LESSONS IN THE FURNACE …

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

“We are not to look for the proper fruits of affliction while we are suffering, but ‘afterward.’  Albert Barnes”

(There is no school like furnace school.)

LESSONS IN THE FURNACE

Posted in Baptist, Christian, Christianity, Church, Evangelism, Pastors, Pentecostal, Religion, Salvation, Sanctification, Testimony, Youth Group, Youth Ministry | Tagged

I SHALL NOT WANT …

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

MacLaren:

The king who had been the shepherd-boy, and had been taken from the quiet sheep-cotes to rule over Israel, sings this little psalm of Him who is the true Shepherd and King of men. We do not know at what period of David’s life it was written, but it sounds as if it were the work of his later years.

There is a fulness of experience about it, and a tone of subdued, quiet confidence which speaks of a heart mellowed by years, and of a faith made sober by many a trial. A young man would not write so calmly, and a life which was just opening would not afford material for such a record of God’s guardianship in all changing circumstances.

If, then, we think of the psalm as the work of David’s later years, is it not very beautiful to see the old king looking back with such vivid and loving remembrance to his childhood’s occupation, and bringing up again to memory in his palace the green valleys, the gentle streams, the dark glens where he had led his flocks in the old days; very beautiful to see him traversing all the stormy years of warfare and rebellion, of crime and sorrow, which lay between, and finding in all God’s guardian presence and gracious guidance?

The faith which looks back and says, ‘It is all very good,’ is not less than that which looks forward and says, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.’

Barnes:

David, in advanced years, would naturally remember the occupations of his early life; and the remembrance of the care of God over him would naturally recall the care which he had, in earlier years, extended over his flocks.

The idea which the language suggests is that of tender care; protection; particular attention to the young and the feeble (compare Isaiah 40:11); and providing for their wants. All these things are found eminently in God in reference to his people.

I shall not want – This is the main idea in the psalm, and this idea is derived from the fact that God is a shepherd. The meaning is, that, as a shepherd, he would make all needful provision for his flock, and evince all proper care for it. The words shall not want, as applied to the psalmist, would embrace everything that could be a proper object of desire,

whether temporal or spiritual;

whether pertaining to the body or the soul;

whether having reference to time or to eternity.

There is no reason for supposing that David limited this to his temporal necessities, or to the present life, but the idea manifestly is that God would provide all that was needful for him always. Compare Psalm 34:9, “There is no want to them that fear him.” This idea enters essentially into the conception of God as the shepherd of his people, that all their real wants shall be supplied.

Spurgeon:

“The Lord is my shepherd.” What condescension is this, that the Infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd! It should be the subject of grateful admiration that the great God allows himself to be compared to anything which will set forth his great love and care for his own people. David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd.

He compares himself to a creature weak, defenseless, and foolish, and he takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and, indeed, his everything.

No man has a right to consider himself the Lord’s sheep unless his nature has been renewed, for the scriptural description of unconverted men does not picture them as sheep, but as wolves or goats.

A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price. It is well to know, as certainly as David did, that we belong to the Lord.

There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no “if” nor “but,” nor even “I hope so;” but he says, …

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

We must cultivate the spirit of assured dependence upon our heavenly Father.

The sweetest word of the whole is that monosyllable, “My.”

He does not say, “The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock,” but …

“The Lord is my shepherd;”

if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me. The words are in the present tense. Whatever be the believer’s position, he is even now under the pastoral care of Jehovah.

The next words are a sort of inference from the first statement – they are sententious and positive – …

“I shall not want.”

I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd he is able to supply my needs, and he is certainly willing to do so, for his heart is full of love, and therefore …

“I shall not want.”

I shall not lack for temporal things. Does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can he leave his children to starve?

I shall not want for spirituals, I know that his grace will be sufficient for me. Resting in him he will say to me, …

“As thy day so shall thy strength be.”

I may not possess all that I wish for, but …

“I shall not want.”

Others, far wealthier and wiser than I, may want, but I shall not.”

“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

It is not only “I do not want,” but “I shall not want.” Come what may, if famine should devastate the land, or calamity destroy the city, “I shall not want.”

Old age with its feebleness shall not bring me any lack, and even death with its gloom shall not find me destitute.

