Assorted – December 23, 2014

Tim Challies has persuaded me to consider using my blog to share interesting and/or helpful information, blog posts, articles, books, videos, etc., as a way of serving those who visit or follow my blog. So, from now on, I will (from time to time), share with you such material from other blogs or websites and pray that you too will find them interesting and helpful.  I am going to call this section of my blog “Assorted.”  Each new entry will be distinguished by the date on which it is posted.  So, here we go for starters:

Assorted 3

Last Minute Gift Ideas:  Ligonier Ministries has some really good ideas here if you are looking for good last minute gift ideas especially for a pastor – hint, hint:)

Yours is the day, Yours also the night…” – Here is a very encouraging devotional from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening based on Psalm 74:16:  “Lord, You do not abdicate Your throne when the sun goes down, nor do You leave the world during all those long wintry nights to be the prey of evil. Your eyes watch us like the stars, and Your arms surround us as the band of planets belts the sky…” Read the rest of this devotional here.

E-books ‘damage sleep and health,’ doctors warn:  “If you curl up under the duvet with an e-book for a bedtime read then you are damaging your sleep and maybe your health, US doctors have warned…”

How To Make Christ Happy:  “Would you make Christ’s heart glad, keep your own cheerful.” Thomas Manton

A Time to Speak:  If you missed this webcast, you can watch it here and listen to a number of respected Christian leaders as they discuss the important racial issues from a biblical and gospel point of view.  I found this very enlightening, educational and encouraging.

The Best Sermons!

“Christ the Glory of His People” 

The best sermons are the sermons which are most full of Christ.

A sermon without Christ…. it is an awful, a horrible thing; it is an empty well; it is a cloud without rain; it is a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots. Continue reading “The Best Sermons!”

Oh! I Love God’s “Shalls” and “Wills!”

Charles Spurgeon on Matthew 8:11:  “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”  

Oh! I love God’s “shalls” and “wills.”  There is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say “shall,” what is it good for? “I will,” says man, and he never performs; “I shall,” says he, and he breaks his promise.  But it is never so with God’s “shalls.” If he says “shall,” it shall be; when he says “will,” it will be.   Now he has said here, “many shall come.”

The devil says “they shall not come;” but “they shall come.” Their sins say “you can’t come;”  God says “you shall come.” You, yourselves, say, “you won’t come;” God says “you shall come.”   Continue reading “Oh! I Love God’s “Shalls” and “Wills!””

All of Grace

I HEARD A STORY; I think it came from the North Country: A minister called upon a poor woman, intending to give her help; for he knew that she was very poor. With his money in his hand, he knocked at the door; but she did not answer. He concluded she was not at home, and went his way. A little after he met her at the church, and told her that he had remembered her need: “I called at your house, and knocked several times, and I suppose you were not at home, for I had no answer.” “At what hour did you call, sir?” “It was about noon.” “Oh, dear,” she said, “I heard you, sir, and I am so sorry I did not answer; but I thought it was the man calling for the rent.” Many a poor woman knows what this meant.  Now, it is my desire to be heard, and therefore I want to say that I am not calling for the rent; indeed, it is not the object of this book to ask anything of you, but to tell you that salvation is all of grace, which means, free, gratis, for nothing.

Oftentimes, when we are anxious to win attention, our hearer thinks, “Ah! now I am going to be told my duty. It is the man calling for that which is due to God, and I am sure I have nothing wherewith to pay. I will not be at home.” No, this book does not come to make a demand upon you, but to bring you something. We are not going to talk about law, and duty, and punishment, but about love, and goodness, and forgiveness, and mercy, and eternal life. Do not, therefore, act as if you were not at home: do not turn a deaf ear, or a careless heart. I am asking nothing of you in the name of God or man. It is not my intent to make any requirement at your hands; but I come in God’s name, to bring you a free gift, which it shall be to your present and eternal joy to receive. Open the door, and let my pleadings enter. “Come now, and let us reason together.” The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. It may be that the hour is come in which you shall enter upon that new life which is the beginning of heaven. Faith cometh by hearing, and reading is a sort of hearing: faith may come to you while you are reading this book. Why not? O blessed Spirit of all grace, make it so!

This post has been taken from Charles Spurgeon‘s little book entitled, All of Grace which you can download here for free.  You can also download free MP3 audio files of the same book here.  I highly recommend it.  Blessings in Christ!

