• 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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  • July 2013
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Knowledge of God

A Heart for GodSinclair B. Ferguson:

There is no such thing as genuine knowledge of God that does not show itself in obedience to His Word and will. The person who wants to know God but who has no heart to obey Him will never enter the sacred courts where God reveals Himself to the soul of man. God does not give divine knowledge to those who have no desire to glorify Him. (A Heart for God)

Reading the Word of God

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron AdairCharles Haddon Spurgeon:

Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul as oak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!

Bearers of Light

Archibald T. RobertsonAre you a bearer of light to the present “crooked and perverse generation”? Archibald T. Robertson (1863-1934) explains why this is important:

… [T]hat you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:15-16 ESV)

Paul here expresses his purpose about the Philippians. It is a double purpose, their own highest development and the greatest service to others. The first is a prerequisite to the other, though they cannot be wholly separated. They are to become “blameless and harmless.” They are not so in the state of nature and do not easily become so in a state of grace. Certainly, none are absolutely free from blame in the eye of God and men can usually find some fault with most of us. But, at any rate, we can give men as little ground as possible to pick flaws in our character. Whimsical critics cannot be satisfied, but we do have to regard the sober judgment of God’s people in ethical matters. . . .

In Romans 16:19 Paul says; “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple unto that which is evil,” a noble motto for young and old. It is a great mistake to feel that one must know evil by experience in order to appreciate good. An unsullied character a man wants in his wife and the wife equally so in her husband. It is this sheer simplicity of character that is so delightful in children and, par excellence in the “children of God” in the full spiritual import of this term. The children of Israel, when they murmured, were not acting like children of God. Paul here quotes Deuteronomy 32:5 and applies it to the Philippians. The children of Israel were full of blemish, while the Philippians are to be “without blemish” like the freewill offering (Lev. 22:21). The Israelites had themselves become “a crooked and perverse generation.” But the Philippians must not fall to that low level, as they will if they give way to inward discontent. They must exhibit marks of perfection “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation”. . . .

Paul changes his figure, but goes on with the same idea, “among whom ye are seen as lights in the world.” These are the very people, the twisted and blinded by the darkness of sin, who need the light. Jesus is the real light of the world (John 8:12), but the followers of Christ also pass on the torch and so bear light to others (Matt. 5: 14). … Every church is a lighthouse in a dark place. The darker the place the more the light is needed. It is sad to see so many churches deserting the downtown districts where they are so much needed. Rescue work must be carried on where sin has done its worst. It is like fighting the plague. Thank God for the men and women who do take the light into the dark corners of our cities. What would our modern cities be like without our churches? The answer is the cities of Japan, of China, of India to-day. The word of life quickens to life and brings light to the darkened soul. (“Realizing God’s Plan in Life”)

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