Would you say that most of the people sitting in the pews in the churches of america are part of the few there be that find it?

***The Christian on His Watch-tower***

(George Everard)


In rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah's workmen combined a triplet of duties — watching, working, praying. With a weapon in the one hand, they guarded against their foes. With a trowel in the other hand, they labored at their work. With a heart toward Heaven, they prayed to their God.

The servants of Christ must do likewise: it is the Master's own teaching. "Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It is like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch." (Mark 13:33, 34.) On the first of these duties, let me here address a few words of counsel, and reserve the two latter for the following chapter.

Watch against sin. You have three great foes whom you are pledged to renounce — the world, the flesh, and the devil — but sin is the spear or the arrow by which alone any one of them can injure you. Therefore, if you watch against sin, you watch against all.


Be equally guarded in never being persuaded against your conscience. Clever reasons may be suggested for your compliance with the request made to you — the advantage it may afford — the example of others, even Christians — the frailty of youth — the slightness of the sin, etc. But do not hearken. Have the courage to say "No!" and stick to it — and you will gain a great victory — you are one of God's heroes. "Blessed is the man who endures temptation."

Flee youthful lusts. Mark the expression. "Flee" as from a house infected with the plague! Flee, as from a serpent whose poison is death. In thought, word, and deed — be pure, be chaste. Say "good bye" forever to any companion in whose society you are not safe from allusions to evil. Keep far from any place where there may be danger. Be like Joseph. Utterly abhor all such iniquity. Say, "How shall I do this great wickedness — and sin against God?"

Shrink from the least approach to profane conversation. There is nothing manly about such a way of speaking. The noblest spirits the world has ever known, have cherished the most profound reverence for the Most High God.

Watch against pride of every kind. Boasting speech, arrogance, self-glorying — little befit a follower of the Lamb. Be not proud of wit — or wealth; of your person — or bodily strength. A very small worm may soon destroy your pleasant gourd. Like Jonah's, it may wither in a night. More than all other, guard against spiritual pride. Keep on the low ground. Do not think that you have reached a higher standard of knowledge or of grace than others. Be you content to walk in the old paths, to keep low at Christ's footstool, to love your fellow-Christians of every name, and spend your life in doing all the good you can.

Watch against the indulgence of any wrong temper. Avoid ruffling your own spirit or disturbing the comfort of those about you. Do not be irritated if others do not act always as you wish. Expect many contrary winds. Check yourself at once, when you find passion rising — keep it down with a high hand. Do not be sarcastic, or sullen, or silent — when something is amiss. Try to overcome that pettishness which is often worse than sudden anger — a sitting still for half-an-hour without speaking a word; the unkind look, the refusal to be pacified, the sharp, curt "yes," or "no."


Watch for the Lord's appearing. The right position for every Christian is that named by the Apostle, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ!" Apart from all disputed questions, the coming of Christ is the great object of hope and expectation. Ever has it been the cry of His Church, and never should it be more so than now, "Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!" Though we may rejoice that His servants are carrying the Gospel into all lands, though many come from east and west to sit down in His kingdom — yet, side by side with this, error abounds and unbelief spreads wide in nations and in Churches that are called by His name. Well, then, is it that the young Christian should stand on his watch-tower, eagerly looking for that glorious day, as the Jewish watchmen would look out for the first beams of the rising sun.

Perhaps in nothing will this spirit of watchfulness give plainer guidance than as to the Christian's separation from the world. Twice does our Lord speak of His own, "They are not of the world even as I am not of the world." And so is it written in James, "True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this to keep himself unspotted from the world." And again, "Don't you know that friendship of the world, is enmity with God?"


PRAYER.
O God, my Father in Christ, I come to ask You for a watchful spirit. Teach me to avoid the very least approach to evil. Give me a tender conscience. Keep me from every wrong temper and disposition. Keep me from sin in thought, word, or deed. I ask You also to prepare me for the great day of Christ's appearing. May I cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. May I purify myself, through Your Spirit, even as Christ is pure. And O my Father, keep me from all the snares and allurements of this present evil world. Keep me far from the brink of danger, and very near to Yourself. In all doubtful matters, give me heavenly wisdom, that I may know what things I ought to do — and give me grace faithfully to perform the same. When this world and all within it shall be destroyed, grant that I may be found among Your elect, safe in Your kingdom forever. Hear me, O my Father, and fulfill all my petitions, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Where is your mission field?

***How soon are the mighty fallen!***

(Spurgeon, WARNING AND ENCOURAGEMENT)

Dr. Ives, who used to live on the road to Tyburn
at the time when prisoners were always carried
in a cart to be hanged there, would frequently say,
when he had any friends with him, if he saw the
criminals riding by- "There goes Dr. Ives."
When they asked him what he meant, he replied-
"Such crimes as that felon has committed I would
have committed, but for the grace of God."

That is true even of you who live nearest to God.

You, who have the most familiarity with Christ,
and enjoy the most holy fellowship with him,
may soon become the very leaders of the hosts of Satan- if your Lord withdraws His grace.

DAVID's eyes go astray, and the sweet psalmist of Israel becomes the shameless adulterer, who robs Uriah of his wife.

SAMSON one day slays a thousand of his enemies with the might of his arm and the valor of his heart;
another day his honor is betrayed, his locks are shorn, and his eyes are put out by a strumpet's treacherous wiles.

Behold SOLOMON, the wisest of men,
yet the greatest fool who ever lived.

Even JOB fails in patience,
and ABRAHAM, staggers as to his faith.

"Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**The carnal man's trinity!**

("Soul Idolatry" David Clarkson, 1621-1686)

"You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy
person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a such a person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world." Ephesians 5:5

"For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:16

Pleasures, and riches, and honors are the carnal
man's trinity. These are the three great idols of
worldly men, to which they prostrate their souls!

Idolatry is to give that honor and worship to 'the creature', which is due to the Creator alone. When this worship is communicated to other things, whatever they are, we thereby make them idols, and commit idolatry. When the mind is most taken up with an object, and the heart and affections most set upon it, this is "soul worship"--and this worship is due to God alone.

There are two kinds of idolatry:
1. Open, external idolatry--when men, out of a religious respect, bow to, or prostrate themselves before anything besides the true God.

2. Secret and soul idolatry--when the mind is set
on anything more than God; when anything is . . .
more valued than God,
more desired than God,
more sought than God,
more loved than God.

Hence, secret idolaters shall have no inheritance in
the Kingdom of God. Soul idolatry will exclude men
from heaven, as much as open idolatry!

He who serves his lusts is as incapable of entering
heaven, as he who worships idols of wood or stone!

"Therefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry!"
1 Corinthians 10:14

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From losing his partner to ovarian cancer to his passion for saving marine life, Ben Starling's life experiences inspired him to intertwine them into his short stories and his novel

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