The Gold Standard

The malleability of gold presents a problem with jewelry. Pure gold is too soft to withstand the demands of life. For this reason, gold is usually alloyed with other precious metals like copper, silver, and platinum to increase its durability.

– U. S. Gold Bureau

Our world is a world of pragmatism. Courses of action are many times chosen based on the practical consequences of a particular choice. Gold, as explained in the quote above, must be alloyed if it is to be of use. In other words, its usefulness is dependent on its purity being compromised.

Now we know that God operates in a different manner. We aren’t even able to comprehend His ways. Scripture tells us:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8, 9

And so it is that when God compares His people to gold, he speaks of purity as the characteristic which will bring them to usefulness.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.

Malachi 3:3

The point which I hope is made is that we might be well-served if we were to measure the progress of God’s purifying work in our hearts by the degree to which our tenderness is increased.

Do tears sometimes flow when a sermon is preached?

Are we ever overcome with emotion when we hear a testimony of God’s faithfulness?

Do we at times find ourselves reduced to sobbing when reflecting on the sin in our lives?

I pray that the Lord would continue His work in you, and that with each passing day you would experience a more contrite heart and an increasingly broken spirit.

– Larry

 

 

 

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity; for it is great. – Psalm 25:1

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

– Psalm 119:133

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;

– 2 Peter 1:5a

Follower of Jesus, be encouraged to:

  1. Praise God and thank Him for enabling you to continuously overcome certain sins through faith in Him and in His strength.
  2. Confess your ongoing sins to God, knowing that you are already forgiven, and ask for that he would fill you with the desire and ability to repent from those sins.
  3. Pray that God would reveal to you those sins which you are not aware of so that you might live more fully in Jesus’ righteousness, with which he has clothed you.

 

All scripture KJV.

Our Efforts

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;
and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness, love.”

2 Peter 1:5-7

If you would enjoy the eminent grace of the full assurance of faith, under the blessed Spirit’s influence, and assistance, do what the Scripture tells you, “Make every effort.” Take care that your faith is of the right kind—that it is not a mere belief of doctrine—but a simple faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone. Give diligent heed to your courage. Plead with God that He would give you the face of a lion, that you may, with a consciousness of right, go on boldly. Study well the Scriptures, and get knowledge; for a knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to confirm faith. Try to understand God’s Word; let it dwell in your heart richly.

When you have done this, “Add to your knowledge self-control.” Take heed to your body—be temperate without. Take heed to your soul—be temperate within. Get temperance of lip, life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God’s Holy Spirit, patience; ask Him to give you that patience which endures affliction, which, when it is tried, shall come forth as gold. Array yourself with patience, that you may not murmur nor be depressed in your afflictions.

When that grace is won—look to godliness. Godliness is something more than external religion. Make God’s glory your object in life; live in His sight; dwell close to Him; seek for fellowship with Him; and you have “godliness”.

And to that add brotherly love. Have a love to all the saints—and add to that a charity, which opens its arms to all men, and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these jewels, and just in proportion as you practice these heavenly virtues—will you come to know by clearest evidence, “your calling and election.” “Make every effort,” if you would get assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand in hand.

Our Sanctification

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14

To be “sanctified” is to be made a partaker of that holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; to be made a new creature; to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;” in a word, to be “made a partaker of the divine nature,” and thus have the holiness of God breathed into and communicated to the soul. Without this inward sanctification, none can enter the gates of heaven. To be made fit, therefore, for the heavenly inheritance, you must have a heavenly heart and a praising, adoring, loving spirit; you must delight yourself in the Lord as being so holy and yet so gracious, so pure and yet so loving, so bright and glorious and yet so condescending and sympathizing.

Now this fitness for the holiness, happiness, and employments of heaven is communicated at regeneration, in which the new man of grace, though weak, is still perfect. Look at the thief upon the cross–what an instance is he how the Spirit of God can in a moment make a man fit for heaven! Here was a vile malefactor, whose life had been spent in robbery and murder, brought at last to suffer the just punishment of his crimes; and as we are told that “they who were crucified with him reviled him,” we have reason to believe that at first he joined his fellow malefactor in blaspheming the Redeemer. But sovereign grace, and what but sovereign grace? touched his heart, brought him to see and feel what he was as a ruined sinner, opened his eyes to view the Son of God bleeding before him, raised up faith in his soul to believe in his name, and created a spirit of prayer that the Lord of heaven and earth would remember him when he came into his kingdom–perhaps the greatest act of faith we have recorded in all Scripture, almost equal if not superior to the faith of Abraham when he offered up Isaac on the altar.

