Monday, May 30, 2011

God breaks those he wants to make great

God Breaks Those He Wants To Make Great

Spurgeon is at his best in the following quote. He speaks about the way in which God likes to bring people to the very end of themselves before taking ahold of them and using them for his glory:
Is it not a curious thing that whenever God means to make a man great, He always first breaks him in pieces? There was a man whom the Lord meant to make into a prince. How did He do it? Why, He met him one night and wrestled with him! You always hear about Jacob’s wrestling. Well, I dare say he did, but it was not Jacob who was the principal wres- tler—“There wrestled a man with Him until the breaking of the day.” God touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh and put it out of joint before He called him “Israel,” that is, “a Prince of God.” The wrestling was to take all his strength out of him and when his strength was gone, then God called him a prince.
 Now, David was to be king over all Israel. What was the way to Jerusalem for David? What was the way to the throne? Well, it was round by the cave of Adullam. He must go there and be an outlaw and an outcast, for that was the way by which he would be made king. Have none of you ever no- ticed, in your own lives, that whenever God is going to give you an enlargement and bring you out to a larger sphere of service, or a higher platform of spiritual life, you always get thrown down? That is His usual way of working! He makes you hungry before He feeds you! He strips you before He robes you! He makes nothing of you before He makes something of you! This was the way with David. He is to be king in Jerusalem, but He must go to the throne by the way of the cave. Now, are any of you here going to Heaven, or going to a more heavenly state of sanctification, or going to a greater sphere of usefulness? Do not wonder if you go by the way of the cave. Why is that?It is, first, because if God would make you greatly useful, He must teach you how to pray! The man who is a great preacher and yet cannot pray, will come to a bad end. A woman who cannot pray and yet is noted for the conducting of Bible classes, has already come to a bad end. If you can be great without prayer, your greatness will be your ruin! If God means to bless you greatly, He will make you pray greatly, as He does David who says in this part of his preparation for coming to his throne, “I cried unto the Lord with my voice: with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.”
Next, the man whom God would greatly honor must always believe in God when he is at his wits’ end. “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.” Are you never at your wits’ end? God has not sent you to do business in great waters, for, if He has, you will reel to and fro and be at your wits’ end, in a great storm, before long! Oh, it is easy to trust when you can trust yourself, but when you cannot trust yourself—when you are dead beat, when your spirit sinks below zero in the chill of utter despair—then is the time to trust in God. If that is your case, you have the marks of a man who can lead God’s people and be a comforter of others.

Next, in order to greater usefulness, many a man of God must be taught to stand alone. “I looked on my right hand, and behold, but there was no man that would know me.” If you need men to help you, you may make a very decent fol- lower. But if you need no man and can stand alone, God being your Helper, you shall be helped to be a leader. Oh, it was a grand thing when Luther stepped out from the ranks of Rome! There were many good men round him who said, “Be quiet, Martin. You will get burnt if you do not hold your tongue! Let us keep where we are, in the Church of Rome, even if we have to swallow down great lumps of dirt. We can believe the Gospel and still remain where we are.” But Luther knew that he must defy Antichrist and declare the pure Gospel of the blessed God! And he must stand alone for the Truth of God even if there were as many devils against him as there were tiles on the housetops at Worms! That is the kind of man whom God blesses! I would to God that many a young man here might have the courage to feel, in his particular position, “I can stand alone, if need be. I am glad to have my master and my fellow workmen with me, but if nobody will go to Heaven with me, I will say farewell to them and go to Heaven alone through the Grace of God’s dear Son.”

Once more, the man whom God will bless must be the man who delights in God alone. David says, “I cried unto You, O Lord: I said, You are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.” Oh, to have God as our refuge and to make God our portion! “You will lose your job! You will lose your income. You will lose the approbation of your fellow men.” “Ah,” says the Believer, “but I shall not lose my Portion, for God is my Portion! He is job, and income, and every- thing to me—and I will hold by Him, come what may.” If you have learned to “delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.” Now you are come into such a state that God can use you and make much of you—but until you make much of God, He never will make much of you! God deliver us from having our portion in this life, for, if we have, we are not among His people at all!
He whom God would use must be taught sympathy with God’s poor people. Hence we get these words of David, in the sixth verse, “I am brought very low.” Mr. Greatheart, though he must be strong to kill Giant Grim and any others of the giants that infest the Pilgrim path, must be a man who has gone that road himself if he is to be a leader of others. If the Lord means to bless you, my Brother, and to make you very useful in His Church, depend upon it, He will try you. Half, perhaps nine-tenths of the trials of God’s ministers are not sent to them on their own account. They are sent for the good of other people. Many a child of God who goes very smoothly to Heaven, does very little for others. But another of the Lord’s children who has all the ins and outs and changes of an experienced Believer’s life, has them only that he may be better fitted to help others! That he may be able to sit down and weep with them that weep, or to stand up and rejoice with them that rejoice.
So then, dear Brothers who have got into the cave, and you, my Sisters, who have deep spiritual exercises, I want to comfort you by showing you that this is God’s way of making something of you. He is digging you out! You are like an old ditch—you cannot hold any more—and God is digging you out to make more room for more Grace. That spade will cut sharply and dig up sod after sod, and throw it to one side. The very thing you would like to keep shall be cast away and you shall be hollowed out, and dug out, that the word of Elisha may be fulfilled, “Make this valley full of ditches. For thus says the Lord, You shall not see wind, neither shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water.” You are to be tried, my Friend, that God may be glorified in you!

