Quote from William Booth

‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.

 

Where do you stand when it comes to God’s call on your life?

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Man of Dust

Awake, O man of dust and hear the whisper “Thou art filthy, and full of fear.”

In a morning’s first breath hell’s prince clings so near.

Discouragingly doubting the purpose of my existence.

Maybe the King has forgotten me this very instance.

Arise, escape and flee to the hills

Stinging death breathing unforgivable chills

Forsaken, forgotten, and astray on the bitter narrow road

Bones ache from the mire and the flesh wrought despair ten-fold

The fleeting breath of a moments enticement

Soul stammering, heart enamoring out of alignment

Christ, Savior, Victor, Faithful King

Take this pilgrim and entreat him to again sing.

 

I wrote this poem to emulate the powerful struggle of temptation. For me fighting through sin and learning how to conquer sin has been brutal and discouraging at times. My only hope is Christ. My only conquering strength comes from Christ.

 

Quote on Holiness

“The pursuit of holiness requires sustained and vigorous effort. It allows for no indolence, no lethargy, no halfhearted commitment toward even the smallest sins. In short it demands the highest priority in the life of every christian, because to be holy is to be like Christ.. God’s goal for every christian.. To accomplish this glorious cause, you MUST be anchored in God’s saving GRACE.” – Jerry Bridges “The Discipline of Grace”

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Oh the reality of the gospel made alive in the midst of heart aching, faith shaking, soul wrenching trial.

“There are green meadows and there are still waters, but I believe they are mostly to be found in the places where trials most abound!” C.H Spurgeon 

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Psalm 23 says that “He makes me lie down in green meadows, He leads me beside still waters.”

This passage of scripture is so profound, but yet proves God’s faithfulness, and gentle compassion for His people.

Something that is guaranteed in this broken life is pain, and suffering, we cannot escape it. Jesus suffered for the sake of the redeemed, He gave us a clear example of how we can truly find the riches of beauty in suffering. Jesus delighted in the Father, His hope was in the faithfulness of the character of God. Jesus suffered the brutality of the Cross, but held on for our sake.

Suffering is a reality and I see it across this world, my heart aches. People suffer and go through much agonizing trial without the inescapable joy and sojourning peace in Christ, they fill the hurtful, dark void in there hearts with temporal comfort and pleasure.

I have experienced pain, and hurt and without the wealth of knowing Christ, and having the wounds of my savior branded on my heart and soul, I would not have made it..

“Green meadows and Still waters are found in suffering, and trial when you are drowning in the blood of Christ..”

The love of Christ is exceedingly beyond anything any of us can ever imagine, but He pursues us and enables us by His spirit to receive it.. Christ beckons at the door  patiently awaiting for us to cast earthly treasure and pleasure to the floor.. His strength is made perfect in us when faced with trial and weakness.. there is certainty in the fervency of compassion Christ bears for His people.

Come and die that you might live  to the fullest by following Christ.. (Matthew 16:24)

Die to your own desires and you will see His

Die to your riches that you shall attain His

Die to pride that you may see God in His beauty

Taste the power of grace in the Gospel that you may Die to sin

There is Freedom

There is Joy

There is Life

Solus Christus (in Christ Alone)

Like a Man on Fire

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CALVINISM IS NOT TO BLAME FOR BAD EVANGELISM

Of course, there are differences between Reformed and non-Reformed theologies, and this can impact how we approach something like evangelism. But, let’s not encourage the false notion that Calvinism is to blame for bad evangelism. It’s not a man’s Calvinism that leaves him unmotivated to speak words of life to those who are perishing, but his cold or fearful heart. Years ago on the blog I explained how the doctrines of grace should embolden our evangelism, but let me repeat it here.

Man’s total depravity moves me to preach Jesus Christ because I know that there is no hope for a man to find his way to God, accidentally or intentionally, on his own. There is no hope of him believing the truth apart from the preaching of the Gospel. Because people are dead in their sins, and are unwilling to come to Christ apart from the Father’s drawing, I know that their salvation hinges on God’s sovereign work. I know that he uses the preaching of the Gospel as the means of awaking the dead.

The doctrine of election encourages me to share the Gospel, because I am assured that God has chosen a people for himself. Like Jesus, the prophets and the Apostles, I preach indiscriminately to all, trusting that all who were predestined to eternal life will believe, if not now, later.

Particular redemption compels me to tell others about Jesus because not a drop of Christ’s blood was wasted. Because Jesus has purchased people from every tribe, tongue and nation we understand that God has sent us where we are, and is sending others around the world to preach Christ crucified with the awareness that He is building his church. Christ has accomplished redemption for his people, and it only awaits application.

The doctrine of effectual grace pushes me out of my study and into the community with the Gospel because I know that, although I may fail to persuade someone, God will not. Because a leopard cannot change his spots, nor man his nature, I am relieved to know that God will cause a man to be born again. So I tell as many as I am able the good news that we have in Jesus, with the hope that God will open hearts to respond to the word.

As we seek to stoke the fire of evangelism it’s good to think of Calvinism as an accelerant, not a retardant. So, when Calvinists are calling one another to evangelize (which we must continue to do), I think it’s confusing and unhelpful to say “Preach like an Arminian, pray like a Calvinist.” However, I’m not simply opting for “Preach like a Calvinist…” either. As I read through the history of the church I see faithful and fervent evangelists who preached Christ crucified to all who would listen, and the one thing they have in common is not Calvinism or Arminianism, but a deep and abiding love for Jesus that burns within them like a raging fire.

