An affectionate INVITATION to all who desire their souls to be saved

“Come unto Me,” says the Savior, “all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28 

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“He who believes on the Son shall not perish, but have eternal life.”—”He who believes on Him is not condemned.”—”He who comes unto Me I will never cast out.”—”Everyone who sees the Son, and believes on Him may have everlasting life.”—”He who believes on Me has everlasting life.”—”If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink.” “Whoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” (John 3:15, 18; 6:37, 40, 47; 7:37; Rev. 22:17.) 

An affectionate INVITATION to all who desire their souls to be saved. I invite every reader of this paper who feels the value of his soul, and desires salvation, to come to Christ without delay, and be saved. I invite him to come to Christ by faith, and commit his soul to Him, that he may be delivered from the guilt, the power, and the consequences of sin.

My tongue is not able to tell, and my mind is too weak to explain, the whole extent of God’s love towards sinners—and of Christ’s willingness to receive and save souls. You are not straitened in Christ, but in yourself. You mistake greatly if you doubt Christ’s readiness to save. I know there are no obstacles between that soul of yours and eternal life, except your own will. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.” (Luke 15:10) You may have heard something of the wonders of the choruses at the Crystal Palace concerts. But what is all that burst of harmony in the “Hallelujah Chorus,” to the outburst of joy which is heard in heaven when a soul turns from darkness to light? What is it all but a mere whisper, compared to the “joy of angels” over one sinner taught to see the folly of sin, and to seek Christ? Oh, come and add to that joy without delay!

If you love life, I beseech you to lay hold on Christ at once, that your soul may be saved. Why not do it today? Why not this day join yourself to the Lord Jesus in an everlasting covenant which cannot be broken? Why not resolve, before tomorrow’s sun dawns, to turn from the service of sin, and turn to Christ? Why not go to Christ this very day, and cast your soul on Him, with all its sins and all its unbelief, with all its doubts and all its fears?

Are you poor? Seek treasure in heaven and be rich. Are you old? Hasten, hasten to be ready for your end, and prepare to meet your God. Are you young? Begin well, and seek in Christ a never-failing friend, who will never forsake you. Are you in trouble, anxious about this life? Seek Him who alone can help you and bear your burdens—seek Him who will never disappoint you. When others turn their backs upon you, then will Jesus Christ the Lord take you up. Are you a sinner, a great sinner, a sinner of the worst description? It shall all be remembered no more if you only come to Christ—His blood shall cleanse all sin away. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow.

Go then, and cry to the Lord Jesus Christ. Think of the value of your soul, and think of the one way of salvation. Call on the Lord in earnest prayer. Do as the penitent thief did—pour out your heart before Him—cry, “Lord remember me, even me!” Tell him you come to Him, because you have heard that He “receives sinners,” and because you are a sinner and want to be saved. Tell Him the whole story of your past life. Tell Him, if you will, that you have been an unbeliever, a profligate, a Sabbath-breaker, a godless, reckless, ill-tempered man. He will not despise you. He will not cast you out. He will not turn His back upon you. He never breaks the bruised reed, or quenches the smoking flax. No man ever came to Him and was cast out. Oh, come to Christ, and your soul shall live!

My last word of application shall be an affectionate EXHORTATION to every reader of this paper who has found out the value of his soul, and believed in Jesus Christ. That exhortation shall be short and simple. I beseech you to cleave to the Lord with all your heart, and to press towards the mark for the prize of your high calling.

I can well conceive that you find your way very narrow. There are few with you—and many against you. Your lot in life may seem hard, and your position may be difficult. But still cleave to the Lord, and He will never forsake you. Cleave to the Lord in the midst of persecution. Cleave to the Lord, though men laugh at you and mock you, and try to make you ashamed. Cleave to the Lord, though the cross be heavy and the fight be hard. He was not ashamed of you upon the Cross of Calvary—then do not be ashamed of Him upon earth, lest He should be ashamed of you before His Father who is in heaven. Cleave to the Lord, and He will never forsake you. In this world there are plenty of disappointments—disappointments in properties, and families, and houses, and lands, and situations. But no man ever yet was disappointed in Christ. No man ever failed to find Christ all that the Bible says He is, and a thousand times better than he had been told before!

