Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." 
--Ephesians 6:12

In the early days, when Christianity exercised a dominant influence over American thinking, men and women conceived the world to be a battleground. Our fathers believed in sin and the devil and hell as constituting one force, and they believed in God and righteousness and heaven as the other. By their very nature, these forces were opposed to each other forever in deep, grave, irreconcilable hostility. 

Humans, our fathers held, had to choose sides-they could not be neutral. For them it must be life or death, heaven or hell, and if they chose to come out on God's side they could expect open war with God's enemies. The fight would be real and deadly and would last as long as life continued here below. People looked forward to heaven as a return from the wars, a laying down of the sword to enjoy in peace the home prepared for them....

How different today. The fact remains the same, but the interpretation has changed completely. People think of the world, not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic. We are not in a foreign land; we are at home. We are not getting ready to live, but we are already living, and the best we can do is rid ourselves of our inhibitions and our frustrations and live this life to the full. This World: Playground or Battleground?

"Lord, we've lost too much by becoming friendly with the enemy. Help me to be willing to take a stand for righteousness, to choose clearly to be on Your side against the enemy, to pay any price--and then to look forward to laying down my sword later in heaven. Amen."

Friday, August 26, 2011


 God is wise and He knows how to instruct those He loves. Sometimes, He may break their bones and save them; He may throw them in the deepest pit, in darkness and depression, and there He will save them; He may even take their physical life, and save them that way. This is the wonderful grace of God, that [we] will never be forsaken.

Monday, August 15, 2011


                                                             Robert Robinson

Another great hymn of grace is:
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace!
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen, How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry, Me to realms of endless day.

For more on this great hymn and the author, Robert Robinson, see:

Sunday, August 7, 2011


“The subject is one that demands the best attention of all who profess and call themselves Christians.  In every age of the Church separation from the world has always been one of the grand evidences of a work of grace in the heart.  He that has been really born of the Spirit, and made a new creature in Christ Jesus, has always endeavoured to “come out from the world,” and live a separate life.  They who have only had the name of Christian without the reality, have always refused to ‘come out and be separate’ from the world.”

“The subject perhaps was never more important than it is, at the present day.  There is a widely-spread desire to make things pleasant in religion—to saw off the corners and edges of the cross, and to avoid, as far as possible, self-denial.  On every side we hear professing Christians declaring loudly that we must not be “narrow and exclusive,” and that there is no harm in many things which the holiest saints of old thought bad for their souls.  That we may go anywhere, and do anything, and spend our time in anything, and read anything, and keep any company, and plunge into anything, and all the while may be very good Christians—this, this is the maxim of thousands.  In a day like this I think it good to raise a warning voice, and invite attention to the teaching of God’s Word.  It is written in that Word, ‘Come out, and be separate.’”

J.C Ryle in Practical Religion, page 184; James Clarke, Cambridge, 1977 (original 1878).