Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Soul-Winner's Life and Work - Charles Spurgeon

Here is a dear brother on his dying bed, he has the sweet thought that the Lord enabled him to bring many souls to Jesus, and the expectation when he comes to the gates that many spirits will come to meet him. They will throng the ascent to the New Jerusalem, and welcome the man who brought them to Jesus. They are immortal monuments to his labours. He is wise. Here is another who has spent all his time in interpreting the prophecies, so that everything he read of in the newspapers he could see in Daniel or the Revelation. He is wise, so some say, but I had rather spend my time in winning souls. I would sooner bring one sinner to Jesus Christ than unpick all the mysteries of the divine Word, for salvation is the thing we are to live for. I would to God that I understood all mysteries, yet chief of all would I proclaim the mystery of soul-saving by faith in the blood of the Lamb. It is comparatively a small matter for a minister to have been a staunch upholder of orthodoxy all his days, and to have spent himself in keeping up the hedges of his church; soul-winning is the main concern. It is a very good thing to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints; but I do not think I should like to say in my last account, "Lord, I have lived to fight the Romanists and the State Church, and to put down the various erroneous sects, but I never led a sinner to the cross." No, we will fight the good fight of faith, but the winning of souls is the greater matter, and he who attends to it is wise. Another brother has preached the truth, but he did so polish up his sermons that the gospel was hidden. Never a sermon was fit to preach, he thought, until he had written it out a dozen times to see whether every sentence would be according to the canons of Cicero and Quintillian, and then he went and delivered the gospel as a grand oration. Is that wise? Well, it takes a wise man to be a thorough orator; but it is better not to be an orator if fine speech prevents your being understood. Let eloquence be flung to the dogs rather than souls be lost. What we want is to win souls, and they are not to be won by flowery speeches. We must have the winning of souls at heart, and be red hot with zeal for their salvation; and then, however much we blunder, according to the critics, we shall be numbered among those whom the Lord calls wise.

The Benefits of an Early Piety - George Whitefield

 First, I am to make good the wise man's proposition, implied in the words of the text, and to show that youth is the fittest season for religion: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” But to proceed more clearly in this argument, it may not be improper, first, to explain what I mean by the word religion. By this term, then, I would not be understood to mean a bare outward profession or naming the name of Christ; for we are told, that many who have even prophesied in his name, and in his name cast out devils, shall notwithstanding be rejected by him at the last day: nor would I understand by it, barely being admitted into Christ's church by baptism; for then Simon Magus, Arius, and the heresiarchs [heresies, maybe arch-heresies] of old,, might pass for religious persons; for these were baptized: nor yet the receiving the other seal of the covenant, for then Judas himself might be canonized for a saint; nor indeed do I mean any or all of these together, considered by themselves; but a thorough, real, inward change of nature, wrought in us by the powerful operations of the Holy Ghost, conveyed to and nourished in our hearts, by a constant use of all the means of grace, evidenced by a good life, and bringing forth the fruits of the spirit.

“Be steadfast therefore, my brethren, be immovable.” Be not “ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.” Fear not man; fear not the contempt and revilings which you must meet with in the way of duty; for one of you shall chase a thousand; and two of you put ten thousand of your enemies to flight. And if you will be contented, through grace, to suffer for a short time here; I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not; then may ye hope, according to the blessed word of promise, that ye shall be exalted to sit down with the Son of Man, when he shall come in the glory of his Father, with his holy angels, to judgment hereafter. May Almighty God give every one of us such a measure of his grace, that we may not be of the number of those that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe and endure unto the end, to the saving of our souls, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Journal of John Wesley

 But the bare apprehension of it gave me a lively conviction what manner of men those ought to be who are every moment on the brink of eternity. (Written after he saw himself almost die in a storm in his ship heading to America)

We now began to be a little regular. Our common way of living was this: From four in the morning till five each of us used private prayer. From five to seven we read the Bible together, carefully comparing it (that we might not lean to our own understandings) with the writings of the earliest ages. At seven we breakfasted. At eight were the public prayers. From nine to twelve I usually learned German, and Mr. Delamotte, Greek. My brother wrote sermons, and Mr. Ingham instructed the children. At twelve we met to give an account of one another what we had done since our last meeting, and what we designed to do before our next. About one we dined.

