Our Fountain of Life

Octavius Winslow

Today’s Morning Thought

“With You is the fountain of life.” Psalm 36:9.

What a fountain of life is Jesus! The dead, on whose ear falls the sound of His voice, live. There is grace in Christ- quickening, regenerating, life-giving grace; and to whomsoever that grace is imparted, he that was lying cold and inanimate in the valley begins to move, to live, to breathe, and to arise. One touch of Christ, a whisper of His voice, a breath of His Spirit, begets a life in the soul that never dies.

What a fountain of life is Jesus! Think of its superabundance . There is a fullness of life in Christ. The grace that is welled in Jesus is as infinite in its source, as it is divine in its nature. An uncreated fullness, it must possess an inexhaustible overabundance. Had the Father deposited this life-giving grace in all the angels in heaven, it had long since been exhausted.

Think of the myriads, thirsting for holiness and for happiness, who have knelt and slaked their thirst at this fountain- think of the myriads who have here filled their empty vessels, and have gone away with joy and hope springing high in their minds. Think of the myriads whose sins His blood has washed, whose souls His righteousness has clad, whose corruptions His grace has subdued, and whose sorrows His love has comforted. Think of the iniquities which He has pardoned; of the backslidings which He has healed; of the grief which He has removed; of the tears which He has dried; of the souls which He has saved.

Think of the myriads once drinking from the stream below, but who are now drinking from the fountain head in glory. And yet is this fountain as full as ever! Not one hair’s breadth has it sunk. Jesus is as full of pardoning grace for the guilty, and of justifying grace for the vile, and of sanctifying grace for the unworthy, as ever. He is full enough to meet the needs of every poor, thirsty, panting soul who ventures near.

Oh, what a precious truth is this! Precious, indeed, to him who feels his own insufficiency, poverty, and need. What, reader, is your need? what your sorrow? what your trial? what your infirmity? what your burden? Whatever it may be, repair with it to this fountain of living water, and despair not of a gracious welcome and of an adequate supply. It is a fountain, and a living fountain. It needs no persuasion to flow, for it flows spontaneously; and wherever it flows there is life.

Our Indeed Blessing

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“O that you would bless me indeed!” 1 Chronicles 4:10

An “indeed” blessing is what the soul is seeking after which has ever felt the misery and bitterness of sin, and ever tasted the sweetness of God’s salvation. And these “indeed” blessings are seen to be spiritual and eternal. Compared with such blessings as these, it sees how vain and empty are all earthly things, what vain toys, what idle dreams, what passing shadows. It wonders at the folly of men in hunting after such vain shows, and spending time, health, money, life itself, in a pursuit of nothing but misery and destruction.

Every passing funeral bell that it hears, every corpse borne slowly along to the grave that it sees, impresses it with solemn feelings as to the state of those who live and die in their sins. Thus it learns more and more to contrast time with eternity, earth with heaven, sinners with saints, and professors with possessors. By these things it is taught, with Baruch, not “to seek great things” for itself, but real things; things which will outlast time, and fit it for eternity.

It is thus brought to care little for the opinion of men as to what is good or great, but much for what God has stamped his own approbation upon, such as a tender conscience, a broken heart, a contrite spirit, a humble mind, a separation from the world and everything worldly, a submission to his holy will, a meek endurance of the cross, a conformity to Christ’s suffering image, and a living to God’s glory.

As, then, the gracious Lord is pleased to indulge it with some discovery of himself, shedding abroad a sweet sense of his goodness and mercy, atoning blood, and dying love, it is made to long more and more for the manifestation of those blessings which alone are to be found in him. For his blessings are not like the mere temporal mercies which we enjoy at his hands, all of which perish in the using, but are forever and ever; and when once given are never taken away. They thus become pledges and foretastes of eternal joys, for they are absolutely irreversible.

When Isaac had once blessed Jacob in God’s name, though the blessing had been obtained by deceit, yet having been once given, it could not be recalled. He said, therefore, to Esau, “I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed.” So when the Lord has blessed his people with any of those spiritual blessings which are stored up in his inexhaustible fullness, these blessings are like himself, unchanging and unchangeable; for “he is in one mind and none can turn him;” “The same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Our Necessary Labor

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.”

– 1 Thessalonians 1:3

It is air and exercise that keep the body healthy. So it is spiritually. The graces of the Spirit need to be often exercised and well aired to keep them healthy–aired with the pure breath of heaven, and exercised with the operations of the Holy Spirit drawing them forth into activity and energy. And just as in nature a man gains health and strength by using his limbs and working his muscles, so in spiritual things these graces of the Spirit gain strength by use and exercise. Faith by working hard, hope by enduring much, and love by laboring long in the face of difficulties, become each more strengthened, more confirmed, more active, healthy, and energetic.

It is a false faith to sleep all day in the sluggard’s arm-chair; it is the hypocrite’s hope who endures nothing for Christ’s sake; it is love in ‘lip and tongue and name’ that undergoes no labor to please the beloved Object. Look at these things in the light of your own experience. See whether you can find not only faith in your heart, but its work; not only hope, but its patience; not only love, but its labor. The Apostle remembered without ceasing their work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope. His eye was fixed not so much upon their Christian graces as their exercises of them, and as he saw their faith working diligently, their hope suffering patiently, and their love laboring unweariedly for the glory of God and the good of his people, he was satisfied they were the graces of the Spirit wrought in their heart by a divine power.

