Site Meter
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|

Hymns of Faith and Hope

(52 posts)

Lord’s Day 22, 2008

Sunday··2008·06·01
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1 Geneva Bible) Be Still Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Be still, my soul; Jehovah loveth thee; Fret not nor murmur at thy weary lot; Though dark and lone thy journey seems to be, Be sure that thou art ne’er by Him forgot. He ever loves; then trust him, trust Him still; Let all thy care be this, in doing his will. Thy hand in His, like fondest, happiest child, Place thou, nor draw it for a moment thence; Walk thou with Him, a Father reconciled Till in His own good time He call thee hence. Walk with Him now; so shall thy way be bright, And all thy soul be filled with His most glorious light. Fight the good fight of faith, nor turn aside Though fear of peril from or earth or hell; Take to thee now the armour proved and tried, Take to thee the spear and sword; oh, wield them well; So shall thou conquer here, so win the day, So wear the crown when this hard live has passed away. Take courage! Faint not, though the foe be strong; Christ is thy strength; He fighteth on thy side. Swift be thy race; remember, ’tis not long, The goal is near; the prize He will provide. And then from earthly toil thou restest ever; Thy home on the fair banks of life’s eternal river! He comes with His reward; ’tis just at hand; He comes in glory to His promised throne. My soul, rejoice; ere long thy feet shall stand Within the city of the Blessed One. Thy perils past, thy heritage secure, Thy tears all wiped away, thy joy for ever sure! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 67 (Geneva Bible) To him that excelleth on Neginoth. A Psalme or song. 1 God be mercifull vnto vs, and blesse vs, and cause his face to shine among vs. Selah. 2 That they may know thy way vpon earth, and thy sauing health among all nations. 3 Let the people prayse thee, O God: let all the people prayse thee. 4 Let the people be glad and reioyce: for thou shalt iudge the people righteously, and gouerne the nations vpon the earth. Selah. 5 Let the people prayse thee, O God: let all the people prayse thee. 6 Then shall the earth bring foorth her increase, and God, euen our God shall blesse vs. 7 God shall blesse vs, and all the endes of the earth shall feare him. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 22, 2008

Lord’s Day 28, 2008

Sunday··2008·07·13
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Let Us Draw Near Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Why stand I lingering about, In fear, and weariness, and doubt, When all is light within? Thou, the new and living way, The trembler’s Guide, the sinner’s Stay, My High Priest, lead me in! I know the mercy-seat is there, On which thou sit’st to answer prayer; I know the blood is shed; The everlasting covenant sealed, The everlasting grace revealed, And life has reached the dead! Not the mere Paradise below; The heaven of heavens is opened now, And we its bliss regain. Guarded so long by fire and sword, The gate stands wide, the way restored, The veil is rent in twain! Without the cloud and gloom appear, The peril and the storm are near, The foe is raging round; Then let me boldly enter in, There end my danger, fear, and sin, And rest on holy ground. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 109 (Geneva Bible) To him that excelleth. A Psalme of David. 1 Holde not thy tongue, O God of my praise. 2 For the mouth of the wicked, and the mouth full of deceite are opened vpon me: they haue spoken to me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my friendship they were mine aduersaries, but I gaue my selfe to praier. 5 And they haue rewarded me euil for good, and hatred for my friendship. 6 Set thou the wicked ouer him, and let the aduersarie stand at his right hand. 7 Whe he shalbe iudged, let him be condemned, and let his praier be turned into sinne. 8 Let his daies be fewe, and let another take his charge. 9 Let his children be fatherlesse, and his wife a widowe. 10 Let his children be vagabonds and beg and seeke bread, comming out of their places destroyed. 11 Let the extortioner catch al that he hath, and let the strangers spoile his labour. 12 Let there be none to extend mercie vnto him: neither let there be any to shewe mercie vpon his fatherlesse children. 13 Let his posteritie be destroied, and in the generation following let their name be put out. 14 Let the iniquitie of his fathers bee had in remembrance with the Lord: and let not the sinne of his mother be done away. 15 But let them alway be before the Lord, that he may cut off their memorial from ye earth. 16 Because he remembred not to shew mercie, but persecuted the afflicted and poore man, and the sorowfull hearted to slay him. 17 As he loued cursing, so shall it come vnto him, and as he loued not blessing, so shall it be farre from him. 18 As he clothed himselfe with cursing like a rayment, so shall it come into his bowels like water, and like oyle into his bones. 19 Let it be vnto him as a garment to couer him, and for a girdle, wherewith he shalbe alway girded. 20 Let this be the rewarde of mine aduersarie from the Lord, and of them, that speake euill against my soule. 21 But thou, O Lord my God, deale with me according vnto thy Name: deliuer me, (for thy mercie is good) 22 Because I am poore and needie, and mine heart is wounded within me. 23 I depart like the shadowe that declineth, and am shaken off as the grashopper. 24 My knees are weake through fasting, and my flesh hath lost all fatnes. 25 I became also a rebuke vnto them: they that looked vpon me, shaked their heads. 26 Helpe me, O Lord my God: saue me according to thy mercie. 27 And they shall know, that this is thine hand, and that thou, Lord, hast done it. 28 Though they curse, yet thou wilt blesse: they shall arise and be confounded, but thy seruant shall reioyce. 29 Let mine aduersaries be clothed with shame, and let them couer themselues with their confusion, as with a cloke. 30 I will giue thankes vnto the Lord greatly with my mouth and praise him among ye multitude. 31 For he will stand at the right hand of the poore, to saue him from them that woulde condemne his soule. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 28, 2008

Lord’s Day 34, 2008

Sunday··2008·08·24
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Who Are These, and Whence Came They? Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) “Et de Hierosolymis et de Britannia aequaliter patet aula coelestis.” —Jerome. Ep. ad Paulinum.Not from Jerusalem alone, To heaven the path ascends; As near, as sure, as straight the way That leads to the celestial day, From farthest realms extends; Frigid or torrid zone. What matters how or whence we start? One is the crown to all; One is the hard but glorious race, Whatever be our starting-place;” Kings round the earth the call That says, Arise, Depart! From the balm-breathing, sun-loved isles Of the bright Southern Sea, From the dead North’s cloud-shadow’d pole, We gather to one gladsome goal,— One common home in Thee, City of sun and smiles! The cold rough billow hinders none; Nor helps the calm, fair main; The brown rock of Norwegian gloom, The verdure of Tahitian bloom, The sands of Mizraim’s plain, Or peaks of Lebanon. As from the green lands of the vine, So from the snow-wastes pale, We find the ever open road To the dear city of our God; From Russian steppe, or Burman vale, Or terraced Palestine. Not from swift Jordan’s sacred stream Alone we mount above; Indus or Danube, Thames or Rhone, Rivers unsainted and unknown;— From each the home of love Beckons with heavenly gleam. Not from gray Olivet alone We see the gates of light; From Morven’s heath or Jungfrau’s snow We welcome the descending glow Of pearl and chrysolite, And the unsetting sun. Not from Jerusalem alone The Church ascends to God; Strangers of every tongue and clime, Pilgrims of every land and time, Throng the well-trodden road That leads up to the throne. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1876). Psalme 122 (Geneva Bible) A song of degrees, or Psalme of David. 1 I rejoiced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. 2 Our feete shall stand in thy gates, O Ierusalem. 3 Ierusalem is builded as a citie, that is compact together in it selfe: 4 Whereunto the Tribes, euen the Tribes of the Lord go vp according to the testimonie to Israel, to prayse the Name of the Lord. 5 For there are thrones set for iudgement, euen the thrones of the house of Dauid. 6 Pray for the peace of Ierusalem: let them prosper that loue thee. 7 Peace be within thy walles, and prosperitie within thy palaces. 8 For my brethren and neighbours sakes I will wish thee now prosperitie. 9 Because of the House of the Lord our God, I will procure thy wealth. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 34, 2008

Lord’s Day 40, 2008

Sunday··2008·10·05
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Praiseby Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)Praises to Him who built the hills; Praises to Him the streams who fills; Praises to Him who lights each star That sparkles in the blue afar! Praises to Him who wakes the morn, And bids it glow with beams new-born; Who draws the shadows of the night, Like curtains, o’er our wearied sight! Praises to Him whose love has given, In Christ His Son, the life of heaven; Who for our darkness gives us light, And turns to day the deepest night! Praises to Him, in grace who came To bear our woe, and sin, and shame; Who lived to die, who died to rise, The God-accepted sacrifice! Praises to Him the chain who broke, Opened the prison, burst the yoke, Sent forth its captives, glad and free, Heirs of the endless liberty! Praises to Him who shed abroad Within our hearts the love of God; The Spirit of all truth and peace, Fountain of joy and holiness! To Father, Son and Spirit now The hands we lift, the knees we bow; To Jah-Jehovah thus we raise The sinner’s endless song of endless praise! —Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 14 (Geneva Bible) To him that excelleth. A Psalme of Dauid. 1 The foole hath said in his heart, There is no God: they haue corrupted, and done an abominable worke: there is none that doeth good. 2 The Lord looked downe from heauen vpon the children of men, to see if there were any that would vnderstand, and seeke God. 3 All are gone out of the way: they are all corrupt: there is none that doeth good, no not one. 4 Doe not all the workers of iniquitie know that they eate vp my people, as they eate bread? they call not vpon the Lord. 5 There they shall be taken with feare, because God is in the generation of the iust. 6 You haue made a mocke at the counsell of the poore, because the Lord is his trust. 7 Oh giue saluation vnto Israel out of Zion: when the Lord turneth the captiuitie of his people, then Iaakob shall reioyce, and Israel shall be glad. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 40, 2008

Lords Day 46, 2008

Sunday··2008·11·16
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) PRAISE TO CHRIST Horatius Bonar (18081889) Jesus, the Christ of God,The Fathers blessed Son, The Fathers bosom Thine abode, The Fathers love Thine own. Jesus, the Lamb of God,    Who us from hell to raise, Hast shed Thy reconciling blood;    We give Thee endless praise. God, and yet man, Thou art,    True God, true man art Thou; Of man, and of mans earth a part,    One with us Thou art now. Great sacrifice for sin,    Giver of life for life, Restorer of the peace within,    True ender of the strife. To Thee, the Christ of God,    Thy saints exulting sing, The bearer of our heavy load,    Our own anointed King! True lover of the lost,    From heaven Thou camest down, To pay for souls the righteous cost,    And claim them for Thine own. Rest of the weary, Thou!    To Thee, our rest, we come; In Thee to find our dwelling now,    Our everlasting home. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 56 (geneva bible) To him that excelleth. A Psalme of David on Michtam, concerning the dumme doue in a farre countrey, when the Philistims tooke him in Gath. 1 Be mercifull vnto me, O God, for man would swallow me vp: he fighteth continually and vexeth me. 2 Mine enemies would dayly swallowe mee vp: for many fight against me, O thou most High. 3 When I was afrayd, I trusted in thee. 4 I will reioyce in God, because of his word, I trust in God, and will not feare what flesh can doe vnto me. 5 Mine owne wordes grieue me dayly: all their thoughtes are against me to doe me hurt. 6 They gather together, and keepe them selues close: they marke my steps, because they waite for my soule. 7 They thinke they shall escape by iniquitie: O God, cast these people downe in thine anger. 8 Thou hast counted my wandrings: put my teares into thy bottel: are they not in thy register? 9 When I cry, then mine enemies shall turne backe: this I know, for God is with me. 10 I will reioyce in God because of his worde: in the Lord wil I reioyce because of his worde. 11 In God doe I trust: I will not be afrayd what man can doe vnto me. 12 Thy vowes are vpon me, O God: I will render prayses vnto thee. 13 For thou hast deliuered my soule from death, and also my feete from falling, that I may walke before God in the light of the liuing. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lords Day 46, 2008

Lords Day 1, 2009

Sunday··2009·01·04
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) THE CROSS AND THE CROWN Horatius Bonar (18081889) NO blood, no altar now: The sacrifice is oer; No flame, no smoke, ascends on high;    The Lamb is slain no more! But richer blood has flowed from nobler veins, To purge the soul from guilt, and cleanse the       reddest stains.    We thank Thee for the blood,       The blood of Christ, Thy Son;    The blood by which our peace is made,       Our victory is won; Great victory oer hell, and sin, and woe, That needs no second fight, and leaves no          second foe.    We thank Thee for the grace       Descending from above,    That overflows our widest guilt,       The eternal Fathers love: Love of the Fathers everlasting Son, Love of the Holy Ghost, Jehovah, three in          One.    We thank Thee for the hope,       So glad, and sure, and clear;    It holds the drooping spirit up       Till the long dawn appear: Fair hope! with what a sunshine does it cheer Our roughest path on earth, our dreariest desert          here!    We thank Thee for the crown       Of glory and of life;    Tis no poor withring wreath of earth,       Mans prize in mortal strife: Tis incorruptible as is the throne, The kingdom of our God and his Incarnate          Son. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 119:18 (Geneva Bible) Aleph. 1 Blessed are those that are vpright in their way, and walke in the Lawe of the Lord. 2 Blessed are they that keepe his testimonies, and seeke him with their whole heart. 3 Surely they woorke none iniquitie, but walke in his waies. 4 Thou hast commanded to keepe thy precepts diligently. 5 Oh that my waies were directed to keepe thy statutes! 6 Then should I not be confounded, when I haue respect vnto all thy commandements. 7 I will praise thee with an vpright heart, when I shall learne the iudgements of thy righteousnesse. 8 I will keepe thy statutes: forsake mee not ouerlong. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lords Day 1, 2009

Lords Day 7, 2009

Sunday··2009·02·15
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1 (geneva bible) THE END OF THE DAY Horatius Bonar (18081889) COME, for thy day, thy wasted day, is closing, With all its joy and sun; Bright, loving hours have passed thee by unheeded; Thy work on earth undone, And all thy race unrun. Folly and pleasure hast thou still been chasing, With the worlds giddy throng, Beauty and love have been thy golden idols; And thou hast rushed along, Still listning to their song. Sorrow and weeping thou hast cast behind thee,    For what were tears to thee? Life was not life without the smile and sunshine;    Only in revelry    Did wisdom seem to be. Unclasp, O man, the syren hand of pleasure,    Let the gay folly go! A few quick years will bring the unwelcome ending;    Then whither dost thou go,    To endless joy or woe? Clasp a far truer hand, a kinder, stronger,    Of Him the crucified; Let in a deeper love into thy spirit,    The love of Him who died,    And now is glorified! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 119:4956 (Geneva Bible) Zain. 49 Remember the promise made to thy seruant, wherein thou hast caused me to trust. 50 It is my comfort in my trouble: for thy promise hath quickened me. 51 The proude haue had me exceedingly in derision: yet haue I not declined from thy Lawe. 52 I remembred thy iudgements of olde, O Lord, and haue bene comforted. 53 Feare is come vpon mee for the wicked, that forsake thy Lawe. 54 Thy statutes haue beene my songes in the house of my pilgrimage. 55 I haue remembred thy Name, O Lord, in the night, and haue kept thy Lawe. 56 This I had because I kept thy precepts. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lorde Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lords Day 7, 2009

Lord’s Day 13, 2009

Sunday··2009·03·29
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1 (geneva bible) Confession. Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) O this soul, how dark and blind! O this foolish, earthly mind; This ever froward, selfish will, Which refuses to be still! O these ever roaming eyes, Upward that refuse to rise; These still wayward feet of mine, Found in every path but thine! O these pulses felt within, Beating for the world and sin, Sending round the fevered blood, In a fierce and carnal flood! O this stubborn, prayerless knee, Hands so seldom clasped to Thee, Longings of the soul, that go, Like the wild wind, to and fro; To and fro without an aim, Returning idly whence they came, Bringing in no joy, no bliss, Adding to my weariness! Giver of the heavenly peace, Bid, O bid, these tumults cease; Minister Thy holy balm, Fill me with Thy Spirits calm! Thou the life, the truth, the way, Leave me not in sin to stray; Bearer of the sinners guilt, Lead me, lead me, as thou wilt! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 119:97 104 (Geneva Bible) Mem. 97 Oh howe loue I thy Lawe! it is my meditation continually. 98 By thy commandements thou hast made mee wiser then mine enemies: for they are euer with mee. 99 I haue had more vnderstading then all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I vnderstoode more then the ancient, because I kept thy precepts. 101 I haue refrained my feete from euery euil way, that I might keepe thy word. 102 I haue not declined from thy iudgements: for thou didest teach me. 103 Howe sweete are thy promises vnto my mouth! yea, more then hony vnto my mouth. 104 By thy precepts I haue gotten vnderstanding: therefore I hate all the wayes of falshoode. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lorde Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 13, 2009

Lord’s Day 19, 2009

Sunday··2009·05·10
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1 (geneva bible) The Meeting Place. Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Where the faded flower shall freshen,— Freshen never more to fade; Where the shaded sky shall brighten,— Brighten never more to shade: Where the sun-blaze never scorches; Where the star-beams cease to chill; Where no tempest stirs the echoes Of the wood, or wave, or hill: Where the morn shall wake in gladness, And the moon the joy prolong, Where the daylight dies in fragrance, ’Mid the burst of holy song: Brother, we shall meet and rest ’Mid the holy and the blest! Where no shadow shall bewilder, Where life’s vain parade is o’er, Where the sleep of sin is broken, And the dreamer dreams no more: Where the bond is never severed;— Partings, claspings, sob and moan, Midnight waking, twilight weeping, Heavy noontide,— all are done: Where the child has found its mother, Where the mother finds the child, Where dear families are gathered. That were scattered on the wild: Brother, we shall meet and rest ’Mid the holy and the blest! Where the hidden wound is healed, Where the blighted light re-blooms. Where the smitten heart the freshness Of its buoyant youth resumes: Where the love that here we lavish On the withering leaves of time, Shall have fadeless flowers to fix on In an ever spring bright clime: Where we find the joy of loving, As we never loved before,— Loving on, unchilled, unhindered, Loving once and evermore: Brother, we shall meet and rest, ’Mid the holy and the blest! Where a blasted world shall brighten Underneath a bluer sphere, And a softer, gentler sunshine Shed its healing splendor here: Where earth’s barren vales shall blossom, Putting on their robe of green, And a purer, fairer Eden Be where only wastes have been: Where a King in kingly glory, Such as earth has never known, Shall assume the righteous sceptre, Claim and wear the holy crown: Brother, we shall meet and rest, ’Mid the holy and the blest. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Psalme 119:145–152 (Geneva Bible) Koph. 145 I haue cried with my whole heart: heare me, O Lord, and I will keepe thy statutes. 146 I called vpon thee: saue mee, and I will keepe thy testimonies. 147 I preuented the morning light, and cried: for I waited on thy word. 148 Mine eyes preuent the night watches to meditate in thy word. 149 Heare my voyce according to thy louing kindenesse: O Lord, quicken me according to thy iudgement. 150 They drawe neere, that follow after malice, and are farre from thy Lawe. 151 Thou art neere, O Lord: for all thy commandements are true. 152 I haue knowen long since by thy testimonies, that thou hast established them for euer. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lorde Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 19, 2009

