Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The breakdown and breakup of "Civilization"

"The Destruction of Dagon" 1943)

The "march of progress" from 1920 onwards, was, if measured by the standards of righteousness and decency, steadily downwards. Those with the least sense of decency were determined to drag the whole generation down into the gutter. An orgy of licentiousness was widely entered into. Night-clubs were multiplied, gambling spread like wild fire, and debauchery abounded on every side. The beaches lowered their bathing restrictions--and modesty became a thing of the past. Youth was allowed to have its fling, unrestrained.

The novels and magazines of the last decade have been filled with obscenities and blasphemies. A friend of ours in the publishing business recently wrote to us, "Today we have shops stacked with books which, had they been published when we were boys--the authors and publishers would have been put in jail!" Censorship has long since been reduced to a farce. The great majority of our children have had their ideas formed by the pictures they saw at the "movies" and the debasing productions of a degenerate press. As a recent writer has said, "The best-sellers of today, are often books whose morals are of the barnyard, whose language is of the sewer and whose ethicsare of the pit!"

The breakdown and breakup of "Civilization"appears in such things as the decay of the sanctity of marriage--as evidenced by the multiplication of divorces, and the abandonment of large numbers of babies; juvenile delinquency and immorality among the young; the vandalism which is now so rife; such widespread pilfering--and the flimsy efforts of the authorities to deal with such evils! Thousands of culprits who ought to be sent to prison, are given nominal fines. Law and order is almost reduced to a farce!
No matter in which direction we turn, it is the ugly and the vulgar--which is preferred to the beautiful and refined. What a commentary on our so-called "progress."
Someone has said, "The popular taste is a good index to the health of society." Apply that dictum to our own times, and it will quickly appear how the moral health of society has declined.
We do what we do--because we are what we are. There is always a rigid consistency between character and conduct. The thin coating of "civilized" varnish has worn off--and twentieth-century character stands exposed.

The political fiasco of this presidential race

This presidential campaign has been a circus, both candidates are hideous. I've been told if I don't vote, that is a vote for Clinton. I've been told I must vote for Trump to set America straight again. All this comes from 'Christians'. Frankly, I am sick of it all! God will give America the type of leadership that reflects the culture that leadership governs. 

I found this post and it describes how I feel to a 't'....

Dump Them Both

I have lived almost half a century. Being both a US citizen and a British subject, I can say that I have seen my share of politics. I have seen the games, heard the lies, and watched the vitriol fly. This current election in the USA must be the worse I have ever seen. We are a laughingstock among the nations of the world, many of whom have no fear of us as a nation. More importantly, they have no respect for us because our leaders (and potential wanna-be leaders) have no respect for the laws of this land.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The harlot in your bosom

(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil")

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

There is usually one sin that is the favorite--the sin which the heart is most fond of. A godly man will not indulge his darling sin: "I kept myself from my iniquity." (Psalm 18:23). "I will not indulge the sin to which the bias of my heart more naturally inclines." 

"Fight neither with small nor great--but only with the king." (1 Kings 22:31). A godly man fights this king sin. If we would have peace in our souls, we must maintain a war against our favorite sin, and never leave off until it is subdued.

Question: How shall we know what our beloved sin is?

Answer 1. The sin which a man does not love to have reproved--is the darling sin. Herod could not endure having his incest spoken against. If the prophet meddles with that sin--it shall cost him his head! "Do not touch my Herodias!" Men can be content to have other sins reproved--but if the minister puts his finger on the sore, and touches this sin--their hearts begin to burn in malice against him!

Answer 2. The sin on which the thoughts run most--is the darling sin. Whichever way the thoughts go, the heart goes. He who is in love with a person cannot keep his thoughts off that person. Examine what sin runs most in your mind, what sin is first in your thoughts and greets you in the morning--that is your predominant sin.

Answer 3. The sin which has most power over us, and most easily leads us captive--is the one beloved by the soul. There are some sins which a man can better resist. If they come for entertainment, he can more easily put them off. But the bosom sin comes as a suitor, and he cannot deny it--but is overcome by it. The young man in the Gospel had repulsed many sins--but there was one sin which soiled him, and that was covetousness. 

