I was once far away from the Savior,
And as vile as a sinner could be;
I wondered if Christ, the Redeemer,
Could save a poor sinner like me.
I wandered on in the darkness,
Not a ray of light could I see,
And the tho't filled my heart with sadness,
There's no help for a sinner like me.
And then in that dark, lonely hour,
A voice sweetly whispered to me,
Saying Christ, the Redeemer, has power
To save a poor sinner like me.
I listened, and lo! 'twas the Savior
Who was speaking so kindly to me;
I cried, I'm the chief of sinners,
Oh, save a poor sinner like me.
I then fully trusted in Jesus,
And, oh, what a joy came to me!
My heart was filled with his praises,
For saving a sinner like me.
No longer in darkness I'm walking,
For the light is now shining on me,
And now unto others I'm telling
How he saved a poor sinner like me.
And when life's journey is over,
And I the dear Savior shall see,
I'll praise him for ever and ever,
For saving a sinner like me!
- Charles J. Butler, 1881
"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Tim. 1:15).
1. The Spirit awakens a person’s heart.
2. The Spirit teaches a person’s mind.
3. The Spirit leads to the Word.
4. The Spirit convinces of sin.
5. The Spirit draws to Christ.
6. The Spirit sanctifies.
7. The Spirit makes a person spiritually minded.
8. The Spirit produces inward conflict.
9. The Spirit makes a person love the brethren.
10. The Spirit teaches a person to pray.
These are the great marks of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Put the question to your conscience and ask: Has the Spirit done anything of this kind for your soul?
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: Having the Spirit
1. Read the Bible with an EARNEST desire to understand it. Do not be content to just read the words of Scripture. Seek to grasp the message they contain.
2. Read the Scriptures with a SIMPLE, CHILDLIKE faith and humility. Believe what God reveals. Reason must bow to God's revelation.
3. Read the Word with a spirit of OBEDIENCE and SELF-APPLICATION. Apply what God says to yourself and obey His will in ALL things.
4. Read the Holy Scriptures EVERY day. We quickly lose the nourishment and strength of yesterday's bread. We must feed our souls daily upon the manna God has given us.
5. Read the WHOLE bible and read it in an ORDERLY way. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable." I know of no better way to read the Bible than to start at the beginning and read straight through to the end, a portion every day, comparing Scripture with Scripture.
6. Read the Word of God FAIRLY and HONESTLY. As a general rule, any passage of Scripture means what it appears to mean. Interpret every passage in this simple manner, in its context.
7. Read the Bible with CHRIST constantly in view. The whole Book is about Him. Look for Him on every page. He is there. If you fail to see Him there, you need to read that page again.
~ J.C. Ryle
-when we do not love Him as we once did.
-when earthly interests and occupations are
more important to us than eternal ones.
-when we would rather watch TV and read secular
books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.
-when church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.
-when concerts draw bigger crowds than prayer meetings.
-when we have little or no desire for prayer.
-when we would rather make money than give money.
-when we put people into leadership positions in our
churches who do not meet scriptural qualifications.
-when our Christianity is joyless and passionless.
-when we know truth in our heads that we are not
practicing in our lives.
-when we make little effort to witness to the lost.
-when we have time for sports, recreation, and
entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.
-when we do not tremble at the Word of God.
-when preaching lacks conviction, confrontation,
and divine fire and anointing.
-when we seldom think thoughts of eternity.
-when God’s people are more concerned about their
jobs and their careers, than about the Kingdom
of Christ and the salvation of the lost.
-when God’s people get together with other believers
and the conversation is primarily about the
news, weather, and sports, rather than the Lord.
-when church services are predictable and "business as usual."
-when believers can be at odds with each other and
not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.
-when Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.
-when our marriages are co-existing rather than
full of the love of Christ.
-when our children are growing up to adopt worldly
values, secular philosophies, and ungodly lifestyles.
-when we are more concerned about our children’s
education and their athletic activities than about
the condition of their souls.
-when sin in the church is pushed under the carpet.
-when known sin is not dealt with through the biblical
process of discipline and restoration.
-when we tolerate "little" sins of gossip,
a critical spirit, and lack of love.
-when we will watch things on television and movies that are not holy.
-when our singing is half-hearted and our worship lifeless.
-when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others.
-when our prayers lack fervency.
-when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.
-when we aren’t seeing regular evidence of
the supernatural power of God.
-when we have ceased to weep and mourn and
grieve over our own sin and the sin of others.
-when we are content to live with explainable,
ordinary Christianity and church services.
-when we are bored with worship.
-when people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.
-when our music and dress become patterned after the world.