Lords Day 25, 2009

Sunday··2009·06·21
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. THE HOME SICKNESS. Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) civitas sancta, civitas speciosa, de longinquo te saluto, ad te clamo, te requiro.Augustine, De Spir. et Anim. And whence this weariness,    This gathering cloud of gloom? Whence this dull weight of loneliness,    These greedy cravings for the tomb? These greedier cravings for the hopes that lie Beyond the tomb, beyond the things that die; Beyond the smiles and joys that come and go, Fevering the spirit with their fitful flow; Beyond the circle where the shadows fall; Within the region where my God is all. It is not that I fear       To breast the storm or wrestle with the wave,       To swim the torrent or the blast to brave,       To toil or suffer in this day of strife       As He may will who gave this struggling life, But I am homesick! It is not that the cross       Is heavier than this drooping frame can bear,       Or that I find no kindred heart to share       The burden, which, in these last days of ill,       Seems to press heavier, sharper, sorer still, But I am homesick! It is not that the snare       Is laid around for my unwary feet.       And that a thousand wily tempters greet       My slippery steps and lead me far astray       From that safe guidance of the narrow way, But I am homesick! It is not that the path       Is rough and perilous, beset with foes,       From the first step down to its weary close,       Strewn with the flint, the briar, and the thorn.       That wound my limbs and leave my raiment torn, But I am homesick! It is not that the sky       Is darkly sad, and the unloving air       Chills me to fainting; and the clouds that there       Hang over me seem signal clouds unfurled,       Portending wrath to an unready world, But I am homesick! It is not that the earth       Has grown less bright and fair,that these grey hills,       These ever-lapsing, ever-lulling rills,       And these breeze-haunted woods, that ocean clear,       Have now become less beautiful, less dear, But I am homesick!    Let me, then, weary be!       I shrink not, murmur not;    In all this homelessness I see       The Churchs pilgrim-lot;    Her lot until her absent Lord shall come,    And the long homeless here, shall find a home.    Then no more weariness!       No gathering cloud of gloom;    Then no dull weight of loneliness,       No greedy cravings for the tomb:    For death shall then be swallowed up of life,    And the glad victory shall end the strife! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 1:14    14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. The passage of Scripture now before us is very short, if we measure it by words. But it is very long, if we measure it by the nature of its contents. The substance of it is so immensely important that we shall do well to give it separate and distinct consideration. This single verse contains more than enough matter for a whole exposition. The main truth which this verse teaches is the reality of our Lord Jesus Christs incarnation, or being made man. St. John tells us that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. The plain meaning of these words is, that our divine Saviour really took human nature upon Him, in order to save sinners. He really became a man like ourselves in all things, sin only excepted. Like ourselves, he was born of a woman, though born in a miraculous manner. Like ourselves, He grew from infancy to boyhood, and from boyhood to mans estate, both in wisdom and in stature. (Luke ii. 52.) Like ourselves, he hungered, thirsted, ate, drank, slept, was wearied, felt pain, wept, rejoiced, marvelled, was moved to anger and compassion. Having be come flesh, and taken a body, He prayed, read the Scriptures, suffered being tempted, and submitted His human will to the will of God the Father. And finally, in the same body, He really suffered and shed His blood, really died, was really buried, really rose again, and really ascended up into heaven. And yet all this time He was God as well as man! This union of two natures in Christs one Person is doubtless one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian religion. It needs to be carefully stated. It is just one of those great truths which are not meant to be curiously pried into, but to be reverently believed. . . . But while we do not pretend to explain the union of two natures in our Lord Jesus Christs Person, we must not hesitate to fence the subject with well-defined cautions. While we state most carefully what we do believe, we must not shrink from declaring boldly what we do not believe. We must never forget, that though our Lord was God and man at the same time, the divine and human natures in Him were never confounded. One nature did not swallow up the other. The two natures remained perfect and distinct. The divinity of Christ was never for a moment laid aside, although veiled. The manhood of Christ, during His life-time, was never for a moment unlike our own, though by union with the Godhead, greatly dignified. Though perfect God, Christ has always been perfect man from the first moment of His incarnation. He that is gone into heaven, and is sitting at the Fathers right hand to intercede for sinners, is man as well as God. Though perfect man, Christ never ceased to be perfect God. He that suffered for sin on the cross, and was made sin for us, was God manifest in the flesh. The blood with which the Church was purchased, is called the blood of God. (Acts xx. 28.) Though He became flesh in the fullest sense, when He was born of the Virgin Mary, He never at any period ceased to be the Eternal Word. To say . . . that at any instant of His earthly ministry He was not fully and entirely God, is nothing less than heresy. The cautions just given may seem at first sight needless, wearisome, and hair-splitting. It is precisely the neglect of such cautions which ruins many souls. This constant undivided union of two perfect natures in Christs Person is exactly that which gives infinite value to His mediation, and qualifies Him to be the very Mediator that sinners need. Our Mediator is One who can sympathize with us, because He is very man. And yet, at the same time, He is One who can deal with the Father for us on equal terms, because He is very God.It is the same union which gives infinite value to His righteousness, when imputed to believers. It is the righteousness of One who was God as well as man.It is the same union which gives infinite value to the atoning blood which He shed for sinners on the cross. It is the blood of One who was God as well as man.It is the same union which gives infinite value to His resurrection. When He rose again, as the Head of the body of believers, He rose not as a mere man, but as God.Let those things sink deeply into our hearts. The second Adam is far greater than the first Adam was. The first Adam was only man, and so he fell. The second Adam was God as well as man, and so He completely conquered. Let us leave the subject with feelings of deep gratitude and thankfulness. It is full of abounding consolation for al who know Christ by faith, and believe on Him. Did the Word become flesh? Then He is One who can be touched with the feeling of His peoples infirmities, because He has suffered Himself, being tempted. He is almighty because He is God, and yet He can feel with us, because He is man. Did the Word become flesh? Then He can supply us with a perfect pattern and example for our daily life. Had He walked among us as an angel or a spirit, we could never have copied Him. But having dwelt among us as a man, we know that the true standard of holiness is to walk even as He walked. (1 John ii. 6.) He is a perfect pattern, because He is God. But He is also a pattern exactly suited to our wants, because He is man. Finally, did the Word become flesh? Then let us see in our mortal bodies a real, true dignity, and not defile them by sin. Vile and weak as our body may seem, it is a body which the Eternal Son of God was not ashamed to take upon Himself, and to take up to heaven. That simple fact is a pledge that He will raise our bodies at the last day, and glorify them together with His own. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)], 3:2428 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 25, 2009

Lords Day 31, 2009

Sunday··2009·08·02
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. THE LAND OF LIGHT. Horatius Bonar (18081889) That clime is not this dull clime of ours; All, all is brightness there; A sweeter influence breathes around its flowers, And a far milder air. No calm below is like that calm above. No region here is like that realm of love; Earths softest spring neer shed so soft a light. Earths brightest summer never shone so bright. That sky is not like this sad sky of ours,    Tinged with earths change and care: No shadow dims it, and no rain-cloud lowers,    No broken sunshine there! One everlasting stretch of azure pours Its stainless splendor oer these sinless shores; For there Jehovah shines with heavenly ray, There Jesus reigns dispensing endless day. Those dwellers there are not like these of earth.    No mortal stain they bear; And yet they seem of kindred hlood and hirth,    Whence, and how came they there? Earth was their native soil, from sin and shame, Through tribulation they to glory came; Bond-slaves delivered from sins crushing load. Brands plucked from burning by the hand of God. Those robes of theirs are not for these below;    No angels half so bright! Whence came that beauty, whence that living glow?    Whence came that radiant white? Washed in the blood of the atoning Lamb, Fair as the light those robes of theirs became, And now, all tears wiped off from every eye, They wander where the freshest pastures lie, Through all the nightless day of that unfading    sky! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). The Gospel According to John Christ Changes Water to Wine2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no wine. 4 And Jesus said to her, Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come. 5 His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it. 6 Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7 Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter. So they took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10 and said to him, Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. These verses describe a miracle which should always possess a special interest in the eyes of a true Christian. It is the first, in order of time, of the many mighty works which Jesus did, when He was upon earth. We are distinctly told, This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee.Like every other miracle which John was inspired to record, it is related with great minuteness and particularity. And, like every other miracle in Johns Gospel, it is rich in spiritual lessons. We learn, firstly, from these verses, how honourable in the sight of Christ is the estate of matrimony. To be present at a marriage was almost the first public act of our Lords earthly ministry. Marriage is not a sacrament, as the Church of Rome asserts. It is simply a state of life ordained by God for mans benefit. But it is a state which ought never to be spoken of with levity, or regarded with disrespect. The Prayerbook service has well described it, as an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of mans innocency, and signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church. Society is never in a healthy condition, and true religion never flourishes in that land where the marriage tie is lightly esteemed. They who lightly esteem it have not the mind of Christ. He who beautified and adorned the estate of matrimony by His presence and first miracle that He wrought in Cana of Galilee, is One who is always of one mind. Marriage, says the Holy Spirit by Paul, is honourable in all. (Heb. xiii. 4.) One thing, however, ought not to be forgotten. Marriage is a step which so seriously affects the temporal happiness and spiritual welfare of two immortal souls, that it ought never to be taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, wantonly, and without due consideration. To be truly happy, it should be undertaken reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Christs blessing and presence are essential to a happy wedding. The marriage at which there is no place for Christ and His disciples, is not one that can justly be expected to prosper. We learn, secondly, from these verses, that there are times when it is lawful to be merry and rejoice. Our Lord Himself sanctioned a wedding-feast by His own presence. He did not refuse to be a guest at a marriage in Cana of Galilee. A feast, it is written, is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry. (Eccles. x. 19.) Our Lord, in the passage before us, approves both the feast and the use of wine. True religion was never meant to make men melancholy. On the contrary, it was intended to increase real joy and happiness among men. The servant of Christ unquestionably ought to have nothing to do with races, balls, theaters, and such-like amusements, which tend to frivolity and indulgence, if not to sin. But he has no right to hand over innocent recreations and family gatherings to the devil and the world. The Christian who withdraws entirely from the society of his fellow-men, and walks the earth with a face as melancholy as if he was always attending a funeral, does injury to the cause of the Gospel. A cheerful, kindly spirit is a great recommendation to a believer. It is a real misfortune to Christianity when a Christian cannot smile. A merry heart, and a readiness to take part in all innocent mirth, are gifts of inestimable value. They go far to soften prejudices, to take up stumbling-blocks out of the way, and to make way for Christ and the Gospel. The subject no doubt is a difficult and delicate one. On no point of Christian practice is it so hard to hit the balance between that which is lawful and that which is unlawful, between that which is right and that which is wrong. It is very hard indeed to be both merry and wise. High spirits soon degenerate into levity. Acceptance of many invitations to feasts soon leads to waste of time, and begets leanness of soul. Frequent eating and drinking at other mens tables, soon lowers a Christians tone of religion. Going often into company is a heavy strain on spirituality of heart. Here, if anywhere, Gods children have need to be on their guard. Each must know his own strength and natural temperament, and act accordingly. One believer can go without risk where another cannot. Happy is he who can use his Christian liberty without abusing it! It is possible to be sorely wounded in soul at marriage feasts and the tables of friends. One golden rule on the subject may be laid down, the use of which will save us much trouble. Let us take care that we always go to feasts in the spirit of our divine Master, and that we never go where He would not have gone. Like Him, let us endeavour to be always about our Fathers business. (Luke ii. 49.) Like Him, let us willingly promote joy and gladness, but let us strive that it may be sinless joy, if not joy in the Lord. Let us endeavour to bring the salt of grace into every company, and to drop the word in season in every ear we address. Much good may be done in society by giving a healthy tone to conversation. Let us never be ashamed to show our colours, and to make men see whose we are and whom we serve. We may well say, Who is sufficient for these things? But if Christ went to a marriage feast in Cana there is surely something that Christians can do on similar occasions. Let them only remember that if they go when their Master went, they must go in their Masters spirit. We learn lastly, from these verses, the Almighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are told of a miracle which He wrought at the marriage feast, when the wine failed. By a mere act of will He changed water into wine, and so supplied the need of all the guests. The manner in which the miracle was worked deserves especial notice. We are not told of any outward visible action which preceded or accompanied it. It is not said that He touched the waterpots containing the water that was made wine. It is not said that He commanded the water to change its qualities, or that He prayed to His Father in Heaven. He simply willed the change, and it took place. We read of no prophet or apostle in the Bible who ever worked a miracle after this fashion. He who could do such a mighty work, in such a manner, was nothing less than very God. It is a comfortable thought that the same almighty power of will which our Lord here displayed is still exercised on behalf of His believing people. They have no need of His bodily presence to maintain their cause. They have no reason to be cast down because they cannot see Him with their eyes interceding for them, or touch Him with their hands, that they may cling to Him for safety. If He wills their salvation and the daily supply of all their spiritual need, they are as safe and well provided for as if they saw Him standing by them. Christs will is as mighty and effectual as Christs deed. The will of Him who could say to the Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, is a will that has all power in heaven and earth, and must prevail. (John xvii. 24.) Happy are those who, like the disciples, believe on Him by whom this miracle was wrought. A greater marriage feast than that of Cana will one day be held, when Christ Himself will be the bridegroom and believers will be the bride. A greater glory will one day be manifested, when Jesus shall take to Himself His great power and reign. Blessed will they be in that day who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! (Rev. xix. 9.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)], 3:8892 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 31, 2009

Lords Day 37, 2009

Sunday··2009·09·13
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Advent. Horatius Bonar (18081889) The Church has waited long Her absent Lord to see; And still in loneliness she waits, A friendless stranger she. Age after age has gone, Sun after sun has set, And still in weeds of widowhood She weeps a mourner yet.    Come, then, Lord Jesus, come! Saint after saint on earth    Has lived, and loved, and died; And as they left us one by one,    We laid them side by side; We laid them down to sleep,    But not in hope forlorn; We laid them but to ripen there,    Till the last glorious morn.       Come, then, Lord Jesus, come! The serpents brood increase,    The powers of hell grow bold, The conflict thickens, faith is low,    And love is waxing cold. How long, O Lord our God,    Holy and true, and good, Wilt the not judge Thy suffering Church,    Her sighs and tears and blood?       Come, then, Lord Jesus, come! We long to hear Thy voice,    To see Thee face to face, To share Thy crown and glory then,    As now we share thy grace. Should not the loving bride    The absent bridegroom mourn? Should she not wear the weeds of grief    Until her Lord return?       Come, then, Lord Jesus, come! The whole creation groans,    And waits to hear that voice, That shall restore her comeliness,    And make her wastes rejoice. Come, Lord, and wipe away    The curse, the stain, the sin, And make this blighted world of ours    Thine own fair world again.       Come , then, Lord Jesus, come! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 4:726There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink. 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. 11 She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. 15 The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw. 16 He said to her, Go, call your husband and come here. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have correctly said, I have no husband; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly. 19 The woman said to Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. 25 The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us. 26 Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am He. The history of the Samaritan woman, contained in these verses, is one of the most interesting and instructive passages in St. Johns Gospel. John has shown us, in the case of Nicodemus, how our Lord dealt with a self-righteous formalist. He now shows us how our Lord dealt with an ignorant, carnal-minded woman, whose moral character was more than ordinarily bad. There are lessons in the passage for ministers and teachers, which they would do well to ponder. We should mark, firstly, the mingled tact and humility of Christ in dealing with a careless sinner. Our Lord was sitting by Jacobs well when a woman of Samaria came thither to draw water. At once He says to her, Give me to drink. He does not wait for her to speak to Him. He does not begin by reproving her sins, though He doubtless knew them. He opens communication by asking a favour. He approaches the womans mind by the subject of water, which was naturally uppermost in her thoughts. Simple as this request may seem, it opened a door to spiritual conversation. It threw a bridge across the gulf which lay between her and Him. It led to the conversion of her soul. Our Lords conduct in this place should be carefully remembered by all who want to do good to the thoughtless and spiritually ignorant. It is vain to expect that such persons will voluntarily come to us, and begin to seek knowledge. We must begin with them, and go down to them in the spirit of courteous and friendly aggression. It is vain to expect that such people will be prepared for our instruction, and will at once see and acknowledge the wisdom of all we are doing. We must go to work wisely. We must study the best avenues to their hearts, and the most likely way of arresting their attention. There is a handle to every mind, and our chief aim must be to get hold of it. Above all, we must be kind in manner, and beware of showing that we feel conscious of our own superiority. If we let ignorant people fancy that we think we are doing them a great favour in talking to them about religion, there is little hope of doing good to their souls. We should mark, secondly, Christs readiness to give mercies to careless sinners. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she had asked, He would have given her living water. He knew the character of the person before Him perfectly well. Yet He says, If she had asked, He would have given,He would have given the living water of grace, mercy, and peace. The infinite willingness of Christ to receive sinners is a golden truth, which ought to be treasured up in our hearts, and diligently impressed on others. The Lord Jesus is far more ready to hear than we are to pray, and far more ready to give favours than we are to ask them. All day long He stretches out His hands to the disobedient and gainsaying. He has thoughts of pity and compassion towards the vilest of sinners, even when they have no thoughts of Him. He stands waiting to bestow mercy and grace on the worst and most unworthy, if they will only cry to Him. He will never draw back from that well known promise, Ask and ye shall receive: seek and ye shall find. The lost will discover at the last day, that they had not, because they asked not. We should mark, thirdly, the priceless excellence of Christs gifts when compared with the things of this world. Our Lord tells the Samaritan woman, He that drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but he that drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. The truth of the principle here laid down may be seen on every side by all who are not blinded by prejudice or love of the world. Thousands of men have every temporal good thing that heart could wish, and are yet weary and dissatisfied. It is now as it was in Davids timeThere be many that say who will show us any good. (Psalm iv. 6.) Riches, and rank, and place, and power, and learning, and amusements, are utterly unable to fill the soul. He that only drinks of these waters is sure to thirst again. Every Ahab finds a Naboths vineyard near by his palace, and every Haman sees a Mordecai at the gate. There is no heart satisfaction in this world, until we believe on Christ. Jesus alone can fill up the empty places of our inward man. Jesus alone can give solid, lasting, enduring happiness. The peace that He imparts is a fountain, which, once set flowing within the soul, flows on to all eternity. Its waters may have their ebbing seasons; but they are living waters, and they shall never be completely dried. We should mark, fourthly, the absolute necessity of conviction of sin before a soul can be converted to God. The Samaritan woman seems to have been comparatively unmoved until our Lord exposed her breach of the seventh commandment. Those heart-searching words, Go, call your husband, appear to have pierced her conscience like an arrow. From that moment, however ignorant, she speaks like an earnest, sincere inquirer after truth. And the reason is evident. She felt that her spiritual disease was discovered. For the first time in her life she saw herself. To bring thoughtless people to this state of mind should be the principal aim of all teachers and ministers of the Gospel. They should carefully copy their Masters example in this place. Until men and women are brought to feel their sinfulness and need, no real good is ever done to their souls. Until a sinner sees himself as God sees him, he will continue careless, trifling, and unmoved. By all means we must labour to convince the unconverted man of sin, to pierce his conscience, to open his eyes, to show him himself. To this end we must expound the length and breadth of Gods holy law. To this end we must denounce every practice contrary to that law, however fashionable and customary. This is the only way to do good. Never does a soul value the Gospel medicine until it feels its disease. Never does a man see any beauty in Christ as a Saviour, until he discovers that he is himself a lost and ruined sinner. Ignorance of sin is invariably attended by neglect of Christ. We should mark, fifthly, the utter uselessness of any religion which only consists of formality. The Samaritan woman, when awakened to spiritual concern, started questions about the comparative merits of the Samaritan and Jewish modes of worshiping God. Our Lord tells her that true and acceptable worship depends not on the place in which it is offered, but on the state of the worshipers heart. He declares, The hour cometh when you shall neither in this place nor at Jerusalem worship the Father. He adds that the true worshipers shall worship in spirit and in truth. The principle contained in these sentences can never be too strongly impressed on professing Christians. We are all naturally inclined to make religion a mere matter of outward forms and ceremonies, and to attach an excessive importance to our own particular manner of worshiping God. We must beware of this spirit, and especially when we first begin to think seriously about our souls. The heart is the principal thing in all our approaches to God. The Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Sam. xvi. 7.) The most gorgeous cathedral-service is offensive in Gods sight, if all is gone through coldly, heartlessly, and without grace. The feeblest gathering of three or four poor believers in a lowly cottage to read the Bible and pray, is a more acceptable sight to Him who searches the heart than the fullest congregation which is ever gathered in St. Peters at Rome. We should mark, lastly, Christs gracious willingness to reveal Himself to the chief of sinners. He concludes His conversation with the Samaritan woman by telling her openly and unreservedly that He is the Saviour of the world. I that speak to thee, He says, am the Messiah. Nowhere in all the Gospels do we find our Lord making such a full avowal of His nature and office as He does in this place. And this avowal, be it remembered, was made not to learned Scribes, or moral Pharisees, but to one who up to that day had been an ignorant, thoughtless, and immoral person! Dealings with sinners, such as these, form one of the grand peculiarities of the Gospel. Whatever a mans past life may have been, there is hope and a remedy for him in Christ. If he is only willing to hear Christs voice and follow Him, Christ is willing to receive him at once as a friend, and to bestow on him the fullest measure of mercy and grace. The Samaritan woman, the penitent thief, the Philippian jailor, the tax-collector Zacchæus, are all patterns of Christs readiness to show mercy, and to confer full and immediate pardons. It is His glory that, like a great physician, He will undertake to cure those who are apparently incurable, and that none are too bad for Him to love and heal. Let these things sink down into our hearts. Whatever else we doubt, let us never doubt that Christs love to sinners passes knowledge, and that Christ is as willing to receive as He is almighty to save. What are we ourselves? This is the question, after all, which demands our attention. We may have been up to this day careless, thoughtless, sinful as the woman whose story we have been reading. But yet there is hope. He who talked with the Samaritan woman at the well is yet living at Gods right hand, and never changes. Let us only ask, and He will give us living water. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)], 3:201206 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 37, 2009

