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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

an all-sufficient Savior

(Frank Hall)

"Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved!" Psalm 55:22

Why are we so determined to carry our own burdens, when we have proved countless times that we are utterly insufficient for the task? Is it not due to our sinful flesh, carnal pride, and foolish self-sufficiency? We often mope about in sadness and depression with heavy hearts--because we foolishly, ignorantly, and obstinately refuse to cast our burden on the LORD. 

The Lord Jesus has proven Himself fully capable and willingto carry our heaviest burdens. The heaviest load that has ever been carried was carried by Him, for "the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all!" Isaiah 53:6. It was the tremendous weight of our sins made His--which laid Him low in the garden of Gethsemane, and pressed His blood through the pores of His skin. In infinite mercy and grace, He bore our sins, our guilt, and our shame in His own body on the cruel tree, and was made a curse for us--that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He not only carried our sins to Calvary's cross, He took them away forever by the sacrifice of Himself. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us!" Psalm 103:12  

Children of God, let us forever cease from fleshly self-dependence--and cast every burden on our mighty Savior. It doesn't matter what the burden is, or how heavy the load is--the Lord Jesus is ready, able, and willing to bear it for us. We need not bear it even for a moment. It is our glorious right and God-given privilege as the beloved children of God, to cast every care and every burden on our Savior. 

Are your struggling to carry a burden of guilt and sin? Struggle no longer and stumble no more. Cast your sin and guilt on Him! He will . . .
  sustain you,
  forgive you,
  receive you, and
  embrace you! 

Are your responsibilities stressful and overwhelming your soul? Do not neglect them, but do not presume that you are sufficient to do anything on your own.
Cast them on Him, 
seek His grace, 
depend on His mighty arm
--and He will sustain you! 

Is your heart laid low with heavy cares and secret troubles? Cast them all on Christ! 

In love, grace, and wisdom, your Savior gave you these cares and troubles--not to see how far you could carry them on your own--but to bring you to the end of yourself. He gave you these cares to show you your inability, your weakness, and your need of Him--that you would cease from your carnal self-confidence and find your all in Him--full salvation, infinite strength, unceasing aid, everlasting sufficiency, and perfect help.  

His power and grace are sufficient for us in all things . . .
  in every trial,
  in every circumstance,
  and in every temptation
He will sustain us to the end. He will never allow His righteous ones to be moved. He loves them with an everlasting immutable love! They will never be utterly forsaken or cast down. He . . .
  keeps them,
  protects them,
  helps them,
  preserves them,
  provides for their souls, and
  sustains them freely forever by His almighty grace!

No two things fit more perfectly together, than an all-sufficient Savior--and a needy sinner! 

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you!" 1 Peter 5:6-7

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What makes you differ from another?

"Who makes you differ from another?" 1 Corinthians 4:7

What made the difference . . .
  between Cain and Abel,
  between Esau and Jacob,
  between Judas and Peter? 

What makes the difference . . . 
  between believers, and unbelievers;
  between the righteous, and the wicked;
  between the elect, and the reprobate;
  between the godly, and the ungodly;
  between one who has saving knowledge of God, and a heathen infidel? 

It is not "what," but "who." "WHO makes you differ from another?" It is the God of all grace who makes one man to differ from another! 

Contrary to popular opinion, men do not make the difference in salvation--God does. 
He loves some, but hates others. 
He chooses some, but passes by others. 
He blesses some, and curses others. 
He saves some, but destroys others.
This is God's sovereign right as God. "Has not the potterpower over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?" Romans 9:21.

God always does with men as He pleases. Who are men to reply against God? "Shall the thing formed say to him who formed it: Why have you made me thus?" Romans 9:20.

Will not the all wise God do what is best, just, and good? How dare fickle ignorant men call the most high God into question! "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter: What are you making?" Isaiah 45:9.

"Why do you strive against Him? For He gives not account of His matters." Job 33:13. 
It is we who must answer to Him--not He to us. 
He is on the throne--and we are but His footstool. 
He is the Potter--and we are the clay. 
He is the Creator--and we are His creatures. 
He is God--and we are not. 

The God of all grace made the difference between His people and the reprobate from eternity. Before the foundation of the world, God the Father justly elected some of humanity to salvation--and passed by all the rest. 

The Lord Jesus made the difference between His church and the world, at Calvary where He laid down His life, poured out His blood, and effectually redeemed all whom the Father elected to salvation.

The sovereign Spirit makes the difference between the souls of His people and the souls of the ungodly in regeneration,effectually calling chosen redeemed sinners to life and faith in Christ. 

The triune God does this, not because His people are better, more deserving, or more worthy of salvation--but because He will, because He is pleased to do so. 

In all things God makes the difference, not us. There is no difference between God's saints and the wicked by nature, "for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. The only difference is the difference that God makes by His distinguishing grace. We, as God's elect, have . . . 
  nothing to boast of,
  nothing to be proud of, and
  no reason to look down on others as being inferior to us. 
We were born just like everyone else--dead in trespasses and sins. By nature we lived in rebellion against God, just like everyone else. We walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, living to fulfill the lusts of our flesh, and were by nature children of wrath even as others. We have nothing to brag about--but much to be thankful for!

In sovereign grace . . .
  He loved us,
  He chose us,
  He blessed us,
  He set His affection on us,
  and He saved us.

In distinguishing mercy our Savior . . . 
  was born for us, 
  lived for us,
  suffered for us,
  bled for us, and
  reigns for us.

In discriminating love He . . .
  sought us out,
  chased us down,
  subdued our hearts,
  gave us spiritual life, and
  blessed us with the gift of everlasting salvation!

Thank God for His sovereign, discriminating grace!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What a preacher can't do

“A preacher may induce a man to believe what Scripture says about his lost condition, persuade him to bow to the divine verdict, and then accept Christ as his personal Savior. No man wants to go to hell, and fire is assured intellectually that Christ stands ready as a fire escape, on the sole condition that he jump into His arms (“rest on His finished work”), thousands will do so. But a hundred preachers are unable to make an unregenerate person realize the dreadful nature of sin, or show him that he has been a lifelong rebel against God, or change his heart so that he now hates himself and longs to please God and serve Christ. Only the Spirit can bring man to the place where he is willing to forsake every idol, cut off a hindering right hand or pluck out an offending right eye.”

“The preacher who most honors Christ is not the one who produces the largest “visible results,” but he who sticks the closest to His commission and preaches the Word most faithfully.”

A.W. Pink