Charles Spurgeon: A New Biography

I have just finished listening to an audio recording of Spurgeon:  A New Biography by Arnold A. Dallimore.  It’s an excellent biography.  I found it to be very informative – I learned a lot about the times in which Spurgeon lived and ministered.  This biography also provides great insight into the kind of man Spurgeon was and how the Lord used him in the work of building His Kingdom and saving lost souls through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is a very good book, challenging, inspiring and soul-stirring in every way.  I heartily recommend it to all who would like to learn of this one man who is has been arguably given the title, the Prince of Preachers – although it is very probable that he himself would not have accepted that title because his whole life and ministry was pointed towards the exaltation of God and His Gospel through Jesus Christ.

You can access the audio recordings through this link.

Tim Challies published a helpful review of this book on Amazon.  Here it is:

There are more biographies devoted to Charles Spurgeon than to just about any other Christian figure. The first were written before his death (including his own autobiography) and hundreds have been written since. In the two years following his death, new biographies were published at the rate of one per month! One would be justified in asking, then, why we need another one. Arnold Dallimore answers this question in the preface, saying that in his studies he discovered no definitive volume. He found, for example, that no other biography gave a satisfactory account of Spurgeon’s ability as a theologian or the methods he used in leading souls to Christ. Also, his character was often made to appear weaker than it really was. And so Dallimore sought to remedy these faults in his volume which was first published in 1984.

You can read the entire review here.

The Testimony of Charles H. Spurgeon

Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon

My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It ain’t liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is just, ‘Look.’ Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to be able to look. Anyone can look even a child can look. But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Ay!” said the preacher, in broad Essex, “many on ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Some on ye say, ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin’.’ You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ The text says, ‘Look unto Me.'”

Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me; I am sweatin’ great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto Me; I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto Me; I am sittin’ at the Father’s right hand. 0 poor sinner, look unto Me! look unto Me!”

by Charles Spurgeon | Reprinted from C. H. Spurgeon: The Early Years (Banner of Truth), pp. 86-88, 99-100.


It’s not what you’re doing that gets you to Heaven, it’s where you’re looking. Look to Jesus.


Charles H. Spurgeon was born at Essex, England, June 19, 1834; led his class at every examination in school at Colchester; converted December 15, 1850; preached first sermon 1851 at age 16; became a pastor in 1852; published more than 1900 sermons in his lifetime; died 1892, he was mourned by thousands.

In Spurgeon’s own words:

I had been about five years in the most fearful distress in mind, as a lad. If any human being felt more of the terror of God’s law, I can indeed pity and sympathize with him. Bunyan’s “Grace Abounding” contains, in the main, my history. Some abysses he went into I never trod; but some into which I plunged he seems to have never known. I thought the sun was blotted out of my sky–that I had sinned so against God that there was no hope for me. I prayed – the Lord knoweth how I prayed, but I never had a glimpse of an answer that I knew of. I searched the Word of God; the promises were more alarming than the threatenings. I read the privileges of the people of God, but with the fullest persuasions that they were not for me. The secret of my distress was this: I did not know the gospel. I was in a Christian land, I had Christian parents, but I did not fully understand the simplicity of the gospel.I attended all the places of worship in the town where I lived, but I honestly believe that I did not hear the gospel fully preached. I do not blame the men, however. One man preached the divine sovereignty. I could hear him with pleasure; but what was that to a poor sinner who wished to know what he should do to be saved? There was another admirable man who always preached about the law; but what was the use of plowing up ground that needed to be sown? Another was a great practical preacher. I heard him, but it was very much like a commanding officer teaching the maneuvers of war to a set of men without feet. What could I do? All his exhortations were lost on me. I knew it was said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved,” but I did not know what it was to believe in Christ.

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, when I was going to a place of worship. When I could go no farther, I turned down a court and come to a little Primitive Methodist chapel. In that chapel there might have been a dozen or fifteen people. The minister did not come that morning; snowed up, I suppose. A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach.Now it is well that ministers should be instructed, but this man was really stupid, as you would say. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.