I have all things and abound;

not because I have a good store of money in the bank, …

not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because …

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

The wicked always want, but the righteous never; a sinner’s heart is far from satisfaction, but a gracious spirit dwells in the palace of content.

Posted in Baptist, Christian, Christianity, Church, Death, Evangelism, Healing, Pastors, Pentecostal, Prayer, Religion, Salvation, Testimony | Tagged

A WILDERNESS CRY

DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 4, 1878
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
(Excerpts)

“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You: my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water; to see Your power and Your Glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary.”
Psalm 63:1, 2.

The new life which Divine Grace has implanted in us finds nothing here below upon which it can feed. The things which are seen are too gross, material, carnal and defiled to sustain life which comes by the Holy Spirit from the great Father. We are not carrion crows, else we might float upon the carcasses which abound in the waters around our ark! We are doves and when we leave the hand of our Noah, we find nothing to rest upon and we must go back to Him if we are to find food and rest for our souls. I am not speaking, now, of the world under its sorrowful aspect, only, but of the world at its best! It is a dry land for saints even when its rains are falling.

When the world dresses itself in scarlet and puts on its silks and satins, it is still a poor world for us. She may paint her face and tier her head, but she is a Jezebel for all that! The world, should she come to us as she came to Solomon, would still be a deceiver! If she would indulge us with all her riches and give us all her power and all her fame, she would still be a mere mocker to the heart which is born from above! If you could stand on a high mountain and see all the kingdoms of the world before you—and the glory thereof and hear a voice saying, “All this will I give you”—yet might you turn round to Satan and say, “And all this is nothing to me, a sop for a dog, but not food for a child of God!”

And then you might lift your eyes to the great Father above and say, “Whom have I in Heaven but You? There is none upon earth that I desire beside You!” You shall take prosperity at its flood. You shall have health and strength. You shall have all that heart can wish. But, after all, if there is a spark of Divine Life within you, your heart will compute the sum total of all earth’s joys and say, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” To a citizen of Heaven, this world is “a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water.

Sometimes Christians become very hungry and thirsty when they are banished from the means of Grace. Poor as our ministry may be, yet there are many of God’s children who would miss it more than their daily food if it were taken from them!

God’s servants whom He calls to the work of the ministry are bound to think little of themselves and yet the loaves and fishes which they distribute to the multitude are by no means to be lightly esteemed—the people would faint by the way if they did not have them. It is a severe trial to some saints to be kept away from sanctuary privileges. I know that when you travel for pleasure or roam by the seaside for health—if you go to a place of worship on the Sabbath and find no spiritual bread, you fall into a miserable state of mind and sigh to spend your Sabbaths where the children’s portion is dealt out liberally and all the servants have bread enough to spare! David loved the very doors of the Lord’s House! He thirsted and pined because he was shut out from sanctuary privileges—and it was especially for that reason that he speaks of himself as being in a “dry and thirsty land, where there is no water.”

The same may happen when we are denied the sweets of Christian communion. David had poor company when he was in the wilderness in the days of Saul. His friends were not much better than freeloaders and runaways whom he would never have selected as friends had not the necessities of his own condition and of the political situation rendered it necessary that he should become a captain over them. They were a strange band of men! They were made up chiefly of those who were in debt and discontented—the rebellious against Saul’s wretched administration—men of broken fortunes and suspected loyalty.

Few of them were fit friends for the man after God’s own heart. I do not wonder that he looked, even, at the sons of Zeruiah who loved him best and were his own kinsmen—and felt that as for holy communion his soul was in a dry and thirsty land where there was no water!

Believers are to keep out of worldly company and yet it sometimes happens that Providence throws the child of God among the ungodly, like Obadiah in the family of Ahab; Nehemiah in the palace of Artaxerxes and Daniel in the court of Darius.

Your lot is hard if you are called to dwell among worldlings, for they have power to injure your piety but they cannot help you. You look around upon a score of hard faces all eager after the almighty dollar and none of them caring for the almighty God—and I do not wonder that you feel yourself to be in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water!

We owe much more to Christian friends than we think—and especially the younger folk among us do well to value Christian associations and to be much in the company of them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name. If they are denied this refreshment, they will find life to be a dry land where there is no water.

