Category Archives: General

Building the Body

Category : General

Romans 14:19 (KJV)
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Peace and edification are closely joined. Practical divinity tends equally to peace and to edification. Controversial divinity less directly tends to edification, although sometimes, as they of old, we cannot build without it, Nehemiah 4:17.

The object of this verse is to persuade the church at Rome to lay aside their causes of contention, and to live in harmony. This exhortation is founded on the considerations which the apostle had presented, and may be regarded as the conclusion to which the argument had conducted him.

The word “edify” means properly to “build,” as a house; then to “rebuild” or “reconstruct;” then to adorn or ornament; then to do any thing that will confer favor or advantage, or which will further an object. Applied to the church, it means to do anything by teaching, counsel, advice, etc. which will tend to promote its great object; to aid Christians, to enable them to surmount difficulties, to remove their ignorance, etc.; Acts 9:31; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 14:4. In these expressions the idea of a “building” is retained, reared on a firm, tried cornerstone, the Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 2:20; Isaiah 28:16 (Romans 9:33). Christians are thus regarded, according to Paul‘s noble idea Ephesians 2:20-22, as one great temple erected for the glory of God, having no separate interest, but as united for one object, and therefore bound to do all that is possible, that each other may be suited to their appropriate place, and perform their appropriate function in perfecting and adorning this temple of God.

Let us endeavor to be both just and generous in all our relations with those who serve the same Master as ourselves, and in all our criticisms and our judgments upon them.

Have a great and God filled Lord’s day!

Pastor C


Encourage One Another

Category : General

1 Thessalonians 5: 11 (KJV)
11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do

When Handel’s oratorio of the Messiah had won the admiration of many of the great, Lord Kinnoul took occasion to pay him some compliments on the noble entertainment he had given the town. “My lord,” said the composer, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them: I wish to make them better.” It is to be feared that many speech-makers at public meetings could not say as much; and yet how dare any of us waste the time of our fellow immortals in mere amusing talk! If we have nothing to speak to edification, how much better to hold our tongue. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

These words are an exhortation to the whole church of Thessalonica, to comfort and edify one another. Though the ministry is appointed to this by especial office, yet private Christians are to practice it to one another; the former doth it in way of authority, the latter in a way of charity.

Edify one another.’ All metaphorical words tend to lose their light and color, and the figure to get faint, in popular understanding. We all know that ‘edifice’ means a building; we do not all realize that ‘edify’ means to build up . And it is a great misfortune that our Authorized Version, in accordance with the somewhat doubtful principle on which its translators proceeded, varies the rendering of the one Greek word so as to hide the frequent recurrence of it in the apostolic teaching. The metaphor that underlies it is the notion of building up a structure. The Christian idea of the structure to be built up is that it is a temple. I wish in this sermon to try to bring out some of the manifold lessons and truths that lie in this great figure, as applied to the Christian life.

Let us always remember that we are all builders; building up–what? Character, ourselves. But what sort of a thing is it that we are building? As was noted, some of us pigsties, in which gross, swinish lusts wallow in filth; some of us shops; some of us laboratories, studies, museums; some of us amorphous structures that cannot be described. But the Christian man is to be building himself up into a temple of God. The aim which should ever burn clear before us, and preside over even our smallest actions, is that which lies in this misused old word, ‘edify’ yourselves.

With that said, let us rest assured that, in all times and circumstances, it shall be well with the righteous; let us lay this to heart; and with this consideration comfort and edify each other in all trials and difficulties.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Never Alone

Category : General

Psalm 23: 4(KJV)
4 I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;…

It is noted that this Psalm exhibits the pleasing picture of a pious man rejoicing in the goodness of heaven. He looks round him on his state, and his heart overflows with gratitude. Amidst the images of tranquillity and happiness one object presents itself which is sufficient to overcast the mind and to damp the joy of the greatest part of men; that is, the approach of death. With perfect composure and serenity the Psalmist looks forward to the time when he is to pass through the “valley of the shadow of death.” The prospect, instead of dejecting him, appears to heighten his triumph, by that security which the presence of his Almighty Guardian afforded him. Such is the happy distinction which good men enjoy in a situation the most formidable to human nature. That threatening aspect which appalls others, carries no terror to them.

