Bulletin Edition January 2020

“Take heed unto yourselves!” Acts 20:28

This was Paul’s public warning to the elders of

the church at Ephesus. It was Paul’s private

warning to his friend and disciple, his beloved

son, Timothy. And do not all who write or speak

in the name of the Lord need the same warning?

Familiarity with sacred things has a natural

tendency to harden the conscience, where

grace does not soften and make it tender.

Men may preach and pray until both become a

mere mechanical habit; and they may talk about

Christ and His sufferings until they feel as little

touched by them as a ‘tragic actor’ on the stage,

of the sorrows which he impersonates.

Well, then, may the Holy Spirit sound this note of

warning, as with trumpet voice, in the ears of the

servants of Christ. “Take heed unto yourselves!”

Because he first loved us

by Spurgeon

“We love him because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

There is no light in the planet but that which proceeds from

the sun; and there is no true love to Jesus in the heart but

that which comes from the Lord Jesus himself.

From this overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God,

all our love to God must spring. This must ever be a great

and certain truth, that we love him for no other reason than

because he first loved us. Our love to him is “the fair

offspring” of his love to us.

Cold admiration, when studying the works of God,

anyone may have.

But the warmth of love can only be kindled in

the heart by God’s Spirit.

How great the wonder that such as we should ever have

been brought to love Jesus at all! How marvelous that

when we had rebelled against him, he should, by a display

of such amazing love, seek to draw us back. No! never

should we have had a grain of love towards God unless it

had been sown in us by the sweet seed of his love to us.

Our love, then, has for its parent the love of God shed

abroad in the heart: but after it is thus divinely born, it must

“be divinely nourished”.

Love is an exotic– it is not a plant which will flourish

naturally in human soil, it must be watered from above.

Love to Jesus is a flower of a delicate nature, and if it

received no nourishment but that which could be drawn

from the rock of our hearts it would soon wither.

As love comes from heaven, so it must feed on heavenly

bread. It cannot exist in the wilderness unless it be fed by

manna from on high.

Love must feed on love.

The very soul and life of our love to God is his love to us.

“I love you, Lord, but with no love of mine,

For I have none to give;

I love you, Lord; but all the love is yours,

For by your love I live.

I am as nothing, and rejoice to be

Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in you.”

If Christ has our love…

If Christ has our love he has our all; and Christ never has what

he deserves from us, until he has our love. True love withholds

nothing from Christ, when it is sincerely set upon him. If we

actually love him, he will have our time, and he will have our

service. He will have the use of all our resources, and gifts, and

graces. Indeed, then he shall have our possessions, and our

very lives, whenever he calls for them.

In the same way, when God loves any of us, he will withhold

nothing from us that is truly good for us. He does not hold

back his own only begotten Son, Rom.8:32.

When Christ loves us, he gives us everything we need– his

merits to justify us, his Spirit to sanctify us, his grace to adorn

us and his glory to crown us. Therefore, when any of us love

Christ sincerely, we lay everything down at his feet, and give

up all to be at his command and service. “…they did not love

their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Rev. 12:11.

“Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” Revelation 2:5

Octavious Winslow

Let the backsliding believer be brought to this first step. “Remember from where you are fallen”—revert to your past history, your former spiritual state—remember your first sorrow for sin, the first joy of its pardon—remember the spring-tide of your first love—how precious Jesus was, how glorious was His person, how sweet was His cross, how fragrant was His name, how rich was His grace—remember how dear to you was the throne of grace, how frequently you resorted to it, regarding it of all spots on earth the most blessed—remember how, under the anointings of adopting love, you walked with God as with a Father—how filial, how close, how holy was your communion with Him—remember the seasons of refreshing in the sanctuary, in the social meeting, in the closet; how your soul did seem to dwell on the sunny sides of glory, and you longed for the wings of a dove that you might fly to your Lord; remember how, publicly and before many witnesses, you put off sin and put on Christ, and; turning your back upon the world, took your place among the followers of the Lamb—remember how holy, and circumspect, and spotless your walk, how tender was your conscience, how guileless was your spirit, how humble and lovely your whole deportment. But what and where are you now? Oh, remember from where you are fallen! Think from what a high profession, from what an elevated walk, from what holy employments, from what hallowed joys, from what sweet delights, and from what pleasant ways have you declined!

