LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture

Today's Readings Feb. #16 : Matt. 17:1-13;
Acts 23:12-35; Psalm 38; Lev. 1-4

The opening chapters of Leviticus are somewhat
startling as we begin to see the elaborate system of
the sacrifices. But here is the Gospel in it its most
graphic form. It is good to note first how each
person who brought a sacrifice had to kill it
personally. No one could do it for them. We must
see it was OUR hand who nailed Jesus to the Cross.
We must look to Him as though we had brought
Him to Calvary ourselves to die there. We must
each see that He is our sacrifice personally, and no
one can make Him that for us. Note that blood had
to be shed in their place. The sacrifice was in lieu of
their own death. They knew full well this was a
substitute. The animal would die so that they would
not. So is Christ the substitute for all who believe,
who take Him as such. Killed He was. Offered up
He was. But if I do not take Him as MY substitute
by faith, I am still lost in my sins. But note thirdly
how the one who brought the sacrifice had to "lay
his hand on the head" of the offering. Alfred
Edersheim tells us that the words imply that the one
making the offering had to rest their whole weight
on the head of the sacrifice. And is this not simply
the sweetest picture of that true and saving faith we
are to exercise toward our Savior? We are to rest
the entire weight of our guilt upon Him. The whole
of our sin. Our shame, and our hope and trust. He
alone can support us. He alone can bear it all. If one
animal were to have the weight of all a man's sins -
not just those he was confessing at that time, but the
collective weight he would place upon the heads of
his multiple sacrifices over the years – none could
ever bear it. But our Redeemer can – and did!
Alone upon that Cross, He took it all. And in the
taking of it, let each who rests the the entire weight
of their sin-stained, guilt ridden souls know of an
assurance, that their sins are fully met in Him. Oh
what a Sacrifice He is!

