GOD KNOWS WHO WILL HEAR HIS VOICE

 

Morning

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“Ask, and it shall be given you.” Matthew 7:7

We know of a place in England still existing, where a dole of bread is served to every passerby who chooses to ask for it. Whoever the traveller may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him. Jesus Christ so loveth sinners that he has built a St. Cross Hospital, so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. Nay, he has done better; he has attached to this Hospital of the Cross a bath; and whenever a soul is black and filthy, it has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full, always efficacious. No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet and crimson have all disappeared, and the sinner has been whiter than snow. As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross a wardrobe, and a sinner making application simply as a sinner, may be clothed from head to foot; and if he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have a garment for ordinary wear, but armour which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he asks for a sword, he shall have that given to him, and a shield too. Nothing that is good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending-money so long as he lives, and he shall have an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.

If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy’s door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask large things of thy generous Lord. Leave not the throne of grace till all thy wants have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith thou hast a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied. No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained.

Evening

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“And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.” Zechariah 1:20

In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, “What are these?” The answer was, “These are the horns which have scattered Israel.” He saw before him a representation of those powers which had oppressed the church of God. There were four horns; for the church is attacked from all quarters. Well might the prophet have felt dismayed; but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, “What shall these do?” These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time. The prophet did not see the carpenters first, when there was nothing to do, but first the “horns,” and then the “carpenters.” Moreover, the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen. God finds the right men; not four men with pens to write; not four architects to draw plans; but four carpenters to do rough work. Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the “horns” grow troublesome, the “carpenters” will be found. You need not fret concerning the weakness of the church of God at any moment; there may be growing up in obscurity the valiant reformer who will shake the nations: Chrysostoms may come forth from our Ragged Schools, and Augustines from the thickest darkness of London’s poverty. The Lord knows where to find his servants. He hath in ambush a multitude of mighty men, and at his word they shall start up to the battle; “for the battle is the Lord’s,” and he shall get to himself the victory. Let us abide faithful to Christ, and he, in the right time, will raise up for us a defence, whether it be in the day of our personal need, or in the season of peril to his Church.

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

 

 God‘s timing is perfect

Never disappointed

Every day I call to you, my God, but, you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy. The praises of Israel surround your throne. Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. You heard their cries for help and saved them. They put their trust in you and were never disappointed.

Psalm 22:2-5 NLT

The fugitive translator

 

William Tyndale was born about 1494 and educated first at Oxford, where he was ordained into the priesthood, then at Cambridge, where he joined the Reformation. He became convinced that England would never be evangelized using Latin Bibles. Tyndale’s efforts to get permission to translate the Bible into English were unsuccessful, so he left England.

His first English New Testament was printed in Germany in 1525. As Tyndale’s English Bibles were smuggled into England, the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London began attacking him fiercely. On June 18, 1528 Thomas Wolsey, the English cardinal, ordered Tyndale’s arrest and extradition to England. It took seven years to track him down, then spent eighteen months in a cold castle dungeon.

Tyndale, in his early forties, was found guilty and condemned to death as a heretic. Referring to the king’s opposition to his English Bible, Tyndale said, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”

The year that Tyndale died, there were two English Bibles containing his translation of the New Testament. When presented to Henry VIII, the king, not realizing it contained Tyndale’s work, proclaimed, “In God’s name let it go abroad among the people.”

Tyndale’s Bible translations were his lasting legacy. They were so well done that they made up 90 percent of the wording of the King James Version published nearly one hundred years later.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for June 18.

 

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

 

June 1, 2013 A “Tinker” of Souls

John Bunyan – A “Tinker” of Souls

John Bunyan (1628 – 1688) is best remembered as the author of the beloved Christian classic Pilgrim’s Progress. A Baptist minister, he would become one of England‘s most celebrated prisoners. He is born in Bedfordshire, the son of a tinker who went from house to house repairing broken items. Bunyan later recalls living in abject poverty; with little formal schooling and “without God,” he was an unruly child.

Later, while serving three years in the parliamentary army, he senses God singling him out for protection, while other soldiers around him die in battle. On leaving the military, he takes up his father’s trade and becomes an impoverished tinker. When he marries Mary at twenty-one, he becomes convicted of his sinful life of worldliness—particularly dancing and sports—and begins attending church. In 1653, at the age of twenty-five, he is baptized and licensed to serve as a lay preacher.

With Mary’s death six years into their marriage, Bunyan is left alone with four little children. Moving to Bedford, he remarries and begins his preaching ministry. His is a simple style of biblical storytelling, but he is soon drawing crowds, some coming from great distances to hear him. However, the timing corresponds with the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. After twenty years of freedom of worship, Nonconformist services are banned, and ministers are rounded up and arrested. Thus begins Bunyan’s dozen years of prison. His second wife, Elizabeth, only seventeen when they marry, is now alone with young children. Yet she becomes his strongest defender and advocate, going before judges and magistrates and pleading his cause.

