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Samuel Davies

(7 posts)

Love for Souls

Monday··2007·03·05
Love is naturally productive of love; it scatters heavenly sparks around, and these kindle the gentle flame where they fall . . . Let a minister of Christ ascend the sacred desk, with a heart glowing with the love of souls, and what an amiable, engaging figure does he make . . . Love gives a smooth, though sharp edge to his address. Love animates his persuasions and exhortations. Love breathes through his invitations and renders them irresistible. Love brightens the evidence of conviction, and sweetly forces it upon unwilling minds . . . My glorious and condescending Lord has appointed me the most pleasing work—the work of love and benevolence. He only requires me to shew myself a lover of souls—souls, whom He loves, and whom he redeemed—souls, whom his Father loves, and for whom he gave up his own Son unto death—souls, whom my fellow-servants of a superior order, the blessed angels, love, and to whom they concur with me in ministering—souls, precious in themselves, and of more value than the whole material universe—souls, that must be happy, or miserable, in the highest degree, through an immortal duration—souls, united to me by the endearing ties of our common humanity—souls, for whom I must give an account to the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. And, oh! can I help loving these souls? Why does not my heart always glow with affection and zeal for them! Oh! why am I such a languid friend, when the love of my Master and his Father is so ardent! when the ministers of heaven are flaming fires of love, though they do not share in the same nature! and when the object of my love is so precious and valuable! The owners of those souls often do not love them; and they are likely to be lost for ever by the neglect. Oh! shall not I love them! shall not love invigorate my hand, to pluck them out ill the burning! Yes, I will, I must love them. But, ah! to love them more! Glow, my zeal! kindle, my affections! speak, my tongue! flow, my blood! be exerted, all my powers! be, my life! if necessary, a sacrifice to save souls from death! Let labour be a pleasure: let difficulties appear glorious and inviting in this service. O thou God of Love! kindle a flame of love in this cold heart of mine; and then I shall perform my work with alacrity and success. —Samuel Davies (1724–1761), as quoted by Murray in Revival & Revivalism
continue reading Love for Souls

Lord’s Day 27, 2008

Sunday··2008·07·06
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. (Psalme 122:1) Law and Gospel Samuel Davies (1723–1761) With conscious fear and humble awe, I view the terrors of the law; Condemned at that tremendous bar I shrink, I tremble, and despair. But hark, salvation in my ears, Sounds sweetly and dispels my fears; Jesus appears, and by His cross, Fulfills His Father’s broken laws. Jesus, Saviour! Dearest name! By Him alone salvation came; Terror, destruction, and despair, Where e’er I look besides appear. Adam, my head and father fell, and sunk his offspring down to hell; And the dread sword of justice waits, To guard me from the heavenly gates. Unnumbered crimes of dreadful names Call loud for everlasting flames; And all the duties I have done, Can neither merit, nor atone. Yet weak and guilty as I am, I fix my trust in Jesus name. Jesus, whose righteousness alone Can for the deepest crimes atone. On Him, my soul, on Him rely; The terms are fixed—Believe or die. Thee let the glorious gospel draw, Or perish by the fiery law. —Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). Psalme 102 (Geneva Bible) A prayer of the afflicted, when he shall be in distresse, and pour forth his meditation before the Lord. 1 O Lord, heare my prayer, and let my crye come vnto thee. 2 Hide not thy face from me in the time of my trouble: incline thine eares vnto me: when I call, make haste to heare me. 3 For my dayes are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burnt like an herthe. 4 Mine heart is smitten and withereth like grasse, because I forgate to eate my bread. 5 For the voyce of my groning my bones doe cleaue to my skinne. 6 I am like a pelicane of the wildernesse: I am like an owle of the deserts. 7 I watch and am as a sparrowe alone vpon the house top. 8 Mine enemies reuile me dayly, and they that rage against me, haue sworne against me. 9 Surely I haue eaten asshes as bread, and mingled my drinke with weeping, 10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast heaued me vp, and cast me downe. 11 My dayes are like a shadowe that fadeth, and I am withered like grasse. 12 But thou, O Lord, doest remaine for euer, and thy remembrance from generation to generation. 13 Thou wilt arise and haue mercy vpon Zion: for the time to haue mercie thereon, for the appointed time is come. 14 For thy seruants delite in the stones thereof, and haue pitie on the dust thereof. 15 Then the heathen shall feare the Name of the Lord, and all the Kings of the earth thy glory, 16 When the Lord shall build vp Zion, and shall appeare in his glory, 17 And shall turne vnto the prayer of the desolate, and not despise their prayer. 18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people, which shalbe created, shall prayse the Lord. 19 For he hath looked downe from the height of his Sanctuarie: out of the heauen did the Lord beholde the earth, 20 That he might heare the mourning of the prisoner, and deliuer the children of death: 21 That they may declare the Name of the Lord in Zion, and his prayse in Ierusalem, 22 When the people shalbe gathered together, and the kingdomes to serue the Lord. 23 He abated my strength in the way, and shortened my dayes. 24 And I sayd, O my God, take me not away in the middes of my dayes: thy yeeres endure from generation to generation. 25 Thou hast aforetime layde the foundation of the earth, and the heauens are the worke of thine hands. 26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: euen they all shall waxe olde as doeth a garment: as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. 27 But thou art the same, and thy yeeres shall not fayle. 28 The children of thy seruants shall continue, and their seede shall stand fast in thy sight. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lord’s Day 27, 2008