Lords Day 43, 2009

Sunday··2009·10·25
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. REST YONDER. Horatius Bonar (18081889) This is not my place of resting, Mines a city yet to come; Onward to it I am hasting On to my eternal home. In it all is light and glory,    Oer it shines a nightless day; Every trace of sins sad story,    All the curse, has passed away. There the Lamb, our Shepherd, leads us,    By the streams of life along; On the freshest pastures feeds us,    Turns our sighing into song. Soon we pass this desert dreary,    Soon we bid farewell to pain; Never more be sad or weary,    Never, never sin again. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 5:2429Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. The passage before us is singularly rich in weighty truths. To the minds of Jews, who were familiar with the writings of Moses and Daniel, it would come home with peculiar power. In the words of our Lord they would not fail to see fresh assertions of His claim to be received as the promised Messiah. We see in these verses that the salvation of our soul depends on hearing Christ. It is the man, we are told, who hears Christs word, and believes that God the Father sent Him to save sinners, who has everlasting life. Such hearing of course is something more than mere listening. It is hearing as a humble learner,hearing as an obedient disciple,hearing with faith and love,hearing with a heart ready to do Christs will,this is the hearing that saves. It is the very hearing of which God spoke in the famous prediction of a prophet like unto Moses:Unto him shall you hearken.Whoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deut. xviii. 1519.) To hear Christ in this way, we must never forget, is just as needful now as it was eighteen hundred years ago. It is not enough to hear sermons, and run after preachers, though some people seem to think this makes up the whole of religion. We must go much further than this,we must hear Christ. To submit our hearts to Christs teaching,to sit humbly at His feet by faith, and learn of Him,to enter His school as penitents, and become His believing scholars,to hear His voice and follow Him,this is the way to heaven. Until we know something experimentally of these things, there is no life in us. We see, secondly, in these verses, how rich and full are the privileges of the true hearer and believer. Such a man enjoys a present salvation. Even now, at this present time, he hath everlasting life.Such a man is completely justified and forgiven. There remains no more condemnation for him. His sins are put away. He shall not come into condemnation.Such a man is in an entirely new position before God. He is like one who has moved from one side of a gulf to another: He has passed from death unto life. The privileges of a true Christian are greatly underrated by many. Chiefly from deplorable ignorance of Scripture, they have little idea of the spiritual treasures of every believer in Jesus. These treasures are brought together here in beautiful order, if we will only look at them. One of a true Christians treasures is the presentness of his salvation. It is not a far distant thing which he is to have at last, if he does his duty and is good. It is his own in title the moment he believes. He is already pardoned, forgiven, and saved, though not in heaven.Another of a true Christians treasures is the completeness of his justification. His sins are entirely removed, taken away, and blotted out of Gods book, by Christs blood. He may look forward to judgment without fear, and say, who is he that condemneth? (Rom. viii. 34.) He shall stand without fault before the throne of God.The last, but not the least, of a true Christians treasures, is the entire change in his relation and position toward God. He is no longer as one dead before Him,dead, legally, like a man sentenced to die, and dead in heart. He is alive unto God. (Rom. vi. 11.) He is a new creature. Old things are passed away, and all things are become new. (2 Cor. v. 17.) Well would it be for Christians if these things were better known! It is lack of knowledge, in many cases, that is the secret of want of peace. We see, thirdly, in these verses, a striking declaration of Christs power to give life to dead souls. Our Lord tells us that the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live. It seems most unlikely that these words were meant to be confined to the rising of mens bodies, and were fulfilled by such miracles as that of raising Lazarus from the grave. It appears far more probable that what our Lord had in view was the quickening of souls, the resurrection of conversion. (Ephes. ii. 1.; Colos. ii. 13.) The words were fulfilled in not a few cases, during our Lords own ministry. They were fulfilled far more completely after the day of Pentecost, through the ministry of the Apostles. The myriads of converts at Jerusalem, at Antioch, at Ephesus, at Corinth, and elsewhere, were all examples of their fulfillment. In all these cases, the voice of the Son of God awakened dead hearts to spiritual life, and made them feel their need of salvation, repent, and believe.They are fulfilled at this very day, in every instance of true conversion. Whenever any men or women among ourselves awaken to a sense of their souls value, and become alive to God, the words are made good before our eyes. It is Christ who has spoken to their hearts by His Spirit. It is the dead hearing Christs voice, and living. We see, lastly, in these verses, a most solemn prophecy of the final resurrection of all the dead. Our Lord tells us that the hour is coming when all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. The passage is one of those that ought to sink down very deeply into our hearts, and never be forgotten. All is not over when men die. Whether they like it or not, they will have to come forth from their graves at the last day, and to stand at Christs judgment bar. None can escape His summons. When His voice calls them before Him, all must obey.When men rise again, they will not all rise in the same condition. There will be two classes,two partiestwo bodies. Not all will go to heaven. Not all will be saved. Some will rise again to inherit eternal life, but some will rise again only to be condemned. These are alarming things! But the words of Christ are plain and unmistakable. Thus it is written, and thus it must be. Let us make sure that we hear Christs quickening voice now, and are numbered among His true disciples. Let us know the privileges of true believers, while we have life and health. Then, when His voice shakes heaven and earth, and is calling the dead from their graves, we shall feel confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at his coming. (1 John ii. 28.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)], 3:289293 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 43, 2009

Lords Day 49, 2009

Sunday··2009·12·06 · 2 Comments
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Kingdom. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Peace! earths last battle has been won; Its days of conflict now are oer; The Prince of peace ascends the throne, And war has ceased from shore to shore. Rest! the worlds day of toil is past;    Each storm is hushed above, below, Creations joy has come at last,    After six thousand years of woe. Messiah reigns! earths king has come!    Its diadems are on his brow, Its rebel kingdoms have become    His everlasting kingdom now. This earth again is Paradise;    The desert blossoms as the rose; Clothed in its robes of bridal bliss,    Creation has forgot its woes. O, long-expected, absent long.    Star of creations troubled gloom! Let heaven and earth break forth in song,    Messiah! Saviour! art thou come? For thou hast bought us with thy blood.    And thou wast slain to set us free; Thou madst us kings and priests to God,    And we shall reign on earth with thee! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 6:2834Therefore they said to Him, What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. 30 So they said to Him, What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. 32 Jesus then said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world. 34 Then they said to Him, Lord, always give us this bread. These verses form the beginning of one of the most remarkable passages in the Gospels. None, perhaps, of our Lords discourses has occasioned more controversy, and been more misunderstood, than that which we find in the Sixth Chapter of John. We should observe, for one thing, in these verses, the spiritual ignorance and unbelief of the natural man. Twice over we see this brought out and exemplified. When our Lord instructed his hearers to labour for the food which endures to eternal life, they immediately began to think of works to be done, and a goodness of their own to be established. What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Doing, doing, doing, was their only idea of the way to heaven. Again, when our Lord spoke of Himself as One sent of God, and the need of believing on Him at once, they turn round with the question, What sign showest thou? what dost thou work? Fresh from the mighty miracle of the loaves and fishes, one might have thought they had had a sign sufficient to convince them. Taught by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, one might have expected a greater readiness to believe. But alas! there are no limits to mans dulness, prejudice, and unbelief in spiritual matters. It is a striking fact that the only thing which our Lord is said to have marvelled at during His earthly ministry, was mans unbelief. (Mark vi. 6.) We shall do well to remember this, if we ever try to do good to others in the matter of religion. We must not be cast down because our words are not believed, and our efforts seem thrown away. We must not complain of it as a strange thing, and suppose that the people we have to deal with are peculiarly stubborn and hard. We must recollect that this is the very cup of which our Lord had to drink, and like Him we must patiently work on. If even He, so perfect and so plain a Teacher, was not believed, what right have we to wonder if men do not believe us? Happy are the ministers, and missionaries, and teachers who keep these things in mind! It will save them much bitter disappointment. In working for God, it is of first importance to understand what we must expect in man. Few things are so little realized as the extent of human unbelief. We should observe, for another thing, in these verses, the high honour Christ puts on faith in Himself. The Jews had asked Him,What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? In reply He says,This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. A truly striking and remarkable expression! If any two things are put in strong contrast, in the New Testament, they are faith and works. Not working, but believing,not of works, but through faith,are words familiar to all careful Bible-readers. Yet here the great Head of the Church declares that believing on Him is the highest and greatest of all works! It is the work of God. Doubtless our Lord did not mean that there is anything meritorious in believing. Mans faith, at the very best, is feeble and defective. Regarded as a work, it cannot stand the severity of Gods judgment, deserve pardon, or purchase heaven. But our Lord did mean that faith in Himself, as the only Saviour, is the first act of the soul which God requires at a sinners hands. Until a man believes on Jesus, and rests on Jesus as a lost sinner, he is nothing.Our Lord did mean that faith in Himself is that act of the soul which specially pleases God. When the Father sees a sinner casting aside his own righteousness, and simply trusting in His dear Son, He is well pleased. Without such faith it is impossible to please God.Our Lord did mean that faith in Himself is the root of all saving religion. There is no life in a man until he believes.Above all, our Lord did mean that faith in Himself is the hardest of all spiritual acts to the natural man. Did the Jews want something to do in religion? Let them know that the greatest thing they had to do was, to cast aside their pride, confess their guilt and need, and humbly believe. Let all who know anything of true faith thank God and rejoice. Blessed are those who believe! It is an attainment which many of the wise of this world have never yet reached. We may feel ourselves to be poor, weak sinners. But do we believe?We may fail and come short in many things. But do we believe?He that has learned to feel his sins, and to trust Christ as a Saviour, has learned the two hardest and greatest lessons in Christianity. He has been in the best of schools. He has been taught by the Holy Spirit. We shall observe, lastly, in these verses, the far greater privileges of Christs hearers than of those who lived in the times of Moses. Wonderful and miraculous as the manna was which fell from heaven, it was nothing in comparison to the true bread which Christ had to bestow on His disciples. He himself was the bread of God, who had come down from heaven to give life to the world. The bread which fell in the days of Moses could only feed and satisfy the body. The Son of man had come to feed the soul.The bread which fell in the days of Moses was only for the benefit of Israel. The Son of man had come to offer eternal life to the world.Those who ate the manna died and were buried, and many of them were lost forever. But those who ate the bread which the Son of man provided, would be eternally saved. And now let us take heed to ourselves, and make sure that we are among those who eat the bread of God and live. Let us not be content with lazy waiting, but let us actually come to Christ, and eat the bread of life, and believe to the saving of our souls. The Jews could say,Evermore give us this bread. But it may be feared they went no further. Let us never rest until, by faith, we have eaten this bread, and can say, Christ is mine. I have tasted that the Lord is gracious. I know and feel that I am His. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)], 3:355358 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 49, 2009

Lords Day 3, 2010

Sunday··2010·01·17
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Strength by the Way Horatius Bonar (18081889) Jesus, while this rough desert-soil I tread, be Thou my guide and stay; Nerve me for conflict and for toil; Uphold me on my stranger-way. Jesus, in heaviness and fear,    Mid cloud, and shade, and gloom I stray For earth’s last night is drawing near;    O cheer me on my stranger-way. Jesus, in solitude and grief,    When sun and stars withhold their ray, Make haste, make haste to my relief;    O light me on my stranger-way. Jesus, in weakness of this flesh,    When Satan grasps me for his prey; O give me victory afresh;    And speed me on my stranger-way. Jesus, my righteousness and strength,    My more than life, my more than day; Bring, bring deliverance at length;    O come and end my stranger-way. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). The Gospel According to JohnChrists Brothers Do Not Believe7 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world. 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him. 6 So Jesus said to them, My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come. 9 Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee. Christ Secretly Goes to the Feast    10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. 11 So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, Where is He? 12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, He is a good man; others were saying, No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray. 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews. The chapter we now begin is divided from the preceding one by a wide interval of time. The many miracles which our Lord wrought, while He walked in Galilee, are passed over by St. John in comparative silence. The events which he was specially inspired to record are those which took place in or near Jerusalem. We should observe in this passage the desperate hardness and unbelief of human nature. We are told that even our Lords brethren did not believe in Him. Holy and harmless and blameless as He was in life, some of his nearest relatives, according to the flesh, did not receive Him as the Messiah. It was bad enough that His own people, the Jews sought to kill Him. But it was even worse that His brethren did not believe. That great Scriptural doctrine, mans need of preventing and converting grace, stands out here, as if written with a sunbeam. It becomes all who question that doctrine to look at this passage and consider. Let them observe that seeing Christs miracles, hearing Christs teaching, living in Christs own company, were not enough to make men believers. The mere possession of spiritual privileges never yet made any one a Christian. All is useless without the effectual and applying work of God the Holy Ghost. No wonder that our Lord said in another place, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. (John vi. 44.) The true servants of Christ in every age will do well to remember this. They are often surprised and troubled to find that in religion they stand alone. They are apt to fancy that it must be their own fault that all around them are not converted like themselves. They are ready to blame themselves because their families remain worldly and unbelieving. But let them look at the verse before us. In our Lord Jesus Christ there was no fault either in temper, word, or deed. Yet even Christs own brethren did not believe in Him. Our blessed Master has truly learned by experience how to sympathize with all his people who stand alone. This is a thought full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort. He knows the heart of every isolated believer, and can be touched with the feeling of his trials. He has drunk this bitter cup. He has passed through this fire. Let all who are fainting and cast down, because brothers and sisters despise their religion, turn to Christ for comfort, and pour out their hearts before Him. He has suffered Himself being tempted in this way, and He can help as well as feel. (Heb. ii. 18.) We should observe, for another thing, in this passage, one principal reason why many hate Christ. We are told that our Lord said to His unbelieving brethren, The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. These words reveal one of those secret principles which influence men in their treatment of Christ. They help to explain that deadly enmity with which many during our Lords earthly ministry regarded Him and His Gospel. It was not so much the high doctrines which He preached, as the high standard of practice which He proclaimed, which gave offence. It was not even His claim to be received the Messiah which men disliked so much, as His witness against the wickedness of their lives. In short, they could have tolerated His opinions if He would only have spared their sins. The principle, we may be sure, is one of universal application. It is at work now just as much as it was eighteen hundred years ago. The real cause of many peoples dislike to the Gospel is the holiness of living which it demands. Teach abstract doctrines only, and few will find any fault. Denounce the fashionable sins of the day, and call on men to repent and walk consistently with God, and thousands at once will be offended. The true reason why many profess to be infidels, and abuse Christianity, is the witness that Christianity bears against their own bad lives.Like Ahab, they hate it, because it does not prophesy good concerning them, but evil. (1 Kings xxii. 8.) We should observe, lastly, in this passage, the strange variety of opinions about Christ, which were current from the beginning. We are told that there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man others said, Nay, but he deceiveth the people. The words which old Simeon had spoken thirty years before were here accomplished in a striking manner. He had said to our Lords mother, This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel: and for a sign which shall be spoken against;that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke ii. 34, 35.) In the diversities of opinion about our Lord which arose among the Jews, we see the good old mans saying fulfilled. In the face of such a passage as this, the endless differences and divisions about religion, which we see on all sides, in the present day, ought never to surprise us. The open hatred of some toward Christ,the carping, fault-finding, prejudiced spirit of others,the bold confession of the few faithful ones,the timid, man-fearing temperament of the many faithless ones,the unceasing war of words and strife of tongues with which the Churches of Christ are so sadly familiar,are only modern symptoms of an old disease. Such is the corruption of human nature, that Christ is the cause of division among men, wherever He is preached. So long as the world stands, some, when they hear of Him, will love, and some will hate,some will believe, and some will believe not. That deep, prophetical saying of His will be continually verified: Do not think that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. x. 34.) What do we think of Christ ourselves? This is the one question with which we have to do. Let us never be ashamed to be of that little number who believe on Him, hear His voice, follow Him, and confess Him before men. While others waste their time in vain jangling and unprofitable controversy, let us take up the cross and give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. The children of this world may hate us, as it hated our Master, because our religion is a standing witness against them. But the last day will show that we chose wisely, lost nothing, and gained a crown of glory that fadeth not away. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)].
continue reading Lords Day 3, 2010

Lords Day 9, 2010

Sunday··2010·02·28
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Feast. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Love strong as death, nay stronger, Love mightier than the grave; Broad as the earth, and longer Than oceans widest wave. This is the love that sought us, This is the love that bought us, This is the love that brought us To gladdest day from saddest night, From deepest shame to glory bright, From depths of death to lifes fair height, From darkness to the joy of light: This is the love that leadeth Us to his table here, This is the love that spreadeth For us this royal cheer. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 8:2130Then He said again to them, I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come. 22 So the Jews were saying, Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, Where I am going, you cannot come? 23 And He was saying to them, You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. 25 So they were saying to Him, Who are You? Jesus said to them, What have I been saying to you from the beginning? 26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world. 27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. This passage contains deep things, so deep that we have no line to fathom them. As we read it we should call to mind the Psalmists words,Thy thoughts are very deep. (Psalm xcii. 5.) But it also contains, in the opening verses, some things which are clear, plain, and unmistakable. To these let us give our attention and root them firmly in our hearts. We learn, for one thing, that it is possible to seek Christ in vain. Our Lord says to the unbelieving Jews, Ye shall seek Me, and shall die in your sins. He meant, by these words, that the Jews would one day seek Him in vain. The lesson before us is a very painful one. That such a Saviour as the Lord Jesus, so full of love, so willing to save, should ever be sought in vain, is a sorrowful thought. Yet so it is! A man may have many religious feelings about Christ, without any saving religion. Sickness, sudden affliction, the fear of death, the failure of usual sources of comfortall these causes may draw out of a man a good deal of religiousness. Under the immediate pressure of these he may say his prayers fervently, exhibit a strong spiritual feelings, and profess for a season to seek Christ, and be a different man. And yet all this time his heart may never be touched at all! Take away the peculiar circumstances that affected him, and he may possibly return at once to his old ways. He sought Christ in vain, because he sought Him from false motives, and not with his whole heart. Unhappily this is not all. There is such a thing as a settled habit of resisting light and knowledge, until we seek Christ in vain. Scripture and experience alike prove that men may reject God until God rejects them, and will not hear their prayer. They may go on stifling their convictions, quenching the light of conscience, fighting against their own better knowledge, until God is provoked to give them over and let them alone. It is not for nothing that these words are written,Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. (Prov. i. 28, 29.) Such cases may not be common; but they are possible, and they are sometimes seen. Some ministers can testify that they have visited people on their deathbeds who seem to seek Christ, and yet to seek in vain. There is no safety but in seeking Christ while He may be found, and calling on Him while He is near,seeking Him with a true heart, and calling on Him with an honest spirit. Such seeking, we may be very sure, is never in vain. It will never be recorded of such seekers, that they died in their sins. He that really comes to Christ shall never be cast out. The Lord has solemnly declared that He hath no pleasure in the death of him that dieth,and that He delighteth in mercy. (Ezekiel xviii. 32; Micah vii. 18.) We learn for another thing, how wide is the difference between Christ and the ungodly. Our Lord says to the unbelieving Jews,Ye are from beneath, I am from above: ye are of this world, I am not of this world. These words, no doubt, have a special application to our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In the highest and most literal sense, there never was but One who could truly say, I am from above,I am not of this world. That One is He who came forth from the Father, and was before the world,even the Son of God. But there is a lower sense, in which these words are applicable to all Christs living members. Compared to the thoughtless multitude around them, they are from above, and not of this world, like their Master. The thoughts of the ungodly are about things beneath; the true Christians affections are set on things above. The ungodly man is full of this world; its cares, and pleasures, and profits, absorb his whole attention. The true Christian, though in the world, is not of it; his citizenship is in heaven, and his best things are yet to come. The true Christian will do well never to forget this line of demarcation. If he loves his soul, and desires to serve God, he must be content to find himself separated from many around him by a gulf that cannot be passed. He may not like to seem peculiar and unlike others; but it is the certain consequence of grace reigning within him. He may find it brings on him hatred, ridicule, and hard speeches; but it is the cup which his Master drank, and of which his Master forewarned all His disciples.If ye were of the world the world would love His own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John xv. 19.)Then let the Christian never be ashamed to stand alone and show his colors. He must carry the cross if he would wear the crown. If he has within him a new principle from above, it must be seen. We learn, lastly, how awful is the end to which unbelief can bring man. Our Lord says to his enemies, If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins. These solemn words are invested with peculiar solemnity when we consider from whose lips they came. Who is this that speaks of men dying in their sins, unpardoned, unforgiven, unfit to meet God,of men going into another world with all their sins upon them? He that says this is no other than the Saviour of mankind, who laid down His life for His sheep,the loving, gracious, merciful, compassionate Friend of sinners. It is Christ Himself! Let this simple fact not be overlooked. They are greatly mistaken who suppose that it is harsh and unkind to speak of hell and future punishment. How can such people get over such language as that which is before us? How can they account for many a like expression which our Lord used, and specially for such passages as those in which He speaks of the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched? (Mark x. 46.) They cannot answer these questions. Misled by a false charity and a morbid amiability, they are condemning the plain teaching of the Scripture, and are wise above that which is written. Let us settle it in our minds, as one of the great foundation truths of our faith, that there is a hell. Just as we believe firmly that there is an eternal heaven for the godly, so let us believe firmly that there is an eternal hell for the wicked. Let us never suppose that there is any lack of charity in speaking of hell. Let us rather maintain that it is the highest love to warn men plainly of danger, and to beseech them to flee from the wrath to come. It was Satan, the deceiver, murderer, and liar, who said to Eve in the beginning, Ye shall not surely die. (Gen. iii. 4.) To shrink from telling men, that except they believe they will die in their sins, may please the devil, but surely it cannot please God. Finally, let us never forget that unbelief is the special sin that ruins mens souls. Had the Jews believed on our Lord, all manner of sin and blasphemy might have been forgiven them. But unbelief bars the door in mercys face, and cuts off hope. Let us watch and pray hard against it. Immorality slays its thousands, but unbelief its tens of thousands. One of the strongest sayings ever used by our Lord was this,He that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark xvi. 16.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 9, 2010