The time from dinner to four we spent in reading to those whom each of us had taken in charge, or in speaking to them severally, as need required. At four were the evening prayers; when either the second lesson was explained (as it always was in the morning), or the children were catechized and instructed before the congregation. From five to six we again used private prayer. From six to seven I read in our cabin to two or three of the passengers (of whom there were about eighty English on board), and each of my brethren to a few more in theirs.
At seven I joined with the Germans in their public service, while Mr. Ingham was reading between the decks to as many as desired to hear. At eight we met again to exhort and instruct one another. Between nine and ten we went to bed, where neither the roaring of the sea nor the motion of the ship could take away the refreshing sleep which God gave us.
In the midst of the psalm wherewith their service began, the sea broke over, split the mainsail in pieces, covered the ship, and poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sang on. I asked one of them afterward, “Were you not afraid?” He answered, “I thank God, no.” I asked, “But were not your women and children afraid?” He replied, mildly, “No; our women and children are not afraid to die.”
Saturday, 7.—Mr. Oglethorpe returned from Savannah with Mr. Spangenberg, one of the pastors of the Germans. I soon found what spirit he was of and asked his advice with regard to my own conduct. He said, “My brother, I must first ask you one or two questions. Have you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?” I was surprised, and knew not what to answer. He observed it and asked, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” I paused and said, “I know He is the Saviour of the world.”  “True,” replied he; “but do you know He has saved you?” I answered, “I hope He has died to save me.” He only added, “Do you know yourself?” I said, “I do.” But I fear they were vain words.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy - John Piper

Jesus Didn't Abolish the Sabbath
So Jesus didn't come to abolish the sabbath but to dig it out from under the mountain of legalistic sediment, and give it to us again as a blessing rather than a burden. It is a day for showing mercy and a day for doing good (verse 12). It should not be governed rigidly by narrow definitions of what is work and what is not. It is a day to focus on the Lord. And now Jesus is the Lord of the sabbath (according to verse 8), so it is a day to focus on Jesus. And it is impossible that a day focused on Jesus should be a burden to the believing heart—"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!"

-John Piper


Saturday, September 6, 2008

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones - The Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Ch. 15)

"You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14)

The worst things always happen under cover of darkness; even the natural man, degenerate and in a state of sin, would be ashamed of such things in the glare of light. Why? Because light exposes; 'Whatsoever doth make manifest is light.'

Now the Christian 'is the light of the world' in that way. It is quite inevitable, he cannot help it. Just by being Christian he shows a different type of life, and that immediately reveals the true character and nature of the other way of living. In the world, therefore, is like a light being put on, and immediately people begin to think, and wonder, and feel ashamed. The more saintly the person, of course, the more obviously will this take place. He need not say a word; just by being what he is he makes people feel ashamed of what they are doing, and in that way he is truly functioning as light.

reference: Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by David Martyn Lloyd Jones - 1971

Thursday, September 4, 2008

E. M Bounds - The Necessity of Prayer (Ch. 3)

"Have faith in God," "Trust in the Lord" form the keynote and foundation of prayer. Primarily, it is not trust in the Word of God, but rather trust in the person of God. For trust in the person of God must precede trust in the Word of God. "Ye believe in God, believe also in me," is the demand our Lord makes on the personal trust of his disciples. The person of Jesus Christ must be central, to the eye of trust.

"Why could not we cast him out?" And he said unto them, "This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting."

To be much on our knees in private communion with God is the only surety that we shall have him with us either in our personal struggles, or in our efforts to convert sinners.

Trust always operates in the present tense. Hope looks toward the future. Trust looks to the present. Hope expects. Trust possesses. Trust receives what prayer acquires. So that what prayer needs, at all times, is abiding and abundant trust.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quotes from Paul Washer

  • You're living like someone in whom the Spirit of Christ does not dwell.
-Paul David Washer

  • Preaching is a matter of Life and Death and also how you live as a Christian is a matter of Life and Death.
-Paul David Washer

Thursday 17.7.08

HBC Missions Conference
Session 9 – Paul David Washer

  • I submit to you that David was not the most clean among God's people. He was not the most orderly or tidy with regard to the law of God. He did not dot every i nor did he cross every t but no one had a heart like him.  
  • You may be as clean and precise and civilized and respectable in your reformed Christian life and not at all be pleasing to God. 
  • Do you know Him enough to honor Him?
  • Is your heart so given?
  • Or would you trade the seeking after God for a good book?
  • Would you trade the seeking after God for a TV or a radio program or this or that?
-Paul David Washer

Friday 18.7.08

HBC Missions Conference
Session 9 – Paul David Washer

  • Isn't that a horrid thing to say about ourselves? I mean if we were to commit a crime I would have to say that being able to delight in almost anything other than just tarrying in the presence of God is the worst crime.
  • I did not want anything from her but her!
  • I do not want anything from God but God!
  • Do you remember when that governed your life as a new believer?
  • Or did it ever govern your life?
  • When the only thing you thought about was Him, that was it.
  • You had no greater aspirations of being used, no desire for greater ministry.
  • You just wanted Him.
  • Remember when you got into the word and it wasn't because you had a sermon to prepare or you needed to learn some things or there were some doctrinal problems or you knew that to progress as a useful servant you had to continue on in the things of the word of God?
  • Do you remember when you just got into the word because you wanted to hear something from God?
  • You wanted to know something about Him.
  • Do you remember when you just prayed because of Him?
  • Is a heart burning for Him?
  • Who are You? I want to know You.
  • We should not be pleased when we've preached a good sermon.
  • I must leave Him and come to you. I must leave you in a few minutes and go back to Him.
  • O God, make me like Your Son!
  • I must have You!
  • I must be filled with You!
  • The midnight watch will be dear.
  • Help me Lord and I will be helped.
-Paul David Washer