Thou wilt be with me is the assurance of the child of God. Though invisible, thou wilt attend me. I shall not go alone; I shall not be alone. The psalmist felt assured that if God was with him, he had nothing to dread there. God would be his companion, his comforter, his protector, his guide. How applicable is this to death! The dying man seems to go into the dark valley alone. His friends accompany him as far as they can, and then they must give him the parting hand. They cheer him with their voice until he becomes deaf to all sounds; they cheer him with their looks until his eye becomes dim, and he can see no more; they cheer him with the fond embrace until he becomes insensible to every expression of earthly affection, and then he seems to be alone. But the dying believer is not alone. His Savior God is with him in that valley, and will never leave him. Upon His arm he can lean, and by His presence he will be comforted, until he emerges from the gloom into the bright world beyond. All that is needful to dissipate the terrors of the valley of death is to be able to say, “Thou art with me.”

And though men preach to us detachment. “Sit loosely to the world,” they say, that the wrench may be less when it comes. But the Good Shepherd says rather, learn attachment. It is His promise, “Fear not; I will be with thee.” It is our confidence, “I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.” Nay, more; it is our joy, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” And is not this the true answer to our fears: How call I go to meet that shadow? How will my faith stand its cold embrace? How shall I ever believe in the bright promise of a land beyond, when here all is dark? Let us ask rather: How am I going to meet the duty just before me? Is He with me now? Have I learned to find Him in the quiet hours of the day? Have I found His presence in desolating sorrow? Have I felt His hand in darkness and doubt? If so, I need not look forward. He is leading me on, step by step and day by day. He is habituating me, little by little, to the withdrawal of the light, and to utter trust in Him. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” “Thou art with me.” Now is the time to make firm that companionship. To be still, and know that He is God. To find the guiding Hand in all its strength and security amid the death and life of each day’s hopes and fears. And then, when we enter the shadow, still it will be “with God on-wards.

Let us always remember that even though dark, cheerless, dismal as it seems, we must dread nothing. As a true friend of God, we have nothing to fear in that dark valley. Our great Shepherd will accompany us there, and can lead us safely through, however dark it may appear. The true believer has nothing to fear in the gloomiest scenes of life; he has nothing to fear in the valley of death; he has nothing to fear in the grave; he has nothing to fear in the world beyond. We are never alone, God is always with us and that is a promise He made to never leave nor forsake us.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Restoration for the Soul

Category : General

Psalm 23: 3(KJV)
3 He restoreth my soul:…

It is noted, “Restoration, like conversion, is the work of God. Who can convert a sinner? God only. Who can restore a backslider? The Almighty alone.”

The phrase, “restoreth my soul,” as was pointed out literally means, “to bring back.” The good Shepherd brings back the wayward soul from death into life, John 5:24; Luke 15:4-7. Just a reminder, if you know Jesus, then you have eternal life right now! If you do not know Him, then you are dead in your sins where you sit, 1 John 5:12.

So, in essence, “He causes my life to return.” As DeWette noted, “He quickens me,” or causes me to live. The word soul” here means life, or spirit, and not the soul in the strict sense in which the term is now used. It refers to the spirit when exhausted, weary, or sad; and the meaning is, that God quickens or vivifies the spirit when thus exhausted. The reference is not to the soul as wandering or backsliding from God, but to the life or spirit as exhausted, wearied, troubled, anxious, worn down with care and toil. the heart, thus exhausted, He re-animates. He brings back its vigor. He encourages it; excites it to new effort; fills it with new joy.

Therefore, we can conclude that God brings back our life from destruction; and converts our soul from sin, that it may not eternally perish. Or, after it has back-slide from him, heals its back-sliding, and restores it to his favor. Friends, just as a weary sheep is refreshed by feasting in the green pasture and drinking from the still waters and lying in a place of safety and peace, so are the saints of God refreshed by their divine Shepherd. We need to remember the drought that was in our soul when we were yet in sin! Remember how the Lord came and brought life to us in that terrible condition! Remember the times since when we have neglected His house, His Word and His fellowship and we have become weary and worn and once again the cruel tentacles of the dead-ness and coldness began to entwine themselves around our soul. Now, let us reflect on how He came to us in our lost condition or in our back-slide condition and how He forgave us all our sins and trespasses. How He breathed new life into our soul. How He brought back the blush of youth into the cheeks of our spiritual man. When He lifted us out of the pit of apathy and complacency and let us look into the promised land of spiritual victory! That is what He does for His sheep! He replaces their dead-ness with His life. He can do the same for you!

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


God my Shepherd

Category : General

Psalm 23: 1 (KJV)
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It has been observed that “although God, by His benefits, gently allures us to Himself, as it were by a taste of His Fatherly sweetness, yet there is nothing into which we more easily fall than into a forgetfulness of Him, when we are in the enjoyment of peace and comfort. Yea, prosperity not only so intoxicates many, as to carry them beyond all bounds in their mirth, but it also engenders insolence, which makes them proudly rise up and break forth against God.”

