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Showing posts from February, 2020

Book Reading Goal : Book 3

I recently stumbled on a booklet by Al Martin, What is wrong with preaching today? at the Evangelical Library (London). It is 24 pages filled with excellency. You can get the electronic version for free atGrace Gems.  Here are a few quotes that struck me from it:
"All failures in preaching today are basically the failure either of the man who preaches or of the message he brings"
"The soil out of which powerful preaching grows is the preacher’s own life"
"The more you and I are known by our people, our influence will increase or diminish according to the tenor of our lives"

Secret Prayer

It is in the context of secret prayer that the eternal verities to which we give constant mental assent become living realities. I find, and this is somewhat of a confession as well as an exhortation, that my own words mock me too often when I preach — when I can say the word ‘hell’ and not feel the horror of it; when I can speak of heaven and not be warmed with a holy glow in the light of the fact that this is the place my Lord is preparing for me. I find no answer to this problem but to meditate long upon the passages that speak of these spiritual realities, and ask God the Holy Ghost to burn them into my heart. I plead with Him to make real to me that the very people that I look at may hear those terrible words, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.’ I find I must plead with God to make real to me that the people whose voices will say to me at the door, ‘Thank you for the sermon, pastor’, are the very voices that may one day be uttering those cries and groans of the d…

Prayer and Preaching

It may scarcely be needful to commend to you the sweet uses of private devotion, and yet I cannot forbear. To you as the ambassadors of God, the mercy-seat has a virtue beyond all estimate. The more familiar you are with the court of heaven, the better shall you discharge your heavenly trust. Among all the formative influences which go to make up a man honored of God in the ministry, I know of none more mighty than his own familiarity with the mercy-seat. All that a college course can do for a student is coarse and external compared with the spiritual and delicate refinement obtained by communion with God. While the unformed minister is revolving upon the wheel of preparation, prayer is the tool of the great Potter by which He moulds the vessel. All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with out closets. We grow, we wax mighty, we prevail in private prayer.  C H SPURGEON (Source: Lectures To My Students)

The Lord of the Weather

A Christian TV meteorologist has determined that there are over 1,400 references to weather terminology in the Bible. Many of these references attribute the outworking of weather directly to the hand of God. Most of these passages speak of God’s control over all weather, not just His divine intervention on specific occasions....Complaining about the weather is a favourite pastime. Sadly, as Christians we often get caught up in this ungodly habit of our society. But when we complain about the weather, we are actually complaining against God who sent us our weather. We are, in fact, sinning against God. GERRY BRIDGES (Source: Trusting God)

The Lord of History

The sovereignty of God is the one impregnable rock to which the suffering human heart must cling. The circumstances surrounding our lives are no accident: they may be the work of evil, but that evil is held firmly within the mighty hand of our sovereign God. All evil is subject to Him, and evil cannot touch His children unless He permits it. God is the Lord of human history and of the personal history of every member of His redeemed family. MARGARET CLARKSON (Source : Grace Grows Best in Winter)
The University of Sunderland recently announced it is closing its history department after only 14 students applied to the study subject this year. The study of history is declining at A-level and unamp; university because students want to study something that provides a direct route into employment.

Today I Learned

Many people know about William Carey. He is often called the father of modern missions. He suffered a succession of unbelievable obstacles (including an unsympathetic wife who later became insane). Yet, in all of this managed to  translate all or parts of the Bible into forty languages and dialects of India. 
What you may not know is that William Carey’s sister is equally an example of one who persevered. Almost totally paralyzed and bedridden, she lay on her bed in London and prayed for all the details and struggles of her brother’s work in far off India. 
Few people can identify with the perseverance of William Carey in either the incredible obstacles he faced or the amazing tasks he accomplished. But we should identify with the perseverance of Carey’s sister. She persevered in doing the will of God in her invalid state. 
She could not do much (at least what we tend to think of as much), but she persevered in doing what she could, in doing the will of God for her. And because she p…

Book Reading Goal : Book 2

I have just finished reading Adolphe Monod's wonderful classic Farewell. I picked up this book at a book sale at the Evangelical Library (London). I did not know anything about Adolphe Monod, but seeing that it was published by Banner of Trust, I thought it must be okay. And it proved to be more than okay! 
I discovered later that Monod is regarded as the foremost preacher France has produced in the last two hundred years. You can read more on Wikipedia and Banner of Trust. I have not yet located a good biography of Monod to read. But I have started ploughing through some of his books. 
As the name suggests, Farewell is a collection of exhortations that Monod gave towards the end of his life. The devotions were not delivered in strength to hundreds as his other sermons had been, but to a small bedside gathering "under the shadow of eternity".  There are so many gems in this little book, which I shall read and re-read. Here is one of the gems on the importance of investin…