“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings”

Are you afraid of getting bad news? Commenting on Psalm 112:7 (above), the great Charles H Spurgeon, in his fine Morning & Evening devotional book, writes this….

Spurgeon feature

Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them, what do you more than other men? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved his faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals hardly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?

Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see the salvation of God.” For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Sound exhortations from the ‘prince of preachers’
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Moving a thousand books – again

The offices at our church were damaged by water coming through the flat roof last spring. When the leak was spotted, my kids and I were able to remove my pastor’s library (over 1,200 books) to another room in under 20 minutes! Thankfully only a couple were damaged by water. The rooms are now ready for occupancy again — nicely painted, with brand new, tile floors. And it’s time to move all those books back in. Of course, they need to be reorganized (so they can be found as needed), and shelved appropriately. So far, I have several hours invested in this process! But it is, for me, a labor of love.

These dear books, accumulated over 20+ years since seminary days, stand alongside the Word of God as the “tools” of a preacher’s trade. Dr George Grant writes in a similar vein about the great prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, of the last century….

But in the midst of the busyness of his life and ministry, he always found time to read. Books were his most constant companions and bookstores were his most regular haunts. He was born in the little Essex village of Kelvedon in 1834. Both his father and grandfather were pastors and so he was raised around books, reading, and piety. As a youngster, he began a life long habit of diligent and unending reading—typically he read six books per week, and was able to remember what he had read and where he had read it many years later. He particularly loved old books. He claimed in his autobiography that before he was ten years old, he preferred to go into his grandfather’s study and pull down an old Puritan classic and read rather than go outside and play with friends.

…In time, his personal library numbered more than twelve thousand volumes.

The books were all shelved in Spurgeon’s study at Westwood, his family home. Of course, Spurgeon was not merely a collector. He was utilitarian, if anything. He viewed his books as the tools of his trade. And the shops where he found them were essentially his hardware stores. As a result, the books were used. They were hardly museum pieces, despite their scarcity or value. They were the natural extensions of his work and ministry. He once wrote, “My books are my tools. They also serve as my counsel, my consolation, and my comfort. They are my source of wisdom and the font of my education. They are my friends and my delights. They are my surety, when all else is awry, that I have set my confidence in the substantial things of truth and right.”

Thankful for the privilege of studying and preaching the Word,
pdb

God’s choice of believers

A favorite Spurgeon quotation, from book two of his Lectures to My Students, is about the doctrine of election. Spurgeon says,
“I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards; and he must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why he should have looked upon me with special love. So I am forced to accept that doctrine”

Nevertheless, we can confidently say with the OT and the NT: Seek the Lord while He may be found, for all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved!

yours by divine mercy,
Pastor David

The Wander & Wonder of Prayer!


This week is Prayer Week at our church, with a daily gathering for prayer — weather permitting.

As I think more deeply about prayer this morning two timely points hit home from the prince of preachers, C.H. Spurgeon. This excerpt comes from the actual pulpit prayer of Spurgeon on April 21, 1878….

“We must sorrowfully also lament our hearts, how they wander. If Thou givest us a blessing we begin to idolize it. How often do we set our hearts upon children, upon some beloved object, or upon wealth or upon honor. Somehow or other, this spiritual adultery too often comes upon us, and the chastity of our hearts towards our God is violated. Be please to forgive us in this thing also. … Let the whole heart be Christ’s alone, and never stray again.”

“Yet we do bless Thee this morning that we can pray in this fashion, for there was a time when it never struck us that there was much amiss with us, when sin was no plague to us; when we lived even in outward sin with but slight accusation of conscience, and certainly without any pain at heart.”

Friends, Spurgeon is right on target here: our hearts can sadly wander in prayer, yet, what a wonder it is that God gives us this marvelous gift of prayer. Let us pray often — but be careful to use as directed.

pastor david

Continue in prayer


“Continue in prayer”
(Colossians 4:2)
by C.H. Spurgeon

It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob—there a Daniel who prayed three times a day—and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises.

What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer?

We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord’s mercy show thee thy misery!

A prayerless soul is a Christless soul.

Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father’s face, and live in thy Father’s love.

Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of his love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year must be, “Continue in prayer.”

amen,
pastor david