Settle it down in your mind that you will aim at the highest degree of holiness, spiritual-mindedness, and consecration to God—that you will not be content with any low degree of sanctification.
Monday, February 28, 2022
Sunday, February 27, 2022
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Friday, February 25, 2022
Thursday, February 24, 2022
This is a goal which is worth any amount of effort to attain. No habit, I believe, has such an influence over our lives as this. Parents, determine to make your children obey you, though it may cost you a lot of trouble, and cost them many tears. Let there be no questioning, and reasoning, and disputing, and delaying. When you give them a command, let them clearly see that you expect them to do it.
Early obedience has all Scripture on its side. It was Abraham who said, that he will not only train his family, but "that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just." [Genesis 18:19 It is said of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that when He was young, He was obedient to Mary and Joseph. [Luke 2:51] Observe how implicitly Joseph obeyed the order of his father Jacob in Genesis 37:13. See how Isaiah speaks of disobedience as an evil thing, when he says, "the young will rise up against the old." [Isaiah 3:5] Note how the Apostle Paul names disobedience to parents as one of the terrible sins of the last days. [2 Timothy 3:2] Note how he singles out the obedience of children as one of the requirements of a Christian minister, saying, "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect." [1 Timothy 3:4] And again that, "a deacon must manage his children and his household well." [1 Timothy 3:12] And again, an elder must be "a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient." [Titus 1:6]
Parents, do you want to see your children happy? Be careful, then, that you train them to obey when they are spoken to—to do as they are told. Believe me, we are not made to be entirely independent—we are not fit for it. Even those whom Christ has set free have a yoke to wear, they "are serving the Lord Christ." [Colossians 3:24] Children cannot learn too soon that this is a world in which not everyone was intended to rule, and that we are never in our right place until we know how to obey those over us. Teach them to obey while they are young, or else they will be protesting against God all their lives, and wear themselves out with the vain idea of being independent of His control.
My friends, what I suggest to you is greatly needed. You will see many in this day who allow their children to choose and think for themselves long before they are able, and even make excuses for their disobedience, as if they were not to be blamed for it. In my eyes, a parent who is always yielding, and a child who always has its own way, are a most painful sight—painful, because I see God's appointed order of things inverted and turned upside down—painful, because I feel sure the consequence to that child's character in the end will be self-will, pride, and conceit. Is it any wonder that men refuse to obey their Father who is in heaven, if you allow them, when children, to disobey their father who is on earth.
Parents, if you love your children, let obedience be a motto and a watchword continually before their eyes.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Let us take comfort in the thought that the Lord Jesus does not cast off his believing people because of failures and imperfections. He knows what they are.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Would I learn how to be contented and cheerful under all the cares and anxieties of life? What school shall I go to? How shall I attain this state of mind most easily? Shall I look at the sovereignty of God, the wisdom of God, the providence of God, the love of God?
Monday, February 21, 2022
If you want to train your children correctly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they want to go.
The mother cannot tell what her tender little infant may grow up to be—tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish—he may be any of these things or not—it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty: he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural for us to do wrong. "Folly," says Solomon, "is bound up in the heart of a child" Proverbs 22:15. "A child left to himself disgraces his mother" Proverbs 29:15. Our hearts are like the earth on which we walk; leave it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.
If, then, you want to be wise in dealing with your child, then you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one who is weak and blind; but for pity's sake, do not allow him to pursue his own unruly tastes and inclinations. It must not be his tendencies and wishes that are favored. He does not yet know what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he will eat, and what he will drink, and how he will be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in the same manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he thinks is right.
If you cannot agree with this first principle of Christian training, then it is useless for you to listen any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child's mind; and it must be your first step to resist it.
Sunday, February 20, 2022
Zeal in religion is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire which no man feels by nature,—which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when he is converted,—but which some believers feel so much more strongly than others that they alone deserve to be called ‘zealous’ men.
A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God.
Whether he lives, or whether he dies,—whether he has health, or whether he has sickness,—whether he is rich, or whether he is poor,—whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offence,—whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish,—whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise,—whether he gets honour, or whether he gets shame,—for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all.
He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory.
If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it,—he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such an one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray.
Yes: if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9–13.) If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of ‘zeal’ in religion.”
–J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion: Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians (London: Charles Murray, 1900), 184-185.
Saturday, February 19, 2022
There is one great work which the Lord Jesus Christ has done and finished completely. That work is the work of atonement, sacrifice, and substitution. He saw us ruined by the fall, a world of poor, lost, shipwrecked sinners.
Friday, February 18, 2022
Train them, remembering continually, the power of sin.
But you must not be discouraged and depressed by what you see. You must not think it a strange and unusual thing, that little hearts can be so full of sin. It is the only inheritance which our father Adam left us; it is that fallen nature with which we come into the world; it is that inheritance which belongs to us all. May the awareness of it make you more diligent in using every possible means which seem most likely, by God's blessing, to counteract the evil. Let it make you more and more careful, so far it lies with you, to keep your children out of the way of temptation.
