The Language Of Faith

Faith endures as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, ” The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places” (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.
-A.W Pink

The Believer’s Motive to Fear God

Christian, let God’s distinguishing love to you be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put His fear in your heart, and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved.

-John Bunyan

Now, While We Hear Thy Word of Grace

O Thou, at whose almighty word,

The glorious light from darkness sprung!

Thy quick’ning influence afford,

And clothe with pow’r the preacher’s tongue.

Though ’tis thy truth he hopes to speak,

He cannot give the hearing ear;

’Tis thine, the stubborn heart to break,

And make the careless sinner fear.

As when of old, the water flowed

Forth from the rock at thy command;

Moses in vain had waved the rod,

Without thy wonder–working hand.

As when the walls of Jericho

Down to the earth at once were cast;

It was thy pow’r that brought them low,

And not the trumpets’ feeble blast.

Thus we would in the means be found,

And thus, on thee alone, depend;

To make the gospel’s joyful sound

Effectual, to the promised end.

Now, while we hear thy word of grace,

Let self and pride before it fall;

And rocky hearts dissolve apace,

In streams of sorrow at thy call.

On all our youth assembled here

The unction of thy Spirit pour;

Nor let them lose another year,

Lest thou shouldst strive and call no more.

-John Newton

God’s Unchanging Love

“The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on you.”–Isaiah 54:10

 There is nothing true but heaven–none unchangeable but God. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed”–the lofty and the beautiful, the strong and the attractive of created good shall decay and vanish–the earthquake of time’s revolution and of human instability shaking them to the center; but God’s covenant of love, and God’s love of the covenant, abides forever–for God has spoken it, and it is impossible for Him to lie. Sit down, my soul, and meditate awhile upon this heart-cheering, soul-satisfying truth–the unchangeable love of your covenant God and Father. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on you.” 

“My kindness.”  Oh how kind is Jesus! There is kindness in all He does and in all He says–kindness in His promises, kindness in His rebukes, kindness in what He gives, kindness in what He withholds, and kindness in what He recalls; kindness in every stroke of His rod, and kindness in every smile of His love. O! my Savior, how great Your kindness in bearing my sins, in calling me by Your effectual grace, in keeping me from falling by Your power, and in giving me a name and a place among Your saints. 

“Shall not depart from you.” My soul, consider the love of God for you, as everlasting love. It never did, it never will, depart. Notwithstanding your fall in Adam–your depraved nature–your constant sins and departures, the love of God continues. He may veil for a little moment the light of His countenance, may chastise and afflict you for your revoltings and backslidings; still, having loved you once, He loves you to the end. Whatever else departs, His love never will. Wealth may leave you, health may fail you, friends may forsake you, and life itself expire; but God’s paternal love, and Christ’s fraternal sympathy, will never, never change. 

“Neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed.” The covenant of peace made with Christ, on your behalf, O my soul, sealed with His blood, even the “blood of the everlasting covenant,” which procured peace, speaks peace, and bequeaths peace, even “the peace of God which passes all understanding,” shall never be removed. The mountains of human strength, lofty and sun-gilded–the hills of creature good, clad with verdure, and smiling with fruit–shall be removed–the strongest, the loveliest, and the dearest the first to die–but, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Amid the vicissitudes and changes of the present–the dying friends and revolving landscapes of life–cling, O my soul, to Him whose covenant never alters, whose kindness never changes; who, having loved you before all time, and loved you in all time, will love you to the end of all time–yes, when time shall be no longer. The Lord that has mercy upon you has said it.

Unconverted soul! the day will come when, you will cry to the mountains and to the rocks to cover you–but will cry in vain! Before His face of glory the heavens and the earth will flee away, and your soul will stand without a shelter or a hiding place. Escape for your life! There is one mountain, and one only, where you can find shelter from the wrath that is to come–it is Mount Calvary. Hidden there, the “Avenger of Blood” cannot reach you. No refuge but the cross–no fountain but the blood–no righteousness but Christ’s–no Savior but Jesus–will meet your case. “Him that comes unto Me I will in no way cast out.”

