What Is More Helpless Than You Without Christ

“I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you: ‘Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I Myself will help you! declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!” (Isaiah 41:13-14)

“What is more helpless than a child without its mother’s hand! Reader, what is more helpless than you without Christ! You can neither stand nor walk alone; but ‘God, who takes hold of your right hand, says to you: Do not fear; I will help you!’

He will help you against sin; against Satan; against the world; against your own evil heart. He will help you when you are weary; when you are downcast; in the time of trial; and in the hour of temptation. He will help you to understand; He will help you to pray; He will help you to fight; He will help you to avoid the snares; He will help you to despise the vanities of this poor world. Ah, my fellow-sinner, this help is promised, because you need it all.

What a world of temptation, sin, and danger–what a world of darkness and confusion you live in! There is none to help you–none to teach you–none to lead you on your way–but Jehovah Jesus. Do not be afraid! He will hold you by the right hand, saying, ‘I will help you!’

Do you say, ‘The way is long–and I am weary. The road is dark–and I have no light. Temptations are many–how shall I resist them? I need grace–where can I find it? Oh, how shall I persevere?’

Afflicted soul! Is there no Helper? Is there none to pity? Is there none to guide? Where is your heavenly Father? Where is Jesus? Where is the Comforter? Where is He who feeds His flock like a Shepherd; who gathers His lambs in His arms, and carries them close to His heart? (Isaiah 40:11) Where is He who has promised to hold you by the right hand, saying, ‘Do not be afraid–I will help you!’

Lift up your eyes to the hills, from whence comes your help. Your help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God. Fear not! (Psalm 121:1-2, Psalm 146:5)

– George Mylne

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Eat Into the Very Soul of the Bible

“Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” (Jeremiah 15:16)

Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God–and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it–so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord–not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it until we have taken it into our inmost parts! It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetic expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last you come to talk in Scriptural language, your very life is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your mind is flavored with the words of the Lord.”

Charles Spurgeon

The Four Prime Things That Should Studied

“Christ, the Scripture, your own hearts, and Satan’s devices, are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched. If any cast off the study of these, they cannot be safe here, nor happy hereafter. It is my work as a Christian, but much more as I am a Watchman, to do my best to discover the fullness of Christ, the emptiness of the creature, and the snares of the great deceiver; which I have endeavoured to do in the following discourse, according to that measure of grace which I have received from the Lord.

– Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, p.15

Study the Scripture

“Study the Scripture. It is a copy of God’s will. Be Scripture-men, Bible-Christians. Search the Scripture as for a vein of gold. This blessed Book will fill your head with knowledge, and your heart with grace!

There is majesty sparkling in every line of Scripture.

There is a melody in Scripture. This is that blessed harp which drives away sadness of spirit. How sweetly does this harp of Scripture sound, what heavenly music does it make in the ears of a distressed sinner, especially when the finger of God’s Spirit touches this instrument!

There is divinity in Scripture. It contains the marrow and quintessence of true religion. It is a rock of diamonds–and a manual of piety. The lips of Scripture have grace poured into them. The Scripture speaks of faith, self-denial, and all the graces which, as a chain of pearls, adorns a Christian.

Oh, then, search the Scripture! Had I the tongue of angels, I could not sufficiently set forth the excellency of Scripture. It is a spiritual telescope, in which we behold God’s glory! It is the tree of life, the oracle of wisdom, the rule of godliness, the heavenly seed of which the new creature is formed. 

‘The two Testaments,’ says one, ‘are the two breasts which every Christian must suck, that he may get spiritual nourishment.’ These holy leaves of Scripture are for the healing of our souls. 

The Scripture is profitable for all things. If we are downcast–here is spiced wine that cheers the heavy heart. If we are pursued by Satan–here is the sword of the Spirit to resist him. If we are diseased with sin’s leprosy–here are the waters of the sanctuary, both to cleanse and cure. Oh, then, search the Scriptures! 

Read the Bible with reverence. Think, in every line you read–that God is speaking to you. The ark wherein the Word was put was overlaid with pure gold, and was carried on bars, that the Levites might not touch it (Exodus 25:14). Why was this–but to give reverence to the Word? 

Read with seriousness. It is matter of life and death; by this Word you must be tried and judged. 

Read the Word with affection. Get your hearts quickened with the Word. Labor that the Word may not only be a lamp to direct–but a fire to warm. Read the Scripture, not only as a history–but as a love-letter sent to you from God, which may affect your hearts. Pray that the same Spirit who wrote the Word, may assist you in reading it; that God’s Spirit would show you the wonderful things of His law, so that the Word will become effectual.”

– Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity

The Lord My Restorer

“The Lord is my Shepherd…He restores my soul.”  (Psalm 23:1, 3).

