And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quotes Part 5

Persevering Quotes from the Christian World at Large part V

Please note that these are a compilation from various internet sources

I need to thank the following sites


Affliction is one of God's medicines! By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly. Health is a great blessing but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire, but losses and crosses are far better for us if they lead us to Christ. Let us beware of murmuring in the time of trouble. Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that there is a meaning, a 'needs be', and a message from God in every sorrow that falls upon us. There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction. There is no commentary that opens up the Bible so much as sickness and sorrow. The resurrection morning will prove, that many of the losses of God's people were in reality, eternal gains. Thousands at the last day will testify with David, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted" (Psalm. 119:71)! J.C. Ryle The Gospel of John.

No words can express how much the world owes to sorrow. Most of the Psalms were born in the wilderness. Most of the Epistles were written in a prison. The greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers have all passed through fire. The greatest poets have “learned in suffering what they taught in song.” In bonds Bunyan lived the allegory that he afterwards wrote, and we may thank Bedford Jail for the Pilgrim’s Progress. Take comfort, afflicted Christian! When God is about to make pre-eminent use of a person, He put them in the fire. George MacDonald

Your afflictions may only prove that you are more immediately under the Father's hand. There is no time that the patient is such an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is bleeding beneath his knife. So you may be sure if you are suffering from the hand of a reconciled God, that His eye is all the more bent on you. Robert Murray McCheyne

(Affliction) brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them. Robert Murray McCheyne Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 25, Used by Permission.

(Affliction is sometimes) sent for the conversion of the soul. Sometimes in health the Word does not touch the heart. The world is all. Its gaieties, its pleasures, its admiration, captivate your mind. God sometimes draws you aside into a sickbed, and shows you the sin of your heart, the vanity of worldly pleasures and drives the soul to seek a sure resting-place for eternity in Christ. O happy sickness that draws the soul to Jesus (Job 33, Psm. 107). Robert Murray McCheyne Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 6, Used by Permission.

God's children should not doubt His love when He afflicts. Christ loved Lazarus peculiarly, and yet He afflicted Him very sore. A surgeon never bends his eye so tenderly upon his patient, as when he is putting in the lancet, or probing the wound to the very bottom. And so with Christ – He bends His eye most tenderly over His own at the time He is afflicting them… A goldsmith when he casts gold into the furnace looks after it. Robert Murray McCheyne Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 11, Used by Permission.

(Affliction) shows the power of Christ's blood, when it gives peace in an hour of trouble, when it can make happy in sickness, poverty, persecution and death. Do not be surprised if you suffer, but glorify God. Robert Murray McCheyne Comfort in Sorrow, Christian Focus, 2002, p. 24-25, Used by Permission.

I find afflictions to be good for me. I have always found them so. Afflictions are happy means in the hands of the Holy Spirit to subdue my corruptions, my pride, my evil passions, my inordinate love to the creature. Afflictions soften my hard heart, bring me to my knees, increase faith, increase love, increase humility, increase self-denial. Afflictions make me poor in spirit, and nothing in my own eyes. Joseph Williams

Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls. C.H. Spurgeon

The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction. C.H. Surgeon

The furnace of affliction is a good place for you, Christian; it benefits you; it helps you to become more like Christ, and it is fitting you for heaven. C.H. Spurgeon

As sure as God puts His children in the furnace of affliction, He will be with them in it. C.H. Spurgeon

Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. C.H. Spurgeon

I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary. C.H. Spurgeon

There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. C.H. Spurgeon Divine Sovereignty, 1856.

The more afflictions you have been under, the more assistance you have had for this life of holiness. John Flavel The Fountain of Life, 1671.

