The Study of Providence

“Like many other Scriptures, [Psalm 108] calls us to the study of providence. It is God that gives peace, wholesome air, a good climate, seasonable showers; and that for their sins sends on men sore calamities. His kingdom ruleth over all. Not chance, but the Almighty governs the world. Blessed is he who see God in history and in nature as well as in revelation. Let us hold fast the truth on this doctrine so fundamental to right thinking, sound theology, solid peace, a holy life and a happy death.”–William S. Plumer “Psalms” p. 962

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Little Atom of Dust

“There is no hope that any man will be able to behave wisely, to keep his good resolutions, or even to seek salvation, except as he is inclined and strengthened thereunto by God, who upholds him. The best of us is as a rag. But with help from on high we can do wonders, Heb. 11:33-38.  Arnd: ‘God holds heaven and earth with his hand, he will therefore be able both to hold up and to bear such a little atom of dust as thou art.’ ”

–William S. Plumer “Psalms” p. 634

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Genuine Devotion

Whatever be our circumstances let us not forget that our duty continually calls us to bless and praise the Lord with joyful lips. Genuine devotion is something that affects the heart. It has in it the fire of love. It moves the affections.”

“In following hard after God, our great aim should be to be intent upon knowing him, serving and pleasing him, being accepted of him, being made like unto him, longing for his fellowship and the light of his countenance, and seeking to be forever with him.”
–William S. Plumer “Psalms”p. 634

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How God Softens the Heart

“Affliction is God’s forge to soften the iron heart. It is impossible to form iron while it is cold, but make it red hot, and you can stamp upon it any impression you please. The heart is hard and its natural resistance is much increased by prosperity. God softens hearts with the showers of adversity and makes us more attentive unto him and less influenced by the noise of the world.”  — Richard Rushing in “Voices in the Past” Vol. 1, p 315, quoting  Thomas Case “Select Works, A Treatise of Afflictions”

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Christianity Is Thrilling!

“Christianity is stimulating, Christianity is exhilarating, Christianity is thrilling!  That is what Paul is saying, ‘Do not be drunk with wine, wherein is excess’ — do not go and take drink if you are looking for a thrill, or for a stimulus, or for some exhilaration–‘but be filled with the Spirit’, and you will have all that and more. This is the tremendous idea which is so characteristic of New Testament teaching. Wine–alcohol–as I have already reminded you, pharmacologically speaking is not a stimulant; it is a depressant. Take up any book on pharmacology and look up ‘alcohol’, and you will find, always, that it is classified among the depressants. It is not a stimulus. ‘Well’, you say, ‘why do people drink alcohol in order to receive a stimulus?’ In a sense I have already been answering the question. What alcohol does is this; it knocks out those higher centres, and so the more primitive elements in the brain come up and take control; and a man feels better temporarily. He has lost his sense of fear, and he has lost his discrimination, he has lost his power to assess. Alcohol merely knocks out his higher centres and release the more instinctive, primal elements; but the man believes that he is being stimulated. What is really true of him is that he has become more of an animal; his control over himself is diminished.

That is the exact opposite of bieng filled with the Spirit; for what the Spirit does is truly to stimulate….What does He stimulate?  He stimulates our every faculty. He stimulates the mind and the intellect… He stimulates the heart also…  The Christian is a man whose mind is expanding, whose heart is moved and enlarged. And he wants to do something, he wants to make a contribution, to wants to extend the confines of the Kingdom of God, he wants others to share in it. It affects the whole of the man, intellect, emotions and will.  What a stimulus!”  –Martyn Lloyd-Jones “Life In the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18

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A Stone Into Flesh

Men and angels may persuade, but only God can prevail. The words of creatures may work for an outward reformation, but the word of God alone for an inward renovation. He only that made the heart can mend it. Human counsels may do somewhat towards the hiding of the corruptions of nature, but divine instructions are only effectual for the healing of corrupted nature: the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul, Psalm 19:7. Converting the soul: the law of man may bind the body to its good behavior, but the law of God alone can bring the soul into it’s good behavior. To turn a lion into a lamb, darkness into light, a stone into flesh, death into life, all which is done in conversion, can be effected by the word of none but God. –George Swinnock Volume 4 Page 453

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The Lord Works Out Delivery

From his book “Psalms” p. 77 William Plumer quoting Dickson:  “The Lord draweth deep in working out the delivery and salvation of his own people, bringing them at first into extremity of danger, and then making a plain and clear escape from all their straits.”   Quoting Tholuck: “The Lord of hosts has a way of his own, on which none can follow him.”  Our great business is to hear, obey, acquiesce, not to judge, comprehend, nor explain God’s ways.  … when God has a work to accomplish, he will be at no loss for fit instruments to bring it about. He can raise up a Moses from the bulrushes, and make Aaron his brother eloquent “

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