“Face to Face with God”, Quotes from D. Martin Lloyd-Jones (Grace, Holy Joy, Believing in God)

“Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God.”
–D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

“The terrible, tragic fallacy of the last hundred years has been to think that all man’s troubles are due to his environment, and that to change the man you have nothing to do but change his environment. That is a tragic fallacy. It overlooks the fact that it was in Paradise that man fell.”
― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

“we must never look at any sin in our past life in any way except that which leads us to praise God and to magnify His grace in Christ Jesus.”
― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures

“If your preaching of the gospel of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ does not provoke the charge from some of antinomianism, you’re not preaching the gospel of the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“If we believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God and that He came into this world and went to the cross of Calvary and died for our sins and rose again in order to justify us and to give us life anew and prepare us for heaven-if you really believe that, there is only one inevitable deduction, namely that He is entitled to the whole of our lives, without any limit whatsoever.”
― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

“Be still, and know that I am God’. We must not interpret that ‘Be still’ in a sentimental manner. Some regard it as a kind of exhortation to us to be silent; but it is nothing of the sort. It means, ‘Give up (or ‘Give in’) and admit I am God. God is addressing people who are opposed to Him”
― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

“I am profoundly grateful to God that He did not grant me certain things for which I asked, and that He shut certain doors in my face.”
― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

“The man who is meek is not even sensitive about himself. He is not always watching himself and his own interests. He is not always on the defensive… To be truly meek means we no longer protect ourselves, because we see there is nothing worth defending… The man who is truly meek never pities himself, he is never sorry for himself. He never talks to himself and says, “You are having a hard time, how unkind these people are not to understand you.”
― Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“It is very foolish to ignore the past. The man who does ignore it, and assumes that our problems are quite new, and that therefore the past has nothing at all to teach us, is a man who is not only grossly ignorant of the Scriptures, he is equally ignorant of some of the greatest lessons even in secular history.”
― Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival

“[The] term ‘decide’ has always seemed to me to be quite wrong…A sinner does not ‘decide’ for Christ; the sinner ‘flies’ to Christ in utter helplessness and despair saying —
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.”
–Martin LLoyd-Jones


No man truly comes to Christ unless he flies to Him as his only refuge and hope, his only way of escape from the accusations of conscience and the condemnation of God’s holy law. Nothing else is satisfactory. If a man says that having thought about the matter and having considered all sides he has on the whole decided for Christ, and if he has done so without any emotion or feeling, I cannot regard him as a man who has been regenerated. The convicted sinner no more ‘decides’ for Christ than the poor drowning man ‘decides’ to take hold of that rope that is thrown to him and suddenly provides him with the only means of escape. The term is entirely inappropriate.”
― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers

“When the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first.”
― D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

“The Christian is not superficial in any sense, but is fundamentally serious and fundamentally happy. You see, the joy of the Christian is a holy joy, the happiness of the Christian is a serious happiness. … it is a solemn joy, it is a holy joy, it is a serious happiness; so that, though he is grave and sober-minded and serious, he is never cold and prohibitive.”
― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

“If we believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God and that He came into this world and went to the cross of Calvary and died for our sins and rose again in order to justify us and to give us life anew and prepare us for heaven-if you really believe that, there is only one inevitable deduction, namely that He is entitled to the whole of our lives, without any limit whatsoever.”
― David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

“How God Will Use Time and Trials to Accomplish His Purpose for You”, by Ray Ortlund, introduction by Randy Alcon

By Ray Ortlund March 16, 2020

This article by Ray Ortlund is thought-provoking and on target. Though his advice focuses on young men in ministry, his message is applicable for every believer of every age and vocation.

Ray writes, “Only men with scars can preach a Savior with scars to sinners with scars. So, in addition to the many insights and skills God will impart to you, he also will wound you. …At some point in your life, God will injure you so extremely that the self-reliance you aren’t even aware of, the self-reliance you’ve been navigating so consistently by that it feels natural and innocent, will collapse under the loss and anguish. You will start realizing, ‘Oh, so this is what it means to trust the Lord.’”