Look forward, look onward and forward to the end! Your best things are yet to come. Time is short. The end is drawing near. The latter days of the world are upon us. Fight the good fight. Labor on. Work on. Strive on. Pray on. Read on. Labor hard for your own soul’s prosperity. Labor hard for the prosperity of the souls of others. Strive to bring a few more with you to heaven, and by all means to save some. Do something, by God’s help, to make heaven more full and hell more empty. Speak to that young man by your side, and to that old person who lives near to your house. Speak to that neighbor who never goes to a place of worship. Speak to that relative who never reads the Bible in private, and makes a jest of serious religion. Entreat them all to think about their souls. Beg them to go and hear something on Sundays which will be for their good unto everlasting life. Try to persuade them to live, not like the beasts which perish, but like men who desire to be saved. Great is your reward in heaven, if you try to do good to souls. Great is the reward of all who confess Christ before the sons of men.

The honors of this world will soon be at an end forever. But the crown which Christ gives, never fades. Seek that crown, my believing reader. Labor for that crown. It will make amends for all that you have to pass through in this troublous world. The rewards of Christ’s soldiers are for evermore. Their home is eternal. Their glory never comes to an end!

OUR SOULS! by J. C. Ryle

jc-ryle

 

The temple of God is holy, which temple you are – Octavius Winslow

 1 Corinthians. 3:16-17

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are

How holy should the temple of the Spirit be! Reader, are you a temple of God the Holy Spirit? Then dedicate yourself unreservedly to God. You are not your own; your body, your spirit, your family, substance, time, talents, influence, all, all belong to God. He dwells in you; walks in you, rules in you, and calls you His dwelling-place. “Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you?” Then, what a separation should there be between you and the world that lies in wickedness! How should you guard against every unnecessary entanglement with it! how cautious and prayerful, lest, by contracting an unholy alliance with it in any form or degree, you should defile the temple of God, “which temple you are”!

Oh, what heavenly wisdom, and holy circumspection, and ceaseless prayer, do you need, that you might walk with unspotted garments—that no rival should enter your heart—that no lofty views of self, no spirit of worldly conformity, no temporizing policy, no known sin, no creature idolatry should enter there!—that, like the heavenly temple, nothing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, should be cherished or entertained in the abode and in the presence of the Holy Spirit! for “what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Reader, whose temple are you? Solemn question! Does God or Satan dwell in you? Christ or Belial? light or darkness? Either the one or the other has, at this moment, entire possession. You cannot serve two contrary masters; you cannot entertain two opposite guests. You are living either for God or for Satan. You are traveling either to heaven or to hell. Which? On your bended knees before God, decide; and may the Lord the Spirit renew you by His grace, and if renewed, make you “a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

MORNING THOUGHTS By Octavius Winslow – 1856

Take up the cross, and follow me. – Charles Spugeon

“Come, take up the cross, and follow me”
Mark 10:21
Charles spurgeon

You have not the making of your own cross, although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making; neither are you permitted to choose your own cross, although self-will would fain be lord and master; but your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it; you are to take up the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not to stand cavilling at it. This night Jesus bids you submit your shoulder to his easy yoke. Do not kick at it in petulance, or trample on it in vain-glory, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear, but take it up like a true follower of Jesus. Jesus was a cross-bearer; he leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if he carried a cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis is the way of safety; fear not to tread its thorny paths.

Beloved, the cross is not made of feathers, or lined with velvet, it is heavy and galling to disobedient shoulders; but it is not an iron cross, though your fears have painted it with iron colours, it is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it, for the Man of sorrows tried the load. Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt. Remember that Jesus carried it, and it will smell sweetly; remember that it will soon be followed by the crown, and the thought of the coming weight of glory will greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble. The Lord help you to bow your spirit in submission to the divine will ere you fall asleep this night, that waking with to-morrow’s sun, you may go forth to the day’s cross with the holy and submissive spirit which becomes a follower of the Crucified.

sp066– Charles Spugeon

 

My Grace is Sufficient for You – J.C. Philpot

My grace is sufficient for you

(J. C. Philpot, “Strength Made Perfect in Weakness”)

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is
made perfect in your weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Not your strength,
not your wisdom,
not your prayers,
not your experience;
but “My grace”—My free, My matchless grace,
independent of all works and efforts, independent of
everything in the creature—flowing wholly and solely,
fully and freely, out of the bosom of Jesus to . . .
the needy,
the guilty,
the destitute,
the undone.

You who are tried in worldly circumstances,
who have to endure the hard lot of poverty
—”My grace is sufficient for you.”

You who are tempted, day by day, to say
or do that which conscience testifies against
—”My grace is sufficient for you.”

You who are harassed with family troubles
and afflictions, and are often drawn aside into
peevishness and fretfulness—”My grace is
sufficient for you.”

Our weakness, helplessness, and inability
are the very things which draw forth the power,
the strength, and the grace of Jesus!

