Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Days Are Numbered

Note:= Think about this ! What do you have? and what do you need?

My Days Are Numbered

Published: November 22, 2006
The average American home now has more television sets than people ... according to Nielsen Media Research. There are 2.73 TV sets in the typical home and 2.55 people, the researchers said.
— The Associated Press, Sept. 21.
I HAVE two kids. Both are away at college.
I have five television sets. (I like to think of them as a set of five televisions.) I have two DVR boxes, three DVD players, two VHS machines and four stereos.
I have nineteen remote controls, mostly in one drawer.
I have three computers, four printers and two non-working faxes.
I have three phone lines, three cell phones and two answering machines.
I have no messages.
I have forty-six cookbooks.
I have sixty-eight takeout menus from four restaurants.
I have one hundred and sixteen soy sauce packets.
I have three hundred and eighty-two dishes, bowls, cups, saucers, mugs and glasses.
I eat over the sink.
I have five sinks, two with a view.
I try to keep a positive view.
I have two refrigerators.
It’s very hard to count ice cubes.
I have thirty-nine pairs of golf, tennis, squash, running, walking, hiking, casual and formal shoes, ice skates and rollerblades.
I’m wearing slippers.
I have forty-one 37-cent stamps.
I have no 2-cent stamps.
I read three dailies, four weeklies, five monthlies and no annual reports.
I have five hundred and six CD, cassette, vinyl and eight-track recordings.
I listen to the same radio station all day.
I have twenty-six sets of linen for four regular, three foldout and two inflatable beds.
I don’t like having houseguests.
I have one hundred and eighty-four thousand frequent flier miles on six airlines, three of which no longer exist.
I have “101 Dalmatians” on tape.
I have fourteen digital clocks flashing relatively similar times.
I have twenty-two minutes to listen to the news.
I have nine armchairs from which I can be critical.
I have a laundry list of things that need cleaning.
I have lost more than one thousand golf balls.
I am missing thirty-seven umbrellas.
I have over four hundred yards of dental floss.
I have a lot of time on my hands.
I have two kids coming home for Thanksgiving.
Rick Moranis is the creator of a country music album, “The Agoraphobic Cowboy.”

Sunday, November 12, 2006

OB Lines

NOTE:= A great reminder to exercise great caution when it comes to affairs of such a nature. Remind me of 1 kings 11:1-5, where it was recorded how King Soloman wandered away from following God and fell away. Men are especially proned to such temptations. I think King Solomon must have deceived himself into believing that he can have God's blessings and at the same time share in the pleasure of this world. His heart, although made wise by God, was no security to protect him when he let his guard down. May we learn to keep very close watch over our hearts. Drawing such OB (Out-of-bounds) lines and fences can help us stay on the secured and lighted path and not wander down a slippery path, thinking and deceiving ourselves that it's OK when in our heart of hearts, we know it's not. Take care and God bless.
5 Moral Fences

Fact: Some kids like to play "near the edge," and some kids don't. I always did! Whether the "edge" was rock jumping into a cool mountain lake or "bumper jumping" moving cars to slide along an icy winter street, the potential of peril invigorated me.

But "when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11). I was a pastor and in seminary when the moral failures of the late '80's hit the news. In addition to the big names, I heard a shocking number of similar tragedies from my own circle of pastor/friends.

One Sunday night in 1987 I remember crying all the way to church. I was terrified. I asked over and over, "How does this happen? Could this happen to me? How can I protect myself, my family, and my ministry from the devastation a moral failure would cause? How can I keep myself pure when men better than me are falling like flies?"

As I prayed it through, I figured that those who fell morally must have disregarded the warning signs. They didn't go from Spirit-led to stepping off the cliff in one day. They must have crashed some social barriers before their slippage became sexual.

Where is that line? I wondered, And how can I make sure I never cross it? I knew I had to make my decisions early and my standards public so that others would know when I was "playing near the edge." I was determined that, by God's grace, I would not take the plunge. So I set some boundaries of behavior.

I remembered an incident back in Bible college when the college president would not give my (young, beautiful) fiancee a ride to our church almost two hours away when he came to speak. At first that seemed odd; now I was beginning to understand why.

Sexual temptation is
where we are held least
accountable and where
we can fall fastest.

I began to form my list of moral fences:

1. I will not, under any circumstances, ride alone in a car with a female other than my wife or an immediate family member. No lifts home for a church secretary, no baby sitters driven home late at night, no rides for teen girls in my student ministry, more recently no personal pickups for my daughter's girlfriends, no exceptions.

Recently while speaking out of town, I had to explain to my pastor friend why it would not work out for his wife to meet me and drive me over there. It has been awkward at times, but it's a beneficial discipline.

2. I do not counsel a woman in a closed room or more than once. No matter what the issue, counseling is an intimate activity, and when the subject matter itself becomes intimate, counseling the opposite sex is like playing with fire.

When our church was smaller, keeping this standard meant that some women had to seek counsel elsewhere and two or three left our church over my "fence." I was hurt at first, but it blessed my wife.

My time was better spent training a team of men and women to do the lighter counseling and then referring those with more complex issues to biblical counseling centers outside our church.

When I cannot avoid a second session with a woman in our church, I have my wife or another pastor join us. Pretty hard to commit adultery with someone you never spend time alone with.

3. I do not stay alone in a hotel overnight. I did my doctoral thesis on increasing the incidents of self-disclosure of sin among men. I have heard more confessions of addiction to various forms of sexual sin than any one pastor should have to hear, and it has changed me. It has left me deeply persuaded that "there but for the grace of God (and some moral fences), go I." I know myself too well.

Lengthy, unaccountable hours with manifold temptations available is a recipe for failure. Romans 13:14 instructs us to "make no provision for the flesh." Do I sound weak? I am! And when I forget that weakness, I cease to know God's strength (1 Cor. 12:10).

When I travel, I travel with someone. When that is impossible, I stay with a friend. When that is impossible I do not go. Period.

Early in my ministry, that meant there were things I missed out on. Recently our elders have agreed to help fund a travel partner for me. If an outside ministry opportunity is deemed worthwhile, and the ministry cannot afford a second airfare, our church pays for me to take another pastor or elder, or best of all, my wife!

4. I speak often and publicly of my affection for my wife, when she's present and when she's not. Marriages that are failing often become silent in public before they become loudly negative. If a pastor neglects publicly affirming his wife, it may reveal a private deterioration of that relationship.

I have tried to develop close friends who consistently monitor the way I refer to and interact with my wife. I know some men in our church feel the heat because I am so publicly wild about my wife of 16 years, but maybe that's good for them.

5. Compliment the character or the conduct, not the coiffure or the clothing. I'm still working on this one. As our church has grown, and I don't know everybody personally, the power of a compliment has become a problem. As pastors we love people and want to be an encouragement. Formerly, if I noticed that Shelly had a new dress or Susan had changed her hair I would compliment her on that. I felt it was harmless. If it seemed to meet a need and I meant it sincerely, I thought, No harm done.

But more recently I have seen that this seemingly innocent gesture can have far more impact than I ever intended. Now I'm trying to restrict my compliments to character and conduct. I get to use my gift of encouragement, but I focus on the things God is doing in a person's life and not the externals that are so easily misunderstood.

Make the fences public

The fence is useless if I can take it down any time my sinful heart desires. To make it work, those around me must understand the fences and be willing to tell me if they see one broken down. I periodically weave the fences into a sermon.

My most recent example was a message on "Meeting God in Moral Failure." When the message came to the "how to prevent" part, I simply explained my five moral fences.

At the staff level, we require the fences to be maintained. From pastors to ministry leaders, custodians to bookstore personnel, every paid staff member is held to this standard. A former singles pastor found it very difficult not to have lunch alone with women in his ministry, claiming he "forgot." Eventually we told him we would "forget" to pay him if he "forgot" again.

Isn't this legalism?

This is not legalism. Legalism is when we judge another's spirituality based on man-made rules. We are not judging anyone's heart for the Lord. We are simply reasoning together how we can remain pure and faithful in our commitments to God and family.

Of course, Christian morality involves far more than righteous sexuality. Money and power have often been observed to destroy ministers and ministries. However, decisions about money and power are more public. People see the kind of car I drive, the clothes I wear, the vacations I take, and the home I live in.

