Love is life! Without love we cannot live. Even as our spirit is created to know, so is our heart created to love. Our heart is created for love even as the bird is created for flight. Love is our life’s beginning and end. It is the soul’s light and source of warmth. He who sins against love lays hands upon his own life. Love is the greatest power. Only as long as we love do we live. Where love awakens, the dark tyrant of ego dies. Love is the bond of perfectness; it comprehends all, even God. G. Steinberger
The greatness of our affection causes the greatness of our affliction.
All sin is rooted in a love of pleasure more than of God.
Because esteem and admiration are inseparable evidence of trust.
Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, wife and children, brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” To all these relations the Scripture enforces a dear and tender love; and yet in such cases where this love is incompatible with the love of Christ, we should rather hate than love. “Hatred” in this verse compares to “denial” in Matthew 16:24; to deny oneself is to hate one’s own life. All must be renounced for Christ’s sake because there is a higher obligation. We are more obliged to our Creator than to our parents, and we owe more service to our Redeemer than to our greatest friends and benefactors in the world. Let us not love father and mother above Christ (Mat 10:37). Thomas Manton
No one who is disobedient to God can have
confidence in Him. Confidence is a result of obedience.
“I can only be of blessing to my congregation
when I live Christ before their eyes. I believe that this is the
most effective kind of preaching. G. Steinberger
“Love covereth” our neighbour’s sins, pride our own.
Hear a man’s own estimate of himself, and we need no further proof of his want of self-knowledge. Charles Bridges
2. But we pass on to another character which is spoken of under the name “prudent.” This seems to be a character distinct from the wise. The prudent man is one who always shapes his course in the path which is most consistent with his worldly interests. “He is not a man of extremes,” he says. He does not like any sort of profession which in any way interferes with his worldly prospects. He is a moderate man. He likes to steer, he says, the middle path between the two parties. He is not, he says, a man of high sentiments, nor is he a man of low sentiments. He will avoid with the utmost care professing any religious opinion which may bring him into any reproach; and will yet have an especial regard for his moral character, lest by that being tarnished he should suffer in the world’s estimation. His object therefore is, to have just so much religion as shall pacify his conscience, just such a profession as shall lull any convictions that may arise, and yet escape the difficulties, trials, and sacrifices, which are the lot of the faithful followers of the Lamb. Thus with the greatest ingenuity and the greatest caution, like the wriggling serpent, he will steer such a path as shall always preserve him from persecution, opposition, contempt, difficulty, and sacrifice; and yet he shall so keep from everything which may tarnish his character, that he shall gain, he thinks, the estimation of professors and yet preserve the good opinion of the world. This is your prudent man—a man who says he is no narrow-minded bigot, no harsh judge of others, no exclusive narrow-spirited censor to condemn all who differ from him, but is a man of general philanthropy, of universal charity for all who profess religion, and that wishes to be friendly with all sects and parties, and indeed with everybody who is in any measure separated from the profanity of the day, and wears an aspect of serious religion. Such is a sketch of your prudent man. But he is one from whom God hides His truth. His very prudence is nothing else but the wisdom of the flesh. It springs, for the most part, from Satanic delusion. His very smooth and plausible language is but the outpouring of a worldly heart, and all his gentleness and mildness is, in fact, nothing but an abhorrence of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the preference of self over the esteem of God, and it is the setting up of his own worldly interest and his own worldly character, as an idol to be bowed down to, instead of the cross of the Lord Jesus. With all his prudence, then, in the sight of God he is a fool, for he is destitute of that spiritual wisdom which maketh a man “wise unto salvation”; and however adroitly he may shape his course, however dexterously he may direct his steps, he will find hell at the end. He may manoeuvre most cleverly upon earth, and escape everything that is repulsive to his carnal mind, but there is One whom he cannot escape, there is a judgment which is ripening for him, and the end of all his wisdom is death eternal.