After forty-five years in ministry, I completely agree. I’ve learned we can’t become humble and fully useful to God’s work without experiencing tears and trials. It just doesn’t happen. Notice Paul ties these together when he talks to church leaders: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials” (Acts 20:18-19).

As Nanci and I navigate life with her ongoing battle with cancer, we are not fighting God, but are trusting Him daily and seeing Him at work. Through this trial, as with others, over the course of time, God is accomplishing something very precious. He is making us into deeper and more Christlike people, marked forever by Jesus’ grace, so that He can use us in greater, unexpected ways to impact His kingdom. God tells us, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36, NLT). I hope you find this article as helpful and ultimately encouraging as I did. —Randy Alcorn

Your Ministry Will Take a Lifetime: My Counsel for Younger Men

By Ray Ortlund

Some of us can read a text like “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Proverbs 4:18) and wonder why our light still feels so dim.

The verse teaches that if you are walking with the Lord, your life is dawning more and more with “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The passing years of his care are making you more compelling, more relevant, more fruitful — not less. And someday soon your glory will blaze like the noonday sun, never to fade.

This article is for every young man who feels that his glory is taking too long to become obvious. This is for every young man in ministry who feels restless and eager and ambitious (with godly ambition) for more opportunities to make his mark for Christ. Yes, you have mixed motives. Who doesn’t? But your desire to cut a wide swath of gospel harvest is of God.

He did not create you to be a zero. He created you in his image, as royalty, to advance his purposes in this world (Genesis 1:26). You are a man of destiny, and you feel it. So let’s think about your life trajectory — what to expect, how to navigate it well. I offer my thoughts as an older man, who respects how you feel. Let me offer you three words of counsel, prompted by Scripture, for when your ministry seems to be growing too slowly.

Give Yourself Time

First, “Let them also be tested first” (1 Timothy 3:10). The apostle Paul required that of prospective deacons. But a young man being tested, giving him time to prove his readiness for leadership, is implicit in the requirements of an elder too. A future elder must be faithful in marriage, able to teach, manage his own household well, not a recent convert, and well thought of by outsiders (1 Timothy 3:1–7). No one gets there quickly or easily.

You might feel more ready than you really are. Maybe you’ve looked at an older Christian leader in action and thought, “I could do what he’s doing — and maybe better.” But what that man is doing is harder than it looks. When a senior leader is performing well and people are responding and the ministry is flourishing, the reality is this: Hidden deep within that man, nuanced understandings and finely-honed skills and mature disciplines are converging, moment by moment, to make him compelling.

All those inner strengths and assets of his were hard won over many years — and through some failures too. When a pastor, for example, makes the ministry look easy, you can be sure of one thing: it isn’t. He was tested first. He is being tested now. Even in a man’s mature years, ministry is always extremely demanding. Joyful and satisfying, but demanding.

I am not exalting him or diminishing you. I am only saying that a man in his sixties, if he has walked humbly with God and striven to keep growing and growing, is a more profound man than he himself was in his thirties. How could it be otherwise? So, give yourself time. God is faithfully investing in you, more than you can see. He values you. He is preparing you for the final, climactic mission of your life and your death. Don’t resent his maturing process along the way.

His plan, his timing, his methods are well suited to get you ready for the greatest moments of your life still out ahead. But if your pride can’t stoop to being tested first, you are blocking the very future you long for. Humble yourself, be patient, go deep. And don’t forget to enjoy it along the way. The Lord is with you and for you. Obviously, he isn’t in any hurry. Why should you be?

Embrace His Power in Weakness

Second, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Here is why this familiar verse is in the Bible. In our foolishness, we all want to be formidable, impressive, noteworthy, with super-powers to “wow” the world. But how can men like that preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1–5)? Only men with scars can preach a Savior with scars to sinners with scars. So, in addition to the many insights and skills God will impart to you, he also will wound you. A.W. Tozer wisely said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.”