Yes, but the same may happen from other causes as well. Sometimes a believing man may be treated with gross injustice and endure much hardship as the result. David was blameless and yet Saul hunted him as a traitor! He was upright, yet his people revolted from him. It tends to make a good man sour in spirit to be misrepresented and treated as guilty when he knows that he is innocent— and this bitterness is very apt to put away from us many sources of comfort and leave us uncomfortable. Then many a spring becomes dry and the heart shrivels as under a burning sun.

God is your God still, my dear Brothers and Sisters, whatever condition you are in, if you can now come and grasp Him by faith and call Him yours with the voice of love. Can you join me in words like these? Lord, I have lost my comforts; I have lost my assurances; I have lost my delights, but I still trust in You. I have no God but You, neither will I worship any other, nor repose my confidence elsewhere. Though You slay me, yet will I trust in You. The wounds of Jesus for my sin are still my soul’s one hope—the precious blood of Your dear Son is my sole confidence!

Besides, if we are in the wilderness, is not God the God of the wilderness? Were not His greatest marvels worked when He led His people about through the howling wilderness and fed them with manna and revealed Himself in a fiery, cloudy pillar? Where did Hagar look to Him who saw her but in the wilderness? Where did Moses see the Lord in the bush but at the backside of the desert? Where did Elijah hear a voice speaking to Him but away there in the wilderness? And where did David, the Psalmist, meet with his God but in the lone, solitary land where there is no water?

Neither, dear Friends, pray so much for ordinances as for the Lord, Himself. David does not say, “O God, You are my God, I will seek the sanctuary. My soul thirsts for a Prayer Meeting, my flesh longs for a sermon.” No, he sighs for God! He thirsts only for God! I believe that our Lord sometimes strikes all ordinances dry to make us feel that they are nothing without Himself. The means of Grace are blessed breasts at which the soul may suck when God is in them, but they are emptiness, itself, when He is not there. The preacher who has best fed you will only disappoint you if his Lord is not with him, or if you are not prepared to look beyond the man to the Master! The Lord loves to famish His people of all earthly bread and water—to bring them to wait upon only Himself.

I charge you, Beloved, this morning, that whatever your state may be, make a direct appeal to the Lord that He would immediately give you Himself by Christ Jesus! Nothing less than this can meet your needs and this will meet your case, though all outward ordinances should be denied.

Posted in Baptist, Christian, Christianity, Church, Pastors, Pentecostal, Persecution, Religion, Salvation, Suffering | Tagged

BORN AGAIN, A RADICAL CHANGE …

Have you experienced the radical change of the new birth?

Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Barnes:

Learn, that regeneration is not a trifling change.

It is not a mere change of relations, or of the outward condition.

It is not merely being brought from the world into the church, and being baptized, though by the most holy hands; it is much more.

None of these things would make proper the declaration, “he is a new man.”

Regeneration by the Spirit of God does.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Barnes:

The affirmation here is universal, “if any man be in Christ;” that is, all who become true Christians – undergo such a change in their views and feelings as to make it proper to say of them that they are new creatures.

No matter what they have been before, whether moral or immoral; whether infidels or speculative believers; whether amiable, or debased, sensual and polluted yet if they become Christians they all experience such a change as to make it proper to say they are a new creation.

A new creature – The idea evidently is, not that he ought to be a new creature, but that he is in fact; not that he ought to live as becomes a new creature – which is true enough – but that he will in fact live in that way, and manifest the characteristics of the new creation.

(1) That there is an exertion of divine power in the conversion of the sinner as really as in the act of creating the world out of nothing, and that this is as indispensable in the one case as in the other.

(2) that a change is produced so great as to make it proper to say that he is a new man. He has new views, new motives, new principles, new objects and plans of life. He seeks new purposes, and he lives for new ends.

If a drunkard becomes reformed, there is no impropriety in saying that he is a new man. If a man who was licentious becomes pure, there is no impropriety in saying that he is not the same man that he was before.

There is a change so deep, so clear, so entire, and so abiding, that it is proper to say, here is a new creation of God – a work of the divine power as decided and as glorious as when God created all things out of nothing.

There is no other moral change that takes place on earth so deep, and radical, and thorough as the change at conversion. And there is no other where there is so much propriety in ascribing it to the mighty power of God.