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions. Matthew Henry

When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines. Samuel Rutherford

Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride. Richard Sibbes

There are some things good but not pleasant, as sorrow and affliction. Sin is pleasant, but unprofitable; and sorrow is profitable, but unpleasant. As waters are purest when they are in motion, so saints are generally holiest when in affliction. William Secker

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Persevering Quotes Part IV

Persevering Quotes from the Christian World at Large part IV

Please note that these are a compilation from various internet sources

I need to thank the following sites

To know that nothing hurts the godly, is a matter of comfort; but to be assured that all things which fall out shall co-operate for their good, that their crosses shall be turned into blessings, that showers of affliction water the withering root of their grace and make it flourish more; this may fill their hearts with joy till they run over. Thomas Watson

God takes away the world, that the heart may cleave more to Him in sincerity. Thomas Watson

God sweetens outward pain with inward peace. Thomas Watson

Not to be afflicted is a sign of weakness; for, therefore God imposeth no more on me, because he sees I can bear no more. Joseph Hall

When we grow careless of keeping our souls, then God recovers our taste of good things again by sharp crosses. Richard Sibbes

The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory. Richard Sibbes

Do not even such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and the fadingness of the best it yield? Doth not God by these things (ofttimes) call our sins to remembrance, and provoke us to amendment of life? How then can we be offended at things by which we reap so much good?.... Therefore if mine enemy hunger, let me feed him; if he thirst, let me give him drink. Now in order to do this, (1) We must see good in that, in which other men can see none. (2) We must pass by those injuries that other men would revenge. (2) We must show we have grace, and that we are made to bear what other men are not acquainted with. (4) Many of our graces are kept alive, by those very things that are the death of other men's souls.... The devil, (they say) is good when he is pleased; but Christ and His saints, when displeased. —John Bunyan

As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst. —William Jenkyn

Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride. —Richard Sibbes

Labour to grow better under all your afflictions, lest your afflictions grow worse, lest God mingle them with more darkness, bitterness and terror. —John Owen
The secret formula of the saints: When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord's choicest wines. —Samuel Rutherford

The way to be eased is not struggling with it, but meekly to bear it.
There is a fable, but it has its moral for this purpose. A certain ass, laded with salt, fell into a river, and after he had risen, found his burden lighter, for the moisture had made it melt away; whereupon he would ever after lie down in the water as he traveled with his burden, and so ease himself. His owner perceiving this craft , after laded him with Wool. The ass purposing to ease himself, as before, laid himself down in the water, and thinking to have ease, rising again to feel his weight, found it heavier. —Richard Stock

Look how fears have presented themselves, so have supports and encouragements; yea, when I have started, even as it were at nothing else but my shadow, yet God, as being very tender of me, hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one Scripture or another, strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often said, Were it lawful, I could pray for greater trouble, for the greater comfort's sake. —John Bunyan

He that rides to be crowned, will not think much of a rainy day. —John Trapp
God takes a safe course with His children, that they may not be condemned with the world, He permits the world to condemn them, that they may not love the world, the world hates them.... —Richard Sibbes

Afflictions are light when compared with what we really deserve. They are light when compared with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. But perhaps their real lightness is best seen by comparing them with the weight of glory which is awaiting us. —Arthur W. Pink

No wise man can expect that...God should diet us with a continual feast. It would neither suit with our health, nor the condition of this pilgrimage. Live, therefore, on your peace of conscience as your ordinary diet; when this is wanting, know that God appointeth you a fast for your health; and when you have a feast of high joys, feed on it and be thankful! But when they are taken from you, gape not after them as the disciples did after Christ at His ascension; but return thankfully to your ordinary diet of peace. —Richard Baxter

The highest honor that God can confer upon his children is the blood-red crown of martyrdom. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings that God has made, are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us. —Charles Spurgeon

It is the great support and solace of the saints in all the distresses that befall them here, that there is a wise Spirit sitting in all the wheels of motion, and governing the most eccentric creatures and their most pernicious designs to blessed and happy issues. —John Flavel

Monday, February 9, 2009

Persevering Quotes from the Christian World at Large, Part III

Persevering Quotes from The Christian World at Large Part 2
Please note that these are a compilation from various internet sources

I need to thank the following sites

We are able to persevere only because God works within us, within our free wills. And because God is at work in us, we are certain to persevere. The decrees of God concerning election are immutable. They do not change, because He does not change. All whom He justifies He glorifies. None of the elect has ever been lost. R.C. Sproul Chosen by God, Tyndale, 1986, p. 177.

