February 23, 2014
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5
THE BURDEN OF THE WORD OF THE LORD
I know more fully than ever before that I am utterly insufficient for the task of my life, utterly insufficient of myself to preach the Gospel of Christ to you. I realize more keenly than ever before that my most ardent labor in study and prayer, and my most zealous efforts in preaching are less than nothing, unless blessed of God the Holy Spirit. When I am about to preach to you, I tremble to think that I am to speak to you for God and must, in some measure, be accountable for your future state. Unless I preach the Gospel faithfully, your blood will be required at my hands. Do not be surprised, then, at the seriousness with which I carry “the burden of the Word of the Lord.” Pray for me, and faithful men everywhere who preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, “that the Word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified” in the salvation of chosen sinners and in the comfort and edification of his saints, for Christ’s sake. Pastor Don Fortner
THE GOSPEL IS A MESSAGE FROM GOD
The gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus is not a thing to be proved, but truth to be believed. It is not submitted to our reasoning powers as a subject for critical examination. But the gospel is a MESSAGE FROM GOD, addressed to the conscience, feelings, and affections. For this reason, men fond of argument and proving everything strictly by logical deduction generally make VERY POOR PREACHERS. In the scriptures, God does not argue; HE PROCLAIMS! J.C. Philpot
Our First Love
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).
These are the words of Christ to the church at Ephesus. He had previously commended them for their doctrinal integrity and refusal to tolerate false doctrine and its preachers. But there is a withering rebuke: “Thou hast left thy first love.” It was love to Christ that had initially inspired their zeal for His truth, but in time, while the form of the truth remained with them, their love to the Redeemer cooled. The machine kept running, but the passion was gone.
What a deplorable state for any of us to fall into! Oh, we remain sound Calvinists, and can detect error, but how different we become. Public worship is no longer a blessing. Indeed it becomes increasingly difficult to fit it into life’s busy schedule. It is much easier to miss. The joy of giving has left us. Our ever-increasing worldly needs have made giving a duty at best. We need our money for other things. Private worship is neglected. Prayer is restrained. The Gospel becomes old. Faith becomes stale, much like the thorn-choked hearer did not see the thorns growing round his neck. And so here we are: “Thou hast left thy first love.”
What is one to do who has got himself in such a terrible condition? And a terrible condition it is! We are in danger of having our candlestick removed. “I will come to thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:6).
The Lord graciously tells us what to do.
(1) “Remember from whence thou art fallen.”
(3) And do the first works…. And what are they? Simply this, come to Christ the way you came to Him the very first time, as a sinner needing the Savior. He who does the first works is not in danger of his love for the Savior growing cold! Pastor Todd Nibert
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5
We are so prone to judge God’s love to us by his providence instead of his promises.
William Mason 1719-1791
“Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins…” (Galatians 1:3 – 4)
As the years roll along, I yearn more and more for that assurance that my sins are put out of God’s sight. How is it that the Holy Lord is pleased with me? One word comes to view; HIMSELF. If I think on the grand doctrine of election, there is no comfort unless that word HIMSELF appears. I must be careful not to be taken up with the doctrines of the gospel and leave HIMSELF out. Doctrine is cold unless the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ is uppermost therein.
He is all of salvation. He did not come merely to bring salvation, but He HIMSELF is salvation. (Galatians 2:20) “He loved me and gave HIMSELF for me.” He Himself is the good news. Eternal redemption is found in His life, death, and resurrection, and He is the gospel. (I Peter 2:24) “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.” The only reason I am pleasing unto God is because of HIMSELF.
Men say that we are cleansed by His blood and that is true, but it is only because that blood was a part of Himself. If we are chosen, we are chosen in Himself. There is no justification unless it is the righteousness of God in Himself. Everything is bound up in the life and death of God’s dear Son Himself.
Not only is this true, but salvation must be in Himself alone. (Hebrews 1:3) “He by Himself purged our sins.” Every man to be saved must rest his whole soul upon Christ Himself. Do not ever think a good thought about yourself. O that every mouth might be stopped in talking about self (Romans 3:19). When we are brought to the place of ceasing talking about ourselves, then, and only then, will we ever see the truth that “Once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of HIMSELF” (Hebrew 9:26).
If you have been brought to the place of a sinner who has nothing, knows nothing, can do nothing, then none but the Lord Jesus HIMSELF will give you peace and rest. You see, it is either yourself or Himself. You would not really stand before the Holy Lord God in yourself, would you? This would be the height of insane depravity. By the grace of God I have been enabled to say that it is HIMSELF in totality. By: Jack Shanks
“The dearest idol I have known
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.”
You may contact Pastor Walker at any of the following:
773 Lone Oak Road
Cottageville, WV 25239
(304) 372-1407 home
(336) 984-7501 cell