Old things are passed away – The old views in regard to the Messiah, and in regard to people in general, 2 Corinthians 5:16. But Paul also gives this a general form of expression, and says that old things in general have passed away – referring to everything. It was true of all who were converted that old things had passed away. And it may include the following things:

(1) In regard to the Jews – that their former prejudices against Christianity, their natural pride, and spirit of seducing others; their attachment to their rites and ceremonies, and dependence on them for salvation had all passed away. They now renounced that independence, relied on the merits of the Saviour, and embraced all as brethren who were of the family of Christ.

(2) in regard to the Gentiles – their attachment to idols, their love of sin and degradation, their dependence on their own works, had passed away, and they had renounced all these things, and had come to mingle their hopes with those of the converted Jews, and with all who were the friends of the Redeemer.

(3) in regard to all, it is also true that old things pass away. Their former prejudices, opinions, habits, attachments pass away.

Their supreme love of self passes away.

Their love of sins passes away.

Their love of the world passes away.

Their supreme attachment to their earthly friends rather than God passes away.

Their love of sin, their sensuality, pride, vanity, levity, ambition, passes away.

There is a deep and radical change on all these subjects – a change which commences at the new birth; which is carried on by progressive sanctification; and which is consummated at death and in heaven.

Posted in Baptist, Christian, Christianity, Church, Evangelism, Israel, Italy, Messiah, Miracle, Pastors, Pentecostal, Persecution, Religion, Revival | Tagged

I WENT WITH THEM TO THE HOUSE OF GOD …

Psalm 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

Matthew Henry

Holy love mourning for God’s present withdrawings and the want of the benefit of solemn ordinances (v. 3):

“My tears have been my meat day and night during this forced absence from God’s house.”

His circumstances were sorrowful, and he accommodated himself to them, received the impressions and returned the signs of sorrow. Even the royal prophet was a weeping prophet when he wanted the comforts of God’s house. His tears were mingled with his meat; nay, they were his meat day and night; he fed, he feasted, upon his own tears, when there was such just cause for them;

and it was a satisfaction to him that he found his heart so much affected with a grievance of this nature.

Observe, He did not think it enough to shed a tear or two at parting from the sanctuary, to weep a farewell-prayer when he took his leave, but, as long as he continued under a forced absence from that place of his delight, he never looked up, but wept day and night.

Note, Those that are deprived of the benefit of public ordinances constantly miss them, and therefore should constantly mourn for the want of them, till they are restored to them again. Two things aggravated his grief:

1. The reproaches with which his enemies teased him: They continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

(1.) Because he was absent from the ark, the token of God’s presence. Judging of the God of Israel by the gods of the heathen, they concluded he had lost his God.

Note, Those are mistaken who think that when they have robbed us of our Bibles, and our ministers, and our solemn assemblies, they have robbed us of our God; for, though God has tied us to them when they are to be had, he has not tied himself to them. We know where our God is, and where to find him, when we know not where his ark is, nor where to find that. Wherever we are there is a way open heaven-ward.

(2.) Because God did not immediately appear for his deliverance they concluded that he had abandoned him; but herein also they were deceived:

it does not follow that the saints have lost their God because they have lost all their other friends.

However, by this base reflection on God and his people, they added affliction to the afflicted, and that was what they aimed at. Nothing is more grievous to a gracious soul than that which is intended to shake its hope and confidence in God.

2. The remembrance of his former liberties and enjoyments, v. 4. Son, remember thy good things, is a great aggravation of evil things, so much do our powers of reflection and anticipation add to the grievance of this present time.

David remembered the days of old, and then his soul was poured out in him; he melted away, and the thought almost broke his heart. he poured out his soul within him in sorrow, and then poured out his soul before God in prayer.

But what was it that occasioned this painful melting of spirit? It was not the remembrance of the pleasures at court, or the entertainments of his own house, from which he was now banished, that afflicted him, but the remembrance of the free access he had formerly had to God’s house and the pleasure he had in attending the sacred solemnities there.

(1.) He went to the house of God, though in his time it was but a tent; nay, if this psalm was penned, as many think it was, at the time of his being persecuted by Saul, the ark was then in a private house, 2 Sa. 6:3.

