Are we ourselves people of God? Have we been born again? Have we the MARKS which always accompany the new birth–sense of sin, faith in Jesus, love of others, righteous living, separation from the world? Let us never be content until we can give a satisfactory answer to these questions.
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Prayer was the distinguishing mark of the Lord's people in the day that there began to be a separation between them and the world. "Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD" (Gen. 4:26).
Prayer is the turning-point in a man's soul. Our ministry is unprofitable, and our labour is vain, till you are brought to your knees. Till then, we have no hope about you.
Prayer is one great secret of spiritual prosperity. When there is much private communion with God, your soul will grow like the grass after rain; when there is little, all will be at a standstill, you will barely keep your soul alive. Show me a growing Christian, a going forward Christian, a strong Christian, a flourishing Christian, and sure am I, he is one that speaks often with his Lord. He asks much, and he has much. He tells Jesus everything, and so he always knows how to act.
Prayer is the mightiest engine God has placed in our hands. It is the best weapon to use in every difficulty, and the surest remedy in every trouble. It is the key that unlocks the treasury of promises, and the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need. It is the silver trumpet God commands us to sound in all our necessity, and it is the cry He has promised always to attend to, even as a loving mother to the voice of her child.
Prayer is the simplest means that man can use in coming to God. It is within reach of all, — the sick, the aged, the infirm, the paralytic, the blind, the poor, the unlearned, — all can pray. It avails you nothing to plead want of memory, and want of learning, and want of books, and want of scholarship in this matter. So long as you have a tongue to tell your soul's state, you may and ought to pray. Those words, "Ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2), will be a fearful condemnation to many in the day of judgment.
Parents, if you love your children, do all that lies in your power to train them up to a habit of prayer. Show them how to begin. Tell them what to say. Encourage them to persevere. Remind them if they become careless and slack about it. Let it not be your fault, at any rate, if they never call on the name of the Lord.
This, remember, is the first step in religion which a child is able to take. Long before he can read, you can teach him to kneel by his mother's side, and repeat the simple words of prayer and praise which she puts in his mouth. And as the first steps in any undertaking are always the most important, so is the manner in which your children's prayers are prayed, a point which deserves your closest attention. Few seem to know how much depends on this. You must beware lest they get into a way of saying them in a hasty, careless, and irreverent manner. You must beware of giving up the oversight of this matter to servants and nurses, or of trusting too much to your children doing it when left to themselves. I cannot praise that mother who never looks after this most important part of her child's daily life herself. Surely if there be any habit which your own hand and eye should help in forming, it is the habit of prayer. Believe me, if you never hear your children pray yourself, you are much to blame. You are little wiser than the bird described in Job, "which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear" (Job 39:14-16).
Prayer is, of all habits, the one which we recollect the longest. Many a grey-headed man could tell you how his mother used to make him pray in the days of his childhood. Other things have passed away from his mind perhaps. The church where he was taken to worship, the minister whom he heard preach, the companions who used to play with him, — all these, it may be, have passed from his memory, and left no mark behind. But you will often find it is far different with his first prayers. He will often be able to tell you where he knelt, and what he was taught to say, and even how his mother looked all the while. It will come up as fresh before his mind's eye as if it was but yesterday.
Reader, if you love your children, I charge you, do not let the seed-time of a prayerful habit pass away unimproved. If you train your children to anything, train them, at least, to a habit of prayer.
The book "The Duties of Parents" can be found here: J.C. Ryle
Monday, March 28, 2022
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Saturday, March 26, 2022
There is a mine of deep truth in the words before us, which deserves close attention. They show us plainly that all our Lord’s sufferings were undergone voluntarily, and of His own free will. He did not go to the cross because He could not help it.
He did not die because He could not prevent His death. Neither Jew nor Gentile, Pharisee nor Sadducee, Annas nor Caiaphas, Herod nor Pontius Pilate, could have injured our Lord, except power had been given them from above.
