Monday, December 28, 2009


Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalm 2:11-12

'No gold, nor purple swaddling bands,
Nor royal shining things;
A manger for his cradle stands,
And holds the King of kings.
Go, shepherds, where the Infant lies,
And see his humble throne;
With tears of joy in all your eyes,
Go, shepherds, kiss the Son.'
Isaac Watts 1674-1748

Jesus Christ came to this earth to save sinners, to deliver sinners. The King of kings and Lord of lords was not born in a palace. He was not placed in a beautiful baby crib. The world didn’t want Him then and it doesn’t want Him now. There is no room for Him… there never has been. People are too full of the world and themselves to have room for Jesus Christ. I recognize this is the time of the year when many turn their thoughts towards peace and goodwill toward men. That’s a good thing. But it is not THE thing.

Jesus was not just a good man. He was not just a wise teacher. He did not come to this earth just to be a babe in a manger. He came to die. He came to give Himself a ransom for all. {I Timothy 2:6} He came to save His people from their sins. He “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” He had a definite purpose in coming to this world. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”

As Charles Wesley wrote many years ago;

“And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

“Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”

Monday, December 14, 2009


The following has been for many years been one of my favorite quotes from godly Bishop J. C. Ryle. He continues to be one of my favorites. He showed us how to reflect Christ's light even in what was for the most part a cold, dead denomination. I thank for reminding us of this good quote, though I am including the entire paragraph from the book.

“One plague of our age is the widespread dislike to what men are pleased to call dogmatic theology. In the place of it, the idol of the day is a kind of jellyfish Christianity – a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or sinew, – without any distinct teaching about the atonement or the work of the Spirit, or justification, or the way of peace with God – a vague, foggy, misty Christianity, of which the only watchwords seem to be, ‘You must be…liberal and kind. You must condemn no man’s doctrinal views. You must consider everybody is right and nobody is wrong’. And this creedless kind of religion, we are told, is to give us peace of conscience! And not to be satisfied with it in a sorrowful, dying world, is a proof that you are very narrow-minded! Satisfied, indeed! Sucha religion might possibly do for unfallen angels! But to tell sinful, dying men and women, with the blood of our father Adam in our veins, to be satisfied with it, is an insult to common sense and a mockery of our distress. We need something far better than this. We need the blood of Christ."

The Upper Room; chapter six, “One Blood”, page 99; Banner of Truth, London, 1977 reprint

Tuesday, December 8, 2009



This will not be long, so give me just a moment (most of us don't like "long sermons" anyway). "Mellow" means "ripe, soft, and with good flavor; sweet and juicy." And in the figurative sense, it means, "softened and made wise by age or experience." Remember this definition.

When I was younger, some godly, older men would often say to me, "You are preaching the truth, but the way you say it is too harsh." Thus I learned (hopefully) that you can do a right thing in the wrong way, or putting it in scriptural language, I learned that we should always be careful to "speak the truth in love." I just read a recently printed message on the new birth, and the wise, elderly preacher said this: "And I mean this without intending any offense toward those precious children of God, who believe the contrary system. I have learned, or, at least I am trying to learn, to be more considerate, to be more courteous, than I have in the past toward those precious children of God, who have never come to understand and to appreciate some of the doctrines that are so precious to you and me." He has "mellowed," in other words. Note the kind words, "those precious children of God," and "I am trying to learn to be more considerate, to be more courteous, than I have in the past." Let us all learn here that we must view others as true children of God, even though they differ with us in doctrine or denomination.

What of you, dear friend? I still know some elderly men who need mellowing. We must remember what Elihu said, "Great men are not always wise" (Job 32:9), nor are young men always arrogant and foolish. Grace must temper us, no matter what our age. Especially our tongues and attitudes. There was strife among brethren all through Scripture, but it is not for us to emulate (Genesis 13:8; Luke 22:24). Our only Model is the Humble Servant of Jehovah, our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:27; John 13:15). Men can often make us brash and harsh, but not so our lovely Lord.

Listen to these quotes:
"The tongue is in a wet place, and easily slips." "The tongue is not steel, but it cuts."
"The tongue bites sharper than the teeth." "I consider looseness with words no less a defect than looseness of the bowels" (John Calvin).
"But the tongue can no man tame" (James 3:8) -- nor our harsh, unloving attitudes. Only the softening, mellowing grace of God can do that.