Tuesday, February 17, 2009
There are so many good quotes from Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, though not all by him.
'Verse 1 [of Psalm 6].--"O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger."
The anger of the Lord? Oh, dreadful thought!
How can a creature frail as man endure
The tempest of his wrath? Ah, whither flee
To 'scape the punishment he well deserves?
Flee to the cross! the great atonement there
Will shield the sinner, if he supplicate
For pardon with repentance true and deep,
And faith that questions not. Then will the frown
Of anger pass off the face of God,
Like a black tempest cloud that hides the sun. --Anon.'
'Verse 1 [0f Psalm 6].--"Neither chasten me in thine hot displeasure."
O keep up life and peace within,
If I must feel thy chastening rod!
Yet kill not me, but kill my sin,
And let me know thou art my God.
O give my soul some sweet foretaste
Of that which I shall shortly see!
Let faith and love cry to the last,
"Come, Lord, I trust myself with thee!" -- Richard Baxter, 1615-1891.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
“And if men say, ‘what is this? A woman playeth the housewife, she spinneth on her distaff, and this is all that women can do.’ As in deed there are a number of fools that when they speak of women’s distaffs, of seeing to their children, will make a scorn of it, and despise it. But what then? What saith the heavenly Judge? That he is well pleased with it, and accepteth of it, and putteth it in his reckoning. So then let women learn to rejoice when they do their duty, and though the world despise it, let this comfort sweeten all respect they might have that way, and say, ‘God seeth me here, and his Angels, who are sufficient witnesses of my doings, although the world do not allow of them.’” -- As recorded in A Sermon of Master John Calvine, upon the first Epistle of Paul, to Timothie, published for the benefite and edifying of the Churche of God (London: G. Bishop and T. Woodcoke, 1579), excerpted from Calvin’s sermon on 1 Timothy 2:13-15.
"The career of motherhood and homemaking is beyond value and needs no justification. Its importance is incalculable." - Katherine Short
"No occupation in this world is more trying to soul and body than the care of young children. What patience and wisdom, skill and unlimited love it calls for. God gave the work to mothers and furnished them for it, and they cannot shirk it and be guiltless." - Isabella Alden with Mrs. C. M. Livingston, Diverse Women
Saturday, February 14, 2009
'For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. - Psalm 5:4, 5
(On verse 5 of Psalm 5): 'What an astonishing thing is sin, which maketh the God of love and Father of mercies an enemy to his creatures, and which could only be purged by the blood of the Son of God! Though all must believe this who believe the Bible, yet the exceeding sinfulness of sin is but weakly apprehended by those who have the deepest sense of it, and will never be fully known in this world.' -- Thomas Adam's Private Thoughts, 1701-1884.
(On verse 5, last clause): 'For what God thinks of sin, see Deut. vii. 22, Prov. vi. 16; Rev. ii. 6, 15; where he expresseth his detestation and hatred of it, from which hatred proceeds all those direful plagues and judgments thundered from the fiery mouth of his most holy law against it; nay, not only the work, but worker also of iniquity becomes the object of his hatred.' -- William Gurnall.
On verse 10 Spurgeon writes:
"Against thee:" not against me. If they were my enemies I would forgive them, but I cannot forgive thine [God's]. We are to to forgive our enemies, but God's enemies it is not in our power to forgive. These expressions have often been noticed by men of over refinement as being harsh, and grating on the ear. "Oh!" say they, "they are vindictive and revengeful." Let us remember that they might be translated as prophecies, not as wishes; but we do not care to avail ourselves of this method of escape. We have never heard of a reader of the Bible who, after perusing these passages, was made revengeful by reading them, and it is but fair to test the nature of a writing by its effects. When we hear a judge condemning a murderer, however severe his sentence, we do not feel that we should be justified in condemning others for any private injury done to us. The Psalmist here speaks as a judge, ex officio; he speaks as God's mouth, and in condemning the wicked he gives us no excuse whatever for uttering anything in the way of malediction upon those who have cause us personal offence. The most shameful way of cursing another is by pretending to bless him. We were all somewhat amused by noticing the toothless malice of that wretched old priest of Rome when he foolishly curse the Emperor of France with his blessing. He was blessing him in form and cursing him in reality. Now, in direct contrast we put this healthy commination of David, which is intended to be a blessing by warning the sinner of the impending curse. O impenitent man, be it known unto thee that all thy godly friends will give their solemn assent to the awful sentence of the Lord, which he shall pronounce upon thee in the day of doom! Our verdict shall applaud the condemning curse which the Judge of all the earth shall thunder against the godless.'
Sobering thoughts. Yet I believe they are true. And there were a lot more good thoughts from the commentary on this psalm, but I couldn't post them all.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.
That pretty much describes how I'm feeling right now. I was going through a little bit of doubt, lately, and God has been gracious to restore my joy and love and peace. He answered my prayer! What a wonderful Savior! I was reading and praying and feeling a bit gloomy, but as I read from Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, I realized how much I have in Christ, and was assured that it is for me. Yes, rotten little me.
