Bulletin Edition February 2022

The altar and the tent give us the two great features of Abraham’s character: a worshipper of God and a stranger in the world, having nothing on earth, having our all in God. Abraham had “not so much as to set his foot upon,” but he had God to enjoy and that was enough.                  

Scott Richardson

The more lovely does Jesus appear!

The poor believer feels, “I continually find all kinds

of evil working in my mind; every base corruption

crawling in my heart; everything vile, sensual, and

filthy rising up from its abominable deeps. Can I

think that God can look down in love and mercy

on such a wretch?”

When we see . . .

  our vileness,

  our baseness,

  our carnality,

  our sensuality,

  how our souls cleave to dust,

  how we grovel in evil and hateful things,

  how dark our minds,

  how earthly our affections,

  how depraved our hearts,

  how strong our lusts,

  how raging our passions;

we feel ourselves, at times, no more

fit for God than Satan himself!

“You see, at just the right time, when we were

 utterly helpless, Christ died for the ungodly!”

    Romans 5:6

Christ does not justify those who are naturally

righteous, holy, and religious.

But He takes the sinner as he is, in all his filth

and guilt; washes him in the fountain opened

for sin and uncleanness; and clothes the naked

shivering wretch, who has nothing to cover him

but filthy rags, in His own robe of righteousness!

The gospel of the grace of God brings glad tidings . . .

  of pardon to the criminal,

  of mercy to the guilty, and

  of salvation to the lost!

That the holy God should look down in love on

wretches that deserve the damnation of hell; that

the pure and spotless Jehovah should pity, save,

and bless enemies and rebels, and make them

endless partakers of His own glory; this indeed

is a mystery, the depth of which eternity itself

will not fathom!

The deeper we sink in self-abasement under a

sense of our vileness, the higher we rise in a

knowledge of Christ. And the blacker we are

in our own view, the more lovely does Jesus


J C Philpott 

And I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. Jeremiah 3:19

Octavius Winslow

Fellowship with God is the highest, purest, sweetest mercy a saint of God can have on earth. Yes, it is the highest, purest, sweetest bliss the saints of God can have in heaven. What is the enjoyment of heaven? Not merely exemption from trial, and freedom from sorrow, rest from toil, and release from conflict. Oh no! it is the presence- the full unclouded presence of our Father there. To be with Christ- to behold His glory- to gaze upon His face- to hear His voice- to feel the throbbings of His bosom- to bask in the effulgence of God’s presence- oh, this is heaven, the heaven of heaven!

The twilight of this glory we have here on earth. ”I am not alone,” can each sorrowful and banished soul exclaim, “because the Father is with me.” Yes, beloved, your own Father! “You shall call me my Father.” In Jesus He is your Father- your reconciled, pacified Father- all whose thoughts that He thinks of you are peace, and all whose ways that He takes with you are love. The presence, the voice, the smile of a parent, how precious and soothing! especially when that presence is realised, and that voice is heard, and that smile is seen in the dark, desolate hour of adversity. God is our heavenly Parent. His presence, His care, His smiles are ever with His children. And if there be a solitary child of the one family that shares the richer in the blessing of the Father’s presence than another, it is the sick, the suffering, the lone, the chastened child. Yes, your Father is with you ever. He is with you to cheer your loneliness, to sweeten your solitude, to sanctify your sorrow, to strengthen your weakness, to shield your person, to pardon your sins, and to heal all your diseases. Hearken, in your deep solitude, to His own touching words: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Enough, my Father! if thus You are with me, I am not, I cannot be alone; and if such the bliss with which You do sweeten, and such the glory with which You do irradiate the solitude of Your hidden ones, Lord, let me ever be a hidden one- shut out from all others, shut in alone with You!

“Though you have not seen Him—you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now—you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy!” 1 Peter 1:8\

1Pet. 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1Pet. 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

It is a spiritual sight of Christ—which leads to confidence in Him, and love to Him. Many who saw Him with their bodily eyes—despised and rejected Him. It is the revelation of Him by the Holy Spirit to the heart—which leads to holy delight in Him.

When we see how suited He is to us as perishing sinners—then He becomes precious to us.

When the glories of His person, the perfection of His work, and the love of His heart, are revealed to us—then He becomes, in our estimation, “the chief among ten thousand,” and “the altogether lovely One!”

When His love, in its freeness and fullness, is revealed to us—then love is kindled in our hearts to Him.

May I be led to know more of the precious Saviour. May my apprehensions of His compassion and grace be enlarged. May I comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of His love! Though I have not seen Him, may I rejoice in Him with inexpressible and glorious joy. And may my love to Christ be evident . . .

  by my regard to His will,

  by my concern for His glory, and

  by a constant desire to live to His praise!

Eph. 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph. 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

Eph. 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Author unknown

“At His Feet…” Luke 7:38

Don Fortner

 If ever a man gets sight of Christ’s saving fullness and majestic glory, that man will be found “at his feet”. And he will be most happy to be found “at his feet” always. Oh, may the Lord ever bring us to bow “at his feet”! This poor woman, who was a harlot, found her place at the Master’s feet, and was justified. Let us follow her example. She came to his feet in Faith. She stood at his feet in Hope. She wept at his feet in Brokenness. She washed his feet in Reverence. She wiped his feet in Submission. She kissed his feet in Affection. She anointed his feet in Consecration. All that she possessed was consecrated to the Lord. She devoted herself and all that she had to the Master. In loving gratitude, she sacrificed her richest possessions to the Lord. And she Found Forgiveness “at his feet”.