-when we start fitting into and adapting to the world,
rather than calling the world to adapt to God’s
standards of holiness.
-when we don’t long for the company and fellowship of God’s people.
-when people have to be begged to give and to serve in the church.
-when our giving is measured and calculated,
rather than extravagant and sacrificial.
-when we aren’t seeing lost people drawn to Jesus on a regular basis.
-when we aren’t exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.
-when we are more concerned about what others
think about us than what God thinks about us.
-when we are unmoved by the fact that 2.5 billion people
in this world have never heard the name of Jesus.
-when we are unmoved by the thought of neighbors,
business associates, and acquaintances who are
lost and without Christ.
-when the lost world around us doesn’t know or care that we exist.
-when we are making little or no difference in the secular world around us.
-when the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages, and the church.
-when we are blind to the extent of our need and don’t think we need revival.
~ N. L. DeMoss
Are You Ready For The New Year? I ASK you a plain question at the beginning of a new year: Are you ready?
It is a solemn thing to part company with the old year. It is a still more solemn thing to begin a new one. It is like entering a dark passage: we know not what we may meet before the end. All before us is uncertain: we know not what a day may bring forth, much less what may happen in a year. Reader, are you ready?
Are you ready for sickness? You cannot expect to be always well. You have a body fearfully and wonderfully made: it is awful to think how many diseases may assail it.
Pain and weakness are a hard trial. They can bow down the strong man and make him like a child. They can weary the temper and exhaust the patience, and make men cry in the morning, "Would God it were evening," and in the evening, "Would God it were morning." All this may come to pass this very year. Your reason may be shattered,-your senses may be weakened, your nerves may be unstrung: the very grasshopper may become a burden. Reader, if sickness comes upon you, are you ready?
Are you ready for affliction? "Man," says the Scripture, "is born to sorrow." This witness is true. Your property may be taken from you, your riches may make themselves wings and flee away, your friends may fail you, your children may disappoint you, your servants may deceive you; your character may be assailed, your conduct may be misrepresented: troubles, annoyances, vexations, anxieties, may surround you on every side, like a host of armed men; wave upon wave may burst over your head; you may feel worn and worried, and crushed to the dust. Reader, if affliction comes upon you, are you ready?
Are you ready for bereavements? No doubt there are those in the world that you love. There are those whose names are graven on your heart, and round whom your affections are entwined: there are those who are the light of your eyes, and the very sunshine of your existence. But they are all mortal: any one of them may die this year. Before the daisies blossom again, any one of them may be lying in the tomb. Your Rachel may be buried,-your Joseph may be taken from you,-your dearest idol may be broken: bitter tears and deep mourning may be your portion. Before December you may feel terribly alone. Reader, if bereavement comes upon you, are you ready?
Are you ready for death? It must come some day: it may come this year. You cannot live always. This very year may be your last. You have no freehold in this world,-you have not so much as a lease: you are nothing better than a tenant at God's will. Your last sickness may come upon you, and give you notice to quit,-the doctor may visit you, and exhaust his skill over your case,-your friends may sit by your bedside, and look graver and graver every day: you may feel your own strength gradually wasting, and find something saying within, "I shall not come down from this bed, but die." You may see the world slipping from beneath your feet, and all your schemes and plans suddenly stopped short. You may feel yourself drawing near to the coffin, and the grave, and the worm, and an unseen world, and eternity, and God. Reader, if death should come upon you, are you ready?
Are you ready for the Second Coming of Christ? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, 2000 years ago, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints, who have believed in Him and confessed Him upon earth. He will come to punish all His enemies,-the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving. He will come very suddenly, at an hour when no man thinketh: as a thief in the night. He will come in terrible majesty, in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels. A flaming fire shall go before Him. The dead shall be raised,-the judgment shall be set,-the books shall be opened! Some shall be exalted into heaven: many, very many, shall be cast down to hell. The time for repentance shall be past. Many shall cry, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" but find the door of mercy closed forever. After this there will be no change. Reader, if Christ should come the second time this year, are you ready?
O reader, these are solemn questions! They ought to make you examine yourself. They ought to make you think. It would be a terrible thing to be taken by surprise. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
1. Substitute anything for Christ, and the Gospel is totally spoiled!
2. Add anything to Christ, and the Gospel ceases to be a pure Gospel!
3. Put anything between a person and Christ, and that person will neglect Christ for that very thing!
4. Spoil the proportions of Christ’s Gospel, and you spoil its effectiveness!
5. Evangelical religion must be the Gospel, the whole Gospel and nothing but the Gospel!
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: Evangelical Religion
Thoughts on Public Worship