• 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,396,214 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,269 other subscribers
  • March 2023
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

A Proper Fear of God

Grow in GraceSinclair B. Ferguson:

A proper fear of God is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what He has done for us. It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve Him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases Him. (Grow in Grace)

Even The Unrighteous Claim To Know God’s Will

From the writings of Dr. John Kennedy:

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” – Psalm 25:14

[Skeptics and critics of Christianity] cannot bear to think that those who fear the Lord have reached any attainment beyond themselves, and to which, by any amount of painstaking, they cannot advance. This wounds their pride, and tends to make them uneasy in their alienation from God. They may allow that unusual knowledge is attained by those who are disciples indeed from the direct teaching of Scripture, for this they can hope to imitate. Their own unsanctified knowledge of what is written they can make to appear, to themselves at least, not unlike to what these have obtained immediately from the pages of Scripture. They could hold up their heads among the godly if this were all their attainment. The most convenient way of getting rid of their uneasiness is to regard as superstitious the attainment that is beyond them. They can make out a case, with a plausible surface, in support of their opinion. . . .

To minds that have always kept far off from the realities of a life of godliness, that look from a distance on the communion of His people with the Lord, the difference between the baseless pretensions of deceivers and the God-given privilege of the righteous is utterly impalpable. All kinds of intercourse with the Invisible are classed by these together, and to them all who claim the privilege of communion with the Lord appear as deluded fanatics. More triumphant still is their air, when they can quote, in support of their position, the mistakes of those who were truly godly. But, surely, it is not difficult to discover a very good reason why the Lord should allow even these to be sometimes deceived in their anticipations, and in their readings of the page of Providence. Such mistakes only prove that they are always prone to error, when the correctness of their information specially depends upon their own spirituality. They need to learn this, and their falls will teach them. And their painful experience of the proneness to wander here will help to make all the more precious to them the certainty attaching to what is the standing ground of their hope – a plain “thus saith the Lord,” on some page of Scripture.

There is something, in the more peculiar attainments of the righteous, which excites an unholy and dishonest ambition in those who seek the honor that cometh from man. Men have pretended to know, as others knew not, the mind of the Lord, who exhibited no such difference, between themselves and the world, as there is between him that feareth God and him that feareth Him not. When out of sight they have pretended to be holding converse with God, but their faces did not shine when they came down from the mount. But from him that hath not the true fear of the Lord shall be taken even that which he seems to have. The wise course is to seek to have the fear of God within us, to pray for grace to keep that fear in exercise, and to leave in the hands of Him, who divides to every man severally as He will. . . .

The Lord Knows

The following article by James Smith provides us with a much needed reminder for the times that try our souls:

“Casting all your care upon Him — because He cares for you!” (1 Peter 5:7)

The Lord knows all His people — all their needs, and all their trials. He thinks upon them — to bless, deliver and supply them. He keeps His eye upon them — in all places, at all times, and under all circumstances. He has them in His hand — and will not loosen His hold.

He looks upon them always as His own ‘treasured possession’, the objects of His eternal love, the purchase of His Son’s blood, and the temples of His Holy Spirit. They are precious in His sight!

He knows they are weak and fearful — and that they have many enemies. He teaches them to cast themselves and all their cares into His hands! And He has given them His promise — that He will care for them. It is a Father’s care which He exercises. It is a wise, holy, tender, and constant care. Therefore all will be well with you — only trust Him.

Believe that He cares for you this day. Carry all your concerns to Him — in the arms of faith! Leave all with Him, persuaded that He will manage all by His infinite wisdom, and bring all to a good outcome by His omnipotent power. Cast all your cares upon Him — as fast as they come in. Do not worry about anything. (“The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you! He will never allow the righteous to be shaken!” (Psalm 55:22)

We Must Know God

It is one thing to say that God reveals nothing to His people apart from the Bible, but is it true that He makes known to His people only what is there directly revealed? We must not expect to know the mind of God but by means of the written word. The Scriptures must be our only guide. Dr. John Kennedy writes of this:

True Christians differ from all others because with them only is “the secret of the Lord.” “The secret” which is within them is hidden in the mind of God from all to whom He does not reveal it. “Thou hast hid these things,” saith Jesus to the Father, “from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes.” (Matthew 11:25)

This surely means more than that they have the Bible in their hands. True, in it, there is a complete revelation of the will of God. It is by it, too, that God communicates all the knowledge of His mind to which men shall attain on earth. But many have the Bible in whom the fear of the Lord is not found, and to whom the secret of the Lord is not given. They who fear the Lord have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that they might know the things that are freely given to them of God. It is thus that they are made to differ.

“He will manifest to them His covenant.” This covenant – the covenant of grace – was once known only to God Himself. It was then written only in the volume of the book which contained a record of the eternal counsels of the Godhead, and on which no eye looked but that of God Himself. But He gradually revealed the plan and provision of that covenant, when the earth was formed, and men were, and then were sinners, on it. The revelation of that covenant, intended for men on earth, is now complete. A clearer light from heaven shall never shine on earth than that which now illumines these last Gospel days. The word of the Lord, as it now is, abideth for ever. But not only does the Lord shine with Gospel light on them that fear Him, as He does on all around them; He hath also shined into their hearts, giving them the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6) He has taught them their need of the grace of the everlasting covenant. He has made known to them its plan and its provision. They, and they only, have tasted that the Lord is gracious. But they know only a very little. They need that He would still continue to manifest His covenant to them. And He will do so. Into all truth the Spirit of God shall guide them. All the lessons appointed by their Father shall be learned by them; and all their darkness and folly shall, at the last, be utterly removed. (John 16:13) (“The Secret of the Lord”)

%d bloggers like this: