Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Anxiety and Worry

We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas.

despairFretting is wicked if you are a child of God. Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, 1935, Devotion for July 4)

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Boldly Dare all Things by the Word of God

johncalvin_full“Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God… Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this word. Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest. Let them edify the body of Christ. Let them devastate Satan’s reign. Let them pasture the sheep, kill the wolves, instruct and exhort the rebellious. Let them bind and loose thunder and lightning, if necessary, but let them do all according to the word of God”

(John Calvin, Sermons on the Epistle to the Ephesians).

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Work of Grace

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

200604_120_art_ryleThe workings of grace in the heart are utterly mysterious and unsearchable.

We cannot explain why the Word produces effects on one person in a congregation, and not upon another.

We cannot explain why, in some cases; with every possible advantage, and in spite of every entreaty; people reject the Word, and continue dead in trespasses and sins.

We cannot explain why in other cases; with every possible difficulty, and with no encouragement;people are born again, and become decided Christians.

electing graceWe cannot define the manner in which the Spirit of God conveys life to a soul, and the exact process by which a believer receives a new nature.

All these are hidden things to us.

We see certain results, but we can go no further.

This is deeply instructive. It is humbling no doubt to ministers, and teachers of others. The highest abilities, the most powerful preaching, the most diligent working, cannot command success.

God alone can give spiritual life.

But it is a truth at the same time, which supplies an admirable antidote to excessive anxiety and despondency. Our principal work is to sow the seed. That done, we may wait with faith and patience for
the result. We may leave our work with the Lord. He alone can, if He thinks fit, give success. (The workings of grace in the heart by J. C. Ryle) HT: Grace Gems

God alone can give spiritual life.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Happy is the family that Worships

John NewtonHappy is that family where the worship of God is constantly and conscientiously maintained. Such houses are temples in which the Lord dwells, and castles garrisoned by a Divine power. I do not say, that, by honoring God in your house, you will wholly escape a share in the trials incident to the present uncertain state of things. A measure of such trials will be necessary for the exercise and manifestation of your graces; to give you a more convincing proof of the truth and sweetness of the promises made to a time of affliction; to mortify the body of sin; and to wean you more effectually from the world.

But this I will confidently say, that the Lord will both honor and comfort those who thus honor Him. Seasons will occur in which you shall know, and probably your neighbors shall be constrained to take notice, that He has not bid you seek Him in vain. If you meet with troubles, they shall be accompanied by supports, and followed by deliverance; and you shall upon many occasions experience, that God is your protector, preserving you and yours from the evils by which you will see others suffering around you. (John Newton John Newton’s Letters, Family Worship.)

Happy is the family that Worships

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Not a Thing Occurred Except as God had Ordained

The-Cross2“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2: 22-24

pink_pic“The supreme example of controlling, directing influence which God exerts upon the wicked is the Cross of Christ with all its attendant circumstances. If ever the superintending providence of God was witnessed, it was there. From all eternity God had predestined every detail of that event of all events. Nothing was left to chance or the caprice of man. God had decreed when and where and how His blessed Son was to die… Not a thing occurred except as God had ordained, and all that He had ordained took place exactly as He purposed.”~ A.W. Pink

Putting an end to the agony of death,
since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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It Was Grace and Only Grace

 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Isaiah 53:1

SpurgeonIn Gods case, if He had said in the infinite sovereignty of His absolute will, “I will have no substitute, but each man shall suffer for himself, he who sinneth shall die,” none could have murmured. It was grace, and only grace which led the divine mind to say, “I will accept of a substitute. There shall be a vicarious suffering; and My vengeance shall be content, and My mercy shall be gratified.”  (C.H. Spurgeon Expiation, Sermon 561)

It was grace, and only grace

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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I Must be Holy for His Sake

SpurgeonThere was a day, as I took my walks abroad, when I came hard by a spot for ever engraven upon my memory, for there I saw this Friend, my best, my only Friend, murdered. I stooped down in sad affright, and looked at Him. I saw His hands had been pierced with rough iron nails, and His feet had been rent in the same way. There was misery in His dead countenance so terrible that I scarcely dared to look upon it. His body was emaciated with hunger, His back was red with bloody scourges, and His brow had a circle of wounds about it: clearly could one see that these had been pierced with thorns. I shuddered, for I had known this Friend full well. He never had a fault; He was the purest of the pure, the holiest of the holy. Who could have injured Him? For He never injured any man: all His life long “He went about doing good”; He had healed the sick, He had fed the hungry, He had raised the dead: for which of these works did they kill Him?

PropitiationHe had never breathed out anything else but love; and as I looked into the poor sorrowful face, so full of agony, and yet so full of love, I wondered who could have been a wretch so vile as to pierce hands like His. I said within myself, “Where can these traitors live? Who are these that could have smitten such an One as this?” had they murdered an oppressor, we might have forgiven them; had they slain one who had indulged in vice or villainy, it might have been his desert; had it been a murderer and a rebel, or one who had committed sedition, we would have said, “Bury this corpse: justice has at last given him his due.” But when Thou wast slain, my best, my only-beloved, where lodged the traitors? Let me seize them, and they shall be put to death. If there can be torments that I can devise, surely they shall endure them all. Oh! What jealousy, what revenge I felt! If I might but find these murderers, what would I not do with them!