At some point in your life, God will injure you so extremely that the self-reliance you aren’t even aware of, the self-reliance you’ve been navigating so consistently by that it feels natural and innocent, will collapse under the loss and anguish. You will start realizing, “Oh, so this is what it means to trust the Lord. I need him now with an urgency, a desperation, a seriousness of purpose deeper than ever before.”

And then God will come through for you. And you will emerge from that suffering a deeper saint. You will be a better preacher and pastor and leader and counselor and teacher and friend, because you will be a better man — more like the wounded Christ himself.

But if you “succeed” early, and crowds of people are flocking to you, and the undiscerned cockiness you grew up with isn’t broken, you may be in danger. I have seen highly gifted young men crash and burn and lose years of fruitful ministry, or even leave the ministry altogether, because their platform exceeded their character.

Don’t envy that “rising star.” He might be more precarious than he appears. You just stay low before the Lord. Humbly receive the buffetings, disappointments, and insults coming your way. Receive them “for the sake of Christ” (2 Corinthians 12:10). They are how his power will come to rest upon you (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Don’t Grope at Your Destiny

Third, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8). You never have to get pushy, because the Lord has a purpose for you, and that purpose belongs to him. John Burroughs, the poet, was not a Christian. But his poem “Waiting” says a very Christian thing:

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
     The friends I seek are seeking me,
No wind can drive my bark astray
     Nor change the tide of destiny.

Because the Lord is committed to his purpose for you, the friends and the opportunities you seek are seeking you. They are on their way toward you this very moment. Believe it, and rejoice as God tells the story you were born for. The best way to get ready for your future is to walk humbly, fruitfully, and cheerfully with Christ right where you are. Through the years, he will give you a front-row seat for watching him fulfill his purpose for you.

Seek the Lowest Place

Francis Schaeffer, in his prophetic sermon “No Little People, No Little Places,” warned us all,

Jesus commands Christians to seek consciously the lowest room. All of us — pastors, teachers, professional religious workers and non-professional included — are tempted to say, “I will take the larger place, because it will give me more influence for Jesus Christ.” Both individual Christians and Christian organizations fall prey to the temptation of rationalizing this way as we build bigger and bigger empires. But according to the Scripture this is backwards: We should consciously take the lowest place, unless the Lord himself extrudes us into a greater one.

Schaeffer went on to explain that, in a lower, less intense place of ministry, we face fewer distractions away from our own intimacy with God. And it is only in personal quietness before God that we can do anything that is truly spiritual in power. It is only as we remain quiet before him that we contribute to the real battle being fought in our generation.

Settle into the place where you are. Deeply accept your present moment. It is where Jesus is nearest to you. It is where his endless resources open up to you, moment by moment: “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you!” (Psalm 31:19).

This article originally appeared on Desiring God and is used with permission of the author.

Source: Eternal Perspective Ministries

“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”, CHARLES SPURGEON ON PSALM 46:10 (Divinity of God, Faith, Humility)

CHARLES SPURGEON ON PSALM 46:10 “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”

Verse 10.—”Be still, and know that I am God.” The great works of God, wherein his sovereignty appeared, had been described in the foregoing verses. In the awful desolations that he made, and by delivering his people by terrible things, he showed his greatness and dominion. Herein he manifested his power and sovereignty, and so commands all to be still, and know that he is God. For says he, “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” In the words may be observed,

1. A duty described, to be still before God, and under the dispensations of his providence; which implies that we must be still as to words; not speaking against the sovereign dispensations of Providence, or complaining of them; not darkening counsel by words without knowledge, or justifying ourselves and speaking great swelling words of vanity. We must be still as to actions and outward behaviour, so as not to oppose God in his dispensations; and as to the inward frame of our hearts, cultivating a calm and quiet submission of soul to the sovereign pleasure of God, whatever it may be.

