Faith’s Checkbook: Let Trials Bless

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Knowing that tribulation worketh patience”   (Romans 5:3).

This is a promise in essence if not in form. We have need of patience, and here we see the way of getting it. It is only by enduring that we learn to endure, even as by swimming men learn to swim. You could not learn that art on dry land, nor learn patience without trouble. Is it not worth while to suffer tribulation for the sake of gaining that beautiful equanimity of mind which quietly acquiesces in all the will of God? Yet our text sets forth a singular fact, which is not according to nature but is supernatural. Tribulation in and of itself worketh petulance, unbelief, and rebellion. It is only by the sacred alchemy of grace that it is made to work in us patience. We do not thresh the wheat to lay the dust: yet the Rail of tribulation does this upon God’s floor. We do not toss a man about in order to give him rest, and yet so the LORD dealeth with His children. Truly this is not the manner of man but greatly redounds to the glory of our all-wise God. Oh, for grace to let my trials bless me! Why should I wish to stay their gracious operation? LORD, I ask Thee to remove my affliction, but I beseech Thee ten times more to remove my impatience. Precious LORD Jesus, with Thy cross engrave the image of Thy patience on my heart. 

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Risk-Takers

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by Suzanne D. Williams

In my youth, before writing, I had one selfish image of books – what enjoyment and satisfaction I’d find in reading. As an author, it became a process, weeks, months, of my time, as well as a whole lot of self-doubt and headaches. But recently, my thoughts on books have altered yet again. Greater than the steps it took me to put it in a readers’ hands, than the frustration I’ve experienced in writing, a book is people.

This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last few years. A book is the author’s family supporting (or not supporting) their efforts. It’s an editor, taking his or her time to read and study it, to leave notes. It’s a book cover artist sharing their vision, a publisher deeming it fit for their label (or an independent author choosing to go on their own). It’s printers, binders, marketing gurus, website designers, even the (sometimes hated) sales website aficionados.

It takes a great deal of people to change what was once only the wispiest thoughts in an author’s head into something that a mom, a teen, a dad might read.

I’ve never been a risk taker. I don’t climb things or jump off things. Or race or rollercoaster. I don’t even like to travel. I’ve jokingly said I’d love to visit Italy but only if I could come home at night and sleep in my bed. I don’t like to be out after dark. I don’t particularly like holidays. I don’t want to “get together,” entertain, or be in a crowd.

Yet, I’ve realized that the greatest risk I take has nothing to do with my need to live sheltered and inert. I don’t have leap from an airplane or hike fifty miles into the wilderness and live off grubs to make a huge step into the unknown. I take a risk every time I write, when I come to that place where I’m uncomfortable and I’m not sure if I should say this next bit or not.

In truth, it’s writing what makes me uneasy that’s often the most effective part of a story. If it influences me, it will influence my readers. But for a Christian author, it goes far deeper than that.

I heard a preacher tell a story long ago that has never fully left my thinking. He described the world as a mass of people walking toward a cliff. He watched them fall, none of them knowing where they were headed, and he heard God say the power of his words would pull them back.

These people who produce a book, the people who read it, the people who love it, and yes, those who don’t, will read what I’ve written, the risk I’ve taken, and those words will change them. Not every story is written with some huge spiritual motive, but everything I write affects someone, and like that preacher, I wonder who will pause, for a moment, after seeing my thoughts transformed on the page and pull themselves back from the cliff.

This gives writing such an urgency in my heart and has altered my view of books. There is no more casualness about it for me. When I started, I’d spit out stories like they were packs of chewing gum. Now, I can’t. Because what if what I’ve done sends someone racing over that cliff? Conversely, what if the risk I take, saying what no one else will say, has the best reward of all, it changes someone’s day, life, for the better? That means more than all the dollars I’ve earned.

People write books. People create books. People read books. People with families, successes, losses. People making choices. People who will affect more people. As an author, I can never afford to turn loose of that.

I am a writer, and my words make a difference.

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 The Romance of Youth

The sweet innocence of youth, the first blush of love, and, along the way, moral lessons about faith, forgiveness, friendship, and family.

About The Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

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Gems From Pastor Jim – 9/18/2018

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 28:2 Where there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But with wise and knowledgeable leaders, there is stability.

Rotten to the core is how we can describe most countries today. Everywhere you turn you see evil glorified. You see people seemingly with no shame doing things in public that are immoral. You see blatant disregard for godly living. People are abused and used for personal pleasure and gain. Where there is restrictions on public behavior, there is often a disregard for human life or accepted mistreatment of women and children. No matter how it manifests itself, sin is everywhere.