There are said to be two allegories in this Psalm which are admirably well adapted to the purpose for which they are produced, and supported both with art and elegance. The first is that of a shepherd; the second, that of a great feast, set out by a host the most kind and the most liberal. As a flock, they have the most excellent pasture; as guests, they have the most nutritive and abundant fare. God condescends to call himself the Shepherd of his people, and his followers are considered as a flock under his guidance and direction.

This is to be understood not of Jehovah the Father, and of His feeding the people of Israel in the wilderness, as the Targum paraphrases it, though the character of a shepherd is sometimes given to him, Psalm 77:20; but of Jehovah the Son, to whom it is most frequently ascribed, Genesis 49:24. This office he was called and appointed to by his Father, and which through his condescending grace he undertook to execute, and for which He is abundantly qualified; being omniscient, and so knows all His sheep and their maladies, where to find them, what is their case, and what is to be done for them; and being omnipotent, He can do everything proper for them; and having all power in heaven and in earth, can protect, defend, and save them; and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge being in Him, He can guide and direct them in the best manner; wherefore He is called the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Good Shepherd. David calls Him “my Shepherd”. Christ having a right unto him, as He has to all the sheep of God, by virtue of His Father’s gift, His own purchase, and the power of His grace; and as owning him as such, and yielding subjection to Him, following Him as the sheep of Christ do wheresoever He goes; and also as expressing his faith of interest in him, affection for him, and joy because of him: and from thence comfortably concludes.

The comparison of the care which God extends over His people to that of a shepherd for His flock is one that would naturally occur to those who were accustomed to pastoral life. It would be natural that it should suggest itself to Jacob–Genesis 49:24, and to David, for both of them had been shepherds. David, in advanced years, would naturally remember the occupations of his early life; and the remembrance of the care of God over him would naturally recall the care which he had, in earlier years, extended over his flocks. The idea which the language suggests is that of tender care; protection; particular attention to the young and the feeble (Isaiah 40:11); and providing for their wants. All these things are found eminently in God in reference to his people.

David indicates that his relationship with the Heavenly Shepherd is very close and personal. We are in an intimate, personal relationship with Him. When He was here on this earth, He labeled Himself as the “Good Shepherd“, John 10:1-15. This reminds us that Jesus gave His very life to save the sheep. It speaks of the intimacy of our relationship with Him. How He knows us by name. How He calls us to follow Him. How we recognize His voice and respond in humble obedience. That is the kind of relationship we have with the Lord. Is He your Shepherd? Are you in a position to call Him “my Shepherd” today?

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Truly Living out our Faith

Category : General

Mark 9: 23 (KJV)
23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

We have often heard of George Muller, of Bristol. There stands, in the form of those magnificent orphan houses, full of orphans, supported without committees, without secretaries, supported only by that man’s prayer and faith, there stands in solid brick and mortar, a testimony to the fact that God hears prayer. But, do you know that Mr. Muller’s case is but one among many.

It is also noted that ‘Faith’ may be weak and partial in a real believer. However much some persons may talk of our religious faith being the result of inquiry and evidence, and depending solely on the power of the intellect, or on its feebleness, we know well that passion and prejudice, not only in religious matters, but in all other matters where our interests or our passions are involved, have a powerful influence on the formation of our opinions; and wherever prejudice or excited passion exists, a much stronger degree of evidence is required to fix our belief of a thing, than were our minds perfectly calm. So in religion. To become strong in faith, we must persevere in prayer. Increase of faith does not come by argument or evidence, but by direct influence on the heart, sweeping away prejudice and calming the impetuous passions. He who gave can alone increase our faith. Let us ask of Him who is so willing to bestow.

The lesson is that, even when we are conscious of much tremulousness in our faith, we have a right to ask and expect that it shall be answered. Weak faith is faith. The tremulous hand does touch. The cord may be slender as a spider’s web that binds a heart to Jesus, but it does bind. The poor woman in the other miracle who put out her wasted finger-tip, coming behind Him in the crowd, and stealthily touching the hem of His garment, though it was only the end of her finger-nail that was laid on the robe, carried away with her the blessing. And so, the feeblest faith joins the soul, in the measure of its strength, to Jesus Christ.

