Our Walk

“No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

There are those who walk uprightly, very uprightly, in the fear of God, and yet have little comfortable or abiding evidence that they are at present partakers of God’s grace, or will be hereafter sharers of Christ’s glory. But this one evidence they certainly do possess, though they can take no present comfort from it, that they walk uprightly before God and man. Let no one, however deeply experienced or highly favored, despise this evidence of grace in others; and you who walk uprightly from a living principle of godly fear have here a marked testimony from the Lord himself that he has a special regard for you.

But what is it to “walk uprightly?” Oh! here is the grand difficulty in religion. We may talk; we may preach; we may hear; we may seem to believe; but it is when we come to act, to walk, and carry out into daily and hourly practice what we profess, that the main difficulty is felt and found. “The soul of religion,” says Bunyan, “is the practical part;” and it is when we come to this “practical part” that the daily, hourly cross commences. The walk, the conversation, the daily, hourly conduct is, after all, the main difficulty, as it is the all-important fruit of a Christian profession. To walk day after day, under all circumstances, and amid all the varied temptations that beset us, uprightly, tenderly, and sincerely in the fear of God; to feel continually that heart, lip, and life are all open before his all-penetrating eye; to do the things which he approves, and to flee from the things which he abhors–oh! this in religion is the steep hill which it is such a struggle to climb! We can talk fast enough; but oh! to walk in the straight and narrow path; to be a Christian outwardly as well as inwardly, before God and man, before the Church and the world; and in all points to speak and act with undeviating consistency with our profession–this is what nature never has done, and what nature never can do. In thus acting, as much as in believing, do we need God’s power and grace to work in, and be made manifest in us.

Last Things

Matthew 13:36-43

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Zephaniah 1:1-6

The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD.

I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.

I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;

And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham;

And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor inquired for him.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

2 Peter 3:10-13

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Zephaniah 1:7-18

Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.

Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.

And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.

Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.

The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

 

 

Four Years Ago – Christian, Don’t Wait Until November

Posted at: The Christian’s Report on July 9, 2016

Followers of Jesus Christ in the United States of America, in less than four months we will go to the polls and record our choice for those who will serve as our local, state, and federal elected officials.

Believers and unbelievers alike will approach that day with the hope that our lives, and the lives of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen, will be filled with hope for our future as a result of those who we elect.

Is this a child’s dream? A baseless desire?

Not according to God’s word it isn’t.

The God of Israel has spoken;
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,
 he dawns on them like the morning light,
    like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
    like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

2 Samuel 23:3,4

Is it possible that we could find ourselves under the rule of men and women who would serve in such a manner that the promises in 2 Samuel 23 would be fulfilled?

Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testament expands on the joys of living under the rule of such a government:

These words are a further description of the king’s duty, which is not only to rule with justice and piety, but also with sweetness, and gentleness, and condescension to the infirmities of his people; to render his government as acceptable to them as is the sunshine in a clear morning, or the tender grass which springs out of the earth by the warm beams of the sun after the rain.

I realize that this nation is as far removed from these ideals as a horse’s tail is from its nose. But I ask myself why God would tell us of such a government if attaining the same was not possible?

I therefore must say that it is absolutely possible. But how?

Maybe we should approach our King, find his ear through our prayers, confess our sin, and beseech him that he would find favor on our nation.

Might we be able to find within God’s provisioning that single mustard seed worth of faith which would shake the upcoming elections at their very foundation?

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Romans 13:1

See here? Is it not God who put our current government in place? Can not the same God answer his people’s prayers and install a government that governs with “sweetness, and gentleness, and condescension to the infirmities of his people?”

Meet with your God each morning, noon, and night. Cry out to him the words which he gives us in 2 Samuel 23 and Romans 13.

Do this for your family, your church, your nation. But most of all do this that God might be glorified through the faith of his people working as salt and light in this darkened world.

God bless you all, my prayer for God’s strength in your prayers is ongoing.

Larry

 

Our Treasure

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“In the house of the righteous is much treasure–but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.” Proverbs 15:6

How different is the estimate that faith makes of riches, honors, and comforts from that made by the world and the flesh! The world has no idea of riches but such as consist in gold and silver, in houses, lands, or other tangible property; no thought of honor, but such as man has to bestow; and no notion of comfort, except in “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” But the soul that is anointed by an “unction from the Holy One,” takes a different estimate of these matters, and feels that the only true riches are those of God’s grace in the heart, that the only real honor is that which comes from God, and that the only solid comfort is that which is imparted by the Holy Spirit to a broken and contrite spirit. Now, just in proportion as we have the Spirit of God, shall we take faith’s estimate of riches, honor, and comfort; and just so much as we are imbued with the spirit of the world, shall we take the world’s estimate of these things.

When the eye of the world looked on the Apostles, it viewed them as a company of poor ignorant men, a set of wild enthusiasts, that traveled about the country preaching concerning one Jesus, who, they said, had been crucified, and was risen from the dead. The natural eye saw no beauty, no power, no glory in the truths they brought forth; nor did it see that the poor perishing tabernacles of these outcast men contained in them a heavenly treasure; and that they would one day shine as the stars forever and ever, while those who despised their word would sink into endless woe.