Believer, your case is never beyond the reach
of the words—”My grace is sufficient for you!”

The free, the matchless, sovereign grace of God,
is sufficient for all His people—in whatever state,
or stage, or trouble, or difficulty they may be in!

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is
made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

philpot_jong

J. C. Philpot

http://www.gracegems.org/SERMONS2/Philpot.htm

Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and Audio Books

OVERCOMING THE WORLD – ARTHUR PINK

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

One of the fruits of the new birth, is a faith which not only enables its possessor to overcome the sensual and sinful customs, and the carnal maxims and policies by which the profane world is regulated—but also the lying delusions and errors by which the professing world is fatally deceived.

The only thing which will or can “overcome the world” is a God-given—but self-exercised faith.

Faith overcomes the world firstly, by receiving into the heart God’s infallible testimony of the world. He declares that “the world” is a corrupt, evanescent, hostile thing, which shall soon be destroyed by Him. His Holy Word teaches that the world is “evil” (Galatians 1:4); that “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father—but is of the world” (1 John 2:16); that “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19) and shall yet be “burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). As faith accepts God’s verdict of the world, the mind is spiritually enlightened; and its possessor views it as a worthless, dangerous, and detestable thing!

Faith overcomes the world secondly, by obeying the Divine commands concerning it. God has bidden us, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2); “Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15); and warns us that “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4). By heeding the Divine precepts, its magic spell over the heart is broken.

Faith overcomes the world thirdly, by occupying the soul with more glorious, soul-delighting and satisfying objects. The more the substance of the heavenly world engages the heart—the less hold will the shadows of this earthly world have upon it. “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Faith overcomes the world fourthly, by drawing out the heart unto Christ. As it was by fleeing to Him for refuge, that the soul was first delivered from the power and thraldom of this world—so it is throughout the Christian life. The more we cultivate real communion with Christ—the less attraction will the baubles of this world have for us! The strength of temptation lies entirely in the bent of our affections, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). While Christ is beheld as “the chief among ten thousand” (Song 5:10) and as “altogether lovely” (Song 5:16) —the things which charm the poor worldling, will repel us.

The world gains the victory over the unregenerate by captivating their affections and capturing their wills. But the Christian overcomes the world, because his affections are set upon Christ and his will yielded to Him.

Here—then, we have a sure criterion by which we may determine our Christian progressor spiritual growth. If the things of this world have a decreasing power over me—then my faith is becoming stronger. If I am holding more lightly the things most prized by the ungodly—then I must be increasing in an experimental and soul-satisfying knowledge of Christ. If I am less cast down when some of the riches and comforts of this world are taken from me—then that is evidence they have less hold upon me. – ARTHUR PINK

Charles Spurgeon – Romans 3:26

 

“Just, and the justifier of him which believeth.” – Romans 3:26

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Conscience accuses no longer. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins, with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet with no dread of any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of his people to the last jot and tittle, and received the divine receipt; and unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell. It seems to be one of the very principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this gives us our terror at first; but is it not marvellous that this very same belief that God is just, becomes afterwards the pillar of our confidence and peace! If God be just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished; but Jesus stands in my stead and is punished for me; and now, if God be just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change his nature before one soul, for whom Jesus was a substitute, can ever by any possibility suffer the lash of the law. Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer-having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that his people ought to have suffered as the result of sin, the believer can shout with glorious triumph,

Charles Spurgeon (3)

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Not God, for he hath justified; not Christ, for he hath died, “yea rather hath risen again.” My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me.

Morning by Morning: Daily Readings

Charles Spurgeon

 

‘Do you pray?’ By J.C.Ryle

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I ask whether you pray, because diligence in prayer is the secret of holiness.

Without doubt there is a vast difference among true Christians. There is an immense interval between the foremost and the rearmost in the army of God.

They are all fighting the same good fight but how much more valiantly some fight than others. They are all doing the Lord’s work but how much more some do than others. They are all running the same race but how much faster some get on than others. They all love the same Lord and Saviour but how much more some love him than others. Are not these things so?

There are some of the Lord’s people who seem never able to get on from the time of their conversion. They are born again but they remain babes all their lives. You see in them the same lack of spiritual appetite, the same lack of interest in any thing beyond their own little circle. They are pilgrims, indeed, but pilgrims like the Gibeonites of old; their bread is always dry and moldy, their shoes always old and their garments always rent and torn. I say this with sorrow and grief but l ask again, is it not true?

