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We all have our Ashtareth!

“This is my infirmity!” – Psalm 77:10

The best of men–are but men at best! We all have many remaining corruptions–we are all encompassed with many infirmities. And what effect should the consideration of this humiliating but undoubted truth, produce? Ought it not, among other results, to excite in us a spirit of constant watchfulness?

We are frail creatures–ever liable to fall! And being exposed, in addition, to the wiles of our spiritual adversaries–our danger is considerably greater. It is on our indwelling corruptions that Satan works–and often, alas, with sad success!

In addition to our general infirmities, it is probable that there is some one, or more besetting sins–to which we are particularly liable; in which case it befits us to be doubly on our guard!

“If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts–then rid yourselves of the foreign gods–and the Ashtoreths; and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve Him only–and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” – 1 Samuel 7:3

Samuel exhorts them to rid themselves of the foreign gods–and the Ashtoreths. But was not Ashtareth simply one of the many idols–an idol like all the rest? Would not one specification, therefore, do for all? It appears not. And why? It was because Ashtareth was their favorite idol, after whom they were specially liable to go! So that while they were to put away all their foreign gods–they were to put away their Ashtoreths in particular.

And just so with us. We all have our Ashtareth, of whom, by reason of . . .
  the temper of our minds,
  or the constitution of our bodies,
  or our circumstances in life–
we are in especial danger! And while we are to be on our guard against every sin–our spiritual forces must be mustered against this besetting sin with more than ordinary energy and decision. We are to “lay aside every weight–and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us–looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Compassed about, then, as we are, with infirmities–some of a more special, and others of a more general nature–we should continually be on our watch-tower! Let us never dream that we are free from danger; for when we imagine that there is the least danger–there may be the greatest!

Reader, remember therefore, and that continually, the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, “Watch and pray–lest you enter into temptation!”

– From “Brief Thoughts for the Followers of Jesus” (1855) by John MacDuff

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Father knows best! – Spurgeon

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away–may the name of the LORD be praised!” – Job 1:21

“Shall we accept good from God–and not trouble?” – Job 2:10

Let the Lord do as He wills to us! He will never be unkind to us! He has always been our friend–He will never be our foe!

He will never put us into the furnace–unless He means to purge the dross out of us. Nor will there be one degree more heat in that furnace than is absolutely necessary–there will always be mercy to balance the misery–and strength supplied to support the burden to be borne.

Oh, children of God, your Father knows best! Leave everything in His hands and be at peace–for all is well.

“I was silent; I would not open my mouth–for You are the one who has done this!” – Psalm 39:9

“He is the LORD; let him do what is good in His eyes!” – 1 Samuel 3:18

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty–yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” – Habakkuk 3:17-18

– Charles Spurgeon, from gracegems.org

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Barabbas–from Daily Meditation

As I was reading few Christian articles, I read this by John Henry, in his “My Daily Meditation” and I just wanted to share it with God’s children. Here it is:

BARABBAS rather than Christ! The destroyer of life rather than the Giver of life! This was the choice of the people; and it is a choice which has often stained and defiled my own life.

When I choose revenge rather than forgiveness, I am preferring Barabbas to Christ. For revenge is a murderer, while forgiveness is a healer and saviour of men. But how often I have sent the sweet healer to the cross, and welcomed the murderer within my gate!

When I choose carnal passion before holiness, I am preferring Barabbas to Christ. For is there any murderer so destructive as carnality? And holiness stands waiting, ready to make me beautiful with the wondrous garments of grace. But I spurn the angel, and open my door to the beast.

The devil is always soliciting my service, and the devil “is a murderer from the beginning.” Have I never preferred him, and sent my Lord to be “crucified afresh,” and “put Him to an open shame”?

Again let me pray—for all my unholy and unwholesome choices, for all my preference of the murderer, forgive me, good Lord!

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Christian Friendship–David and Jonathan

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How can one explain the mutual love between David and Jonathan? Between them there was this close bond which united them – the same faith. Each of them had demonstrated this faith by winning all by himself a victory for the LORD over the Philistines.
It is because they have in common a “like precious faith” that Christians recognize and love each other (2 Peter 1:1). Let us remember this when we choose our friends. For us, as children of God, it is not possible to have a true and deep friendship with someone who does not share the same faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Once again, Jonathan, not without risk, acts as advocate for David with his father Saul. Saul, unbelieving, has forgotten the LORD’s judgment on him (1 Samuel 13:13-14). And, despite this, he would like to ensure the right of his son to the royal succession (v. 31). Jonathan thus seems to be acting against his own interests. This is the sign of true love (see 1 Corinthians 13:5). Even after his father has tried to kill him too, if he is grieved, it is because of the outrage against David and not at all for himself (v. 34). Dear friends, do the outrages committed by the world against the Lord Jesus grieve us more than the wrongs which it can do to us ourselves?

– From Read Through the Bible in a Year with commentary by Jean Koechlin