People also observe the ways I use my influence over others. If I become powerdriven rather than servant-oriented, if I lord my authority over others and abuse my position, people will "vote with their feet."

With both money and power, there is a broad public accountability that is a "fence" of sorts. Beyond that most of us have elders and/or deacons who monitor the way we use power and money in the church. I account regularly for the way I use my influence and am excluded almost completely from the money matters of ministry.

Yet none of these co-leaders can monitor my sexual purity. It stands alone as a purely private matter capable of instantly destroying my ministry.

Moral fences are most needed in the area of sexual temptation because it is here we are held least accountable and it is here we can fall fastest.

What about solo sexual sin?

The fiercest battle for sexual purity is fought in the mind, what I look at, and what I think about. Moral fences may protect me from the act of adultery, but what protects a minister from the mental/emotional infidelity Jesus warns of (Matt. 5:28)?

My resume in these matters is certainly not spotless, but I have found great help in weekly accountability from my men's small group, which asks specific questions about Internet usage, television/movies viewed, and magazines read.

Knowing that within days my brothers will ask me point blank, "Have you set anything unclean before your eyes this week?" (Ps. 101:3) has been a strong deterrent.

Above reproach

In both Timothy and Titus, Paul instructs leaders in Christ's church to be above reproach. That is, our conduct must be such that it would be difficult, even for those who oppose our ministry, to bring an accusation against us. Many a pastor has had his ministry destroyed over accusations that could not be proven false, though they were.

Our congregation is comforted in knowing that our ministry team is seeking to protect themselves and the church from moral failure. By identifying the behaviors that lead to moral problems and avoiding them, we embrace the wisdom of Proverbs 4:26 to "ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established."

Of course, the standards themselves are not in any way righteous. They are only a protection against potentially overwhelming temptation.

Last summer on our family vacation, we drove through some very high, single lane, mountain passes. The road was narrow and the drop-off immense. I drove slowly and hugged the mountain! I kept my eyes on the road and refused to look down, but I'm still glad the guard rails were there.

This is one pastor's attempt to live above reproach. What are your reactions? LEADERSHIP would like to publish other approaches to protecting the integrity of ministry. Send your thoughts to or to LEADERSHIP, 465 Gundersen Dr., Carol Stream IL 60188.

James MacDonald is founding pastor of
Harvest Bible Chapel
800 Rohlwing Road
Rolling Meadows IL 60008

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Note:= A great article, reminding us what truly is relying on God's grace and what is expected by God as a consequence of giving us His grace. Like what the apostle john said in first john, those who are born of God do not continue to sin. Like what Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, " Go and sin no more." Only a person saved by grace and walking in daily obedience to God's commands will experience in reality the joy of true salvation, arising from a pure conscience. May God strength our resolve to continue in true faith that saves !

The need for a balanced message.An article by Bryan Chapell.
Talking about God's unconditional love in order to promote godliness is counterintuitive. If all we do is keep assuring people that God loves them, then what is to keep them from taking advantage of grace and doing whatever they want?In recent decades a number of wonderful movements of grace have begun to sweep across the evangelical world. These groups include the Sonship, World Harvest Mission, and New Life ministries that have flourished from the seminal influence of the late Jack Miller, Redeemer churches associated with Tim Keller; New City Fellowship churches and ministries in various cities; and the L'Abri fellowships spawned by the teachings of Francis Schaeffer. To these early and deep fountains of grace could be added a great number of ministers, churches, and institutions in evangelical circles that have recently made grace a chief focus of their ministries. Contributors are as diverse as John Armstrong, Charles Swindoll, Joyce Meyers, R. C. Sproul, Steve Brown, Michael Scott Horton, Jerry Bridges, and Philip Yancey.Without a doubt a grace awakening is occurring, but the new emphasis does not come without varying accents, challenges, and concerns. Concerns that the new emphasis on grace will result in antinomianism (disregard for the law of God) have become quite numerous and acute. The history of the evangelical church in North America can partially explain the reasons for these concerns.Much of the evangelical church finds its cultural roots in the modernist/fundamentalist controversy of the early twentieth century. Not only did those who stood for historic Christianity against modern skepticism fight against disregard for biblical truth, they also warred against the lifestyle changes being adopted by those who discredited the right of Scripture to govern their lives.Concern about lifestyle issues is necessary for biblical Christianity. Early leaders among the North American evangelicals rightly insisted that the Bible has commands that God's people must obey in order to honor him. Problems came, however, when patterns of personal conduct became almost as much an emphasis in evangelical preaching and teaching as the message of God's grace. As a consequence, people began to think of their conduct as a qualification for God's acceptance.The result of the strong emphasis on lifestyle issues was the creation of codes of conduct that supposedly distinguished real Christians from the secular world and nominal believers. Strict adherence to the codes became the mark of serious Christianity in many churches, even when the particulars could not be biblically proven. In fact, many of the standards of the evangelical code (for example, do not play card games, drink alcoholic beverages, smoke, or go to movies) became so much a part of the culture of most conservative churches that few people in them even thought to question whether the Bible actually taught all that the churches expected.Part of the concern about a renewed emphasis on grace is simply a fear of the loss of evangelical identity as interest wanes in adherence to the codes that have distinguished Bible-believing Christians over the past century. The fear has some merit. The codes have, in fact, kept many Christians from dallying with cultural practices and adopting societal patterns wherein lie great spiritual danger. Those who become strong advocates of a grace emphasis must acknowledge the legitimacy of this concern and show how their teaching will provide protection from secular dangers when the codes of conduct are undermined.Admittedly, strong advocates of the new grace emphasis may not feel that it is their responsibility to deal with the behavior issues that concern advocates of the codes. Preachers of grace typically see the old evangelical codes as destructive forms of legalism that need to be dismantled. Many of us have been personally wounded by legalistic attitudes in the church and resonate with the need to fight their spiritually corrosive influences.Still, it is not enough for the advocates of grace simply to react against legalism. We must also respond to the license that always tempts Christians when preachers say, "God will love you no matter what." Legalism makes believers think that God accepts them on the basis of what they do. Licentiousness makes believers think that God does not care what they do. Both errors have terrible spiritual consequences.Jesus said, "if you love me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15). Grace should not make obedience optional. When God removes good works as a condition for his acceptance, he does not remove righteousness as a requirement for life. The standards of Scripture glorify God and protect his people from spiritual harm. We cannot undermine the legitimate standards of the Bible without grave consequences.God does not love us because we obey him, but we cannot know the blessings of his love without obedience. Thus, a grace focus that undermines Christ's own demand for obedience denies us knowledge of and intimacy with him. This is not grace.Grace that bears fruit is biblical. Grace that goes to seed uses God's unconditional love as an excuse for selfish indulgence. Such egocentric living ultimately burdens us with the guilt and consequences of sin that God has designed his grace to remove.Resting on God's grace does not relieve us of our holy obligations; rather it should enable us to fulfill them.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006



A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists." "Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!" "No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! " answered the barber. " What happens, is, people do not come to me. " "Exactly!"- affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him . That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."


Friday, August 04, 2006

How to live a life of victory?

"Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." (2 Peter 1:10)

You shall never fall. When you think about it, that's a startling statement, isn't it? Most of us have been tripped up by the devil so many times we don't like to think about it. But the Word of God says it doesn't have to be that way. He says there's something that can keep us on our feet. What is it? Diligence.

If you haven't already, you need to realize how important diligence is. You need to face the fact that you simply can't live a life of victory without it. You can't stand strong on the Word of God and not pick your Bible up during the week. Sunday morning alone isn't going to get the job done. Yet most believers try to get by on that. That's precisely why we have thousands of churches all over the world filled with born-again people who don't have enough faith to blow their hats off. No diligence.

I remember several years ago when I ministered to a lady who was healed of cancer. She'd gotten into the Word, taken a stand of faith, and had been delivered. But several years later she called me and said, "Brother Copeland, I wish you'd pray for me. This cancer has come back on me again." Right away I recalled the scripture the Lord had given us to stand on those years before: "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." So I said, "Get your Bible and let's go back to Isaiah 54:17." In the background I could hear her whispering to someone else in the room, "Where's my Bible?" When I heard that, I almost cried out. I knew she wasn't going to make it. Why? No diligence.

