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  • 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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DRAWING NEAR TO GOD

J.C.-RyleJ. C. Ryle:

I would offer counsel, first, to all who are anxious and troubled respecting their soul’s salvation, and yet know not what to do. Reader, if you are such a person, I charge you and entreat you, I beseech you and invite you, to come into the way of which I have been speaking in this tract. I beseech you to come to God by the old and tried way,–the way of faith in Jesus Christ. Draw near to God, pleading the name of Jesus. Begin this very day to cry mightily unto God, in the name of Jesus, on behalf of your soul. Say not you have anything to plead for yourself. You have nothing to plead. Your life, your thoughts, your ways, all alike condemn you. Say nothing about yourself but this,–that you are a sinner, a great sinner, a guilty sinner, a condemned sinner; but because you are a sinner, you turn to God. Come unto Him in the name of Jesus, saying, you have heard that through Jesus a sinner may come near Him. Tell Him that you are a sinner, a great sinner, and an unworthy one. But tell Him that you come in the faith of His promises, in the confidence of His own Bible invitation; and in the name of Jesus, and for the sake of Jesus, and on account of Jesus, you ask to be received, heard, pardoned, forgiven, and accepted. Tell Him that you wish to have your name–even that name of yours, connected hitherto with worldliness, thoughtlessness, carelessness, and sin added to the list of God’s dear children. (“Able to Save“)

THE SECRET OF DAILY COMFORT

Bishop J. C. RyleJ. C. Ryle:

Would you know the secret of daily comfort in all the toil, and business, and distractions we have to go through? We all know that they who have to do work in any secular calling, find the work oftentimes a sore burden to their souls. Oftentimes in the morning they feel, “How can I get through this day without a defiled conscience, without being sorely troubled and tempted to forget my God?” How shall a man get through the day with comfort, fill his office in the world, do his duty in the position to which God has called him? Let him lay hold upon the intercession of Jesus Christ. Let him grasp the great thought, that Christ not merely died for him, but rose again, and still lives for him.

There is a story recorded of one who lived 200 hundred years ago; a man well known in his day and generation–a man who left behind a character as pure and unsullied as anyone who fell in the unhappy Commonwealth wars: I allude to the great Lord Falkland. It is recorded of Lord Falkland during the Commonwealth wars, when he was often engaged in duties from morning to night time that a common prayer of his before leaving his tent was something of this kind,– “Lord, I am going this day to do the duty whereunto I am called. I may sometimes forget Thee. I cannot have my thoughts at all times as fully fixed upon Thee as I wish. But, Lord, if I this day I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.” This is the thought that every believer should lay hold upon who has much to do in the business of this world. Rising from his bed in the morning, going from his room every morning, leaving his house every morning, let him bear in mind, “There is One living in heaven who intercedes for me, while I am following my lawful calling. Although I may be absorbed in business, and obliged to give up all the powers of my poor weak mind to it, still there lives One who never forgets me.” He may say, as Lord Falkland said, “Lord, if I this day forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.” (“Able to Save”)

BOLDNESS IN PRAYER

Bishop J. C. RyleJ. C. Ryle:

Would you know the secret of the believer’s boldness in prayer? It is a marvel how a man that feels his sins so deeply as the believer does, can speak with the confidence the believer frequently does. How one that acknowledges he is wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked, ruined, undone; who often does what he ought not to do, and leaves undone what he ought to do, and finds no health in him; how such a one as this can go before God with confidence, pour out his heart before Him freely, ask from Him what he requires day after day and not feel afraid,–this is wonderful indeed. What is the secret of it? It is the intercession of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whereby the true Christian knows his prayers are made acceptable, and received in the court of heaven. What is the believer’s prayer in itself? A poor, weak thing, unfit to rise above the ground. I know nothing it is more like than a banknote without the signature in the corner. What is the value of that banknote without the signature? Nothing at all. Once get a few words, a very few letters, traced in ink upon the corner of that banknote, and that which was a piece of waste paper a few moments before becomes worth, it maybe, many hundred pounds, through the signature being attached to it. So it is with the intercession of Christ. He signs, endorses, and presents the believer’s petitions, and through His all-prevailing intercession they are heard on high, and bring down blessings upon the Christian soul. (“Able to Save”)

THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN

Bishop J. C. RyleBishop J. C. Ryle:

Reader, would you know the security for the perseverance of God’s own people? Would you know why it is that Christ’s sheep shall never perish, and none shall ever pluck them out of His hand? It is a miraculous thing. When you look at the believer’s heart, listen to the believer’s prayers, mark the believer’s confessions,–when you see how a just man may fall, sometimes seven times,–when you see, with all this, the believer’s perseverance, it is a marvel indeed. To carry a candle upon a stormy night, when winds and gusty blasts are blowing from every quarter,–to carry it still burning, steadily burning, along the street,–this is a wonderful achievement. To go over a stormy sea in a little boat,–to mount billow after billow, and not see the waves breaking over the boat, and overturning it,–this is well-nigh a miracle. To see a little child tottering along the crowded street, a child some three or four years old –to see it tottering on and making its way in safety, from one end of a long street to the other,–this is a mighty marvel. But, after all, what is this, but the life, and history, and experience of every true Christian? Though he falls, he rises again; though he is cast down, he is not destroyed. He goes on from one position to another, like the moon upon a stormy night, plunging from one cloud into another, yet by-and-by shining out again and walking in brightness. What is the secret of it all? It is the continual intercession of a mighty Friend at the right hand of God: a Friend that never slumbers and never sleeps: a Friend who cares for the believer morning, noon, and night. The intercession of Christ is the secret of the perseverance of the Christian. (“Able to Save”)

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