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God is good

God is good and does good! “You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.” (Psalm 119:68, ESV) 

God has goodness laid up in store for us in the future! “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (Psalm 31:19)

God can take bad things and use them for good ends to refine our faith, deepen our worship and remind us of eternal truths! “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Psalm 119:71, ESV)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6, ESV)

Kirsten Wetherell is correct:

Suffering can be distracting. It can embitter the spirit, harden the heart, and paralyze the will. Turning us inward, it often keeps us from seeing opportunities God is placing around us to love others and share the gospel. At times, we’re tempted to forego proclaiming Christ because we’re defeated by sin, exhausted from bodily pain, or emotionally spent from attempts to reconcile broken relationships. Suffering seems to require all our attention and effort as it drains us of resources. We feel we have nothing left to give.

But there’s hope:

In Christ’s light, suffering is a ministry, not a millstone. It’s a gift, not a glitch in the plan. . . .When life is going well, Christian joy and worldly happiness are hard to distinguish from each other. But when life is falling apart, and worldly happiness has long since fled, Christian joy can shine forth clearly and uniquely.

She concludes:

By God’s grace, your suffering is a ministry—the light of the gospel streaming through the “cracks” of your affliction into the heads and hearts of those watching. The way you suffer speaks volumes. May it speak loudly of the gospel even when it hurts, and of the God who brought us hope through suffering himself.

Read the whole article!

“To know God as the Master and Bestower of all good things, who invites us to request them of Him, and still not go to Him and ask of Him – this would be of as little profit as for a man to neglect a treasure, buried and hidden in the earth, after it had been pointed out to him.”–John Calvin

Man Praying Religious Stock Image

A well known quote from Robert Murray McCheyne in a a letter he wrote, which was latter published in Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne [(Edinburgh, 1894), 293].

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:9. Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief! Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. . . .

. . . Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him. Let the Holy Spirit fill every chamber of your heart; and so there will be no room for folly, or the world, or Satan, or the flesh.

It has been said that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.

There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumbline cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God….

But while the subject humbles the mind, it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe…. The most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and Him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.

And, while humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatory. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore.

Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.

—Excerpted from “The Immutability of God,” A sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark on January 7, 1865 when he was  only 20 years old!

Last week our SermonAudio staff had the privilege of meeting Dr. Joel Beeke at our office. Dr. Beeke exhorted us from Hebrews 12:1-2 to keep our eyes on Jesus and run the race set before us.  Here are a few of the memorable words he spoke:

Joel Beeke SermonAudio

The sin that runs us down in running the race usually comes through eye-gate or ear-gate into Mansoul.   Be careful what you do with your eyes and with your ears!

Faith reaches out to Christ with one hand and with the other hand pushes away sin!—Thomas Manton!

If Jesus died for you, can’t you at least live for Him?

A man who has assurance based on the cross accomplishes ten times more than the man who doesn’t.–Goodwin

If your life is used to save one soul, you don’t have a wasted life!

Work at what you do at SermonAudio with all your might knowing that millions of people are benefitting from it!

 

“When you have Christ, you have everything! When you don’t have Christ, even though you have everything, you have nothing.”–Alistair Begg

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the Book widens and deepens with our years.” —Charles Spurgeon

A little insight on the best posture in prayer!

“‘The proper way for man to pray,’ said Deacon Lemuel Keyes;
‘The only proper attitude is down upon his knees’
‘Nay, I should say the way to pray,’ said Reverend Doctor Wise,
‘Is standing straight with outstretched arms with rapt and upturned eyes.’

‘Oh, no, no, no,’ said Elder Snow, ‘such posture is too proud.
A man should pray with eyes fast-closed and head contritely bowed.’
‘It seems to me his hands should be austerely clasped in front
With both thumbs pointing to the ground,’ said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

‘Last year I fell in Hodgkin’s well headfirst,’ said Cyril Brown.
‘With both my heels a-stickin’ up, my head a-pointing’ down;
And I done prayed right then and there; best prayer I ever said,
The prayin’est prayer I ever prayed, a-standin’ on my head.’”

 

This is why we need to pray continually!

“Prayer is the work; preaching is gathering up the results. Whenever a person confesses Jesus as Lord or whenever gospel advance is made you will always find it it tied to the people of God. What is observed by God in secret will ultimately be rewarded openly.”–Alistair Begg