Excerpted from Holiness, by J. C. Ryle
If we love a person, we like to hear about him. We find a pleasure in listening to those who speak of him. We feel an interest in any report which others make of him. We are all attention when others talk about him, and describe his ways, his sayings, his doings and his plans. Some may hear him mentioned with utter indifference, but our own hearts bound within us at the very sound of his name.
Well, it is just so between the true Christian and Christ! The true Christian delights to hear something about his Master. He likes those sermons best which are full of Christ. He enjoys that society most in which people talk of the things which are Christ’s. I have read of an old Welsh believer, who used to walk several miles every Sunday to hear an English clergyman preach, though she did not understand a word of English. She was asked why she did so. She replied, that this clergyman named the name of Christ so often in his sermons, that it did her good. She loved even the name of her Saviour.
Ryle, J. C.. Holiness (Kindle Locations 5042-5045). Heritage Bible Fellowship. Kindle Edition.
Thank you for this exhortation!
In today’s self oriented society, it’s very easy to loose ourselves in our day to day lives. We feel like we barely have time to get things done and before we know it, we’ve left no time for God.
Funny thing is, we manage to find time for other things like TV and social media. Why is it so difficult to dedicate time to God? The simple answer: a tactical assault by the devil to distract us from developing a relationship with God.
How many of us would really be willing to wake up even and hour earlier than we normally would to make time for God? We must check ourselves, to make sure that our relationship with our Heavenly Father is more important and takes a higher priority than anything else.
So, I ask again, how much time do you give God?
“In a clock, stop but one wheel and you stop every wheel, because they are dependent upon one other. So when God has ordered a thing for the present to be thus and thus, how do you know how many things depend upon this thing? God may have some work to do twenty years hence that depends on this passage of providence that falls out this day or this week.”
― Jeremiah Burroughs,
How timely is this post? Very! The Lord has taken me through two separate “patience” trails during the past month. One had to do with repair work on my boat (this one required patience and money) and the other was waiting for a critical grade to be posted on my son’s most recently completed college semester (and God had enough of a sense of humor to put the semester’s last chapel message right below the area that the grade would show up in – message title was “Wait”.
But these two were only preparatory and led up to my current test involving a much more serious matter. Suffice to say that it involves the spiritual condition of one of my sons. God has assured me that it will end well, but there is no guarantee on just how long it will take.
So thank you for this timely post!
Have you ever wondered how to possess the promises of God? Well l have, l must confess to wanting to rush the process.. In between trying to upgrade my studies, working and just life in general, l was beginning to get frustrated with the process to the promise. The when’s and why’s had become my best friends 😂.
With God there are no shortcuts l realised.. The only way out is through it ..
Patience as l have now come to understand is the behaviour in waiting not just the ability to wait.. COLOSSIANS 3:12 AMP👇🏾
“So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself],
put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper];” COLOSSIANS 3:12 AMP
In order to receive the…
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“All truth is given by revelation, either general or special, and it must be received by reason. Reason is the God-given means for discovering the truth that God discloses, whether in his world or his Word. While God wants to reach the heart with truth, he does not bypass the mind.”
― Jonathan Edwards
Has God led you to the place and to the person or people that He would have you tell the story of a God who saves His people? If not, I would encourage you to pray that He would guide you to this place.
And when the time comes to share the life giving message of Jesus Christ, please rest assured in the knowledge that He has equipped you to reach those who He has placed before you.
I approach my evangelistic efforts with the belief that God will place before me some who he is or will in the future be calling. Armed with this belief, I speak as though I were speaking to someone within whose heart and mind the Holy Spirit is at work. Perhaps that is not the case, but that is not for me to know.
I just watched a video (added below) that I believe is an excellent resource for a Christian engaging in evangelism, especially but not necessarily exclusively in a one-on-one situation.
Dr. Lawson delivers a sermon on Jesus and the Book of Revelation with conviction and force. It is well worth watching and I think it would be difficult for a believing person to not get a return on the time invested.
But beyond this, I also believe that this sermon is a story that, if adopted to one’s style, would serve as the foundation for an excellent gospel presentation. I’ll let you decide if that’s the case with you. But whether or not it is, I would still highly recommend this video for it’s truth. Here it is:
Today’s Morning Thought
“The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8.
Mark how striking is the figure. The wind bids defiance to man’s governing power. It is as sovereign in its influence as it is irresistible in its strength. We cannot command it, nor can we control it. It is alike out of our power to summon it, as it is to soothe it. It comes, we know not where; it goes, we know not where. “So is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
We do not say that the Spirit is not resisted- He is resisted, strongly and perseveringly. But He is not overpowered. All the enmity and carnality of the heart rises in direct opposition to Him; but, when bent upon a mission of love, when, in accordance with the eternal purpose, He comes to save, not all the powers on earth or in hell can effectually resist Him.
Like the mighty force, He bears down all opposition, sweeps away every barrier, overcomes every difficulty, and the sinner, “made willing in the day of His power,” is brought to the feet of Jesus, there meekly and gratefully to sit, “clothed, and in his right mind.” Who can withstand the power of the Spirit? Whether He speaks in the “still small voice” of tender, persuasive love, or whether He comes in the “mighty rushing wind” of deep and overwhelming conviction, His influence is quenchless, His power is irresistible. He effectually works in those who believe.
But His operation is as sovereign as it is mighty. He comes to whom He will; He comes when He will; He comes in the mode He will. He blows where He wills; we hear the sound, we see the effects; but how He works, why He works, and why in a particular way He works, He reveals not to mortals. Even so, O blessed and eternal Spirit, for so it seems good in Your sight.
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“And David inquired of the Lord.”
2 Samuel 5:23
When David made this inquiry he had just fought the Philistines, and gained a signal victory. The Philistines came up in great hosts, but, by the help of God, David had easily put them to flight. Note, however, that when they came a second time, David did not go up to fight them without inquiring of the Lord. Once he had been victorious, and he might have said, as many have in other cases, “I shall be victorious again; I may rest quite sure that if I have conquered once I shall triumph yet again. Wherefore should I tarry to seek at the Lord’s hands?” Not so, David. He had gained one battle by the strength of the Lord; he would not venture upon another until he had ensured the same. He inquired, “Shall I go up against them?” He waited until God’s sign was given.
Learn from David to take no step without God. Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to his sovereign will to choose and to command.
The Puritan said, “As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself, he’ll cut his own fingers;” this is a great truth. Said another old divine, “He that goes before the cloud of God’s providence goes on a fool’s errand;” and so he does. We must mark God’s providence leading us; and if providence tarries, tarry till providence comes. He who goes before providence, will be very glad to run back again. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go,” is God’s promise to his people. Let us, then, take all our perplexities to him, and say, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Leave not thy chamber this morning without inquiring of the Lord.
Followers please note, I failed to properly attribute the text of my most recent post, “The Name Above All Names”, to Matthew Henry. The post has been edited, but that correction does not affect the post sent via email.