Power in Many Voices

December 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Posted in John, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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This title of this post is from a sermon on Nehemiah 5:7 called “Witnesses Against You.”

When he found that his own words were scarcely powerful enough with them, he gathered together the people, and let them all have a voice, for in the many voices there was power.

Charles Spurgeon

Certainly it can be convicting, and even alarming, when a vocal majority holds a different opinion from you, especially if they are shouting you down. A saturation of voices reiterating a common topic or theme on a daily basis can also invade our minds and intrude into our thought processes. For Christians, as December 25 draws nearer and nearer, and as even the secular voices in society begin to allude to the Incarnation of Christ – either directly, indirectly, or in a counterintuitive effort to obscure it – we should seize this opportunity to glorify our Savior.

When everyone wants to commercialize or secularize one of the key doctrines of our faith, it doesn’t make us happy, but at least it gives us a doorway to witness. This holiday season, add your true voice to the many popular, but false, voices, and trust in the power of God and His Gospel to get people to think about what it means that the King of Glory came down from His Heavenly throne to rescue rebellious sinners.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

S.W.I.M. with Humility

January 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Quotes | 2 Comments
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Some of us are lured by pride into believing that we are “deep” thinkers. We ponder the mysteries of God. We believe we have “figured out” some of the inner workings and mysteries of His providence and sovereignty. We are quick to pontificate, but reluctant to utter the dreaded inquiry-stifling words: “I don’t know.

Certainly we want to immerse ourselves as deeply into Biblical doctrine as God would have us to go, but we must be careful not to dive down into sinful frustration, nor to burst up in a splash of hubris, claiming that we are masters of the deep, smugly certain and unteachable.

A god who could be completely fathomed would not be a real God at all. He would be encompassed and susceptible to explanation by the finite minds of creatures. The true God reminds us of our inferiority and our place of abject humility before His majesty.

Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

Job 38:16

Some things in nature must remain a mystery to the most intelligent and enterprising investigators. Human knowledge has bounds beyond which it cannot pass. Universal knowledge is for God alone. If this be so in the things which are seen and temporal, I may rest assured that it is even more so in matters spiritual and eternal. Why, then, have I been torturing my brain with speculations as to destiny and will, fixed fate, and human responsibility? These deep and dark truths I am no more able to comprehend than to find out the depth which coucheth beneath, from which old ocean draws her watery stores. Why am I so curious to know the reason of my Lord’s providences, the motive of his actions, the design of his visitations? Shall I ever be able to clasp the sun in my fist, and hold the universe in my palm? yet these are as a drop of a bucket compared with the Lord my God. Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but spend my strength in love. What I cannot gain by intellect I can possess by affection, and let that suffice me. I cannot penetrate the heart of the sea, but I can enjoy the healthful breezes which sweep over its bosom, and I can sail over its blue waves with propitious winds. If I could enter the springs of the sea, the feat would serve no useful purpose either to myself or to others, it would not save the sinking bark, or give back the drowned mariner to his weeping wife and children; neither would my solving deep mysteries avail me a single whit, for the least love to God, and the simplest act of obedience to him, are better than the profoundest knowledge. My Lord, I leave the infinite to thee, and pray thee to put far from me such a love for the tree of knowledge as might keep me from the tree of life.

Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
“Evening Devotion for September 5”

Charles H. Spurgeon Needed Grace to S.W.I.M.

September 29, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Quotes | 1 Comment
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Grace proceeds sovereignly according to the will of God, even as a river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its own quickening flow. Oh, that it would pour along our streets and flood our slums! Oh, that it would now come into my house and rise till every chamber were made to swim with it! Lord, let the living water flow to my family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I hope I have drunk of it already; but I desire to bathe in it, yea, to swim in it. O my Savior, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, I pray Thee, till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active. Living God, I pray Thee, fill me with Thine own life.

Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Life-Giving Stream,” Faith’s Check Book, Daily Entry on Ezekiel 47:9

Spurgeon Encouraged Us to S.W.I.M. Faithfully

June 3, 2013 at 11:34 am | Posted in Quotes | Leave a comment
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My brothers and sisters, that same Word of God which has made the earth keep its place, has, up to now, been sufficient to make you keep your place. Some of you have passed through deep waters and yet you have not been drowned. I have a sympathy with young people, when they are doubting, because they have not seen the mighty works of which their fathers have told them. But if you have been sustained for 40 years in the wilderness, you ought to know the faithfulness of God – and I am ashamed of you when you get disheartened and discourage your brethren.

Charles H. Spurgeon, “My Solace in My Affliction”

For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

Psalm 119:89-92

Charles Spurgeon Liked to S.W.I.M. Poetically

March 21, 2012 at 10:09 am | Posted in Isaiah, Quotes | 1 Comment
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All my soul was dry and dead
Till I learned that Jesus bled;
Bled and suffered in my place,
Bearing sin in matchless grace.
Then a drop of heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret, mystic art
Reached the center of my heart.
Glad the story I recount,
How that drop became a fount,
Bubbled up a living well,
Made my heart begin to swell.
All within my soul was praise,
Praise increasing all my days;
Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free.
More and more the waters grew,
Open wide the flood-gates flew,
Leaping forth in streams of song
Flowed my happy life along.
Lo! A river clear and sweet
Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
And I praised and prayed with ease.
Now my soul in praises swims,
Bathes in songs and psalms and hymns,
Plunges down into the deeps,
All her powers in worship steeps.
Hallelujah! O my Lord,
Torrents from my soul are poured.
I am carried clean away,
Praising, praising all the day.
In an ocean of delight,
Praising God with all my might,
Self is drowned. So let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.

Charles H. Spurgeon (believed to be the last poem he wrote before he died, based on Isaiah 41:18)

That Man Was Certifiable!

February 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Galatians, Micah | 8 Comments
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One good place to study the difference between real leaders and fake leaders is in the Book of Micah. Politicians think about the next election; statesmen think about the next generation. In Micah’s day, the real priests were shepherds who protected their flock; the fake priests were wolves who devoured the flock. The fake prophets gave good news to people who bribed them and bad news to people who shunned them; the real prophets just gave the people the truth, and could not be bought.

A good way to illustrate this point is to think about those big gaudy Mardi Gras beads.

https://i0.wp.com/cf.ltkcdn.net/party/images/slide/105627-600x402-MardiGrasBeads.jpg

Some of them are brightly colored and obviously not real jewelry, but some of the strands actually look, at first glance, like expensive pearls. There are a number of reasons, though, why these fake necklaces are not likely to really fool anyone:

1. They are tossed out casually, as if they are worthless.
2. In your hands, they feel like the cheap plastic they really are, not like weighty precious gems.
3. Here in South Louisiana we have experience with Mardi Gras beads, so we know that their real worth is extremely negligible once the parade is over and people start to sober up.

Finally, you can note that, unlike real jewelry from a real, reputable jewelry store, Mardi Gras beads do not come with a “certificate of authenticity.” In the Book of Galatians the Holy Spirit used a similar indicator in proving that the Gospel which the Apostle Paul preached was authentic, and that the false gospel of the Judaizers was not.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Galatians 1:11

The Greek word translated as “certify” is “gnorizo,” and it comes from the same root word from which we get the English word “recognize.” The Holy Spirit is saying that, if you are familiar with the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself – the true Gospel – then you must recognize that Paul is preaching the exact same Gospel.

The message of Paul was given to Him directly by Jesus. It was “certified” by Paul’s mission, his ministry, his methods, and the contents of the message itself. If you listen to much modern theology you are likely to come across a statement like this one eventually: “Oh, I’m a Christian. I follow Jesus, but I don’t believe everything that Paul wrote.” Such a statement is pure foolishness. The famous British preacher, Charles Spurgeon, responded to such a statement with this quote:

It is not unusual to hear dubious persons profess to differ from the apostle, and they even dare to say, ‘There, I do not agree with Paul.’ I remember the first time that I heard this expression I looked at the individual with astonishment. I was amazed that such a pigmy as he should say this of the great apostle. Altogether apart from Paul’s inspiration, it seemed like a cheese-mite differing from a cherub, or a handful of chaff discussing the verdict of the fire. The individual was so utterly beneath observation that I could not but marvel that his conceit should have been so outspokenly shameless. Notwithstanding this objection, even when supported by learned critics, we still agree with the inspired servant of God. It is our firm conviction that, to differ from Paul’s epistles is to differ from the Holy Ghost, and to differ from the Lord Jesus Christ, whose mind Paul has fully expressed.