But in the exhortation given to the backsliding church at Ephesus, there is yet another instruction equally applicable to the case of all wanderers from the Lord: “Repent, and do the first works.” How can a departing soul return without repentance? by what other avenue can the prodigal reach his Father’s heart? Repentance implies the existence and conviction of sin. Ah! is it no sin, beloved reader, to have turned your back upon God? is it no sin to have lost your first love, to have backslidden from Jesus, to have transferred your affections from Him to the world, or to the creature, or to yourself? is it no sin to go no more with the Shepherd, and to follow no more the footsteps of the flock, and to feed no more in the green pastures, or repose by the side of the still waters? Oh yes! it is a sin of peculiar magnitude; it is a sin against God in the character of a loving Father, against Jesus in the character of a tender Redeemer, against the Holy Spirit in the character of a faithful Indweller and a Sanctifier; it is a sin against the most precious experience of His grace, against the most melting exhibitions of His love, and against the most tender proofs of His covenant faithfulness.

Repent, then, of this your sin. Think how you have wounded Jesus afresh, and repent; think how you have requited your Father’s love, and repent; think how you have grieved the Spirit, and repent. Humble yourself in dust and ashes before the cross, and through that cross look up again to your forgiving God and Father. The sweet promise is, “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son.”

“Accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6


We are ever looking for something in SELF to make ourselves acceptable to God, and are often sadly cast down and discouraged when we cannot find that holiness, that obedience, that calm submission to the will of God, that serenity of soul, that spirituality and heavenly-mindedness which we believe to be acceptable in his sight. Our crooked tempers, fretful peevish minds, rebellious thoughts, coldness, barrenness and death, our alienation from good, and headlong proneness to evil, with the daily feeling that we get no better but rather worse, make us think that God views us just as we view ourselves. And this brings on great darkness of mind and bondage of spirit, until we seem to lose sight of our acceptance in Christ, and get into the miserable dregs of SELF, almost ready to quarrel with God because we are so vile, and only get worse as we get older.

Now the more we get into these dregs of SELF, and the more we keep looking at the dreadful scenes of wreck and ruin which our heart presents to daily view, the farther do we get from the grace of the gospel, and the more do we lose sight of the only ground of our acceptance with God. It is “in the Beloved” alone, that we are accepted, and not for any good words, or good works, good thoughts, good hearts, or good intentions of our own.

And a saving knowledge of our acceptance “in the Beloved,” independent of everything in us either good or bad, is a firm foundation for our faith and hope, and will keep us from sinking altogether into despair.

So fathomless, boundless, and inexhaustible!

(From Octavius Winslow’s, “Christ, the Wonderful”)

Christ is wonderful in His love.

Love was the first and eternal link in the golden

chain lowered from the highest throne in heaven

down to the lowest depth of earth.

That Christ should love us was the beginning of

wonders. When we endeavor to comprehend that

love, measure it, fathom it, scale it; we learn that

it has heights we cannot reach, depths we cannot

sound, lengths and breadths we cannot measure!

Such love,

such divine love,

such infinite love,

such everlasting love,

such redeeming, dying love,

is an Ocean whose eternal waves waft into our

fallen world every wonder of God and of heaven.

That Jesus should love such beings as us; that

He should love us while we were yet sinners;

that He should set his heart upon us, choose us,

die for us, call us, and finally bring us to glory,

knowing what we were, and what we should prove,

Oh, this is wondrous love indeed!

Plunge into this fathomless, boundless ocean of love,

O you sin burdened one! It will cover all your sins,

it will efface all your guilt; it will flood over all your

unworthiness; and, floating upon its golden waves,

it will gently waft you to the shore of eternal blessedness.

How often have you wondered why Christ should set

His heart upon such a one as you! And is it not a

wonder that, amid all your fickleness, backslidings,

cold, base returns, this love of God towards you has

not chilled or changed?

But do not rest, do not be satisfied with your present

limited experience of Christ’s wonderful love. It is so

marvelously great. This Ocean of love is so fathomless,

boundless, and inexhaustible, you may plunge, with

all your infirmities, sin, and sorrow, into its fullness,

exclaiming, “O the depth!”

“The well is deep,” drink abundantly, O beloved!

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