O Sovereign Love, To Thee I Cry

Jesus, my advocate above,
My friend before the throne of love,
If now for me prevails Thy prayer,
If now I find Thee pleading there,
If Thou the secret wish convey,
And sweetly prompt my heart to pray;
Hear, and my weak petitions join,
Almighty advocate, to Thine.

Fain would I know my utmost ill,
And groan my nature’s weight to feel,
To feel the clouds that round me roll,
The night that hangs upon my soul,
The darkness of my carnal mind,
My will perverse, my passions blind,
Scattered o’er all the earth abroad,
Immeasurably far from God.

Jesus, my heart’s desire obtain!
My earnest suit present, and gain;
My fullness of corruption show,
The knowledge of myself bestow;
A deeper displacence at sin,
A sharper sense of hell within,
A stronger struggling to get free,
A keener appetite for Thee.

O sovereign love, to Thee I cry,
Give me Thyself, or else I die!
Save me from death, from hell set free,
Death, hell, are but the want of Thee.
Quickened by Thy imparted flame,
Saved, when possessed of Thee, I am;
My life, my only heaven Thou art,
O might I feel Thee in my heart!

-Charles Wesley

Christ Cares For His Own

. . . He careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7

For that child of God who is laboring under some present distress, there are no words sweeter than these — “He careth for you!” He cares for your soul. He cares so much that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem you from sin and supply you with every spiritual need. Surely, if Jesus Christ died to redeem your soul from death, you must know his great care. Not only is that so, the Lord God tenderly cares for the bodies and the concerns of the lives of his people. Do you believe that He cares? Then cast your care upon the Lord!

you troubled about your sin? Cast it upon the Lord. Are you troubled about some
personal trial? Cast it upon the Lord. He was tempted in all points like as we
are. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He is able to help them
that believe. Go, therefore, with your heavy burden to the throne of your
merciful High Priest, cast your burden there and find grace and mercy to help
in your time of need.

-Don Fortner, Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Danville, KY USA

God’s Saints Are The Greatest Of Miracles

He can tell you that he was so blind — but now God has given him eyes to see sin to be the greatest evil, and Christ to be the choicest good.

He can tell you that once he was so deaf — that though God called very often and very loudly to him — yet he could not hear! But now God has given him a hearing ear so that now he can with delight hear the sweet music of the promises on the one hand; and with a holy trembling listen to the voice of divine threatenings on the other hand.

He can tell you that once he was so dumb — that he could not have spoken a good word for God, His ways, His people, nor for any of His concernments. Oh! but now his tongue is as the pen of a ready writer. Now he can contend for the faith, and speak for saints.

He can tell you that once he was so lame — that he was not able to move one-foot heaven-wards, nor Christ-wards. But now his feet delight, not only to go — but to run in all the ways of God’s commands!

Yes, he can tell you that once he was so dead — as to all his soul-concerns. But now he is alive, and the life that he leads in the flesh, is by faith in the Son of God, who has loved him and given Himself for him, Gal. 2:20.

That the tide of sin, which before did run so strong — should be so easily turned; that the sinner who, a little before was sailing hell-ward, and lacked neither wind nor tide to carry him there — should now suddenly alter his course, and tack about for heaven — what a miracle is this!

To see an earthly man become heavenly, a carnal man become spiritual, a loose man become precise, a proud man becomes humble, a covetous man become liberal, and a harsh man become meek, is to behold the greatest of miracles!

-Thomas Brooks

The Comfort Of Knowing God Is Sovereign

There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children ought more earnestly to contend than the doctrine of their Master over all creation – the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands – the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that Throne.

On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean;

But when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth, and [when] we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter; then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust.

-C. H. Spurgeon

The Very Hairs of Your Head Are All Numbered (Matthew 10:30)

With these words, our Lord Jesus Christ assures us that none of God’s elect shall ever be in any real danger or suffer any real harm, for we are under the special care and protection of God himself. I see six things in this sentence, which are a constant source of peace and encouragement to me.

1.      The Blessed Fact of Divine Predestination

The text might be better translated “the very hairs of your head have all been numbered.” Before the world began, our heavenly Father counted up and ordained the number of hairs that were to be upon your head at this very moment! That is meticulous predestination. What does it tell us? God’s sovereign purpose of grace in predestination includes all that we do and experience.