Charles H. Spurgeon

Silence Bites the Dust

October 6, 2010 at 8:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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God created for men a huge planet on which to live. It is estimated that the surface area of Earth is approximately 196,935,000 square miles. Even though about 70% of this is ocean, that still leaves approximately 57,500,000 square miles of dry land. However, from man’s perspective, the available space can seem like it is filling up rapidly.

Have you ever been in a public place, and suddenly felt as if you needed a few minutes alone? Nice try. It won’t be long before some do-gooder spots you in quiet contemplation, and seizes the opportunity to swoop down upon your solitude. “What’s wrong?” “Why so quiet?” “What are you thinking about?” “You look like you aren’t feeling good.” These are likely to be some of the well-meaning, albeit intrusive, comments you’ll get.

The famous British preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, once said, “We all live too much in company; and in a great city like this, we are busy from morning to night, and we do not get the opportunities for quiet reflection which our forefathers were wont to take. I am afraid, therefore, that our religion is likely to become very superficial and flimsy for the want of solitary, earnest thought.”

When a person realizes – even in a public place – that he is bearing sin which is keeping him from a right relationship with God, it is good for him to sit and be silent.

He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.

Lamentations 3:28

When a person is silent and solitary, he will begin to look outside of himself and outside of others for hope.

He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

Lamentations 3:29

And then and there he may find the blessed Hope, Christ Jesus (I Timothy 1:1), Who is more sure and more secure than the platitudes of men.

tongue outruns brain

(photo courtesy of https://www.challies.com/a-la-carte/a-la-carte-november-15-2/)

Spurgeon Would S.W.I.M. Deeper than Most

July 30, 2009 at 8:28 am | Posted in Quotes | 7 Comments
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If God has not told us any truth, it is for His glory not to tell it to us. Perhaps we have as much reason to bless the Lord for what is not in the Bible as for what is there; and what He has not revealed may be as much for our benefit, and certainly is as much for His glory, as what He has revealed. For instance, if He does not tell us all about Himself and the mystery of His Person, do we want to know it? Can we not believe in Him and love Him all the better because we do not understand Him? Surely a God whom we could understand would be no God. We delight in being out of our depth — in finding waters to swim in where understanding with its little plumline finds no bottom, but where love with a restful spirit finds perfect peace. Doubtless there is a glory in the Lord not revealing Himself so far as the past or present is concerned.

Charles H. Spurgeon

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 29:29

It’s Good to “S.W.I.M.” with Spurgeon

July 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Quotes | Leave a comment
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Have you ever heard this parable concerning faith? She had to cross a stream, and the current was strong, and there came one to her who said, “Faith, I will help thee! Come with me up the river till we can find a place where we can ford it.”

Faith said, “No; I was bidden to cross the river here.”

So another came, and said, “I will build a bridge for you, that you may go over the river with ease,” and he laid hold of a few stones, but not much ever came of it.

Yet another said, “I will go and find a boat.” But there were no boats about; therefore, they asked Faith to wait till they build a boat for her.

What did she do? She took off her vestments, and plunged into the water. “Thank God,” said she, “I can swim;” and so she swam across, and reached the other side without boat, without bridge, and without ford.

That is what I should like to see every sinner here do — begin to swim. Do not wait for help. Cast yourself into the stream of everlasting love. Believe in Christ Jesus, and have no more confidence in the flesh, with its bridges and boats. Commit thyself to the stream of eternal grace, and swim across. Faith can enable you to do it. Nothing else can. Take that lesson home to yourselves, you who are seeking the Saviour at this time.

Charles H. Spurgeon

S.W.I.M. with Spurgeon

June 10, 2009 at 8:49 am | Posted in Quotes | 2 Comments
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The Lord Jesus is a deep sea of joy: My soul shall dive in and shall be swallowed up in the delights of His company.

Charles H. Spurgeon


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