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Topic Archives: Encouragement

We seem to be in a stalemate in church and state today. Problems are multiplying. The situation becomes more confusing year by year and we are in danger of losing heart: people are at a loss what to do. There is a great deal of activity but where is the substance? Maurice Roberts has said: […]

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Date November 24, 2014
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What is our hope for loved ones who, in the language of Scripture, now ‘sleep in Jesus’ (1 Thess. 4:14 ESV)? We are sure that, like the thief on the cross, they are at this very moment with the Saviour in paradise. But what of the future? In a glorious section of his first letter […]

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Date November 21, 2014
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I would like to ask you a question. But before I ask my question, I want first to prepare the way. The Bible has many ways to describe what a Christian is. A Christian is a forgiven sinner, a new creation in Christ, an adopted child of God, a heaven-bound pilgrim. One of the most […]

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Date November 12, 2014
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J. I. Packer says that the Puritans are the theological and devotional Redwoods of the western world.1 My own experience is that no one comes close to the skill they have in taking the razor-like scalpel of Scripture, and lancing the boils of my corruption, cutting out the cancers of my God-belittling habits of mind, […]

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Date November 5, 2014
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John Bunyan was born near Bedford, England in 1628, just a few years before the Puritan revolution began. He grew up very poor and had no formal education. He taught himself to read and write, however, and enjoyed immensely medieval novels of the day. He was so foul-mouthed that even wicked men were embarrassed by […]

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Date November 3, 2014
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I first read this gentle little quiz in the Friendly Companion, the children’s magazine of the Gospel Standard Baptists. I rearranged it a little and then spoke to the children in our congregation and asked them if they could work out the answer. What is this? 1. It is one word with seven letters. 2. […]

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Date October 22, 2014
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An extract from the sermon ‘Saints should not be discouraged whatever their condition be’ in William Bridge’s A Lifting Up for the Downcast,1 published by the Trust in the Puritan Paperbacks series. If my very resting on God doth make Him mine, I may have comfort in Him too. Now the saints and people of […]

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Date August 13, 2014
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An extract from chapter 4 – ‘Our Hope’ – in J. C. Ryle’s Old Paths.1 I entreat all who feel they have no hope, and desire to have it, to seek ‘a good hope’ while it can be found. A good hope is within the reach of any man, if he is only willing to […]

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Date August 8, 2014
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One of the abilities that we have as human beings (and it’s one that distinguishes us from all the other creatures), is our ability to ponder the future – to wonder, to imagine, to look forward to, to fear what lies before us. And we all do it! Our minds are often turning to the […]

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Date August 7, 2014
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The Christian life is a life of faith. More accurately, the Christian life is a life of faith in God. It is the object of faith that gives faith its lustre, and nothing more enriches, ennobles, and establishes faith than the God who made the heavens and the earth, who reigns in unrivalled splendour over […]

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Date July 28, 2014
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‘And he went outside and wept bitterly’. It is Matthew’s final word about Peter. He has faithfully recorded the details of Peter’s sin – the warning that preceded it, the pride in which it originated, the sin itself in all its aggravating features – and now he speaks of the effect on Peter when the […]

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Date July 21, 2014
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And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). At Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit came, Peter preached with great convicting and converting power, resulting in three thousand people calling on the name of the Lord to be saved […]

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Date July 11, 2014
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The disciples once asked Jesus that very question. A storm was raging, their boat was in danger of sinking, and Jesus, of all things, was asleep! Shouldn’t he have been awake and helping them? Didn’t he care if they drowned? These men are not the only disciples to have questioned Jesus’ care. Many others have […]

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Date June 30, 2014
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‘There is no danger,’ writes Albert Barnes, ‘that more constantly besets Christians, and even eminent Christians, than pride. There is no sin that is more subtle, insinuating, deceptive; none that lurks more constantly around the heart and that finds a more ready entrance than pride.’ In a remarkable section in one of his letters, one […]

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Date June 2, 2014
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Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory! (2 Corinthians 4:17). It is good to know that there is a limit to affliction. It is but for a moment – it has its appointed end. Not always will the war go […]

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Date May 12, 2014
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The man who wrote the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm was as human as you and me. Consequently, affliction for him was no different from what it is for any of us: painful. Yet he speaks so positively about it. He says in fact that it was good for him to be afflicted (verse 71). […]

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Date April 28, 2014
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In the mid-nineteenth century, archaeologists digging around the Palatine Hill in Rome unearthed a house that formed one part of the palace of the emperor Caligula, an unpleasant man who reigned in Rome from A.D. 37 until he was murdered in A.D. 41. In the years following Caligula’s death, the imperial palace continued to grow, […]

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Date March 26, 2014
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Are you a Protestant? I do not mean do you side with the Unionists or with the Separatists in Northern Ireland? I do not mean, do you enjoy open confrontation with Roman Catholics as they go about their blasphemous and superstitious devotions at Walsingham, Knock and elsewhere? I mean, are you a Protestant in the […]

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Date March 7, 2014
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Christianity teaches us to look to the past as we seek for help in the present. It has laid the foundations of our faith deep in historical events and invites us to build on those foundations all the days of our lives. As believers we unashamedly take our inspiration from days gone by confident that […]

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Date February 19, 2014
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I had a fellow elder in Darlington, Clifford Scurr, who often expressed the conviction that living Christianity reflected itself in people’s very faces. It was something I was occasionally struck with myself – at least by force of contrast. A duty that fell to me to fulfil from time to time was to take funerals […]

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Date February 14, 2014
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The Apostle Paul winds up one of the closing sections of his letter to the Galatians with the following exhortation: ‘as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith’ (Gal. 6:10). Our particular interest lies with this ‘opportunity’ of which he speaks at […]

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Date February 5, 2014
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The Apostle Paul was a very great Christian indeed. He was also very human, a fact that is memorably brought home to us in a story that comes from his own pen. Writing to the church in Corinth he says, ‘When we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were […]

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Date January 27, 2014
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Sometimes it is not easy to see blessings, and yet when we think more deeply we know that there are so many that it is difficult to single them out. We take them so much for granted, not always because we are ungrateful, but because the blessings we lack fill our thoughts and discomfit our […]

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Date January 20, 2014
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In one of the great promises of the Old Testament, God assures his people, ‘even to your old age I am he, and to grey hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save’ (Isa. 46:4). It is, in the first instance, a promise to the […]

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Date January 17, 2014
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Are you blessed? Psalm 1 says that if you do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers, but delight yourself instead in God’s law, you are! And here is part of the reason. Such a person ‘is like a tree […]

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Date December 17, 2013
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