But the meanness, obscurity, and inconveniency of the place did not lessen his esteem of that sacred symbol of the divine presence.

David was a courtier, a prince, a man of honour, a man of business, and yet very diligent in attending God’s house and joining in public ordinances, even in the days of Saul, when he and his great men enquired not at it, 1 Chr. 13:3. Whatever others did, David and his house would serve the Lord.

(2.) He went with the multitude, and thought it no disparagement to his dignity to be at the head of a crowd in attending upon God. Nay, this added to the pleasure of it, that he was accompanied with a multitude, and therefore it is twice mentioned, as that which he greatly lamented the want of now. The more the better in the service of God; it is the more like heaven, and a sensible help to our comfort in the communion of saints.

(3.) He went with the voice of joy and praise, not only with joy and praise in his heart, but with the outward expressions of it, proclaiming his joy and speaking forth the high praises of his God.

Note, When we wait upon God in public ordinances we have reason to do it both with cheerfulness and thankfulness, to take to ourselves the comfort and give to God the glory of our liberty of access to him.

(4.) He went to keep holy-days, not to keep them in vain mirth and recreation, but in religious exercises. Solemn days are spent most comfortably in solemn assemblies.

Holy love hoping (v. 5):

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?

His sorrow was upon a very good account, and yet it must not exceed its due limits, nor prevail to depress his spirits; he therefore communes with his own heart, for his relief. “Come, my soul, I have something to say to thee in thy heaviness.” Let us consider,

1. The cause of it. “Thou art cast down, as one stooping and sinking under a burden, Prov. 12:25. Thou art disquieted, in confusion and disorder; now why are thou so?” This may be taken as an enquiring question: “Let the cause of this uneasiness be duly weighed, and see whether it be a just cause.” Our disquietudes would in many cases vanish before a strict scrutiny into the grounds and reasons of them. “Why am I cast down?

Is there a cause, a real cause? Have not others more cause, that do not make so much ado? Have not we, at the same time, cause to be encouraged?”

Or it may be taken as an expostulating question; those that commune much with their own hearts will often have occasion to chide them, as David here. “Why do I thus dishonour God by my melancholy dejections? Why do I discourage others and do so much injury to myself? Can I give a good account of this tumult?”

2. The cure of it:

Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him. A believing confidence in God is a sovereign antidote against prevailing despondency and disquietude of spirit. And therefore, when we chide ourselves to hope in God;

when the soul embraces itself it sinks; if it catch hold on the power and promise of God, it keeps the head above water. Hope in God,

(1.) That he shall have glory from us: “I shall yet praise him; I shall experience such a change in my state that I shall not want matter for praise, and such a change in my spirit that I shall not want a heart for praise.” It is the greatest honour and happiness of a man, and the greatest desire and hope of every good man, to be unto God for a name and a praise.

What is the crown of heaven’s bliss but this, that there we shall be for ever praising God?

And what is our support under our present woes but this, that we shall yet praise God, that they shall not prevent nor abate our endless hallelujahs?

(2.) That we shall have comfort in him. We shall praise him for the help of his countenance, for his favour, the support we have by it and the satisfaction we have in it.

Those that know how to value and improve the light of God’s countenance will find in that a suitable, seasonable, and sufficient help, in the worst of times, and that which will furnish them with constant matter for praise.

David’s believing expectation of this kept him from sinking, nay, it kept him from drooping; his harp was a palliative cure of Saul’s melancholy, but his hope was an effectual cure of his own.

Verses 6-11

Complaints and comforts here, as before, take their turn, like day and night in the course of nature.

I. He complains of the dejections of his spirit, but comforts himself with the thoughts of God, v. 6. 1. In his troubles. His soul was dejected, and he goes to God and tells him so: O my God! my soul is cast down within me.

It is a great support to us, when upon any account we are distressed, that we have liberty of access to God, and liberty of speech before him, and may open to him the causes of our dejection.

David had communed with his own heart about its own bitterness, and had not as yet found relief; and therefore he turns to God, and opens before him the trouble.

Note, When we cannot get relief for our burdened spirits by pleading with ourselves, we should try what we can do by praying to God and leaving our case with him. We cannot still these winds and waves; but we know who can.