Monday, February 27, 2006


Faith in the Person of the Lord Jesus

HERE IS A WRETCHED tendency among men to leave Christ himself out of the gospel. They might as well leave flour out of bread. Men hear the way of salvation explained, and consent to it as being Scriptural, and in every way such as suits their case; but they forget that a plan is of no service unless it is carried out; and that in the matter of salvation their own personal faith in the Lord Jesus is essential. A road to York will not take me there, I must travel along it for myself. All the sound doctrine that ever was believed will never save a man unless he puts his trust in the Lord Jesus for himself.
Mr. Macdonald asked the inhabitants of the island of St. Kilda how a man must be saved. An old man replied, "We shall be saved if we repent, and forsake our sins, and turn to God." "Yes," said a middle-aged female, "and with a true heart too." "Ay," rejoined a third, "and with prayer"; and, added a fourth, "It must be the prayer of the heart." "And we must be diligent too," said a fifth, "in keeping the commandments." Thus, each having contributed his mite, feeling that a very decent creed had been made up, they all looked and listened for the preacher's approbation; but they had aroused his deepest pity: he had to begin at the beginning, and preach Christ to them. The carnal mind always maps out for itself a way in which self can work and become great; but the Lord's way is quite the reverse. The Lord Jesus puts it very compactly in Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Believing and being baptized are no matters of merit to be gloried in; they are so simple that boasting is excluded, and free grace bears the palm. This way of salvation is chosen that it might be seen to be of grace alone. It may be that the reader is unsaved: what is the reason? Do you think the way of salvation, as laid down in the text we have quoted, to be dubious? Do you fear that you would not be saved if you followed it? How can that be, when God has pledged his own word for its certainty? How can that fail which God prescribes, and concerning which he gives a promise? Do you think it very easy? Why, then, do you not attend to it? Its ease leaves those without excuse who neglect it. If you would have done some great thing, be not so foolish as to neglect the little thing. To believe is to trust, or lean upon Christ Jesus; in other words, to give up self-reliance, and to rely upon the Lord Jesus. To be baptized is to submit to the ordinance which our Lord fulfilled at Jordan, to which the converted ones submitted at Pentecost, to which the jailer yielded obedience on the very night of his conversion. It is the outward confession which should always go with inward faith. The outward sign saves not; but it sets forth to us our death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus, and, like the Lord's Supper, it is not to be neglected.
The great point is to believe in Jesus, and confess your faith. Do you believe in Jesus? Then, dear friend, dismiss your fears; you shall be saved. Are you still an unbeliever? Then remember, there is but one door, and if you will not enter by it, you must perish in your sins. The door is there; but unless you enter by it, what is the use of it to you? It is of necessity that you obey the command of the gospel. Nothing can save you if you do not hear the voice of Jesus, and do his bidding indeed and of a truth. Thinking and resolving will not answer the purpose; you must come to real business; for only as you actually believe will you truly live unto God.
I heard of a friend who deeply desired to be the means of the conversion of a young man, and one said to him, "You may go to him, and talk to him, but you will get him no further; for he is exceedingly well acquainted with the plan of salvation." It was eminently so; and therefore, when our friend began to speak with the young man, he received for an answer, "I am much obliged to you, but I do not know that you can tell me much, for I have long known and admired the plan of salvation by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ." Alas! he was resting in the plan, but he had not believed in the Person. The plan of salvation is most blessed, but it can avail us nothing unless we personally believe in the Lord Jesus Christ himself. What is the comfort of a plan of a house if you do not enter the house itself? The man in our cut, who is sitting out in the rain, is not deriving much comfort from the plans which are spread out before him. What is the good of a plan of clothing if you have not a rag to cover you? Have you never heard of the Arab chief at Cairo, who was very ill, and went to the missionary, and the missionary said he could give him a prescription? He did so; and a week after he found the Arab none the better. "Did you take my prescription?" he asked. "Yes, I ate every morsel of the paper." He dreamed that he was going to be cured by devouring the physician's writing, which I may call the plan of the medicine. He should have had the prescription made up, and then it might have wrought him good, if he had taken the draught: it could do him no good to swallow the recipe. So is it with salvation: it is not the plan of salvation which can save, it is the carrying out of that plan by the Lord Jesus in his death on our behalf, and our acceptance of the same. Under the Jewish law, the offerer brought a bullock, and laid his hands upon it: it was no dream, or theory, or plan. In the victim for sacrifice he found something substantial, which he could handle and touch: even so do we lean upon the real and true work of Jesus, the most substantial thing under heaven. We come to the Lord Jesus by faith, and say, "God has provided an atonement here, and I accept it. I believe in the fact accomplished on the cross; I am confident that sin was put away by Christ, and I rest on him." If you would be saved, you must get beyond the acceptance of plans and doctrines to a resting in the divine person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dear reader, will you have Christ now?
Jesus invites all those who labor and are heavy laden to come to him, and he will give them rest. He does not promise this to their merely dreaming about him. They must COME; and they must come to HIM, and not merely to the Church, to baptism, or to the orthodox faith, or to anything short of his divine person. When the brazen serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, the people were not to look to Moses, nor to the Tabernacle, nor to the pillar of cloud, but to the brazen serpent itself. Looking was not enough unless they looked to the right object: and the right object was not enough unless they looked. It was not enough for them to know about the serpent of brass; they must each one look to it for himself. When a man is ill, he may have a good knowledge of medicine, and yet he may die if he does not actually take the healing draught. We must receive Jesus; for "to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Lay the emphasis on two words: We must receive HIM, and we must RECEIVE him. We must open wide the door, and take Christ Jesus in; for "Christ in you" is "the hope of glory." Christ must be no myth, no dream, no phantom to us, but a real man, and truly God; and our reception of him must be no forced and reigned acceptance, but the hearty and happy assent and consent of the soul that he shall be the all in all of our salvation. Will we not at once come to him, and make him our sole trust?
The dove is hunted by the hawk, and finds no security from its restless enemy. It has learned, that there is shelter for it in the cleft of the rock, and it hastens there with gladsome wing. Once wholly sheltered within its refuge, it fears no bird of prey. But if it did not hide itself in the rock, it would be seized upon by its adversary. The rock would be of no use to the dove, if the dove did not enter its cleft. The whole body must be hidden in the rock. What if ten thousand other birds found a fortress there, yet that fact would not save the one dove which is now pursued by the hawk! It must put its whole self into the shelter, and bury itself within its refuge, or its life will be forfeited to the destroyer.
What a picture of faith is this! It is entering into Jesus, hiding in his wounds.

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee."