He can free himself by promising not to preach, but he refuses. He tells local magistrates that he would rather remain in prison until “moss grows on his eyelids” than fail to do what God has commanded him to do. Unlike many seventeenth-century incarcerations, his time behind bars is not all misery. In fact, guarded by a friendly small-town jailor, he is permitted some nights at home, and visitors are welcome. Most astonishingly, on occasion he is allowed to preach to those gathered in “unlawful assemblies.” But the most precious freedom he enjoys is time for reading and writing.

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, his spiritual memoir of his early life and ministry, is a treasured piece of Puritan writing. With a simple straightforward style, he records events and relationships without overstated religious piety. He confesses temptations even during his Sunday sermon. Besides inner struggle, he confronts community gossip and rumors of his own sexual impropriety, which he insists are untrue.

Bunyan’s final years in jail are devoted primarily to writing Pilgrim’s Progress, the book for which he became famous. He is released, however, before the volume is finished. When Charles II issues the Declaration of Indulgence, freeing Nonconformists from their prison cells, Bunyan wastes no time in getting back into regular ministry. But he soon finds himself back in jail when Nonconformity is again made illegal. The six-month confinement affords more time for writing.

Pilgrim’s Progress, quickly regarded as a literary masterpiece, is an allegory that touches the emotions like few other books have, spanning every social class and religious identity. By the time of his death there are nearly a hundred thousand copies in print.

While his fame is spreading, Bunyan continues to preach as an itinerant evangelist. Indeed, he travels so much that he is dubbed “Bishop Bunyan.” He also serves as chaplain to the mayor of London. All the while he continues writing, producing in 1680 what some have regarded the first English novelThe Life and Death of Mr. Badman. He also writes theologically oriented treatises, including Differences in Judgement about Water-Baptism no Bar to Communion.


If you enjoyed the above article, please take a minute to read about the book that it was adapted from:

ParadeofFaith-Bookcover

Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church

by Ruth A. Tucker
Buy the book!
The story of Christianity centers on people whose lives have been transformed by the resurrected Lord. Tucker puts this front and center in a lively overview peppered with sidebars; historical “what if?” questions; sections on everyday life; drawings and illustrations; bibliographies for further reading.

 

JESUS HOLD THE VICTORY BOTH IN DEATH AND OUR BATTLES

Morning

Credit: access-jesus.com

“That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.”
Hebrews 2:14

O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer’s death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home–a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen to the answer, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, “Peace, be still,” and immediately it came to land. Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob’s ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.

Evening

Credit:  www.tektonics.org

“Fight the Lord’s battles.”
1 Samuel 18:17

The sacramental host of God’s elect is warring still on earth, Jesus Christ being the Captain of their salvation. He has said, “Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Hark to the shouts of war! Now let the people of God stand fast in their ranks, and let no man’s heart fail him. It is true that just now in England the battle is turned against us, and unless the Lord Jesus shall lift his sword, we know not what may become of the church of God in this land; but let us be of good courage, and play the man. There never was a day when Protestantism seemed to tremble more in the scales than now that a fierce effort is making to restore the Romish antichrist to his ancient seat. We greatly want a bold voice and a strong hand to preach and publish the old gospel for which martyrs bled and confessors died. The Saviour is, by his Spirit, still on earth; let this cheer us. He is ever in the midst of the fight, and therefore the battle is not doubtful. And as the conflict rages, what a sweet satisfaction it is to know that the Lord Jesus, in his office as our great Intercessor, is prevalently pleading for his people! O anxious gazer, look not so much at the battle below, for there thou shalt be enshrouded in smoke, and amazed with garments rolled in blood; but lift thine eyes yonder where the Saviour lives and pleads, for while he intercedes, the cause of God is safe. Let us fight as if it all depended upon us, but let us look up and know that all depends upon him.

Now, by the lilies of Christian purity, and by the roses of the Saviour’s atonement, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, we charge you who are lovers of Jesus, to do valiantly in the Holy War, for truth and righteousness, for the kingdom and crown jewels of your Master. Onward! “for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

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

 

 

God Helps Us

Thursday March 07

Today’s promise: God protects His people

How has God protected us in the past?

Before the mountains were created, before you made the earth and the world, you are God, without beginning or end.

You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust!”

Psalm 90:3-4 NLT

Our help in ages past

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home!
O God, Our Help in Ages Past
ISAAC WATTS (1674-1748)

In 1714, the people of England were anxious. Queen Anne lay dying, and she had no son or daughter to succeed her. Who would be the new monarch, and what changes would that make? Isaac Watts had reason to worry. His father had been imprisoned under the previous regime because his views did not please the ruling family. As a young child, Isaac has been carried by his mother to visit his father in jail. But Queen Anne had brought a new tolerance, and freedom for the elder Watts. Now that she was dying, what would happen?

Isaac Watts turned to Psalm 90 on this occasion and penned what may be the greatest of his more than six hundred hymns. In essence, it is a poem about time. God stands above human time, and in Him all our anxieties can be laid to rest. The greatness of our eternal God was a favorite theme of Watts. When the events of the day bring worry, the God of all ages remains our eternal home.

adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995), entry for January 29


A person can respond to suffering like an egg, or like a potato. A potato goes into the boiling water hard, but comes out pliable. An egg goes into the boiling water soft and comes out hard.
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

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