Listen, this is a daily thing. The devil's out there 24 hours a day devising ways to make us fall. Jesus is on the throne 24 hours a day giving us power to resist him, and we need to be exercising our faith all the time. If you're going to stand in the days ahead, you're going to need a lot more than Sunday school faith. You're going to need some full-grown, mountain-moving faith, and there's only one way to get that: By giving yourself to the Word more diligently than you ever have before. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; and no matter how slippery the situation gets, you won't have to fall!
Scripture Study: 2 Peter 1:3-10

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Because GOD is...

Attributes of God by Dr. William R. Bright

1* Because God is a personal Spirit...........I will seek intimate fellowship with Him.

2* Because God is all-powerful......He can help me with anything.

3* Because God is ever-present......He is always with me.

4* Because God knows everything......I will go to Him with all my questions and concerns.

5* Because God is sovereign......I will joyfully submit to His will.

6* Because God is holy......I will devote myself to Him in purity,worship and service.

7* Because God is absolute truth......I will believe what He says and live accordingly.

8* Because God is righteous......I will live by His standards.

9* Because God is just......He will treat me fairly.

10* Because God is love......He is unconditionally committed to my wellbeing.

11* Because God is merciful......He forgive me of my sins when I sincerely confess them.

12* Because God is faithful......I will trust Him to always keep His promises.

13* Because God never future is secure and eternal.

Father, deep within our hearts we want to know You more. Amen

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Some things to think about !

Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's loveand the future to God's providence.

St, Augustine of Hippo


Things You Probably Never Knew or Thought About.

* At least 5 people in this world love you so much that they woulddie for you.

* At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

* A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don'tlike you.

* Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

* You mean the world to someone.

* If not for you, someone may not be living.

* You are special and unique.

* Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

* When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes fromit.

* If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know thatthey are great.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour toappreciate them,a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Take the live and love.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Don't Quit, Keep Playing

NOTE=This article is a great reminder of who we are and who God is. I just returned from my church camp, mandarin service; theme was "love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind; and love your neighbour as your self". The speaker shared much from his life experiences, what is meant by "such a love". Often many of us limit our love; meaning, we set conditions when we would love or continue to love. We draw boundaries beyond which we would cease to love. This is in contrast to the limitless love of God; and we were challenged to re-examine the way we love in the light of such limitless love. The key lesson I learnt was this: while there is clearly a limit to what I can do, because I am human and not God, this does not mean I need to set a limit to my love for others. I can love regardless. I can love even if I don't get what I hope for in return. I can love even if I am aware I am being used in the process. I can continue to play my "twinkle little star" in obedience to my master, and let him do the rest. I don't need to do the 100%. I can do my little 5-10%, and trust God to do the rest. He is God. And I am man. Together we are called to a special partnership to love. Will you keep "playing" and not quit? God has not quit on us. Thank God!

Don't Quit, Keep Playing

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to the concert of a great master pianist. After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered, to her horror, that her child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In disbelief, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear,

"Don't quit. Keep playing."

Then leaning over, he reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Perhaps that's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy.

We try our best, but the results aren't always graceful flowing Music.However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful. Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Remember, God may seem to call the equipped, but in truth, He equips the 'called'.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Unexpected Blessings from Affliction and Suffering

NOTE=This article is a great reminder of the place God has ordained for suffering in the life of a believer. So if you are suffering at this time, take comfort in this knowledge that your God knows and He cares. May you honour God greatly in your suffering just as Jesus did in His suffering when he was here. If we suffer well, we will also share in his wonderful glory. Learn the example of Job, dont ever curse God in your suffering; instead, rejoice evermore, and these words come from one who were suffering in prison for his faith. Yet he counted his sufferings very light, not worth comparing with the glory which he will share with the Lord of Glory when he comes again.

Unexpected Blessings from Affliction and Suffering

From "The Cocoon and the Butterfly", Author unknown

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force it's body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life struggling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved it's freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly.


Dear Friends in Christ, God has built into His creation many examples of His wisdom for us to learn from. This is hinted at in this interesting verse:

Prov 6:6 (KJV)
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

The example of the butterfly and the cocoon is yet another such source of wisdom. It reminds me of the Christian song lyrics which say, "If I never had a problem, I'd never know that He could solve them". The point is, God allows and designs suffering and affliction to come into our lives to give us the ability to grow as we ENDURE the problem. Our reaction to the problem is also a measure of our maturity in the Christian walk, and may change as we grow in our faith.

Just as there are three opponents to our walk with Christ, the devil, the world and the flesh, so are there three kinds of sufffering that we must endure:
Persecution or suffering for our faith;
Affliction or medical problems and the accompanying pain or inconvenience; Temptations to sin or worldiness, or idolatry.

Persecution for our Faith, or "Suffering"

In the concordance you will find that whenever the word "suffering" or "suffer" occurs, it seems to be related to our Christian testimony. The devil works overtime to try to negate our Christian testimony. He does this through fear, lies and intimidation. His aim is to get us to cowar and go silent about what Christ has done for us and what He can do for others. Either by our words or our actions, we are tempted to deny our Lord in response to the fear of threats or lies or damage to our reputation or to our life.
1 Pet 1:3-7 (KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
{5} Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.{6} Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season,
if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: {7} That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Pain and Affliction-Affliction is physical or medical suffering that we may have to endure. Of course, the book of Job shows us that the devil is also the one who tries to encourage God to take away our health so that we will perhaps "curse God and die".

Job 2:7-9 (KJV)So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. {8} And he took him a potsherd[broken piece of pottery] to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. {9} Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity?
curse God, and die[H=kill yourself].

Here in a nutshell is satan's true goal for causing pain and suffering to a Christian: he wants you to have to endure such pain and depression that you will curse God for putting you through it, and then deny your faith, and then to kill yourself...a triple victory for satan from bringing suffering into our lives.

Of course, the story of Job's affliction does not end in defeat, but in continued and persistent faith as he endured the suffering. Consider his response to the faithless response of his wife from the above verses:

Job 2:10 (KJV) But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.And at the end of Job's trial of medical affliction and loss, we find the true result of what God had in mind for Job all along. Although He permitted all the evil things to happen to this good man, His intent was to deepen Job's faith and give him a personal relationship with Himself that Job did not have before:

Job 42:1-6 (KJV)Then Job answered the LORD, and said, {2} I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.{3} Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not;
things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. {4} Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. {5} I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. {6} Wherefore I abhor myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.

Worldliness or Riches- Idolatry of worldly things.

We also often find ourselves struggling with the alure of money and material things to take our attention away from serving Christ. As Jesus teaches in the parable of the Sower and the Soils:
Mat 13:22 (KJV) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word,
and he becometh unfruitful.

1 Tim 6:8-12 (KJV) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. {9} But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition{Gk=eternal damnation}.
{10} For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
{11} But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. {12} Fight the good fight of faith,
lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

And as we endure the suffering or temptation, and struggle to overcome it, Christ is watching us and limiting the intensity of the temptation so that it will not be above that which we are able to bear.

1 Cor 10:9-14 (KJV) Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted,
and were destroyed of serpents. {10} Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. {11} Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.{12} Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. {13} There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:but God is faithful, who will not suffer{cause} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. {14} Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

The unexpected consequences of suffering and affliction for the Christian are Christian growth, and experiences of victory that you will have as a treasure with which you can help and counsel others. Observe:

2 Cor 1:2-4 (KJV) Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. {3} Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;{4} Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Verses for further meditation:

Isa 30:20-21 Though He give you the bread of adversity and water of affliction,
yet He will be with you to teach you--with your own eyes you will see your Teacher.
And if you leave God's paths and go either to the right or to the left,you will hear a Voice behind you say, "This is the way; walk ye in it."

Rom 8:16-18 (KJV)The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,that we are the children of God:{17} And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. {18} For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Cor 1:3-7 (KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; {4} Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. {5} For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. {6} And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. {7} And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

Phil 1:29 (KJV)For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him,but also to suffer for his sake;

Phil 3:7-10 (KJV)But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
{8} Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, {9} And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law,but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: {10} That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death;

1 Th 3:3-4 (KJV) {3} That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. {4} For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation;even as it came to pass, and ye know.