Lords Day 12, 2009

Sunday··2009·03·22
I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1 (geneva bible) The Fountain (The Invitation of the Gospel) Samuel Davies (17231761) Today the living streams of grace Flow to refresh the thirsty soul; Pardon and life and boundless bliss In plenteous rivers round us roll. Ho, ye that pine away and die, Come, and your raging thirst allay; Come all that will, heres rich supply, A fountain that shall neer decay. Come all, the blessed Jesus cries, Freely My blessing I will give. The spirit echoes back the voice, And bids us freely drink and live. The saints below, that do but taste, And saints above, who drink at will, Cry jointly, Thirsty sinners! haste, and drink, the springs exhaustless still. Let all that hear the joyful sound, To spread it though the world unite; From house to house proclaim it round, Each man his fellow man invite. Like thirsty flocks, come let us go; Come ever color, every age; And while the living waters flow, Let all their parching thirst assuage. Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). Psalme 119:8996 (Geneva Bible) Lamed. 89 O Lord, thy worde endureth for euer in heauen. 90 Thy trueth is from generation to generation: thou hast layed the foundation of the earth, and it abideth. 91 They continue euen to this day by thine ordinances: for all are thy seruants. 92 Except thy Lawe had bene my delite, I should now haue perished in mine affliction. 93 I wil neuer forget thy precepts: for by them thou hast quickened me. 94 I am thine, saue me: for I haue sought thy precepts. 95 The wicked haue waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. 96 I haue seene an ende of all perfection: but thy commandement is exceeding large. Grace be with you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lorde Jesus Christ.
continue reading Lords Day 12, 2009