Mark what sin you are most readily led captive by--that is the harlot in your bosom! It is a sad thing that a man should be so bewitched by lust, that if it asks him to part with the Kingdom of Heaven--he must part with it, to gratify that lust!

Answer 4. The sin which men most defend--is the beloved sin. He who has a jewel in his bosom, will defend it to his death. The sin we advocate and dispute for, is the besetting sin. The sin which we plead for, and perhaps wrest Scripture to justify it--that is the sin which lies nearest the heart.

Answer 5. The sin which a man finds most difficulty in giving up--is the endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob found most difficulty in parting with Benjamin. So the sinner says, "This and that sin I have parted with--but must Benjamin go! Must I part with this delightful sin? That pierces my heart!" A man may allow some of his sins to be demolished--but when it comes to one sin--that is the taking of the castle; he will never agree to part with that! That is the master sin for sure.

The besetting sin is, of all others, most dangerous. As Samson's strength lay in his hair--so the strength of sin lies in this beloved sin. This is like a poison striking the heart, which brings death.
A godly man will lay the axe of repentance to this sin and hew it down! He will sacrifice this Isaac; he will pluck out this right eye--so that he may see better to go to Heaven.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A wicked leader is the Lord's wrath

 "For despite the Lord’s testimony that the magistrate’s office is the highest gift of his beneficence to preserve the safety of men, and despite his appointment of bounds to the magistrates he still declares at the same time that whoever they may be, they have their authority solely from him. Indeed, he says that those who rule for the public benefit are true patterns and evidences of this beneficence of his; that they who rule unjustly and incompetently have been raised up by him to punish the wickedness of the people; that all equally have been endowed with that holy majesty with which he has invested lawful power. I shall proceed no farther until I have added some sure testimonies of this thing. Yet, we need not labor to prove that a wicked king is the Lord’s wrath upon the earth [Job 34:30, Vg.; Hos. 13:11; Isa. 3:4; 10:5; Deut. 28:29], for I believe no man will contradict me; and thus nothing more would be said of a king than of a robber who seizes your possessions, of an adulterer who pollutes your marriage bed, or of a murderer who seeks to kill you. For Scripture reckons all such calamities among God’s curses. But let us, rather, pause here to prove this, which does not so easily settle in men’s minds. In a very wicked man utterly unworthy of all honor, provided he has the public power in his hands, that noble and divine power resides which the Lord has by his Word given to the ministers of his justice and judgment. Accordingly, he should be held in the same reverence and esteem by his subjects, in so far as public obedience is concerned, in which they would hold the best of kings if he were given to them"...
 "For since wicked prince is the Lord’s scourge to punish the sins of the people, let us remember, that it happens through our fault that this excellent blessing of God is turned into a curse".

excerpts from John Calvin's 'institutes of the Christian religion' and commentary on Romans 13 - source -

**This is in no way an endorsement of B. Muehlernberg's blog or his views**

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Useless kinds of religion

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

There are two ways by which a man may lose his own soul. What are they? 
1. He may lose his soul by living and dying without any religion at all. He may live and die like a beast, prayerless, godless, graceless, faithless. This is a sure way to hell. Mind that you do not walk in it. 
2. He may lose his soul by taking up some kind of religion. He may live and die contenting himself with a false Christianity and resting on a baseless hope. This is the commonest way to hell there is. 