Rev 2:10 (KJV) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Monday, June 05, 2006


NOTE:=I came across this article aboit LOOSING ALL YOUR MARBLES some years back. Read it and take the main point to heart. My marble count today is 1248. What's yours?


Dear Colleague,

"...A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other...I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap...(who) was talking about 'a thousand marbles' to someone named 'Tom'. I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say.

'Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital.' He continued, 'Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'

'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part. 'It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.

'So I went to a toy store and bought...[a]1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear, plastic container...Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday, then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones...It was nice to talk to you Tom...'
"I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on?' she asked with a smile. 'Oh, nothing special,' I said. 'It has just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.'"+

"My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy. They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey...Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom..."
(Job 9:25,26; Psa. 90:12)(See Job 7:6,7; 14:1,2; Psa. 39:4,5; 89:47; I Pet. 1:24)

"Have a great week...and may you have many happy years after you lose all your marbles."++Author unknown

Thursday, June 01, 2006

7 Realities of Experiencing God.

NOTE:= Came across this today. A challenge to remind us of a reality from the divine perspective. Are we conscious of this reality daily? If we are, it ought to influence our thoughts and our actions. May God be a true reality to us! If we can't feel him, then go and read Psalm 139, and re-examine yourself; may be God will be merciful and reveal himself specially just for you. Seek him and he will be found! This is his wonderful promise. Believe it! Be blessed.

7 Realities of Experiencing God.

1.God is always at work around you.

2.God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and

3.God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

4.God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances,and
the church to reveal Himself,His purposes,and His ways.

5.God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of
belief that requires faith and action.

6.You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is

7.You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His
work through you.

Print this out and hang it on the wall!

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Invisible Blessings

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words
than words without a heart.
John Bunyan

Invisible Blessings
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal
of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen
but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary,
but what cannot be seen is eternal. (NRSV)
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Being very much of the earth - earthy - we always want tangible,visible things - proofs, demonstrations, something to latch onto to. If we always had them, of course, faith would be "struck blind." When Jesus hung on a cross, the challenge was flung at Him: Come down! He stayed nailed, not so spectators would be satisfied (that miracle, his coming down, would have been a great crowd pleaser), but that the world might be saved.
Many of our prayers are directed toward the quick and easy solution. Long suffering is sometimes the only means by which the greater glory of God will be served, and this is, for the moment, invisible. We must persist in faith. God has a splendid purpose. Believe in order to see it.
"Our troubles are slight and short-lived, and their outcome an eternal glory which outweighs them far. Meanwhile our eyes are fixed, not on things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen." (2 Cor 4: 17-18 NEB).

Monday, May 29, 2006

I can sleep when the Wind Blows

NOTE:=This little story remind us that the little discipline that we picked up and practice daily will stand us in good stead when the storms of life blow over us. Rather than feeling fear and crisis, we can know peace and rest. While there is not much we can do to change the outside world around us, there is certainly a lot we can do to change the inside of us, and it begins today with a small first step. What will it be for you? Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begin with the first step; an ocean is made up of tiny droplets, and a mountain cannot stand for long against a persistent digger with only a spade!

I can sleep when the Wind Blows

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.

The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm. We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don't need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the middle of storms. A friend of mine sent this to me today, and I enjoyed it so much, that I wanted to send it to you. I hope you enjoy your day and you sleep well.

Little Things Matter..Challenge from Spurgeon

May 30

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.”
- Son_2:15
A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that he will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with his people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” Some Christians very seldom enjoy their Saviour’s presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Art thou a child of God, and yet satisfied to go on without seeing thy Father’s face? What! thou the spouse of Christ, and yet content without his company! Surely, thou hast fallen into a sad state, for the chaste spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate, when he has left her. Ask, then, the question, what has driven Christ from thee? He hides his face behind the wall of thy sins. That wall may be built up of little pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: and the sea which divides thee from Christ may be filled with the drops of thy little sins; and the rock which has well nigh wrecked thy barque, may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of thy little sins. If thou wouldst live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ, take heed of “the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Jesus invites you to go with him and take them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with him to the hunting.

“That henceforth we should not serve sin.”
- Rom_6:6
Christian, what hast thou to do with sin? Hath it not cost thee enough already? Burnt child, wilt thou play with the fire? What! when thou hast already been between the jaws of the lion, wilt thou step a second time into his den? Hast thou not had enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all thy veins once, and wilt thou play upon the hole of the asp, and put thy hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time? Oh, be not so mad! so foolish! Did sin ever yield thee real pleasure? Didst thou find solid satisfaction in it? If so, go back to thine old drudgery, and wear the chain again, if it delight thee. But inasmuch as sin did never give thee what it promised to bestow, but deluded thee with lies, be not a second time snared by the old fowler- be free, and let the remembrance of thy ancient bondage forbid thee to enter the net again! It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to thy purity and holiness; therefore run not counter to the purposes of thy Lord. Another thought should restrain thee from sin. Christians can never sin cheaply; they pay a heavy price for iniquity. Transgression destroys peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders prayer, brings darkness over the soul; therefore be not the serf and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time you “serve sin” you have “Crucified the Lord afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Can you bear that thought? Oh! if you have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be my Master has sent this admonition this evening, to bring you back before you have backslidden very far. Turn thee to Jesus anew; he has not forgotten his love to thee; his grace is still the same. With weeping and repentance, come thou to his footstool, and thou shalt be once more received into his heart; thou shalt be set upon a rock again, and thy goings shall be established.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don't QUIT! Finishing STRONG! Let's ENDURE!

by Max Lucado

Remain. Hang in there. Finish. Stick to it until it is done. Unfortunately, very few of us do that. Our human tendency is to quit too soon. Our human tendency is to stop before we cross the finish line.

Our inability to finish what we start is seen in the smallest of things:A partly mowed lawn. A half-read book. Letters begun but never completed. An abandoned diet. A car up on blocks.Or, it shows up in life's most painful areas:An abandoned child. A cold faith. A job hopper. A wrecked marriage. An unevangelized world.

Am I touching some painful sores? Any chance I'm addressing someone who is considering giving up? If I am, I want to encourage you to remain. I want to encourage you to remember Jesus' determination on the cross.

Jesus didn't quit. But don't think for one minute that he wasn't tempted to. Watch him wince as he hears his apostles backbite and quarrel. Look at him weep as he sits at Lazarus's tomb or hear him wail as he claws the ground of Gethsemane.

Did he ever want to quit? You bet.That's why his words are so splendid.

"It is finished."

A cry of defeat? Hardly. Had his hands not been fastened down I dare say that a triumphant fist would have punched the dark sky. No, this is no cry of despair. It is a cry of completion. A cry of victory. A cry of fulfillment. Yes, even a cry of relief.

Are you close to quitting? Please don't do it. Are you discouraged as a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a little more. Are you pessimistic about your job? Roll up your sleeves and go at it again. No communication in your marriage? Give it one more shot. Can't resist temptation? Accept God's forgiveness and go one more round. Is your day framed with sorrow and disappointment?

Are your tomorrows turning into nevers? Is hope a forgotten word?

Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Mother Teresa is credited with saying, "God didn't call us to be successful, just faithful."

The Land of Promise, says Jesus, awaits those who endure. (Matthew 10:22) It is not just for those who make the victory laps or drink champagne. No sir. The Land of Promise is for those who simply remain to the end.

Let's endure.

Freely Forgive, Can YOU? Jesus did!

Freely Forgive

If anyone has a complaint against another;even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.Colossians 3:13

Studies by a number of psychologists show that it is not great riches that make people happy, but friends and forgiveness. Commenting on these findings in a USA Today article, Marilyn Elias says, "The happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, don't care about keeping up with the Joneses next door, lose themselves in daily activities, and most important, forgive easily."

University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson says that the ability to forgive others is a trait most strongly linked to happiness. He calls it "the queen of all virtues, and probably the hardest to come by."

