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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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E.M. Bounds On Prayer

E.M. Bounds

Quoting E.M. Bounds:

Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter of prayer; but a capacity for faith, the power of a thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory and an ever present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God.

As Long As God Is Glorified!

Charles Spurgeon

From the writings of Charles Spurgeon:

Do not desire to be the principal man in the church.

Be lowly.

Be humble.

The best man in the church is the man who is willing to be a doormat for all to wipe their boots on, the brother who does not mind what happens to him at all, so long as God is glorified. (From: “Micah’s Message for Today”)

The God Pleasing Man

Richard Baxter

Quoting Richard Baxter:

See therefore that you live upon God’s approval as that which you chiefly seek, and will suffice you: which you may discover by these signs.

1. You will be most careful to understand the Scripture, to know what doth please and displease God.

2. You will be more careful in the doing of every duty, to fit it to the pleasing of God than men.

3. You will look to your hearts, and not only to your actions; to your ends, and thoughts, and the inward manner and degree.

4. You will look to secret duties as well as public and to that which men see not, as well as unto that which they see.

5. You will reverence your consciences, and have much to do with them, and will not slight them: when they tell you of God’s displeasure, it will disquiet you; when they tell you of his approval, it will comfort you.

6. Your pleasing men will be charitable for their good, and pious in order to the pleasing of God, and not proud and ambitious for your honor with them, nor impious against the pleasing of God.

7. Whether men are pleased or displeased, or how they judge of you, or what they call you, will seem a small matter to you, as their own interest, in comparison to God’s judgment. You live not on them. You can bear their displeasure, censures, and reproaches, if God be but pleased. These will be your evidences. (Richard Baxter on “Man-Pleasing”)

Pride And Leadership

J. C. Philpot addressing church leadership:

Pride, self-conceit, and self-exaltation, are both the chief temptations, and the main besetting sins, of those who occupy any public position in the church.

Therefore, where these sins are not mortified by the Spirit, and subdued by His grace; instead of being, as they should be, the humblest of men; they are, with rare exceptions, the proudest.

Did we bear in constant remembrance our slips, falls, and grievous backslidings; and had we, with all this, a believing sight of the holiness and purity of God, of the sufferings and sorrows of His dear Son, and what it cost Him to redeem us from the lowest hell; we would be, we must be clothed with humility; and would, under feelings of the deepest self-abasement, take the lowest place among the family of God, as the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all the saints.

This should be the feeling of every child of God. Until this pride is in some measure crucified, until we hate it, and hate ourselves for it, the glory of God will not be our main object. (“New Years’ Address, 1857″)

What Is Supremely Valuable?

Cover of "Desiring God: Meditations of a ...

Cover via Amazon

Quoting John Piper:

God would be unrighteous (just as we would) if he valued anything more than what is supremely valuable. If he did not take infinite delight in the worth of his own glory he would be unrighteous. For it is right to take delight in a person in proportion to the excellence of that person’s glory. (Desiring God, p. 32)

 

God Is Preparing Us For Himself

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Quoting Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“If you are a child of God then you are certainly going to be disciplined, because God is preparing you for holiness. He is not an indulgent father who hands out sweets indiscriminately and does not care what happens to us. God is holy, and He is preparing us for Himself and for glory; and because we are what we are, and because sin is in us, and because the world is what it is, we must needs be disciplined. So He sends us trials and tribulations in order to pull us up, and to conform us to ‘the image of His Son’.”

Love is Helping People Toward God

John Piper

Quoting John Piper:

“Love is helping people toward the greatest beauty, the highest value, the deepest satisfaction, the most lasting joy, the biggest reward, the most wonderful friendship, and the most overwhelming worship – love is helping people toward God. We do this by pointing to the greatness of God. And God does it by pointing to the greatness of God.”

“Your House Is On Fire”

First American Great Awakening

From the desk of R.J. Rushdoony:

Preaching has an important place in God’s purpose, and it is basic to the life and health of the church. If the church is faltering or straying, the preaching is clearly at fault. If the church is lukewarm, sterile, or dead, the preaching again is at fault. True preaching cannot leave men unconcerned: it will either arouse them to repentance and to godly action, or it will arouse them to ungodly hostility as they see themselves in the light of God’s Word.

While Scripture often applies terms of great importance to the preachers, it also uses very homely language about them. Their function is compared to that of a watchdog in one instance, whose duty is to bark a warning, and false preachers are said to be “all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isa. 56:10).

Others are compared to “greedy dogs, which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter” (Isa. 56:11).

Continue reading. . . .

General Robert E. Lee’s Call To Prayer

“Soldiers! We have sinned against Almighty God. We have forgotten his signal mercies, and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit. We have not remembered that the defenders of a just cause should be pure in His eyes; that “our times are in His Hands,” and we have relied too much on our own arms for the achievement of our independence. God is our only refuge and our strength. Let us humble ourselves before Him. Let us confess our many sins, and beseech Him to give us a higher courage, a purer patriotism, and more determined will; that He will convert the hearts of our enemies; that He will hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and sufferings, shall cease, and that He will give us a name and a place among the nations of the earth.” (August 13, 1863)

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