There was a certain man that had committed treason against his king; but for as much as the king had compassion on him, he sent him, by the hand of a faithful messenger, a pardon under his own hand and seal. But in the country where this poor man dwelt there were also many that sought to trouble him, by often putting him in mind of his treason, and the law that was to be executed on the offender. Now, which way should this man so honor his king, as by believing his handwriting, which was the pardon? Certainly he would honor him more by so doing, than to regard all the clamors of his enemies continually against him.
Just thus it is here. Thou having committed treason against the King of heaven, he, through compassion for Christ’s sake, hath sent thee a pardon. But the devil, the law, and thy conscience, do continually seek to disturb thee, by bringing thy sin afresh into thy remembrance. But now, wouldst thou honor thy King? Why then, He that believeth the record that God hath given of his Son hath set to his seal that God is true. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5: 11, 12). And therefore, my brethren, seeing God our Father hath sent to us, damnable traitors, a pardon from heaven, (even all the promises of the gospel) and also hath sealed the certainty of it with the heart-blood of his dear Son, let us not be daunted, though our enemies with terrible voices do bring our former life never so often into our remembrance.
– John Bunyan (1628-88)
SIN IS BAD
Sin is bad in the eye, worse in the tongue, worse still in the heart, but worse of all in the life! Sin and punishment are linked together with changes of chains! The first step to mercy – is to see our own misery. The first step toward Heaven – is to see ourselves near hell.
–Thomas Brooks 1606-1680
God is in Control
I want you to understand that our God is in control of this world, absolutely in control of it. That God, and that God alone, who is in absolute, total control of the entire universe, we can and should trust with implicit confidence in all things and with all things. The Word of God, the promises of God, the prophecies of Holy Scripture are all utterly meaningless unless our God is the God who rules everything, whose will is always performed, whose purpose stands fast, whose thoughts are irresistible!
Here is the basis of our faith and the foundation of our comfort — Our God is in control, as fully in control of Satan, the demons of hell, and the thoughts and deeds of wicked men as he is of the angels around his throne. We live in a world of woe. We are often tossed to and fro in this world, confused and perplexed by many things. Let us ever rest ourselves in our God. — “All things are of God!” All things are ordered by our heavenly Father for our good. All things are arranged by God’s infinite wisdom and omnipotent arm for his glory. Nothing is beyond his dominion.
Look to Calvary and laugh at those will worshippers who vainly imagine that the events of this world are ordered not by the will of almighty God but by the wills of puny men! I often hear preachers and others say, “God will never interfere with the will of man.” The Book of God gives the lie to that notion. It was the will of these men that Christ be put to death secretly. But God willed that he be crucified in due time for the ungodly. Consider this and think. — God would not allow these wicked men to kill his Son when they wanted, the way they wanted, or in the place they wanted. However, he did ordain that they kill his Son exactly according to the malice of their hearts. He used their sinful malice to accomplish his purpose of grace in the redemption of his people, exactly as he had purposed from eternity (Acts 2:22-23; 4:27-28; 13:28-30). —Don Fortner
God is the God of all grace, and His grace reigns through righteousness, never at the expense of it —unknown
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 5:21
MEETING TO WORSHIP CHRIST
Never forget, we do not meet together to hear the preacher, but to hear from the LORD. It is of no consequence who is preaching or how they preach. What is important is the message, not the messenger.
We meet together to worship Christ; and hear Him exalted. That is our goal. I would rather have good tasting food served on a paper plate than bad food served on the most expensive China.
Spurgeon tells the story of a woman who heard a visiting preacher. She was so blessed by the man’s sermon she determined to travel a great distance the following week to hear him at his home church. She was miserably disappointed! After the service the woman rather rudely told him so. “I was so blessed last week, but this week I got absolutely nothing!” The preacher wisely asked her this question, “Last week, why did you come to the service?” “To worship Christ,” she replied. “Why did you come this week?” he asked. “To hear you,” she answered. To that he replied, “You got what you came for then.” –Pastor Todd Nibert
The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit? – Proverbs 18:14
A broken spirit is worse than physical sickness. A strong spirit may enable a man to endure physical sickness. But a broken spirit may cause a physically strong man to succumb. Solomon elsewhere tells us that “a broken spirit dries the bones” – sucks the marrow of man’s strength from him (Proverb 17:22). He may say with Job, “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready for me” (Job 17:1). But if his spirit is broken because of his sin, there is hope for him. This hope is, of course, in God, not in himself. He may find great comfort in hearing that “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He should acknowledge with David after he was convicted of his sinful affair with Bathsheba, “The sacrifices of God [i.e., those which God desires and approves] are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). O sinner – whether lost or saved, bring your broken heart to God while He is near you, and He will save it. —Daniel Parks