An unforgiving spirit is often the last emotional fortress we yield to the power of God. Even as Christians, we may cling to anger and bitterness, feeling that those who have wronged us should suffer for their offenses. But when we realize how much God has forgiven us, we are compelled to extend mercy to others. The Bible urges us to "put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;.....even
as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" (Colossians 3:12-13).

Forgiveness is God's command to us and is part of a life of love, peace, thankfulness, and praise (vv. 14-16). Freely we have been forgiven; let us freely forgive. -- David McCasland

Lord, help me be kind and forgiving-Your loving forgiveness You've shown
To me for the sins I've committed; Lord, grant me a love like Your own. - Anon

When it seems you can't forgive, remember how much you've been forgiven.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


NOTE;=This posting is rather long, but should you have the patience to read and reach the end, you will receive a unique perspective from CH SPURGEON about prayer. He shared it many many years ago. It's fiery plead for believers and non-believers to ask, to seek, to knock, to pray until God answers with his open doors is so necessary and refreshing today. I am blessed and renewed. May you be so too! GOD BLESS.

Knock! -- Matt. 7:12

A Sermon Delivered by C.H.SPURGEON

"Knock, and it shall be opened unto you."-Matt 7:12.

I have no doubt that, taken very strictly, the three exhortations of this verse-which, indeed, are but one-were first of all intended forGod's believing people. It was to his disciples that the Lordsaid, "Cast not your pearls before swine;" and perhaps certain ofthem who were poor in spirit might turn round and say, "Lord, we have
few pearls; we are too poor to have the treasures of thy grace soplentifully. Thou hast bidden us not to give that which is holy untodogs; but holiness is rather a thing we seek after thanpossess." "Well," saith the Lord, "you have only to ask and have; yehave not because ye ask not; you have only to seek and you will be
sure to find, for holy things, like rare pearls, are to be discoveredif you look for them: you have only to knock and spiritual secretsshall open to you, even the innermost. truth of God." In eachexhortation our Lord bids us pray. Beloved, let us abound insupplication. Depend upon it that failure in prayer will underminethe foundation of our peace and sap the strength of our confidence;but if we abound in pleading with God we shall grow strong in theLord, and we shall be happy in his love, we shall become a blessingto those around us. Need I commend the mercy-seat to you who waitbefore it? Surely prayer must have become such a joy to you, such anecessity of your being, such an element of your life, that I hardlyneed press it upon you as a duty, or invite you to it as a privilege.Yet still I do so, because the Master does it by a tripleexhortation. A threefold cord is not easily broken-let not my text beneglected by you. Let me urge you to repeated, varied, ever
intensifying prayer: ask! seek! knock! Cease not to ask till youreceive; cease not to seek till you find; cease not to knock till thedoor is opened unto you.
In these three exhortations there would appear to be a gradation: itis the same thought put into another shape, and made more forcible.Ask-that is, in the quiet of your spirit, speak with God concerningyour need, and humbly beg him to grant your desires: this is a goodand acceptable form of prayer. If, however, asking should not appearto succeed, the Lord would arouse you to a more concentrated andactive longing; therefore let your desires call in the aid ofknowledge, thought, consideration, meditation, and practical action,
and learn to seek for the blessings you desire as men seek for hidtreasures. These good things are laid up in store, and they areaccessible to fervent minds. See how you can reach them. Add toasking the study of the promises of God, a diligent hearing of Hisword, a devout meditation upon the way of salvation, and all such
means of grace as may bring you the blessing. Advance from askinginto seeking. And if after all it should still seem that you have notobtained your desire, then knock, and so come to closer and moreagonizing work; use not alone the voice, but the whole soul; exerciseyourself unto godliness to obtain the boon; use every effort to winthat which you seek after; for remember that doing is praying; livingto God is a high form of seeking, and the bent of the entire mind isknocking. God often giveth to His people when they keep Hiscommandments that which He denies to them if they walk carelessly.

