Wednesday, 28 June 2017

I bequeath my pastor's soul to the devil!

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(Thomas Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"Covetousness, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5

Covetousness is explicit idolatry.

Covetousness is the darling sin of our nation.
Covetousness being idolatry--is highly provoking to God.

This leprosy has infected all sorts and ranks of men.

Whatever a man loves most and best--that is his god. The covetous man looks upon the riches of the world as his Heaven--his happiness--his great ALL.
  His heart is most upon the world,
  his thoughts are most upon the world,
  his affections are most upon the world,
  his discourse is most about the world.

He who has his mind taken up with the world, and chiefly delighted with the world's music--he has also his tongue tuned to the same key, and takes his joy and comfort in speaking of the world and worldly things. If the world is in the heart--it will break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks mostly of worldly things. "They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world," John 4:5. The love of this world oils the tongue for worldly discourses, and makes men . . .
  forget God,
  neglect Christ,
  despise holiness,
  forfeit Heaven.

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the strength, the efforts--which are spent upon the world, and the things of the world--while sinners' souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity is hastening upon them!

I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best when he was most in talking of money and the world. Being near his death, he was much pressed to make his WILL. Finally he dictates:

First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil--for being so greedy for the muck of this world!

Secondly, I bequeath my wife's soul to the devil--for persuading me to this worldly course of life.

Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor's soul to the devil--because he did not show me the danger I lived in, nor reprove me for it!

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction!" 1 Timothy 6:9
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Day by Day by Grace

Bob Hoekstra
June 28, 2017
God's Promise to Deliver Israel
"I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt…I will certainly be with you…I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey…So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go." (Exodus 3:10, 12, 17, 20)
Again, we see our God of promises pouring out His guaranteed plans like a cascading waterfall. They include God's promise to deliver Israel. These promises build upon God's fundamental commitment to Abraham to call out a people for His own glory and purposes. The central promise reveals the rescuing heart of God, who wants to deliver people from bondage, and bring them into blessing. "I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt… to a land flowing with milk and honey."
Our God is a God of compassion. When Israel was in cruel bondage in Egypt, God's heart was moved with concern. "And the LORD said: 'I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows'" (Exodus 3:7). The prophet Isaiah put it this way. "In all their affliction He was afflicted" (Isaiah 63:9). Thus, the Lord committed Himself to deliver them. "So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go."
When the Lord Jesus walked upon this earth, He demonstrated the same compassion. "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). This same loving compassion led Jesus all the way to the cross to deliver us from the bondage of sin.
The delivering work of God for Israel was not only from bondage; it was to substantial blessing: "to a land flowing with milk and honey." Israel was not only rescued from great heartache, but they were brought into a joyous bounty. When Joshua and Caleb saw the land, they described it as "an exceedingly good land" (Numbers 14:7). This same pattern (from bondage to blessing) is how Jesus works on our behalf. He delivers us from spiritual death to fullness of life. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Dear Lord, my Deliverer, I praise You for rescuing me from the bondage of sin. I rejoice that You have brought me into the richness of fellowship with You. What a gracious plan You have provided—to make all of this available by means of Your faithful promises!

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Those tokens of divine love!

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(John Newton's Letters)

"Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning--but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." Ecclesiastes 7:3-4

Every day almost I meet with new occasions of admiring the wisdom, care, and faithfulness of our great Shepherd--as He adjusts His dispensations exactly to our need and state.

When the enemy is spreading a snare for our feet, when our deceitful hearts are beginning to start aside, when we have perhaps actually taken some steps in that path which, if persisted in, might terminate in apostasy--oh then, how gracious, how seasonable, how beneficial--are those tokens of divine love (called afflictions in the language of mortals) which He sends to break the snare, to check our progress in sin, and to recall our wandering feet into the path of duty and peace!

How many turns of my life can I recollect of which, though at the time they were not joyous but grievous, I may now say, "I would have perished--if I had not been made wretched!"
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"Sadness is often a happy means of seriousness. That affliction which is impairing to the health, estate, and family--may be improving to the mind, and make such impressions upon it as may alter its temperament very much for the better. Afflictions tend may make the heart . . .
  humble and meek,
  loose from the world,
  penitent for sin,
  and careful in duty.
It will follow, on the contrary, that by foolish mirth, the heart is made worse--more vain, more carnal, more sensual, more in love with the world, and more estranged from God and spiritual things." Matthew Henry
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Daily Promises

Blue Letter Bible
June 27, 2017
The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand. I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed. (Psalm 37:23-26)
Never shall the Lord forsake the righteous. Never shall the bride of Christ want for any good thing. The Lord is kind and merciful and will always see fit to bless His people whom He loves so dearly. Rejoice in and give thanks for the Lord's constancy! He shall never fail and we shall never be ashamed.

Morning Devotional June 27, 2017

Isaiah 6:8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

I will be speaking to the men of God who are reading this today.
Are you willing to go if the Lord were to call today? Where are you willing to go? When are you willing to go? Do you have your own stipulations on when and where you will go? Or are you waiting on the Lord to make the way? There is a difference.
So many of God's men are so consumed with the ideas of the world or by the suggestions of friends and family that when the Lord does call they have no desire to go.
Notice in the sixth chapter of Isaiah, Isaiah does not hesitate nor does he question the Lord. When the question is asked by the Lord “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah immediately says “Here am I; send me.”
How many godly men do we all know who are well versed in God's Word and seem to have a desire to share with others the knowledge our Lord has given them of His Word? But when asked if they will go to pastor or will they go to the mission field, they say “not me”. And we hear every excuse for why they won't go or in their eyes, why they can't go. Whether it is their family or their job, or the worldly comforts they are accustom too. Most are not willing to leave behind the riches and comforts of this world for a life of living strictly by faith in God for their every need.
What good does it do us to have a knowledge of God's Word if we are not willing to use it to His glory? How many of the Lord's churches are starving and many even dying out because no one will go?
I challenge you all to think on these things. If God has given you a desire to teach His Word and to share the knowledge He has given you then is He calling you to go or has He something right where you are? Are you willing to go as did Isaiah and the other prophets in the Old Testament and the Apostles and other men were in the New Testament? Or will you set back and keep the riches of God's Word to yourself?

Praise ye the Lord!!!

Stephen McCool Sr.