Lords Day 16, 2010

Sunday··2010·04·18
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. " />The Sleep of the Beloved. So he giveth his beloved sleep. Psalm cxxvii. 2. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Sunlight has vanished, and the weary earth Lies resting from a long days toil and pain, And, looking for a new dawns early birth, Seeks strength in slumber for its toil again. We too would rest, but ere we close the eye    Upon the consciousness of waking thought, Would calmly turn it to yon star-bright sky,    And lift the soul to him who slumbers not. Above us is thy hand with tender care,    Distilling over us the dew of sleep: Darkness seems loaded with oblivious air,    In deep forgetfulness each sense to steep. Thou hast provided midnights hour of peace,    Thou stretchest over us the wing of rest; With more than all a parents tenderness,    Foldest us sleeping to thy gentle breast. Grief flies away; care quits our easy couch,    Till wakened by thy hand, when breaks the day Like the one prophet by the angels touch,    We rise to tread again our pilgrim-way. God of our life! God of each day and night!    Oh, keep us till lifes short race is run! Until there dawns the long, long day of light,    That knows no night, yet needs no star nor sun. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 9:2541 He then answered, Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. 26 So they said to him, What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes? 27 He answered them, I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you? 28 They reviled him and said, You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from. 30 The man answered and said to them, Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing. 34 They answered him, You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us? So they put him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, Do you believe in the Son of Man? 36 He answered, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him? 37 Jesus said to him, You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind. 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, We are not blind too, are we? 41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, We see, your sin remains. We see in these verses how much wiser the poor sometimes are than the rich. The man whom our Lord healed of his blindness was evidently a person of very humble condition. It is written that he was one who sat and begged. (See v. 8.) Yet he saw things which the proud rulers of the Jews could not see, and would not receive. He saw in our Lords miracle an unanswerable proof of our Lords divine commission. If this Man were not of God, he cries, He could do nothing. In fact, from the day of his cure his position was completely altered. He had eyes, and the Pharisees were blind. The same thing may be seen in other places of Scripture. The servants of Pharaoh saw the finger of God in the plagues of Egypt, when their masters heart was hardened. The servants of Naaman saw the wisdom of Elishas advice, when their master was turning away in a rage. The high, the great, and the noble are often the last to learn spiritual lessons. Their possessions and their position often blind the eyes of their understanding, and keep them back from the kingdom of God. It is written that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. (1 Cor. i. 26.) The Christian poor man never need be ashamed of his poverty. It is a sin to be proud, and worldly-minded, and unbelieving; but it is no sin to be poor. The very riches which many long to possess are often veils over the eyes of mens souls, and prevent their seeing Christ. The teaching of the Holy Ghost is more frequently to be seen among men of low degree than among men of rank and education. The words of our Lord are continually proved most true, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God.Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (Mark x. 23; Matt. xi. 25.) We see, secondly, in these verses, how cruelly and unjustly unconverted men will sometimes treat those who disagree with them. When the Pharisees could not frighten the blind man who had been cured, they expelled him from the Jewish Church. Because he manfully refused to deny the evidence of his own senses, they excommunicated him, and put him to an open shame. They cast him out as a heathen man and a publican. The temporal injury that such treatment did to a poor Jew was very great indeed. It cut him off from the outward privileges of the Jewish Church. It made him an object of scorn and suspicion among all true Israelites. But it could do no harm to his soul. That which wicked men bind on earth is not bound in heaven. The curse causeless shall not come. (Prov. xxvi. 2.) The children of God in every age have only too frequently met with like treatment. Excommunication, persecution, and imprisonment have generally been favourite weapons with ecclesiastical tyrants. Unable, like the Pharisees, to answer arguments, they have resorted to violence and injustice. Let the child of God console himself with the thought that there is a true Church out of which no man can cast him, and a Church-membership which no earthly power can take away. He only is blessed whom Christ calls blessed; and he only is accursed whom Christ shall pronounce accursed at the last day. We see, thirdly, in these verses, how great is the kindness and condescension of Christ. No sooner was this poor blind man cast out of the Jewish Church than Jesus finds him and speaks words of comfort. He knew full well how heavy an affliction excommunication was to an Israelite, and at once cheered him with kind words. He now revealed Himself more fully to this man than He did to any one except the Samaritan woman. In reply to the question, Who is the Son of God? He says plainly, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. We have here one among many beautiful illustrations of the mind of Christ. He sees all that His people go through for His sake, and feels for all, from the highest to the lowest. He keeps account of all their losses, crosses, and persecutions. Are they not all written in His book? (Psal. lvi. 8.) He knows how to come to their hearts with consolation in their time of need, and to speak peace to them when all men seem to hate them. The time when men forsake us is often the very time when Christ draws near, saying, Fear not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isai. xli. 10.) We see, lastly, in these verses, how dangerous it is to possess knowledge, if we do not make a good use of it. The rulers of the Jews were fully persuaded that they knew all religious truth. They were indignant at the very idea of being ignorant and devoid of spiritual eyesight. Are we blind also? they cried. And then came the mighty sentence, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. Knowledge undoubtedly is a very great blessing. The man who cannot read, and is utterly ignorant of Scripture, is in a pitiable condition. He is at the mercy of any false teacher who comes across him, and may be taught to take up any absurd creed, or to follow any vicious practice. Almost any education is better than no education at all. But when knowledge only sticks in a mans head, and has no influence over his heart and life, it becomes a most perilous possession. And when, in addition to this, its possessor is self-conceited and self-satisfied, and imagines he knows everything, the result is one of the worst states of soul into which man can fall. There is far more hope about him who says, I am a poor blind sinner and want God to teach me, than about him who is ever saying, I know it, I know it, I am not ignorant, and yet cleaves to his sins.The sin of that man remaineth. Let us use diligently whatever religious knowledge we possess, and ask continually that God would give us more. Let us never forget that the devil himself is a creature of vast head-knowledge, and yet none the better for it, because it is not rightly used. Let our constant prayer be that which David so often sent up in the hundred and nineteenth Psalm. Lord, teach me thy statutes: give me understanding: unite my heart to fear Your name. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 16, 2010

Lords Day 23, 2010

Sunday··2010·06·06
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Name of Names. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Father, Thy Son hath died The sinners death of woe; Stooping in love from heaven to earth, Our curse to undergo; Our curse to undergo,    Upon the hateful tree. Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,    By blessing me! Father, Thy Son hath borne    The sinners doom of shame; Bearing his cross without the gate,    He met the laws full claim;    He met the laws full claim,       Sins righteous penalty. Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,       By pardoning me! Father, Thy Son hath poured    His life-blood on this earth, To cleanse away our guilt and stains,    To give us second birth;    To give us second birth,       From sin to set us free. Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,       By cleansing me! Father, Thy Son hath risen.    Overcoming hells dark powers; His surety-death was all for us,    His surety- life is ours;    His surety life is ours,       Ours, ours eternally. Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,       By quickening me! Father, Thy Son to thee    Is now gone up on high, Enthroned in heaven at Thy right hand,    He reigns eternally;    He reigns eternally,       In might and majesty. Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,       By raising me! Father, Thy Son on earth,    No one to own Him found, He passed among the sons of men    Rejected and disowned;    Rejected and disowned,       That we received might be! Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,       By owning me! Father, Thy Son is king.    Heavens crown and earths is his; For us, for us, he bought the crown,    For us he earned the bliss;    For us he earned the bliss,       Amen, so let it be! Give glory to Thy Son, O Lord, Put honour on that name of names,       By crowning me! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 11:1729So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You. 23 Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again. 24 Martha said to Him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. 25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this? 27 She said to Him, Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world. 28 When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, The Teacher is here and is calling for you. 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him.    There is a grand simplicity about this passage, which is almost spoiled by any human exposition. To comment on it seems like gilding gold or painting lilies. Yet it throws much light on a subject which we can never understand too well; that is, the true character of Christs people. The portraits of Christians in the Bible are faithful likenesses. They show us saints just as they are. We learn, firstly, what a strange mixture of grace and weakness is to be found even in the hearts of true believers. We see this strikingly illustrated in the language used by Martha and Mary. Both these holy women had faith enough to say, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother would had not died. Yet neither of them seems to have remembered that the death of Lazarus did not depend on Christs absence, and that our Lord, had He thought fit, could have prevented his death with a word, without coming to Bethany.Martha had knowledge enough to say, I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God wilt give it to Thee,I know that my brother shall rise again at the last day,I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God.But even she could get no further. Her dim eyes and trembling hands could not grasp the grand truth that He who stood before her had the keys of life and death, and that in her Master dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colos. ii. 9.) She saw indeed, but through a glass darkly. She knew, but only in part. She believed, but her faith was mingled with much unbelief. Yet both Martha and Mary were genuine children of God, and true Christians. These things are graciously written for our learning. It is good to remember what true Christians really are. Many and great are the mistakes into which people fall, by forming a false estimate of the Christians character. Many are the bitter things which people write against themselves, by expecting to find in their hearts what cannot be found on this side of heaven. Let us settle it in our minds that saints on earth are not perfect angels, but only converted sinners. They are sinners renewed, changed, sanctified, no doubt; but they are yet sinners, and will be until they die. Like Martha and Mary, their faith is often entangled with much unbelief, and their grace compassed round with much infirmity. Happy is that child of God who understands these things, and has learned to judge rightly both of himself and others. Rarely indeed shall we find the saint who does not often need that prayer, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief. We learn, secondly, what need many believers have of clear views of Christs person, office, and power. This is a point which is forcibly brought out in the well-known sentence which our Lord addressed to Martha. In reply to her vague and faltering expression of belief in the resurrection at the last day, He proclaims the glorious truth, I am the resurrection and the life;I, even I, your Master, am He that has the keys of life and death in His hands. And then He presses on her once more that old lesson, which she had doubtless often heard, but never fully realized: He that believeth in Me will live, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. There is matter here which deserves the close consideration of all true Christians. Many of them complain of want of sensible comfort in their religion. They do not feel the inward peace which they desire. Let them know that vague and indefinite views of Christ are too often the cause of all their perplexities. They must try to see more clearly the great object on which their faith rests. They must grasp more firmly His love and power toward those who believe, and the riches He has laid up for them even now in this world. We are, many of us, sadly like Martha. A little general knowledge of Christ as the only Saviour is often all that we possess. But of the fullness that dwells in Him, of His resurrection, His priesthood, His intercession, His unfailing compassion, we have tasted little or nothing at all. They are things of which our Lord might well say to many, as he did to Martha, Believest thou this? Let us take shame to ourselves that we have named the name of Christ so long, and yet know so little about Him. What right have we to wonder that we feel so little sensible comfort in our Christianity? Our slight and imperfect knowledge of Christ is the true reason of our discomfort. Let the time past suffice us to have been lazy students in Christs school; let the time to come find us more diligent in trying to know Him and the power of His resurrection. (Philip. iii. 10.) If true Christians would only strive, as St. Paul says, to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, they would be amazed at the discoveries they would make. They would soon find, like Hagar, that there are wells of water near them of which they had no knowledge. They would soon discover that there is more heaven to be enjoyed on earth than they had ever thought possible. The root of a happy religion is clear, distinct, well-defined knowledge of Jesus Christ. More knowledge would have saved Martha many sighs and tears. Knowledge alone no doubt, if unsanctified, only puffeth up. (1 Cor. vii. 1.) Yet without clear knowledge of Christ in all His offices we cannot expect to be established in the faith, and steady in the time of need. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 23, 2010

Lords Day 28, 2010

Sunday··2010·07·11
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Mine and Thine. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Didicisti quod nihil tui boni præcesserat, et gratia Dei converses es ad Deum.Augustine. All that I was, my sin, my guilt, My death was all my own; All that I am, I owe to thee, My gracious God alone. The evil of my former state Was mine, and only mine. The good in which I now rejoice Is Thine, and only Thine. The darkness of my former state, The bondage all was mine; The light of life in which I walk, The liberty is Thine. Thy grace first made me feel my sin, It taught me to believe; Then, in believing, peace I found, And now I live, I live. All that I am, even here on earth, All that I hope to be, When Jesus comes, and glory dawns, I owe it, Lord, to Thee. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). The Gospel According to John12 Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people? 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7 Therefore Jesus said, Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me. 9 The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.    The The chapter we have now begun finishes a most important division of St. Johns Gospel. Our Lords public addresses to the unbelieving Jews of Jerusalem are here brought to an end. After this chapter, St. John records nothing but what was said in private to the disciples. We see, for one thing, in this passage, what abounding proofs exist of the truth of our Lords greatest miracles. We read of a supper at Bethany, where Lazarus sat at the table among the guests,Lazarus, who had been publicly raised from the dead, after lying four days in the grave. No one could pretend to say that his resurrection was a mere optical delusion, and that the eyes of the bystanders must have been deceived by a spirit or vision. Here was the very same Lazarus, after several weeks, sitting among his fellow-men with a real material body, and eating and drinking real material food. It is hard to understand what stronger evidence of a fact could be supplied. He that is not convinced by such evidence as this may as well say that he is determined to believe nothing at all. It is a comfortable thought, that the very same proofs which exist about the resurrection of Lazarus are the proofs which surround that still mightier fact, the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Was Lazarus seen for several weeks by the people of Bethany, going in and coming out among them? So was the Lord Jesus seen by His disciples.Did Lazarus take material food before the eyes of his friends? So did the Lord Jesus eat and drink before His ascension.No one, in his sober senses, who saw Jesus take broiled fish, and eat it before several witnesses, would doubt that He had a real body. (Luke xxiv. 42.) We shall do well to remember this. In an age of abounding unbelief and scepticism, we shall find that the resurrection of Christ will bear any weight that we can lay upon it. Just as He placed beyond reasonable doubt the rising again of a beloved disciple within two miles of Jerusalem, so in a very few weeks He placed beyond doubt His own victory over the grave. If we believe that Lazarus rose again, we need not doubt that Jesus rose again also. If we believe that Jesus rose again, we need not doubt the truth of His Messiahship, the reality of His acceptance as our Mediator, and the certainty of our own resurrection. Christ has risen indeed, and wicked men may well tremble. Christ has risen from the dead, and believers may well rejoice. We see, for another thing, in this passage, what unkindness and discouragement Christs friends sometimes meet with from man. We read that, at the supper in Bethany, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed the feet of Jesus with precious ointment, and wiped them with the hair of her head. Nor was this ointment poured on with a niggardly hand. She did it so liberally and profusely that the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. She did it under the influence of a heart full of love and gratitude. She thought nothing too great and good to bestow on such a Saviour. Sitting at His feet in days gone by, and hearing His words, she had found peace for her conscience, and pardon for her sins. At this very moment she saw Lazarus, alive and well, sitting by her Masters side,her own brother Lazarus, whom He had brought back to her from the grave. Greatly loved, she thought she could not show too much love in return. Having freely received, she freely gave. But there were some present who found fault with Marys conduct, and blamed her as guilty of wasteful extravagance. One especially, an apostle, a man of whom better things might have been expected, declared openly that the ointment would have been better employed if it had been sold, and the price given to the poor. The heart which could conceive such thoughts must have had low views of the dignity of Christs person, and still lower views of our obligations to Him. A cold heart and a stingy hand will generally go together. There are only too many professing Christians of a like spirit in the present day. Myriads of baptized people cannot understand zeal of any sort, for the honour of Christ. Tell them of any vast outlay of money to push trade or to advance the cause of science, and they approve of it as right and wise. Tell them of any expense incurred for the preaching of the Gospel at home or abroad, for spreading Gods Word, for extending the knowledge of Christ on earth, and they tell you plainly that they think it waste. They never give a farthing to such objects as these, and count those people fools who do. Worst of all, they often cover over their own backwardness to help purely Christian objects, by a pretended concern for the poor at home. Yet they find it convenient to forget the well known fact that those who do most for the cause of Christ are precisely those who do most for the poor. We must never allow ourselves to be moved from patient continuance in well-doing, by the unkind remarks of such persons. It is vain to expect a man to do much for Christ, when he has no sense of debt to Christ. We must pity the blindness of our unkind critics, and work on. He who pleaded the cause of loving Mary, and said, Let her alone, is sitting at the right hand of God, and keeps a book of remembrance. A day is soon coming when a wondering world will see that every cup of cold water given for Christs sake, as well as every box of precious ointment, was recorded in heaven, and has its rewards. In that great day those who thought that anyone could give too much to Christ will find they had better never have been born. We see, lastly, in this passage, what desperate hardness and unbelief there is in the heart of man. Unbelief appears in the chief priests, who consulted that they might put Lazarus to death. They could not deny the fact of his having been raised again. Living, and moving, and eating, and drinking within two miles of Jerusalem, after lying four days in the grave, Lazarus was a witness to the truth of Christs Messiahship, whom they could not possibly answer or put to silence. Yet these proud men would not give way. They would rather commit a murder than throw down the arms of rebellion, and confess themselves in the wrong. No wonder that the Lord Jesus in a certain place marvelled at unbelief. Well might He say, in a well-known parable, If they believe not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. (Mark vi. 6; Luke xvi. 31.) Hardness appears in Judas Iscariot, who, after being a chosen Apostle, and a preacher of the kingdom of heaven, turns out at last a thief and a traitor. So long as the world stands this unhappy man will be a lasting proof of the depth of human corruption. That anyone could follow Christ as a disciple for three years, see all His miracles, hear all His teaching, receive at His hand repeated kindnesses, be counted an Apostle, and yet prove rotten at heart in the end, all this at first sight appears incredible and impossible! Yet the case of Judas shows plainly that the thing can be. Few things, perhaps, are so little realized as the extent of what desperate hardness and unbelief there is in the heart of man. Let us thank God if we know anything of faith, and can say, with all our sense of weakness and infirmity, I believe. Let us pray that our faith may be real, true, genuine, and sincere, and not a mere temporary impression, like the morning cloud and the early dew. Not least, let us watch and pray against the love of the world. It ruined one who basked in the full sunshine of privileges, and heard Christ Himself teaching every day. Then let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. x. 12.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 28, 2010