2.     A Comforting Assurance of Divine Providence

The primary intent of the text is to show us our Father’s constant rule of all things. The sparrow cannot fall to the ground, and a hair cannot fall from your head, without your Father’s eternal decree in predestination and his direction in providence.

3.     Our Heavenly Father’s Divine Knowledge of All Things Concerning Us

Our God, who predestinated all things and rules all things, knows all things. We are so well known by God that he has even numbered the hairs of our heads. — “Your Father knoweth.” — We need no other comfort. The Lord’s knowledge of us is constant and entire. His knowledge of us is the knowledge of a tender, sympathetic Father.

4.     Our Father’s Constant, Divine Care

He who takes the trouble to number the hairs of our heads must surely care for us. We are the apple of his eye.

Cast all your care upon him. — “He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). — “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

5.     The Honor and Divine Esteem God has for Us

God has numbered our hairs because he values them. He holds us in honor and esteem above all the people of the world because of his gracious purpose toward us in Christ (Isaiah 43:3-5; 1 John 4:9-11).

6.     The Promise of Divine Protection

The hairs of our head are all numbered because our God intends that, “There shall not an hair of your head perish.” Trials are certain. Temptations are sure. Tribulations are constant in this world. But there is no cause for fear. — “The very hairs of your head are all numbered!”

-Don Fortner, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Danville, KY USA

The Necessity And Benefit Of Our Trials

The very trials and afflictions, and the sore temptations through which God’s family pass, all eventually endear Christ to them.

And depend upon it, if you are a child of God, you will sooner or later, in your travels through this wilderness, find your need of Jesus as “able
to save to the uttermost.”

There will be such things in your heart, and such feelings in your mind the temptations you will meet with will be such that nothing short of a Savior that is able to save to the uttermost can save you out of your desperate case and felt circumstances as utterly lost and helpless.

This a great point to come to. All trials, all temptations, all strippings, all emptyings that do not end here are valueless because they lead the soul away from God.

But the convictions, the trials, the temptations, the strippings, the emptyings, that bring us to this spot — that we have nothing, and can do nothing, but the Lord alone must do it — all these have a blessed effect, because they eventually make Jesus very near and dear unto us.

-J. C. Philpot

Carrying Your Sorrows And Sins To The Cross

Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Psalm 25:18

It is good for us when prayers about our sorrows are linked with pleas concerning our sins — when, being under God’s hand, we do not focus exclusively on our pain, but remember our sins against God. It is also good to take both sorrow and sin to the same place. It was to God that David carried his sorrow: It was to God that David confessed his sin.

Notice, then, we must take our sorrows to God. Even your little sorrows you may cast upon God, for He counts the hairs of your head; and your great sorrows you may commit to Him, for He holds the ocean in the hollow of His hand. Go to Him, whatever your present trouble may be, and you will find Him able and willing to relieve you. But we must take our sins to God too. We must carry them to the cross, that the blood may fall upon them, to purge away their guilt and to destroy their defiling power.

The special lesson of the text is this: we are to go to the Lord with sorrows and with sins in the right spirit. Note that all David asks concerning his sorrow is, “Consider my affliction and my trouble”; but the next petition is vastly more explicit, definite, decided, plain — “Forgive all my sins.”

Many sufferers would have reversed it: “Remove my affliction and my pain, and consider my sins.” But David does not; he cries, “Lord, when it comes to my affliction and my pain, I will not dictate to Your wisdom. Lord, look at them — I will leave them to You. I would like to have my pain removed, but do as You will. But as for my sins, Lord, I know what needs to happen — I must have them forgiven; I cannot endure to live under their curse for a moment.”

A Christian counts sorrow lighter in the scale than sin; he can bear to have troubles continue, but he cannot bear the burden of his transgressions.

-C. H. Spurgeon

Powerful Storms That Bless, Not Destroy

The very storms through which the believer passes, will only strengthen him to take a firmer hold of Christ. As the same wind that blows down the poplar tree, only establishes the oak tree; so the very storms which
uproot the shallow professor, only root the child of God more firmly in Christ.

