Saturday, August 29, 2009



“They that are truly converted are new men, new creatures; new not only within, but without; they are sanctified throughout, in spirit, soul and body; old things are passed away, all things are become new; they have new hearts, and new eyes, new ears, new tongues, new hands, new feet…they walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of life.”
Religious Affections, pp. 313-14

Friday, August 21, 2009



"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, August 13, 2009


Lamentations 3:22-24; Isaiah 33:2

It is early morning as I write this, so our texts are very appropriate. The other day I greeted a fellow-associate at work with a bright "Good Morning." He said to me, "It is morning." I said, "And it is a good morning." Looking downcast, he said back, "And what's good about it?" (Such a question brings a great opportunity to witness, does it not?) I said, "Well, we are alive, the sun is still shining, and God's mercies are new every morning." His countenance changed with that, stating "Yes, this is true, and that is always good." Don't you and I need to see this and say this every morning, no matter what our circumstances are? It changes things from "negative" to "positive" immediately!
"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed." And actually, that is the only reason we live, move, have our being, and can think or work. "Because His compassions fail not." Men fail, we fail, there is much sad news to make us negative, and maybe you are even going through a tough time physically right now. But never doubt God's faithful mercies and compassions! "They are new every morning." I am struck with that word "new." How so? A new day brings new burdens and needs. But grace and mercy are on our trail, so they are "new" for the day, for the special trial, for the special need. "Great is Thy faithfulness." Great, supremely great, infinitely great is the faithfulness of our Creator, and to Him we "commit the keeping of our souls in well doing" (I Peter 4:19).
"Therefore will I hope in Him." Jeremiah could say this "out of the low dungeon" (Lamentations 3:55), and so should we. "O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee; be Thou our arm [strength] every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble" (Isaiah 33:2). "Our strength" is not in ourselves, nor in pills we may take, nor in our own intellect. We do daily need "saving" from many things, including snares, self and sins. As Spurgeon once said, "There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it." And Christ Jesus is our Crucified Champion in this, having slain Goliath for us, or Satan himself would surely devour us also. Cheer up, fainting Christian, we have a faithful Saviour, so think anew on this word, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" (Romans 8:33). Positively "no one" is the answer, but only because of "the Lord's mercies."

Monday, August 3, 2009


We are endeavoring in prayer meetings at our local church to really study, and be involved in, prayer, especially corporate prayer as gathered believers. God tells us much about prayer, especially that He delights in His children seeking Him, and that He hears and answers prayer, according to His purpose. As Arthur Pink said in quoting another, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness”.

“Nine times out of ten, declension from God begins in the neglect of private prayer"- Charles Spurgeon

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”(Matthew 7:7-8).

Prayer for forgiveness is part of it, as Christ teaches us in the so-called Lord’s prayer. It is actually the model prayer. In this example He says in part: “Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:3-4).

I am personally so glad that He is a forgiving God, for I went through several years of failure and defeat in the things of the Lord. It was backsliding -- just to be completely honest. I am ashamed of it now, but thank God I am forgiven. I won’t give the devil any glory by telling all about it. Suffice it to say, Christ preserved me from the worst sins. I could have hit rock bottom, but I am sure God heard the prayers of my family and others. About seven years ago, the Lord met me where I was. I repented and He restored me. I hope I have grown ever since. By His grace alone I will persevere! It is He that preserves us, and enables us to persevere. It is all of grace! There is no mercy or security outside of Christ! The following reading from Mr. Spurgeon for May 18th is partially my testimony


“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25).

Yes those wasted years over which we sigh shall be restored to us. God can give us such plentiful grace that we shall crowd into the remainder of our days as much of service as will be some recompense for those years of unregeneracy over which we mourn in humble penitence.The locusts of backsliding, worldliness, lukewarmness, are now viewed by us as a terrible plague.
Oh that they had never come near us! The Lord in mercy has now taken them away, and we are full of zeal to serve Him.

Blessed be His name, we can raise such harvests of spiritual graces as shall make our former barrenness to disappear. Through rich grace we can turn to account our bitter experience, and use it to warn others. We can become the more rooted in humility, childlike dependence, and penitent spirituality, by reason of our former shortcomings. If we are the more watchful, zealous, and tender, we shall gain by our lamentable losses. The wasted years, by a miracle of love, can be restored. Does it seem too great a boon?
Let us believe for it, and live for it, and we may yet realize it, even as Peter became all the more useful a man after his presumption was cured by his discovered weakness. Lord, aid us by thy grace (Faith's Checkbook).