Our Keeper

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“He will keep the feet of his saints.” –1 Samuel 2:9

The Lord sees his poor scattered pilgrims traveling through a valley of tears, journeying through a waste howling wilderness, a path beset with baits, traps, and snares in every direction. How can they escape? Why, the Lord keeps their feet, carries them through every rough place, as a tender parent carries a little child; when about to fall, graciously lays the everlasting arms underneath them, and when tottering and stumbling, and their feet ready to slip, mercifully upholds them from falling altogether. Thus the Lord keeps the feet of his saints.

But do you think that he has not different ways for different feet? The God of creation has not made two flowers, nor two leaves upon a tree alike; and will he cause all his people to walk in precisely the same path? No; we have each our path, each our troubles, each our trials, each peculiar traps and snares laid for our feet. And the wisdom of the all-wise and only-wise God is shown by his eyes being in every place, marking the footsteps of every pilgrim, suiting his remedies to meet their individual case and necessity, appearing for them when nobody else could do them any good; watching so tenderly over them, as though the eyes of his affection were bent on one individual; and carefully noting the goings of each, as though all the powers of the Godhead were concentrated on that one person to keep him from harm.

Our Spiritual Betrothal

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“Thus says the Lord; I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals, when you went after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.” Jeremiah 2:2

Salvation is a gift, the choicest and richest gift which the hands of a Triune God, whose name is Love, can bestow. It is a portion, an inheritance, an estate, a treasure, an eternal reality. The full possession, the entire enjoyment, the complete acquisition of this predestinated weight of glory, is indeed reserved until a future state; but the pledges, the first fruits, the early ripe clusters, the first dew-drops of this eternal inheritance, are given to the elect while upon earth.

The everlasting enjoyment of the presence and glory of Christ is often compared in Scripture to a wedding. Thus we read (Rev. 19:7) of “the Lamb’s wife,” and of “the marriage of the Lamb.” So the Church is said to be “brought unto the King in clothing of needlework,” as the bride, in Eastern countries, was brought by the father to the bridegroom. But we read of “espousals” also, which always preceded the celebration of the marriage. “I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals.” “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” So Joseph was “espoused to the virgin Mary, before they came together,” that is, before they became man and wife. Now this espousal was a necessary prelude to marriage, though it was not the same thing. And, therefore, a betrothed virgin was punished as an adulteress by the Levitical law, if she was unfaithful to her espoused husband. To be betrothed had the nature of marriage in it, though it was not the same thing as marriage. The parties did not live together, and were not put in possession of each other.

Thus, it is in this life that the spiritual betrothment takes place, and the spiritual marriage in the life to come. “I will betroth you unto me in righteousness and in judgment, and in loving-kindness and in mercies; I will even betroth you unto me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord” (Hosea 2:19, 20).

Our Cross

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Take up the cross, and follow me.”
Mark 10:21

You have not the making of your own cross, although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making; neither are you permitted to choose your own cross, although self-will would fain be lord and master; but your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it; you are to take up the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not to stand cavilling at it.

This night Jesus bids you submit your shoulder to his easy yoke. Do not kick at it in petulance, or trample on it in vain-glory, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear, but take it up like a true follower of Jesus. Jesus was a cross-bearer; he leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if he carried a cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis is the way of safety; fear not to tread its thorny paths.

Beloved, the cross is not made of feathers, or lined with velvet, it is heavy and galling to disobedient shoulders; but it is not an iron cross, though your fears have painted it with iron colours, it is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it, for the Man of sorrows tried the load.

Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt. Remember that Jesus carried it, and it will smell sweetly; remember that it will soon be followed by the crown, and the thought of the coming weight of glory will greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble. The Lord help you to bow your spirit in submission to the divine will ere you fall asleep this night, that waking with to-morrow’s sun, you may go forth to the day’s cross with the holy and submissive spirit which becomes a follower of the Crucified.

Our Need of the Holy Spirit

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“But when the Comforter has come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father–he shall testify of me.” John 15:26

The special work and office of the Holy Spirit is to testify of Jesus, to glorify him, to take of the things that are his, and to show them to the soul; and therefore without these teachings and testimonies of the Holy Spirit we have no true, no saving knowledge of Christ, no living faith in him, no sweet communion with him, no tender and affectionate love toward him. And are not these the marks which peculiarly distinguish the living family of God from those dead in sin, and those dead in profession?

A bare knowledge of the letter of truth–can communicate no such gracious affections as will warm, soften, melt, and animate the soul of a child of God, under the felt power and influence of the Holy Spirit–can create no such faith as gives him manifest union with Jesus–can inspire no such hope as carries every desire of his heart within the veil–can produce no such godly sorrow for sin as makes him loathe and abhor himself in dust and ashes–can shed abroad no such love as makes him love the Lord with a pure heart fervently.