Never listen to those who tell you your children are good, and well brought up, and can be trusted. Rather, remember that their hearts are always ready to burst into flame like dry tinder. At their very best, they only need a spark to ignite their evil. Parents are seldom too cautious. Remember the natural depravity of your children, and be careful.
The book "The Duties of Parents" can be found here: J.C. Ryle
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Affliction is one of God’s medicines. By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Monday, February 14, 2022
I believe that most professing Christians are acquainted with our sermon text. The sound of it is probably very familiar to your ears, like an old tune. It is likely that you have heard it, or read it, talked of it, or quoted it, many times. Is that not true?
But, despite it being a well-known Bible verse, how little do we regard its truth! The doctrine it contains appears scarcely known, the duty it puts before us is seldom put into practice. My friends, am I not speaking the truth?
It cannot be said that the subject is a new one. The world is old, and we have the experience of nearly six thousand years to help us. We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education. We hear of new schools rising up everywhere. We are told of new systems, and new books for the young, of every sort and description. And still for all of this, the vast majority of children are clearly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow up, they do not walk with God.
Now how do we account for this state of affairs? The plain truth is, the Lord's commandment in our text is not regarded; and therefore the Lord's promise in our text is not fulfilled.
Friends, these things may cause you to seriously search your hearts. Permit a word of exhortation from a minister, about the right training of children. Believe me, the subject is one that should hit home to every conscience, and make every one ask himself the question, "In the matter of training children, am I doing what I am supposed to do?"
It is a subject that concerns almost everyone. There is hardly a household that it does not touch. Parents, teachers, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters—all have an interest in it. Few can be found, I think, who might not influence some parent in the management of his family, or affect the training of some child by suggestion or advice. All of us, I suspect, can do something here, either directly or indirectly, and I wish to stir up everyone to remember this.
It is also a subject, on which everyone concerned are in great danger of falling short of their duty. This is notably a point in which men can see the faults of their neighbors more clearly than their own. They will often raise their children in the very path which they have denounced to their friends as unsafe. They will see little problems in other people's families, and overlook major ones in their own. They will have the eyesight of an eagle in detecting mistakes everywhere else, and yet be blind as bats to the fatal errors which are daily going on in their own homes. They will be wise about their brother's house, but foolish about their own flesh and blood. Here, if anywhere, we have need to suspect our own judgment. This, too, you will do well to keep in mind.
As a minister, I cannot help remarking that there is hardly any subject about which people seem so stubborn as they are about their own children. I have sometimes been absolutely astonished at the slowness of sensible Christian parents to accept the fact, that their own children are at fault, or deserve blame. There are many persons to whom I would much rather speak about their own sins, than to tell them that their children had done anything wrong.
Come now, and let me place before you a few hints about the proper training of children. May God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit bless them, and make them timely words to everyone of you. Do not reject them because they are blunt and simple; do not despise them because they contain nothing new. You can be sure, that if you want to train your children for heaven, then the hints that that follow ought not to be lightly set aside.
The book "The Duties of Parents" can be found here: J.C. Ryle
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Christian, look up and take comfort. Jesus has prepared a place for you, and those who follow Him shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of His hands. Look forward to that glorious dwelling He has provided; look forward in faith, for it is yours.
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Friday, February 11, 2022
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Nothing perhaps affects man’s character more than the company he keeps. We catch the ways and tone of those we live and talk with, and unhappily get harm far more easily than good. Disease is infectious, but health is not.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Forever let us thank God that the building of the one true Church is laid on the shoulders of One who is mighty. Let us bless God that it does not rest upon man. Let us bless God that it does not depend on missionaries, ministers, or committees.
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Monday, February 7, 2022
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Saturday, February 5, 2022
We live in such a beauteous and pleasant world--we are so surrounded with so much that is smiling and mirthful--that if we were not often obliged to taste of sickness or trial or disappointments--we would soon forget our heavenly home and pitch our tents permanently in this Sodom.
It is their Father's hand that chastens them! It is thus He weans their affection from things below, and fixes them on Himself. It is thus He trains them for eternity, and cuts the threads that bind their truant hearts to earth one by one.
No doubt such chastening is grievous for the time, but still it brings many a hidden grace to light, and cuts down many a secret seed of evil. We shall see those who have suffered most, shining among the brightest stars in the assembly of Heaven. "Our light affliction endures but for a moment, and it works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!" 2 Corinthians
The purest gold is that which has been longest in the refiner's furnace.
The brightest diamond is often that which has required the most grinding and polishing.
The saints are men who have come out of great tribulation--they are never left to perish in it.
The last night of weeping will soon be spent,
the last wave of trouble will have rolled over us, and
then we shall have a peace that passes all understanding!
We shall be at home forever with the Lord!
"Therefore comfort one another with these words!" 1 Thessalonians
Friday, February 4, 2022
I appeal to any old Christian who keeps their eyes open, and knows what is going on in the Churches. I ask them whether it be not true that nothing damages the cause of religion so much as “the world”? It is not open sin, or open unbelief, which robs Christ of His professing servants — so much as . . .