“Just as I am! without one plea, 
But that the Savior died for me, 
And that You bid me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come!”

-Octavius Winslow

They Shall Never Perish (John 10:28)

Our Lord here makes a blanket, unconditional promise to every true believer. It takes into consideration all times, all circumstances, all contingencies, all events and all possibilities. This promise takes in all the flock. Not one of Christ’s sheep will ever perish no, not even one. If you are a believer, if you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, if you have received eternal life, you will never perish. Christ himself has promised it! Nothing in you, nothing done by you, nothing in heaven, earth or hell will ever destroy your soul. Here are seven reasons why Christ’s sheep will never perish.

1. The Promise of God must be, fulfilled. God himself says, ‘They shall never perish.’ If one promise of God could be broken, no promise could be believed.

2. The purpose of God cannot be frustrated (John 6:37-40). God’s covenant cannot be made void. His elective purpose cannot be overturned. The suretyship engagements of Christ cannot be broken. The Good Shepherd must save his sheep. (John 10: 16).

3. The redemptive work of Christ cannot be nullified (Isa.53:10-11). That which Christ purchased, he must have. Otherwise he could never see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.

4. The believer’s justification by God in Christ is an irreversible act of grace (Rom. 8:31-34). God will not impute sin to those whom he has justified in his Son (Rom. 4:8).

5. The work of God’s grace in the believer’s heart can never be defeated (Phil. 1:6). That which God has begun he will carry on to perfection. Nothing and no one can halt God’s work.

6. The intercessory work of our Lord Jesus Christ must prevail (John 17:9-11,15,20; 1 John 2:1-2). Those for whom the Son of God pleads cannot perish.

7. The seat of the Holy Spirit cannot be broken (Eph. 1: 13- 14). God the Holy Spirit has sealed every believer unto the day of redemption, securing our glorious resurrection and eternal inheritance in Christ.

-Don Fortner

Though Afflicted, Tempest–tossed

Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what CHRIST the Savior says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise:
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee,
May he help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.

“Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end
I who heav’n and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel’s GOD by all adored;
As thy Savior will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.

For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I’ll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
’Tis but for a moment’s space,
Ending in eternal peace.

When my peaceful bow appears
Painted on the wat’ry cloud;
Tis to dissipate thy fears,
Lest the earth should be o’erflowed:
’Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my cov’nant love a sign;
Though the mountains leave their place,
Thou shalt be for ever mine.

Though afflicted, tempest–tossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.

-John Newton

Five Heart-Piercing Statements

Many years ago, I heard Henry Mahan make several statements in a message he preached. As I sat in the congregation, listening to the message, I could easily have been convinced that he was preaching to no one but me. Like barbed arrows, these five statements pierced my heart. I wrote them down because I hope never to forget them.

  1. “We have entirely too many fears for a people to whom the Lord
    has said, ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’”

Why can’t we believe God? Has he not proven himself faithful to us? David heard God’s promise and believed him. His faith in Christ quietened his fears. He said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

  1. “We have far too many doubts and fears concerning God’s mercy, love, and grace for a people to whom the Lord has said, ‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out…I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.’”
  2. “We spend entirely too much time grumbling and complaining about our trials and troubles for a people to whom the Lord has said, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’”
  3. “We have entirely too much attachment to this world and to this present life for a people who are looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is God (Heb. 11:8-10).”
  4. We have far too much anxiety, care, and fear, far too much
    concern for earthly, material things for a people to whom the Lord has said, ‘Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things’” (Matt. 6:32).

It is written, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Why should I fret when my God has promised to provide? Why should I concern myself about that which God has promised to do?

-Don Fortner

It Is High Time To Awake Out of Sleep

Romans 13:11

The sleep here spoken of by Paul is a shameful indifference to Christ, a spiritual, callousness into which true believers sometimes fall. Yes, men and women who truly love and trust Christ do sometimes, by their own sin and neglect of him, become indifferent to him. The wise virgins, like the foolish, are often found asleep (Matthew 25:1-13; Song of Solomon 5:2-3). And when they are asleep, it is impossible to tell the wise from the foolish.

