What You Can Take With You Into Eternity

We’ve all heard it said that no one has ever seen a hearse towing a trailer. We’ve all been challenged to consider that we leave this world as we entered it—with empty hands. As Job exclaimed in the depths of his misery, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.” But as J.R. Miller reminds us in this old quote, there actually is one thing we can take with us. There are virtues, fruits of character, …

I Pray That This Sinner May Be Saved

We all know people who don’t know the Lord and, therefore, we all know what it is to plead for their salvation. This prayer by Philip Doddridge is drawn from Tim Chester’s new collection Into His Presence and gives words that can perhaps guide you in your prayers of supplication. Almighty God, with you all things are possible. To you therefore I humbly apply myself on behalf of this dear immortal soul, this person who is perishing in their sins, and hardening themselves against …

Become a Patron

The Signal Gun of the Gospel

We must always preach the gospel and always do so with some measure of urgency. De Witt Talmage was particularly adept at preaching with urgency as this excerpt from one of his sermon illustrates. He tells of the sinking of the ship Arctic and the heroic actions of one young man who was aboard it. And as Talmage does that, he warns his listeners not to delay but to turn to Christ at that very moment. I remember the story …

God Has Thrown Some Husks

Does a story have to be true to serve as an illustration? I don’t think so! And neither did Spurgeon, apparently. I found this illustration in a volume of his sermon notes and rather enjoyed it. (A note in the text says that he drew the illustration from John Spencer.) The Jewish rabbis report (how truly is uncertain) that when Joseph, in the times of plenty, had gathered much corn in Egypt, he threw the chaff into the river Nile, …

God Means To Make Something Of Us

We pray that God will deliver us from our trials, but sometimes he does not. We pray that he will relieve us of our burdens, but sometimes they remain pressed hard against our shoulders. Why? J.R. Miller provides a helpful answer in this brief quote. Some think that whenever they have a little trouble, a bit of hard path to walk over, a load to carry, a sorrow to meet, a trial of any kind, all they have to do …

Prayer That Pleases God

We pray. We pray because God tell us to. We pray because we need to. We pray because prayer matters. But do we pray with confidence that God is pleased with our praying? Do we pray with confidence that God is pleased with our praying even when he does not grant our petitions? Charles Spurgeon addresses those questions in this brief excerpt. We have been pleading with God. Prayer after prayer has knocked at Heaven’s gate, entreating for the conversion …

The Most Important Part of Every Prayer

Sometimes custom causes us to neglect beauty. Sometimes we are so used to doing or saying something that we forget the sheer wonder of it. Such may be the case when we end our prayers with the words, “for Christ’s sake” or “for Jesus’ sake.” Don’t miss what De Witt Talmage has to say about these simple words. The most important part of every prayer is the last three or four words of it—” For Christ’s sake.” Do not rattle …

I Shall Be Satisfied Then

I have long appreciated the poems of the 19th century American poet Hannah Flagg Gould. Among them I found this sweet work which reflects on the beauty of breaking free from “this prison of clay” to be with the Lord. I hope it proves an encouragement to you as it has me. May I in thy likeness, my Saviour, awake, And rise, a fair image of thee; Then I shall be satisfied, when I can break This prison of clay, …

Christ was the Great Unlike

We have a natural tendency to attempt to understand what we don’t know by extrapolating from what we do. This works well in much of life, but not so much when it comes to theology, for God comes before comparisons and supersedes them all. When it comes to Christ, he is more unlike than like what we know. This quote from the old preacher De Witt Talmage celebrates how Christ was “the great unlike.” All good men have for centuries …

Tell God the Unvarnished Story

Though we profess that God is all-seeing and all-knowing, that he understands not merely the actions of our hands and the thoughts of our minds but even the intentions of our hearts, still we sometimes feel as if we need to hold back from telling him all that we have thought, all that we have done, all that we have desired. Yet if we are to confess our sins before him, we need to confess them all, for he knows …