Let us take comfort in this wonderful saying. Never fear; whatever thoughts may from time to time move through the listening spirit. Deal firmly and bravely with your intellectual and spiritual tempters; repel them; cast yourself on God. Assert, in terms, the principle of faith. Say, “I believe.” Thus, at length, all shall be well. For the hour is at hand when doubt shall end forever, and when the Eternal Truth shall stand out clear before our eyes.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Serving Christ is not Suffering

Category : General

Romans 8: 18 (KJV)
18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

It’s noted that this verse commences a new division of the subject, which is continued to Romans 8:25. Its design is to show the power of the gospel in sustaining the soul in trials; a very important; and material part of the scheme. This had been partially noticed before Romans 5:3-5, but its full power to support the soul in the prospect of a glorious immortality had not been fully discussed. This topic seems here to have been suggested by what is said of adoption. The mind of the apostle instantly adverted to the effects or benefits of that adoption; and one of the most material of those benefits was the sustaining grace which the gospel imparted in the midst of afflictions. It should be borne in mind that the early Christians were comparatively few and feeble, and exposed to many trials, and that this topic would be often, therefore, introduced into the discussions about their privileges and condition

If the glory that is to be revealed be the enjoyment of God himself, (see above, Romans 8:17; (note)), then the sufferings of this life, which, when compared with eternity, are but as for a moment, are not worthy to be put in competition with this glory which shall be revealed in us.

It is noted that as Christians, too often we dwell upon our own sufferings, while we overlook the sufferings of our Lord, to whom we must be conformed. We have the tendency to forget our sins, on account of which we receive chastisement that we may not be condemned with the world, and for which we must also partake of our bitter fruits. But as there is no proportion between what is finite, however great it may be, and what is infinite, so our afflictions here, even were our lives prolonged to any period, and although we had no respite, would bear no proportion to our future glory either in intensity or duration The felicity of that glory is unspeakable, but their afflictions here are not insupportable. They are always accompanied with the compassion and the consolations of God. ‘As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.’ The patriarch Jacob, a fugitive from his father’s house, constrained to pass the night without a covering, with stones only for his pillow, enjoyed a vision excelling all with which he had been before favored. This is recorded to show that the believer, in his tribulation, often experiences more joy and peace than in his prosperity. ‘Thus saith the Lord God, although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.’ God never permits the sufferings of His people to be extreme. The glory that shall be revealed. — While the sufferings of believers here are only temporary, the glory which is to be revealed is eternal. Though yet concealed, it is already in existence, its discovery only is future. Now it is veiled from us in heaven, but ere long it shall be revealed. God is a source of ineffable light, joy, knowledge, power, and goodness. He is the sovereign good, and will communicate Himself to them that behold Him, in a way that is incomprehensible.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


God’s Protection from our Adversaries

Category : General

Psalm 27: 5 (KJV)
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

What we have here is a dual comparison of the King’s table, spread in His pavilion, and the protection of the sanctuary which was absolute. The one who was in the King’s pavilion was safe from plotting and deceitful tongues, especially when his presence there was unknown (Psalms 31:20). In the same way Isaiah also pictures the glorious future of God’s true people in terms of a pavilion where the glory of YHWH is manifested (Isaiah 4:5-6), and of a strong city where none can harm them (Isaiah 26:1-4), protected by the walls of salvation and praise (Isaiah 61:1-8). And one day, ‘a Man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land’ (Isaiah 32:2) and will be manifested by the opening of ears and eyes, and the giving of knowledge and the releasing of tongues (Isaiah 32:3). And it is to Him that we must look constantly.

The Psalmist promises himself that his prayer would not be in vain. Although he is deprived of the visible sanctuary for a time, he doubts not that, wherever he may be, he shall experience the protecting power of God. And he alludes to the temple, because it was a symbol to the faithful of the divine presence; as if he had said, that in making the request which he mentioned he by no means lost his labor; for everyone who shall seek God sincerely, and with a pure heart, shall be safely concealed under the wings of his protection. The figure of the temple, he therefore affirms, was not an unmeaning one, for there God, so to speak, spread forth his wings to gather true believers under his protection. From this he concludes, that as he had no greater desire than to flee for refuge under these wings, there would be a shelter ready for him in times of adversity, under the divine protection, which, under the figure of a rock, he tells us, would be impregnable like towers, which, for the sake of strength, were wont to be built, in ancient times, in lofty places. Although he was, therefore, at this time, environed by enemies on every side, yet he boasts that he shall overcome them. It is, indeed, a common form of speech in the Scriptures to say, that those who are oppressed with grief walk with a bowed down back and dejected countenance, while, on the other hand, they lift up their heads when their joyfulness is restored.

