Anyone using the internet to find good solid encouraging bible teachers to help learn more from the bible may be shocked to find out that their are way more people setting up for example YouTube channels quote on quote claiming to be the mouth pieces of God and experts in His Word but their ultimate results are that they often leave the average believer with their head spinning and wondering who can be trusted or believed, in other words they tend to cause more harm than they achieve good by sewing seeds of doubt in other believers minds and we must remember the warning about sewing and reaping either good fruit or bad. Anyway I recently came upon an article attacking John MacArthurs wealth and how he is not much different from the other ministries he warns others about, mainly the charismatic money driven people who hold sway over others in their congregations etc . I don’t know any of them personally and I don’t believe in limited atonement so I guess I would not fit in with the Calvinistic clan of believers and neither can anyone say that they are not true fellow believers like everyone else who believes upon Christ for salvation, anyway my thought on John MacArthur and quote on quote wealth is that how do we know that he has quite simply been given money talent and as a good servant of the lord he is simply multiplying everything he has been given so that on the day of judgment he can say to the lord, see you gave me a money talent and I’ve increased it for your honour and glory and he will hear the well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your lord. I guess it’s too easy to attack and tear down other Christian leaders forgetting that to their own Lord like ourselves as individuals are ultimately accountable to God through our lord Jesus Christ after our own days are done on earth or at the last judgment. Better to build up our shepherds than pull them down without just cause nor do we turn a blind eye to sin either. I guess the internet age we now live through should mean that as believers on Christ that we behave more responsible towards one another more often than ever.
Do it now
Agree with thine adversary quickly. Matthew 5:25.
Jesus Christ is laying down this principle—Do what you know you must do, now, and do it quickly; if you do not, the inevitable process will begin to work and you will have to pay to the last farthing in pain and agony and distress. God’s laws are unalterable; there is no escape from them. The teaching of Jesus goes straight to the way we are made up.
To see that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but Jesus says that it is a matter of eternal and imperative importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him. From our Lord’s standpoint it does not matter whether I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud. Am I insisting on my rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ’s standpoint?
Do the thing quickly, bring yourself to judgment now. In moral and spiritual matters, you must do it at once; if you do not, the inexorable process will begin to work. God is determined to have His child as pure and clean and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will prevent none of the working of His spirit. Our insistence in proving that we are right is nearly always an indication that there has been some point of disobedience. No wonder the Spirit so strongly urges to keep steadfastly in the light!
“Agree with thine adversary quickly.” Have you suddenly turned a corner in any relationship and found that you had anger in your heart? Confess it quickly, quickly put it right before God, be reconciled to that one—do it now.
“There was silence, and I heard a still voice.” (Job 4:16, margin.)
A SCORE of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old mediaeval message, and it had but one thought—that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice.
I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din.
Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world’s turmoil.
In every direction I was pulled and pushed and greeted with noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed necessary for me to listen to some of them and to answer some of them; but God said,
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Then came the conflict of thoughts for tomorrow, and its duties and cares; but God said, “Be still.”
And as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found after a while that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still small voice in the depths of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.
As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, the voice of wisdom, the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard; but that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God’s prayer in my secret soul, was God’s answer to all my questions, was God’s life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer and all blessing: for it was the living GOD Himself as my life, my all.
It is thus that our spirit drinks in the life of our risen Lord, and we go forth to life’s conflicts and duties like a flower that has drunk in, through the shades of night, the cool and crystal drops of dew. But as dew never falls on a stormy night, so the dews of His grace never come to the restless soul.
—A. B. Simpson.
30 JUNE (PREACHED ON THANKSGIVING DAY, 29 JULY 1784)
A great and underserved mercy
‘Rejoice with trembling.’ Psalm 2:11
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 2:1–5
Rejoice that during the war we were favoured with peace at home. I have nothing to say either of the grounds of the war or the terms of the peace in a political view. I believe sin kindled the war and mercy gave us peace. But that when we were gradually drawn into a war with so many formidable powers, we should be preserved in peace, guarded by the providence of God, and that no attempts should be permitted to be formed, or at least to succeed against these kingdoms, is, in my view, a great and undeserved mercy. Especially as the effects of the war, so far as we felt them or suffered by them abroad, had no visible influence to bring us to humiliation and repentance, but rather, as a nation, the increase of dissipation and wickedness and contempt of God kept pace with the increase of our distresses and dangers. We count it a successful war when the enemy’s fleets and armies are destroyed and when islands and provinces are added to our dominion. But no increase of riches or domain can make war properly successful. No conquest can be worth the lives that are sacrificed to obtain them. All the wealth of both the Indies would be a poor equivalent for the havoc and slaughter of the last war. It will be found so at last. Let us rejoice then that this horrid evil is suspended. Nor is it a prevention of the loss of lives only. The death of one person often deeply affects many persons. The parent has perhaps lost a child, by the same stroke a child is deprived of a parent, the wife becomes a widow. The griefs, the woes, the pressures, that have been brought upon individuals and families by the late war, cannot be fully conceived. If there are any hearts so hard and unfeeling as to rejoice in public calamity, if their private wealth is increased by it, yet I hope we can sincerely rejoice that God has sheathed the devouring sword and made wars cease to the ends of the earth.
FOR MEDITATION: Rejoice that we are still favoured with religious liberty and gospel light. God has not taken his mercy and truth from us. He is still carrying on his work, increasing the number of faithful ministers and, thereby, as we hope, adding to the number of his people and of those for whose sakes we are preserved from utter desolation.
SERMON: PSALM 2:11 [2/3] [END OF AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE]
Direction of discipline
And if thy right hand offend thee cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:30.
Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off the right hand, but—‘If your right hand offends you in your walk with Me, cut it off.’ There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says if it hinders you in following His precepts, cut it off. This line of discipline is the sternest one that ever struck mankind.
When God alters a man by regeneration, the characteristic of the life to begin with is that it is maimed. There are a hundred and one things you dare not do, things that to you and in the eyes of the world that knows you are as your right hand and your eye, and the unspiritual person says—‘Whatever is wrong in that? How absurd you are!’ There never has been a saint yet who did not have to live a maimed life to start with. But it is better to enter into life maimed and lovely in God’s sight than to be lovely in man’s sight and lame in God’s. In the beginning Jesus Christ by His Spirit has to check you from doing a great many things that may be perfectly right for everyone else but not right for you. See that you do not use your limitations to criticize someone else.
It is a maimed life to begin with, but in v. 48 Jesus gives the picture of a perfectly full-orbed life—“Ye shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”