What do I mean by useless kinds of religion? I will tell you. The first thing I wish to say is this. A religion is entirely useless in which Jesus Christ is not the principal object and does not fill the principal place. 
There are only too many baptized men and women who practically know nothing about Christ. Their religion consists in a few vague notions and empty expressions. “They trust they are no worse than others; they keep to their Church; they try to do their duty; they do nobody any harm; they hope God will be merciful to them! They trust the Almighty will pardon their sins and take them to heaven when they die.” This is about the whole of their religion.
 But what do these people know practically about Christ? Nothing: nothing at all! What experiential acquaintance have they with His offices and work, His blood, His righteousness, His mediation, His priesthood, His intercession? None: none at all! Ask them about a saving faith—ask them about being born again of the Spirit—ask them about being sanctified in Christ Jesus. What answer will you get? You are a barbarian to them. You have asked them simple Bible questions; but they know no more about them experientially than a Buddhist or a Muslim. 
And yet this is the religion of hundreds of thousands of people who are called Christians all over the world.
 lf you are a man of this kind, I warn you plainly that such Christianity will never take you to heaven. It may do very well in the eyes of men; it may pass muster very decently at the [church] meeting, in the place of business, in the House of Commons, or in the streets. But it will never comfort you. It will never satisfy your conscience. It will never save your soul.
 I warn you plainly that all notions and theories about God being merciful without Christ and excepting through Christ are baseless delusions and empty fancies. Such theories are purely an idol of man’s invention. They are all of the earth, earthy: they never came down from heaven. The God of heaven has sealed and appointed Christ as the one and only Savior and way of life; and all who would be saved must be content to T be saved by Him, or they will never be saved at all. I give you fair warning. A religion without Christ will never save your soul (Joh 14:6)! 
But I have another thing yet to say. A religion is entirely useless in which you join anything with Christ in the matter of saving your soul. You must not only depend on Christ for salvation, but you must depend on Christ only and Christ alone (Eph 2:8- 9).
 There are multitudes of baptized men and women who profess to honor Christ, but in reality do Him great dishonor. They give Christ a certain place in their system of religion, but not the place which God intended Him to fill. Christ alone is not “all in all” to their souls (Eph 1:23). No: it is either Christ and the Church, or Christ and the Sacraments, or Christ and His ordained ministers, or Christ and their own goodness, or Christ and their own prayers, or Christ and their own sincerity and charity—on which they practically rest their souls. 
If you are a Christian of this kind I warn you also plainly that your religion is an offence to God. You are changing God’s plan of salvation into a plan of your own devising. You are, in effect, deposing Christ from His throne by giving the glory due to Him to another.
 I care not who it is that teaches you your religion and on whose word you build. Whether he be Pope or Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop, Dean or Archdeacon, Presbyter or Deacon, Episcopalian or Presbyterian, Baptist or Independent, Methodist or Plymouth Brother—whosoever adds anything to Christ, teaches you wrong (Gal 1:6-8). I care not what it is that you add to Christ. Whether it be the necessity of joining the Church of Rome, or of being an Episcopalian, or of becoming a Free Churchman, or of giving up the liturgy, or of being baptized by immersion, whatever you may practically add to Christ in the matter of salvation, you do Christ an injury. 
Take heed what you are doing. Beware of giving to Christ’s servants the honour due to none but Christ. Beware of giving the Lord’s ordinances the honour due unto the Lord. Beware of resting the burden of your soul on anything but Christ, and Christ alone. Beware of having a religion which is of no use, and cannot save. 
[Christ] left the glory He had from all eternity with the Father and came down into the world to provide salvation. He took our nature upon Him and was born as a man. As a man He did the will of God perfectly (Mat 17:5), which we all had left undone (Rom 3:23). As a man He suffered on the cross the wrath of God which we ought to have suffered (Rom 6:23). He brought in everlasting righteousness for us (Dan 9:24). He redeemed us from the curse of a broken law (Luk 1:68; Rev 5:9). He opened a fountain for all sin and uncleaness. He died for our sins. He rose again for our justification (Rom 4:25)). He ascended to God’s right hand, and there sat down, waiting till His enemies should be made his footstool (Luk 20:42-43). And there He sits now, [calling] to all who will come to Him, interceding for all who believe in Him, and managing by God’s appointment all that concerns the salvation of souls (Joh 3; Eph 1- 2; Rom 3-5). It is an awful thing to have no religion at all. To have an immortal soul committed to your charge and neglect it—this is dreadful. But it’s no less an awful thing to be content with a religion than can do you no good. Do not let this be your case!