Lords Day 30, 2009

Sunday··2009·07·26
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Applying for Relief to the All-Sufficiency of Christ Samuel Davies (17231761) I hear the counsel of a Friend; To the kind voice, my soul, attend. Come, sinners, wretched, blind, and poor, Come, draw from My unbounded store. I only ask you to receive, For freely I My blessings give. Jesus, and are thy treasurers free, Then I may dare to come to Thee? I come for grace, that gold refined, To enrich and beautify my mind, Grace that will trials well endure, By trials more divinely pure. Naked I come for that bright dress, Thy perfect spotless righteousness, That glorious robe, so richly dyed In Thine own blood, my shame to hide. Like Bartimaeus, Lord, to Thee I come; oh, give the blind to see! Een clay is eye-salve in Thine hand, If Thou the blessing but command. Poor, naked, blind I hither came, Oh, let me not depart the same! Let me return, all-gracious Lord, Enriched, adorned, to sight restored. Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). John 1:4351 Phillip and Nathanael Follow Christ   43 The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip And Jesus said to him, Follow Me. 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wroteJesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46 Nathanael said to him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see. 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit! 48 Nathanael said to Him, How do You know me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. 49 Nathanael answered Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel. 50 Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. 51 And He said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. Let us observe, as we read these verses, how various are the paths by which souls are led into the narrow way of life. We are told of a man, named Philip, being added to the little company of Christs disciples. He does not appear to have been moved, like Andrew and his companions, by the testimony of John the Baptist. He was not drawn, like Simon Peter, by the out-spoken declaration of a brother. He seems to have been called directly by Christ Himself, and the agency of man seems not to have been used in his calling. Yet in faith and life he became one with those who were disciples before him. Though led by different paths, they all entered the same road, embraced the same truths, served the same Master, and at length reached the same home. The fact before us is a deeply important one. It throws light on the history of all Gods people in every age, and of every tongue. There are diversities of operations in the saving of souls. All true Christians are led by one Spirit, washed in one blood, serve one Lord, lean on one Saviour, believe one truth, and walk by one general rule. But all are not converted in one and the same manner. All do not pass through the same experience. In conversion, the Holy Spirit acts as a sovereign. He calleth every one severally as He will. A careful recollection of this point may save us much trouble. We must beware of making the experience of other believers the measure of our own. We must beware of denying anothers grace, because he has not been led by the same way as ourselves. Has a man got the real grace of God? This is the only question that concerns us.Is he a penitent man? Is he a believer? Does he live a holy life?Provided these inquiries can be answered satisfactorily, we may well be content. It matters nothing by what path a man has been led, if he has only been led at last into the right way. Let us observe, secondly, in these verses, how much of Christ there is in the Old Testament Scriptures. We read that when Philip described Christ to Nathanael, he says, We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write. Christ is the sum and substance of the Old Testament. To Him the earliest promises pointed in the days of Adam, and Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. To Him every sacrifice pointed in the ceremonial worship appointed at Mount Sinai. Of Him every high priest was a type, and every part of the tabernacle was a shadow, and every judge and deliverer of Israel was a figure. He was the prophet like unto Moses, whom the Lord God promised to send, and the King of the house of David, who came to be Davids Lord as well as son. He was the Son of the virgin, and the Lamb, foretold by Isaiah,the righteous Branch mentioned by Jeremiah,the true Shepherd, foreseen by Ezekiel,the Messenger of the Covenant, promised by Malachi,and the Messiah, who, according to Daniel, was to be cut off, though not for Himself. The further we read in the volume of the Old Testament, the clearer do we find the