There was I thought, a gleam of hope for me in the text. He began thus “My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says ‘Look.’ Now that does not take a great deal of effort. It ain’t lifting your feet or your finger, it is just ‘look.’ Well, a man need not go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool and yet you can look. A man need not be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; a child can look. But this is what the text says. Then it says ‘Look unto Me.'”  “Ay,” said he, in broad Essex, “many of ye are looking to yourselves. No use looking there. You’ll never find comfort in yourselves. Some look to God, the Father. No, look to Him by and by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Some of you say, ‘I must wait the Spirit a working.’ You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. It runs: ‘Look unto Me.‘”Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me; I am sweating great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hanging on the cross. Look! I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend and sit at the Father’s right hand O! look to Me!” When he had got about that length, and managed to spin out ten minutes or so he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I dare say, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger, He then said, “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well I did, but I have not been accustomed to having remarks made on my personal appearance from the pulpit before. However, it was a good blow struck. He continued:

“And you will always be miserable in life, and miserable in death if you do not obey my text. But if you obey now, this moment you will be saved.”Then he shouted as only a Primitive Methodist can: “Young man, look to Jesus Christ!” I did “look.”

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun: I could have risen that moment and sung with enthusiasm of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me that before. TRUST CHRIST, AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED.Remember, dear brother, if you give your whole soul to the charge committed to you, it does not matter much about its appearing to be a somewhat small and insignificant affair, for as much skill may be displayed in the manufacture of a very tiny watch as in the construction of the town clock; in fact, a minute article may become the object of greater wonder than another of larger dimensions. Quality is a far more precious thing than quantity.

C. H. Spurgeon

An All-round Ministry, p. 70


“You must not expect that you will be perfect in ‘repentance’ before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. ‘Repentance’ is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself…

— Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)

Is God Calling You to the Gospel Ministry?

This post is specifically targeting any young men who may be considering the gospel ministry.  I simply want to ask the question:  “Is God calling you to the Gospel ministry?”  I am intentionally asking this question because I suspect that there may be some young men who are feeling the internal urge of the Spirit leading them in this direction, but are not willing to make the commitment and say, “Yes, Lord!”  Such men need to be pressed until they yield to God’s will.  Yes, it’s ultimately the Lord who calls people into the ministry (the internal call), but there is such a thing as the “external call” whereby the same Lord calls people to the ministry through others (particularly the church).  So, I hope that the older men and the women reading this will be seeking opportunities to encourage any young men around, praying for and challenging them to consider the gospel ministry.

For the rest of this post, I would like to share with you a brief article by Dr. Albert Mohler who serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

In his article entitled, Consider Your Calling: The Call to the Ministry, this is what he had to say:

Has God called you to ministry? Though all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ, God calls certain persons to serve the Church as pastors and other ministers. Writing to young Timothy, the Apostle Paul confirmed that if a man aspires to be a pastor, “it is a fine work he aspires to do.” [I Timothy 3:1, NASB] Likewise, it is a high honor to be called of God into the ministry of the Church. How do you know if God is calling you?

First, there is an inward call. Through His Spirit, God speaks to those persons He has called to serve as pastors and ministers of His Church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God’s voice heard by faith.” Those whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose, and growing commitment.

Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God.

This sense of compulsion should prompt the believer to consider whether God may be calling to the ministry. Has God gifted you with the fervent desire to preach? Has He equipped you with the gifts necessary for ministry? Do you love God’s Word and feel called to teach? As Spurgeon warned those who sought his counsel not to preach if they could help it. “But,” Spurgeon continued, “if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” That sense of urgent commission is one of the central marks of an authentic call.

Second, there is the external call…God uses the congregation to “call out the called” to ministry. The congregation must evaluate and affirm the calling and gifts of the believer who feels called to the ministry.. As a family of faith, the congregation should recognize and celebrate the gifts of ministry given to its members, and take responsibility to encourage those whom God has called to respond to that call with joy and submission.

These days, many persons think of careers rather than callings. The biblical challenge to “consider your call” should be extended from the call to salvation to the call to the ministry.

John Newton, famous for writing “Amazing Grace,” once remarked that “None but He who made the world can make a Minister of the Gospel.” Only God can call a true minister, and only He can grant the minister the gifts necessary for service. But the great promise of Scripture is that God does call ministers, and presents these servants as gifts to the Church.

Consider your calling. Do you sense that God is calling you to ministry, whether as pastor or another servant of the Church? Do you burn with a compulsion to proclaim the Word, share the Gospel, and care for God’s flock? Has this call been confirmed and encouraged by those Christians who know you best?

God still calls . . . has He called you?

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