Posted by: rpcbmt | February 25, 2011

The Deeps

The Deeps

Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Yours alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in You, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Yourself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Your Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from You.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until You alone are seen in me, Your beauty golden like summer harvest, Your fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but You, no law but Your will, no delight but Yourself, no wealth but what You give, no good but what You bless with, no peace but what You bestow. I am nothing but what You make me. I have nothing but what I receive from You. I can be nothing but what grace adorns me with. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.

Valley of Vision

Posted by: rpcbmt | February 12, 2011

Whose Kingdom?

I recently attended a marriage conference with my wife at Christ the King PCA in Houston, Tx. The speaker was Paul Tripp (and I highly recommend him and his books). He has written an outstanding marriage book called: “What did you expect? Redeeming the realites of marriage”. Much of what he says in the context of marriage applies to all of life. One of the things he said during the conference has really stuck with me. As Christians we are usually willing to say: “Lord, Your Kingdom come.” Meaning, that what God wants is more important than what I want. But the unspoken subtext of this statement goes like this: “Lord, Your Kingdom come, but please let me furnish it.” Meaning, as long as His will and His purposes are in line with what I want and what suits me (i.e. keeps me comfortable, happy, pain and trouble free), then by all means, Lord, bring Your Kingdom…do Your will. We (and to be honest…”I”) want this far too often. By God’s grace, built on His love to us in Christ and through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit we need to come to a place where we can say: “Your Kingdom come…no matter what that means.” We are willing to take whatever God sends because His kingdom is so much better than ours.
It is also funny how in the midst of writing this I got a call from my wife and one of my children asked me, “Daddy, will you get me everything I want for my birthday?” This simple cry of my child’s heart is repeated by our own hearts everyday.
To drive this point home during the conference, Mr. Tripp started repeating the phrase “I want”, over and over and over and over and over…I want, I want, I want, I want, I want, I want…is this getting annoying yet?…it sure did at the conference, but that annoyance made a good point. My heart endlessly craves things selfishly. We all need God’s grace and the powerful work of His Spirit in us to change our ceaseless selfish wanting and humbly confess, “not my will, but Thine be done.”
Whose kingdom are you living for today?

Posted by: rpcbmt | October 13, 2010

Faith and Assurance

“So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”” (Matt. 14:29-31)
“An inquirer into religion would find more understanding if he made these simple distinctions between faith and assurance. It is all too easy to confuse the two. Faith, let us remember, is the root, and assurance is the flower. Doubtless you can never have the flower without the root; but it is no less certain you may have the root and not the flower.
Faith is that poor trembling woman who came behind Jesus in the press and touched the hem of His garment (Mark 5:25). Assurance is Stephen standing calmly in the midst of his murderers and saying, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
Faith is the penitent thief, crying, “Lord, remember me” (Luke 23:42). Assurance is Job, sitting in the dust, covered with sores, and saying, “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15).
Faith is Peter’s drowning cry, as he began to sink: “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:30.) Assurance is that same Peter declaring before the council in after times, “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:11, 12).
Faith is the anxious, trembling voice: “Lord, I believe: help Thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Assurance is the confident challenge: “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Who is he that condemneth?” (Rom. 8:33, 34). Faith is Saul praying in the house of Judas at Damascus, sorrowful, blind and alone (Acts 9:11). Assurance is Paul, the aged prisoner, looking calmly into the grave, and saying, “I know whom I have believed. There is a crown laid up for me” (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:8).
Faith is life. How great the blessing! Who can describe or realize the gulf between life and death? “A living dog is better than a dead lion” (Eccl. 9:4). And yet life may be weak, sickly, unhealthy, painful, trying, anxious, weary, burdensome, joyless, smileless to the very end. Assurance is more than life. It is health, strength, power, vigor, activity, energy, manliness, beauty.
It is not a question of “saved or not saved” that lies before us, but of “privilege or no privilege.” It is not a question of peace or no peace, but of great peace or little peace. It is not a question between the wanderers of this world and the school of Christ: it is one that belongs only to the school: it is between the first form and the last.
He that has faith does well. Happy should I be if I thought all readers of this message had it. Blessed, thrice blessed, are they that believe! They are safe. They are washed. They are justified. They are beyond the power of hell. Satan, with all his malice, shall never pluck them out of Christ’s hand. But he that has assurance does far better—sees more, feels more, knows more, enjoys more, has more days like those spoken of in Deuteronomy, even “the days of heaven upon the earth” (Deut. 11:21).”

– J.C. Ryle

Posted by: rpcbmt | September 3, 2010

See yourself as God sees you

Do you think you have been convinced of sin? This is the Holy Spirit’s work, and His first work upon the soul (John 16:8; Acts 2:37). If you did not know your body was dangerously ill, you would never have sent for your physician; and so you will never go to Christ, the heavenly Physician, unless you feel that your soul is sick even unto death. Oh! pray for deep discoveries of your real state by nature and by practice. Pray to see yourself exactly as God sees you; pray to know the worth of your soul. Have you seen yourself vile, as Job saw himself (Job 42:5, 6); undone, as Isaiah saw himself (Isaiah 6:1, 5)? Have you experienced anything like Psalm 51? Pray that the Holy Spirit may let you see the very reality of your natural condition before God!
I seldom get more than a glance at the true state of my soul in its naked self. But when I do, then I see that I am wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17). I believe every member of our body has been a servant of sin (Romans 3:13, 18)—throat, tongue, lips, mouth, feet, eyes. Every faculty of our mind is polluted (Genesis 6:5). Oh, that you were brought to pass sentence on yourself, guilty of all!
Perhaps you will ask, Why do you wish me to have such a discovery of my lost condition? I answer, that you may be broken off from all schemes of self–righteousness; that you may never look into your poor guilty soul to recommend you to God; and that you may joyfully receive the Lord Jesus Christ, who obeyed and died for sinners. Oh, that your heart may cleave to Christ! May you forsake all, and follow Jesus Christ. Count everything loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
You never will stand righteous before God in yourself. You are welcome this day to stand righteous before God in Jesus.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Posted by: rpcbmt | August 21, 2010