It is true that God will never forsake His own children. But the proof that we are His children is that He works in us the vigilance not to forsake Him. God's not forsaking us is the work He does in us to keep us from forsaking Him (Philippians 2:12-13). John Piper When Is It Dangerous to Look at Jesus? June 15, 2005, Fresh Words, Used by Permission,

Those who fall away have never been thoroughly imbued with the knowledge of Christ but only had a slight and passing taste of it. John Calvin

The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him. Joseph Stowell Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 32.

Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success. William Wilberforce

One day George Mueller began praying for five of his friends. After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Mueller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, and throughout those 52 years he never gave up hoping that he would accept Christ! His faith was rewarded, for soon after Mueller’s funeral the last one was saved.

Sunday, A.M., May 5
Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.
Sunday, P.M., May 5
Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.”
Sunday, A.M., May 12
Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.
Sunday, A.M., May 19
Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday, P.M., May 19
Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday, A.M., May 26
Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.
Sunday, A.M., June 2
Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.
Sunday, P.M., June 2
Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.
John Wesley From his Personal Diary.

By perseverance the snail reached the ark. C.H. Spurgeon

While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, where there remains one dark soul without the light of God – I’ll fight! I’ll fight to the very end! William Booth The end of his very last speech.

Christ ceaseth not to work by His intercession with God for us, and by His Spirit in us for God, whereby He upholds His saints, their graces, their comforts in life, without which they would run to ruin. —William Gurnall

Your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all —Thomas Brooks

If Christ has once possessed the affections, there is no dispossessing of him again. A fire in the heart overcomes all fires without. —Richard Sibbes

When we are foiled, let us believe we shall overcome; when we have fallen, let us believe we shall rise again. Jacob, after he received a blow which made him lame, yet would not give over wrestling (Gen. 32:25) till he had obtained the blessing. So let us never give up, but, in our thoughts knit the beginning, progress and end together, and then we shall see ourselves in heaven out of the reach of all enemies. —Richard Sibbes

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Persevering Quotes from the Christian World at Large

Persevering Quotes from The Christian World at Large
Please note that these are a compilation from various internet sources

I need to thank the following sites
It is the Holy Spirit who is causing you to persevere. In those times when you are lazy and have no enthusiasm for any Spiritual Discipline, or when you haven’t practiced a particular Discipline as you habitually do, it is the Holy Spirit who prompts you to pick it up in spite of your feelings. Left to yourself you would have forsaken these means of sustaining grace long ago, but the Holy Spirit preserves you by granting to you the grace to persevere in them. Donald Whitney Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 1991, p. 238, Used by permission of NavPress –, All rights reserved. For more information please see the website

God uses the encouragement of the Scriptures, the hope of our ultimate salvation in glory, and the trials that He either sends or allows to produce endurance and perseverance.
Jerry BridgesThe Practice of Godliness, NavPress, 1996, p. 179. Used by permission of NavPress – All rights reserved.

In His infinite wisdom, God allows trials in order to develop perseverance in us and to cause us to fix our hopes on the glory that is yet to be revealed… Our faith and perseverance can grow only under the pain of trial. Jerry Bridges The Practice of Godliness, NavPress, 1996, p. 112. Used by permission of NavPress – All rights reserved.

The Puritans believed that without perseverance in the obedience of faith the result would be eternal destruction, not lesser sanctification. Therefore, since preaching and the pastoral ministry in general are a great means to the saints’ perseverance, the goal of a pastor is not merely to edify the saints but to save the saints. What is at stake on Sunday morning is not merely the upbuilding of the church but its eternal salvation. It is not hard to see why the Puritans were so serious. John Piper Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 2002, p. 106.

The assurance of the believer is not that God will save him even if he stops believing, but that God will keep him believing—God will sustain you in faith, he will make your hope firm and stable to the end. He will cause you to persevere. John Piper Sermon: Sustained by the Faithfulness of God, 1 Cor. 1:1-9, Used by Permission.

