Wednesday, October 26, 2011


"Which things the angels desire to look into" (I Peter 1:12)
Oh God, make us likewise dead in earnest! No man can be dead in earnest for the salvation of others who has not been dead earnest in contemplating and evaluating the glory of his own salvation. How pathetic that many professed Christians never ponder or meditate deeply into the wonders of sovereign grace.
Duncan Mathieson, that fiery Scottish evangelist who labored in the Highlands, was a man filled with the wonder of redeeming grace and thus was in earnest for the salvation of the lost. Often he cried out in the midst of his message, "Eternity is stamped on my eyeballs. I have seen a sight which has dimmed the glory of all else!"
While stricken at Aberdeen of a painful internal malady, he spoke in a solemn manner to a gathering in a house he visited. Upon reaching his own home he became very ill and in his fevered condition his mind began to wander. He imagined he was ad­dressing a group of theological students at Edinburgh. Rising from bed, he cried, "Up young men, souls are perishing! Up, and aim at sinners!"
James Turner, another fellow Scot, a fisherman by profession and a mighty revivalist, was also dead in earnest. Those who saw him tell us that his intenseness was awe-inspiring. He knew that he was dying of consumption and that his days were num­bered, and so he travelled all over the towns of the Scottish east coast, sounding the alarm for sinners to escape from the wrath of God. At the close of his life, spent and ill in health, he cried on his sick bed, "Oh to live at Jesus' feet and to gather in souls in armfuls for our blessed Master!"
-James Stewart

     He plucked me as a brand from hell; My Jesus hath done all things well!       

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


That against which we are here protesting is the God-dishonoring idea that His Word is merely a piece of literature, which may be "mastered" by a course of "study."  That which we would warn against is an undue occupation with the technical aspects of the Bible.  God's blessed Word is not for dissection by the knife of cold intellectuality -- but is to be laid to heart.  It is not given for us to display our cleverness and "brilliance" upon -- but to be bowed before in true humility.  It is not designed for mental entertainment -- but for the regulation of our daily lives.
Far, far more important than "method" is our motive when approaching the Word.  What we should seek is that which will subdue pride and bring us as supplicants to the footstool of mercy -- not to acquire that which will puff us up in our own conceit.  Of what value is a knowledge of the original Hebrew and Greek, or a thorough acquaintance with the history, geography and chronology of the Bible, if the heart be left cold and hard toward its Author?
I seriously doubt if God has called or requires us to [merely] "study" His Word.  What we need to do is feed thereon. "Nourished up in the words of faith" (I Timothy 4:6).  "Desire the sincere [pure] milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2).  This is the only nutritive food for the soul.  By all means, "Search the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11) in order to test all you hear and read.  Above all, beg God to write His Word more legibly and fully upon the tablets of your heart.  Put the precepts into practice, heed the warnings of Scripture, and then you will assimilate what you have fed upon.
Concluding Note:  May we humbly hear these words by Mr. Pink, adapted from an Editorial in his magazine, Studies in the Scriptures.  This should cause us to never argue the Bible in a heated debate, nor should we ever read or teach Scripture from mere intellectualism, for "God resists the proud."

Monday, October 10, 2011


Reflect again, my brethren, upon the unevangelical spirit which these apostles often showed. On one occasion even John, as mild and gentle a spirit as any of them, asked to be permitted to call fire from heaven to destroy certain Samaritans who would not receive the Savior because his face was set towards Jerusalem. Jesus the friend of sinners calling fire from heaven! This might suit Elias, but was not after the manner of the meek and lowly Prince of Peace. It would have been quite foreign to all his purposes, and contrary to his entire spirit; yet the two sons of thunder would hurl lightning on their Master’s foes. He might well have spoken to them as bitterly as David did to the sons of Zeruiah, when in their hot rage they would have slain their leader’s foolish foes; he might have said, “What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zebedee?” But he merely said, “Ye know not what spirit ye are of.” (Luke 9:55b)

Read the ninth chapter of Luke, which is full of the failings of the disciples, and notice how John and the rest forbade the man who was casting out devils in Jesus’ name. With the true spirit of bigoted monopoly that will not tolerate anything outside the pale of orthodoxy, they said, “We saw one casting out devils in thy name;” (Luke 9:49)  and instead of rejoicing that there were some beyond our company who were assisted by the Master’s power, and were glorifying the Master’s name, “we forbad him because he followeth not with us.” (Luke 9:49b) Their Lord, instead of angrily upbraiding their intolerance, gently chide them with the sentence, “Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:50) Remember, also, how the disciples put away the mothers of Israel when they brought their tender offspring to receive the Savior’s blessing; this showed a very unevangelical spirit. They would not have their Lord interrupted by the cries of babes, and thought the children too insignificant to be worthy of his consideration. But, though our Lord was much displeased with the disciples, yet he only said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

But, my brethren, it must have wanted great patience for our dear Lord and Master, who himself would not break a bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, to bear with these rough men who pushed the little ones on one side, who would gag the mouths of those who were doing good in their own way, and who would even call fire from heaven upon poor ignorant sinners. Admire much his patience with their impatience, and see how “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” (Psalm 103:13) because he knew they feared him in their hearts, and their faults were rather infirmities than rebellions.

  (Charles Haddon Spurgeon From The Tender Pity of The Lord, July 17, 1870)

Saturday, October 1, 2011


God is self-existent, God has always been...Our Maker exists in an eternal, self-sustaining, necessary way, ­necessary, that is, in the sense that God does not have it in Him to go out of existence, just as we do not have it in us to live forever. 

We necessarily age and die, because it is our present nature to do that; God necessarily continues forever unchanged, because it is His eternal nature to do that. This is one of many contrasts between creature and Creator...God's self existence is basic truth. At the outset of his presentation of the unknown God to the Athenian idolaters, Paul explained that this God, the world's Creator, "is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else" (Acts 17:23-25).

Sacrifices offered to idols, in today's tribal religions as in ancient Athens, are thought of as somehow keeping the god going, but the Creator (the I AM) needs no such support system. The word aseity, meaning that he has life in himself and draws his unending energy from Himself (a se in Latin means "from himself"), was coined by theologians to express this truth, which the Bible makes clear.

J.I. Packer; Concise Theology; Tyndale House, 2001; pg. 26-7