Lord���s Day 36, 2010

Sunday··2010·09·05
I was glad when they said to me, ���Let us go to the house of the Lord.��� Abide in Him Horatius Bonar (1808���1889) ���Tecum volo vulnerari Te libenter amplexari In cruce desidero.������Old Hymn. Cling to the Crucified! His death is life to thee;      Life for eternity.      His pains thy pardon seal;      His stripes thy bruises heal;      His cross proclaims thy peace,      Bids every sorrow cease.      His blood is all to thee,         It purges thee from sin;      It sets thy spirit free,         It keeps thy conscience clean. Cling to the Crucified! Cling to the Crucified!         His is a heart of love.         Full as the hearts above;         Its depths of sympathy         Are all awake for thee:         His countenance is light,         Even in the darkest night         That love shall never change,            That light shall ne’er grow dim;         Charge thou thy faithless heart            To find its all in him. Cling to the Crucified! ���Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 13:16���20 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I do not speak of all of you I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ���He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.��� 19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.���    If we would understand the full meaning of these verses, we must mark carefully where they stand in the chapter. They follow right after the remarkable passage in which we read of Christ washing His disciples��� feet. They stand in close connection with His solemn command, that the disciples should do as they had seen Him do. Then come the five verses which we have now to consider. We are taught, for one thing, in these verses, that Christians must never be ashamed of doing anything that Christ has done. We read, ���Verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.��� There seems little doubt that our Lord���s all-seeing eye saw a rising unwillingness in the minds of the Apostles to do such menial things as they had just seen Him do. Puffed up with their old Jewish expectation of thrones and kingdoms in this world, secretly self-satisfied with their own position as our Lord���s friends, these poor Galileans were startled at the idea of washing people���s feet! They could not bring themselves to believe that Messiah���s service entailed work like this. They could not yet take in the grand truth, that true Christian greatness consisted in doing good to others. And hence they needed our Lord���s word of warning. If He had humbled Himself to do humbling work, His disciples must not hesitate to do the same. The lesson is one of which we all need to be reminded. We are all too apt to dislike any work which seems to entail trouble, self-denial, and going down to our inferiors. We are only too ready to dispute such work to others, and to excuse ourselves by saying, ���It is not in our way.��� When feelings of this kind arise within us we shall find it good to remember our Lord���s words in this passage, no less than our Lord���s example. We ought never to think it beneath us to show kindness to the lowest of men. We ought never to hold our hand because the objects of our kindness are ungrateful or unworthy. Such was not the mind of Him who washed the feet of Judas Iscariot as well as Peter. He who in these matters cannot stoop to follow Christ���s example, gives little evidence of possessing true love or true humility. We are taught, for another thing, in these verses, the uselessness of religious knowledge if not accompanied by practice. We read, ���If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.��� It sounds as if our Lord would warn His disciples that they would never be really happy in His service if they were content with a barren head-knowledge of duty, and did not live according to their knowledge. The lesson is one which deserves the continual remembrance of all professing Christians. Nothing is more common than to hear people saying of doctrine or duty,������We know it, we know it;��� while they sit still in unbelief or disobedience. They actually seem to flatter themselves that there is something creditable and redeeming in knowledge, even when it bears no fruit in heart, character, or life. Yet the truth is precisely the other way. To know what we ought to be, believe, and do, and yet to be unaffected by our knowledge, only adds to our guilt in the sight of God. To know that Christians should be humble and loving, while we continue proud and selfish, will only sink us deeper in the pit, unless we awake and repent. Practice, in short, is the very life of religion. ���To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.��� (James iv. 17.) Of course we must never despise knowledge. It is in one sense the beginning of Christianity in the soul. So long as we know nothing of sin, or God, or Christ, or grace, or repentance, or faith, or conscience, we are of course nothing better than heathens. But we must not overrate knowledge. It is altogether valueless unless it produces results in our conduct, and influences our lives, and moves our wills. In fact knowledge without practice does not raise us above the level of the devil. He could say to Jesus, ���I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.��� The devils, says St. James, ���believe and tremble.��� (James ii. 20.) Satan knows truth, but has no will to obey it, and is miserable. He that would be happy in Christ���s service must not only know, but do. We are taught, for another thing, in these verses, the perfect knowledge which Christ has of all His people. He can distinguish between false profession and true grace. The Church may be deceived, and rank men as Apostles, who are nothing better than brethren of Judas Iscariot. But Jesus is never deceived, for He can read hearts. And here He declares with peculiar emphasis, ���I know whom I have chosen.��� This perfect knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ is a very solemn thought, and one which cuts two ways. It ought to fill the hypocrite with alarm, and drive him to repentance. Let him remember that the eyes of the all-seeing Judge already see him through and through, and detect the absence of a wedding garment. If he would not be put to shame before assembled worlds, let him cast aside his false profession, and confess his sin before it is too late. Believers, on the other hand, may think of an all-knowing Saviour with comfort. They may remember, when misunderstood and slandered by an evil world, that their Master knows all. He knows that they are true and sincere, however weak and failing. A time is coming when He will confess them before His Father, and bring forth their characters clear and bright as the summer sun at noon-day. We are taught, finally, in these verses, the true dignity of Christ���s disciples. The world may despise and ridicule the Apostles because they care more for works of love and humility than the pursuits of the world. But the Master bids them remember their commission, and not be ashamed. They are God���s ambassadors, and have no cause to be cast down. ���Verily, verily,��� He declares, ���He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.��� The doctrine here laid down is full of encouragement. It ought to cheer and hearten all who lay themselves out to do good, and specially to do good to the fallen and the poor. Work of this kind gets little praise from men, and they who give themselves up to it are often regarded as miserable enthusiasts, and meet with much opposition. Let them however work on, and take comfort in the words of Christ which we are now considering. To spend and be spent in trying to do good, makes a man far more honorable in the eyes of Jesus than to command armies or amass a fortune. The few who work for God in Christ���s way have no cause to be ashamed. Let them not be cast down if the children of the world laugh and sneer and despise them. A day comes when they will hear the words, ���Come ye blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.��� (Matt. xxv. 34.) ���J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord���s Day 36, 2010

Lord’s Day 44, 2010

Sunday··2010·10·31
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The Beloved Son.Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” —Matt. iii. 17. It is the Father's voice that cries ’Mid the deep silence of the skies, “This, this is my beloved Son, In Him I joy, in Him alone.” In Him my equal see revealed, In Him all righteousness fulfilled; In Him, the Lamb, the victim see, Bound, bleeding, dying on the tree. And can you fail to love again? Far fairer he than sons of men! His very name is fragrance poured, Inmianuel, Jesus, Saviour, Lord! He died, and in his dying, proved How much, how faithfully he loved; At my right hand, his glories shine: Is my beloved, sinner, thine? O full of glory, full of grace, Redeemer of a ruined race, Beloved of the Father, come, Make in these sinful hearts a home! Beloved of the Father, Thou, To whom the saints and angels bow; Lnmanuel, Jesus, Saviour, come, Make in these sinful hearts thy home! —Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 14:27–31 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.” We ought not to leave the closing portion of this wonderful chapter without noticing one striking feature in it. That feature is the singular frequency with which our Lord uses the expression, “My Father,” and “the Father.” In the last five verses we find it four times. In the whole chapter it occurs no less than twenty-two times. In this respect the chapter stands alone in the Bible. The reason of this frequent use of the expression, is a deep subject. Perhaps the less we speculate and dogmatize about it the better. Our Lord was one who never spoke a word without a meaning, and we need not doubt there was a meaning here. Yet may we not reverently suppose that He desired to leave on the minds of His disciples a strong impression of his entire unity with the Father? Seldom does our Lord lay claim to such high dignity, and such power of giving and supplying comfort to His Church, as in this discourse. Was there not, then, a fitness in His continually reminding His disciples that in all His giving He was one with the Father, and did nothing without the Father? This, at any rate, seems a fair conjecture. Let it be taken for what it is worth. We should observe, for one thing, in this passage, Christ’s last legacy to His people. We find Him saying, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” Peace is Christ’s distinctive gift: not money, not worldly ease, not temporal prosperity. These are at best very questionable possessions. They often do more harm than good to the soul. They act as clogs and weights to our spiritual life. Inward peace of conscience, arising from a sense of pardoned sin and reconciliation with God, is a far greater blessing. This peace is the property of all believers, whether high or low, rich or poor. The peace which Christ gives He calls “my peace.” It is specially His own to give, because He bought it by His own blood, purchased it by His own substitution, and is appointed by the Father to dispense it to a perishing world. Just as Joseph was sealed and commissioned to give corn to the starving Egyptians, so is Christ specially commissioned, in the counsels of the Eternal Trinity, to give peace to mankind. The peace that Christ gives is not given as the world gives. What He gives the world cannot give at all, and what He gives is given neither unwillingly, nor sparingly, nor for a little time. Christ is far more willing to give than the world is to receive. What He gives He gives to all eternity, and never takes away. He is ready to give abundantly above all that we can ask or think. “Open thy mouth wide,” He says, “and I will fill it.” (Psalm lxxxi. 10.) Who can wonder that a legacy like this should be backed by the renewed emphatic charge, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid?” There is nothing lacking on Christ’s part for our comfort, if we will only come to Him, believe, and receive. The chief of sinners has no cause to be afraid. If we will only look to the one true Saviour, there is medicine for every trouble of heart. Half our doubts and fears arise from dim perceptions of the real nature of Christ’s Gospel. We should observe, for another thing, in this passage, Christ’s perfect holiness. We find Him saying, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” The meaning of these remarkable words admits of only one interpretation. Our Lord would have his disciples know that Satan, “the prince of this world,” was about to make his last and most violent attack on Him. He was mustering all his strength for one more tremendous onset. He was coming up with his utmost malice to try the second Adam in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross of Calvary. But our blessed Master declares, “He hath nothing in Me.”—“There is nothing he can lay hold on. There is no weak and defective point in Me. I have kept my Father’s commandment, and finished the work He gave me to do. Satan, therefore, cannot overthrow Me. He can lay nothing to my charge. He cannot condemn Me. I shall come forth from the trial more than conqueror.” Let us mark the difference between Christ and all others who have been born of woman. He is the only one in whom Satan has found “nothing.” He came to Adam and Eve, and found weakness. He came to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and all the saints, and found imperfection. He came to Christ, and found “nothing” at all. He was a Lamb “without blemish and without spot,” a suitable Sacrifice for a world of sinners, a suitable Head for a redeemed race. Let us thank God that we have such a perfect, sinless Saviour; that His righteousness is a perfect righteousness, and His life a blameless life. In ourselves and our doings we shall find everything imperfect; and if we had no other hope than our own goodness, we might well despair. But in Christ we have a perfect, sinless, Representative and Substitute. Well may we say, with the triumphant Apostle, “Who shall lay anything to our charge?” (Rom. vii. 33.) Christ hath died for us, and suffered in our stead. In Him Satan can find nothing. We are hidden in Him. The Father sees us in Him, unworthy as we are, and for His sake is well pleased. —J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 44, 2010

Lords Day 15, 2011

Sunday··2011·04·10
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Lost but Found. Horatius Bonar (18081889)   Arte mirâ, miro consilio,    Quærens ovem suam summus opilio,    Ut nos revocaret ab exilio. Old Hymn. I Was a wandering sheep, I did not love the fold; I did not love my Shepherds voice, I would not be controlled. I was a wayward child, I did not love my home, I did not love my fathers voice, I loved afar to roam. The Shepherd sought his sheep,    The Father sought his child, They followed me oer vale and hill,    Oer deserts waste and wild. They found me nigh to death,    Famished, and faint, and lone; They bound me with the bands of love;    They saved the wandering one! They spoke in tender love,    They raised my drooping head: They gently closed my bleeding wounds,    My fainting soul they fed. They washed my filth away,    They made me clean and fair; They brought me to my home in peace,    The long-sought wanderer! Jesus my Shepherd is,    Twas He that loved my soul, Twas He that washed me in his blood,    Twas He that made me whole. Twas He that sought the lost,    That found the wandering sheep, Twas He that brought me to the fold,    Tis He that still doth keep. I was a wandering sheep,    I would not be controlled: But now I love my Shepherds voice,    I love, I love the fold! I was a wayward child;    I once preferred to roam, But now I love my Fathers voice,-    I love, I love his home! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). John 20:1118 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him. 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away. 16 Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, Rabboni! (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, I have seen the Lord, and that He had said these things to her. The interview between the Lord Jesus and Mary Magdalene immediately after His resurrection, described in these verses, is a narrative peculiar to St. John. No other Evangelist has been inspired to record it. Of all the accounts of the appearances of our Lord, after He rose from the dead, none perhaps is so affecting and touching as this. He that can read this simple story without a deep interest, must have a very cold and unfeeling heart. We see, first, in these verses, that those who love Christ most diligently and perseveringly, are those who receive most privileges from Christs hand. It is a touching fact, and one to be carefully noted, that Mary Magdalene would not leave the sepulcher, when Peter and John went away to their own home. Love to her gracious Master would not let her leave the place where He had been lain. Where He was now she could not tell. What had become of Him she did not know. But love made her linger about the empty tomb, where Joseph and Nicodemus had recently laid Him. Love made her honor the last place where His precious body had been seen by mortal eyes. And her love reaped a rich reward. She saw the angels whom Peter and John had never observed. She actually heard them speak, and had soothing words addressed to her. She was the first to see our Lord after He rose from the dead, the first to hear His voice, the first to hold conversation with Him. Can any one doubt that this was written for our learning? Wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the world, this little incident testifies that those who honor Christ will be honored by Christ. As it was in the morning of the first Easter day, so will it be as long as the Church stands. The great principle contained in the passage before us, will hold good until the Lord comes again. All believers have not the same degree of faith, or hope, or knowledge, or courage, or wisdom; and it is vain to expect it. But it is a certain fact that those who love Christ most fervently, and cleave to Him most closely, will always enjoy most communion with Him, and feel most of the witness of the Spirit in their hearts. It is precisely those who wait on the Lord, in the temper of Mary Magdalene, to whom the Lord will reveal Himself most fully, and make them know and feel more than others. To know Christ is good; but to know that we know Him is far better. We see, secondly, in these verses, that the fears and sorrows of believers are often quite needless. We are told that Mary stood at the sepulcher weeping, and wept as if nothing could comfort her. She wept when the angels spoke to her: Woman, they said, why weepest thou?She was weeping still when our Lord spoke to her: Woman, He also said, why weepest thou?And the burden of her complaint was always the same: They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.Yet all this time her risen Master was close to her, with body, flesh, and bones, and all things pertaining to the perfection of mans nature. (Article IV.) Her tears were needless. Her anxiety was unnecessary. Like Hagar in the wilderness, she had a well of water by her side, but she had not eyes to see it. What thoughtful Christian can fail to see, that we have here a faithful picture of many a believers experience? How often we are anxious when there is no just cause for anxiety! How often we mourn over the absence of things which in reality are within our grasp, and even at our right hand! Two-thirds of the things we fear in life never happen at all, and two-thirds of the tears we shed are thrown away, and shed in vain. Let us pray for more faith and patience, and allow more time for the full development of Gods purposes. Let us believe that things are often working together for our peace and joy, which seem at one time to contain nothing but bitterness and sorrow. Old Jacob said at one time of his life, all these things are against me (Gen. xlii. 36); yet he lived to see Joseph again, rich and prosperous, and to thank God for all that had happened. If Mary had found the seal of the tomb unbroken, and her Masters body lying cold within, she might well have wept! The very absence of the body which made her weep, was a token for good, and a cause of joy for herself and all mankind. We see, thirdly, in these verses, what low and earthly thoughts of Christ may creep into the mind of a true believer. It seems impossible to gather any other lesson from the solemn words which our Lord addressed to Mary Magdalene, when He said, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.No doubt the language is somewhat mysterious, and ought to be delicately and reverently handled. Yet it is only reasonable to suppose that the first surprise, and the reaction from great sorrow to great joy, was more than the mind of Mary could bear. She was only a woman, though a holy and faithful woman. It is highly probable that, in the first excess of her joy, she threw herself at our Lords feet, and made greater demonstrations of feeling than were seemly or becoming. Very likely she behaved too much like one who thought all must be right if she had her Lords bodily presence, and all must be wrong in His bodily absence. This was not the highest style of faith. She acted, in short, like one who forgot that her Master was God as well as man. She made too little of His divinity, and too much of His humanity. And hence she called forth our Lords gentle rebuke, Touch Me not! There is no need of this excessive demonstration of feeling. I am not yet ascending to my Father for forty days: your present duty is not to linger at my feet, but to go and tell my brethren that I have risen. Think of the feelings of others as well as of your own. After all, we must confess that the fault of this holy woman was one into which Christians have always been too ready to fall. In every age there has been a tendency in the minds of many, to make too much of Christs bodily presence, and to forget that He is not a mere earthly friend, but one who is God over all, blessed forever, as well as man. The pertinacity with which Romanists and their allies cling to the doctrine of Christs real corporal presence in the Lords Supper, is only another exhibition of Marys feeling when she wanted Christs body, or no Christ at all. Let us pray for a right judgment in this matter, as in all other things concerning our Lords person. Let us be content to have Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, and present when two or three are met in His name, and to wait for the real presence of Christs body until He comes again. What we really need is not His literal flesh, but His Spirit. It is not for nothing that it is written, It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. If we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we Him no more. (John vi. 63; 2 Cor. v. 16.) We see, lastly, in these verses, how kindly and graciously our Lord speaks of His disciples. He bids Mary Magdalene carry a message to them as His brethren. He bids her tell them that His Father was their Father, and His God their God. It was but three days before that they had all forsaken Him shamefully, and fled. Yet this merciful Master speaks as if all was forgiven and forgotten. His first thought is to bring back the wanderers, to bind up the wounds of their consciences, to reanimate their courage, to restore them to their former place. This was indeed a love that passeth knowledge. To trust deserters, and to show confidence in backsliders, was a compassion which man can hardly understand. So true is that word of David: Like as a Father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth those who fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. (Psalm ciii. 13, 14.) Let us leave the passage with the comfortable reflection that Jesus Christ never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As He dealt with His erring disciples in the morning of His resurrection, so will He deal with all who believe and love Him, until He comes again. When we wander out of the way He will bring us back. When we fall He will raise us again. But he will never break His royal word: Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. (John vi. 37.) The saints in glory will have one anthem in which every voice and heart will join: He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Psalm ciii. 10.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007) [Westminster (PB) | Amazon (HC)]. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 15, 2011

Lords Day 23, 2011

Sunday··2011·06·05
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Word Made Flesh. Horatius Bonar (18081889) The Son of God in mighty love, Came down to Bethlehem for me; Forsook his throne of light above, An infant upon earth to be. In love, the Fathers sinless child    Sojourned at Nazareth for me; With sinners dwelt the undefiled,    The Holy One in Galilee. Jesus, whom angel-hosts adore,    Became a man of griefs for me; In love, though rich, becoming poor,    That I through him enriched might be. Though Lord of all, above, below,    He went to Olivet for me; There drank my cup of wrath and woe,    When bleeding in Gethsemane. The ever-blessed Son of God    Went up to Calvary for me; There paid my debt, there bore my load,    In his own body on the tree. Jesus, whose dwelling is the skies,    Went down into the grave for me; There overcame my enemies,    There won the glorious victory. In love the whole dark path he trod,    To consecrate a way for me; Each bitter footstep marked with blood,    From Bethlehem to Calvary. Tis finished all; the veil is rent,    The welcome sure, the access free; Now then we leave our banishment,    O Father, to return to thee! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). If youve been following these Lords Day posts, you know that weve finished The Gospel of John with J. C. Ryle. Now I need to decide on something else to fill this space. Suggestions are welcome.
continue reading Lords Day 23, 2011