This is a reminder for us that there is no safety or security on earth that can be compared with the confident stability of the soul that is truly anchored `in the Lord.’ If a government forbids Christians, they may reply with Peter, “We must obey God rather than men.” If obstacles are multiplied, we may say with Paul, “None of these things move me.” If our lives are threatened, we may remember the words of the Christ who said, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


All Supplying God

Category : General

2 Corinthians 9: 8 (KJV)
8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

It has been pointed out, “we should not suppose that by giving liberally we will be impoverished and reduced to want. We should rather confide in God, who is able to furnish us abundantly with what is needful for the supply of your necessities. It has also neem noted that few individuals have ever been reduced to poverty by liberality. Perhaps in the whole circle of his acquaintance it would be difficult for an individual to point out one who has been impoverished or made the poorer in this way.”

It is also noted our selfishness is generally a sufficient guard against this; but it is also to be added, that the divine blessing rests upon the liberal man, and that God keeps him from want. But in the meantime, there are multitudes who are made poor by the lack of liberality. They are parsimonious in giving but they are extravagant in dress, and luxury, and in expenses for amusement or vice, and the consequence is poverty and want. “There is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty;” Proverbs 11:24. The divine blessing rests upon the liberal: and while every person should make a proper provision for his family, everyone should give liberally, confiding in God that he will furnish the supplies for our future needs. Let this maxim be borne in mind, that no one is usually made the poorer by being liberal.

Friends, if God is able to make all grace abound, then surely, He is able to rule the world He has created and still creates. He is the God of creation, and not its servant. He can get behind all the points that are visible to us, and without altering the order of nature. He can produce what change He desires. We may therefore ask Him to give us what we think would be good for us. This will be one of the practical results of the full belief in the all-ability of God. If I may not ask my daily bread from God, if I may not tell Him what I wish about the weather and what the country needs, then what may I speak to Him about? “About spiritual blessings,” does anyone say? Then are they not also given according to law? If God is bound to act invariably in the material sphere, He is equally and even more bound to act invariably in the spiritual sphere; and if we may not reasonably pray to Him as to the one, still less may we reasonably pray to Him about the other. It is God or no God. God is able to make all grace abound, to give blessing in every sphere, and will answer in some way every sincere prayer that is offered to Him.

Let us always remember and never forget that the Christian life in all its aspects and experiences is an outflow from the ‘the Fountain of Life,’ the Living and Giving God.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Staying Strong in the Midst of Opposition

Category : General

Nehemiah 4: 1 (KJV)
1But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain…and most of them do.” —Dale Carnegie

It is noted that the Samaritan faction showed their bitter animosity to the Jews on discovering the systematic design of refortifying Jerusalem. Their opposition was confined at first to scoffs and insults, in heaping which the governors made themselves conspicuous, and circulated all sorts of disparaging reflections that might increase the feelings of hatred and contempt for them in their own party. The weakness of the Jews in respect of wealth and numbers, the absurdity of their purpose apparently to reconstruct the walls and celebrate the feast of dedication in one day, the idea of raising the walls on their old foundations, as well as using the charred and moldering debris of the ruins as the materials for the restored buildings, and the hope of such a parapet as they could raise being capable of serving as a fortress of defense – these all afforded fertile subjects of hostile ridicule.

It is important for us to understand as was noted that “the devil and his imps have ever been utter enemies to true reformation. So do savage beasts bristle up themselves, and make the most fierce assaults, when they are in danger of losing the prey which they had once seized on. Jabesh gilead would send in none to help the Lord against the mighty, Jud.21:9. No more would Meroz, Jud.5:23. Josiah met with much opposition; so did Paul wherever he came, to set up evangelical and spiritual worship; which is called a reformation, Hebrews 9:10. All the world was against Athanasius in his generation, and Luther in his; rejecting what they attempted, with scorn and slander. Here it is quarrel enough to Nehemiah and his Jews, that they would be no longer miserable. They were not more busy in building than the enemies active in deriding, conspiring, practicing to hinder and overthrow them. A double derision is here recorded; and both as full of mischief as profane wit or rancured malice could make them.”

Friends, be aware that just as the enemies of Israel mocked and ridiculed the work they were attempting to do, you will too. We have to face the reality that anytime you are determined to do something for God, there will always be those ready to criticize what you do. They would do it differently, better or not at all. Friend, don’t let that crowd get to you, just go on for God! Some of the Lord’s best workers, including the likes of Jesus and Paul were criticized. So, when you are criticized, praise the Lord, for you are in good company!

Let us also remember that those who live near and like the wicked are always among those who try to discourage the work and workers of God. It rarely shocks us when trouble comes from without, but when it arises within, it often leaves us devastated! Whether it takes the form of deception, with someone living a hidden life of sin, or the form of discouragement, when someone questions the motives and goals of the church, it hurts deeply and can cause us to deviate from the course.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C