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, "If ye abide in
me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you" John 15:7. Holiness is essential to power in
prayer: the life must knock while the lips ask and the heart seeks.
I will change my line of exposition and say: ask as a beggar
petitions for alms. They say that begging is a poor trade, but when
you ply it well with God no other trade is so profitable. Men get
more by asking than by working without prayer. Though I do not
discommend working, yet I most highly commend praying. Nothing under
heaven pays like prevailing prayer. He that has power in prayer has
all things at his call. Ask as a poor mendicant who is hungry and
pleads for bread. Then seek as a merchant who hunts for goodly
pearls, looking up and down, anxious to give all that he has that he
may win a matchless treasure. Seek as a servant carefully looking
after his master's interests and labouring to promote them. Seek with
all diligence, adding to the earnestness of the beggar the careful
watchfulness of the jeweller who is seeking for a gem. Conclude all
by knocking at mercy's door as a lost traveller caught out on a cold
night in a blinding sleet knocks for shelter that he may not perish
in the storm. When you have reached the gate of Salvation ask to be
admitted by the great love of God, then look well to see the way of
entering, seeking to enter in; and if still the door seem shut
against you, knock right heavily, and continue knocking till you are
safely lodged within the home of love.
Once again, ask for what you want, seek for what you have lost, knock
for that from which you are excluded. Perhaps this last arrangement
best indicates the shades of meaning, and brings out the
distinctions. Ask for everything you need, whatever it may be: if it
be a right and good thing, it is promised to the sincere asker. Seek
for what you have lost; for what Adam lost you by the Fall, for what
you have lost yourself by your neglect, by your backsliding, by your
want of prayer; seek till you find the grace you need. Then knock. If
you seem shut out from comfort, from knowledge, from hope, from God,
from heaven, then knock, for the Lord will open unto you. Here you
need the Lord's own interference: you can ask and receive, you can
seek and find; but you cannot knock and open,-the Lord must himself
open the door, or you are shut out for ever. God is ready to open the
door. Remember, there is no cherub with fiery sword to guard this
gate, but, on the contrary, the Lord Jesus himself openeth, and no
man shutteth. But now I must drop this line of things, for my desire
is to use the text in reference to those who are not yet saved.
Last Lord's Day, when we preached upon glory, we had before us the
end of the pilgrim way. It was a very, very happy time; for in
meditation we reached the suburbs of the Celestial City, and we
tasted of eternal glory. This morning I thought we would begin at the
beginning, and enter in at the wicket gate which stands at the head
of the way to heaven. Mr. Bunyan, in his "Pi]grim's Progress,"
says, "Now over the gate there was written, 'Knock, and it shall be
opened unto you.' " His ingenious allegory is always as truthfully
instructive as it is delightfully attractive. I concluded that this
should be my text. If it be thought worthy to be written over the
gate at the entering in of the way of life it must have a great claim
upon the attention of those who have not yet started for glory, but
are anxious to do so. May God the Holy Ghost instruct and quicken
them while we hear the Lord from within his palace saying, "Knock,
and it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9.
I. First, then, dear friend, whoever you are, if you are desirous of
entering into eternal life, I would expound to you the inscription
over the gate, by saying, first, THE DOOR OF MERCY MAY APPEAR TO YOU
TO BE CLOSED AGAINST YOU. That is implied in the text: "Knock, and it
shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9. If to your
consciousness the door stood wide open, there would be no need of
knocking; but since in your apprehension it is closed against you, it
is for you to seek admission in the proper way by knocking.
To a large extent this apprehension is the result of your own fears.
You think the gate is closed because you feel it ought to be so; you
feel that if God dealt with you as you would deal with your fellow-
men, He would be so offended with you as to shut the door of His
favour once for all. You remember how guilty you have been, how often
you have refused the divine call, and how you have gone on from evil
to evil, and therefore you fear that, the Master of the house has
already risen up and shut to the door. You fear lest like the
obstinate ones in Noah's day you will find the door of the ark
closed, and yourself shut out to perish in the general destruction.
Sin lieth at the door, and blocks it. Your desponding feelings fasten
up the gate of grace in your judgment. Yet, it is not so. The gate is
not barred and bolted as you think it to be; though it may be spoken
of as closed in a certain sense, yet in another sense it is never
shut. In any case it opens very freely; its hinges are not rusted, no
bolts secure it. The Lord is glad to open the gate to every knocking
soul. It is closed far more in your apprehension than as a matter of
fact; for the sin which shuts it is removed so far as the believing
sinner is concerned. Had you but faith enough, you would enter in at
this present moment; and if you did once enter in, you would never be
put out again, for it is written, "Him that cometh to me I will in no
wise cast out" John 6:37. If you could with holy courage take leave
and licence to come in, you would never be blamed for it. Fear and
shame stand in the sinner's road, and push him back; and blessed is
he whose desperate need forces him to be bold.
One thing we should remember when we fear that the door is closed
against us, namely, that it is not so fast closed as the door of our
hearts has been. You know the famous picture of "The Light of the
World." It seems to me to be one of the finest sermons the eye has
ever looked upon. There stands the Ever-Blessed, knocking at the door
of the soul, but the hinges are rusted, the door itself is fast
bolted, and wild briars and all kinds of creeping plants running up
the door prove that it is long since it was moved. You know what it
all means; how continuance in sin makes it harder to yield to the
knock of Christ, and how evil habits creeping up one after another
hold the soul so fast that it cannot open to the sacred knocking.
Jesus has been knocking at some of your hearts ever since you were
children; and still he knocks. I hear his blessed hand upon the door
at this moment: do you not hear it? Will you not open? He has knocked
long, and yet he knocks again. I am sure that you have not knocked at
mercy's door so long as incarnate mercy has waited at your door. You
know you have not. How, therefore, can you complain if there should
be an apparent delay in answering your prayers? It is but to make you
feel a holy shame for having treated your Lord so ill. Now you begin
to know what it is to be kept waiting, what it is to be a weary
knocker, what it is to cry "my head is wet with dew and my locks with
the drops of the night" Song 5:2. This will excite you to repentance
for your unkind behaviour, and also move you to love the more
intensely that gentle Lover of your soul who has shown such patience
towards you. It will be no loss to you that the door was shut for
awhile, if you do but gain a penitent heart and a tender spirit.
Let me, however, warn you that the door can be closed and shut by
unbelief. He that believeth entereth into Christ when he believeth:
he that cometh in by the door shall be saved, and shall go in and out
and find pasture; so our Lord says in the tenth of John. "He that
believeth in him hath everlasting life," there is no question about
that; but we read on the other hand, "So then they could not enter in
because of unbelief" Heb 3:19. Forty years the tribes were in the
wilderness, going towards Canaan, yet they never reached the promised
land because of unbelief. And what if some of you should be forty
years attending this means of grace? Coming and going, coming and
going, hearing sermons, witnessing ordinances, and joining with God's
people in worship: what if after all the forty years you should never
enter in because of unbelief? Souls, I tell you if you lived each one
of you as long as Methusaleh, you could not enter in unless you
believed in Jesus Christ. The moment you have trusted him with your
whole heart and soul you are within the blessed portals of the
Father's house, but however many years you may be asking, seeking,
and knocking, you will never enter in till faith comes, for unbelief
keeps up the chain of the door, and there is no entering in while it
rifles your spirit.
Do you, however, complain that you should have to knock? It is the
rule of the Most High. Am I addressing any who have been earnestly
praying for several months? I can sympathize with you, for that was
my case, not only for months, but even for years: through the
darkness of my mind and my cruel misapprehensions of the Lord, I did
not find peace when first I began to ask for it, although I also
sought with much earnestness, going to the house of God every time I
could, and reading the Bible daily with a burning desire to know the
right way. I did not enter into peace till I had knocked long and
heavily. Hearken, therefore, to one who knows your trouble, and hear
from me the voice of reason. Ought we to expect to enter into the
glorious house of mercy without knocking at its door? Is it so with
our own houses? Can every straggler carelessly saunter in? Is it not
God's way in the world to give great blessings, but always to make
men knock for them? We want bread out of the earth, but the farmer
must knock at the door of the earth with his plough and with all his
instruments of agriculture ere his God will hand him out a harvest.
Is anything gained in this world without labour? Is it not an old
proverb, "No sweat, no sweet: no pains, no gains: no mill, no meal"?
And may we not expect in heavenly things that at least these great
mercies should be prayed for with fervency before they can be
bestowed? It is the usual rule with God to make us pray before He
gives the blessing. And how could it be otherwise? How could a man be
saved without prayer? A prayer-less soul must be a Christ-less soul.
The feeling of prayer, the habit of prayer, the spirit of prayer are
parts of salvation. Unless it can be said of a man, "Behold, he
prayeth!" how can there be any sort of hope that he knows his God,
and has found reconciliation? The prodigal did not come home dumb,
neither did he enter his father's house in sullen silence. No, but as
soon as he saw his father, he cried, "Father, I have sinned against
heaven" Luke 15:18,21. There must be speech with God, for God gives
not a silent salvation.
Besides, to make us knock at mercy's gate is a great blessing to
ourselves upon the spot. It is a going to school for us when we are
set to plead with God for awhile without realised success. It makes a
man grow more earnest, for his hunger increases while he tarries. If
he obtained the blessing when first he asked for it, it might seem
dog cheap; but when he has to plead long he arrives at a better sense
of the value of the mercy sought. He sees also more of his own
unworthiness as he stands outside mercy's gate, ready to swoon away
with fear; and so he grows more passionately earnest in pleading;
and, whereas he did but ask at first, he now begins to seek, and he
adds cries and tears and a broken heart: to all the other ways of his
