AVOID TEMPTATION

 

Does it help you avoid temptation when you know it lies ahead?

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A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

Proverbs 22:3 NLT

 

Anticipating danger

FIRE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               FIRE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

LORD GUIDE ME

LORD GUIDE ME

Interestingly, this proverb expects that dangerous situations will arise in our lives. If these situations are indeed inevitable, then we should plan a course of action. For some people taking action means devising endless preventative measures. Still others feel that taking precautions implies that they are not living in faith. Neither of these solutions displays a balanced trust in God.

We must examine where our confidence lies. Are we really trusting in God? Trusting does not mean that we should purposely step into pitfalls. If we see ourselves heading for danger, we can take precautions to avoid the situation. We lack faith when we feel that we alone possess the strength to conquer any temptation. Humbly anticipating our weaknesses will allow us to bypass harsh consequences.

WISE WAYS  Is there a specific temptation you face continually during the week? Take steps to avoid situations that foster that behavior before you come to them.

Lord, help me to live wisely by knowing my weaknesses and anticipating dangerous situations .

adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for March 22


Without temptation no sin would be committed; and without temptation no holiness could be attained. The human wrecks that seem beyond all capacity of repair and refitting, and victorious athletes of righteousness whom their fellowmen adore, are alike the products of temptation. JAMES HASTINGS

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

The glorious right hand of the Lord

The glorious right hand of the Lord

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

 

 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

 Numbers 11:23

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 12:22-31

Which of his people have found the riches of his grace drained dry? Which of his children has had to mourn that the unsearchable riches of Christ had failed to supply his need? In grace, as well as in providence and nature, the unanimous verdict is that God is still Almighty, that he does as he wills, and fulfils all his promises and his counsels. How is it, then, that such a question as this ever came from the lips of God himself? Who suggested it? What suggested it? What could there have been that should lead him or any of his creatures to say, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?  We answer, there is but one creature that God has made that ever doubts him. The little birds doubt not: though they have no barn nor field, yet they sweetly sing at night as they go to their roosts, though they know not where tomorrow’s meal shall be found. The very cattle trust him; and even in days of drought, ye have seen them when they pant for thirst, how they expect the water; how the very first token of it makes them show in their very animal frame, by some dumb language, that they felt that God would not leave them to perish. The angels never doubt him, nor the devils either: devils believe and tremble. But it was left for man, the most favoured of all creatures, to mistrust his God. This high, this black, this infamous sin, of doubting the power and faithfulness of Jehovah, was reserved for the fallen race of rebellious Adam, and we alone, out of all the beings that God has ever fashioned, dishonour him by unbelief, and tarnish his honour by mistrust.

For meditation: Man is good at taming and training animals (James 3:7) but they still have a thing or two to teach him about God (2 Peter 2:15-16; Luke 12:24).

Sermon no. 363 24 February (1861)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

Ignorant of the things of God

A blast of the trumpet against false peace

HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD

HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD

 

Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

 Jeremiah 6:14

 

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

 

Many of the people of London enjoy peace in their hearts, because they are ignorant of the things of God. It would positively alarm many of our sober orthodox Christians, if they could once have an idea of the utter ignorance of spiritual things that reigns throughout this land. Some of us, when moving about here and there, in all classes of society, have often been left to remark, that there is less known of the truths of religion than of any science, however obscure that science may be. Take as a lamentable instance, the ordinary effusions of the secular press, and who can avoid remarking the ignorance they manifest as to true religion. Let the papers speak on politics, it is a matter they understand, and their ability is astonishing; but, once let them touch religion, and our Sabbath-school children could convict them of entire ignorance. The statements they put forth are so crude, so remote from the fact, that we are led to imagine that the presentation of a fourpenny testament to special correspondents, should be one of the first efforts of our societies for spreading the gospel among the heathen. As to theology, some of our great writers seem to be as little versed in it as a horse or a cow. Go among all ranks and classes of men, and since the day we gave up our catechism, and old Dr Watts and the Assemblies ceased to be used, people have not a clear idea of what is meant by the gospel of Christ. I have frequently heard it asserted, by those who have judged the modern pulpit without severity, that if a man attended a course of thirteen lectures on geology, he would get a pretty clear idea of the system, but that you might hear not merely thirteen sermons, but thirteen hundred sermons and you would not have a clear idea of the system of divinity that was meant to be taught.

For meditation: The unconverted by themselves cannot understand the truths of the Gospel when they hear them unless God enlightens them (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4). But there are parts of the country where they would find it very hard to hear the truths of the Gospel being preached (Amos 8:11,12).

Sermon no. 301 26 February (1860)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

CHRIST SHALL APPEAR IN ALL HIS GLORY!

Christ our life soon to appear

“He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11.

“He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My
righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.”
Isaiah 53:11.