The dove is out of sight: the rock alone is seen. So does the guilty soul dart into the riven side of Jesus by faith, and is buried in him out of sight of avenging justice. But there must be this personal application to Jesus for shelter; and this it is that so many put off from day to day, till it is to be feared that they will "die in their sins." What an awful word is that! It is what our Lord said to the unbelieving Jews; and he says the same to us at this hour: "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." It makes one's heart quiver to think that even one who shall read these lines may yet be of the miserable company who will thus perish. The Lord prevent it of his great grace!
I saw, the other day, a remarkable picture, which I shall use as an illustration of the way of salvation by faith in Jesus. An offender had committed a crime for which he must die, but it was in the olden time, when churches were considered to be sanctuaries in which criminals might hide themselves, and so escape from death. See the transgressor! He rushes towards the church, the guards pursue him with their drawn swords, athirst for his blood! They follow him even to the church door. He rushes up the steps, and just as they are about to overtake him, and hew him in pieces on the threshold of the church, out comes the Bishop, and holding up the cross, he cries, "Back, back! Stain not the precincts of God's house with blood! Stand back!" The fierce soldiers at once respect the emblem, and retire, while the poor fugitive hides himself behind the robes of the Bishop. It is even so with Christ. The guilty sinner flies straight away to Jesus; and though Justice pursues him, Christ lifts up his wounded hands, and cries to Justice, "Stand back! I shelter this sinner; in the secret place of my tabernacle do I hide him; I will not suffer him to perish, for he puts his trust in me." Sinner, fly to Christ! But you answer, "I am too vile." The viler you are, the more will you honor him by believing that he is able to protect even you. "But I am so great a sinner." Then the more honor shall be given to him if you have faith to confide in him, great sinner though you are. If you have a little sickness, and you tell your physician—"Sir, I am quite confident in your skill to heal," there is no great compliment in your declaration. Anybody can cure a finger-ache, or a trifling sickness. But if you are sore sick with a complication of diseases which grievously torment you, and you say—"Sir, I seek no better physician; I will ask no other advice but yours; I trust myself joyfully with you;" what an honor have you conferred on him, that you can trust your life in his hands while it is in extreme and immediate danger! Do the like with Christ; put your soul into his care: do it deliberately, and without a doubt. Dare to quit all other hopes: venture all on Jesus; I say "venture" though there is nothing really venturesome in it, for he is abundantly able to save. Cast yourself simply on Jesus; let nothing but faith be in your soul towards Jesus; believe him, and trust in him, and you shall never be made ashamed of your confidence. "He that believeth on him shall not be confounded" (1 Peter 2:6).


Sunday, February 26, 2006


Love flowing from a sight of the cross!

Winslow, "The Disciple Washing Christ's Feet"

"A certain immoral woman heard Jesus was there
and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive
perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet,
weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped
them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his
feet and putting perfume on them." Luke 7:37-38

She washed Christ's feet with the tears of grateful
love. Jesus had pardoned all her sins, had absolved
her from their guilt, and had released her from their
power. How natural was the feeling of gratitude,
how appropriate this service of love!

The most genuine contrition for sin flows from a
sense of its forgiveness. Nothing breaks the heart
so thoroughly as the experience of God's pardoning
love, love flowing from a sight of the cross!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I should like to come back to our reflections on Jesus our Savior. This next post is from the pen of my pastor, Reid Ferguson.

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture

Today’s Readings Feb. #15 : Matt. 16:13-28;
Acts 23:1-11; Psalm 37:23-40; Ex. 38-40

Peter’s great declaration in Matt. 16, is the very
foundation of all true Christianity: Jesus is the
Christ, God’s exclusive Messiah, God’s only
Son. He alone can ransom the lost, atone for sin,
die in the place of guilty sinners, bear the wrath
of God due us, and rise again that we might be
declared righteous. These things belong to Jesus
and Him alone. What a glorious Savior! Then
note Jesus’ words to Peter at the end of verse
18. Yes, this confession is indeed that Rock
upon which we are built – But He is not content
to leave us imagining that this is but a
temporary or a merely temporal - thing. Here,
knowing (as the next few verses reveal) that He
will soon be going to Jerusalem to ascend His
rough hewn Throne at Calvary – He wants to
make sure His disciples then and we today know
something of supreme importance. Of
transcendent importance in the very deepest
sense of that word. This Church, this assembly,
built upon this confession of Jesus the Messiah,
the Son of God, is of such a nature that even the
gates of Hell cannot prevail against it. In other
words, He wants us to know that His salvation,
His Kingdom, His Lordship, extends beyond the
grave. Not even death can impact it. Those who
are His in this life, are His in the next. What He
has wrought for us here, does not end here, but
goes on through all eternity. Every human
institution, every human accomplishment, every
human endeavor ends at the grave. Every last
one. But not the Kingdom of our Christ. His is a
Kingdom without end. Death not only cannot
thwart it, it can only become a gateway for us to
enter into it more fully. “If in this life only we
have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most
to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15:9) But it is not so. Our
hope extends beyond the grave and to all
eternity. Indeed, our weeping may endure for a
night – but JOY, eternal joy, everlasting joy,
unassailable joy – comes in the morning!


