an answer for this problem is again found in Psalm 119:9 "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word." So the word of God is our nourishment, our protection, our light. These things we need for our daily walk in this fallen world. The reason so many believers are defeated, discouraged and depressed is lack of meditation in God's word. We need to be in it daily, and pray to God for forgiveness and guidance daily. CW

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Read this from the notes of the Geneva Bible -1587. (The English Bible of the Puritans)
I Thessalonians 5:22 - (13) Abstain from all (h) appearance of evil.
(13) A general conclusion, that we waiting for the coming of Christ, do give ourselves to pureness in mind, will, and body, through the grace and strength of the Spirit of God.
(h) Whatever has but the very show of evil, abstain from it.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Today being "King Day", I thought it would be good, as always, to honor the real King. Today's meditation from Faith's Checkbook by Charles Spurgeon is very fitting for that tribute, don't you think?
“The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord”
(Exodus 7:5).

The ungodly world is hard to teach. Egypt does not know Jehovah, and therefore dares to set up its idols, and even ventures to ask — “Who is the Lord?” Yet the Lord means to break proud hearts, whether they will or not. When His judgments thunder over their heads, darken their skies, destroy their harvests, and slay their sons, they begin to discern somewhat of Jehovah’s power. There will yet be such things done in the earth as shall bring skeptics to their knees. Let us not be dismayed because of their blasphemies, for the Lord can take care of His own name, and He will do so in a very effectual manner.

The salvation of His own people was another potent means of making Egypt know that the God of Israel was Jehovah, the living and true God. No Israelite died by any one of the ten plagues. None of the chosen seed were drowned in the Red Sea. Even so, the salvation of the elect, and the sure glorification of all true believers, will make the most obstinate of God’s enemies acknowledge that Jehovah He is the God.

Oh, that His convincing power would go forth by His Holy Spirit in the preaching of the gospel, till all nations shall bow at the name of Jesus, and call Him Lord!
May the Lord bless this meditation to YOUR heart. cw

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


"I see the churches expanding their building facilities; increasing their office space; adding a new wing or new building for a family center, or for educational or recreational purposes; but, I say again, I never see a church having to increase the size of the prayer room. This, I am convinced, is because the preachers themselves are shrunken in the habit of prayer. A revival of prayer in the pulpit would mean a revival of prayer in the pew." Leonard Ravenhill
"I do not understand Christian people who are not thrilled by the whole idea of revival." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"The Bible was written in tears and to tears it will yield its best treasure. God has nothing to say to the frivolous man." A. W. Tozer
"I believe if you and I were adequately impressed, fully alive to the tremendous issue, we could never pray mere prayers. We could never allow words to run out of our mouths, which we call praying. We should be down on our faces in a tremendous conflict on God's side against the evil menace that is seeking to devour the life of God's people." T. Austin Sparks
"The church patronized is the church paralyzed, therefore the church in peril. The church persecuted is the church prayerful, and therefore powerful." G. Campbell Morgan
"The self-satisfied do not want to pray. The self-sufficient do not need to pray. The self-righteous cannot pray." Leonard Ravenhill
"When the old faith is gone, and enthusiasm for the Gospel is extinct, it is no wonder that people seek something else in the way of delight." C. H. Spurgeon
"Think of the many tricks by which the church today apes the world to attract men and money....But God works from above with fire from heaven....One meeting where God answers by fire is worth all our convocations in the energy of the flesh." Vance Havner
"Evan Roberts of Wales, Jonathan Edwards of New England, and George Whitefield of England and America -- were all great reapers in public because they were all great weepers in private." Leonard Ravenhill
"Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" (Jeremiah 9:1). "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18). "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Psalm 126:5).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

This is the first promise to fallen man. It contains the whole gospel, and the essence of the covenant of grace. It has been in great measure fulfilled. The seed of the woman, even our Lord Jesus, was bruised in His heel, and a terrible bruising it was. How terrible will be the final bruising of the serpent’s head! This was virtually done when Jesus took away sin, vanquished death, and broke the power of Satan; but it awaits a still fuller accomplishment at our Lord’s Second Advent, and in the day of Judgment.To us the promise stands as a prophecy that we shall be afflicted by the powers of evil in our lower nature, and thus bruised in our heel: but we shall triumph in Christ, who sets His foot on the old serpent’s head.Throughout this year we may have to learn the first part of this promise by experience, through the temptations of the devil, and the unkindness of the ungodly who are his seed. They may so bruise us that we may limp with our sore heel; but let us grasp the second part of the text, and we shall not be dismayed. By faith let us rejoice that we shall still reign in Christ Jesus, the woman’s seed. (From Faith's Checkbook for January 1st).