testimony about Christ. The light which the inspired writers enjoyed in ancient days was, at best, but dim, compared to that of the Gospel. But the coming Person they all saw afar off, and on whom they all fixed their eyes, was one and the same. The Spirit, which was in them, testified of Christ. (1 Pet. i. 11) Do we stumble at this saying? Do we find it hard to see Christ in the Old Testament, because we do not see His name? Let us be sure that the fault is all our own. It is our spiritual vision which is to blame, and not the book. The eyes of our understanding need to be enlightened. The veil has yet to be taken away. Let us pray for a more humble, childlike, and teachable spirit, and let us take up Moses and the prophets again. Christ is there, though our eyes may not yet have seen Him. May we never rest until we can subscribe to our Lords words about the Old Testament Scriptures, They are they which testify of me. (John v. 39.) Let us observe, thirdly, in these verses, the good advice which Philip gave to Nathanael. The mind of Nathanael was full of doubts about the Saviour, of whom Philip told Him. Can there any good thing, he said, come out of Nazareth? And what did Philip reply? He said, Come and see. Wiser counsel than this it would be impossible to conceive! If Philip had reproved Nathanaels unbelief, he might have driven him back for many a day, and given offence. If he had reasoned with him, he might have failed to convince him, or might have confirmed him in his doubts. But by inviting him to prove the matter for himself, he showed his entire confidence in the truth of his own assertion, and his willingness to have it tested and proved. And the result shows the wisdom of Philips words. Nathanael owed his early acquaintance with Christ to that frank invitation, Come and see. If we call ourselves true Christians, let us never be afraid to deal with people about their souls as Philip dealt with Nathanael. Let us invite them boldly to make proof of our religion. Let us tell them confidently that they cannot know its real value until they have tried it. Let us assure them that vital Christianity courts every possible inquiry. It has no secrets. It has nothing to conceal. Its faith and practice are spoken against, just because they are not known. Its enemies speak evil of things with which they are not acquainted. They understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm. Philips mode of dealing, we may be sure, is one principal way to do good. Few are ever moved by reasoning and argument. Still fewer are frightened into repentance. The man who does most good to souls, is often the simple believer who says to his friends, I have found a Saviour; come and see Him. Let us observe, lastly, in these verses, the high character which Jesus gives of Nathanael. He calleth him an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. Nathanael, there can be no doubt, was a true child of God, and a child of God in difficult times. He was one of a very little flock. Like Simeon and Anna, and other pious Jews, he was living by faith and waiting prayerfully for the promised Redeemer, when our Lords ministry began. He had that which grace alone can give, an honest heart, a heart without guile. His knowledge was probably small. His spiritual eyesight was dim. But he was one who had lived carefully up to his light. He had diligently used such knowledge as he possessed. His eye had been single, though his vision had not been strong. His spiritual judgment had been honest, though it had not been powerful. What he saw in Scripture, he had held firmly, in spite of Pharisees and Sadducees, and all the fashionable religion of the day. He was an honest Old Testament believer, who had stood alone. And here was the secret of our Lord peculiar commendation! He declared Nathanael to be a true son of Abraham,a Jew inwardly, possessing circumcision in the spirit as well as in the letter,an Israelite in heart, as well as a son of Jacob in the flesh. Let us pray that we may be of the same spirit as Nathanael. An honest, unprejudiced mind,a child-like willingness to follow the truth, wherever the truth may lead us,a simple, hearty desire to be guided, taught, and led by the Spirit,a thorough determination to use every spark of light which we have,are a possession of priceless value. A man of this spirit may live in the midst of much darkness, and be surrounded by every possible disadvantage to his soul. But the Lord Jesus will take care that such a man does not miss the way to heaven. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (Psalm xxv. 9.) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Baker Books, 2007), 3:7680 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 30, 2009