Saturday, February 25, 2006
The Faith of Martin Luther

The following Luther quotation was taken from Doug Eaton's "Godward Thoughts".

"Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. ``Faith is not enough,''they say, ``You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.'' They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, ``I believe.'' That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn't come from this `faith,' either.

Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do."

Martin Luther - An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans

posted by Jonathan Moorhead

Friday, February 24, 2006


Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him." Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!" Jn.19:4-5

There He stood, the embodiment of God's holiness, justice and love. At this point Jesus had only just begun to pay the price for the sins of lost man. The cross was just a short time ahead.

As Jesus came forth, one wonders just what it is that the crowd saw. Let us look to Isaiah who prophecied of this event over seven hundred years earlier:

"Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men". Is.52:14

As Pilate had Jesus scourged we can only imagine what that must have been like. John MacArthur says in his commentary on John 19:1, "Scourging was a horribly cruel act in which the victim was stripped, tied to a post and beaten by several torturers, i.e. soldiers who alternated when exhausted...the prefered instrument was a short wooden handle to which several leather thongs were attached. Each leather thong had pieces of bones or metal on the end. The beatings were so savage that sometimes victims died. The body could be torn or lacerated to such an extent that muscles, veins or bones were exposed".

As it is written in prophecy by Isaiah: " I gave My back to those who struck Me, My cheeks to those who plucked out My beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting." Isaiah 50:6

As our substitute, Jesus received and experienced God the Father's full fury upon our sins. As we read Isaiah 53 we come to realize that it was the Father Who was behind the beatings- " Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief."

We see on display here the holiness of God and the horribleness of our sins. That same God Who told Moses to take off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground is showing the world His hatred for OUR sins-no matter how small-they must be paid for.

Those of you reading this post who do not know Jesus as your only hope of salvation, I say this: There is no way that you can earn salvation! It is written,"whoever believes may in Him have eternal life." That is right, simply look to the Son of God and you will be saved.

I will continue this series in the days to come.

Mark Pierson

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Altogether lovely!

("Solitude Sweetened" by James Meikle, 1730-1799)

"Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved,
and this is my Friend!" (Song of Solomon 5:16)

Why does the world reject the Savior of the world?
Why do they abhor Him who is altogether lovely,
and hate Him who is the best Friend of mankind?

O men of the world! what good can you desire which
is not in Christ? The excellencies of earth are but His
footstool; the excellencies of heaven are but His
throne! How excellent, then, must He himself be!

His treasures are infinite--and open for you!

In Jesus are . . .
riches--if you are poor;
honor--if you are despised;
friendship--if you are forsaken;
help--if you are injured;
mercy--if you are miserable;
joy--if you are disconsolate;
protection--if you are in danger;
deliverance--if you are a captive;
life--if you are mortal;
and all things--if you have nothing at all.

Time and eternity are His! He can give
you all the glorious things of eternity!

Moreover, He can deliver you . . .
from all your fears;
from sin--the worst of all evils;
from self--the most hurtful of all companions;
from death--the most dreadful of all changes;
from Satan--the most subtle of all enemies;
from hell--the most horrible of all prisons; and
from wrath--the most horrifying doom of all sinners!

Now, where will you find such a one as Jesus?

Why, then, refuse life, and seek after death?

All heaven is enamored with His beauty!

The longer we look on 'created gaieties', the leaner
and less lovely they grow; so that, by the time we
have viewed them forty, fifty, or sixty years--we
see nothing but vanity in the creature! But when
ten thousand ages are employed in beholding the
perfection and beauty of Jesus--He still appears
more and more lovely--even altogether lovely!

Alas! I can say nothing of His true excellencies!
They overwhelm my laboring thought, and are
too vast for my feeble conception to bring forth!