2. We may observe the ground of this duty, namely, the divinity of God. His being God is a sufficient reason why we should be still before him, in no wise murmuring, or objecting, or opposing, but calmly and humbly submitting to him.

3. How we must fulfil this duty of being still before God, namely, with a sense of his divinity, as seeing the ground of this duty, in that we “know” him to be God. Our submission is to be such as becomes rational creatures. God doth not require us to submit contrary to reason, but to submit as seeing the reason and ground of submission. Hence, the bare consideration that God is God may well be sufficient to still all objections and oppositions against the divine sovereign dispensations.—Jonathan Edwards.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE DIVINITY OF GOD.

Verse 10.—”Be still, and know that I am God.” This text of Scripture forbids quarrelling and murmuring against God. Now let me apply as I go along. There are very few, and these very well circumstanced, that find themselves in no hazard of quarrelling with God. I think almost that if angels were on earth, they would be in hazard of it. I will assure you, there are none that have corruption, but they have need to be afraid of this. But many give way to this quarrelling, and consider not the hazard thereof.

Beware of it, for it is a dreadful thing to quarrel with God: who may say unto him, “What doest thou?” It is a good account of Aaron, that when God made fire to destroy his sons, he held his peace.

Let us then, while we bear the yoke, “sit alone and keep silence, and put our mouths in the dust, if so be there may be hope.” Lam 3:28-29. Ye know, the murmuring of the children of Israel cost them very dear. “Be still,” that is, beware of murmuring against me, saith the Lord. God gives not an account of his matters to any; because there may be many things ye cannot see through; and therefore ye may think it better to have wanted them, and much more, for the credit of God and the church. I say, God gives not an account of his matters to any. Beware, then, of drawing rash conclusions.—Richard Cameron’s Sermon, preached July 18th, 1680, three days before he was killed at Airsmoss.

Verse 10.—”Be still and know that I am God.”

FAITH GIVES THE SOUL A VIEW OF THE GREAT GOD.

It teacheth the soul to set his almightiness against sin’s magnitude, and his infinitude against sin’s multitude; and so quenches the temptation.

The reason why the presumptuous sinner fears so little, and the despairing soul so much, is for want of knowing God as great; therefore, to cure them both, the serious consideration of God, under this notion, is propounded:

Be still, and know that I am God;” as if he had said, Know, O ye wicked, that I am God, who can avenge myself when I please upon you, and cease to provoke me by your sins to your own confusion; and again, know, ye trembling souls, that I am God; and therefore able to pardon the greatest sins, and cease to dishonour me by your unbelieving thoughts of me.—William Gurnall.

Verse 10.—”Be still, and know that I am the Lord.” Not everyone is a fit scholar for God’s school, but such as are purified according to the purification of the sanctuary. Carnal men are drowned in fleshly and worldly cares, and neither purged nor lifted up to receive the light of God, or else indisposed by prejudice or passion, that they cannot learn at all.

WE WILL NEVER SAVINGLY KNOW HIM, TILL OUR SOULS BE FREE OF THESE INDISPOSITIONS.

Among all the elements the earth is fitted to receive seed of the sower; if he cast it into the fire, it burneth; if in the air, it withereth; if in the waters, it rots, the instability of that body is for producing monsters, because it closes not straitly the seeds of fishes.

Spirits of a fiery temper, or light in inconstancy, or moving as waters, are not for God’s lessons, but such as in stayed humility do rest under his hand. If waters be mixed with clay in their substance, or their surface be troubled with wind, they can neither receive nor render any image; such unstable spirits in the school of God lose their time and endanger themselves.—William Struther.

Verse 10.Be still, and know, etc. As you must come and see (Psalm 46:8), so come and hear what the Lord saith to those enemies of yours.—John Trapp.

Source: Blue Letter Bible-Psalm 46 Spurgeon