Lords Day 2, 2010

Sunday··2010·01·10
I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. The Spiritual Warfare Samuel Davies (17231761) Arm thee in panoply divine, My soul, and fired with courage rise; A thousand enemies combine To obstruct thy progress to the skies. Infernal darts perpetual fly And scatter various deaths around; Around thee thousands daily die And none escape without a wound. The world presents her tempting charms, And wears the aspect of a friend, Yet, ah, she carries deadly arms, And all her smiles in ruin end. But, oh, the flesh, that latent foe, That treacherous enemy in my breast! Tis hence proceeds my overthrow, And hence Im conquered by the rest. Through troops of potent enemies, Through hostile snares and fields of blood, If I expect the glorious prize, I must pursue my dangerous road. But, ah, how can a feeble worm Obtain so hard a victory? Alas, I perish in the storm, And helpless fall, and bleed, and die. The glorious prize stands in view, But deaths and dangers stop my way; Thou glorious prize! Adieu, adieu! Here, cruel foes! Come size your prey. But hark, an animating voice, Majestic breaks from the upper sky, Courage, frail worm! Live and rejoice, I have procured the victory. Suspended on the accursed tree, I crushed the might of all thy foes, Dying, I spoiled their tyranny, And triumphed over them when I rose. This arm that props the universe, And holds up natures tottering frame, Can all surrounding harms disperse, And safe protect the feeblest name. The captain of salvation deigns To lead the van, and guard thy way; And since thy conquering Leader reigns, The infernal powers shall miss their prey. In me confide; from me derive Courage and strength to keep the field; In crowds of death then thou shalt live, And all thy foes shall stubborn yield. The Spirits sword victorious yield, And steel thy breast with righteousness; Let faith be thy triumphant shield; Thy helmet, hope of heavnly bliss. See in my hands the glorious prize; This crown the conqueror shall wear. Rise then with dauntless courage rise, And bid adieu to every fear. Though sharp the conflict, tis but short; Victry with active wings draws nigh. And my brave soldiers, all unhurt, Ere long shall triumph in the sky. Blessed Jesus, with martial zeal, I arm, and rush into the fight; And through my weakness still I feel, I am almighty in thy might. Thy gracious Words my heart inspire With generous zeal for noble deeds; Let hell and all her hosts appear, My soul, undaunted, now proceeds. Satan, affrighted at Thy frown, Retreats, despairing of his prey; And all the flatteries earth has shown, In vain their treacherous charms display. The flesh, subdued by grace divine, No more shall triumph oer the man. Now, glorious prize, I call thee mine, Though earth and hell do all they can. Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). John 6:6671Confession by PeterAs a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, You do not want to go away also, do you? 68 Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God. 70 Jesus answered them, Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil? 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him. These verses form a sorrowful conclusion to the famous discourse of Christ which occupies the greater part of the sixth chapter. They supply a melancholy proof of the hardness and corruption of mans heart. Even when the Son of God was the preacher, many seem to have heard in vain. Let us mark in this passage what an old sin backsliding is. We read that when our Lord had explained what He meant by eating and drinking his flesh and blood,From that time, many went back and walked no more with him. The true grace of God no doubt is an everlasting possession. From this men never fall away entirely, when they have once received it. The foundation of God standeth sure. My sheep shall never perish. (2 Tim. ii. 19; John x. 28.) But there is counterfeit grace and unreal religion in the Church, wherever there is true; and from counterfeit grace thousands may, and do, fall away. Like the stony ground hearers, in the parable of the sower, many have no root in themselves, and so in time of trial fall away. All is not gold that glitters. All blossoms do not come to fruit. All are not Israel which are called Israel. Men may have feelings, desires, convictions, resolutions, hopes, joys, sorrows in religion, and yet never have the grace of God. They