The spirit of the world, and the views that the flesh takes are not altered now. Nature ever remains the same, and can never understand or love the things of eternity; it can only look to, and can only rest upon, the poor perishing things of time and sense.

By this test, therefore, we may in a measure try our state. What, for instance, are our daily and hourly feelings about the things of time and sense, and what about the things of eternity? Which of the two press with more power on our minds, which occupy more of our thoughts, which are laid up more warmly in our affections? And just in proportion as the solemn things of eternity, or the things of time and sense, occupy our mind; just so much as our hearts are fixed upon heaven or earth; just so much as we are living to God, or to ourselves, in the same degree is the strength of our faith, and the depth of the work of grace upon our conscience.

Praying for the Lord’s Return

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10

Plead for the speedy fulfillment of this promise, all you who love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and bottomed, as to our desires, upon God’s own promise. How can He who gave the Word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by neglect. God must bless His Son, His covenant binds Him to it. That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to give Him.

Whenever you are praying for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of the blessed day which draws near, when the Crucified One shall receive His coronation in the place where men rejected Him. Courage, you who prayerfully work and toil for Christ with success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always; better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory.

Reader, let us ask, do you make this your constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” had first given us this petition, “Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own needs, your own imperfections, your own trials—but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ Himself, and then, as you draw near to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of Your dear Son!” Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by laboring to promote the Lord’s glory.

Pray Thee With Fervent Heart, Knowing That Our Prayers Shall Be Heard

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“He was heard in that he feared.” — Hebrews 5:7

Did this fear arise from the infernal suggestion that He was utterly forsaken.

There may be sterner trials than this—but surely it is one of the worst to be utterly forsaken?

“See,” said Satan, “you have a friend nowhere! Your Father has shut up the affections of His compassion against you. Not an angel in His courts will stretch out his hand to help you. All heaven is alienated from You; You are left alone. See the companions with whom You have taken sweet counsel, what are they worth? Son of Mary, see there Your brother James, see there Your beloved disciple John, and Your bold apostle Peter—how the cowards sleep—when You are in Your sufferings! Lo! You have no friend left in heaven or earth. All hell is against You. I have stirred up my infernal den. I have sent my missives throughout all regions summoning every prince of darkness to set upon You this night, and we will spare no arrows, we will use all our infernal might to overwhelm You! And what will You do, You solitary one?”

It may be, this was the temptation; we think it was, because the appearance of an angel unto Him strengthening Him removed that fear. He was heard in that He feared; He was no more alone—but heaven was with Him. It may be that this is the reason of His coming three times to His disciples — as Joseph Hart puts it — “Backwards and forwards thrice He ran—as if He sought some help from man.” He would see for Himself whether it were really true that all men had forsaken Him; He found them all asleep; but perhaps He gained some faint comfort from the thought that they were sleeping, not from treachery—but from sorrow, the spirit indeed was willing—but the flesh was weak.

At any rate, He was heard in that He feared. Jesus was heard in His deepest woe; my soul—you shall be heard also.

Two Possible Responses to Goliath – Part 2 (repost)

Originally Posted on December 15, 2015

By Larry Cook

In Part 1 (Link Here) we considered a survey of Americans on the subject of their fears. This survey sought responses on the level of fear experienced in eighty-eight domains. These domains included terrorist attacks, government tracking of personal data, insects, public speaking, and eighty-four others. Interestingly, the designers of the survey did not include the fear of God in the eighty-eight.

I find this omission interesting not because I would expect a secular institution such as Chapman University to consider the fear of God a valid and rational thing, but more so because it is, at the very least, a possible fear in the universe of fears, and therefore adequately valid to justify its inclusion.

But those of us united in Christ are not to fear the exclusion of this foundational element of our faith by a secular university conducting a survey. We all, to a greater or lesser degree, understand that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And we hold this to be true regardless of what might or might not be put forth by the unbelieving world.

Charles Spurgeon, in the following quote, presses on us the vital nature of the fear of God by implying that we need not consider moving forward in our religion unless and until we grasp this fundamental concept. He writes:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning and the foundation of all true religion. Without a solemn awe and reverence of God there is no foothold for the more brilliant virtues.

But lest we fail to consider the corresponding attribute of God, namely His mercy, Spurgeon reminds the believer of the love God showed us in our redemption.

The roaring thunder of the law and the fear of the terror of judgment are both used to bring us to Christ, but the final victory culminating in our salvation is won through God’s loving-kindness.

And so we ask, where does this leave us?

If we are to be faithful to God’s Word, then according to Revelation 14:7, we will proclaim God’s command that all are to fear the one who will judge, to give glory to the one who made heaven and earth, and to worship him who made the sea and the springs of water.

But we must do so with compassion, remembering that the man or woman to whom we speak these words is lost and without God in this world. We must muster the same level of compassion that Jesus displayed when he tells the unbelieving world in Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

God bless you.


© The Christian’s Report, 2016