Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Will Look Up

"In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice. In the morning I lay my requests before You--and I will look up!" Psalm 5:3

This was the Psalmist's determination in the morning--and it should be ours. Preserved and protected through the night, we should look up with gratitude, and praise our God for His goodness. Aware of our dependence and needs, we should look up and beg mercies of our Almighty God for the new-born day. Sensible of our foes and dangers, we should look up and pray to be kept, guided, and sanctified by our ever-present God.

If we look within--it will discourage us; if we look around--it may distract us; if we look back--it may awaken fears; if we look forward--it may arouse anxiety!

But if we look up to God, it will preserve the head from swimming, the heart from sinking, the feet from slipping, and the hands from hanging down!

Beloved, let us look up! There our loving Father is; there our interceding Savior is; there all our supplies are; there our everlasting home is!

Let others look where they will, but "I will look up!"

If we look to the Lord Jesus in faith, He will look down upon us in mercy; and looking, He will supply all our needs!

- James Smith

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten Time Wasters

"Redeeming the time." Colossians 4:5

"That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way." Colossians 1:10

1. Idleness and laziness

2. Excess of sleep

3. An inordinate adorning of the body

4. Unnecessary pomp and extravagance in household furniture and domestic entertainments

5. Idle talk

6. Vain and sinful company

7. Needless sports and games

8. Excessive worldly cares and business

9. Ungoverned and sinful thoughts

10. Worthless books, movies, and entertainment for the pleasing of a carnal mind

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do--do it all for the glory of God!" 1 Corinthians 10:31

- Edited from the writings of Richard Baxter

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Guide- Scripture or Man's Opinion -- A Letter from John Newton

It seems to me that no one person can adjust the standard and draw the line exactly for another person. There are so many particulars in every situation, of which a stranger cannot be a competent judge; and the best human advices and models are mixed with such defects, that it is not right to expect others to be absolutely guided by our rules. Nor is it safe for us to implicitly adopt the decisions or practices of others.

But the Scripture undoubtedly furnishes sufficient and infallible rules for every person, however circumstanced; and the throne of grace is appointed for us to wait upon the Lord for the best exposition of His precepts. Thus David often prays to be led in the right way.

By frequent prayer, close acquaintance with the Scripture, and a habitual attention to the frame of our hearts, there is a certain delicacy of spiritual taste and discernment to be acquired. Yet love is the clearest and most persuasive indicator, and when our love to the Lord is in lively exercise and the rule of His Word is in our eye, we seldom make great mistakes.

- John Newton

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Advice for Rookie Evangelists

A question put to John Blanchard, the English evangelist

"What advice would you give to young evangelists today just starting out on their path in ministry?"

JB: First and foremost, make your personal walk with God a priority, though this is not my advice; it simply applies Paul’ s word to Timothy to "Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching." As to advice, I don't feel qualified to give any, but these (not in any significant order) are some things that have proved helpful to me.

Firstly, master the biblical basics. Knowing the words of the evangel is not the same as understanding their meaning. Keep meditating on the salvation doctrines.

Secondly, read as if your life depended on it--read, read, read!

Thirdly, read for sustenance and not just for sermons. A young evangelist once called me to ask: ‘John, what are you reading for the good of your soul?’ Always be ready to give a good answer to that question!

Fourthly, be disciplined; don’t spend time--invest it.

Fifthly, set goals, aim high and do everything you can to get there.

Sixthly, get out of bed early! Any active hours invested before 8.00 am are worth double. This kind of discipline is sometimes difficult when away from home and you need to consider your hosts, but at home there is no excuse for being sloppy.

Seventhly, develop a prayer support team and keep it up to date with your news.

Eighthly, never stop praying for wisdom from above, especially as your ministry develops and you have ever-increasing calls on your time and gifts.