pleading. Thus the man, by being humbled and aroused, is getting good
by means of his sorrow while he is kept for a while outside the gate.
Beside that, he is increasing his capacity for the future. I believe
I never could have been able to comfort seekers in their anguish if I
had not been kept waiting in the cold myself. I have always felt
grateful for my early distress because of its after results. Many
men, whose experiences are recorded in books which are invaluable in
the Christian library, never could have written those books if they
had not themselves been kept waiting, hungry and thirsty, and full of
soul-travail, ere the Lord appeared to them. That blessed man, David,
who always seems to be:
"Not one, but all mankind's epitome"
the history of all men wrapped up in one-how he pictures himself
sinking in the miry clay! Lower and lower did he go till he cried out
of the depths, and then at last he was taken up out of the horrible
pit, and his feet were set on a rock that he might tell to others
what the Lord had done for him. Your heart wants enlarging, dear sir.
The Lord means to prepare you to become a more eminent Christian by
expanding your mind. The spade of agony is digging trenches to hold
the water of life. Depend upon it, if the ships of prayer do not come
home speedily it is because they are more heavily freighted with
blessing. When prayer is long in the answering it will be all the
sweeter in the receiving, like fruit which is well ripened by hanging
longer on the tree. If you knock with a heavy heart you shall yet
sing with joy of spirit; therefore, be not discouraged because for a
while you stand before a closed door.
II. Secondly, A DOOR IMPLIES AN OPENING. What is a door meant, for if
it is always to be kept shut? The wall might as well have remained
without a break. I have seen certain houses and public buildings with
the form and appearance of doors where there were none; the sham
doorway being made for architectural purposes; but nothing is a sham
in the house of the Lord. His doors are meant to open: they were made
on purpose for entrance; and so the blessed gospel of God is made on
purpose for you to enter into life and peace. It would be of no use
to knock at a wall, but you may wisely knock at a door, for it is
arranged for opening. You will enter in eventually if you knock on,
for the gospel is good news for men, and how could it be good news if
it should so happen that they might sincerely come to Christ and ask
mercy, and be denied it? I fear that the gospel preached by certain
divines sounds rather like bad news than good news to awakened souls,
for it requires so much feeling and preparation on the sinner's part
that they are not cheered nor led to hope thereby. But be you sure
that the Lord is willing to save all those who are willing to be
saved in His own appointed way. A dear brother beautifully said in
prayer on Monday night-"Thou, O Lord, art perfectly satisfied with
the Lord Jesus, and if we are satisfied with him, thou art satisfied
with us." That is the gospel put into a few words. God is satisfied
with Christ, and if you are satisfied with Christ, God is satisfied
with you. This is glad tidings to every soul that is willing to
accept the atonement made, and the righteousness prepared by the Lord
Dear friend, this gospel must be meant to be received by sinners, or
else it would not have been sent. "But," saith one, "I am such a
sinner." Just so. You are the sort of person for whom the news of
mercy is intended. A gospel is not needed by perfect men; sinless men
need no pardon. No sacrifice is wanted if there is no guilt: no
atonement is wanted where there is no transgression. They that are
whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. This door of hope
which God has prepared was meant to be an entrance into life, and it
was meant to open to sinners, for if it does not open to sinners it
will never open at, all; for we have all sinned, and so we must all
be shut out unless it be of free grace for those who are guilty.
I am sure this door must open to those who have nothing to bring with
them. If you have no good works, no merits, no good feelings, nothing
to recommend you, be not discouraged, for it is to such that Jesus
Christ is most precious, and therefore most accessable, for he loves
to give himself to those who will prize him most. A man will never
have Christ while he has enough of his own; but he that is
consciously naked, and poor, and miserable is the man for Christ's
money, he it is that has been redeemed by price. You may know the
redeemed man, for he feels his bondage, and owns that he must remain
therein unless the redemption of Christ be applied for his
Dear friends, that door of hope will be opened to you though you may
be ignorant, and weak, and quite unable to fulfil any high
conditions. When the text says, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto
you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9, it teaches us that the way of winning
admission to the blessing is simple, and suitable to common people.
If I have to enter in by a door which is well secured, I shall need
tools and science. I confess I do not understand the art; you must
send for a gentleman who understands picklocks, "jemmies," and all
sorts of burglarious instruments: but if I am only told to knock,
fool as I am at opening doors, I know how to knock. Any uneducated
man can knock if that is all which is required of him. Is there a
person here who cannot put words together in prayer? Never mind,
friend; knocking can be done by one who is no orator. Perhaps another
cries, "I am no scholar." Never mind, a man can knock though he may
be no philosopher. A dumb man can knock. A blind man can knock. With
a palsied hand a man may knock. He who knows nothing of his book can
still lift a hammer and let it fall. The way to open heaven's gate is
wonderfully simplified to those who are lowly enough to follow the
Holy Spirit's guidance, and ask, seek, and knock believingly. God has
not provided a salvation which can only be understood by learned men;
He has not prepared a gospel which requires half-a-dozen folio
volumes to describe it: it is intended for the ignorant, the short-
witted, and the dying, as well as for others, and hence it must be as
plain as knocking at a door. This is it,-Believe and live. Seek unto
God with all your heart and soul, and strength, through Jesus Christ,
and the door of his mercy will certainly open to you. The gate of
grace is meant to yield admission to unscientific people since it
shall be opened to those who knock.
I am sure this door will open to you, because it has been opened to
so many before you. It has been opened to hundreds of us now present.
Could not you, dear brothers and sisters, stand up and tell how the
Lord opened the gate of His salvation to you? That door has opened to
many in this house during the last few weeks. We have seen persons
coming forward to tell how the Lord has been pleased to give them an
entrance into His mercy, though at one time they were afraid that the
door was shut, and they were ready to despair. Well, if the door has
been so often opened for others, why should it not turn on its hinges
for you? Only knock, with faith in God's mercy, and before long it
shall yield to your importunity.
It is for God's glory to open His door of grace, and that is one
reason why we are sure He will do so. We cannot expect Him to do that
which would be derogatory to His own honour, but we do expect Him to
do that which will glorify His sacred attributes. It will greatly
honour the mercy, the patience, the love, the grace, the goodness,
the favour of God if He will open the door to such an undeserving one
as you are; wherefore knock. Knock since God delights to give; knock
at a door which every time it turns on its hinges unveils His
greatness; knock with holy confidence at this present moment, for "it
shall be opened unto you." It is a door which seems closed, but
because it is a door, it must be capable of being opened.
III. Thirdly, knock, for A KNOCKER IS PROVIDED. When persons can be
admitted by knocking, a knocker is usually placed on the door; and if
not, we often see the words, NO ADMITTANCE. Before bells became so
common the habit of knocking at the door was well-nigh universal, and
people were accustomed to make the door resound with their blows.
There was a nail-head for the knocker to drop upon, and people used
to smite it so heavily that it became remarked that such blows on the
head were killing, and hence arose the mirthful proverb, "as dead as
a door-nail." Its betokens a hearty kind of knocking, which I would
have you imitate in prayer. Knock at heaven's gate as earnestly as
people knocked at doors in the olden times. Have you not had knocks
at your own doors which could be heard all through the house? Some of
our friends are vigorous, and knock as if they meant coming in. It
may be that gentle folks give such tender taps that they are not
heard by the servants, and so they have to wait; but these I am
speaking of never fall into that error, for they so startle everybody
that people are glad to let them in, for fear they should thunder a
second time. In this style let us pray: let us plead in downright
fashion, and never cease till we gain admission.
I have said that the Lord has provided a knocker. What is this
knocker? First of all, its may be found in the promises of God. We
are sure to speed well when we can plead a promise. It is well to say
unto the Lord, "Do as thou hast said." What force abides in an appeal
to the word, the oath, and the covenants of God. If a man presents to
another a promissory note upon the day on which its is due he expects
to receive the amount stated therein. God's promises are bills of
exchange, and he will duly honour them. He was never known to
dishonour a bill yet, and He never will do so. If you can only quote
a promise applicable to your condition, and spread it before the Lord
in faith, and say, "Remember this word unto thy servant upon which
thou hast caused me to hope" Ps 119:49, you must obtain the blessing.
Pleading the promise gives such a knock at the gate of heaven that
must be opened.
The great knocker, however, is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. If
a person were to call upon you in the name of some dearly-beloved son
who is far away, if he brought you due credentials, and a letter,
saying, "Father. treat the bearer well for my sake," you would be
sure to show him kindness; and if the aforesaid person was authorized
to receive a promised amount in the name of your son, would you not
hand out the money? Now, when we go to God and plead the name of
Christ, its means that we plead the authority of Christ, that we ask
of God as though we were in Christ's stead, and expect Him to give it
to us as if He were giving it to Jesus. That is something more than
pleading for Christ's sake. I Suppose the apostles at firsts did
plead with God for Christ's sake, but Jesus says to them, "Hitherto
ye have asked nothing in my name." It is a higher grade of prayer,
and when we get to pleading Christ's name with the Father, then do we
gloriously prevail. At a Primitive Methodist meeting a person was
trying to pray, but did not get on at it, and presently a voice was
heard from the corner of the room, "Plead the blood, brother! plead
the blood!" I am not very fond of such interruptions, yet this was to
be commended, for it gave the right note, and set the pleader in his
right place. Plead the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and you have
knocked so that you must be heard.
"Alas!" says one, "I see the knocker, for I know something of the
promises and of the person of our Lord, but how am I to knock?" With
the hand of faith. Believe that God will keep His promise; ask Him to