2. In his devotions. His soul was elevated, and, finding the disease very painful, he had recourse to that as a sovereign remedy. “My soul is plunged; therefore, to prevent its sinking, I will remember thee, meditate upon thee, and call upon thee, and try what that will do to keep up my spirit.”

Note, The way to forget the sense of our miseries is to remember the God of our mercies.

It was an uncommon case when the psalmist remembered God and was troubled, Ps. 77:3.

He had often remembered God and was comforted, and therefore had recourse to that expedient now.

He was now driven to the utmost borders of the land of Canaan, to shelter himself there from the rage of his persecutors, sometimes to the country about Jordan, and, when discovered there, to the land of the Hermonites, or to a hill called Mizar, or the little hill; but,

(1.) Wherever he went he took his religion along with him.

In all these places, he remembered God, and lifted up his heart to him, and kept his secret communion with him.

This is the comfort of the banished, the wanderers, the travellers, of those that are strangers in a strange land, that wherever they are there is a way open heavenward.

(2.) Wherever he was he retained his affection for the courts of God’s house;

from the land of Jordan, or from the top of the hills, he used to look a long look, a longing look, towards the place of the sanctuary, and wish himself there.

Distance and time could not make him forget that which his heart was so much upon and which lay so near it.

Posted in Religion, Christianity, Church, Salvation, Persecution, Suffering, Pastors, Christian, Baptist, Pentecostal | Tagged

WHERESOEVER MY GOSPEL COMES WITH POWER

When the Gospel comes with power things happen …

Matthew 10:33-34 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Wesley:

Whosoever shall deny me before men – To which ye will be strongly tempted. For Think not that I am come – That is, think not that universal peace will be the immediate consequence of my coming. Just the contrary.

Both public and private divisions will follow, wheresoever my Gospel comes with power. Yea – this is not the design, though it be the event of his coming, through the opposition of devils and men. Luke 12:51.

Spurgeon:

We cannot tell whether the Word has come to you in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, unless there are the corresponding results. Listen to these words—

1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

So you see an imitation of Apostolic example, …

a faith which becomes so known as to sound abroad, …

a joy which affliction itself cannot dampen, …

and a perseverance which is not to be turned aside by difficulties, …

a conversion which gives up the dearest idols, …

and binds us to Christ, …

and makes us watch and wait for Him—all these are necessary as proofs of the Holy Spirit having been with the Word.

Posted in Religion, Christianity, Church, Evangelism, Martyrs, Keith Green, Martin Luther, Persecution, Suffering, Pastors, Christian, Revival, Baptist, Pentecostal | Tagged ,

DUST

Psalm 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Barnes’ Notes:

The word rendered “destruction” – דכא dakkâ’ – means properly anything beaten or broken small or very fine, and hence, “dust.”

The idea here is, that God causes man to return to dust; that is, the elements which compose the body return to their original condition, or seem to mingle with the earth. Genesis 3:19 :

“dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

The word “man” here, of course, refers to man in general – all people. It is the great law of our being. Individual man, classes of people, generations of people, races of people, pass away; but God remains the same.

… there is nothing more humiliating than that a human body, once so beautiful, should turn back to dust; nothing more humbling than the grave.

And sayest, …

Return, ye children of men –

Return to your dust; go back to the earth from which you came.

Return, all of you without exception; –

kings, princes, nobles, warriors, conquerors; mighty people, captains, and counselors; ye learned and great, ye honored and flattered, ye beautiful and happy, ye youthful and vigorous, and ye aged and venerable; whatever is your rank, whatever are your possessions, whatever are your honors, whatever you have to make you lovely, to charm, to please, to be admired; or whatever there is to make you loathsome and detestable; ye vicious, ye profane, low, grovelling, sensual, debased; go all of you alike to “dust!’

Oh, how affecting the thought that this is the lot of man; how much should it do to abase the pride of the race; how much should it do to make any man sober and humble, that he himself is soon to turn back to dust – unhonored, undistinguished, and undistinguishable dust!

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Posted in Baptist, Christian, Christianity, Church, Death, Dying, Evangelism, Heaven, Hell, Pastors, Pentecostal, Religion, Youth Group, Youth Ministry | Tagged