            Are you asleep? Have you, like the church of Ephesus, lost your first love? Have you forgotten the joy of believing? Has your grasp of the Savior lost the strength of freshness? Your doctrine may be very precise, though you sleep. If you are born of God, you have seen your sin. But has the fresh conviction of personal depravity and sin you once felt so deeply now become no more than a doctrine you acknowledge? You know the righteousness of God in Christ, but has the righteousness of Christ now become no more than a point of doctrine about which you debate? It was once a blessed garment of salvation you wrapped around your naked soul. You have seen God’s judgment of sin in Christ. How joyfully you once bathed your filthy soul in Immanuel’s precious blood! The atonement of Christ, his finished work of redemption, his precious blood were once more than doctrinal facts to you. They were your soul’s hope, joy, and peace.

            All the doctrines of Christ are like roses on a bush. As long as they are on the bush, they are beautiful, sweet to smell, blooming with life. But we are not content to leave them there. We cut them, put them in our little vase, arrange them in an order that suits us, set them on a shelf in our little room, and admire them. But soon they wither, die, and begin to stink! So, too, the doctrines of Christ are beautiful, sweet, blooming with life in Christ, but only as they are seen in him. It is Christ we love. He is altogether lovely. Christ is life, not his doctrine. It is Christ to whom we must look. It is Christ who is our life. It is Christ who is beautiful. I do not suggest that we become indifferent to Christ’s doctrine. But we are terribly foolish if we become so enamored with the doctrine of Christ that we become indifferent to Christ! To sleep in a bed of doctrinal indifference is just as evil as sleeping in a bed of worldly care. “It is high time to awake out of sleep!”

  -Don Fortner

The Future Peace And Glory Of The Church

Isaiah 60:15-20

Hear what God the LORD hath spoken,

O my people, faint and few;

Comfortless, afflicted, broken,

Fair abodes I build for you:

Themes of heart–felt tribulation

Shall no more perplex your ways;

You shall name your walls, Salvation,

And your gates shall all be praise.

There, like streams that feed the garden,

Pleasures, without end, shall flow;

For the LORD, your faith rewarding,

All his bounty shall bestow:

Still in undisturbed possession,

Peace and righteousness shall reign;

Never shall you feel oppression,

Hear the voice of war again.

Ye no more your suns descending,

Waning moons no more shall see,

But your griefs, for ever ending,

Find eternal noon in me:

God shall rise, and shining o’er you,

Change to day the gloom of night;

He, the Lord, shall be your glory,

GOD your everlasting light.

-John Newton

The Cup Of Wrath

“In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of red wine mixed with spices! He pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs!” Psalm 75:8

There has been only One who has ever drunk this cup down to its very dregs!  The only One who has taken, tasted, drunk, and wrung out the bitterest of the bitter dregs — has been the Judge Himself, the Lord Jesus!
You know how often, when on earth, He spoke of it. “Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink of?” (Matthew 20:22). “The cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11).
The universe saw Him with it at His lips. It was our cup of trembling — the cup in which the wrath due to His people was mixed. What wrath, what woe!

On Calvary, He drank it all! I suppose the three hours of darkness may have been the time when He was drinking it down the very dregs; for then arose from His broken heart, the wail which so appealed to the heart of the Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!” As He drank the last drop, and cried out, “It is finished!” we may believe that the holy angels felt an inconceivable relief — and even the Father Himself! So tremendous was the wrath and curse! — the wrath and curse due to our sin!
Jesus drank that cup as the substitute for His innumerable people, who were given to Him by the Father; and thereby freed them from ever tasting even one drop of that fierce wrath, that “cup of red wine, mixed with spices,” with its dregs — its unknown terrors!

“Death and the curse were in our cup,
 O Christ, ’twas full for Thee!
 But Thou hast drained the last dark drop,
 ‘Tis empty now for me!”

“Once it was mine, that cup of wrath,
 And Jesus drank it dry!”

-Andrew Bonar