All that they did was done under control, and by permission. The crucifixion was part of the eternal counsels of the Trinity. The passion of our Lord could not begin until the very hour which God had appointed. This is a great mystery. But it is a truth.
The servants of Christ in every age should treasure up the doctrine before us, and remember it in time of need. It is ‘full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons.’
Let such never forget that they live in a world where God overrules all times and events, and where nothing can happen but by God’s permission. The very hairs of their heads are all numbered. Sorrow and sickness, and poverty, and persecution, can never touch them, unless God sees fit.
They may boldly say to every cross,—’Thou couldst have no power against me, except it were given thee from above.’ Then let them work on confidently. They are immortal, till their work is done. Let them suffer patiently, if needs be that they suffer.
Their ‘times are in God’s hand.’ (Ps. 31:15.) That hand guides and governs all things here below, and makes no mistakes.”
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1869/2012), 21. Ryle is commenting on John 7:25-36.
Friday, March 25, 2022
Are there any among you who have tasted of this blessed change, who have put off the old man which is corrupt, and put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, who mourn over your own daily shortcomings, and sigh after more holiness, more self-denial, more mortification of the flesh with all its lusts? We bid you take comfort, and remember that Christ is still the same: He called you and gave you the witness of the Spirit, and He will not forsake you. You may waver and tremble: go forward in faith, and He will still support you.
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Friday, March 18, 2022
You all wish to go to heaven. I know it. I am fully persuaded of it. I am certain of it. There is not one of you, however false may be your views of what you must believe and what you must do, however unscriptural the ground of your hope, however worldly-minded you may be, however careless when you get outside that church door
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Look not to yourselves! You are by nature wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked; you cannot make atonement for your past transgressions, you cannot wipe out a single page on that long black list.
Monday, March 14, 2022
Are you prosperous in the world? Have death, sickness, disappointment, poverty and family troubles passed over your door up to this time and not come in? Are you secretly saying to yourself, “Nothing can hurt me much.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Let us beware of attempting to add anything to the word of God, as necessary to salvation. It provokes God to give us over to judicial blindness. It is as good as saying that His Bible is not perfect, and that we know better than He does what is necessary for man’s salvation.
Friday, March 11, 2022
Thursday, March 10, 2022
The freedom of Christ’s people has been procured, like all other freedom, at a mighty cost and by a mighty sacrifice. Great was the bondage in which they were naturally held, and great was the price necessary to be paid to set them free. Mighty was the enemy who claimed them as his captives, and it needed mighty power to release them out of his hands.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Would you have more faith? Do you find believing so pleasant that you would like to believe more? Then take heed that you are diligent in the use of every means of grace –diligent in your private communion with God– diligent in your daily watchfulness over time, temper, and tongue – diligent in your private Bible reading – diligent in your own private prayers. It is vain to expect spiritual prosperity, when we are careless about these things. Let those who will, call it over-precise and legal to be particular about them. I only reply, that there never was an eminent saint who neglected them.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
There are two points in religion on which the teaching of the Bible is very plain and distinct. One of these points is the fearful danger of the ungodly; the other is the perfect safety of the righteous. One is the happiness of those who are converted; the other is the misery of those who are unconverted. One is the blessedness of being in the way to heaven; the other is the wretchedness of being in the way to hell.
Monday, March 7, 2022
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Friday, March 4, 2022
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Where must a man go for pardon? Where is forgiveness to be found? There is a way both sure and plain and that way is simply to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. It is to cast your soul, with all its sins, unreservedly on Christ, to cease completely from any dependence on your own works or doings, either in whole or in part – and to rest on no other work but Christ’s work, no other merit but Christ’s merit, as your ground of hope. Take this course and you are a pardoned soul.”
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Suffering is a part of the process by which the children of God are made holy. They are chastened to wean them from the world, and make them partakers of God’s holiness. The Captain of their salvation was made “perfect through suffering,” and so are they (Hebrews 2:10; 12:10). There never was a great saint who had not experienced either great hardships, or great persecutions.