There is no mere doctrine of “the security” of the believer, as though God’s keeping of us took place irrespective of the lives we live. Indeed there is no such thing in the New Testament as a believer whose perseverance is so guaranteed that he can afford to ignore the warning notes which are sounded so frequently. Sinclair Ferguson The Christian Life, p. 175, 1997, by permission Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA.

If I did not believe the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, I think I should be of all men the most miserable, because I should lack any ground for comfort. C.H. Spurgeon

The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is to the effect that they whom God has regenerated and effectually called to a state of grace, can neither totally nor finally fall away from that state, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end and be eternally saved. Louis Berkhof Systematic Theology, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 1998, p. 545.

Perseverance may be defined as that continuous operation of the Holy Spirit in the believer, by which the work of divine grace that is begun in the heart, is continued and brought to completion. It is because God never forsakes His work that believers continue to stand to the very end. Louis Berkhof Systematic Theology, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 1998, p. 546.

The denial of the doctrine of perseverance virtually makes the salvation of man dependent on the human will rather than on the grace of God. Louis Berkhof Systematic Theology, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 1998, p. 549.

Since no condition in man determines his being chosen, because Scripture teaches unconditional election, it stands to reason that there is nothing he can do to get himself “unsaved”…because salvation is by the grace of God and not the vacillating will of man. Duane Edward Spencer TULIP, The Five Points of Calvinism in the Light of Scripture, Baker, 1979, p. 50, 52.

Because of these remnants of sin dwelling in them and also because of the temptations of the world and Satan, those who have been converted could not remain standing in this grace if left to their own resources. But God is faithful, mercifully strengthening them in the grace once conferred on them and powerfully preserving them in it to the end. The Canons of Dort The Fifth Main Point of Doctrine: The Perseverance of the Saints. Article 3- God’s Preservation of the Converted.

Our perseverance is a gift from God. In our salvation, God blesses us with assurance through His gift of perseverance (2 Thessalonians 3:5). However, many Christians lack full assurance of their salvation because their understanding of assurance is founded on the constantly changing emotions of their hearts rather than on the eternal Word of God. Burk Parsons Assured by God, P&R, 2006, p. 19-20. Used by Permission.

In our first paradise in Eden there was a way to go out but no way to go in again. But as for the heavenly paradise, there is a way to go in, but not way to go out. Richard Baxter A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 91.

There is nothing which so certifies the genuineness of a man’s faith as his patience and his patient endurance, his keeping on steadily in spite of everything. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression – Its Causes and its Cures, 1965, p. 229, Used by Permission from Elizabeth Catherwood (daughter).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Persevering Quotes Part I

Persevering Quotes

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

I have noticed some traffic on my blog from people looking for quotes about persevering. I am going to try to compile several of these. One that does come to mind is that by Rudy Tomjohnavich of the movie Rudy, he simply says “Never give up”. One I have held in my heart is You haven’t failed till you quit.

As a kid in high school I worked in a grocery store. My job was enjoyable at that level and I had a great corral of friends. One assistant manager was however my personal thorn in the flesh. Honestly, I absolutely hated the guy. He seemed to do all he could to bully me. Being friends with the manager at a nearby drug store, I wanted to switch jobs. My father however would not let me. He refused to let me quit. I am glad he took that stance. It taught me much about perseverance. The experience strengthened my resolve to be solution oriented, to not let things get to me or to carry over to other areas of life. That horrible manage became a tool for blessing.

So here are a few biblical passages on not giving up. Quotes from other will follow in another article post.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:25)

"But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. (Luke 8:15)

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:4-11)

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:28-31)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:4-6)

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:32-40)

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:4-5)

For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
(2 Peter 2:18-19)

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1-5)

"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:1-5)

'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' (Revelation 2:26-29)

'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 'Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' (Revelation 3:9-13)

If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:9-10)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jonathan Edwards Resolutions

Here are the resolutions that helped shape the life of Jonathan Edwards. Well worth reading, even more worth keeping.

Jonathan Edwards
Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6,‹A faithful man who can find?Š may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man:‹knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.Š June 25 and July 13, 1723.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.
64. Resolved, when I find those ‹groanings which cannot be utteredŠ (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those‹breakings of soul for the longing it hath,Š of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.