Quotes from John MacArthur

Sunday 13.7.08

● John Piper & John MacArthur: Conversation at the Desiring God Conference

  • If you concentrate on the depth of your ministry then God will take care of the breadth of it.
-John F. MacArthur

  • All you can control is effort. You can not control outcome.
-John F. MacArthur

  • We have to be content with effort and leave outcome to the Lord. And that's where you're going to find your contentment.
-John F. MacArthur

  • Tomorrow opens up a new opportunity to live fully in the presence of Jesus Christ.

John Piper - Jesus Christ our Treasure

The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?

- John Piper

source: Thoughts On The Way

Richard Sibbes - Prayer

"It is atheism to pray and not to wait in hope."

-Richard Sibbes 

source: Thoughts On The Way

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

E. M. Bounds - The Necessity of Prayer (Ch. 2)

Mark 11:23-24 

And shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

The American Revised Version renders the twenty-fourth verse of the eleventh chapter of Mark, thus: "Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Perfect faith has always in its keeping what perfect prayer asks for. How large and unqualified is the area of operation-the "All things whatsoever! " How definite and specific the promise-"Ye shall have them!"

The statement of our Lord about faith and prayer quoted above is of supreme importance. Faith must be definite, specific; an unqualified, unmistakable request for the things asked for. It is not to be a vague, indefinite, shadowy thing; it must be something more than an abstract belief in God's willingness and ability to do for us. It is to be a definite, specific, asking for, and expecting the things for which we ask. Note the reading of Mark 11:23:

And shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he saith.

Just so far as the faith and the asking is definite, so also will the answer be. The giving is not to be something other than the things prayed for, but the actual things sought and named. "He shall have whatsoever he saith." It is all imperative, "He shall have." The granting is to be unlimited, both in quality and in quantity.

Faith is not an abstract belief in the Word of God, nor a mere mental credence, nor a simple assent of the understanding and will; nor is it a passive acceptance of facts, however sacred or thorough. Faith is an operation of God, a divine illumination, a holy energy implanted by the Word of God and the Spirit in the human soul---a spiritual, divine principle which takes of the supernatural and makes it a thing apprehendable by the faculties of time and sense.

Before prayer ever starts toward God; before its petition is preferred, before its requests are made known-faith must have gone on ahead; must have asserted its belief in the existence of God; must have given its assent to the gracious truth that "God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek his face." This is the primary step in praying. In this regard, while faith does not bring the blessing, yet it puts prayer in a position to ask for it, and leads to another step toward realization, by aiding the petitioner to believe that God is able and willing to bless.


E. M. Bounds - The Necessity of Prayer (Ch. 1)

John 14:12-14

Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

 How wonderful are these statements of what God will do in answer to prayer! Of how great importance these ringing words, prefaced, as they are, with the most solemn verity! Faith in Christ is the basis of all working, and of all praying. All wonderful works depend on wonderful praying, and all praying is done in the name of Jesus Christ. Amazing lesson, of wondrous simplicity, is this praying in the name of the Lord Jesus! All other conditions are depreciated, everything else is renounced, save Jesus only. The name of Christ-the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ-must be supremely sovereign, in the hour and article of prayer.

 When we pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," we are, in a measure, shutting tomorrow out of our prayer. We do not live in tomorrow but in today We do not seek tomorrow's grace or tomorrow's bread. They thrive best, and get most out of life, who live in the living present. They pray best who pray for today's needs, not for tomorrow's, which may render our prayers unnecessary and redundant by not existing at all!

 True prayers are born of present trials and present needs. Bread, for today, is bread enough. Bread given for today is the strongest sort of pledge that there will be bread tomorrow. Victory today, is the assurance of victory tomorrow. Our-prayers need to be focused upon the present. We must trust God today, and leave the morrow entirely with him. The present is ours; the future belongs to God. Prayer is the task and duty of each recurring day-daily prayer for daily needs.

 As every day demands its bread, so every day demands its prayer. No amount of praying, done today, will suffice for tomorrow's praying. On the other hand, no praying for tomorrow is of any great value to us today. Today's manna is what we need; tomorrow God will see that our needs are supplied. This is the faith which God seeks to inspire. So leave tomorrow, with its cares, its needs, its troubles, in God's hands. There is no storing tomorrow's grace or tomorrow's praying; neither is there any laying-up of today's grace, to meet tomorrow's necessities. We cannot have tomorrow's grace, we cannot eat tomorrow's bread, we cannot do tomorrow's praying. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof; and, most assuredly, if we possess faith, sufficient also, will be the good.


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