• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Seeking After God

R. C. SproulR. C. Sproul:

How many times have you heard Christians say (or heard the words from your own mouth), “So-and-so is not a Christian but he’s searching”? It is a common statement among Christians. The idea is that there are people all over the place who are searching for God. Their problem is that they just haven’t been able to find Him. He is playing hide-and-seek. He is elusive.

In the Garden of Eden, when sin came into the world, who hid? Jesus came into the world to seek and to save the lost. Jesus wasn’t the one who was hiding. God is not a fugitive. We are the ones on the run. Scripture declares that the wicked flee when no man pursues. As Martin Luther remarked: “The pagan trembles at the rustling of a leaf. The uniform teaching of Scripture is that fallen men are fleeing from God.”

People do not seek God. They seek after the benefits that only God can give them. The sin of fallen man is this: Man seeks the benefits of God while fleeing from God Himself. We are, by nature, fugitives.

The Bible tells us repeatedly to seek after God. The conclusion we draw from these texts is that since we are called to seek after God it must mean that we, even in our fallen state, have the moral capacity to do that seeking. But who is being addressed in these texts? In the case of the Old Testament, it is the people of Israel who are called to seek the Lord. In the New Testament, it is believers who are called to seek the kingdom.

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A Healthy Marriage Culture

MarriageColumnist Ken Connelly:

“A healthy marriage culture helps the gold standard prevail, wherever possible, that children are raised by the parents who brought them into this world. … The Supreme Court itself has repeatedly noted that marriage and the family are necessary foundations of a free and properly functioning democratic republic. This is why the state, although it did not create marriage, has consistently supported and encouraged its flourishing. In contrast, until very recently, no government in human history has ever officially recognized same-sex relationships as marriages, precisely because they do not further society’s important interest in the natural procreation of the next generation of citizens. … The erosion of marriage and the breakdown of the family in America have unleashed social problems that are all too real and must be remedied. But the remedy will not come by accepting same-sex ‘marriage’ as valid, necessary, or constitutionally required. Marriage does not need redefinition, but re-dedication to its core meaning, the union of one man and one woman, and to its core purpose, uniting children to their own mother and father.”

Do you desire eternal life?

Charles H. SpurgeonDo you desire eternal life? Does your soul hunger and thirst after those things that may satisfy your spirit and make you live forever? There is nothing that you need between here and heaven which is not provided in Jesus Christ, in his person and in his work. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

When you are about your daily work you find yourself sighing, “Oh, that my load of guilt were gone! Oh, that I could call the Lord my Father with an unfaltering tongue!” Night after night and day after day this desire rises from you like the morning mist from the valleys. You would tear off your right arm, and pluck out your right eye, if you might gain the unspeakable benefit of salvation in Jesus Christ. You are sincerely anxious for reconciliation with God, and your anxiety reveals itself in prayer and supplication. I hope these prayers will continue. I trust you will never cease your crying. May the Holy Spirit constrain you to continue to sigh and groan. Like the importunate woman (Luke 18:1-8), may you press your case until the gracious answer is granted through the merits of Jesus.

So far things are hopeful for you; but when I say hopeful, I wish I could say much more, for mere hopefulness is not enough. It is not enough to desire, it is not enough to seek, it is not enough to pray; you must actually obtain, you must actually lay hold on eternal life. You will never enjoy comfort and peace till you have passed out of the merely hopeful stage into a better and a brighter one, by making sure of your interest in the Lord Jesus by a living, appropriating faith. In the exalted Savior all the gifts and graces which you need are stored up, in readiness to supply your wants. Oh, may you come to his fullness, and out of it receive grace for grace!

The person I wish to comfort may be described by one other touch of the pen. He is one who is quite willing to lay bare his heart before God, to confess his desires, whether right or wrong, and to expose his condition, whether unhealthy or sound. While we try to cloak anything from God, we are both wicked and foolish. It shows a rebellious spirit when we have a desire to hide away from our Maker; but when a man uncovers his wound, invites inspection of its sore, bids the surgeon cut away the leprous film which covered its corruption, and says to him, “Here, probe into its depths, see what evil there is in it; do not spare me, but make a sure cure of the wound,” then he is in a fair way to be recovered. When a man is willing to make God his confessor, and freely, and without hypocrisy, pours out his heart like water before the Lord, there is hope for him. You have told the Lord your position, you have spread your petitions before him – I trust you will continue to do so until you find relief; but I have yet a higher hope, namely, that you may soon obtain peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Advice for Seekers)

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