The dying Redeemer heard and answered his cry, and said to him, “Today shall you be with me in paradise.” Spirit and life accompanied the words, and raised up at once in his soul a fitness for the inheritance, and before the shadows of night fell, his happy spirit passed into paradise, where he is now singing the praises of God and of the Lamb. Many a poor child of God has gone on almost to his last hours on earth without a manifestation of pardoning love and the application of atoning blood; but he has not been allowed to die without the Holy Spirit revealing salvation to his soul, and attuning his heart to sing the immortal anthem of the glorified spirits before the throne.

Our Two Natures

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“What will you see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.” Song of Solomon 6:13

Are you not often a mystery to yourself? Warm one moment, cold the next; abasing yourself one hour, exalting yourself the following; loving the world, full of it, steeped up to your lips in it today; crying, groaning, and sighing for a sweet manifestation of the love of God tomorrow; brought down to nothingness, covered with shame and confusion, on your knees before you leave your room; filled with pride and self-importance before you have got down stairs; despising the world, and willing to give it all up for one taste of the love of Jesus when in solitude; trying to grasp it with both hands when in business.

What a mystery are you! Touched by love, and stung with enmity; possessing a little wisdom, and a great deal of folly; earthly-minded, and yet having the affections in heaven; pressing forward, and lagging behind; full of sloth, and yet taking the kingdom with violence!

And thus the Spirit, by a process which we may feel but cannot adequately describe, leads us into the mystery of the two natures, that “company of two armies,” perpetually struggling and striving against each other in the same bosom. So that one man cannot more differ from another than the same man differs from himself.

But do not nature, sense, and reason contradict this? Do not the wise and prudent deny this? “There must be a progressive advance,” they say, “in holiness; there must be a gradual amendment of our nature until at length all sin is rooted out, and we become as perfect as Christ.” But the mystery of the kingdom of heaven is this–that our carnal mind undergoes no alteration, but maintains a perpetual war with grace–and thus, the deeper we sink in self-abasement under a sense of our vileness, the higher we rise in a knowledge of Christ; and the blacker we are in our own view, the more lovely does Jesus appear.

In All These Things

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Romans 8:37

Those who know nothing of their own heart, of their own infirmities, of their own frailties, of their own inward or outward slips and backslidings, know nothing of the secret of super-abounding grace, nothing of the secret of atoning blood, nothing of the secret of the Spirit’s inward testimony. They cannot. Only in proportion as we are emptied of self in all its various forms, are we filled out of the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Now you, perhaps, (I address myself personally to some poor, tempted child of God, that in touching one, I may touch others,) are a poor, tempted creature; and your daily sorrow, your continual trouble is, that you are so soon overcome; that your temper, your lusts, your pride, your worldliness, your carnal, corrupt heart are perpetually getting the mastery. And from this you sometimes draw bitter conclusions. You say, in the depth of your heart, “Can I be a child of God, and be thus? What mark and testimony have I of being in favor with God when I am so easily, so continually overcome?”

Now I want you to look to the end. What is the issue of these defeats? Remember, it is a solemn truth, and one that we learn very slowly–that we must be overcome in order to overcome. There is no setting out with a stock of strength, daily adding to it, weekly increasing it, and then gaining the victory by our own resolutions, our own innate strength. Such sham holiness may come under a gospel garb, may wear a fair appearance; but it only more hides the rottenness of the flesh. Then, remember this–that in order to gain the victory, we must know our weakness; and we can only know our weakness by its being experimentally opened up in our consciences. We cannot learn it from others; we must learn it in our own souls; and that often in a very painful manner. But these painful sensations in a tender conscience lead a man more humbly, more feelingly, more believingly to the Lord of life and glory, to receive out of his fullness. Thus every defeat only leads to and ensures victory at the last. Says the Apostle, “In all these things we are more than conquerors.” How? Through our resolutions, through our wisdom? No; “through Him that loved us.” There is no other way, then, to overcome, but by the “strength of Jesus made perfect in our weakness.”

The Believer’s Treasure – Forgiveness of Sin

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Romans 8:33

Most blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation—and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God’s book against His people—He sees no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel; they are justified in Christ forever! When the guilt of sin was taken away—the punishment of sin was removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God’s angry hand—nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may be chastised by his Father—but God the Judge has nothing to say to the Christian, except “I have absolved you—you are acquitted.”

