Coming to Know Christ

[HT] Girl Talk
Charles Spurgeon, describing the origins of his understanding of the doctrines of grace:

One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher's sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, "How did you come to be a Christian" I sought the Lord. "But how did you come to seek the Lord?" The truth flashed across my mind in a moment--I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, "I ascribe my change wholly to God."


Spurgeon's Conversion

[HT] Josh Harris

How did Charles Haddon Spurgeon come to saving faith in Jesus Christ? Later in his life, Spurgeon took delight in telling the story. It was January 6, 1850 and he was 16 years old. Though he was knowledgeable of the Bible, he had not been born again. He was despairing and desperate to find some comfort for his soul. That Sunday because of heavy snow he couldn’t reach the church he planned to attend and instead wound up at a small Primitive Methodist church.

There were only 15 people present and, because of the weather, there was no preacher. So an uneducated and—by Spurgeon’s own estimation—not-very-bright member of the congregation was forced to give an impromptu sermon. Spurgeon remembered the man as "thin-looking," and either a tailor or shoemaker. He was not impressive in appearance, nor in his delivery of his sermon. According to Spurgeon, he didn’t even pronounce his words correctly as he read Isaiah 45:22, which said, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” I’ll let you hear the rest of the story in Spurgeon’s own words:

“Blessed be God for that poor local preacher. He read his text. It was as much as he could do. He was an ignorant man, he could not say much; he was obliged to keep to his text. Thank God for that. He began, 'Look, that is not hard work. You need not lift your hand, you do not want to lift your finger. Look, a fool can do it. It does not need a wise man to look. A child can do that....Look unto Me. Do not look to yourselves, but look to Me, that is Christ….Look unto Me; I am sweating great drops of blood for you; look unto Me, I am scourged and spit upon; I am nailed to the cross, I die, I am buried, I rise and ascend, I am pleading before the Father’s throne, and all this for you.'

Now that simple way of putting the Gospel had enlisted my attention, and a ray of light had poured into my heart.

Stooping down, he looked under the gallery and said: 'Young man, you are very miserable.' So I was, but I had not been accustomed to be addressed in that way. 'Ah,' said he, 'and you will always be miserable if you don’t do as my text tells you; and that is, Look unto Christ.' And then he called out, with all his might, 'Young man, look; in God’s name look, and look now. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live.'

I did look, blessed be God! I know I looked then and there; and he who but that minute ago had been near despair, had the fullness of joy and hope. The cloud was gone, the darkness rolled away, and in that moment I saw the sun. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard the word Look, I could almost have looked my eyes away. I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith that looks alone to Him.”


Andree Seu on Forgiveness

[HT World Magazine]
She Writes:

"Forgiveness is a brutal mathematical transaction done with fully engaged faculties. It's my pain instead of yours. I eat the debt. I absorb the misery I wanted to dish out on you, and you go scot-free. Beware the forgiveness that is tendered soon after injury; be suspicious. Real forgiveness needs a time lag, for it is wrought in private agony before it ever comes to public amnesty. All true acts of courage are thus done in secret.

Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Church in Manhattan shares the following letter from a man who once had to forgive a woman:

"I forgave her and it took me a whole year and I had to forgive her in small sums over that whole twelve months. I paid those sums whenever I spoke to her and kept myself from rehashing the past. I paid them whenever I saw her with another man and refused self-pity and rehearsal inside for what she'd done to me. I paid them whenever I praised her to others when I really wanted to slice away at her reputation. Those were the payments but she never knew them. However, I never knew her payments, but I know she made them. I could tell."

And now the unthinkable: not only to forgive but seek the good. Nature abhors a vacuum and Jesus admits of no middle ground between hate and love. Pray for him."


The Sword of the Spirit

For a few months now I have used an analogy to illustrate the various needs of Scripture. Part of this is accredited to my good friend Ron who is a Musical Therapist at the nursing home that i used to work at.

First we have the dagger of the spirit, something that you can keep in your pocket... easily seen if yu wish, but also very readily concealed for those emergencies. Plus you do not need a concealed weapons permit. This eapon is a favorite for those who do street evangelism and do not want people to see this great and powerful weapon in their hands. (a Pocket New Testament)

Second is the Saber. The Saber was the weapon of choice for the cavalry in the 19th century. Very light and fast.. but also managable in a compact space. This is ideal for ladies who would like a light Bible to carry around instead of carrying around the normal Sword or dagger.

These previous swords of the spirit are classic for 'sneak attacks' on unbelievers because they are easily hid. But also they are very accessible if they are in your purse or car. Our next model is the classic Sword of the Spirit.. The Pew Bible - we all know what these are so it is rather pointless to illustrate with a nice picture.
But this model is the best to train the soldiers of the faith in the Bible drills and other necessities. (a note of reference the author is partial to the ESV or NKJV)

Lastly, there is the biggest model of them all.. this is the study Bible. There are a lot of Study Bibles that are shoddy, with all their notes - this makes them heavy and cumbersome with a lot of unneeded ornateness... but there is one that surpasses them all.. and this is the Claymore... That when someone objects to you or your truth claim... you have this at your side.. with one swipe nothing is able ot stand in the way of this living sword...

Finally what you have all been waiting for: The Claymore of the swords... the Reformation Study Bible