Monday, February 20, 2006


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture

Today’s Readings Feb. #11 : Matt. 14:22-36;
Acts 20:13-38; Psalm 34; Ex. 30-31

“Lord, save me!” What a wonderful prayer. It
isn’t eloquent. It isn’t wordy. It makes no appeal
as to why the Lord ought to hear, or why Peter
was worth saving. It is the instinctive cry of one
in the fear and terror of the moment, to another
who it appears to him can help. That in itself is
worthy to note isn’t it? To the natural eye, Jesus
wasn’t the best choice. After all, He wasn’t
exactly standing on dry ground. But He WAS
there and He WASN’T sinking, and though
there was no rational explanation as to why He
was actually walking on the water, Peter knew
He was indeed able, and He cried out. The
unanswered questions notwithstanding. So it
often with our own prayers. We’re not quite
sure if they can really help, but we see Jesus
with the eye of faith. We cannot explain it all.
We cannot tell those around us in rational detail
how it is we KNOW He can help, but we still
just instinctively cry to Him. It is one of the
proofs that we are truly born again. His Spirit is
within us and we cry out “Abba Father” when in
trouble - the way any little child naturally cries
for its parent. Peter’s cry in the original carries
with the idea of “Lord, save me – and do it
NOW!” Our sweet Jesus is never afraid of our
emergencies, but is able to meet us in all of
them. No matter how bizarre or improbable or
drastic they may be. Nothing was less probable
than sinking from a quick walk on the water in
the middle of a raging storm. But this is no
impediment to our God. Nor is our lack of faith
a barrier He cannot overcome. Jesus will ask
Peter to examine himself for why his faith
failed, but He does not fail Peter because of it.
Nor will He fail you beloved. Though your faith
this very day be weak and failing, cry out! He is
near – even in the most improbable places and
bizarre circumstances. And He is not thwarted
by your lack of faith. Just call. Cry out. Look to
Him in the emergency. He will save you.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I am confounded with wonder!

("Solitude Sweetened" by James Meikle, 1730-1799)

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!"
(Romans 5:20)

Dear Savior, in Your sufferings I not only see the infiniteness
of sin, but also the infiniteness of Your love; so that, though
I have cause with myself to be angry on account of sin, I need
not despair.

If the desert of my sinful folly is death--the merit of Your
sufferings is life!

If my sins mount up to heaven--Your mercy is above the heavens!

Though my sins reach to the very throne to accuse me
--there is One upon the throne who will not condemn me!

When I look to myself and see my vileness and necessity--I am
confounded with shame! But when I look to You, and see Your
fullness and all-sufficiency--I am confounded with wonder!

Am I weak? Jesus is my strength.

Am I foolish? Jesus is my wisdom!

Am I wicked? Jesus is my righteousness!

Am I impure? Jesus is my sanctification!

Am I in bondage? Jesus is my complete redemption!

Am I in misery? From Jesus tender mercy flows.

Am I deceitful? Jesus is wholly truth!

In a word, am I enmity itself? Then Jesus is love itself
which passes understanding! Mine is but the enmity
of a creature--but Yours is the love of God!

Where sin abounded--grace did much more abound!

Where misery has surrounded me--Your mercy has crowned me!

Sin is too strong for me--but Your grace is too strong for sin!

Why, then, am I so vexed with fears, doubts, and unbelief?
Because I am sinful. On that very account, Jesus, who knew
no sin, was made sin--that I, who knew no righteousness,
might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

But I am a great sinner! But Jesus is a Savior, and a great One!

Where is boasting now? See--it is great mercy in God, great
merit in Christ--which saves a great sinner! Since rich and free
grace builds the temple of salvation--let it have all the glory!

But I fall often into the same sin! That is my failing, over
which I ought to mourn, and by which I should be driven out
of all boasting in my own holiness, high attainments, and
religious duties; and cry, with tears of holy joy, "Grace, grace
to Him who has laid the foundation, carries on the whole work
of redemption, and will, with shouting bring forth the topstone!"

Now, law, what have you to do with me? Go to my
Surety, Jesus! O curse! you have lighted on His head,
that the blessing might rest on mine!

Though once I dared not lift my eyes heavenward, for fear
of divine wrath--yet now I may come boldly to the throne
of grace, and claim the blessings of His purchase!

Though my sin offends Him--I shall never sin away His love,
nor His presence altogether. For He shall come a second
time, to deliver me from all my inherent sinfulness!