Though these storms may shake off some of his leaves, or break off some of the rotten boughs, they do not uproot his faith — but rather strengthen it.

It is in these storms that he learns . . .
more of his own weakness, and of Christ’s strength;
more of his own misery, and of Christ’s mercy;
more of his own sinfulness, and of superabounding grace;
more of his own poverty, and of Christ’s riches;
more of his own desert of hell, and of his own title to heaven.

It is in these storms that the same blessed Spirit who began the work carries it on; and goes on to engrave the image of Christ in deeper characters upon his heart; and to teach him more and more experimentally — the truth as it is in Jesus.

-J. C. Philpot

God Considers His Saints

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light than
when he is spoken of as stooping from his throne, and coming down from
heaven to attend to the wants and to behold the woes of mankind. We love
him, who, when Sodom and Gomorrah were full of iniquity, would not
destroy those cities until he had made a personal visitation of them. We
cannot help pouring out our heart in affection for our Lord who
inclines his ear from the highest glory, and puts it to the lip of the
dying sinner, whose failing heart longs after reconciliation. How can we
but love him when we know that he numbers the very hairs of our heads,
marks our path, and orders our ways? Specially is this great truth
brought near to our heart, when we recollect how attentive he is, not
merely to the temporal interests of his creatures, but to their
spiritual concerns. Though leagues of distance lie between the finite
creature and the infinite Creator, yet there are links uniting both.
When a tear is wept by thee, think not that God doth not behold; for,
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that
fear him.” Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper
can incline his ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay his hand; thy faith
can move his arm. Think not that God sits on high taking no account of
thee. Remember that however poor and needy thou art, yet the Lord
thinketh upon thee. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout
the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose
heart is perfect towards him.

Oh! then repeat the truth that never tires;
No God is like the God my soul desires;
He at whose voice heaven trembles, even he,
Great as he is, knows how to stoop to me.

– C. H. Spurgeon

Self Destruction and God’s Deliverance

“O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.” Hosea 13:9

“O Ephraim, you have destroyed yourself! not “Ephraim, if you do not take very great care, you will by and by destroy yourself.” But, “O Ephraim, you have destroyed yourself” already! And so have we destroyed our souls over and over again. Here is this temptation, this snare, this besetting sin, this trap of the devil — all ready to entangle our feet — and would prove again, and again, and again our destruction. It would ruin both body and soul, and sweep us into hell without remedy — if the Lord did not intervene and interpose. Here, then, is the “fool” — having destroyed his soul.

All WE can do (it seems a dreadful thing to say — but I believe it is true) is to damn our own souls — that is all we can do, by nature. And what GOD has to do, is to keep us from damning ourselves! For our heart is so vile, our nature so corrupt — we are so bent upon backsliding, so deadly intent upon our idols, that God has to hold us back from hurling our own souls to the bottomless pit!

How many are our “DESTRUCTIONS.” And these “destructions” are like poison. We sip, and sip, and sip, not knowing there is poison in the cup. Its sweetness hides its venom. Arsenic is in every glass — the table is spread with wine — and to drink is to die! See how “the wine is the poison of dragons and the cruel venom of asps!” Look at our self-righteousness and pharisaic pride — is not that sufficient to destroy? Look at our carnality and worldly-mindedness, with all our reckless and vain thoughts — are not these sufficient to destroy? Look at our unbelief and infidelity — is not that sufficient to destroy? Look at the base lusts and sensual appetites — is there not enough of this poison in our heart to send a world to perdition? Look at the workings of despondency and despair — are not these sufficient to destroy?

Watch the movements of our heart in the various circumstances of life. Is not there a snare in everything? In business, in our occupation, at home, abroad, wherever we go, in whatever company we go — is not some secret snare hidden? And would not that snare entangle and destroy our souls — but for the sovereign grace and mercy of God?

For sure I am, if anyone is acquainted with the depth of the fall, the wickedness, and weakness of our Adam nature, and what a man can think, say, and do, when not upheld by the grace of God — he will say, “but for the grace of God I would, again and again, have rushed upon my own destruction!”

-J.C Philpot