- John Blanchard


"You must be born again." - John 3:7

Regeneration is a subject which lies at the very basis of salvation, and we should be very diligent to take heed that we really are “born again,” for there are many who presume they are, but who are not. Be assured that the name of a Christian is not the nature of a Christian, and that being born in a Christian land, and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to it—being “born again,” is a matter so mysterious, that human words cannot describe it. “The wind bloweth where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

Nevertheless, it is a change which is known and felt: known by works of holiness, and felt by a gracious experience. This great work is supernatural. It is not an operation which a man performs for himself: a new principle is infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul, and affects the entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a renewal of my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus. To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other. If you have then, been “born again,” your acknowledgment will be, “O Lord Jesus, the everlasting Father, thou art my spiritual Parent; unless thy Spirit had breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual life, I would be to this day ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ My heavenly life is wholly derived from thee--to thee I ascribe it. ‘My life is hid with Christ in God. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who liveth in me.' May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned, without God, and without hope.

- C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today many professing Christians approach unbelievers with a self-centered gospel, telling them, "God has a great plan for your life; you are someone special and you are valuable to God; God needs you." One would think that these messengers are "head-hunters" for God's corporation.

But the biblical picture of true evangelism is more like picking up trash and waste from the side of the road, so that God might transform people into useful objects by his sovereign mercy and power. Paul writes that the unconverted are worthless, that not one of them does good, not even one (Romans 3:12). Thus, whereas Onesimus was "useless" before his conversion, he had become "useful" after he was converted (Philemon 1).

- Fred Smith

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Will Be Their God

"I will be to them a God!" Hebrews 8:10

That is, to all His redeemed people. I will be the object of their adoration and trust, the subject of their meditation, and the source of all their happiness.

To be our GOD is more than being our friend, helper, or benefactor. He engages to do us good according to His all-sufficiency, to bestow upon us blessings which none else can!

He will pardon us--and pardon like only God can!

He will sanctify us--and sanctify us like only God can!

He will comfort us--and comfort us like only God can!

He will glorify us--and glorify us like only God can!

If He is our God--He is our All.

And all that He has is ours! He is our inheritance, and a glorious inheritance He is.

Consider, when in danger, in darkness, in distress, in temptation, in duty, or in affliction--God will be to you a God delivering you, enlightening you, comforting you, strengthening you, and sanctifying you.

Look to Him for all that He has promised--which is all that you need! Adore His Divine perfections, and rejoice that they are all engaged to make you eternally blessed.

Live to His glory, walk by His Word, and He will glorify Himself in your present and everlasting welfare. He rejoices to do good unto His people, He delights to bless them!

"I will be to them a God!" Hebrews 8:10

- James Smith

Monday, March 14, 2011

Advice to Preachers

The year was 1768. A twenty-eight year old preacher by the name of Augustus Toplady, who wrote many hymns, including "Rock of Ages", spent the afternoon in London with a Mr. Brewer, an older, veteran Gospel preacher, whom he greatly admired and from whom he learned much. This is what Mr. Brewer said to the young Toplady, as Toplady later recorded in his diary:

I cannot conclude without reminding you, my young brother, of some things that may be of use to you in the course of your ministry:

1. Preach Christ crucified, and dwell chiefly on the blessings resulting from His righteousness, atonement, and intercession.

2. Avoid all needless controversies in the pulpit, except when your subject necessarily requires it or when the truths of God are likely to suffer by your silence.

3. When you enter the pulpit, leave your learning behind you. Endeavor to preach more to the hearts of your people than to their heads.

4. Do not be tempted toward much oratory. Seek rather to profit your hearers than to be admired by them.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Speaking of Hell

Settle it firmly in your mind, that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has spoken most plainly about the reality and eternity of hell. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus contains things which should make men tremble! But it does not stand alone. No lips have used so many words to express the awfulness of hell--as the lips of Him who spoke as never any man spoke: "hell . . . hell fire . . . the damnation of hell . . . . eternal damnation . . . the resurrection of damnation . . . everlasting fire . . . the place of torment. . . . eternal destruction . . . outer darkness . . . the worm that never dies . . . the fire that is never quenched . . . the place of weeping . . . wailing and gnashing of teeth . . . everlasting punishment." These are the words which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself employs!

Away with the miserable nonsense which people talk of in this day, who tell us that the ministers of the gospel should never speak of hell! They only show their own ignorance or their dishonesty when they babble in such a manner! No person can honestly read the four Gospels, and fail to see that those who would follow the example of Christ, must speak of hell!

- J. C. Ryle