Bulletin Edition December 2019

“My Meditation of Him Shall Be Sweet” Psalms 104:34

When you and I first came to Jesus Christ we came to a person, we believed in a person, we trusted a person to save us. Of course we believed his doctrine as he gave us understanding, but his doctrine told us of the person. It’s not just the doctrine about him that is sweet but the person the doctrine tells us of is sweet. He is the Father’s Well-Beloved and the Well-Beloved of the Church and the Well-Beloved of every believing soul. We love his offices as our Prophet, Priest and King, but we love them because of the person who occupies them. This is where we find the sweetness of it all. All things about Jesus is sweet because he himself is sweet – “My mediation of him shall be sweet.” To meditate upon the work of our Redeemer is sweet because he himself is sweet. Christ is sweet to our affections. He is sweet to our understanding. He is sweet to our memory. He is presently sweet. My mediation of him is sweet when I think of the future, for he himself is my hope of eternal bliss – Oh, sweet bliss! O sweet Jesus 

Oh, his love is sweet – it’s the love of God. His blood is sweet – it’s the blood of God. His natures are sweet – Jesus the God-man. Meditate my heart upon Jesus. Fill yourself with himself and the sweetness of himself will fill you.
Bruce Crabtree

Things that Promote Peace

Let us therefore follow after the things which promote peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19).

1.)   Be careful to LOVE one another with a true heart. “Love covers a multitude of failures.” 

2.)   Avoid a spirit of ARGUMENT AND DEBATE. One may win an argument and lose a friend. 

3.)   Beware of JEALOUSY. Jealousy destroys happiness and builds suspicion. 

4.)   Beware of ENVY. Let us learn to rejoice in another’s gifts, blessings, and happiness. God gives as HE will!

5.)   Do not MEDDLE in the private lives and domestic affairs of others. 

6.)   Guard against a TOUCHY TEMPER: “For every trifling thing to take offense shows either great pride or little sense.”

7.)   Learn to KEEP A CONFIDENCE. “He that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”

8.)   Strive to HEAL DIFFERENCES. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” 

9.)   Be always ready to FORGIVE ANYTHING. “Forgive us our sins AS we forgive those who sin against us.”  

     ~Henry Mahan

Judge Not According to Appearance, 

John 7:24 – Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

There was a poor girl who was not married when she discovered she was pregnant. She left town to have the baby. Judging by the appearance we would conclude that this was sinful. One can only imagine the rumors that folks must have spread about her.

Well, this girl was a sinner alright but she was chosen of God and saved by God’s free grace like every other child of God. She left town because it was written in the scriptures, which Christ came to fulfill. The Holy Ghost overshadowed her and that holy thing formed in her womb is called “the Son of God,” the Redeemer who successfully redeemed all his people from the curse of the law on the cross.

Do you see how wrong we can be when we judge according to the appearance” Therefore, God our Savior declares unto us “Judge not according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment.” 

Chris Cunningham

It was His own love that fastened Him there!

(Octavius Winslow, “Morning Thoughts”)

“Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen

 to Him.”  John 18:4

His voluntariness was not founded on ignorance.

He well knew what the covenant of redemption

involved; what stern justice demanded. The entire

scene of His humiliation was before Him, in all its

dark and somber hues . . .

  the manger,

  the bloodthirsty king,

  the scorn and ridicule of His countrymen,

  the unbelief of His own kinsmen,

  the mental agony of Gethsemane,

  the bloody sweat,

  the bitter cup,

  the waywardness of His disciples,

  the betrayal of one,

  the denial of another,

  the forsaking of all,

  the mock trial,

  the purple robe,

  the crown of thorns,

  the infuriated cries, “Away with Him, away

        with Him! Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

  the heavy cross,

  the painful crucifixion,

  the cruel taunts,

  the vinegar and the gall,

  the hidings of His Father’s countenance,

  the concentrated horrors of the curse,

  the last cry of anguish,

  the falling of the head,

  the giving up the spirit;

all, all was before the omniscient mind of the

Son of God, with vividness equal to its reality.