Fear of God
1. The workings of godly fear in the soul, is a branch of divine truth which the Lord hides from “the wise and prudent,” and reveals unto babes. Whatever religious knowledge, or whatever carnal wisdom, or whatever worldly prudence a man may be possessed of, if he is devoid of the life of God in his soul, he is destitute of the workings of godly fear, he has no solemn awe or reverence for Jehovah, he has never seen his sins in the light of God’s countenance, he has never trembled at “the wrath to come,” he has never prostrated himself with a reverential spirit before the eyes of a heart-searching Jehovah, that sees into the secret recesses of his bosom. But all his knowledge, and all his wisdom and all his prudence, leave him just where they found him, unimpressed, carnal, sensual, worldly, “dead in trespasses and sins.” All his wisdom never reached beyond the surface; it never broke up the crust of unbelief, so as to enter through that seared crust into the conscience, and produce living effects in it, as made tender by the touch of God’s finger. But his knowledge, his wisdom, his prudence, are all floating in his judgment, and never descend into the depths of his heart. God hides, then, the workings of spiritual fear from those who are “wise and prudent.” He does not condescend to manifest Himself to them; He does not show them light in His light; He does not reveal Himself to their consciences; He does not come with power into their hearts; He does not take the veil of unbelief and blindness from their carnal minds, and show them Himself; He takes them not where He took Moses, into the cleft of the rock, “where His glory passed by”; He deals not with them as He dealt with Isaiah, when he manifested to him the glory of the Lord in the temple; He discovers Himself not to them as he did to Job, when “he abhorred himself in dust and ashes.” All their knowledge of God therefore, is an external, intellectual knowledge, a mere exercise of the faculties of the mind, without any spiritual teaching, or any special revelation of the presence, power, glory, and majesty of God to their consciences. But the babe—the living babe in Zion has “the fear of the Lord” in his soul “as the beginning of wisdom.” And therefore, having this fountain of life within, he has it springing up in spiritual exercises. As the apostle speaks, “He serves God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”; he dares not rush with presumption into His holy presence. When he comes into His sanctuary a solemn dread from time to time falls upon his spirit. He has the feelings of Isaiah (6:5) when he cried: “I am a man of unclean lips…for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”; the feelings of Jacob when he was afraid, and said, “How dreadful is this place!” (Gen 28:17); the feelings of Moses when he stood by the burning bush, and put his shoes from off his feet, for the spot whereon he stood was holy ground; the feelings of the high priest in the temple on that mysterious day of atonement, when he entered alone, “not without blood,” into the sanctuary, the holy of hollies, and beheld the Shechinah—the divine presence as a cloud resting on the mercy-seat. The babe, then, has these exercises of godly fear which carnal, unhumbled, worldly-wise professors know nothing of. And though the babe, at times, seems to have no religion which he can really call spiritual or which satisfies himself, yet he has that tenderness, awe, and reverence which the carnal professor, however high in doctrine, however soaring in vain confidence, is utterly unacquainted with.
Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” —Matthew 11:25 – The Kingdom of God Hidden and Revealed – J.C. Philpot
Liberal humanism reflecting tradition of Greek sophism that elevate man and his reason as the sole standard of judgement and final authority of faith, formulated the denial of any factual knowledge involving the suprasensible.
Many of the alleged error in Scripture are nothing more than misinterpretation of the oriental scene by the western mind, or are the product of sheer ignorance of facets of ancient near Eastern life on the part of modern scholars. R.k. Harrison
Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, than trial will upset us. (Warren Wiersbe)
Material Goods/ Covetousness /Insatiable Desire
Unless we are delivered from our fear that we will not have enough, (…basic fear of human soul) than regardless of how much we get there is always a drive and a pressure to get more, there’s never enough – the sense of security is never satisfied; so all life is spent in an effort to amass more. (Kenneth E. Bailey)
I am not saved by a statement of creed , I am saved by a step of commitment of my life to Jesus Christ as Lord.
When we judge another we lay down God standard of judgement upon us.
When a men is born again he enters a life of ministry and service.
It is the self which is always seeking to be vindicated, exalted, praised with the result Christ Himself is put into the background. This is the principle of life upon which the world lives.
God’s way and methods with His people always direct along the line of shattering for ever any confidence in the flesh.
1 corinthian 5:5
The sinner is dealt with and delivered to satan for the destruction of the flesh, but ultimately for the saving of the soul.
“bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord jesus”
Where once you show resentment now you are long-suffering, where once you where angry now you are gentle. (Alan Redpath)
Psalm 37 “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desire of your heart”delighting in the Lord altern the desire of your heart (Billy Graham)
To possess love is to be behind the reach of sin and to fulfill all demands of holiness. (Policarp)
Because God is just He will not treat the wicket like the righteous, but such a reward is not the motive for virtue, that must be the love of God and his commandment.
Fair dealing and integrity in trade must necessarily promote social happiness and prolong the life of a nation, every kingdom based on justice will stand.
Reprehensible is the stealing of good opinion of others by any manner of misrepresentation, publicity or flattery deceiving others into having a better opinion of him or his doing than he deserves.
If we have failed in our duty toward our parent, we are not likely to succeed in our relation toward others.
Holiness is thus attained not by flight from the world, not by monk-like renunciation of human relationships of family stations but the spirit in which we fulfill the obligation of life in its simplest and commonest detail, in this way: by doing justly, loving and mercy.
Every time the voice of conscience is disobeyed it becomes duller and feebler, and the heart grows harder, man cannot remain ‘neutral’ in the presence of Duty or any direct command of God.
God never gives an exalted office to a man unless he has first tested him in small things.
Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?
Why spend time and labor and money on material pursuit that cannot in the end satisfy the soul created for holiness and righteousness? (rabbi JH Hertz/HafTorahs)
The Question of Freedom
What does it mean to say that I am free? It means that I am not under constraint. Thus, I am free to do whatever pleases me. But am I free with respect to what pleases me and what does not? To put it differently, I may choose one action over another because it holds more appeal for me. But I am not fully in control of the appeal which each of those actions holds for me. That is quite a different matter. I make all my decisions, but those decisions are in large measure influenced by certain characteristics of mine which I am not capable of altering by my own choice. If, for example, I am offered for dinner a choice between liver and steak, I am quite free to take the liver, but I do not desire to do so. I have no conscious control over my dislike of liver. That is a given that goes with my being the person I am. In that respect my freedom is limited. I do not know whether it is my genes or environmental conditioning which has caused my dislike of liver, but it is apparent that I cannot by mere force of will alter this characteristic of mine. There are, then, limitations upon who I am and what I desire and will. I certainly did not choose the genes that I have; I did not select my parents nor the exact geographical location and cultural setting of my birth. My freedom, therefore, is within these limitations. And here arises the question: Who set up these factors? The theistic answer is, “God did.”
I am free to choose among various options. But my choice will be influenced by who I am. Therefore, my freedom must be understood as my ability to choose among options in light of who I am. And who I am is a result of God’s decision and activity. God is in control of all the circumstances that bear upon my situation in fife. He may bring to bear (or permit to be brought to bear) factors which will make a particular option appealing, even powerfully appealing, to me. Through all the factors that have come into my experience in time past he has influenced the type of person I now am. Indeed, he has affected what has come to pass by willing that it was I who was brought into being.(Christian Theology- by Millard Erickson)
All Saints know, fellowship with the Father and Son is most vivid and sweet, joy is greatest when the cross is heaviest (Samuel Rutherford).
Love seek the best for another, even at risk of loss. (1 Corinthian 13 commentary)
Suffering develop Patience, Suffering refine Faith… (Joni)
He who wants to know the truth in himself fully, must first get rid of the beam of pride which prevent him to see the light. (Bernard of Clairvaux)
Truth is that which does not change.
To have a Godly view or a worldly view will determines your:
decision, relationships, level of confidence, and everything in your life…
…our behavior and… what we became in our life. (Rick Warren)
…this book (Bible) will keep you away from sin/ sin will keep you away from this book. (Dwight L. Moody)
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” (Jim Elliot)
Salvation is not found in what you can do, but trusting in what he did for you.
(Pastor Trevor/Trinity Church)
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name …(Hillsong United – Cornerstone Lyrics)