Lord���s Day 37, 2011

Sunday··2011·09·11
I was glad when they said to me, ���Let us go to the house of the Lord.��� This Do in Remembrance of Me. Horatius Bonar (1808���1889) Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face; Here would I touch and handle things unseen; Here grasp with firmer hand the eternal grace, And all my weariness upon Thee lean. Here would I feed upon the bread of God; Here drink with Thee the royal wine of heaven; Here would I lay aside each earthly load, Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven. This is the hour of banquet and of song, This is the heavenly table spread for me; Here let me feast, and, feasting, still prolong The brief bright hour of fellowship with Thee. Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear; The feast, though not the love, is passed and gone. The bread and wine remove, but Thou art here, Nearer than ever, still my Shield and Sun. I have no help but Thine; nor do I need Another arm save Thine to lean upon. It is enough, my Lord, enough, indeed; My strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone. I have no wisdom, save in Him who is My wisdom and my teacher, both in one; No wisdom can I lack while Thou art wise, No teaching do I crave, save Thine alone. Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness; Mine is the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood; Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace, Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God. I know that deadly evils compass me. Dark perils threaten, yet I would not fear. Nor poorly shrink, nor feebly turn to flee, Thou, O my Christ, art buckler, sword, and spear. But see, the Pillar-cloud is rising now. And moving onward through the desert-night; It beckons, and I follow, for I know It leads me to the heritage of light. Feast after feast thus comes and passes by; Yet, passing, points to the glad feast above, Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy, The Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love. ���Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; ���Romans 8 It is with the Holy Spirit that we are here brought face to face; or set side by side. As Christ does the whole work for us, so the Holy Spirit does the whole work in us. He is not visible, nor audible, nor palpable; but not on that account the less real and personal. He is infinitely real and personal; and His work is like Himself. Though He is specially ���a Spirit,��� yet all that He is, and says, and does, is thoroughly real. His presence is real; His indwelling is real; His words are real; His voice is real; His touch is real; His mode of operation, though not sensibly felt apart from the truth which He presents to us, is yet real and true; nay, perfect and divine; the very work of Him who created the heavens and the earth. Here, it is His way of dealing with us and our infirmities that is particularly referred to. We are described as feeble men, bearing on our shoulders a burden too heavy to be borne; He comes up to us; not exactly to take away the burden; nor to strengthen us under it; but to put His own Almighty shoulder under it, in the room of (���?�ь?), and along with (�ɜ֌?) ours; thus lightening the load, though not changing it; and bearing the heavier part of it with His own Almightiness. Thus it is that He ���helpeth��� (�ɜ֌?���?�ь?�������挱�?���ь��?) our infirmities; making us to feel both the burden and the infirmity all the while that He helps; nay, giving us such a kind and mode of help, as will keep us constantly sensible of both. This is especially true in regard to our prayers. Here it is that His ���help��� comes in so effectually and so opportunely; so that we are made to ���pray in the Holy Ghost��� (Jude 20); to ���pray with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit��� (Ephesians 6:18). We neither know the things we ought to pray for; nor, when we know these, do we know how to pray for them. The apostle here seems specially referring to the latter of these; the right way of praying. For this we need the Holy Ghost. Ah, what a thing is prayer! The simplest��� form of speech,���such as even a child could utter,���yet the highest and divinest of all utterances; such as the Holy Spirit alone can enable us to give forth. So entirely does the Spirit identify Himself with us, that our desires are reckoned His, and His desires ours. He not only helps our infirmities, but He comes into us, unites Himself, as it were, to us, makes Himself one with us; fills us, joins His desires to ours, His voice to ours, His cries to ours, so that they come both up as one before God. Thus He is ���intercessor,��� one who falls in with us,��� ���takes up our case,��� ���intercedes for us,��� over and above (���Č��?) the intercession of Christ. Our heart is cold; He infuses His warmth. Our desires are poor, He infuses His own full, rich longings. Our voice is feeble, He joins His voice to ours, and gives strength, and tone, and vigor, and loudness, so that thus filled with His, transfused with His, it goes up with power, and reaches the very heaven of heavens. But that which He is said specially to call up, or produce, or create in us, is ���groanings that cannot be uttered.��� Not simply words; nay, not words at all. Not simply desires, but groans���desires of the deepest and most earnest kind; groans so full, and deep, and fervent, that they cannot get vent in human words. They are divine longings, though coming out of the heart and lips of a man, and as such, cannot get themselves clothed or embodied in earthly words. Let us, then, learn, 1. True prayer is from the indwelling Spirit. It is He that wakes up prayer in us, both as to its matter and its manner. We knew not what or how to pray. He alone can teach us both; and He does this by coming in to us, and filling our whole being with Himself; so that while our longings are really ours, they are as really His. God receives them as both. 2. True prayer takes the form of a divine intercession. We have Christ in heaven on the throne, and the Spirit on earth in our hearts, interceding; Christ pleading for us as if we were one with Him, the Spirit pleading in us as if we were one with Him, and He with us. Intercession in the case of the Spirit, means His taking us up, undertaking for us; infusing Himself into each petition, so that He becomes the petitioner, the pleader. Thus He pleads both for us and in us. He throws Himself into our case; He seizes hold of us in our weakness; He bears us up as one who has come to our help; He drowns our cries in His, so that God hears not us but Him. 3. True prayer often takes the form of groans. The longings produced in us by the indwelling Spirit are such as cannot get vent to themselves in words. Our hearts are too full; our voice is choked; articulation is stifled; we can only groan. The groan is the truest part of true prayer. It seems to us sometimes the most imperfect part. We try to pray; our hearts are too full; we cannot; we break down; it may be with sorrow, or ignorance, or the intensity of our feelings, or the soreness of our trials, or the multitude of our longings. Yes, we break down before God; we become dumb; we can only groan. But the groan is true prayer. Man could not interpret it; we ourselves do not fully understand it. But God does. ���He knows the meaning of the Spirit���s ���groans������ (Baxter). He accepts it; yes, accepts it as prayer; as the best of prayer; the fine gold of prayer; the sweetest of the sweet incense that goes up from earth to heaven. These broken, stifled cries, thus dictated by the Spirit, and sent up on the wings of His own voice; or, as we may say, these cries of the Spirit, expressive of our longings, and sent up on the wings of our voice,���these groanings which cannot be uttered,���are well-pleasing to God. For thus we groan with the rest of a groaning creation; and all these groans are at length to be heard and fully answered. (1.) Put yourself into the hands of the Spirit, for prayer and everything else. (2.) Grieve not the Spirit. He is willing to come to you, and take up your case; but beware of grieving Him. (3.) Pray much. Pray in the Spirit. Delight in prayer. Cherish the Spirit���s groans. ���Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord���s Day 37, 2011

Lords Day 41, 2011

Sunday··2011·10·09
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Shadow of the Cross. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Oppressed with noon-days scorching heat, To yonder cross I flee; Beneath its shelter take my seat; No shade like this for me! Beneath that cross clear waters burst, A fountain sparkling free; And there I quench my desert thirst; No spring like this for me! A stranger here, I pitch my tent Beneath this spreading tree; Here shall my pilgrim life be spent; No home like this for me! For burdened ones a resting-place, Beside that cross I see; Here I cast off my weariness; No rest like this for me! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 13  for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10 Pauls gospel was the good news of a righteousness for Gentile as well as Jew,the righteousness of God,good news of the righteousness of Him who is our God and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1),good news of the righteousness of Him who is Jehovah-Zidkenu, the Lord our righteousness. There is a remarkable statement in the previous chapter (verse 30): That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith,that is, the Gentiles, who were seeking no righteousness at all, have got the very best; just as the prodigal son received the best robe in the house. This righteousness was offered to Israel first, but rejected by them; and it is of this rejection that the tenth chapter speaks. In speaking of it, Paul first proclaims Christ as the end of the law (the great fulfillment or fulfiller of the law) for righteousness to every one that believeth. Then he contrasts the two kinds of righteousness, namely, that which comes by working, and that which comes by believing. The former assumes that all is yet to be done; the latter, that all has been done, and that no doing (for obtaining pardon) is needed,nothing more of any kind whatsoever than is done by a man when he listens and lets in the word by his ear into his heart (verse 8). This word of faith, or word spoken in order to be believed, is the burden of his preaching. It is that which Isaiah calls our report. He thus describes it If thou shalt confess Christ (as He has enjoined, Matthew 10:32), believing in Him, and in God who raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the inner man we believe so as to be justified, and with the mouth we make that confession which issues in salvation, and because of which Christ will confess us in the great day. Then in the thirteenth verse come the words of our text, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. We may take calling on the name of, as meaning (1) the recognition of Jehovah as the true God; (2) as the acting on that recognition, and going to Him for salvation. It resembles Hebrew 11:6: He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hear then, O man, the gospel which Paul here preaches to thee, whether Jew or Gentile! It is the gospel or good news of salvation. Believe his report and live. Faith cometh by hearing. I. The nearness. The word is nigh; the gospel is nigh; the salvation is nigh,as near as the sounds are which enter into the ear of a man. The whole provision made on the cross for sinners is brought nigh to us. We have not to stir,not to move a hairbreadth in order to get at it. It is already at the side of every sinner to whom the gospel has come. It is like the manna which fell around Israels tents; it is like the water of that rock which followed them. As near as it is possible for one thing to be to another, is all this fullness of divine grace. We need not climb to heaven, that would be to deny its nearness, and to act as if Christ had never come down. We need not descend into the earth, that would be to deny its nearness, and to say that Christ had not come up, and needed to be brought up by us. No. All things are ready; all things are near. II. The freeness. A free gospelabsolutely without condition or price; a free salvation, to the obtaining of which man contributes nothing, by his money, or his works, or his sufferings, or his prayers and tears. All is absolutely free; as free as the sunlight or the common air. No merit, no money, no purchase, no previous qualification. The gift of God is that which we see in every part. Freely. freely, are the blessed words in which God promulgates the terms on which man is to be permitted to obtain the blessings of the cross. Freely, freely, is the burden of our message. Price, whether direct or indirect, small or great, is refused. We must take it freely or not at all. III. The speed. The gospel comes at once, the blessing tarries not. Like the touching of the electric wire, so the acceptance of the gospel brings instantaneous acceptance of our persons. No waiting, no interval, no distance, no hesitation. What God does, He does quickly. Swift as lightning the blessing comes to us. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. It is not, shall get some deliverance, or hope of deliverance, but, shall be saved. We go at once, and at once we are saved. IV. The simplicity. Yes, all is simple here; no mystery, no labyrinth, no toil. Oh how unlike the complex works of man, Heavens easy, artless, unencumbered plan. All is profoundly great, yet unutterably simple; majestic in its own simplicity. Call on the Lords name and be saved, that is all. As our Lord said to the woman of Sychar, Thou wouldest have asked, and He would have given. The simpler the liker God; the simpler the more suitable for helpless man. The gospel is simple; and the great salvation is the exhibition of the simplest plan for saving and for blessing that can be conceived. Too simple to have been devised by man. It is the simplicity of God. It is this simplicity which makes it intelligible to a little child. To ask and to get,that is the whole. V. The certainty. There are no ambiguities nor peradventures in it. All is the most absolute assurance: Shall be saved! God always deals in certainties in His treatment of the sinner,the certainties of eternal life or death: He that believeth shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned. Christ and His cross are certainties; and he who credits Gods testimony to these, becomes identified with certainties; is at once and certainly blessed, forgiven, saved. And if we know that the acceptance of this testimony brings certain salvation; how foolish, how sinful to say, Oh I accept the testimony, but I dont know whether I am saved. If thou givest credit to the divine word concerning the Son of God thou art saved. Of this there can be no doubt; for God is not a man that He should lie. VI. The universality. All are not saved, nor washed, nor pardoned, nor redeemed; but to all the good news come. Whosoever is Gods wide word of invitation. Who shall say, The tidings are not for name unless I can prove my election? The gospel is to the sons of men (Proverbs 8:4). God in it is coming up to each sinner and saying, Here is life,believe and live; here is the cup of salvation, drink and be saved; here is the writ of pardon, take it and be forgiven. Round and round the world this word of reconciliation goes; and to each sinner, as it passes on, is the reconciliation presented. Be thou reconciled to God, is the special and personal message to each. Call on the name of the Lord, is Gods urgent proclamation; call, and thou shalt be saved! Go straight to God for salvation, a present and immediate salvation. Dont say, as some do, Ill go to Him first for faith, and repentance, and feeling; and then when Ive got these, Ill go boldly and ask salvation. Go at once, and go boldly for salvation,for nothing less than this,and thou shalt get it; for God is true. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 41, 2011

Lord���s Day 48, 2011

Sunday··2011·11·27
I was glad when they said to me, ���Let us go to the house of the Lord.��� Christ Our Peace. Horatius Bonar (1808���1889) I thought upon my sins, and I was sad, My soul was troubled sore and filled with pain; But then I thought on Jesus, and was glad, My heavy grief was turned to joy again. I thought upon the law, the fiery law, Holy, and just, and good in its decree; I looked to Jesus, and in Him I saw That law fulfilled, its curse endured for me. I thought I saw an angry, frowning God, Sitting as Judge upon the great white throne; My soul was overwhelmed; then Jesus showed His gracious face, and all my dread was gone. I saw my sad estate, condemned to die, Then terror seized my heart, and dark despair; But when to Calvary I turned my eye, I saw the cross, and read forgiveness there. I saw that I was lost, far gone astray, No hope of safe return there seemed to be; But then I heard that Jesus was the way, A new and living way prepared for me. Then in that way, so free, so safe, so sure, Sprinkled all o���er with reconciling blood, Will I abide, and never wander more, Walking along in fellowship with God. ���Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. ���Romans 16 What a doxology! What a burst of praise! Full of divine melody; full of grace and truth! Glory to God in the highest is here, yet also peace on earth, and goodwill to man. The great Jehovah, the wise, the mighty, the good, the loving God, is the theme. Let us look at the contents of this glorious hymn of praise, this rapturous hallelujah of a redeemed man, this utterance of marvelous song. I. The Stablisher. He is the Creator; it was He who spake and it was done, who commanded and it stood fast; who laid the foundation of earth and heaven. (1.) He is the mighty God. He is ���of power��� (literally, ���able���) to stablish you. He is the Lord God Almighty, infinite in might, whose is the ���strength,��� and the ���power,��� and the ���dominion,��� and the ���greatness,��� and the ���majesty��� (1 Chronicles 29:2; Revelation 4:2). Let us notice the different connections in which this power is introduced in Scripture: (1.) ���God is able of these stones to raise up children��� (Matthew 3:9); (2.) ���Thou canst (art able to) make me clean��� (Matthew 8:2); (3.) ���Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above,��� &c. (Ephesians 3:20); (4.) ���He is able to subdue all things to Himself��� (Philippians 3:21); (5.) ���He is able to succor them that are tempted��� (Hebrew 2:18); (6.) ���He is able to save to the uttermost��� (Hebrew 7:25); (7.) ���To Him that is able keep you from falling��� (Jude 24); (8.) ���To Him that is of power to stablish you��� (Roman 16:25). What comfort to the feeble, and weary, and Satan-tempted, in this truth! He who strengthens and stablishes us is the mighty God. (2.) The fountainhead of the mystery of hidden wisdom. The mystery (or secret) now revealed in Christ and His cross (that ���God so loved the world,��� &c., John 3:16), which had been kept secret (hidden) in ���the eternal ages,��� was God���s everlasting purpose concerning His own, His saints, His chosen ones, His church of all ages. It is out of this purpose and this Purposer that our establishment flows. This eternal Purposer, the birthplace and well head of all being, and truth, and blessedness, is He who worketh in us according to the good pleasure of His will. He had sketched His great secret, His purpose of grace, in the prophets, giving us in them the outline and shadow of the good things to come; but not till the Word was made flesh, and the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, had declared Him, was the glorious revelation made. (3.) He is the everlasting God. ���From everlasting to everlasting thou art God��� (Psalm 90:1). He is ���the King eternal, immortal, and invisible��� (1 Timothy 1:17); ���with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning��� (James 1:17). It is not with mortality, and finitude, and change, and corruption that we have to do, but with the immortal, the infinite, the unchangeable, the incorruptible. He who stablishes us is ���the everlasting God.��� (4.) He is the God only wise. Wisdom is His in its widest, highest sense; wisdom without weakness, or one sidedness, or imperfection. The perfection of wisdom is His. The God only wise is His name. Such is our Stablisher! Can we fear or be discouraged? Shall our weakness, or frailty, or the number of our foes appal us? Greater is He that is for us than all that are against us, without or within! Let us stand fast, and not be moved, or shaken, or terrified. II. The stablishing. The word expresses steadfastness, fixture, and strength (see Luke 9:51; Romans 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:2,13; 2 Thessalonians 2:17, 3:3; James 5:8;1 Peter 5:10). It assumes that on our part there is weakness, wavering, changeableness; that there is peril for us on every hand from snares and assaults, from wiles and enmity, and that we are constantly liable to be uprooted and overthrown. We are without strength; compassed about with infirmities; apt to be carried about with every wind of doctrine; ready to be moved from the faith, or made to err from ways of uprightness. The process of stablishing is what we need so much; it is more than being ���kept from falling,��� and we require both. While this stablishing, in one sense, comes directly from the eternal Stablisher, in another, it comes through present means and influences, such as the gospel (���my gospel��� [10]), and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, and the revelation of the mystery. Through means of these, God establishes us, by the power of the Holy Ghost, working in us according to His mighty power. The gospel (1) says to us, ���Be steadfast���; (2) it shews us what steadfastness is; (3) it supplies us with the means of steadfastness. In clasping that gospel, we are holding that which alone can keep us from being moved. Let us lean on the cross; let us grasp it as the shipwrecked sailor grasps the life buoy, or is lashed to the mast to prevent his being washed overboard. The cross is thus everything for steadfastness. It stands firm, and it keeps firm all who keep hold of it. It is our prop; our resting place; our foundation; our anchor; our strong tower. The true stablishing (whether in faith, or love, or hope, or truth, or holiness) goes on only here. Apart from it, or away from it, all is instability, and feebleness, and destruction. III. The stablished. These are, first of all, the saints at Rome, ���called,��� ���beloved of God,��� whose ���faith was spoken of throughout the whole world.��� They needed ���stablishing,��� though apostles were their pastors and teachers; not once, but all through; day by day; they needed to be ���rooted and grounded in love���; to be ���made perfect, stablished, strengthened, settled.��� And if these noble Roman Christians needed stablishing (men of faith and love, beyond us!), how much more we! For is not the, church of God in these last days far from steadfast? Is she not an unanchored, uncompassed, unballasted vessel, carried about with every wind of doctrine or speculation, departing from old beliefs as obsolete and fossile; rushing after what is new and fascinating; in love with change, and ���progress,��� and ���development,��� and ���breadth,��� and liberality,��� according to modern phraseology proudly disdainful of what she calls ���bigotry,��� and intolerance,��� and ���stereotyping,��� and old-fashioned dogmas and theologies. Surely the church of the last days needs stablishing even more than the church of the first age; there are so many half-and-half disciples now, the mixed multitude that led Israel astray. Let each believing man give heed to this, lest he fall from his steadfastness. Be strong in the Lord; be steadfast and immoveable; hold fast that which thou hast received. This peculiar doxology, at the close of such an epistle, connecting such a song of praise with the steadfastness of the saints of God, is very striking, and fraught with deep lessons to us. The glory of the God only mighty, and eternal, and wise, is connected with our being stablished; and the process of stablishing us depends on His being what He is here represented to be. Let us feel that we have much to do with Him as the God of power, and wisdom, and eternity. ���Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord���s Day 48, 2011

Lords Day 4, 2012

Sunday··2012·01·22
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Childs Prayer. They that seek me early shall find me. Proverbs 8:17 Horatius Bonar (18081889) Holy Father! hear my cry, Holy Saviour! bend Thine ear, Holy Spirit! come Thou nigh: Father, Saviour, Spirit, hear. Father, save me from my sin, Saviour, I Thy mercy crave, Gracious Spirit, make me clean: Father, Saviour, Spirit, save. Father, let me taste Thy love, Saviour, fill my soul with peace, Spirit, come my heart to move: Father, Son, and Spirit, bless. Father, Son, and Spirit,Thou One Jehovah, shed abroad All Thy grace within me now; Be my Father and my God. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 8You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 1 Corinthians 4 22And He said to the disciples, The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. Luke 17 The Saints Joy And Sorrow. I place together these two verses, the words of the disciple, and the words of the Master, as breathing the same spirit. They speak of present pressure and trouble; they point to a day of deliverance and triumph; they indicate the feelings of Christs church, in this evil day and evil world. Paul means to say I wish the time of reigning were really come, as ye seem to think, for then should we share in that glory, instead of being the off scouring of all things; as if feeling most deeply present trial, and longing for the day when the glory shall be revealed. The Lord means to say, days are coming when ye shall long, even for one of the days of the Son of man; pointing to approaching tribulation, and intimating that under the pressure of this, they would long for even one days relief. Both these passages are written for us. I. The pressure of present evil. There is evil in the world; and there will be till Christ come. There is evil in the church. There is sin, confusion, darkness, pain, affliction in many forms, bereavements, persecutions, anxieties, cares, vexations, poverty, hatred, contempt, with many more such evils. They come on us daily. They press hard on us and weigh us down. Each disciple has his own special lot, and peculiar trial. Paul felt his deeply; and we must all feel ours, for we are not made insensible to sorrow by our becoming believers. The Head felt His sorrows, and prayed let this cup pass from me, so the body in all its members feels its sorrows, and desires one of the days of the Son of man, or desires to depart and be with Christ, or longs that the day of reigning were come, or wishes to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. O wretched man that I am, we crying reference to the inner conflict. Woe is me that I dwell in Meshech, we cry concerning the fightings and storms without. II. The anticipation of coming good. This good is called by our Lord the days of the Son of man, in contrast with the present days, which are simply days of man, or mans day, this present evil world. It is called by the apostle the time of reigning, in contrast with the present time of down-treading and persecution. These good days are coming, and we fix our hope upon them. They are blessed, and glorious, and endless. They shall reverse every thing that is evil now, whether pertaining to soul or body, to man and mans earth, to the church and to the world. It is resurrection that we look for; the times of restitution; a kingdom; new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Then all shall be holy, happy, peaceful; the body glorified, the earth renewed, Satan bound, Antichrist overthrown, sorrow turned into joy, the cross exchanged for the crown, the tents of Kedar for the New Jerusalem, the wilderness for Canaan, the weariness of the pilgrimage for the everlasting rest. III. The desire of relief. Pauls words express this desire, and Christs prediction intimates the same thing. We are not expected to be satisfied with pain and sorrow, so as not to long for their removal. We long for deliverance; nay for the most temporary respite, even for one of the days of the Son of man. The burden is at times so heavy that we cry out under it, and wish that the present days were shortened, and the glory hastened. One days respite would be a great thing for us, when overwhelmed at times with evil. But the respite comes not; patience must have her perfect work. There is no sin in the desire; only let it not be impatient. Not my will but thine be done. IV. The frequent disappointment. The sky seems for an hour to clear; and then the clouds return after the rain. The sunshine promises, and then passes away. We seem to come within sight of Canaan, and then another range of desert mountains rises up between. The day seems almost breaking, but it breaks not; the shadows seem just departing, but they depart not. Often we say, the long road is ending, the next turn will bring us to its termination; and then instead, another long stretch of road lengthens out before us. Often we say, Surely this darkness cannot last, this evil must have spent itself, but in vain we thus think. The time is not yet. Often we say, Surely Christ is coming, the reign of crime is ending, the era of holy peace is at hand, the kingdom is going to begin; and then the prospect darkens again; and we seem to hear the voice, Not yet, not yet. Often we cry, How long, and the answer is Wait, be patient, stablish your hearts; it will not be long. V. The kingdom at last. These are sure things. They will come at last, though on the back of many disappointments. He that shall come will come and will not tarry. The signs of the times have often cheated us, but at length they shall be found true. They will introduce the kingdom and the rest. The glory shall break forth; the Son of man shall be revealed; He who is our life shall appear. The ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs; the days of our mourning shall be ended; sorrow and sighing shall flee away. VI. The connection between present evil and future good. Our present light affliction worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Present evil is that out of which the coming good is to spring. Light is sown for the righteous; but it is sown in darkness. It is out of sickness and darkness that our immortal health and strength are to come. The grave is the birthplace of incorruption. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. Thus God shall overcome evil with good; out of sin educing holiness; out of our brief sorrow the eternal joy. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 4, 2012