It is not the least important duty of the Shepherd–under which similitude our meditation yesterday viewed our blessed Lord–to go in quest of the stray ones of the flock. It would be an extraordinary exception indeed, were there none such–no silly lamb, no fickle sheep wandering from the fold. The religious history of the believer is a history of declension and revival, of departure and return, of his backsliding and of the Savior’s restoring. The regenerate soul is bent upon backsliding from the Lord. The sun does not more naturally decline, nor the planets start off from their center, than does the believing heart wander from God.

“O Lord, how many and hidden are my soul’s departures from You, You only know! How often my love chills, my faith droops, my zeal flags, and I grow weary, and am ready to halt in Your service. Mine is a sinful, roving heart, fickle to You as the changing wind; false to my vows as a broken bow. But You, O Lord, are my Shepherd, and You restore my soul; pitying my infirmity, knowing my wanderings, and tracking all my steps, You recover, heal, and pardon Your poor, silly sheep, prone to leave Your wounded, sheltering side in quest of that which can be found in Yourself alone.”

He restores us gently. When He might justly commission some harsh messenger to awaken us from our reverie, and bring our sin to our remembrance, He sends a gentle Nathan to say to us, “You are the man”–some kind and loving messenger, filled with the ‘meekness and gentleness of Christ,’ to remind us of our backsliding, to deal with our sin, and to win and lead us back to the Savior, towards whom our love had chilled, and from whom our feet had strayed. Recall His own gentle dealing. Behold Him traversing mountain and valley in search of the one sheep that had wandered; nor resting until He had found it–then, laying it upon His shoulder, with soft and gentle step, He bears it back to the fold, amid the welcomings of the flock, the music of its own restored joy and the songs of angels.

The faithfulness of Jesus in our restorings is not less conspicuous. Though we prove faithless and unbelieving–and oh, what words can describe our unfaithfulness to Christ!–yet He is faithful and cannot deny Himself. It is a sweet truth, O my soul, which you should never forget, that the love and constancy and promises of Jesus are never negated or affected by your conduct towards Him. When our love to Jesus chills, or our spiritual frames and feelings fluctuate, we are prone to infer a similar change in the Lord; whereas, to awaken us from our drowsiness, to bring us to reflection and prayer, He may suspend the sensible manifestations of His presence and the especial communications of His grace; and, ceasing to stand and knock, may withdraw Himself a while, leaving us to exclaim, “I opened to my beloved, and He had withdrawn Himself.” Nevertheless, His loving-kindness He will not take from us, nor allow His faithfulness to fail.

Oh, the love of Jesus in curbing our waywardness, checking our wanderings, arresting, healing, and restoring our souls. Truly He forsakes not His people, though they forsake Him times without number. How can He turn His back upon one bought with His sufferings, groans, and tears? How can He forsake the work of grace wrought in the soul by His Spirit? He may withdraw Himself for a time, gently to awaken us from our slothfulness and slumber, yet He returns again, and our lips gratefully sing, “He restores my soul.”

And for what intent are all the Lord’s loving corrections and faithful rebukes–His measured, though often painful, and even crushing afflictions–but to bring back our wandering hearts to Himself? O blossoming rod, O sweet bitter, O bright cloud, O loving, gentle chastening, that arrests my wanderings, hedges my path so that I cannot find my lovers, and turns my feet back to His ways of pleasantness and to His paths of peace. “He restores my soul, He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.”

– Octavius Winslow, Daily Need Divinely Supplied

One Second of Glory Will Outweigh a Lifetime of Suffering

“Finally, the apostle here weighed the ‘sufferings’ of this present time over against the ‘glory’ which shall be revealed in us, and as he did so he declared that the one is ‘not worthy to be compared’ with the other. The one is transient, the other eternal. As, then, there is no proportion between the finite and the infinite, so there is no comparison between the sufferings of earth and the glory of heaven.

One second of glory will outweigh a lifetime of suffering. What were the years of toil, of sickness, of battling with poverty, of sorrow in any or every form, when compared with the glory of Immanuel’s land! One draught of the river of pleasure at God’s right hand, one breath of Paradise, one hour amid the blood-washed around the throne, shall more than compensate for all the tears and groans of earth. ‘For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ [Romans 8:18]. May the Holy Spirit enable both writer and reader to lay hold of this with appropriating faith and live in the present possession and enjoyment of it to the praise of the glory of Divine grace.”

– Arthur W. Pink, Comfort for Christians, p.18-19

Believing Lies Instead of Trusting God

“Not many people think of themselves as someone who believes lies. But every time we don’t trust God’s word we’re believing something else, and that something is always a lie. If I get angry when I’m stuck in traffic, it’s because I don’t trust God. I believe the lie that God isn’t in control or that his purposes for me are not good. If I overwork it’s because I don’t trust God, perhaps because I believe the lie that I need to prove or justify myself. This is a radical view of sin. It means many of our negative emotions are sinful because they’re symptoms of unbelief–the greatest sin and the root sin.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.75