may run well for a season, and bid fair to reach heaven, and yet break down entirely after a time, go back to the world, and end like Demas, Judas Iscariot, and Lots wife. It must never surprise us to see and hear of such cases in our own days. If it happened in our Lords time and under our Lords teaching, much more may we expect it to happen now. Above all, it must never shake our faith and discourage us in our course. On the contrary, we must make up our minds that there will be backsliders in the Church as long as the world stands. The sneering infidel, who defends his unbelief by pointing at them, must find some better argument than their example. He forgets that there will always be counterfeit coin where there is true money. Let us mark, secondly, in this passage, the noble declaration of faith which the Apostle Peter made. Our Lord had said to the twelve, when many went back, Will ye also go away? At once Peter replied, with characteristic zeal and fervor, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and art sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. The confession contained in these words is a very remarkable one. Living in a professedly Christian land, and surrounded by Christian privileges; we can hardly form an adequate idea of its real value. For a humble Jew to say of one whom Scribes, and Pharisees, and Sadducees agreed in rejecting, Thou hast the words of eternal life; thou art the Christ, was an act of mighty faith. No wonder that our Lord said, in another place, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is heaven. (Matt. xvi. 17.) But the question with which Peter begins, is just as remarkable as his confession. To whom shall we go? said the noble-hearted Apostle. Whom shall we follow? To what teacher shall we betake ourselves? Where shall we find any guide to heaven to compare with thee? What shall we gain by forsaking thee? What Scribe, what Pharisee, what Sadducee, what Priest, what Rabbi can show us such words of eternal life as thou showest? The question is one which every true Christian may boldly ask, when urged and tempted to give up his religion, and go back to the world. It is easy for those who hate religion to pick holes in our conduct, to make objections to our doctrines, to find fault with our practices. It may be hard sometimes to give them any answer. But after all, To whom shall we go, if we give up our religion? Where shall we find such peace, and hope, and solid comfort as in serving Christ, however poorly we serve Him? Can we better ourselves by turning our back on Christ, and going back to our old ways? We cannot. Then let us hold on our way and persevere. Let us mark, lastly, in this passage, what little benefit some men get from religious privileges. We read that our Lord said, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil. And it goes on, He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. If ever there was a man who had great privileges and opportunities, that man was Judas Iscariot. A chosen disciple, a constant companion of Christ, a witness of His miracles, a hearer of His sermons, a commissioned preacher of His kingdom, a fellow and friend of Peter, James, and John,it would be impossible to imagine a more favourable position for a mans soul. Yet if anyone ever fell hopelessly into hell, and made shipwreck at last for eternity, that man was Judas Iscariot. The character of that man must have been black indeed, of whom our Lord could say he is a devil. Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that the possession of religious privileges alone is not enough to save our souls. It is neither place, nor light, nor company, nor opportunities, but grace that man needs to make him a Christian. With grace we may serve God in the most difficult position,like Daniel in Babylon, Obadiah in Ahabs court, and the saints in Neros household. Without grace we may live in the full sunshine of Christs countenance, and yet, like Judas, be miserably cast away. Then let us never rest until we have grace reigning in our souls. Grace is to be had for the asking. There is One sitting at the right hand of God who has said,Ask, and it shall be given you. (Matt. vii. 7.) The Lord Jesus is more willing to give grace than man is to seek it. If men have it not, it is because they do not ask it. J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Banner of Truth, 2012).
continue reading Lords Day 2, 2010