Lastly, if God means to use you, you must get to be full of praise. Listen to what David says, “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name: the righteous shall compass me about; for You shall deal bountifully with me.” May God give to my Brothers and Sisters here, who are being tried for their good and afflicted for their promotion, Grace to begin to praise Him! It is the singers that go before—they who can praise best shall be fit to lead others in the work. Do not set me to follow a gloomy leader. Oh, no, dear Sirs, we cannot work to the tune of “The Dead March in Saul”! Our soldiers would never have won Waterloo if that had been the music for the day of battle! No, no! Give us a rejoicer—“Sing unto the Lord who has triumphed gloriously; praise His great name again and again.” Draw the sword and strike home! If you are of a cheerful spirit, glad in the Lord and joyous after all your trials and afflictions, and if you can rejoice more because you have been brought so low, then God is making something of you and He will yet use you to lead His people to greater works of Grace!
-C.H. Spurgeon Sermon 2282 David’s Prayer in the Cave(HT TGC)

          From Adrian Warnock's blog 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


At the Youth Meeting at Word Of Grace last week, we continued our discussion on the topic of Finance. The focus of the discussion revolves around “Generosity and Giving”. We were provoked to think beyond ourselves, our wants and greed. As young people who have been working a few years, we now have the experience of earning their own money. One has also developed certain spending habits and an attitude toward money which are not necessarily biblical. 

 As Christians every aspect of our lives needs to be under the Lordship of Jesus which means we seek to only do His will no matter which area of our life it is. It is amazing how slow we are to surrender the purse strings to Jesus, the One who sustains all things by His powerful Word and that includes our jobs, and our very lives. Will we allow Him to challenge our spending habits? Will we allow Him to challenge our giving?

 We live in a world that focuses on self gratification as being one of the highest priorities an teaches us to spend an indulge the flesh, to be self absorbed and self focused. Little thought is given to charity, generosity, helping those in need, giving to God beyond the regular tithe. As Christians we need to excel in giving in every way – be it our money, time, talent, resources, processions, our very selves. The best example is found in our Lord Jesus who gave his very life for us.

We need to remind ourselves that we are to be good stewards of what God has given us and that one day we will have to give the Lord a full account of every area of our lives.
One of the quotes read out: “I hate to say it, but single people are some of the most selfish people on the planet. We’re all selfish, I get that. But singles excel in this vice (I know I did). You’re in a season of your life in which you have a lot of time and (often) excess money to manage. What you do set the course for the next twenty years.” (Jamie Munson- Money: Gift or God. pg89)

Some questions to ask ourselves to check our Generosity Quotient and attitude toward money:
  • 1.      How generous am I toward God – do I only give the bare minim Tithe or do I seek to increase that amount as an act of faith? Am I generous with the offerings(which apart from the tithe) I put into the church?
  • 2.      When was the last time I blessed someone who is unable to reciprocate in a similar manner?
  • 3.      Am I mindful of the needy in my family and my church? Have I done anything to improve their situation apart from pray?
  • 4.      When I go out with friends, do I wait for someone else to pay the bill or am I quick to offer to pay. (An indication is how quickly or slowly your hand reaches for your purse). While friends may go “Dutch”, are there occasions when I want to bless my friends and I am willing to foot the Bill?
  • 5.      How quick am I to make my contributions towards costs that are being split between friends or am I hoping they forget about me eg) Splitting the bill for a meal, a contribution towards a gift etc.
  • 6.      When there is a call for a special offering at church for a cause, a project, do I give the least possible amount that I can get away with or do I ask the Lord to help me be generous and give with a large heart?
  • 7.      What about the domestic help we employ – are we aware of their special needs like sickness, school fees etc (they do not get medical cover like some of us do). Do we seek to help them beyond the meager pay they get for cleaning our homes?
  • 8.      Am I in debt? Do I spend more than I earn? Am I in the habit of borrowing money from others and then am either slow in paying it back or not at all by conveniently forgetting about it? Am I in the habit of “bumming” things off others?
  • 9.      When in a group, do I just buy refreshments for myself or do I offer to buy some of the others as well?
These are a few pointers.  Allow the Holy Spirit to search and instruct your heart. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself and then obey the prompting of the Lord. Your life will be greatly blessed and enrichened by it.

Remember the Lord Jesus is committed to making us more like him in every area of our lives. We are being changed from one degree of glory to another and His grace will see us through. We don’t struggle on our own. His power is made perfect in our weaknesses.
Make giving and generosity a life style and not something you do once in a while.
 Here are some quotes from the Bible and elsewhere to help you ponder on this topic
  • ·          “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you– Luke 6:37-38
  • ·         One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. ” – Prov. 11:24
  • ·          ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’- Acts 20:35
  • ·         God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Corinthians 9:7
  • ·         Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done-- Proverbs 19:17
Quotable Quotes
  • ·         The smallest good deed is worth a thousand grand intentions
  • ·         He, who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.Samuel Johnson
  • ·         There are three kinds of givers -- the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. To get anything out of a flint you must hammer it. And then you get only chips and sparks. To get water out of a sponge you must squeeze it, and the more you use pressure, the more you will get. But the honeycomb just overflows with its own sweetness. Which kind of giver are you?
  • ·         Giving with glad and generous hearts has a way of routing out the tough old miser within us. Even the poor need to know that they can give. Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed. -- Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex & Power.
  • ·         Giving is the highest expression of potency. --Erich Fromm
  • ·         If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. --Bob Hope
  • ·         “No man was ever honored for what he received. Honor is the reward for what he gave.
  • ·         You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.

Let’s aim to be the best givers we can possibly be.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The private peparation of a world changer - By Lex Loizides.

This is an excellent article. How will reading this  affect how we live and prepare to  to serve our Saviour?