Though my sin is my burden--it shall not be my bane! Yet
I shall never willingly let the traitor rest in my bosom--which
would persuade my soul into rebellion against my dearest
Lord, and best Friend. I may have continual war with the
invader--but shall obtain the victory at last! Meanwhile, I
will grieve more for offending Him whose name is Love, by
my sin--than for the clouds, afflictions, and chastisements
which seize me because of my sinfulness.

Now, with the arms of my faith, I clasp the promise--and
Jesus in the promise! Here will I live, and here will I die,
blessing God, who causes me always to triumph in Jesus
Christ my Lord!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


("Solitude Sweetened" by James Meikle, 1730-1799)

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my Savior,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield,
and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold!"
(Psalm 18:2)

Do rocks defend me from blasts, from whatever
quarter they blow? So does my Rock!

Is the blast from hell? Well, He has the keys of hell and of death!

Is it from sin? He is my righteousness!

Is it from Satan? He has conquered principalities and powers!

Is it from afflictions? He is my sympathizing and loving High Priest!

Is it from losses? He is my exceeding great reward!

Is it from crosses? He makes all things work together for good to His people!

Is it from anguish? He is my joy!

Is it from darkness? He is my Sun!

Is it from doubts? He is my Counselor!

Is it from deadness? He is my life!

Is it from enemies? He is my shield!

Is it from temptation? He is my deliverer!

Is it from false friends? He will never leave me, nor forsake me!

Is it from solitude or banishment? He is everywhere present!

Is it from disease? He is my healer!

Is it from death? He is the resurrection and the life!

O glorious refuge! O sure defense! O everlasting fortress!
Here do I defy the worst that earth and hell can do!

Henceforth will I live by faith, in the MAN who is . . .
my hiding place from the wind,
my shelter from the tempest,
my stream of water in a dry place,
my shadow of a great rock in a weary land--
until every blast has blown over, and not a threatening
cloud appears in my sky--until my heaven is beautified
with everlasting day, and every storm is swept from the
air which I breathe!

"And a MAN shall be as a hiding place from the wind,
and a shelter from the tempest, like streams of water
in a dry place, like the shadow of a great rock in a
weary land!" (Isaiah 32:2)

Friday, February 17, 2006


The most precious thing in heaven or earth

(John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671)

In giving Christ to die for poor sinners, God gave the
richest jewel in His cabinet; a mercy of the greatest
worth, and most inestimable value.

Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ
is! Ten thousand thousand worlds--as many worlds as
angels can number, would not outweigh Christ's love,
excellency and sweetness! O what a lovely One! What
an excellent, beautiful, ravishing One--is Christ!

Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden
of Eden, into one; put all flowers, all fragrances, all colors,
all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness into one;
O what a lovely and excellent thing would that be! And yet
it would be less to that loveliest and dearest well-beloved
Christ--than one drop of rain to all the seas, rivers, lakes,
and fountains of ten thousand earths!

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most
precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners;
and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as His Son was--what
kind of love is this!

May the Lord bless your day, dear reader.

Mark Pierson

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Body of Christ,
It is my heart's desire to edify the entire body of Christ, Calvinist or noncalvinist. "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" Rom.10:13.

With that, more Spurgeon-

1. LOOK!
From Spurgeon's sermon, "Man's ruin and God's remedy"

"See him-- The hand that poises the world hangs on a nail.

See him-- The shoulders that supported the skies
are drooping over the cross.

Look at him-- The eyes whose glances light up the sun
are sealed in darkness.

Look at him-- The feet that trod the billows and that shaped
the spheres are nailed with rude iron to the accursed tree.

Go see his hands; they are weak, but in their
weakness they are stretched out to save you.

Come view his heart-- it is torn,
but in its cleft you may hide yourself.

Look at his eyes-- they are closing in death, but from them
comes the ray of light that shall kindle your dark spirit."

Folks, I can only hope that you are as blessed with Spurgeon as I am. I hope to make him a regular part of bluecollar.

Mark Pierson

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Among my favorite portions of scripture are these:

The parable in Luke 18:9-14- In it there are two men who went to the temple to pray. The one man, my hero, the one I like to pattern my life after, prayed like this:
"Standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his
breast, saying,'God, be meriful to me a sinner!" Jesus Himself said that this man went down to his house JUSTIFIED.

Secondly, there is the account of the criminal on the cross. Luke 23:39-43. In a short time he went from mocking the Savior to saying, ''Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." Jesus' response to that was: " Assuredly, I say to you, Today you will be with Me in Paradise".

