Promises by Martin Luther

Promises

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If God promises something, then faith must fight a long and bitter fight, for reason or the flesh judges that God’s promises are impossible. Therefore faith must battle against reason and its doubts. The Devil, too, approaches us with promises, and indeed such as seem very plausible. It certainly requires at times a keen mind rightly to distinguish between God’s true and the Devil’s false promises. The promises of the Devil are seemingly very pleasant and acceptable. Faith is something that is busy, powerful and creative, though properly speaking, it is essentially an enduring than a doing. It changes the mind and heart. While reason holds to what is present, faith apprehends the things that are not seen. Contrary to reason, faith regards the invisible things as already materialized. This explains why faith, unlike hearing is not found in many, for only few believe, while the great majority cling to the things that are present and can be felt and handled rather than to the Word.

This, then, is the mark of the true divine promises, that they are contrary to reason so that it refuses to believe them. The promises of the Devil, on the contrary, are in full agreement with reason and are readily and uncritically accepted. God’s promises which are true and faithful, lead to the cross, and by the cross to His eternal blessing. Therefore reason is offended at them in two ways. It regards as nothing what is invisible and far away in the future, and it detests the cross as a calamity that is everlasting and without end. That is the reason why despite the riches of the divine promises, few believe them. These are such whose hearts are led by the Holy Spirit so that, as Abraham, they defy all foes and cling to the Word of God who calls them.

Before Abraham came to Canaan he was blessed in many ways, but in the land of promise, he, despite his strong faith was forced to go into another country to escape the fury of the famine. God does this purposely to try the faith of His saints. However after a short time, He restores to them not only earthly prosperity, as Abraham became very wealthy, but He also gives them a greater faith and a deeper experience of His divine grace and mercy. For this reason Paul says in Romans 5:3 that though God’s saints sigh under their cross, yet they glory in their tribulations when they discover how wonderfully God directs their life.

God thus proves Himself the Protector of all that put their trust in Him. He tries their faith by chastisements, but never forsakes them. Finally, He gloriously delivers them and at the same time benefits others with them.

by Martin Luther

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Why sit we here until we die?” C. H. Spurgeon Devotional

Morning and evening Devotional

“Why sit we here until we die?” — 2 Kings 7:3

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Dear reader, this little book was mainly intended for the edification of believers, but if you are yet unsaved, our heart yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be blessed to you. Open your Bible, and read the story of the lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to Jesus you can but die. “Nothing venture, nothing win,” is the old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one. If you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy. None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at any rate, some are saved who believe in him, for certain of your own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you? The Ninevites said, “Who can tell?” Act upon the same hope, and try the Lord’s mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as from the Lord, that if you seek him he will be found of you. Jesus casts out none who come unto him. You shall not perish if you trust him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria’s deserted camp. May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King’s household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery, and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save thee ere the sun goes down this day.

Devotional Classics by C. H. Spurgeon

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Christ is the greatest good, the choicest good, the chief good, the most suitable good – Thomas Brooks

“Christ is the greatest good, the choicest good, the chief good, the most suitable good, the most necessary good. He is a pure good, a real good, a total good, an eternal good, and a soul-satisfying good (Rev. 3:17,18).

Sinners are you poor? Christ has gold to enrich you.
Are you naked? Christ has royal robes, he has
white clothing to clothe you.
Are you blind? Christ has eye-salve to enlighten you.
Are you hungry? Christ will be manna to feed you.
Are you thirsty? He will be a well of living water to refresh you.
Are you wounded? He has balm under his wings to heal you.
Are you sick? He is a physician to cure you.
Are you prisoners? He has laid down a ransom for you.

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Ah, sinners! tell me, is there anything in Christ to keep you off from believing? No! Is there not everything in Christ that may encourage you to believe in him? Yes! Oh, then, believe in him, and then, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
(Isa. 43:25; 38:17; Micah 7:19).”

Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

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,

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“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

 

THE ALMOST CHRISTIAN By George Whitefield

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..A word or two of exhortation to you, to excite you to be not only almost, but altogether Christians. O let us scorn all base and treacherous treatment of our King and Saviour, of our God and Creator. Let us not take some pains all our lives to go to heaven, and yet plunge ourselves into hell at last. Let us give to God our whole hearts, and no longer halt between two opinions: if the world be god, let us serve that; if pleasure be a god, let us serve that; but if the Lord, he be God, let us, O let us serve him alone. Alas! why, why should we stand out any longer? Why should we be so in love with slavery, as not wholly to renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil, which, like so many spiritual chains, bind down our souls, and hinder them from flying up to God. Alas! what are we afraid of? Is not God able to reward our entire obedience? If he is, as the almost Christian’s lame way of serving him seems to grant, why then will we not serve him entirely? For the same reason we do so much, why do we not do more? Or do you think that being only half religious will make you happy, but that going farther, will render you miserable and uneasy? Alas! this, my brethren, is delusion all over; for what is it but this half piety, this wavering between God and the world, that makes so many, that are seemingly well disposed, such utter strangers to the comforts of religion? They choose just so much of religion as will disturb them in their lusts, and follow their lusts so far as to deprive themselves of the comforts of religion. Whereas, on the contrary, would they sincerely leave all in affection, and give their hearts wholly to God, they would then (and they cannot till then) experience the unspeakable pleasure of having a mind at unity with itself, and enjoy such a peace of God, which even in this life passes all understanding, and which they were entire strangers to before. It is true, if we will devote ourselves entirely to God, we must meet with contempt; but then it is because contempt is necessary to heal our pride. We must renounce some sensual pleasures; but then it is because those unfit us for .spiritual ones, which are infinitely better. We must renounce the love of the world; but then it is that we may be filled with the love of God: and when that has once enlarged our hearts, we shall, like Jacob when he served for his beloved Rachel, think nothing too difficult to undergo, no hardships too tedious to endure, because of the love we shall then have for our dear Redeemer. Thus easy, thus delightful will be the ways of God even in this life: but when once we throw off these bodies, and our souls are filled with all the fulness of God, O! what heart can conceive, what tongue can express, with what unspeakable joy and consolation shall we then look back on our past sincere and hearty services! Think you then, my dear hearers, we shall repent we had done too much; or rather think you not, we shall be ashamed that we did no more; and blush we were so backward to give up all to God; when he intended hereafter to give us himself?

Let me therefore, to conclude, exhort you, my brethren, to have always before you the unspeakable happiness of enjoying God. And think withal, that every degree of holiness you neglect, every act of piety you omit, is a jewel taken out of your crown, a degree of blessedness lost in the vision of God. O! do but always think and act thus, and you will no longer be labouring to compound matters between God and the world; but, on the contrary, be daily endeavouring to give up yourselves more and more unto him; you will be always watching, always praying, always aspiring after farther degrees of purity and love, and consequently always preparing yourselves for a fuller sight and enjoyment of that God, in whose presence there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Amen! Amen!

George Whitefield

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Samuel Rutherford – Faith

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“THE faith that God requireth of sinners is that they rely upon Christ, as despairing of their own righteousness, leaning wholly and withal humbly, as weary and laden, upon Christ as on the resting stone laid in Zion. But He seeks not that without being weary of their sin they rely on Christ as mankind’s Savior, for to rely on Christ and not be weary of sin is presumption, not faith. Faith is ever neighbor to a contrite spirit, and it is impossible that faith can be where there is not a cast-down and contrite heart in some measure for sin.”

Excerpt From: Rutherford, Samuel. “31 Days With Samuel Rutherford.” Lewis Publishing, iBooks.

Now faith cometh not of our free-will; but is the gift of God

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“Now faith cometh not of our free-will; but is the gift of God, given us by grace, ere there be any will in our hearts to do the law of God. And why God giveth it not every man, I can give no reckoning of his judgments. But well I know, I never deserved it, nor prepared myself unto it; but ran another way clean contrary in my blindness, and sought not that way; but he sought me, and found me out, and showed it me, and therewith drew me to him. And I bow the knees of my heart unto God night and day, that he will show it all other men; and I suffer all that I can, to be a servant to open their eyes. For well I know they cannot see of themselves, before God hath prevented them with his grace.” ~ William Tyndale