A BURNING FIRE IN YOUR HEART

Charles Spurgeon and D.L. Moody differed in some important aspects of theology, but they were united in their love for Jesus and agreed that the only hope for sinners was Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. George Whitefield and John Wesley brutally scrapped over the doctrine of election, but they worked together for the spread of the gospel because they were gripped by the glory of God and the great need of their neighbors. They were men, like the prophet Jeremiah, who couldn’t contain the knowledge of God within them. It burned like a fire, overflowed the boundaries of their hearts, spilled out of their mouths, and spread to those around them.

If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.
– Jeremiah 20:9

I would say preach like a man on fire. Better yet, may we be men on fire. Reformed and non-Reformed brothers alike can share in this.

*This is article was written by Joe Thorn, pastor of redeemer fellowship in St. Charles, IL . It was so good, and refreshing that I had to reblog it! I hope you enjoy!!*

Grace in Trials

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“Father of mercies,

Hear me for Jesus’ sake. I am sinful even in my closest walk with thee; it is of thy mercy I died not long ago; Thy grace has given me faith in the cross by which thou hast reconciled thyself to me and me to thee, drawing me by thy great love, reckoning me as innocent in Christ though guilty in myself. 

Giver of all graces, I look to thee for strength to maintain them in me, for it is hard to practice what I believe. Strengthen me against temptations. My heart is an unexhausted fountain of sin, a river of corruption since childhood days, flowing on in every pattern of behavior. Thou hast disarmed me of the means in which I trusted, and I have no strength but in thee. Thou alone canst hold back my evil ways, but without thy grace to sustain me I fall. Satan’s darts quickly inflame me, and the shield that should quench them easily drops from my hand;

Empower me against his wiles and assaults. Keep me sensible of my weakness, and of my dependence upon thy strength. Let every trial teach me more of thy peace, more of thy love. Thy Holy Spirit is given to increase thy graces, unless he works continually in me. May he confirm my trust in thy promised help, and let me walk humbly in dependence upon thee, for Jesus’ sake.”

Valley of Vision “Grace in Trials”

How many of us can truly resonate with this broken cry to the Lord. My favorite line in the prayer is “Keep me sensible of my weakness, and my dependence upon thy strength.“. Brokenness is an essential part of the christian life. If we are not broken, or have not been broken by the Lord, we truly miss out on such a precious gift.

I know for me I can truly say I did not truly encounter the precious, and tender love of Christ until my third year working in full-time ministry. I was extremely burnt out, and had nothing left to give, and was physically, and emotionally exhausted. I had been spending extremely late nights counseling young men, and then getting up for work early in the morning, I had just allowed myself to be stretched out so thin. I thought I could sustain myself.

The Lord broke me.. I had been struggling with personal sins that were haunting me from the past, and I remember pacing back and forth in my room asking God “Why me? What am I to do? Forgive me of my sins? Why have you chosen me to lead?” God simply replied “Sit down, Shut up, and Let me love on you.” I immediately fell to the floor, and began to weep. God in His profound, and great mercy knelt down to love me, and remind me of my frailty, and desperate need of Him. That moment sincerely changed my life.  

Reflect on the scripture Romans 7:15-25 for further self-examination.

Please comment, and share a story of brokenness, or share how you resonate with this prayer. If you need prayer please let me know. I would be privileged to stand with you, and share in your suffering.

-Tim

Sprugeon on Discipleship

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“It seemed, sometimes, to be rather repelling men than attracting them to say to would-be disciples, “If you will follow me, do this, and do that,”—perhaps, some very trying ordeal; yet that was the Saviour’s usual habit.”  C.H. Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon was a man that had been ruined by the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was saved as a young man, and started pastoring a church at the age of 17. His biography is so compelling, and encouraging.

Discipleship has been a conviction of mine for the past several months. It has been a reoccurring theme that I have often pondered on in this season of my life. My frustration is that not many of us take this profound command of Christ very seriously. It is very clear in Matthew 28:19 when Jesus says “go and make disciples of all nations“. I dont think He said this in such a way for us to disregard it, He intended us to heed to it. 

Discipleship is just as important as faith is. We need discipleship to grow in faith. I was listening to a speaker recently, and he asked us men in the congregation to raise our hand if we were being discipled, or were discipling another brother. You would think that at least 90 percent of the room had their hand raised, but unfortunately only 20 percent actually raised their hand. 

In this quote Spurgeon is saying that Jesus simply went into cities, and gatherings, and said follow me. Jesus in His immense humility, and compassion could genuinely say follow me with authority. Some people would follow, and some wouldn’t. The fact is this, Jesus simply did what the father said, and spoke what the father spoke. He was obedient, and reverent to a holy God. His posture was submitted to God the father, and others began to follow him. His followers were devout, deeply in love with Him. They identified His compassion, and were irresistibly obedient.

This is a challenge to myself, and to you as the reader. Make disciples, invite a friend to coffee, bring someone home for a meal. Discipleship is showing people who Jesus Christ is. His name has been abused in this generation. Make a difference, and live your life submitted to Christ, and others will experience the divine nature.