Bulletin Edition August 2022

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34b

To “come after” Christ is to be where He is. The Holy Spirit has put into the hearts of all God’s people the utmost desire to be where the Lord Jesus Christ is, now and in the life to come. So what does it mean to “deny oneself, take up your cross and follow Him”? When it comes to denying oneself, surely there are some worldly and fleshly pleasures we should deny. But if we were to deny ourselves of all earthly comforts by living a life of poverty and extreme sacrifice, it would not put us where Christ is. The one thing the natural man will not deny himself is credit for his salvation. By God’s grace we deny ourselves any contribution for our salvation. We deny ourselves any and all glory for our hope in Christ. Our salvation is of the Lord, and all to the glory of His grace.

What about taking up one’s cross? Surely, there will be some suffering for righteousness’ sake when we stand for the Cross of Christ. However, considering what believers have suffered in the past, we are embarrassed to think about how light that cross really is for us. Apart from that, are the trials and troubles believers bear in this world any heavier than the ones unbelievers must carry? I Cor. 10:13. No. To take up one’s cross is to believe that when Christ died, I died. I am Crucified with Christ. Gal 2:20. Fellowshipping in His suffering. Phil. 3:10. We are looking in faith to Christ on Calvary’s Cross as the only means of atonement for our sins. If by God’s grace we are able to deny ourselves and take up our cross, following Him will be the result.                  ~Greg Elmquist

It is utterly impossible!

(Octavius Winslow, 1852)

It has been the distinctive aim, and the sincere desire of my ministry — to make known and to endear the Saviour to your hearts.

Oh, how worthy is He . . .
  of your most exalted conceptions,
  of your most implicit confidence,
  of your most self-denying service,
  of your most fervent love!

When He could give you no more — and the fathomless depths of His love, and the boundless resources of His grace, would not be satisfied by giving you less — He gave you Himself!

Robed in your nature,
oppressed with your sorrows,
laden with your curse,
wounded for your transgressions,
and slain for your sins —
He gave His entire self for you!

His redeeming work now finished — He is perpetually engaged in meting out blessings to His people, from the exhaustless treasures of His love! He constantly woos your affection — invites your grief — and bids you to come with your daily trials to His sympathy, and with your hourly guilt to His blood. You cannot in your drafts upon Christ’s fullness, be too covetous; nor in your expectations of supply, be too extravagant! You may fail, as, alas! the most of us do, in making too little of Christ — but you cannot fail, in making too much of Him!

It is utterly impossible
 to know Christ, and not become inspired with a desire . . .
  to love Him supremely,
  to serve Him devotedly,
  to resemble Him closely,
  to glorify Him faithfully here,
  and to enjoy Him fully hereafter!

Rise up My love, My fair (beautiful) one—and come away!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“My Beloved spoke and said to me—Rise up My love, My fair one—and come away!” Song of Solomon 2:10

Lo, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! He bids me “Rise up!” and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. Why should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations—I would rise towards Him.

He calls me by the sweet title of “My love” and regards me as beautiful! This is a good encouragement for my rising. If He has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus lovely—how can I linger in the dark tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the world?

He bids me “Come away!” Come away further and further from everything selfish, groveling, worldly, and sinful! He calls me from the outwardly religious world which knows Him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the pious life.

“Come away” has no harsh sound in it to my ear—for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin? O my Lord, would that I could come away—but I am stuck among the thorns—and cannot escape from them as I would! I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin!

You call me to Yourself by saying “Come away!” and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to You is to come home from exile; to come to land out of the raging storm; to come to rest after long labor; to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes! But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me—and I will run after You! Your grace alone can do it. Send forth Your Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart—and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away!

That secret loveliness

(Philpot, “The Sacrifice Bound to the Horns of the Altar“)

“I drew them with bands of love.”
     Hosea 11:4

Where Christ is made in any measure experimentally
known, He has gained the affections of the heart. He
has, more or less, taken possession of the soul. He
has, in some degree, endeared Himself as a bleeding,
agonising Saviour to every one to whom He has in any
way revealed Himself. And, thus, the strong cord of
love and affection is powerfully wreathed around the
tender spirit and broken heart. Therefore . . .
  His name becomes as ‘ointment poured forth’,
  there is a preciousness in His blood,
  there is a beauty in His Person,
  there is that secret loveliness in Him,
which wins and attracts and draws out the tender
affections of the soul. And thus this cord of love
entwined round the heart, binds it fast and firm
to the cross of the Lord Jesus.

“I drew them with My cords of kindness and love.”
     Hosea 11:4

A hard, proud, hollow religion.

(from Horatius Bonar’s, “FOLLOW THE LAMB”)

Intimacy with God is the very essence of religion.

The understanding of doctrine is one thing,
and intimacy with God is another.  They
ought always to go together; but they
are often  seen asunder; and, when there
is the former without the latter, there is
a hard, proud, hollow religion.

Beware of mere opinions and speculations.
They become idols.
They nourish pride of intellect.
They furnish no food to the soul.
They make you sapless and heartless.

Intimacy with God is the very essence of religion.

The monarch of our affections!

by Don Fortner

Nothing is so precious to Christ as His people.