Lords Day 11, 2012

Sunday··2012·03·11
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Heavenly Sowing. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Sower divine! Sow the good seed in me, Seed for eternity. Tis a rough barren soil. Yet by Thy care and toil. Make it a fruitful field, An hundred fold to yield. Sower divine, Plough up this heart of mine! Sower divine! Quit not this wretched field Till Thou hast made it yield; Sow Thou by day and night, In darkness and in light; Stay not Thy hand, but sow, Then shall the harvest grow. Sower divine, Sow deep this heart of mine! Sower divine! Let not this barren clay Lead Thee to turn away; Let not my fruitlessness Provoke Thee not to bless; Let not this field be dry; Refresh it from on high. Sower divine. Water this heart of mine! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 16Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10 The One Loaf. It is only in passing, and as an illustration of his argument on another subject that the apostle introduces the Lords Supper here; and yet how full his statement, how bright the aspect in which he presents it to us! The oneness of the worshipper, even in a heathen temple, with the whole religion or system of worship, and with the false god into whose temple he comes; this is his theme. It is in illustration of this that he reminds us of the Supper. Strange that in connection with a pagan altar and a temple of devils he should be led to give us one of the most striking of all his statements regarding the Supper. He takes the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils, places them side by side, and shews us the one from the other. There is an infinite difference; and yet there is a likeness; for there is a oneness in both between the worshipper and the god worshipped. On this dark canvas of a heathen temple he draws his picture of the holiest of Christian ordinances. In the Evangelists we are shewn the Supper from the Jerusalem upper chamber; in the eleventh chapter of this epistle we see it from a Christian church; here we are shewn it from a heathen temple. He speaks of the cup as symbolizing the body of our Lord which contained the blood or living wine. He puts the cup first, because in speaking of the heathen rites he had already made special mention of the cup first; perhaps also to shew that the order of the two symbols was of no consequence; and perhaps to prevent the possibility of Romish error in refusing the cup to the worshippers. Let us now meditate on the cup and the bread, or the cup and the platter, as set before us here. I. The cup. It may have been of gold, or silver, or brass, or wood; it matters not. It was made of earthly materials, as was the Lords body, and it was the vessel for containing the wine, as was the Lords body for containing His blood,that blood which was drink indeed, which was the new wine of the kingdom. (1.) Its name. The cup of blessing which we bless. All blessing is in Scripture connected with Messiah, His person, and His work. Hence that vessel which so specially points to Him receives this name. It contains blessing,the blessing,the long-promised, long-looked for blessing. The wine in that cup is impregnated with blessing. Every drop of it speaks of blessing,of that which God calls blessing,of that which is fitted to do us good and make us happy, to remove death and give life. The words, which we bless, are not priestly words, spoken to imply the consecration of the elements by a priests blessing. The we is all believers; and the word bless is literally, to speak well of; and the whole expression is, the cup of the well-speaking, of which we speak well, or praise; referring to the united praise and thanksgiving of the worshippers. And of that cup it is meet that we speak well. Though its literal contents are simply wine; yet that wine is the divine symbol of all blessing; so that we may say truly. Its contents are blessing,every drop fraught with blessing,blessing which faith receives, and in which hope rejoices. (2.) Its meaning. Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? or, is it not communion with the blood of Christ? That wine is then the symbol of the blood; the blood of the new covenant, the everlasting covenant. That blood is the life; and that life is the payment of the sinners penalty: The soul that sinneth it shall die. In that cup there is both death and life,the death of the Surety, and the life flowing out of that death; our death flowing into Him, so that He dies; His life flowing into us, so that we live. Thus the cup is the cup of blessing for the sinner, because it contains both the death and the life. Of this blessing, symbolized by that cup and its contents, we become possessors when we believe on the name of the Son of God; for it is faith that opens up the communication between us and His fullness. But in the Lords Supper there is more visible, more palpable contact, though still of the same kind. Hence, the words of our text, the communion of the blood of Christ. The word communion is properly partnership,partnership in the blood of Christ; all that the blood contains for the soul becoming ours,the whole blood becoming the property of each believer. All its blessings,the paid ransom, the cancelled penalty, the forgiveness, the life, the joy, all becoming ours; we being partakers of Christ, partakers of His blood, partners in His death and life. He, then, that takes that cup is committed to all that it symbolizes; he is counted as one with it; the possessor of its contents; the partaker of its fullness. He is to reckon himself one with Jesus in His death; and God reckons him such. Nothing less. He has the whole, or lie has nothing! It is not a little strength, or healing, or refreshment from the blood which he is made partaker of; but the blood itself, and all that it contains. For the possession, the enjoyment of all that fullness, every communicant is responsible. If be a worthy communicant (a believing man), the blessing will flow in, and these symbols will help the inflow. If he be an unworthy communicant, he is not the less responsible for participation of all that fullness; and that will be his condemnation. He took into his hands the cup of blessing, he put it to his lips, and yet he did not drink one drop! II. The bread. The word more properly signifies the loaf or cake, intimating its original oneness or completeness. It is necessary to keep this in mind, as the point of the apostles argument turns on this. Let us consider. (1.) What the bread signifies. It is bread,the common Passover loaf, unleavened bread,made of the corn of earth; grown in our fields, cut down, gathered in, winnowed, ground, and formed into a loaf for the Passover table. Such was Christs body,our very flesh; born, growing up, ripening, cut down, prepared for our food. A thing by itself; unleavened and pure; free from sin; in all respects fit for the souls food. My flesh is meat indeed. It is Christs body that is thus symbolized and set before us as the whole food and nourishment of our souls. Except we eat His flesh, we have no life in us. (2.) What the breaking of the bread signifies. It points us to the cross; it speaks of a crucified Christ. Not a bone of Him was broken, and yet His body was broken; head, hands, feet, back, side, pierced and bruised and wounded. His body unbroken is no food for us. It is no nourishment for the soul of the sinner. It would not suit our taste, nor satisfy our appetite, nor feed our souls, nor prove wholesome food. We need something in which death is; death as the payment of sins penalty. All without this is tasteless and unnourishing. Hence the unprofitableness of that theology whose center or foundation is not the cross of the substitute; atonement by the death of the surety. The bread which we break, says the apostle, evidently pointing with special emphasis to the breaking, and announcing this as the main feature of the symbol. It is on the broken body of our Lord that we feed. Incarnation without crucifixion does not satisfy the soul. Bethlehem without Golgotha would be mockery. (3.) What our partaking of it signifies. For we do not merely gaze upon it or handle it; we take it and we eat; we eat not in solitude or in our chambers, but as a company at a feast. This act of eating, then, has a twofold signification or reference,a reference to Christ and to ourselves. (a) A reference to Christ. It is communion with the body of Christ, partnership with that body; so that all that is in it of virtue, or health, or strength, or excellence, becomes ours. It is one with us and we with it. The whole fullness of blessing contained in it becomes ours. We reckon ourselves one with it, and God reckons us one with it. As he who eats of the idols bread in a heathen temple is responsible for the whole idolatry of the place, and is so dealt with by God, so he who eats this broken bread in faith is identified with a crucified Christ and all His fullness. Partnership with the body of Christ; how much that implies! (b) A reference to ourselves. It realizes to us the perfect oneness between the members of Christs body. As the loaf is made up of many parts or crumbs, and yet is but one loaf; nay, gets its true oneness from the union of these many parts, so is it with the members of the body of Christ. Many, yet one; one, yet many; the number not marring the oneness, but perfecting it; the oneness not hindering the number but requiring it for its full development. This is one of the numerous symbols used to unfold this peculiar truth. There are others no less expressive. One family, many members. One temple, many stones. One body, many limbs. One loaf, many parts! We may add others. One city, many citizens. One ocean, many drops. One firmament, many stars. One song, many words. One harmony, many notes. One sun, many rays. Thus in these symbols we have partnership with Christ, with His blood, with His body, so that all that He has is ours. Each has the whole fullness, as each inhabitant of earth has the whole sun. Oneness with Christ and oneness with each are embodied in these symbols. We are many, yet one; many members yet one body, and one head. All that He has is ours. His life, our life; His light, our light; His fullness, our fullness; His strength, our strength; His righteousness, our righteousness; His crown, our crown; His glory, our glory; His inheritance, our inheritance: for we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. If these things be so, 1. What a blessed place should the communion table be to us. A Peniel where we prevail with God, and receive the blessing in full. What strength, health, joy, light, should we find there! There the whole fullness of Christ is presented to us. 2. What manner of persons ought we to be. Holy, powerful, separate from the world, like Him by whose body and blood we are nourished. Nothing is lacking to those who have this heavenly communion, this divine partnership. 3. What love and unity should prevail amongst us? One with Christ, one with each other. This ordinance represents the oneness, increases it, cherishes it. Sitting side by side, we are drawn closer to the Lord, closer to each other in and through Him. 4. What longing for the time when we shall see Him face to face. Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Amen! Even so come Lord Jesus. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 11, 2012

Lords Day 19, 2012

Sunday··2012·05·06
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Elder Brother. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Yes, for me, for me he careth With a brothers tender care; Yes, with me, with me he shareth Every burden, every fear. Yes, oer me, oer me he watcheth, Ceaseless watcheth, night and day: Yes, even me, even me he snatcheth From the perils of the way. Yes, for me he standeth pleading, At the mercy-seat above; Ever for me interceding, Constant in untiring love. Yes, in me abroad he sheddeth Joys unearthly,love and light; And to cover me he spreadeth His paternal wing of might. Yes, in me, in me he dwelleth; I in him, and he in me! And my empty soul he filleth, Here and through eternity. Thus I wait for his returning, Singing all the way to heaven; Such the joyful song of morning, Such the tranquil song of even. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5 God Beseeching Men. The words, all things are of God, mean evidently, all these things are of God; for the apostle is not speaking generally of God being all in all; but of all the things connected with the new creation. These are all of Him, and through Him, and to Him; originating with and carried out by Him. Thus the fountainhead of the new creation is like that of the Old, in God. The plan, the means, the execution, the consummation, are entirely divine. This new creation lies at the foundation of our relationship to God; it is something very thorough and decided; a divine process; a being in Christ; a passing away of old things; a making all things new. How is this begun and carried out? By reconciliation. How is this reconciliation carried out? By an embassy of peace direct from God himself. On what does this embassy base itself? On substitution,the just for the unjust. I. The reconciliation. The beginning of our new relation is bringing us into peace with Himself. Distance, alienation, enmity, condemnation,these are the main features of our natural condition. God proceeds to reverse all these; bringing us nigh; removing the estrangement and enmity; setting us free from the condemnation. In this we have the renewal of our unfallen state of holy friendship, as well as closer and dearer intimacy. Separation from God is to be exchanged for union; nearness for distance; love for wrath; forgiveness for condemnation. God and the sinner are made one; the prodigal leaves the far country; restored to his Fathers arms and his Fathers house. All past variances are forgotten; the quarrel is removed; the friendship cemented, sealed, secured forever. All Gods love pours into the sinner; all his love pours into God. It is not the reconciliation of Joseph and his brethren, in which the latter still felt doubtful of the perpetuity of their brothers favor; it is complete and absolute; perfect love casting out fear. Nor is it the reconciliation of David to Absalom, in which the latter, though forgiven his offence, had to dwell at a distance, and saw not the kings face; it is reconciliation which brings the alienated one into the city, and presence, and palace of the King. It is complete and eternal. II. The embassy. The ambassador is one who has himself been reconciled; neither an angel, who does not need reconciliation, and therefore could not tell out all its meaning and love; nor an unreconciled man, who has never tasted the blessedness, and therefore cannot speak of what he knows, nor point to himself as one who is a specimen of reconciling love. But a reconciled man,All these things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself. Having reconciled them personally to Himself He commits to them the word, ministry, of reconciliation; constituting them His ambassadors, and sending them out on their embassy. Mark here, then: (1.) The word of reconciliation. It is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. This is the gospel or good news of Gods free pardon, or non-imputation of sin, and forgiving love. (2.) The ministry of reconciliation. That is the office of dispensing the pardon. Pharaoh would send out the good news of the plenty in the storehouse of Egypt; and announce that it was to be got through and from Joseph. So does God as to the fullness of Christ. (3.) The footing of the ambassador. He is an ambassador for Christ. He speaks in Christs name and with Christs authority, telling of Him, and saying what Christ would say were He here. (4.) The manner of approaching the alienated sinner. Not by command or threat, but by entreaty and exhortation, for such is the force of the words, As though God did exhort and entreat you by us, we pray you. What earnestness of pleading do these words imply! What depth of desire for the accomplishment of the reconciliation and of longing for their welfare! What gentleness, what patience, what perseverance! On bended knee, like a suppliant before a king, the apostle makes his suit to the sinner! (5.) The identification of God and Christ with the ambassador, in this entreaty. He intimates that it is not so much he who is speaking as God; it is God who is exhorting; it is not the voice of a fellow man but of God. He intimates also that the Son as well as the Father is in all this: We pray men in Christs stead. The expression denotes two things: (1) that he is representing Christ; (2) that he is serving him. And the words, Be ye reconciled to God, sound like a quotation; as if Christ had given him this very message; and as if it were meant that we should regard them as Christs own words, no less literally than, Come unto me. This, then, is Gods exhortation, and Christs prayer or entreaty to the sons of men, the world. It is our message, with which we are to go up to every man, Be thou reconciled to God; a personal message, as personal to each as if he were the only man upon the earth. (II.) The Substitution. We do not enter on this, but simply point to it as the basis of all reconciliation, without which it would be vain to approach a sinner; for it must be a righteous reconciliation if it is to effect anything at all. We preach Christ the Sin bearer; and pointing to His cross, we pray men in His name, Be ye reconciled to God. Horatius Bonar, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts & Themes Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 19, 2012

Lords Day 33, 2012

Sunday··2012·08·12
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 The Useful Life. Horatius Bonar (18081889) Go labour on; spend, and be spent, Thy joy to do the Fathers will; It is the way the Master went, Should not the servant tread it still? Go labour on; tis not for nought; Thy earthly loss is heavenly gain; Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not; The Master praises,what are men? Go labour on; enough, while here, If He shall praise thee, if he deign Thy willing heart to mark and cheer; No toil for Him shall be in vain. Go labour on; your hands are weak, Your knees are faint, your soul cast down; Yet falter not; the prize you seek, Is near,a kingdom and a crown! Go, labour on, while it is day, The worlds dark night is hastening on; Speed, speed thy work, cast sloth away: It is not thus that souls are won. Men die in darkness at your side, Without a hope to cheer the tomb; Take up the torch and wave it wide, The torch that lights times thickest gloom. Toil on, faint not, keep watch and pray; Be wise the erring soul to win; Go forth into the worlds highway. Compel the wanderer to come in. Toil on, and in thy toil rejoice; For toil comes rest, for exile home; Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegrooms voice, The midnight peal, behold I come! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 33, 2012

Lords Day 40, 2012

Sunday··2012·09·30
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves knowthis Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. . . . Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christthis Jesus whom you crucified. Acts 2: 2224, 36 Twas I That Did It. Horatius Bonar (18081889) I see the crowd in Pilates hall, I mark their wrathful mien; Their shouts of crucify appall, With blasphemy between. And of that shouting multitude I feel that I am one; And in that din of voices rude, I recognise my own. I see the scourges tear his back, I see the piercing crown, And of that crowd who smite and mock, I feel that I am one. Around yon cross, the throng I see, Mocking the sufferers groan, Yet still my voice it seems to be, As if I mocked alone. Twas I that shed the sacred blood, I nailed him to the tree, I crucified the Christ of God, I joined the mockery. Yet not the less that blood avails, To cleanse away my sin, And not the less that cross prevails To give me peace within. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 40, 2012

Lords Day 49, 2012

Sunday··2012·12·02
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. Luke 2:1314 Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us. Matthew 1:23 The Shepherds Plain Horatius Bonar (18081889) Dum servant oves invenerunt Agnum Dei. Jerome. Blessed night, when first that plain Echoed with the joyful strain, Peace has come to earth again. Blessed hills, that heard the song Of the glorious angel-throng, Swelling all your slopes along. Happy shepherds, on whose ear Fell the tidings glad and dear, God to man is drawing near. Happy shepherds, on whose eye, Shone the glory from on high, Of the heavenly Majesty. Happy, happy Bethlehem, Judahs least but brightest gem, Where the rod from Jesses stem, Scion of a princely race, Sprung in heavens own perfect grace, Yet in feeble lowliness. This, the womans promised seed, Abrams mighty son indeed; Succourer of earths great need. This the victor in our war, This the glory seen afar, This the light of Jacobs star! Happy Judah, rise and own Him, the heir of Davids throne, Davids Lord, and Davids Son. Babe of promise, born at last, After weary ages past, When our hopes were overcast. Babe of weakness, can it be, That earths last great victory Is to be achieved by thee? Child of meekness, can it be, That the proud rebellious knee Of this world shall bend to thee! Child of poverty, art thou He to whom all heaven shall bow, And all earth shall pay the vow? Can that feeble head alone Bear the weight of such a crown, A s belongs to Davids Son? Can these helpless hands of thine, Wield a sceptre so divine, As belongs to Jesses line? Heir of pain and toil, whom none In this evil day will own, Art thou the Eternal One? Thou, oer whom the sword and rod Wave, in haste to drink thy blood, Art thou very Son of God? Thus revealed to shepherds eyes, Hidden from the great and wise, Entering earth in lowly guise, Entering by this narrow door, Laid upon this rocky floor, Placed in yonder manger poor. We adore thee as our King, And to thee our song we sing; Our best offering to thee bring. Guarded by the shepherds rod, Mid their flock, thy poor abode, Thus we own thee, Lamb of God. Lamb of God, thy lowly name, King of kings, we thee proclaim; Heaven and earth shall hear its fame. Bearer of our sins sad load, Wielder of the iron rod, Judahs Lion, Lamb of God! Mighty King of righteousness, King of glory, king of peace, Never shall thy kingdom cease! Thee, earths heir and Lord, we own; Raise again its fallen throne, Take its everlasting crown. Blessed Babe of Bethlehem, Owner of earths diadem, Claim, and wear the radiant gem. Scatter darkness with thy light, End the sorrows of our night, Speak the word, and all is bright. Spoil the spoiler of the earth, Bring creations second birth, Promised day of song and mirth. Tis thine Israels voice that calls, Build again thy Salems walls, Dwell within her holy halls. Tis thy Churchs voice that cries, Rend these long unrended skies, Bridegroom of the Church, arise. Take to thee thy power and reign, Purify this earth again; Cleanse it from each curse and stain. Sun of peace, no longer stay, Let the shadows flee away, And the long night end in day. Let the day spring from on high, That arose in Judahs sky, Cover earth eternally. Babe of Bethlehem, to thee, Infant of eternity, Everlasting glory be! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 49, 2012