 

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:4

Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 2:28-3:3

Christ will appear. The text speaks of it as a fact to be taken for granted.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear. It is not a matter of question in the Christian church whether Christ will appear or not. Has not Christ appeared once? Yes, after a certain sort. I remember reading a quaint expression of some old divine, that the book of Revelation might quite as well be called an obvelation, for it was rather a hiding than a revealing of things to come. So, when Jesus came it was hardly a revealing, it was a hiding of our Lord. It is true that he was manifest in the flesh, but it is equally true that the flesh shrouded and concealed his glory. The first manifestation was very partial; it was Christ seen through a glass, Christ in the mist of grief, and the cloud of humiliation. Christ is yet to appear in the strong sense of the word appearing; he is to come out and shine forth. He is to leave the robes of scorn and shame behind, and to come in the glory of the Father and all his holy angels with him. This is the constant teaching of the word of God, and the constant hope of the church, that Christ will appear. A thousand questions at once suggest themselves: How will Christ appear? When will Christ appear? Where will Christ appear? and so on. What God answers we may enquire, but some of our questions are mere impertinence. How will Christ appear? I believe Christ will appear in person. Whenever I think of the second coming, I never can tolerate the idea of a spiritual coming. That always seems to me to be the most transparent folly that can possibly be put together; Christ cannot come spiritually, because he is always here:  Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

For meditation: Review Christ’s three appearances past (Hebrews 9:26), present (Hebrews 9:24), prospective (Hebrews 9:28). We will not require any spokesmen to inform us of his second coming (Matthew 24:23-27); every eye will see him (Revelation 1:7).

Sermon no. 617 26 February (1865)

CREATED IN HIS IMAGE! AMEN

We are created in His image

LAKE TAHOL CA

 

Isn’t it incredible that God created us with the ability to praise him?

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But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Psalm 146:5 NLT

 

I’ll praise my maker

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I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath; And when my voice is lost in death. Praise shall employ my nobler pow’rs; My days of praise shall ne’er be past, While life, and thought, and being last, Or immortality endures.
Happy the man whose hopes rely On Israel’s God! He made the sky, And earth, and sea, with all their train; His truth for ever stands secure; He saves the oppressed, He feeds the poor, And none shall find His promise vain. I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath (v1,2), ISAAC WATTS (1674-1748)

In Westminster Abbey stands a statue of Isaac Watts with a pen in his hand. Not far from Watts, John Wesley is also honored. This hymn has connections to both men.

As John Wesley lay dying, he surprised his friends gathered around his bedside by singing in a clear voice this hymn of Isaac Watts: “I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath, and when my voice is lost in death, praise shall employ my nobler powers.”

The next day he tried to sing the hymn again, but he could not. Two or three times he began, but could only say the words “I’ll praise.” That was all he could get out of his mouth. Then, with those words on his lips, he was ushered into glory.

adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995), entry for February 27

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

PRAYER AND LOVE

Prayer answered, love nourished

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I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplication.

 Psalm 116:1

Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 6:18-24

EPHESIANS 6

EPHESIANS 6

If a beggar comes to your house, and you give him alms, you will be greatly annoyed if within a month he shall come again; and if you then discover that he has made it a rule to wait upon you monthly for a contribution, you will say to him, I gave you something once, but I did not mean to establish it as a rule.  Suppose, however, that the beggar should be so impudent and impertinent that he should say, But I intend sir, to wait upon you every morning and every evening, then you would say, I intend to keep my gate locked that you shall not trouble me.  And suppose he should then look you in the face and add still more, Sir, I intend waiting upon you every hour, nor can I promise that I won’t come to you sixty times in an hour; but I just vow and declare that as often as I want anything so often will I come to you: if I only have a wish I will come and tell it to you; the least thing and the greatest thing shall drive me to you; I will always be at the post of your door. You would soon be tired of such importunity as that, and wish the beggar anywhere, rather than that he should come and tease you so. Yet recollect, this is just what you have done to God, and he has never complained of you for doing it; but rather he has complained of you the other way. He has said, Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob.  He has never murmured at the frequency of your prayers, but has complained that you have not come to him enough.

For meditation: In his unchanging willingness and desire to hear his childrens requests, God is unlike any person we know. Jesus had to teach this lesson by contrast, rather than by comparison (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8).

Sermon no. 240 27 February (1859)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

A JEALOUS GOD

A jealous God

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For the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God.

Exodus 34:14

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Kings 10:15-31

How careful should we be when we do anything for God, and God is pleased to accept of our doings, that we never congratulate ourselves. The minister of Christ should unrobe himself of every rag of praise.  You preached well, said a friend to John Bunyan one morning.  You are too late,  said honest John, the devil told me that before I left the pulpit.  The devil often tells God’s servants a great many things which they should be sorry to hear. Why, you can hardly be useful in a Sunday School but he will say to you How well you have done it!  You can scarcely resist a temptation, or set a good example, but he will be whispering to you What an excellent person you must be!  It is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of the Christian life to learn this sentence,˜Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory.  Now God is so jealous on this point that, while he will forgive his own servants a thousand things, this is an offence for which he is sure to chasten us. Let a believer once say, I am,  and God will soon make him say I am not.

Let a Christian begin to boast, I can do all things, without adding ‘through Christ which stengtheneth me,’ and before long he will have to groan, ‘I can do nothing,’ and bemoan himself. Many sins of true Christians, I do not doubt, have been the result of their glorifying themselves. Many a man has been permitted by God to stain a noble character and to ruin an admirable reputation, because the character and the reputation had come to be the man’s own, instead of being laid, as all our crowns must be laid, at the feet of Christ. You may build the city, but if you say with Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Behold this great Babylon that I have built!’ you shall be smitten to the earth. The worms which ate Herod when he gave not God the glory are ready for another meal; beware of vain glory!

For meditation: The temptation to pat ourselves on the back should be the cue for us to recall how the Lord Jesus Christ instructs us to think and speak about our good deeds (Luke 17:10). Any glory resulting from them should go to God (Matthew 5:16).

Sermon no. 502 27 February (Preached 29 March 1863)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)