If Jesus had not been their Saviour, their Shepherd, and their Shield!

(John Newton)

The gracious purposes to which the Lord makes the sense and feeling of our depravity subservient, are manifold.

Hereby His own power, wisdom, faithfulness and love — are more signally displayed.

His power is displayed — in maintaining His own work in the midst of such opposition, like a spark burning in the water, or a bush unconsumed in the flames.

His wisdom is displayed in defeating and controlling all the devices which Satan — who, from his knowledge of the evil of our nature, is encouraged to practice his wily arts against us.

The unchangeableness of the Lord’s love, and the riches of His mercy, are likewise more illustrated, by the multiplied pardons He bestows upon His people — than if they needed no forgiveness at all.

Hereby the Lord Jesus Christ is more endeared to the soul; all boasting is effectually excluded; and the glory of a full and free salvation is ascribed to Him alone.

After a long experience of their own deceitful hearts, after repeated proofs of their weakness, wilfulness, ingratitude, and insensibility — they find that none of these things can separate them from the love of God — and Jesus becomes more and more precious to their souls. They love much — because much has been forgiven them.

They dare not, they will not ascribe anything to themselves, but are glad to acknowledge that they would have perished a thousand times over — if Jesus had not been their Saviour, their Shepherd, and their Shield.

When they were wandering — He brought them back.

When they were fallen — He raised them.

When they were wounded — He healed them.

When they were fainting — He revived them.

In a word, some of the clearest proofs they have had of His excellence, have been occasioned by the mortifying proofs they have had of their own vileness. They would not have known so much of Him — if they had not known so much of themselves!

These are some of the advantages and good fruits which the Lord enables us to obtain from that bitter root, indwelling sin.

Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“O Lord, we are covered with shame—because we have sinned against You!” Daniel 9:8

A deep sense and clear sight of sin—its heinousness and the punishment which it deserves—should make us lie low before God’s throne. As Christians—we have sinned! Alas! that it should be so. Favoured as we have been—we have yet been ungrateful. Privileged beyond most—we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. What Christian is there—who will not blush when he looks back upon his past sins?

As for our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we have sinned against light and against love—spiritual light which has really penetrated our minds, and the love of Jesus which we have experienced.

Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply—when compared with the sin of one of God’s redeemed ones, who has had communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus’ bosom.

Look at David! Many will talk of his sin—but I beg you to look at his repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground, and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his harp! We have erred—let us, therefore, seek the spirit of penitence.

Look, again, at Peter! We speak much of Peter’s denying his Master. But remember that it is written, “He wept bitterly!” Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears?

Alas! these sins of ours would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire—if it were not for God’s sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning! My soul, bow down in humility under a sense of your natural sinfulness, and worship your God. Admire . . .

  His grace which saves you;

  His mercy which spares you;

  His love which pardons you!

When believers, after a long experience of their own deceitful hearts, after repeated proofs of their weakness, wilfulness, ingratitude, and spiritual insensibility—they find that none of these things can separate them from the love of God in Christ—then Jesus becomes more and more precious to their souls.

John Newton

Away with that guilty atheism which dethrones God from the sovereign control over His own world!

(John MacDuff)

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” James 1:17

Let us cherish the simple thought that all our blessings are from God. Everything we have emanates from Him, and wears the impress of His love — from the humblest crumb of providential bounty, to the richest blessing of His grace in Jesus.

How apt we are to live and act as if it were otherwise — to speak of . . .

  my health,

  my strength,

  my riches,

  my household treasures.

How prone are we to live independent of Him, forgetful of the Divine Hand which fills our cup, and interweaves our life with happiness.

Whatever our prized possession may be — it is His giving. It was He who planted. It is He who waters every moment — who nurtures and fosters delicate stem and leaf and bud and fruit, lest anything may hurt it.

Away with that guilty atheism which dethrones God from the sovereign control over His own world — which speaks of chance, good luck, good fortune, happy coincidences.

Rather, strive to inscribe above every loan given to you by the Great Proprietor, “This also comes from the Lord Almighty!”

“We love Him—because He first loved us!” 1 John 4:19

Author unknown

With grateful joy we trace the stream to its source. Our love to God—springs from God’s love to us. He pitied us in our rebellion and alienation—He had compassion on us when we were dead in trespasses and sins. Yes, He so loved us, that He gave His only-begotten Son that we should not perish, but have everlasting life! And when, feeling our sinfulness and guilt, the love of God was revealed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit—then we began to love Him in return.

If God had withheld His love from us until we loved Him—we would never have loved Him at all, for “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” We would, then, to the glory of His free grace, acknowledge that His love to us—has kindled our love to Him. We feel assured that as we more fully apprehend His love to us—the flame of our love to Him will burn more ardently. Alas! that we are so slow to learn the exceeding riches of the grace of our God, in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus!

Gospel fruit

(J. C. Philpot, “Meditations on 1 Peter”)

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or

 make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a

 tree is recognised by its fruit.” Matthew 12:33

Gospel fruit can only grow upon a gospel tree,

and thus the fruits of a holy and godly life must

spring out of the divine operations of the Holy

Spirit upon the heart.

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