And yet He willingly rushed to the rescue of

ruined man! He voluntarily, though He knew

the price of pardon was His blood, gave Himself

up thus to the bitter, bitter agony.

And did He regret that He had undertaken the work?


Every step He took from Bethlehem to Calvary

did but unfold the willingness of Jesus to die.

Oh, how amazing was the love of Jesus!

This, this was the secret why He did not spare

His own life. He loved sinners too well.

He loved us better than Himself. With all our

sinfulness, guilt, wretchedness, and poverty;

He yet loved us so much as to give Himself an

offering and sacrifice unto God for us. Here was

the springhead where these streams of mercy

flowed from. This was the gushing fountain

that was opened when He died.

And when they taunted Him and said, “If You are

the King of the Jews, save Yourself,” oh, what a

reply did His silence give, “I came not to save

Myself, but My people. I hang here, not for My

own sins, but for theirs. I could save Myself,

but I came to give My life a ransom for many.”

They thought the nails alone kept Him

to the cross. He knew it was His own love

that fastened Him there!

Behold the strength of Immanuel’s love!

Come, fall prostrate, adore and worship Him!

Oh, what love was His!

Oh the depth!

Do not content not yourself with standing upon

the shore of this ocean; enter into it, drink largely

from it. It is for you, if you but feel . . .

   your nothingness,

   your poverty,

   your vileness;

this ocean is for you!

It is not for angels, it is for men.

It is not for the righteous, but for sinners.

Then drink to the full from the love of Jesus.

Do not be satisfied with small supplies.

Take a large vessel to the fountain.

The larger the demand, the larger the supply.

The more needy, the more welcome.

The more vile, the more fit.

The whole apparatus of religion

(J. C. Philpot, “Reviews”)

“I see that you are very religious in every way.”

      Acts 17:22

Religion, in some shape or other, is indispensable

to the very existence of civilized society. There is

a natural religion–as well as a spiritual religion.

Natural conscience is the seat of the former;

a spiritual conscience the seat of the latter.

One is of the flesh–the other of the Spirit.

One for time–the other for eternity.

One for the world–the other for the elect.

One to animate and bind men together as

component members of society–the other to

animate and bind the children of God together

as component members of the mystical body

of Christ.

True religion is what the world does not want

–nor does true religion want the world.

The two are as separate as Christ and Belial.

But some religion the world must have!

And as it will not have, and cannot have

the true–it will and must have the false.

True religion is . . .

  spiritual and experimental,

  heavenly and divine,

  the gift and work of God,

  the birthright and privilege of the elect,

  the peculiar possession of the heirs of God.

This the world has not, for it is God’s enemy–not

His friend–walking in the broad way which leads

to perdition–not in the narrow way which leads

to eternal life.

Worldly religion cannot exist without an order of

men to teach it and practice its ceremonies. Hence

come clergy, forming a recognized priestly caste.

And as these must, to avoid confusion, be governed,

all large corporate bodies requiring a controlling power,

thence come bishops and archbishops, ecclesiastical

courts, archdeacons–and the whole apparatus of

clerical government.

The ceremonies and ordinances cannot be carried on

without buildings set apart for the purpose–thence

churches and cathedrals.

As prayer is a part of all religious worship, and carnal

men cannot, for lack of the Spirit, pray spiritually–they

must have forms of devotion made ready to their hand,

thence come prayer-books and liturgies.

As there must be mutual points of agreement to hold

men together, there must be written formulas of doctrine

–thence come articles, creeds, and confessions of faith.

And finally, as there are children to be instructed, and

this cannot be safely left to oral teaching, for fear of

ignorance in some and error in others, the very form

of instruction must be drawn up in so many words–

thence come catechisms.

People are puzzled sometimes to know why there is

this and that thing in an established religion–why we

have churches and clergy, tithes and prayer-books,

universities and catechisms–and the whole apparatus

of religion. They do not see that all these things have

sprung, as it were, out of a moral necessity, and are

based upon the very constitution of man–that this

great and widespread tree of a human religion has

its deep roots in the natural conscience; and that all

these branches necessarily and naturally grow out of

the broad and lofty stem.