Some try to legislate morality in an effort to keep peace and order in society. It doesn’t work. Moral laws cannot change the soul. You cannot mask evil hearts with laws. When those who are evil run government, bad things happen and eventually governments fall and chaos reigns. Unstable people cannot produce a stable country.

On the other hand, where there are wise and knowledgeable leaders there are stable governments. Such people are grounded by the truth. Wisdom comes from God. He is the source of all lasting truth. Only in God do we find that which works in life. Only in God do we find a way to live that ensures us of eternal life. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. It is taking the Word of God and applying it well to life.

Knowledge doesn’t just happen. It comes from honest and open-hearted searching for truth. It is understanding that is gleaned from studying the Scriptures and from living by faith. It is an ever-expanding discovery of how to live a life pleasing to God.

Wise and knowledgeable leaders govern well and keeps a country stable. They are people who respect life. They treat people well. They do what is good for the common good of the people. They live respectable lives and they do not lord it over others. Wise and knowledgeable people understand the dangers of power and do not let it go to their heads.

Pray that the Lord would raise up wise and knowledgeable people to lead you. Ask Him to intervene and move those over you to do what is right in His sight. Ask Him to keep those who rule over you humble. Pray for peace and stability.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Disagreements on Social Media

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by Parker J. Cole

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Faith’s Checkbook: Mark of Divine Approval

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown Of Life, which the LORD hath promised to them that love Him”   (James 1:12).

Yes, he is blessed while he is enduring the trial. No eye can see this till he has been anointed with heavenly eye salve. But he must endure it and neither rebel against God nor turn aside from his integrity. He is blessed who has gone through the fire and has not been consumed as a counterfeit. When the test is over, then comes the hallmark of divine approval — “the crown of life.” As if the LORD said, “Let him live; he has been weighed in the balances, and he is not found wanting.” Life is the reward: not mere being, but holy, happy, true existence, the realization of the divine purpose concerning us. Already a higher form of spiritual life and enjoyment crowns those who have safely passed through fiercest trials of faith and love. The LORD hath promised the crown of life to those who love Him. Only lovers of the LORD will hold out in the hour of trial; the rest will either sink or sulk, or slink back to the world. Come, my heart, dost thou love thy LORD? Truly? Deeply? Wholly? Then that love will be tried; but many waters will not quench it, neither will the Roods drown it, LORD, let Thy love nourish mine to the end.

If You would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Faith’s Checkbook: What of My House?

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

This gospel for a man with a sword at his throat is the gospel for me. This would suit me if I were dying, and it is all that I need while I am living. I look away from self, and sin, and all idea of personal merit, and I trust the LORD Jesus as the Savior whom God has given. I believe in Him, I rest on Him, I accept Him to be my all in all. LORD, I am saved, and I shall be saved to all eternity, for I believe in Jesus. Blessed be Thy name for this. May I daily prove by my life that I am saved from selfishness, and worldliness, and every form of evil. But those last words about my “house”: LORD, I would not run away with half a promise when Thou dost give a whole one. I beseech Thee, save all my family. Save the nearest and dearest. Convert the children and the grandchildren, if I have any. Be gracious to my servants and all who dwell under my roof or work for me. Thou makest this promise to me personally if I believe in the LORD Jesus; I beseech Thee to do as Thou hast said. I would go over in my prayer every day the names of all my brothers and sisters, parents, children, friends, relatives, servants, and give Thee no rest till that word is fulfilled, “and thy house.”

If  you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

 

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Gems From Pastor Jim – 9/11/2018

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by Jim Hughes

CrossProv. 27:20 Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.

There are some things in life you can count on; death is one of them. No one will escape death unless it’s those who are taken to heaven when the Lord returns. Death is no respecter of people. No matter what kind of life is lived, all will die. You will die. Knowing that death is going to happen, it ought to cause us to think about it and what God says about it. No one is guaranteed another day, another moment. You may not finish reading this devotional today. Are you at peace with what is going to happen to you when you die? Are you ready to face God and give an account for how and why you have lived like you do?

Destruction is another certain reality. Destruction is the natural by-product of sin. Sin destroys. It comes in various ways and times. It is unavoidable, but we don’t have to be victims of it. We can rise above the forces of destruction when we stay focused in Christ. Things may not go well for us and we may suffer greatly, but in Christ we have victory over all things. We can handle whatever we face when Jesus is Lord of life.

