Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Deuteronomy 32:11; Acts 17:16; 2 Peter 3:1

While praying today (hopefully along with many of you), I asked the Lord to "stir me," and was reminded of what is said in Deuteronomy 32:11 about "an eagle stirring up her nest, fluttering over her young, spreading abroad her wings," etc. The eagle not only cares for and provides for her young, but stirs them out of their nests, teaching them by example to use their wings and learn to fly. God did the same for Jacob when "He found him in a desert land," then "led him," then "instructed him," then "kept him as the apple of his eye" (verses 9-10). The nation of Israel itself was "stirred" out of Egypt through Moses, Jehovah saying to them, "I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself" (Exodus 19:4).

We can be "stirred" the wrong way, and many times we are, with "hatred stirring up strife" (Proverbs 10:12; 29:22), or by those who oppose Christ and the gospel "stirring up" unbelievers to persecute the people of God (Acts 6:12; 14:2). Yet, all Christians need to "stir up the gift of God" in them (2 Timothy 1:6), and we all need our "pure minds" to be "stirred up" often in "remembrance" of holy things (2 Peter 3:1). Is this not so?

Our nation needs stirring! Our churches need stirring! Our ministers need stirring! I personally need stirring! We are lax, lazy, indifferent, "settled on our lees," and need pushing out of our nests of self-indulgence and luxury. We need to learn to fly away from carnality and ease, and fly deep into the loveliness of Christ. As a hymnwriter once put it,

Lord, if thou thy grace impart,
Poor in spirit, meek in heart,
I shall, as my Master, be
Rooted in humility.

Simple, teachable, and mild,
Changed into a little child;
Pleased with all the Lord provides;
Weaned from all the world besides.

Are you and I "rooted in humility," and "teachable, and mild"? Are we truly "changed into a little child," and "pleased with all the Lord provides," being "weaned from all the world besides"? We must be "stirred" from on high if so. And amid the gross idolatry of our day, may the "stirring" of once-proud Saul of Tarsus become our experience also: "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry" (Acts 17:16). The Almighty "stirred" Saul out of his self-righteous nest, then "stirred" him the rest of his life to proclaim the glories of the Lord Jesus Christ. May grace do the same for us.

May we all join in heartfelt prayer that God would
STIR us, WEAN us, and SEND us out to glorify Christ.

Monday, June 14, 2010


We think it is most evil in our 21st century, and so it is. Sin is more blatant, visible and available today. Yet in the 16th and 17th centuries there was sin. Read this and you will see they were not little sins.Since the fall, there has always been sin. The varieties are endless, the excuses are endless; yet it still takes the same sovereign Lord to preserve us and deliver us. Look at this from Thomas Shephard (1605-1649), American Puritan who emigrated from England. Not sure of the exact date, but the article containing this excerpt was written after his immigration to America. I did not put all the eleven degrees (you likely wouldn't have the time). But, if have the inclination, more of Shephard's writing are available online.

Resting in duties appears in these eleven degrees:

1. The soul of a poor sinner, if ignorantly bred and brought up, rests confidently in superstitious vanities. Ask a devout Papist how he hopes to be saved; he will answer, by his good works. But inquire, further, What are these good works? Why, for the most part, superstitious ones of their own inventions, (for the crow thinks her own bird fairest,) as whipping themselves, pilgrimage, fasting, mumbling over their Paternosters, bowing down to images and crosses.

2. Now, these being banished from the church and kingdom, then men stand upon their token profession of the true religion, although they be devils incarnate in their lives. Look up and down the kingdom; you shall see some roaring, drinking, dicing, carding, whoring, in taverns and blind alehouses; others belching out their oaths, their mouths ever casting out, like raging seas, filthy, frothy speeches; others, like Ismaels, scoffing at the best men; yet these are confident they shall be saved. Why, (say they,) they are no Papists; hang them, they will die for their religion, and rather burn than turn again, by the grace of God. Thus the Jews boasted they were Abraham’s seed; so our carnal people boast: Am not I a good Protestant? Am not I baptized? Do I not live in the church? And therefore, resting here, hope to be saved.

I remember a judge, when one pleaded once with him for his life, that he might not be hanged because he was a gentleman; he told him that therefore he should have the gallows made higher for him: so when you plead, I am a Christian and a good Protestant, (yet you wilt drink, and swear, and whore, neglect prayer, and break God’s Sabbath,) and therefore you hope to be saved; I tell you your condemnation shall be greater, and the plagues in hell the heavier.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Good reflections on prayer to supplement what we have already said. Please read it!


"For your Father knoweth what things you have need of
before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8).

At first sight it might appear as if this thought makes prayer less needful. If God already knows what we need, then why pray at all? But as we gain a deeper insight into what prayer really is, this truth will help much to strengthen our faith. It will teach us that we do not need the multitude and urgency of our words to compel an unwilling God to listen to us. It will lead to a holy thoughtfulness and silence in prayer as it suggests the question: Does my Father really know that I need this? Yes, He does! Therefore, let us sometimes in our prayers, when we are in danger of being so occupied with our fervent, urgent petitions, as to forget that the Father knows and hears, let us hold still and just quietly say: My Father sees, my Father hears, my Father knows; it will help our faith to take the answer, and to say: We know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.

From Lord, Teach Us To Pray