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The Imitation of Christ

Thomas Hemerken of Kempen, or Thomas À Kempis as he is now known.
This study can be found in it's entirty at http://fishermansnet.com/ImatationOfChrist/
Also below is a daily Bible Study from the Spurgeon Morning and Evening studies.
Both will change daily

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Apr 18
Music on this page is from the Don Francisco site at
This song is by Annie Brooks
Song = Rescue Me

Apr 18

2. The Interior Life

2.10 Appreciating God'sGrace

WHY do you look for rest when you were born to work? Resignyourself to patience rather than to comfort, to carrying yourcross rather than to enjoyment.

What man in the world, if he could always have them, would notreadily accept consolation and spiritual joy, benefits whichexcel all earthly delights and pleasures of the body? The latter,indeed, are either vain or base, while spiritual joys, born ofvirtue and infused by God into pure minds, are alone trulypleasant and noble.

Now, since the moment of temptation is always nigh, sincefalse freedom of mind and overconfidence in self are seriousobstacles to these visitations from heaven, a man can never enjoythem just as he wishes.

God does well in giving the grace of consolation, but man doesevil in not returning everything gratefully to God. Thus, thegifts of grace cannot flow in us when we are ungrateful to theGiver, when we do not return them to the Fountainhead. Grace isalways given to him who is duly grateful, and what is wont to begiven the humble will be taken away from the proud.

I do not desire consolation that robs me of contrition, nor doI care for contemplation that leads to pride, for not all that ishigh is holy, nor is all that is sweet good, nor every desirepure, nor all that is dear to us pleasing to God. I acceptwillingly the grace whereby I become more humble and contrite,more willing to renounce self.

The man who has been taught by the gift of grace, and wholearns by the lash of its withdrawal, will never dare toattribute any good to himself, but will rather admit his povertyand emptiness. Give to God what is God's and ascribe toyourself what is yours. Give Him thanks, then, for His grace, butplace upon yourself alone the blame and the punishment your faultdeserves.

Always take the lowest place and the highest will be givenyou, for the highest cannot exist apart from the lowest. Thesaints who are greatest before God are those who considerthemselves the least, and the more humble they are withinthemselves, so much the more glorious they are. Since they do notdesire vainglory, they are full of truth and heavenly glory.Being established and strengthened in God, they can by no meansbe proud. They attribute to God whatever good they have received;they seek no glory from one another but only that which comesfrom God alone. They desire above all things that He be praisedin themselves and in all His saints-this is their constantpurpose.

Be grateful, therefore, for the least gift and you will beworthy to receive a greater. Consider the least gift as thegreatest, the most contemptible as something special. And, if youbut look to the dignity of the Giver, no gift will appear toosmall or worthless. Even though He give punishments and scourges,accept them, because He acts for our welfare in whatever Heallows to befall us.

He who desires to keep the grace of God ought to be gratefulwhen it is given and patient when it is withdrawn. Let him praythat it return; let him be cautious and humble lest he loseit.

April 18-Morning {Daily Reading: #2Sa 19:1-20:26} {Quick Study: #1Ki 1:1-2:46}

"She bound the scarlet line in the window." {#Jos 2:21}

Rahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient. To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lordís will, even though some of his commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his own way the two ordinances of believersí baptism and the Lordís Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying of a thread, if that be matter of command.

This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my window, so that my trust can never be removed? Or can I look out towards the Dead Sea of my sins, or the Jerusalem of my hopes, without seeing the blood, and seeing all things in connection with its blessed power? The passerby can see a cord of so conspicuous a colour, if it hangs from the window: it will be well for me if my life makes the efficacy of the atonement conspicuous to all onlookers. What is there to be ashamed of? Let men or devils gaze if they will, the blood is my boast and my song. My soul, there is One who will see that scarlet line, even when from weakness of faith thou canst not see it thyself; Jehovah, the Avenger, will see it and pass over thee. Jerichoís walls fell flat: Rahabís house was on the wall, and yet it stood unmoved; my nature is built into the wall of humanity, and yet when destruction smites the race, I shall be secure. My soul, tie the scarlet thread in the window afresh, and rest in peace.

And Also

April 18-Evening

"And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." {#Ge 32:12}

When Jacob was on the other side of the brook Jabbok, and Esau was coming with armed men, he earnestly sought Godís protection, and as a master reason he pleaded, "And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." O, the force of that plea! He was holding God to his wordó"Thou saidst." The attribute of Godís faithfulness is a splendid horn of the altar to lay hold upon; but the promise, which has in it the attribute and something more, is a yet mightier holdfastó"Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." And has he said, and shall he not do it? "Let God be true, and every man a liar." Shall not he be true? Shall he not keep his word? Shall not every word that cometh out of his lips stand fast and be fulfilled? Solomon, at the opening of the temple, used this same mighty plea. He pleaded with God to remember the word which he had spoken to his father David, and to bless that place. When a man gives a promissory note, his honour is engaged; he signs his hand, and he must discharge it when the due time comes, or else he loses credit. It shall never be said that God dishonours his bills. The credit of the Most High never was impeached, and never shall be. He is punctual to the moment: he never is before his time, but he never is behind it. Search Godís word through, and compare it with the experience of Godís people, and you shall find the two tally from the first to the last. Many a hoary patriarch has said with Joshua, "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass." If you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an "if," you may urge it with certainty. The Lord meant to fulfil the promise, or he would not have given it. God does not give his words merely to quiet us, and to keep us hopeful for awhile with the intention of putting us off at last; but when he speaks, it is because he means to do as he has said.

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