Hunger for His Word

Should it be according to your mind?

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Grace Gems, James Smith, Quotes | 0 comments

Should it be according to your mind?” Job 34:33
We are prone to be fretful, to complain of the dispensations of Divine Providence, and to reflect harshly upon the Lord’s dealings with us.

We want our own way.

We wish to carve for ourselves.

We would be treated as God’s favorites.

We want our ease, and prosperity, and pleasure, consulted in all things. And if this does not appear to be done–if our wills are crossed, if our schemesare frustrated, if our purposes are broken off–then we stumble, think ourselves badly treated, and look for everybody to sympathize with us.

Under these circumstances, God comes to us–as we sit among our broken cisterns, surrounded by our dethroned idols–and puts this question to us: “Should it be according to your mind?”

Are you wiser than God?

Are you kinder than God?

Are you holier than God?

Are you more just than God?

Are you better informed than God?

May not your mind be dark, or selfish, or foolish?

Should it then be according to your mind?

Should you reign–or God?

Remember that God acts in the highest wisdom; His motives are grace and justice; and all His purposes are worthy of Himself.

The least the Christian can do is to submit–and to prefer God’s wisdom, way, and work–to his own. Seeing God has so arranged all events, that all things must work together for the good of His people–they, at least, should daily say, “Father, may Your will be done!”

O my soul, seek grace from God, not only to submit and be resigned to the dispensations of Divine Providence–but to acquiesce in them, and bepleased with the whole of them! Your good is consulted–your best interests are secured; and soon, very soon, it will be seen that infinite wisdom and mercy, grace and goodness, have marked out every step of your road!

“Jesus replied: You do not understand what I am now doing–but someday you will.” John 13:7

(James Smith, “Important Questions!” 1858)

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He will guide us to the end of the journey!

Posted by on Apr 16, 2011 in Grace Gems, James Smith | 0 comments

“He will be our guide–even unto death!” Psalm 48:14

What a precious assurance is this!

Our God is our guide!

He led us out of the world at first,
directed us to the cross, and
conducted us into the path of holiness. 

He has led us through all our past difficulties and trials; He leads us by the hand at present, and He will never give up His charge, for He will be our guide even unto death. He will . . .
choose our way;
lead us in the paths of righteousness;
kindly converse with us along the road;
point out the snares and dangers in our path;
keep us by His power through faith unto salvation,
and will patiently bear with us unto the end!

He may . . .

hide His face,
refuse communion,
withhold comforts,
smite us for our follies, and
teach us our dependence on Himself by painful experience;
but He will never forsake us–or give us up!

He will guide us to the end of the journey, and will go with us through the last dark valley!

He will not only lead us to the heavenly kingdom–but put us in possession of it! This He has promised–and He will faithfully perform it.

Beloved, it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom! He will guide us now–and by and by receive us to glory!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Evening Visit”)

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The sacrifice of Himself!

Posted by on Apr 2, 2011 in Grace Gems, Ruth Bryan | 0 comments

“But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, to remove sin bythe sacrifice of Himself!” Hebrews 9:26

These rich words still amaze me.

That word “sin” feels weighty to a sensible sinner.

But oh! that word “Himself!” seems a million times more weighty!

“Himself!” the mighty God, the precious Man Christ Jesus!

“Himself!” by whom all things were created, and for whom they exist!

“Himself!” whose smile is heaven, whose frown is hell!

“Himself!” whom all angels worship, and all devils obey!

“Himself!” the sacrifice!

Another such sacrifice could not be found! Sins as deep as hell and as high as heaven cannot overmatch it–for it is infinite! Sins of scarlet and crimson dye cannot resist its power–for it makes them whiter than snow!

See as as much as you can of the vileness of self, and the demerit of sin–yet “Himself” a bleeding sacrifice, exceeds it all! Here is the sweet-smelling savor, both to the Lawgiver and the lawbreaker. The Lawgiver is honored–the lawbreaker is saved!

See how He stands most lovingly, as with open arms, saying to every laboring, weary, heavy-laden sinner, “Come! Come unto Me, and I will give you rest! I still receive sinners, to the uttermost I save them, and never am weary of healing their backslidings, forgiving all their iniquities, and multiplying pardons–as they multiply transgressions against Me. I blot all out with My blood, and love them freely and forever!”

Sinner, will not this suffice? It will, if the Spirit applies it–and opens in a little measure, Himself and His sacrifice–in contrast to yourself and your sins. It will take eternity to know it fully; but that your heart may find rest and refreshing in it now, is my affectionate prayer.

“But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, to remove sin by the sacrifice of Himself!

(Ruth Bryan, “The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ!”)

