Sunday, December 20, 2009



As a follow-up to my recent article, Redeeming the Time, once again we are very time conscious as 2009 rolls out and 2010 rolls in. It is that way every year at this season. People are seemingly anxious for a new start, wiping the old slate clean in their minds, and making resolutions they don’t usually keep. One of the most memorable in recent years was the changeover from 1999 to 2000, when everyone around the world was viewing a highly televised celebration in major cities. I know it was highly televised, because my dear wife and I had the flu, and couldn’t sleep, so we saw most all the fireworks in cities like London, Sydney, Jerusalem, New York, Moscow, etc... But, we were not celebrating, we were miserable, yet we have to say it was memorable!

A new start is usually a good thing, yet the average person will get about 70 of these “new starts” in a lifetime. As we all should know, some will get more, and some a lot less. Yet nothing really changes with most just because there is a new year. Real change must come from elsewhere. To be changed from sinner to saint must occur within. The heart of a man or woman must be changed by the all-powerful Creator, the triune God that inhabits eternity. He is the only Being that is not affected by time. He has always been, and always will be. He is eternal. He is the Christ "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”. Jesus is He That was, and is, and is to come” (see Revelation 1:8 for the full context). He is the One that will instruct the angel one day in the future to declare “There should be time no longer”(see Revelation 10:6). Are you ready for that day, dear friend?

“Sin may open bright as the morning, but it will end dark as the night.” T.DeWitt Talmadge as quoted by R.G. Lee in “Bread from Bellevue Oven.”

“A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God.” A.W. Tozer in “Gems From Tozer.”

“Prayer and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer. I cannot forget this. I look at men’s lives. I believe that few pray.” J.C. Ryle in “A Call to Prayer.”

“When a man is savingly changed, he is deeply convinced not only of the danger, but of the defilement of sin; and O, how earnest is he with God to be purified. He loathes himself for his sins. He runs to Christ, and casts himself into the fountain set open for him and for uncleanness. If he fall, what a stir is there to get all clean again! He has no rest until he flees to the Word, and washes, and rubs and rinses in the infinite fountain, labouring to cleanse himself from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit.” Joseph Alleine in “Alarm to the Unconverted.”


"All things work together for good to them that love God..." (Romans 8:28)

When a shepherd leads his flock over a narrow ledge, with a cliff on one side and a chasm on the other, the sheep have no choice but to follow him along the only path. In the same way, the Lord sometimes surrounds us with so many obstacles that we can't turn to the right, to the left, or even around. The Israelites, after leaving Egypt, would not have ventured to cross the Red Sea if the Egyptians had not been pursuing them. The Apostle Paul and his co-workers would never have gone to Europe to preach the Gospel if the Holy Spirit had not restricted their entrance to other areas. We would not have all the valuable letters Paul wrote if he had not been imprisoned. In our personal life it is easy to recall many incidents when circumstances forced us to do something that did not appear to be the best. We must not forget, however, that these circumstances don't happen by chance, but according to the will of the all-powerful and very loving God

Copied from Herald of Truth, 1978 ( underground magazine of the ECB of the USSR, before communism was brought down in Russia)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009



If you have read any of my recent articles, you know I have great respect for the Puritans. It is hard to say which are my very favorites, but the following three are certainly near the top. For pithiness, readability, spiritual insight, Thomas Manton, Thomas Brooks, and Thomas Watson are very worthy. Most of these men’s writings are still in print. You may ask “Which one should I start with?” If you are new to Puritan writing, and desire a blessing, I would say purchase Thomas Watson’s All Things for Good, which was formerly titled A Divine Cordial. It is published in paperback by Banner of Truth and you can obtain it for about $8 from, or just read it online by clicking here: . Five Solas also has a lot of other Puritan writings you may wish to read. So much of their work is in print now, and online, and ought to be read for our spiritual edification. Since they have long left this world, their work is not copyrighted. They would smile on your drawing from their wells. (cw)

GOD’S MIND, OUR PRAYERS, PEACE WITH GOD- Thomas Manton, 1620-1677

"God’s mind is revealed in scripture, but we can see nothing without the spectacles of the Holy Spirit.”
“When we make self the end of prayer, it is not worship, but self-seeking.”
”We have peace with God by the righteousness of Christ, and peace of conscience by the fruits of righteousness in ourselves.”
“Continued meditation brings great profit to the soul. Passant and transient thoughts are more pleasant, but not so profitable. Deliberate meditation is of most use because it secures the return of the thoughts.”
“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? For want of meditation.... Constant thoughts are operative, and musing makes the fire burn. Green wood is not kindled by a flash or spark, but by constant blowing.”
“If you yield to Satan in the least, he will carry you further and further, till he has left you under a stupefied or terrified conscience: stupefied, till thou hast lost all thy tenderness. A stone at the top of a hill, when it begins to roll down, ceases not till it comes to the bottom. Thou thinkest it is but yielding a little, and so by degrees are carried on, till thou hast sinned away all thy profession, and all principles of conscience, by the secret witchery of his temptations.”

OUR ACTIONS- Thomas Brooks, 1608-1680
“A man's most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions.”
“Truth is mighty and will prevail.”
“ The best way to do ourselves good is to be doing good to others; the best way to gather is to scatter.”
"There are three things that earthly riches can never do; they can never satisfy divine justice, they can never pacify divine wrath, nor can they ever quiet a guilty conscience. And till these things are done man is undone.”
"Reader, remember this: if thy knowledge do not now affect thy heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict thy heart; if it do not now endear Christ to thee, it will at last provoke Christ the more against thee; if it do not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in thy eyes, it will at last make thee the more vile in Christ's eyes."
"There is no such way to attain to better measures of grace, as for a man to live up to that little grace he has."
"Bring your graces to the touchstone, to try their truth, rather than to the balance to weigh their measure."

FOR HIS CHILDREN- Thomas Watson, 1620-1686
“A regenerate person abhors sin not only for the curse but for the contagion. He hates this serpent not only for its sting but for its poison. He hates sin not only for hell but as hell.”
“Tomorrow may be our dying day; let this be our repenting day.”
“We are never more precious in God's eyes when we are lepers in our own.”
"The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture."
"The Scripture is both the breeder and feeder of grace. How is the convert born, but by the word of truth?" (James 1:18). How doth he grow, but by `the sincere milk of the Word?"
(1 Peter 2:2)
“Why does God woo and beseech you by his ambassadors, if he is not willing to be in covenant?”
“The torments of hell abide for ever.... If all the earth and sea were sand, and every thousandth year a bird should come, and take away one grain of this sand, it would be a long time ere that vast heap of sand were emptied; yet, if after all that time the damned may come out of hell, there were some hope; but this word EVER breaks the heart.”


Tomorrow may be our dying day; let this be our repenting day.”

“Civility does but wash a man, grace changes him…Civility is but strewing flowers on a dead corpse. A man may be wonderfully moralized, yet but a tame devil.”

(Thomas Watson in The Beatitudes)

“A regenerate person abhors sin not only for the curse but for the contagion. He hates this serpent not only for its sting but for its poison. He hates sin not only for hell but as hell.”

(These were all random quotes by these good men. You can find more by many more Puritans in A Puritan Golden Treasury by I.D.E Thomas published by Banner of Truth and it is in print).