For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Jesus.

There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome—if he will only rely upon his God to do it. Those who wear the white robe in heaven, overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that your sin is a condemned thing. It may kick and struggle—but it is doomed to die! God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has crucified it, “nailing it to His cross.” Go now and mortify it, and may the Lord help you to live to His praise, for sin with all its guilt, shame, and fear—is gone!

“Here’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come—here’s pardon too!”

On Becoming Fit For Heaven

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.” Zechariah 6:13

Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable love, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work.

Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashions our hearts aright. As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy—so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made fit here—all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.

“Beneath His eye and care,
The edifice shall rise,
Majestic, strong, and fair,
And shine above the skies.”

Our ‘little’ Sins

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“Catch the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vines—for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15

A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines. And little sins do much harm to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ—that He will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian—but a little sin can make him miserable!

Jesus will not walk with His people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Some Christians very seldom enjoy their Savior’s presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Are you a child of God—and yet satisfied to go on without seeing your Father’s face? What! you the spouse of Christ—and yet content without His company! Surely, you have fallen into a sad state, for the chaste spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate, when he has left her.

Ask, then, the question—what has driven Christ from you? He hides His face behind the wall of your sins. That wall may be built up of little pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains—and the sea which divides you from Christ may be filled with the drops of your little sins; and the rock which has well near wrecked your barque, may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of your little sins. If you would live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ—take heed of “little foxes that ruin the vines—for our vines have tender grapes.” Jesus invites you to go with Him and catch them. He will surely, like Samson, catch the foxes at once and easily. Go with Him to the hunting!

Hold Fast to God’s Testimony

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“I hold fast to your testimonies–O Lord, put me not to shame.” Psalm 119:31

In whatever state or stage of experience you are, it will be your wisdom and your mercy to hold fast to God’s testimony. Has the Lord just begun a work of grace in your heart? Is he showing to you what you are by nature, and bringing before your eyes the sins of your youth, and plunging you in deep convictions? It will be your wisdom, and it will be your mercy, to hold fast to that testimony; not to be driven from your standing into despair, nor pushed forward into fleshly confidence; but to hold fast to that testimony which God himself has implanted.

Has God made you to sigh and cry from the depths of a broken heart–to fall down before his truth? Hold fast to that testimony; he will not put you to shame. Again, if the Lord has done a little more for you, shown you the least glimpse of mercy and favor, and given you some little testimony of your saving interest in the blood of the Lamb, it will be your wisdom, and it will be your mercy, to hold fast to that testimony too. You will find those who would push you presumptuously forward; you will find those who would drive you despairingly backward; you will find those who would pull you down into those doubts and fears that their own minds are exercised with, and you will find those who would draw you aside into the vain confidence in which they themselves are standing. It will be your wisdom and mercy to abide by the testimony which God himself has revealed; and he can work in your soul that faith whereby you can and will hold fast to his testimony.

But some may say, “How do I know that I am holding fast to God’s testimonies?” I would ask, what are the feelings of your hearts towards them? Is there godly fear? Is there holy reverence? Is there trembling awe? Is there any exercise of soul? any pouring out of the heart before God? any realizing of his presence? any trembling lest you should offend him? any desire after him? any solemn feelings whereby your soul is exercised upon his perfections? Then there is reason to believe there is some testimony of God in your conscience, and that you are holding fast to it.

But if your religion be such as leads to vain confidence, to self-righteousness, to presumption, to false security, and to a careless, light, trifling spirit, depend upon it–you are not holding fast to God’s testimony, or else you have no testimony from God to hold fast unto. But if the Lord is bringing into your soul some sense of his displeasure; if you have trifled with him, and brought guilt into your soul and trouble into your mind, it will be your wisdom, and it will be your mercy to do, as the Lord speaks in Leviticus 26:41, “accept the punishment of your iniquity;” to put your mouth in the dust, and confess that you are vile; not to turn aside to presumptuous confidence as though you would blunt the edge of God’s sword in your soul, but to receive it in your heart, embrace it in your conscience, and to cleave to it as the testimony of God himself. “I have held fast unto your testimonies.” To cleave to everything which God makes known in the conscience, be it judgment, be it mercy, be it a smile, be it a frown, be it a testimony for, be it a testimony against, whatever it be that comes with power, and is brought to the soul by the application of the Spirit–to cleave to it, keeps the soul in a safe and blessed spot.