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Jesus is only precious to believers

Posted by on Feb 10, 2011 in Grace Gems | 0 comments

“Unto you therefore who believe–He is precious!” 1 Peter 2:7

Every believer VALUES Christ. Let others think of Him as they may–all who are taught of God, think highly of Him. They can never honor Him as they wish, or enjoy Him to their full satisfaction.

Every believer feels their NEED of him.
No weary traveler ever felt his need of rest,
no hungry laborer ever felt his need of food,
no drowning mariner ever felt his need of a life-boat
–as the believer has felt his need of Christ!
They need to be saved–and only Christ can save them.
They need to be happy–and only Jesus can make them happy.
They need His blood to cleanse them from sin, and procure their pardon.
They need His righteousness to clothe their souls, and justify them before God.
They need His Spirit to sanctify their nature, and make them fit for Heaven.
They need His intercession to secure them from evil, and procure for them good things.
They need His fullness of grace to supply all their needs, from earth to Heaven.

Every believer discovers the exact SUITABILITY of Christ to them.
He is just what they need–He has all that they need!
They are foolish–and He has wisdom.
They are unrighteous–and He has righteousness.
They are unholy–and He has holiness.
They are weak–and He has strength.
They are in bondage–and He has redemption.
They are lost–and He has salvation.
In a word, they are led to see that God has stored up everything in Jesus, and that possessing Him–they have all things!

Every Christian believes on Him to the saving of the soul. They trust Him to procure their pardon, peace with God, and everlasting life.
Their heart goes out to Him,
they repose confidence in Him,
they commit their souls to Him,
they build on Him–as God’s foundation;
they hide in Him–as the sinner’s refuge; and
they trust themselves with Him–as the almighty Savior.

“Unto you therefore who believe–He is precious!”

But Jesus is only precious to believers. Others do not feel their need of Him, do not see His adaptation to them, and do not depend on Him for pardon, peace with God, and everlasting life.

Beloved, do you have this saving faith–which renders Christ so precious?

If so, admire the sovereign and distinguishing grace of God, which has conferred so great a blessing upon you–for not all are given saving faith.

If so, realize the importance of this faith–which renders Christ so precious.
It is the eye–which sees the beauty of Christ.
It is the foot–which travels to Christ.
It is the hand–which lays hold of Christ.
It is the mouth–which tastes the sweetness of Christ.
It is the inward principle–which clings and cleaves to Christ.

Avoid therefore whatever weakens faith, or interrupts its exercise; and prize whatever strengthens it, and makes it vigorous!

(James Smith, “Christ Precious!” 1861)

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Poor in self–rich in Jesus!

Posted by on Apr 30, 2010 in Grace Gems | 0 comments

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

The Lord’s people are all poor; they see and feel that sin has stripped them of every excellence; and has left them wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. They can do nothing of themselves, they can procure nothing for themselves; but free grace has made ample provision for them, and the Gospel informs them that Jesus has everything they need–and that all that He has, is for them!

When they look at, or into themselves–they are discouraged; but when they look to Jesus–they rejoice! He has riches of grace–and riches of glory; and He says, “Every one who asks–receives.” He gives liberally, and upbraids not. Here then is the present blessedness of the Lord’s poor: Jesus has all they need! And He is their Redeemer and Friend! Those who seek Him shall not lack any truly good thing.

Am I poor? If so, Jesus bids me come to Him–and buy gold, clothing, wine, and milk without price–all that is necessary to comfort and support in time, and render me happy throughout eternity! Poor in self–rich in Jesus! Poor at present–rich in eternity! “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven!”

“All things are yours!” 1 Corinthians 3:21

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4:19

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

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O stand amazed at His free grace!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2010 in Grace Gems, Thomas Sherman | 0 comments

O precious saint! Three questions call for your answer:
1. What were you?
2. What are you?
3. What shall you be?

1. What were you?
Dead in your transgressions and sins,
a rebel to your God,
a prodigal to your Father,
a slave to your lust,
the devil’s captive,
on the highway to hell.

2. What are you?
Redeemed by Christ,
a royal child of God,
the spouse of Christ,
the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the heir of a priceless eternal inheritance!

3. What shall you be?
A glorious saint,
a companion of angels,
a triumphant victor,
a crowned king,
an attendant on the Lamb,
a participant in those soul-ravishing and ineffable excellencies that are in God! You shall behold the King of Glory face to face–and enjoy immediate communion with Jesus Christ! Nay more, you are made one with Him:
clothed with His excellencies,
enthroned with His glories,
crowned with His eternity,
and filled with His felicity!

“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard, and
no mind has imagined . . .
what God has prepared for those who love Him!”
1 Corinthians 2:9

O stand amazed at His free grace–and render all the glory to God!

(Thomas Sherman, “Divine Breathings; Or, a Pious Soul Thirsting after Christ”)

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