Human desire is something else that never ends. God created us with natural desires that must be dealt with constantly. God gave us desires for the things that sustain us and keeps us going. Our desires are never satisfied because our needs never go away. It is true in every area of our lives. We are a needy people. The only time we will cease to have need is when we die. Our greatest need is our need for the Lord. If we know the Lord we know just how much we constantly need Him. We need His constant presence and influence in our lives. If we lose grip on Him we quickly fall into the cesspool of sin. A life of soul destruction is just a sin away. When we cave in and let sin into our souls, it soon grows and takes over. We must be diligent guardians of our souls. We need the Lord.

Have you gotten lax about your soul? Has sin crept in? Today is the day of repentance for you. You may not live long enough to have another chance to repent. The Lord guarantees forgiveness for all who come to Him humbly, confess their sins, and seek His forgiveness. Is your heart right with God today?

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Jonah: When GOD Calls

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JONAH: When GOD Calls

The Book of Jonah
By Deborah H. Bateman

Go to: http://bookShow.me/B07CRNTHXK

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JONAH: When GOD Calls by Deborah H. Bateman is a Daily Bible Reading study of the book of Jonah from the Old Testament of the Bible. Even though Jonah was a respected prophet, when God called him to go to Nineveh, instead of being obedient he ran in the other direction. Jonah soon learned that he could run from God, but he couldn’t hide.

God needed Jonah to deliver a message to the people of Nineveh and when God has a job to do He will get it done one way or the other. Jonah repents and follows through with God’s orders, but isn’t really happy with the outcome. We learn about being an obedient servant of God from the story of Jonah. Even though you may have heard the story as a child, there is much more to consider as an adult.

JONAH: When GOD Calls is the 34th book in the Daily Bible Reading Series. The book only contains four Daily Bible Reading lessons, but it is packed with action. Each lesson consists of a brief commentary by the author, the Daily Bible Reading Scripture, a few questions for consideration or discussion, a prayer, and a Bible Verse to journal or memorize. This book is great as a personal devotional or a group Bible Study.

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The Reach of Almighty Grace

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God”   (Hosea 1:10).

Sovereign grace can make strangers into sons, and the LORD here declares His purpose to deal thus with rebels and make them know what He has done. Beloved reader, the LORD has done this in my case; has He done the like for you? Then let us join hands and hearts in praising His adorable name. Some of us were so decidedly ungodly that the LORD’s Word most truly said to our conscience and heart, “Ye are not my people.” In the house of God and in our own homes, when we read the Bible, this was the voice of God’s Spirit in our soul, “Ye are not my people.” Truly a sad, condemning voice it was. But now, in the same places, from the same ministry and Scripture, we hear a voice, which saith, “Ye are the sons of the living God.” Can we be grateful enough for this? Is it not wonderful? Does it not give us hope for others? Who is beyond the reach of almighty grace? How can we despair of any, since the LORD has wrought so marvelous a change in us?He who has kept this one great promise will keep every other; wherefore, let us go forward with songs of adoration and confidence.

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Genesis: Book of Beginnings (Journey Through the Bible Book 1) FREE September 3 – September 7

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My book “Genesis: Book of Beginnings” is FREE for 5 Days Monday, September 3 to Friday, September 7.

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

This book is a Bible Study of the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. The Bible text used for this study is the King James Version (KJV). This Book is the first book in the Series entitled Journey Through the Bible. Genesis: Book of Beginnings Book 1

This book is a Study Guide for the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. The Bible text used for the study is the King James Version (KJV). It is fitting that we should start with Genesis, which is the book of Beginnings. Genesis: The Book of Beginnings is the first book in this series of Journey Through the Bible.

Genesis means “the beginning” and it is a book of beginnings. It records the creation of the world and the beginning of the nation of Israel. Chapters 12-50 focus on one man, Abraham, and his descendants. Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob are called the patriarchs of Israel. Jacob’s twelve sons are the beginnings of the twelve tribes of Israel. Through Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, the whole family settles in Egypt.

The word Genesis means origin or creation. Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, is a book of beginnings. It has been said that every major doctrine has its seed or beginning in Genesis. For example, the material universe, the human race, sin, the promise of the Messiah, languages and the Hebrew nation all have their beginnings in the book of Genesis. For this reason Genesis is called the seed pot of the whole Bible. Every great fact, truth and revelation is found in this book in germ form. The book of Genesis is essential to the understanding of all the other books of the Bible.

Moses wrote the book of Genesis about 1500 years before Christ. Moses received the oracles directly from God. They were not handed down by word-of-mouth (Acts 7: 37, 38). God can just as easily tell a person the past as he can the future. The book Genesis covers a time period of nearly 2500 years, from the Creation to the journey of Israel into Egypt.

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