do so, and thus knock. Believe that Jesus is worthy, whose name you
are pleading, and so knock in confidence that God will honour the
name of His dear Son. "Alas! my hand is so weak," say you, Then
remember that the Holy Spirit helpeth our infirmities. Ask him to put
his hand upon your hand, and in that fashion you will be able to
knock with prevailing vehemence. I beseech you knock with all the
strength you have, and knock often. If you are not in Christ, my dear
hearer, do not give sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids
till you have found him. If you have prayed once, go and pray again;
and if you have prayed ten thousand times, yet still continue in
prayer. Knock with all your might, with all the vigour of your
spirit; plead as for life; knock at the door as a man would knock who
saw a wolf ready to spring upon him. Knock as one would knock who
found himself ready to die of cold outside the door. Throw your whole
soul into the work. Say unto the Lord, "I beseech thee have mercy
upon me, and have mercy upon me now. I faint, I die, unless thou
manifest thy love to me and take me into thy house and heart, that I
may be thine for ever." "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matt
7:7; Luke 11:9. There is the knocker.
IV. Next, to you who are knocking at the gate A PROMISE IS GIVEN.
That is more than having a door before you, or a knocker to knock
with. The promise is above the gate in plain words. Read it. You are
growing faint and weary; read the promise, and grow strong
again. "Knock, and it shall abe opened unto you." Observe how plain
and positive it is with its glorious "shall" burning like a lamp in
the centre of it. In letters of love the inscription shines out
amidst all the darkness that surrounds you, and these are its
works, "It shall be opened unto you." If you knock at the door of the
kindest of men you see no such promise set before you, and yet you
knock, and knock confidently; how much more boldly should you come to
the door of grace when it is expressly declared, "It shall be opened
unto you"!
Remember that this promise was freely given. You never asked the Lord
for such a word, it was uttered by spontaneous goodness. You did not
come and plead qwith Jesus for a promise that you should be heard in
prayer. Far from it-you did not even pray. Perhaps you have been
living in the world forty years, and never truly prayed at all; but
the Lord out of his overflowing heart of generous love has made this
promise to you, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7;
Luke 11:9. Wherefore do you doubt? Do you think he will not keep his
word? A God who cannot lie, who was under no necessity to promise,
freely, out of the greatness of his divine nature, which is love,
says to a poor sinner, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Oh,
be sure of this, that He means it; and till heaven and earth shall
pass away His word shall stand, and neither you nor any other sinner
that knocks at His door shall be refused admittance.
This inscription has encouraged many to knock: when they have been
ready to faint and give up all further seeking, they have read again
the cheering lines, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matt
7:7; Luke 11:9, and they have taken heart and made the gate resound
again. Now, do you think God will tantalize us, that He will make
fools of us, that He will excite hopes in poor sinners, for the mere
sake of disappointing them? Will He induce you to knock by His
promise, and then laugh at you? Did the God of mercy ever say, "I
called and you came; I stretched out my hands and you drew near to
me, and yet I will mock at your calamity, and laugh when your fear
cometh"? Why, a bad man would scarely speak so: such an act would be
more like Satan than God. Do not tolerate the thought that the God of
all grace could treat a seeker thus; if it ever crosses your mind,
thrust it away and say, "He that taught me to pray has thereby bound
himself to answer prayer. He will not invite me to knock in vain!
Therefore, I will knock again, only this time more vigorously than
ever, relying upon His word and His truth." Oh, that you may never
stop your knocking till salvation's door is entered by you! The
promise of the Lord was given freely, and on the strength of that
promise we knock, therefore we are sure that the Lord will not deny
His trusting servants.
The mercy is that this promise is meant for all knockers-"Knock, and
it shall be opened unto you" Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9. The Lord has not
denied to you, my hearer, the privilege of praying, or declared that
He will not answer your requests. You may knock, and you may expect
to see the door open. I know the blessed doctrine of election, and I
rejoice in it; but that is a secret with God, while the rule of our
preaching is,-"Preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15. I
would, therefore, say to each one here, "Knock, and it shall be
opened unto you." The Lord knows who will knock, for "the Lord
knoweth them that are his" 2 Tim 2:19. But knock, my friend, knock
now, and it will soon be seen that you are one of God's chosen ones.
Remember the story of Malachi, the Cornishman. When a Methodist
friend had some money to give him he smilingly said, "Malachi, I do
not think I shall give you this money, because I do not know whether
you are predestinated to have it. Will you tell me whether you are
predestinated to have it or not?" Malachi replied, "You put the money
in my hand, and I will tell you." As soon as Malachi had the sum in
hand he knew that he was predestinated to have it; but he could not
know before he had it in possession. So the secret counsel of the
Lord is revealed to our faith when it gets Christ in possession, and
not before. Knock at once. If you are predestinated to enter, I know
you will knock, and knock till you are admitted, for so it stands,
and no exception is made to it-"Knock, and it shall be opened unto
you." It is a rule with the Lord that to him that knocketh it shall
be opened.
Blessed be God, this text of mine shines out as if printed in stars,
and it continues to shine from day-dawn of life to set of sun. As
long as a man lives, if he knocks at God's door, it shall be opened
unto him. You may have been long a rebel, and you may have heaped up
your sins till they seem to shut out all hope from you, but still
knock at Christ, the door, for an opening time will come. Even if it
were with thine expiring hand, if thou couldst knock at mercy's gate
it would open to thee; but put not off thy day of knocking because of
God's long-suffering mercy; rather today knock, knock now while
sitting in the pew, and if you are not answered immediately, as I
trust you will be, yet go home, and there in secret cry unto the
Lord, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me. I am lost unless
thou find me; I am lost unless I find my Saviour and Lord, I am not
playing at prayer now, my very soul means it; I must have Christ or
else I die just as I am; I cast myself upon him, and trust his
atoning sacrifice. Oh, manifest thyself to me as a pardoning God!"
Gen 32:26. I will be bound for God as a hostage that He will answer
you. I sought the Lord, and He heard me; and since than I have never
doubted of any living soul but that if he too will seek the Lord
through Jesus Christ he will certainly be saved. Oh, that you would
try it! The Lord move you thereto by His own blessed Spirit.
V. So I close with one more point. When the door opens IT WILL BE A
GLORIOUS OPENING TO YOU. "Knock, and it shall be opened." What will
come of it then? Immediately you who have knocked will enter. If you
have knocked in sincerity, the moment you see Christ as a Saviour you
will accept him as your Saviour. Enter into Christ by faith. Behold,
he sets before you an open door, and no man can shut it. Do not
hesitate to enter in. Hitherto you have thought there were many
difficulties and obstacles in your way, but indeed it is not so-
Believe and live. When, in answer to your knocking, you see the door
move, then arise, and tarry not.
Remember that the opening of that door will not only give you
entrance, but it will ensure you safety. He who once enters into
Christ is safe for ever. Only pass beneath that blood-sprinkled
portal, only rest in the house of the Well-beloved, and you shall go
no more out for ever. The life which be bestows is eternal, therefore
you shall not die. The destroying angel, whenever he may take his
flight, must pass you by. Only believe, and you are saved; only trust
Christ with your whole heart, and soul, and strength, and savation
has come unto your house, and you have come unto the house of
But then there shall come to you more of blessing yet, for yours
shall be the adoption. Once entered in you shall abide in the mansion
of grace, no more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.
You shall sit at the Father's table and eat and drink as a son, a
heir, a joint-heir with Christ. Yours shall be the liberty, the
plenty, the joy of the great house of love. At God's right hand there
are pleasures for evermore, and these shall be your heritage. Yes,
and more than that; when you have once entered into the house of love
you shall have access to its inner chambers. Even the vestibule of
God's house is a place of safety, but afterwards the Master of the
house shall take you into curious rooms, and show you His treasures,
and open to you His storehouses, so that you shall go from grace to
grace, from knowledge to knowledge, and glory to glory, by continued
progress. All this can only be understood by experience, and that
experience can only be obtained by knocking.
I want to say this, and I have done. Some people think if they have
begun to pray, and are a little in earnest, that this is enough. Now,
praying is not an end, it is only a means. Knocking is not the
ultimatum; you must enter in. If any of you are seeking, I am glad of
it; if you are knocking, I am glad of it; but if you say, "I am
perfectly satisfied to stand outside the door and knock," then I am
grieved for you. You are foolish to the last degree, because you are
resting in the means as if they were the end. You must enter by the
door or else knocking will be labour in vain. Would any of you be
content to visit a friend, and merely to stand for an hour or two
outside of his door knocking. Did you ever say, "I do not want
anything more: I shall sit down comfortably on the doorstep, and then
get up and have another knock or two?" Knocking would not give you a
dinner, nor do your business for you. Knocking is only the way of
entrance, but if you stop at knocking it is poor work. The most
earnest praying is only a way of getting to Christ: the gospel itself
is, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" Acts
16:31. Come, then, to Christ. If you find the door shut, knock. But
oh, remember, the door is not really shut; it is only so in your
apprehension! Heaven's gate stands open night and day. At once
believe and live. Trust in the merit of Jesus Christ, and you are
clothed with it: trust in the blood of Christ, and you are washed in
it. Faith saves in an instant. It touches Jesus, and the healing
virtue pours forth from his garment's hem: faith steps over the
threshold, and the soul is safe. The Lord grant that you may enter in
at once, and then it shall be our joy, and the angels' joy, and the
great Father's joy, for ever and ever; to see you rescued from

Hope this blesses some1 today as it did me when i read it this morn.I
felt lead to share it here and will as the Lord leads be sharing what
I feel God would have me share from differnt men and women of God as
well as my own sermons as our Father leads me.I realize i am a
moderator here and read the post daily but only post when the Lord