Utter helplessness. That is how one is to come to Christ. We bring nothing to the table. We are incapable of doing any works that would merit salvation, or His pleasure.

Utter helplessness. Can I judge any man or woman, boy or girl who has come to the Savior in such a way?

Mark Pierson

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Times have been tough at the Pierson house these past couple of weeks. There is still alot to work through. I know that some of you are going through tough times too.

It is my hope that you will find comfort in our Lord as you read the following from the "Prince of Preachers".

O blessed hurricane!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep
Your word. It was good for me to be afflicted, so that
I could learn Your statutes." (Psalm 119:67, 71)

In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on
earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to
cast himself on God alone. When no human deliverance
can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to
the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks
a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that
drives the soul to God—and God alone!

When a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he
has nowhere else to turn—he flies into his Father's arms,
and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with
troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell
them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for
he will learn more of his Lord then, than at any other time.

Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that
drives you to your Father!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


"There brake He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle." --Psalm 76:3

Our Redeemer's glorious cry of "It is finished," was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of "the bow and the battle." Behold the hero of Golgotha using His cross as an anvil, and His woes as a hammer, dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned "arrows of the bow"; trampling on every indictment, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty Breaker gives with a hammer far more ponderous than the fabled weapon of Thor! How the diabolical darts fly to fragments, and the infernal bucklers are broken like potters' vessels! Behold, He draws from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of Satanic power! He snaps it across His knee, as a man breaks the dry wood of a fagot, and casts it into the fire.

Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow mortally to wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement was made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuseth? Who now condemneth? Christ hath died, yea rather, hath risen again. Jesus has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath; the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell's warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance. Sin hath no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away for ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk ye of all the wondrous works of the Lord, ye who make mention of His name, keep not silence, neither by day, nor when the sun goeth to his rest. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, February 06, 2006


Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ,
if sinners will be damned, at least
let them leap to hell over our bodies.

And if they will perish, let them perish with our
arms about their knees, imploring them to stop,
and not madly to destroy themselves.

If hell must be filled, at least let it be
filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let
not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

From Spurgeon's sermon, "The Wailing of Risca"

Friday, February 03, 2006


The story of Spurgeon’s conversion is widely known, but it may well be repeated, and it cannot be better told than in the words in which he himself presented it.

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Church. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people’s heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved....

The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now it is well that preachers be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was—"LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH" (Isa. 45:22)

He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimmer of hope for me in that text.

The preacher began thus: "This is a very simple text indeed. It says ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It aint liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is just ‘Look.’ Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look.

"But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Ay!" he said in broad Essex, "many on ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some say look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Some on ye say ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin.’ You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. The text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ "

Then the good man followed up his text in this way: "Look unto Me; I am sweatin’ great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto Me, I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto Me; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! look unto Me!"

When he had . . . . managed to spin out about ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger.

Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, "Young man, you look very miserable." Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, "And you will always be miserable—miserable in life and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved." Then lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, "Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!"

I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said—I did not take much notice of it—I was so possessed with that one thought . . . . I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, "Look!" what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away.

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, "Trust Christ, and you shall be saved." Yet it was, no doubt, all wisely ordered, and now I can say—

"E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die. . ."

That happy day when I found the Saviour, and learned to cling to His dear feet, was a day never to be forgotten by me . . . . I listened to the Word of God and that precious text led me to the cross of Christ. I can testify that the joy of that day was utterly indescribable. I could have leaped, I could have danced; there was no expression, however fanatical, which would have been out of keeping with the joy of that hour. Many days of Christian experience have passed since then, but there has never been one which has had the full exhilaration, the sparkling delight which that first day had.

I thought I could have sprung from the seat in which I sat, and have called out with the wildest of those Methodist brethren . . . "I am forgiven! I am forgiven! A monument of grace! A sinner saved by blood!"

My spirit saw its chains broken to pieces, I felt that I was an emancipated soul, an heir of heaven, a forgiven one, accepted in Jesus Christ, plucked out of the miry clay and out of the horrible pit, with my feet set upon a rock and my goings established . . . .

Between half-past ten o’clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o’clock, when I was back again at home, what a change had taken place in me! Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, "Something wonderful has happened to you," and I was eager to tell them all about it. Oh! there was joy in the household that day, when all heard that the eldest son had found the Saviour and knew himself to be forgiven.

(Taken from Iain Murray, ed., The Early Years (London: Banner of Truth, 1962), p. 87-90).