Here's what I read, a quote from Dr. Hawker, and may it be a blessing to you, as well:
'Reader! let us never lose sight of the Lord Jesus while reading this [the fourth] psalm. He is the Lord our righteousness; and therefore, in all our approaches to the mercy seat, let us go there in a language corresponding to this which calls Jesus the Lord our righteousness. While men of the world, from the world are seeking their chief good, let us desire his favour which infinitely transcends corn and wine, and all the good things which perish in the using. Yes, Lord, thy favour is better than life itself. Thou causest them that love thee to inherit substance, and fillest all their treasure.
Oh! thou gracious God and Father, hast thou in such a wonderful manner set apart one in our nature for thyself? Hast thou indeed chosen one out of the people? Hast thou beheld him in the purity of his nature,--as one in every point godly? Hast thou given him as the covenant of the people? And hast thou declared thyself well pleased in him? Oh! then, well may my soul be well pleased in him also. Now do I know that my God and Father will hear me when I call upon him in Jesus' name, and when I look up to him for acceptance for Jesus' sake? Yes, my heart is fixed, O Lord, my heart is fixed; Jesus is my hope and righteousness, the Lord will hear me when I call. And henceforth will I both lay me down in peace and sleep securely in Jesus, accepted in the Beloved; for this is the rest wherewith the Lord causeth the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing.'
Monday, February 9, 2009
"We must quit bending the Word to suit our situation. It is we who must be bent to that Word, our necks that must bow under the yoke." -Elisabeth Elliot
I'm not sure who wrote this next one (apparently it's a hymn, maybe anonymous), but Spurgeon quoted it and I like it. God is gracious!
"Rise, my soul! adore and wonder!
Ask, 'O why such love to me?'
Grace hath put me in the number
Of the Saviour's family:
Thanks, eternal thanks to Thee."
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Here's a quote I liked from the book, about Psalm 1 verse 3 (italicized above):
'We often, like Jehoshaphat, make ships to go to Tarshish for gold, but they are broken at Ezion-geber; but even here there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul's health that we should be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things.'
Lovely, is it not? How often we forget this, or at least if we know it in our heads can't quite seem to accept it and trust it in our hearts. We are indeed blessed if we know the Lord, even in the hardest situations! May I remember this in my hardest hours.
I'm the kind of girl who has always devoured fiction. Christian novels, mostly--historical, romance, mystery, suspense. And I still enjoy them. But I am more and more seeing the loveliness and usefulness of commentaries and nonfiction Christian books. I thought as I was reading in Spurgeon's book, This is more helpful to me than a hundred Grace Livingston Hill novels. Much more. Spurgeon even assembled quotes from other writers on the psalms, which add to the depth. I know I will still struggle with my "easy-reading" and "like-to-be-entertained" mindset, but I am grateful for even these small steps--small seeds that I believe God has planted in my heart.
Of course, the best Book of all is the Bible, yet these books help me to understand the Bible. Should I then neglect reading the Bible? Of course not. I know I should spend more time in the Word, as well, and it is my prayer that it will become more my "meditation day and night."
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
So many things I could try,
So many dreams slipping by.
Books to write,
Songs to sing,
Drawing and painting.
But when my mother does call,
I have to drop one and all.
I will do
What she says--
Her goals are mine, now.
One day I may have the time
To realize these dreams of mine.
But for now
I will do
All that my Lord wants.
Even dreams good and true
May not be what God wants me to do.
So I'll spread my hands,
Letting go, letting God
Take me and use me His way.
Monday, February 2, 2009
On Saturday we also had some unexpected visitors. (Side note: that's one good reason to keep the house neat.) My mom's late sister's husband, Richard Mazanec, stopped in. We had a nice time talking, eating brunch, and watching The Eden String Quartet. My uncle, being a violin player and former preacher, enjoyed this very much. Mom, Annie, and I had watched it before (in fact, it was my mom's third time watching it), but it was still moving and lovely to watch for both of us. If you haven't watched this film and you enjoy music, I'd highly recommend it! Not just for the sake of the music, but to see such a lovely and godly family who work hard and express their love to others, young and old. It was inspiring and convicting for me to watch.
Right before Uncle Richard left, we received a phone call from some friends, who wanted to stop by to show us their new baby, whom we had not yet seen. We welcomed them in, and enjoyed little Raphael and talking with our friends. We all had the opportunity to hold the baby.
Today (as well as before) we have been doing some sorting and packing things into boxes, in preparation for our move to TX. My sister, Annie, and I had a nice break to play an online game like Scrabble with two of our sisters-in-law.
For joy that never ends.
Praise the Lord for hardship and sorrow,
For the gift of tomorrow.
Let us live our lives for the Savior,
With loving behavior.
Let us carry the cross He gives us
It should not be grievous.
-M.A.M. (Feb. 2, 2009)