Humility of Heart

“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

I have known some who are too “advanced” now to continue to live by faith. They do not want to come to Christ just as they did at first; they are so “advanced” now that they stand on a different footing from what they did. Well, I can only say to such that I believe that this is nothing but pride of heart; as for myself, I will, by God’s grace, never go one inch beyond the position –
“I’m a poor sinner,’ and nothing at all, But Jesus Christ is my All-in-all.”
This is the only ground upon which I dare set my foot; it always begins to slip and slide beneath me when I get beyond that. Christ for me, first and last, Alpha and Omega, the Beginner and Finisher of faith. I believe that every other ground of standing is a quicksand that will swallow a man up. “The just shall live by his faith;” and if any are getting so proud that they are living by their feelings, or living on their old experience, I think that we may stand in doubt of them, and they have reason to stand in doubt of themselves. There was one who used to say that he was not half so much afraid of his sins as he was of what he conceived to be his good works, for his sins had humbled him full often, but what he thought were his good works had puffed him up, and done him much more mischief. I am more afraid of a lofty pride of self than of anything else under heaven. He that is down need fear no fall, but he that rises very high in his own esteem is not far from destruction. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
– C.H. Spurgeon

Posted by: rpcbmt | July 27, 2010

Healing the Brokenhearted

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” ” (Luke 4:16-19)

Jesus came “to bind up the brokenhearted.” There is many a wounded heart that is not broken. The brokenhearted are those who have lost all hope of saving themselves by their own righteousness. As long as a person has hope, the heart remains whole and unbroken. As long as a sailor’s wife has hope that her husband’s vessel may outride the storm, her heart is calm within her; but when the fatal news comes—when an eyewitness tells that he saw the lifeless body sinking in the waves—the thread of hope is cut asunder, her heart dies within her, she droops, she sits down brokenhearted. As long as an awakened sinner has hope of saving himself, as long as he thinks that self–reformation, weeping over past sins, and resolving against future ones, will clear him before God—so long his heart is calm; but when the fatal news comes, that all he does is done out of a sinful heart, that even “his righteousness are as filthy rags,” that “by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified,” then does the heart of the sinner die within him. He says, “It is done now, it is all done now, I never can do anything to justify myself.”

Is this the state of your soul? This is a case for Christ. He justifies the ungodly; He imputes righteousness without works; His blood and righteousness are ready for poor brokenhearted sinners. They are the very souls that answer Him; He is the very Savior that answers them. Once a broken–hearted woman, who had spent her all upon physicians, and was nothing better, but rather worse, came behind Jesus, and touched the hem of His garment. Did He show Himself the Savior of the brokenhearted? Yes; He said, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.”

– Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here, there-fore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and experimental religion.
Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the Church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbours, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world. Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the Church and in the world.
The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing towards Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart’s fire, they are live coals; let us attend sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.
-C.H. Spurgeon

“Only be thou strong and very courageous.”—Joshua 1:7.
OUR God’s tender love for His servants makes Him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without worry, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with, but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord loveth not to see our countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should come into the king’s court dressed in mourning: this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are; but still He would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonour his God. Besides, what a bad example it is. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads amongst the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Saviour, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you: but cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, labour is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in joy; therefore, dear reader, “be thou strong, and very courageous.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Posted by: rpcbmt | April 19, 2010

Perfect Righteousness

“We must have a righteousness in which Jehovah Himself cannot find a flaw, a righteousness which Jehovah cannot mend, a righteousness which neither sin nor Satan can mar; and unless we have on a righteousness of this nature, we can never enter into the blessedness of the world to come. Where, then, are we to find it? Eternal praises to the matchless mercy of a covenant God, we have it in the blessed Person, glorious work, and spotless obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ! And, therefore, as it was essential for Him to fulfill all righteousness for His people, He loved the Lord His God with all His heart, with all His mind, and with all His strength. He began at the beginning, and went through holily, righteously, and steadily every step of the law of God and all in justice and righteousness. He fulfilled every iota of it, and gave it immortal glory and honor. The law could only require the perfect obedience of a perfect man, but He gave it the perfect obedience of the God-Man, and stamped forever a holy dignity and majesty on it, in order to manifest that this glorious righteousness is suited to every sinner’s case, to all their needs, and to honor and glorify all the perfections of God; and thus He has “forever perfected them that were sanctified,” all those who were set apart for Himself. They are perfected forever in His own blessed obedience and spotless righteousness; and this righteousness which God gives shall endure forever…”My soul shall be joyful in my God; I will glory in the God of my salvation; for He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness; He hath adorned me with the garments of salvation.” –William Gadsby

Posted by: rpcbmt | April 1, 2010

Signs

Church signs are in front of most churches. They can put anything they want on them. Here is a chance to get people to read something as they drive by. What should you do? I always thought that it would be best to put a Bible verse up because the Word of God is living and powerful. Any little “ditties” that we can think up are not.
I drove past one today. It said, “Spring is God’s way of showing He loves us.” I wish instead they had simply said this, “God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

I do not find anywhere in His Word where God says that He sends spring to show His love, but I see multiple times where God tells us that Jesus is the proof of His love. It is the death, burial, resurrection, ascension and 2nd coming of Jesus that demonstrates the love of God.

Enjoy the spring weather, but know God’s love through Jesus.

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