The-Cross2And as I looked upon that corpse, I heard a footstep, and wondered where it was. I listened, and I clearly perceived hat the murderer was close at hand. It was dark, and I groped about to find him. I found that, somehow or other, wherever I put out my hand, I could not meet with him, for he was nearer to me than my hand would go. At last I put my hand upon my breast. “I have thee now,” said I; for lo! He was in my own heart; the murderer was hiding within my own bosom, dwelling in the recesses of my inmost soul. Ah! Then I wept indeed, that I in the very presence of my murdered Master, should be harbouring the murderer, and felt myself most guilty while I bowed over His corpse, and sang that plaintive hymn – “’Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were; Each of my crimes became a nail, And unbelief the spear.

The Heart of the Bible. The greatest paragraph in the the Word of God.

The Heart of the Bible.
The greatest paragraph in the the Word of God.

Amid the rabble which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations- fit music to accompany that march of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Saviour bearing His cross to Calvary, she joins the godly women, and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief, cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die – but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorns those bleeding brows; my sins cried – “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity; but MY having been His murderer, is more, infinitely more grief than one poor fountain of tears can express.

If Christ has died for me, ungodly as I am,  without strength as I am, then I cannot live in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil which slew my best Friend. I must be holy for His sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it? From Spurgeon’s Autobiography The Great Change—Conversion

If Christ has died for me, ungodly as I am,
without strength as I am, then I cannot live
in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to
love and serve Him who has redeemed me.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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The Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

crossJesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die — and die the death of the cross. What light and glory beam around the cross!
Of what prodigies of grace is it the instrument,
of what glorious truths is it the symbol,
of what mighty, magic power is it the source!

Around it, gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy.
It explains every symbol,
it substantiates every shadow,
it solves every mystery,
it fulfills every type,
it confirms every prophecy
— of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable — except for the death of the Son of God upon the cross!

Not the past only, but all future splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings! And while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past — with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come. Such is the lowly, yet sublime; the weak, yet mighty instrument — by which the sinner is saved, and God eternally glorified!

The cross of Christ is the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men.

The cross of Christ is the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race.

The cross of Christ is the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours.

The cross of Christ is the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness.

The cross of Christ is the instrument which is to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus.

The cross of Christ is the source of all true peace, joy, and hope.

The cross of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow, sin expires and grace lives!

The-Cross2

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How significant their meaning — how precious their influence! Marvelous and irresistible, is the power of the cross!
The cross of Christ has subdued many a rebellious will.
The cross of Christ has broken many a marble heart.
The cross of Christ has laid low many a vaunting foe.
The cross of Christ has overcome and triumphed — when all other instruments have failed.
The cross of Christ has transformed the lion-like heart of man — into the lamb-like heart of Christ.
And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable grandeur — the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!

The Wonderful Cross

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross — his opinion is totally revolutionized. He sees it as it really is — a sinful, empty, vain thing! He learns its iniquity — in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. His expectations from the world, his love to the world — are changed. He has found another object of love — the Savior whom the world cast out and slew! His love to the world is destroyed, by that power which alone could destroy it — the crucifying power of the cross!

It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer — the glory and attraction of every other object!

What is the weapon by which faith combats with, and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence to all other objects — so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the cross — the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse! Christ and His cross are infinitely better, than the world and its vanities!

Looking at the world through the cross (Octavius Winslow) HT: Grace Gems

May I never boast except in the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Characters on the Road to the Cross

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. 27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him. 33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. Luke 23:26–33

Dr. John MacArthurThe people would be the rabble that the leaders had collected against Jesus, a growing number of people in that early morning on Friday, people who were being orchestrated and manipulated into crying for the crucifixion of Jesus. This is they. It is they who led Him away. Verse 33, “And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him. This is a mixed group. You’ve got the Sadducees who had nothing to do with the Pharisees. They resented them. They resented their theology. They had nothing in common except a common hatred for Jesus. You can throw in some Herodians who had nothing to do with the Sadducees or the Pharisees.

They were a completely separate party. And they had no common ground except hatred of Jesus. And then you have to throw the Romans in because the Romans were the human instruments that the Jews used to execute Jesus. It is this mixed mob of murderers, if you will, who lead Jesus away. They are theological enemies, normally. They are political enemies, normally. They are rigid adversaries, agreeing only on their common animosity toward Christ.

The sinner is not helped by having nice thoughts about Jesus. There’s only one way to be in the paradise of God, forever with Christ, and that is to confess Jesus as Lord, turning from sin and acknowledging Him as Savior and Redeemer.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Lead Me To The Cross

O Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on me. Move, I beg You, upon my
disordered heart. Take away the infirmities of
unruly desires and hateful lusts. Lift the mists
and darkness of unbelief. Brighten my soul with
the pure light of truth. Make my soul . . .
as fragrant as the garden of paradise,
rich with every goodly fruit,
beautiful with heavenly grace,
radiant with rays of divine light.

Be my comforter, light, guide, sanctifier.

Take of the things of Christ and show them
to my soul. Teach me more of His . . .
love,
grace,
compassion,
faithfulness,
beauty.

Lead me to the cross and show me . . .
His wounds,
the hateful nature of sin,
the power of Satan.

May I there see my sins as . . .
the nails which transfixed Him,
the cords which bound Him,
the thorns which tore Him,
the sword which pierced Him.

Help me to see in His death, the reality
and immensity of His love. Increase my
faith in the clear knowledge of . . .
atonement achieved,
expiation completed,
satisfaction for sin made,
guilt done away

(A Puritan Prayer)

Help me to see in His death, the reality
and immensity of His love.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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