But the same blessed and holy Teacher who takes of the things that are Christ’s and reveals them to the soul, thus raising up faith, hope, and love, and bringing into living exercise every other spiritual gift and grace, first prepares the heart to receive him in all his gracious characters and covenant relationships by deeply and powerfully convincing us of our need of him as our all in all.

Is he a Priest? We need his atoning blood and his all-prevailing intercession that we may have peace with God, and that our prayers and supplications may rise up with acceptance into his ears.

Is he a Prophet? We need his heavenly instruction, that we may sit at his feet and hear his word, so as to believe his promises and obey his precepts.

Is he a King? We need his powerful and peaceful scepter to subdue every foe, calm every fear, subdue every lust, crucify the whole body of sin, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Would You Be Holy?

J. C. Ryle

Excerpted from Holiness

Would you be holy? Would you become a new creature? Then you must begin with Christ. You will do just nothing at all, and make no progress till you feel your sin and weakness, and flee to Him. He is the root and beginning of all holiness, and the way to be holy is to come to Him by faith and be joined to Him.

Christ is not wisdom and righteousness only to His people, but sanctification also. Men sometimes try to make themselves holy first of all, and sad work they make of it. They toil and labour and turn over many new leaves and make many changes, and yet, like the woman with the issue of blood, before she came to Christ, they feel ‘nothing bettered, but rather worse’ (Mark 5:26). They run in vain and labour in vain, and little wonder, for they are beginning at the wrong end. They are building up a wall of sand; their work runs down as fast as they throw it up. They are baling water out of a leaky vessel; the leak gains on them, not they on the leak.

Other foundation(s) of holiness can no man lay than that which Paul laid, even Christ Jesus. Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). It is a strong but true saying of Traill’s: ‘Wisdom out of Christ is damning folly; righteousness out of Christ is guilt and condemnation; sanctification out of Christ is filth and sin; redemption out of Christ is bondage and slavery.’ Do you want to attain holiness? Do you feel this day a real hearty desire to be holy? Would you be a partaker of the divine nature? Then go to Christ. Wait for nothing. Wait for nobody. Linger not. Think not to make yourself ready. Go and say to Him, in the words of that beautiful hymn,

‘Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, flee to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace.’

There is not a brick nor a stone laid in the work of our sanctification till we go to Christ. Holiness is His special gift to His believing people. Holiness is the work He carries on in their hearts by the Spirit whom He puts within them. He is appointed a ‘Prince and a Saviour . . . to give repentance’ as well as remission of sins. To as many as receive Him, He gives power to become sons of God (Acts 5:31; John 9:12, 13). Holiness comes not of blood: parents cannot give it to their children; nor yet of the will of the flesh: man cannot produce it in himself; nor yet of the will of man: ministers cannot give it you by baptism. Holiness comes from Christ. It is the result of vital union with Him. It is the fruit of being a living branch of the true Vine. Go then to Christ and say, ‘Lord, not only save me from the guilt of sin, but send the Spirit, whom Thou didst promise, and save me from its power. Make me holy. Teach me to do Thy will.’

Ryle, J. C.. Holiness (pp. 51-52). Heritage Bible Fellowship. Kindle Edition.

Our Loving Heavenly Father

Octavius Winslow

Today’s Morning Thought

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32.

Look at the cross; behold His precious Gift transfixed to it, and that by His own hand, and for your sins. Then look at your present circumstances, survey your needs, your trials, your chastisements, your bereavements, your heart-sickening, heartbreaking tribulations, and know that God still is love. If He had love strong enough, deep enough, to give you Jesus- to tear Him, as it were, from His bosom, and to transfix Him on yonder accursed tree for your iniquities- has He not love enough to bow His ear to your cry, and His heart to your sorrow? Will He not rescue you from this difficulty, deliver you out of this trouble, shield you in this temptation, supply this need, and support, succour, and comfort you in this grief? Oh yes, He will! doubt it not! The cross of Calvary is a standing pledge- standing until sin and guilt, need and woe, shall be known no more- that God, who “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will with Him also freely give us all things” necessary to our good, and promotive of His glory.

Our Children – Update

Last week I related a tragic accident that occurred when a father backed over his 3 year old child at a local tree farm. That post can be read here:  Our Children

At this morning’s prayer breakfast, we discussed this situation and were given a personal reflection by one of our church’s elders. Glenn, our elder, knew Tony only from time spent next to him on an exercise bike at a local fitness center. And until last week he hadn’t seen or spoken to him for over two years.

Glenn reports that, to the best of his knowledge, Tony and his wife Katie (sp ?) are not professing Christians  But Tony made a call to Glenn last week asking if he could stop by his house and talk with his wife and him.

Glenn met with them, and it was not an easy visit. As you can imagine, there is still a lot of raw emotion and grief over the loss of this child. But Glenn did talk with them and they invited him to pray for their family. The one thing that Glenn said is helping to keep things together is that they also have a four year old son.

As in my first post, I would ask that you please continue to be in prayer for this family. I will keep you updated as to the workings of God in these 3 lives.

God bless you and yours,