There is nothing so precious to
the true believer as Christ himself.

Knowledge of Christ creates an ardent love for Christ.

To truly know him is to love him.

It is not possible for a person to have a saving
knowledge of Christ without a true heart of love
for Christ.

If you do not love Christ, truly, sincerely, and
above all others, you simply to not know Christ.

Jesus is the Lord of every believer’s heart.
He is the monarch of our affections!

His rich, free, eternal, redeeming love has bound
me hand and foot, so that I cannot leave him.

I am his totally and unreservedly. I belong to him.
He may do with me what he will.
Why do we love Him?


Because before this round earth ever was fashioned
between the palms of the great Creator- before he
had painted the rainbow, or hung out the lights of
the sun and moon, Christ’s delights were with us.
He foresaw us and he knew what we should be-
and as he looked upon us, the glance was love.

He delighted to sit upon the throne of glory, and to
remember his dear ones who were yet to he born.
It was the great prospect which his mighty and
infinite spirit had- a joy that was set before him,
that he should see a multitude that no man could
number who should be his beloved forever!

Oh, if you know that Jesus had loved you from before
all worlds, you must love him. At least you will grant
there cannot be a better reason for love than love.

Love demands; no, it does not demand- it takes
by almighty force, by irresistible energy, that heart
captive, upon whom it thus sets itself.

“Come Unto Me”      

Matthew 11:28

     The Lord Jesus calls sinners to come to him. He does not call you to come to an altar, come down a church aisle, come to a priest or a preacher, or even to come to his doctrine. He says, “Come unto me.” What does that mean? How can a sinner on the earth come to Christ who is in heaven? In John 6:35 he explains that coming to him is an act of faith, an act of the heart. TO COME TO CHRIST IS TO “BELIEVE ON” HIM!

     Read the Gospel narratives again. You will discover that all who came to our Lord in this sense while he was upon the earth had four things in common. Even so, today all who come to Christ have these same four characteristics:

     1. THOSE WHO COME TO CHRIST NEED HIM. There was one woman with an issue of blood who had been sick and unclean for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on physicians of no value. She came to Christ realizing that he alone possessed the grace, mercy, and power she needed (Lk. 8:43-48).

     2. ALL WHO COME TO THE SAVIOR ARE PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO SAVE. The leper knew Christ could heal him if he would (Matt. 8:2). The thief knew that Christ could grant him an entrance into his kingdom (Lk. 23:42). None truly trust Christ but those who are persuaded that his righteousness, blood, grace, and power are sufficient to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him.

     3. ALL WHO COME TO CHRIST COME WITH A SUIT FOR MERCY. Bartimaeus cried out for mercy (Mk. 10:46-52). The Canaanite woman needed mercy that only Christ could give, and refused to leave him alone until she had obtained the mercy she needed (Matt. 15:21-28). Do you need mercy? Go directly to the King upon his throne and make your suit – “God be merciful to me, the sinner!” All who do so obtain mercy (John 6:35). Why not you?

     4. ALL WHO COME TO CHRIST SURRENDER TO HIS RULE AS LORD. All who come in faith “follow Jesus in the way.” His way becomes their way (Mk. 10:52). His will becomes their will. They trust him, surrender to him, obey him, accept his reproach, and renounce all that is opposed to him. All who come to Christ in faith throw up the white flag of surrender and bow to the yoke of Christ as their Lord.

Don Fortner

We must be taught of God


“No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws him.” John 6:44

Four things are absolutely necessary to be experimentally known and felt before we can arrive at any saving or sanctifying knowledge of the truth—
1. Divine light in the understanding.
2. Spiritual faith in the heart.
3. Godly fear in the conscience.
4. Heavenly love in the affections.

Without lightwe cannot see. Without faith we cannot believe. Without godly fear we cannot reverentially adore. Without love we cannot embrace Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. We must be taught of God and receive the kingdom of heaven as a little child—or we shall never enter therein.

Savoury food such as their soul loves


“For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” John 6:55

This food is specially for the elect—blood shed for their sins, and for their sins only—righteousness brought in for them, and for them only—love bestowed upon them, and upon them only—promises revealed for their comfort, and for their comfort only—an eternal inheritance reserved in heaven for them, and for them only. The elect are the only people who hunger after it—who have an appetite for it—who have a mouth to feed upon it—who have a stomach to digest it. They are the only people whose eyes are really open to see what “food” is. All others feed upon shadows—they know nothing of the savoury food of the gospel.

“I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” Jesus’ food was—the hidden communications of God’s love—the visitations of His Father’s presence—the divine communion that He enjoyed with His Father. So, for the children of God, there is food in Christ—and this food the Lord gives them a hunger after. He not only sets before their eyes what the food is, butHe kindles inexpressible longings in their soul to be fed with it. God’s people cannot feed upon husks—nor upon ashes—nor upon chaff—nor upon the wind—nor upon grapes of gall and the bitter clusters of Gomorrah. They must have real foodsavoury food such as their soul loves—that which God Himself communicates, and which His hand alone can bring down and give unto them—so that they may receive it from Him as their soul-satisfying portion.

Comments are closed.