There are others of the Lord’s people who seem to be always advancing. They grow like the grass after rain, they increase like Israel in Egypt, they press on like Gideon though sometimes faint, yet always pursuing. They are ever adding grace to grace, faith to faith and strength to strength.  Every year they appear to see more, know more, believe more and feel more in their faith. They not only have good works to prove the reality of their faith but they are zealous of them. They not only do well but they are unwearied in well-doing. They attempt great things and they do great things. When they fail they try again and when they fall they are soon up again. And all this time they think themselves poor, unprofitable servants and fancy they do nothing at all. These are those who make their faith lovely and beautiful in the eyes of all.  It does one good to see, to be with and to hear them. When you meet them you could believe that like Moses they had just come out from the presence of God.

Now how can we account for the difference which I have just described? What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter than others? I believe the difference arises from different habits about private prayer. l believe that those who are not eminently holy pray little, and those who are eminently holy pray much.

I dare say this opinion will startle some readers but I have little doubt that many look on holiness as a kind of special gift which none but a few can aim at. They admire it at a distance in books, they think it beautiful when they see an example near them, but as to its being a thing within the reach of any but a very few, such a notion never seems to enter their minds.

Now I believe that this is a most dangerous mistake. l believe that spiritual as well as natural greatness depends in a high degree on the faithful use of means within everybody’s reach. Of course I do not say we have a right to expect a miraculous grant of intellectual gifts, but this I do say, that when a man is once converted to God his progress in holiness will be much in accordance with his own diligence in the use of God’s appointed means. l assert confidently that the principal means by which most believers have become great in the church of Christ is the habit of diligent private prayer.

Look through the lives of the brightest and best of God’s servants, whether in the Bible or not. See what is written of Moses and David, Daniel and Paul. Mark what is recorded of Luther and other reformers. Observe what is related of the private devotions of Whitefield and Cecil, Bickersteth and M‘Cheyne. Tell me of one of all the goodly fellowship of saints and martyrs who has not had this mark most prominently, he was a man of prayer. Depend upon it, prayer is power.

Prayer obtains fresh and continued outpourings of the Spirit. He alone begins the work of grace in our hearts. He alone can carry it forward and make it prosper, but the good Spirit loves to be entreated. And those who ask most will have most of his influence. Prayer is the surest remedy against the devil and besetting sins. That sin will never stand firm which is heartily prayed against. But then we must spread out all our case before our heavenly Physician if He is to give us daily relief.

Do you wish to grow in grace and be a devoted Christian? Be very sure, if you wish it you could not have a more important question than this, Do you pray?

I ask whether you pray because neglect of prayer is one great cause of backsliding.

There is such a thing as going back in faith and trust after making a good profession. We may run well for a season, like the Galatians and then turn aside after false teachers. We may profess loudly while our feelings are warm, as Peter did, and then in the hour of trial deny our Lord. We may lose our first love as the Ephesians did. We may cool down in our zeal to do good like Mark, the companion of Paul. We may follow an apostle for a season and like Demas go back to the world. All these things we may do.

It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall us, l suppose it is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins, all these are sad sights, but a backslider is a sadder sight still. A wounded conscience, a mind sick of itself, a memory full of self-reproach, a heart pierced through with the Lord’s arrows, a spirit broken with a load of inward accusation, all this is a taste of hell.

Now what is the cause of most backsliding? I believe one of the chief causes is neglect of private prayer. I can only give my opinion as a minister of Christ and a student of the heart, but that opinion is that backsliding generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.

Bibles read without prayer, sermons heard without prayer, marriages contracted without prayer, journeys undertaken without prayer, residences chosen without prayer, friendships formed without prayer, the daily act of private prayer itself hurried over or gone through without heart, these are the kind of downward steps by which many a Christian descends to a condition of spiritual palsy or reaches the point where God allows him to have a tremendous fall.

This is the process which forms the lingering Lots, the unstable Samsons, the wife-idolizing Solomons, the inconsistent Asas, the pliable Jehoshaphats, the over-careful Marthas, of whom so many are to be found in the church of Christ. Often the simple history of such cases is this, they became careless about private prayer.

You may be very sure men fall in private long before they fall in public. They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world. Like Peter, they first disregard the Lord’s warning to watch and pray and then, like Peter, their strength is gone and in the hour of temptation they deny their Lord.

If you are a Christian I trust you will never be a backslider, but if you do not wish to be a backsliding Christian remember the question I ask you, Do you pray?

‘A Call to Pray’ By J.C.Ryle jc-ryle

Graphic by Deen Carnes

http://reformedspirit.blogspot.com/2015/12/backsliding-generally-first-begins-with.html