Lords Day 2, 2013

Sunday··2013·01·13
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:1825 Come, Lord Horatius Bonar (18081889) Seunit mundus. Augustine. Come, Lord, and tarry not: Bring the long-looked-for Day; O why these years of waiting here. These ages of delay? Come, for Thy saints still wait: Daily ascends their sigh; The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; Dost Thou not hear the cry? Come, for creation groans, Impatient of Thy stay, Worn out with these long years of ill, These ages of delay. Come, for Thy Israel pines, An exile from Thy fold; O call to mind Thy faithful word, And bless them as of old! Come, for Thy foes are strong; With taunting lip they say, Where is the promised Advent now, And where the dreaded Day? Come, for the good are few; They lift the voice in vain: Faith waxes fainter on the earth, And love is on the wane. Come, for the truth is weak, And error pours abroad Its subtle poison oer the earth, An earth that hates her God. Come, for love waxes cold; Its steps are faint and slow: Faith now is lost in unbelief, Hopes lamp burns dim and low. Come, for the grave is full; Earths tombs no more can hold: The sated sepulchres rebel, And groans the heaving mould. Come, for the corn is ripe; Put in Thy sickle now, Reap the great harvest of the earth, Sower and reaper Thou! Come, in Thy glorious might, Come with the iron rod, Scattering Thy foes before Thy face, Most mighty Son of God! Come, spoil the strong mans house, Bind him and cast him hence; Show Thyself stronger than the strong, Thyself Omnipotence. Come, and make all things new; Build up this ruined earth, Restore our faded Paradise, Creations second birth. Come, and begin Thy reign Of everlasting peace; Come, take tho kingdom to Thyself, Great King of righteousness! Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 2, 2013

Lords Day 9, 2013

Sunday··2013·03·03
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23 Thy Way, Not Mine Horatius Bonar (18081889) Thy way, not mine, O Lord, However dark it be; Lead me by Thine own hand, Choose out the path for me. Smooth let it be or rough, It will be still the best; Winding or straight, it leads Right onward to Thy rest. I dare not choose my lot; I would not, if I might; Choose Thou for me, my God, So I shall walk aright. Take Thou my cup, and it With joy or sorrow fill, As best to Thee may seem; Choose Thou my good and ill. Choose Thou for me my friends, My sickness or my health; Choose Thou my cares for me My poverty or wealth. The kingdom that I seek Is Thine: so let the way That leads to it be Thine, Else I must surely stray. Not mine, not mine the choice In things or great or small; Be Thou my Guide, my Strength My Wisdom, and my AllHoratius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 9, 2013

Lords Day 15, 2013

Sunday··2013·04·14
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. Psalm 5:3 Morning Hymns Horatius Bonar (18081889) (From the Latin) I. Riseth now the star of day, Let us kneel to God, and pray, That throughout its hours he will Keep us safely from all ill. Bridle Thou our tongue, O Lord, Hush each rising strifeful word; Kindly veil our treacherous eyes From ensnaring vanities. Let our inmost hearts be clean, Banish slothfulness and sin; With spare diet let the pride Of the flesh be mortified. So that, when the day has fled, And the night has come instead, We, preserved thus clean by Thee, Thy great name may glorify. II. Now, O Holy Spirit, one With the Father and the Son, Condescend to fill this heart, Penetrating every part. Mind, and tongue, and soul, and sense, Fill with kindly penitence. Light in us loves fervent fire, Love to all around inspire. III. God of truth and King of power, Ruling every changeful hour, Thou who givest morn its rays, And to noon its golden blaze, Quench the fire of strife within, Cool the heat of night-born sin; Health of body, O impart, And bestow true peace of heart. IV. God of heaven and earth, whose might, Everlasting, infinite, Guideth all the changing moods Of each days vicissitudes, To us the bright joyous eve Of the life unending give; And the blest reward, O send, Of the glory without end. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, First Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 15, 2013

Lords Day 21, 2013

Sunday··2013·05·26
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:89 Be True Horatius Bonar (18081889) Thou must be true thyself If thou the truth wouldst teach; Thy soul must overflow if thou Anothers soul wouldst reach. It needs the overflow of heart To give the lips full speech. Think truly, and thy thoughts Shall the worlds famine feed; Speak truly, and each word of thine Shall be a fruitful seed; Live truly, and thy life shall be A great and noble creed. Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lords Day 21, 2013

Lord’s Day 27, 2013

Sunday··2013·07·07
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. —Luke 4:18–19 Praise Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Praises to Him who built the hills; Praises to Him the streams who fills; Praises to Him who lights each star That sparkles in the blue afar. Praises to Him who makes the morn, And bids it glow with beams new-born; Who draws the shadows of the night, Like curtains, o’er our wearied sight. Praises to Him whose love has given, In Christ his Son, the Life of heaven; Who for our darkness gives us light, And turns to day our deepest night. Praises to Him, in grace who came, To bear our woe, and sin, and shame; Who lived to die, who died to rise, The God-accepted sacrifice. Praises to Him the chain who broke, Opened the prison, burst the yoke, Sent forth its captives, glad and free, Heirs of an endless liberty. Praises to Him who sheds abroad Within our hearts the love of God; The Spirit of all truth and peace, Fountain of joy and holiness! To Father, Son, and Spirit, now The hands we lift, the knees we bow; To Jah-Jehovah thus we raise The sinner’s endless song of praise. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 27, 2013

Lord’s Day 39, 2013

Sunday··2013·09·29
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. —Hebrews 10:11–18 The Cross and the Crown Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) No blood, no altar now, The sacrifice is o’er; No flame, no smoke ascends on high, The lamb is slain no more! But richer blood has flow’d from nobler veins, To purge the soul from guilt, and cleanse the reddest stains. We thank Thee for the blood, The blood of Christ, Thy Son; The blood by which our peace is made, Our victory is won: Great victory o’er hell, and sin, and woe, That needs no second fight, and leaves no second foe. We thank Thee for the grace, Descending from above, That overflows our widest guilt, The eternal Father’s love: Love of the Father’s everlasting Son, Love of the Holy Ghost, Jehovah, Three in One. We thank Thee for the hope, So glad, and sure, and clear; It holds the drooping spirit up Till the long dawn appear: Fair hope! with what a sunshine does it cheer Our roughest path on earth, our dreariest desert here! We thank Thee for the crown Of glory and of life; ’Tis no poor with’ring wreath of earth, Man’s prize in mortal strife: ’Tis incorruptible as is the throne, The kingdom of our God and His incarnate Son. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 39, 2013

Lord’s Day 45, 2013

Sunday··2013·11·10
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”; —Ecclesiastes 12:1 The End of the Day Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Come, for thy day, thy wasted day is closing, With all its joy and sun: Bright, loving hours have pass’d thee by unheeded; Thy work on earth undone, And all thy race unrun. Folly and pleasure hast thou still been chasing With the world’s giddy throng, Beauty and love have been thy golden idols; And thou hast rush’d along, Still list’ning to their song! Sorrow and weeping thou hast cast behind thee. For what were tears to thee? Life was not life without the smile and sunshine Only in revelry Did wisdom seem to be. Unclasp, O man, the syren hand of pleasure, Let the gay folly go! A few quick years will bring the unwelcome ending; Then whither dost thou go, To endless joy or woe? Clasp a far truer hand—a kinder, stronger— Of Him the crucified; Let in a deeper love into thy spirit, The love of Him who died. And now is glorified! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 45, 2013

Lord’s Day 52, 2013

Sunday··2013·12·29
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. —Psalm 18:2 Christ Is All Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) O Everlasting Light, Giver of dawn and day, Dispeller of the ancient night In which creation lay! O Everlasting Light, Shine graciously within! Brightest of all on earth that’s bright Come, shine away my sin! O everlasting Rock, Sole refuge in distress, My fort when foes assail and mock, My rest in weariness! O everlasting Fount, From which the waters burst, The streams from the eternal mount, That quench time’s sorest thirst! O everlasting Health, From which all healing springs, My bliss, my treasure, and my wealth, To Thee my spirit clings. O Everlasting Truth, Truest of all that’s true, Sure guide of erring age and youth, Lead me, and teach me too. O Everlasting Strength, Uphold me in the way; Bring me, in spite of foes, at length To joy and light and day. O Everlasting Love, Wellspring of grace and peace, Pour down Thy fulness from above, Bid doubt and trouble cease. O Everlasting Rest, Lift off life’s load of care; Relieve, revive this burdened breast, And every sorrow bear. Thou art in heaven our All, Our All on earth art Thou; Upon Thy gracious Name we call, Lord Jesus, bless us now. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 52, 2013

Lord’s Day 7, 2014

Sunday··2014·02·16
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:38–39 The Love of God Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) O Love of God, how strong and true! Eternal and yet ever new, Uncomprehended and unbought, Beyond all knowledge and all thought. O love of God, how deep and great! Far deeper than man’s deepest hate; Self-fed, self-kindled like the light, Changeless, eternal, infinite. O heavenly love, how precious still, In days of weariness and ill! In nights of pain and helplessness. To heal, to comfort, and to bless. O wide-embracing, wondrous love, We read thee in the sky above, We read thee in the earth below, In seas that swell and streams that flow. We read thee in the flowers, the trees, The freshness of the fragrant breeze, The song of birds upon the wing, The joy of summer and of spring. We read thee best in Him who came, To bear for us the cross of shame; Sent by the Father from on high, Our life to live, our death to die. We read thee in the manger-bed, On which His infancy was laid; And Nazareth that love reveals, Nestling amid its lonely hills. We read thee in the tears once shed, Over doomed Salem’s guilty head, In the cold tomb of Bethany, And blood-drops of Gethsemane. We read thy power to bless and save, Even in the darkness of the grave; Still more in resurrection-light, We read the fulness of thy might. O love of God, our shield and stay, Through all the perils of our way; Eternal love, in thee we rest, For ever safe, for ever blest! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 7, 2014

Lord’s Day 13, 2014

Sunday··2014·03·30
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. —2 Timothy 4:7–8 The Battle-Song of the Church Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Fear not the foe, thou flock of God, Fear not the sword, the spear, the rod, Fear not the foe! He fights in vain who fights with thee; Soon shalt thou see his armies flee, Himself laid low. Come, cheer thee to the toil and fight; Tis God, thy God, defends the right; He leads thee on. His sword shall scatter every foe, His shield shall ward off every blow;— The crown is won. His is the battle. His the power, His is the triumph in that hour; In Him be strong. So round thy brow the wreath shall twine, So shall the victory be thine, And thine the song. Not long the sigh, the toil, the sweat, Not long the fight-day’s wasting heat; The shadows come. Slack not thy weapon in the fight; Courage! for God defends the right; Strike home! strike home! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 13, 2014

Lord’s Day 20, 2014

Sunday··2014·05·18
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. —Matthew 11:28–30 Pass Over to Thy Rest Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) From this bleak hill of storms, To yon warm sunny heights, Where love for ever shines, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From hunger and from thirst, From toil and weariness, From shadows and from dreams, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From tides, and winds, and waves, From shipwrecks of the deep, From parted anchors here, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From weakness and from pain, From trembling and from strife, From watchings and from fears, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From vanity and lies, From mockery and snares, From disappointed hopes, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From falsehoods of the age, From broken ties and hearts, From suns gone down at noon, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From unrealities, From hollow scenes of change, From ache and emptiness, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! From this unanchored world, Whose morrow none can tell, From all things restless here, Pass over to thy rest, The rest of God! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 20, 2014

Lord’s Day 26, 2014

Sunday··2014·06·29
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation. —Psalm 91:14–16 He Liveth Long Who Liveth Well Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) He liveth long who liveth well! All other life is short and vain; He liveth longest who can tell Of living most for heavenly gain. He liveth long who liveth well! All else is being flung away; He liveth longest who can tell Of true things truly done each day. Waste not thy being; back to Him, Who freely gave it, freely give, Else is that being but a dream, ’Tis but to be, and not to live. Be wise, and use thy wisdom well; Who wisdom speaks must live it too; He is the wisest who can tell How first he lived, then spoke, the true. Be what thou seemest; live thy creed; Hold up to earth the torch divine; Be what thou prayest to be made; Let the great Master’s steps be thine. Fill up each hour with what will last; Buy up the moments as they go; The life above, when this is past, Is the ripe fruit of life below. Sow truth if thou the true wouldst reap; Who sows the false shall reap the vain; Erect and sound thy conscience keep; From hollow words and deeds refrain. Sow love and taste its fruitage pure; Sow peace, and reap its harvest bright; Sow sunbeams on the rock and moor, And find a harvest-home of light. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 26, 2014

Lord’s Day 32, 2014

Sunday··2014·08·10
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. —Philippians 3:7–11 The Christ of God Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) To know the Christ of God, The everlasting Son; To know what He on earth, For guilty man has done: This is the first and last Of all that’s true and wise; The circle that contains all light Beneath, above, the skies. Father, unseal my eyes, Unveil my veiled heart, Reveal this Christ to me! The Christ, the Incarnate Son, The Christ, the eternal Word; The Christ, heaven’s glorious King, The Christ, earth’s coming Lord. The Christ, the sum of all Jehovah’s power and grace, God’s treasure-house of truth and love, The brightness of his face. Father, unseal my eyes, Unveil my veiled heart, Reveal this Christ to me! The Christ who took man’s flesh; Who lived man’s life below; Who died man’s death for man,— The death of shame and woe. The Christ who, from the Cross, Descended to man’s grave, Then rose in victory and joy, Mighty to bless and save! Father, unseal my eyes, Unveil my veiled heart, Reveal this Christ to me! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 32, 2014

Lord’s Day 38, 2014

Sunday··2014·09·21
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. —1 Corinthians 15:22 The Sin and the Sinbearer Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Humanity hath sinned! Not Adam, but the race has met its fall; Life has gone out from earth, Who shall that life recall? He only who is man! Man and yet God, he can undo the fall; True flesh and blood of earth, He can that life recall. Creation has been struck! Not Eden, but the universal earth; All things beneath the sun Are smitten from their birth. He only loves and saves! Whose cross hath borne creation’s deadly wrong Whose blood shall purge away Creation’s stains ere long. He, the last Adam, lives! He died, was buried, and yet liveth still; Victor o’er hellish hate, Victor o’er human ill! His life is life for us! His joy, his crown, his glory are our own; For us he fought the fight, For us he won the throne. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 38, 2014

Lord’s Day 45, 2014

Sunday··2014·11·09
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” —Matthew 28:18–20 The Great Message [score] Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) “Quo vos magistri gloria, quo salus  Invitat orbis, sancta cohors Dei  Portate verbum.” Old Hymn Apostles of the risen Christ, go forth! Let love compel. Go, and in risen power proclaim His worth, O’er every region of the dead, cold earth,— His glory tell! Tell how He lived, and toiled, and wept below; Tell all His love; Tell the dread wonders of His awful woe; Tell how He fought our fight and smote our foe, Then rose above. Tell how in weakness He was crucified, But rose in power; Went up on high, accepted, glorified; News of His victory spread far and wide, From hour to hour. Tell how He sits at the right hand of God In glory bright, Making the heaven of heavens His glad abode; Tell how He cometh with the iron rod His foes to smite. Tell how His kingdom shall thro’ ages stand, And never cease; Spreading like sunshine over every land, All nations bowing to His high command, Great Prince of Peace! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 45, 2014

Lord’s Day 51, 2014

Sunday··2014·12·21
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. —Hebrews 13:8 He Died and Lives Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood, I see the mighty sacrifice, And I have peace with God. ’Tis everlasting peace! Sure as Jehovah’s name, ’Tis stable as his stedfast throne, For evermore the same. The clouds may go and come, And storms may sweep my sky, This blood-sealed friendship changes not, The cross is ever nigh. My love is oftimes low, My joy still ebbs and flows, But peace with him remains the same, No change Jehovah knows. That which can shake the cross May shake the peace it gave, Which tells me Christ has ever died, Or never left the grave! Till then my peace is sure, It will not, cannot yield, Jesus, I know, has died and lives,— On this firm rock I build. I change, he changes not, The Christ can never die; His love, not mine, the resting-place, His truth, not mine, the tie. The cross still stands unchanged, Though heaven is now his home, The mighty stone is rolled away, But yonder is his tomb! And yonder is my peace, The grave of all my woes! I know the Son of God has come, I know he died and rose. I know he liveth now, At God’s right hand above, I know the throne on which he sits, I know his truth and love! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 51, 2014

Lord’s Day 10, 2016

Sunday··2016·03·06
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. —Psalm 130:5–6 Begin with God Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Begin the day with God! He is thy sun and day; His is the radiance of thy dawn, To him address thy lay. Sing a new song at morn! Join the glad woods and hills; Join the fresh winds and seas and plains, Join the bright flowers and rills. Sing thy first song to God! Not to thy fellow-man; Not to the creatures of his hand, But to the glorious One. Awake, cold lips, and sing! Arise, dull knees, and pray; Lift up, O man, thy heart and eyes; Brush slothfulness away. Look up, beyond these clouds! Thither thy pathway lies; Mount up, away, and linger not, Thy goal is yonder skies. Cast every weight aside! Do battle with each sin; Fight with the faithless world without, The faithless heart within. Take thy first meal with God! He is thy heavenly food; Feed with and on him; he with thee Will feast in brotherhood. Take thy first walk with God! Let him go forth with thee; By stream or sea or mountain-path, Seek still his company. Thy first transaction be With God himself above; So shall thy business prosper well, And all the day be love. —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 10, 2016

Lord’s Day 1, 2017

Sunday··2017·01·01
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” —John 8:12 Why Walk in Darkness? Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Why walk in darkness? Has the dear light vanished, That gave us joy and day? Has the great Sun departed? Has sin banished His life-begetting ray? Light of the world! for ever, ever shining; There is no change in thee; True light of life, all joy and health enshrining, Thou canst not fade nor flee. Thou hast arisen; but thou descendest never; To day shines as the past; All that thou wast, thou art, and shalt be ever;— Brightness from first to last! Night visits not thy sky, nor storm, nor sadness; Day fills up all its blue: Unfailing beauty, and unfaltering gladness, And love, for ever new! Why walk in darkness? Our true light yet shineth, It is not night but day! All healing and all peace his light enshrineth, Why shun his loving ray? Are night and shadows better, truer, dearer, Than day and joy and love? Do tremblings and misgivings bring us nearer To the great God of love? Light of the world! undimming and unsetting, Oh shine each mist away! Banish the fear, the falsehood, and the fretting, Be our unchanging day! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 1, 2017

Lord’s Day 7, 2017

Sunday··2017·02·12
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. —Philippians 3:20–21 The New Song. Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) Beyond the hills where suns go down, And brightly beckon as they go; I see the land of far renown, The land which I so soon shall know. Above the dissonance of time, And discord of its angry words, I hear the everlasting chime, The music of unjarring chords. I bid it welcome; and my haste To join it cannot brook delay;— O song of morning, come at last, And ye who sing it, come away! O song of light, and dawn, and bliss, Sound over earth, and fill these skies, Nor ever, ever, ever cease Thy soul-entrancing melodies. Glad song of this disburdened earth, Which holy voices then shall sing; Praise for creation’s second birth, And glory to creation’s King! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 7, 2017

Lord’s Day 12, 2017

Sunday··2017·03·19
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. —1 Peter 1:3–5 Bless the Lord. Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) “Laudet Deum omnis os,  Quia patet nova dos,  De excelso cadit ros,  Et in terra crescit flos  Cujus odor sanat nos.” —Hymnus De Vita Christi Speak, lips of mine! And tell abroad The praises of thy God. Speak, stammering tongue! In gladdest tone, Make his high praises known. Speak, sea and earth! Heaven’s utmost star Speak from your realms afar! Take up the note, And send it round Creation’s farthest bound. Speak, heaven of heavens! Wherein our God Has made his bright abode. Speak, angels speak! In songs proclaim His everlasting name. Speak, son of dust! Thy flesh he took, And heaven for thee forsook. Speak, child of death! Thy death he died, Bless thou the Crucified! —Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (James Nisbet & Co., 1878). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these. Tweets about "sermon from:thethirstytheo" !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");
continue reading Lord’s Day 12, 2017

@TheThirstyTheo



Who Is Jesus?


The Gospel
What It Means to Be a Christian


Norma Normata
What I Believe


Westminster Bookstore


  Sick of lame Christian radio?

  Try RefNet

Links