The attachment, then, of worldly people to a worldly

religion is no great mystery. It is no riddle for a Samson

to put forth–or requiring a Solomon to solve.

It was not sects, or creeds, or doctrines, or

churches, or ecclesiastical organizations!

(MacDuff, “A Chapter in Providence and Grace”)

It is not dead doctrine, dry formulated dogma

which the soul needs, but a living Being.

Paul thus exults, in what may be called a dying

testimony, “I know WHOM I have believed.”

It was not . . .


  or creeds,

  or doctrines,

  or churches,

  or ecclesiastical organizations,

that the dying hero clung to, in the

hour of departure, but . . .

  the glorious Person of the divine Immanuel,

  the living Presence of the ever living, ever loving Savior;

  the Brother,

  the Friend on the throne,

whom he had learned to love more

dearly than all the world beside!

A religious animal

(Philpot, “The Exercise and Profit of Godliness” 1850)

“Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious,

 for as I was walking along I saw your many altars.

 And one of them had this inscription on it—TO AN

 UNKNOWN GOD.” Acts 17:22-23

Man has been called, and perhaps with some truth,

a religious animal. Religion of some kind, at any rate,

seems almost indispensable to his very existence—for

from the most civilized nation, to the most barbarous

tribe upon the face of the earth—we find some form of

religion practiced. Whether this is ingrained into the

very constitution of man, or whether it be received by

custom or tradition—I will not pretend to decide. But

that some kind of religion is almost universally

prevalent, is a fact that cannot be denied.

We will always find these two kinds of religion . . .

  false and true,

  earthly and heavenly,

  fleshly and spiritual,

  natural and supernatural.

Compare this vital, spiritual, heavenly,

divine, supernatural religion . . .

  this work of grace upon the soul,

  this teaching of God in the heart,

  this life of faith within

—with its flimsy counterfeit.

Compare the actings of . . .

  real faith,

  real hope,

  real love;

the teachings, the dealings, the leadings, and

the operations of the blessed Spirit in the soul

—with rounds of . . .


  superstitious forms,

  empty ceremonies, and

a notional religion, however puffed up and varnished.

Compare the life of God in the heart of a true Christian,

amid all his dejection, despondency, trials, temptations,

and exercises; compare that precious treasure, Christ’s

own grace in the soul—with all mere . . .

  external religion,

  superficial religion,

  notional religion.

O, it is no more to be compared than a grain of dust

with a diamond! No more to be compared than a criminal

in a dungeon to the King on the throne! In fact, there is

no comparison between them.

I saw the Lord!

John Newton

“In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord! He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of His robe filled the Temple. Hovering around Him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. In a great chorus they sang, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is filled with His glory!’ The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke! Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!'” Isaiah 6:1-5

Oh! for a glance of what Isaiah saw, and has described! Oh! that we, by the power of that faith, could behold the glory of the Lord filling this house; that we could realize the presence and the attitude of His attendant angels! They cover their faces and their feet with their wings, as overpowered by the beams of His majesty; and conscious, if not of defilement like us, yet of unavoidable inability as creatures, to render Him the whole of that praise and homage which are justly due to Him!

Oh! that, by faith, we could enter into the spirit of their ascription—’Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is filled with His glory!’ If we were all thus affected, as the prophet was, surely each one for himself would adopt the prophet’s language. Or, if a comfortable hope in the Gospel prevented us from crying out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!” we should, at least, say, (the Hebrew word might be so rendered,) “I am silenced, I am struck dumb! I am overwhelmed with confusion and shame; for I am a man of unclean lips myself, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!”

If we have a degree of this impression, we shall not perplex ourselves concerning the second causes, or immediate instruments of our calamities. The evil of sin, contrasted with the holiness and glory of God, will engross our thoughts! And we shall ascribe all the troubles we either feel or fear—to our own sins, and the sins of those among whom we dwell.

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