Lord’s Day 43, 2010

Sunday··2010·10·24
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Christ the Beloved Samuel Davies (1723–1761) Let others let their passions rove Round all the earth, from shore to shore; Since Jesus is my friend and love, My utmost wish can grasp no more. His glories have allured my eye, And into love transformed my heart; To Him my tenderest passions fly; Jesus, nor shall they e’er depart. Upon His friendship I rely, Still of His tender care secure; My wants are all before His eye! Nor can they overcome His pow’r. His presence fills unbounded space; My heavenly friend is always nigh. Full of compassion, rich in grace; Touched with the tenderest sympathy. Faithful and constant is His love, And my ungrateful conduct hides; Safe to the happy world above, The meanest of His friends He guides. Amid the agonies of death, and terrors of the final doom, He saves them from almighty wrath, And leads the helpless pilgrims home. Oh, may an everlasting flame Of love possess my grateful mind! And my last breath adore His name, Who condescends to be my friend! —Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). John 14:21–26 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” We learn from these verses that keeping Christ’s commandments is the best test of love to Christ. This is a lesson of vast importance and one that needs continually pressing on the attention of Christians. It is not talking about religion, and talking fluently and well too, but steadily doing Christ’s will and walking in Christ’s ways, that is the proof of our being true believers. Good feelings and desires are useless if they are not accompanied by action. They may even become mischievous to the soul, induce hardness of conscience, and do certain harm. Passive impressions which do not lead to action, gradually deaden and paralyze the heart. Living and doing are the only real evidence of grace. Where the Holy Ghost is, there will always be a holy life. A jealous watchfulness over tempers, words, and deeds, a constant endeavor to live by the rule of the Sermon on the Mount, this is the best proof that we love Christ. Of course such maxims as these must not be wrested and misunderstood. We are not to suppose for a moment that “keeping Christ’s commandments” can save us. Our best works are full of imperfection. When we have done all we can, we are feeble and unprofitable servants. “By grace are you saved through faith,—not of works.” (Ep. ii. 8.) But while we hold one class of truths, we must not forget another. Faith in the blood of Christ must always be attended by loving obedience to the will of Christ. What the Master has joined together, the disciple must not put asunder. Do we profess to love Christ? Then let us show it by our lives. The Apostle who said, “You know that I love You!” received the charge, “Feed my lambs.” That meant, “Do something. Be useful: follow my example.” (John xxii. 17.) We learn, secondly, from these verses, that there are special comforts laid up for those who love Christ, and prove it by keeping His words. This, at any rate, seems the general sense of our Lord’s language: “My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” The full meaning of this promise, no doubt, is a deep thing. We have no line to fathom it. It is a thing which no man can understand except he that receives and experiences it. But we need not shrink from believing that eminent holiness brings eminent comfort with it, and that no man has such sensible enjoyment of his religion as the man who, like Enoch and Abraham, walks closely with God. There is more of heaven on earth to be obtained than most Christians are aware of. “The secret of the Lord is with them who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”—“If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me.” (Ps. xxv. 14; Rev. iii. 20.) Promises like these, we may be sure, mean something, and were not written in vain. How is it, people often ask, that so many professing believers have so little happiness in their religion? How is it that so many know little of “joy and peace in believing,” and go mourning and heavy-hearted towards heaven? The answer to these questions is a sorrowful one, but it must be given. Few believers attend as strictly as they should to Christ’s practical sayings and words. There is far too much loose and careless obedience to Christ’s commandments. There is far too much forgetfulness, that while good works cannot justify us they are not to be despised. Let these things sink down into our hearts. If we want to be eminently happy, we must strive to be eminently holy. We learn, lastly, from these verses, that one part of the Holy Ghost’s work is to teach, and to bring things to remembrance. It is written, “The Comforter shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.” To confine this promise to the eleven Apostles, as some do, seems a narrow and unsatisfactory mode of interpreting Scripture. It appears to reach far beyond the day of Pentecost, and the gift of writing inspired books of God’s Holy Word. It is safer, wiser, and more consistent with the whole tone of our Lord’s last discourse, to regard the promise as the common property of all believers, in every age of the world. Our Lord knows the ignorance and forgetfulness of our nature in spiritual things. He graciously declares that when He leaves the world, His people shall have a teacher and remembrancer. Are we sensible of spiritual ignorance? Do we feel that at best we know in part and see in part? Do we desire to understand more clearly the doctrines of the Gospel? Let us pray daily for the help of the “teaching” Spirit. It is His office to illuminate the soul, to open the eyes of the understanding, and to guide us into all truth. He can make dark places light, and rough places smooth. Do we find our memory of spiritual things defective? Do we complain that though we read and hear, we seem to lose as fast as we gain? Let us pray daily for the help of the Holy Ghost. He can bring things to our remembrance. He can make us remember “old things and new.” He can keep in our minds the whole system of truth and duty, and make us ready for every good word and work. —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 43, 2010

Lord’s Day 17, 2016

Sunday··2017·04·23
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. —James 1:12 The Blessing of Hope in Death Samuel Davies (1723–1761) Yes; I must bow my head and die; What then can bear my spirit up? In nature’s last extremity, Who can afford one ray of hope? Then all created comforts fail, And earth speaks nothing but despair; And you, my friends, must bid farewell, And leave your fellow-traveller. Yet, Savior, Thine almighty power Even then can sure support afford, Even then that hope shall smile secure, That's now supported by Thy Word. Searcher of hearts, oh, try me now, Nor let me build upon the sand; Oh, teach me now myself to know, That I may then the trial stand. —Worthy Is the Lamb (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). 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 17, 2016

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