I find that time would fail me if I were to give you an entire likeness of Jesus; but let me say, imitate him in his holiness. Was zealous for his master? So be you. Ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted. It is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? So be you. Was he devout? So be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father’s will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies as he did; and let those sublime words of you Master, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. When you are prompted to revenge; when hot anger starts, bridle the steed at once, and let it not dash forward with you headlong. Remember, anger is temporary insanity. Forgive as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your foe by your kindness to him. Good for evil, recollect, is god-like. Be god-like, then; and in all ways, and by all means, so live that your enemies may say, “He has been with Jesus.”
From the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 1, Sermon 21 by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The mere reading of a book of daily devotion will not prove you a child of God; if you pray in private, then you have a sincere religion; a little religion, if sincere, is better than mountains of pretense. Home piety is the best piety. Praying will make you leave off sinning, or sinning will make you leave off praying. Prayer in the heart proves the reality of conversion. A man may be sincere, but sincerely wrong. Paul was sincerely right. “Behold, he prayeth,” was the best argument that his religion was right. If any one should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say it is in that one word—“prayer.” If I should be asked, “What will take in the whole Christian experience?” I should answer, “prayer.” A man must have been convinced of sin before he could pray; he must have had some hope that there was mercy for him before he could pray. In fact, all the Christian virtues are locked up in that word, prayer. Do but tell me you are a man of prayer, and I will reply at once, “Sir, I have no doubt of the reality, as well as the sincerity, of your religion.”
From the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 1, Sermon 16 by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
First of all, this is not an endorsement or condemnation of Donald Trump or the U.S. government’s immigration policies in general. This article is simply addressing biblical interpretation errors and other fallacies in a Washington Post article written by a Yale Divinity School professor which takes issue with Franklin Graham’s insistence that immigration is not a Bible issue. Here is the article:
This is not the first article I have read this week on this subject. All of them have a common theme: Christians should let anyone immigrate to the United States because of how “strangers” are treated in the Bible. Here’s my take:
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
In this passage God institutes a covenant with Abraham. This covenant has three major promises and is important not only for the nation of Israel, but for the human race as a whole. Continue reading →
Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. 6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
In Acts 12, we find an incredible testament to the power of prayer. Peter was in jail and the church prayed for him unceasingly. God sends an angel to release Peter. But that’s not the end of the story. What is really interesting is the reaction of the Christians who were praying for Peter’s release. Continue reading →