Proverbs & Short Pieces

 A second series of short, pithy expressions of truth.

"He that is wise will hear, and will increase learning" (Prov. 1: 5)

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Persecution is coming—that seems certain; what is not certain is whether we are ready for it.

Not everyone can or should preach, but we can all shine our light before men (see Matt. 5: 16).

Anyone can read a newspaper. Only the Christian sees God’s hand behind the reports.

The Christian is an upside–down tree: fruits on earth, roots in heaven.

Men worry about the future; God also requires the past.

Unbelief sees obstacles. Faith removes them (see Matt. 17: 20).

We must look up to heaven for guidance and encouragement; we need to look down from heaven, as it were, in order to get a proper perspective on our situation here.

We must look up to heaven for guidance and encouragement; we need to look down from heaven, as it were, in order to get a proper perspective on our situation here.

Get into the Scriptures and the Scriptures will get into you.


True Christianity is living down here in relation to the Man up there.

Worldly religion embraces everything and condemns nothing—except wholeheartedness for Christ.

The Bible is either absolute or obsolete.

At “the time of the end … knowledge shall be increased” (Dan. 12: 4), but “the god of this world has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving” (2 Cor. 4: 4).

We have a natural tendency to be obsessed with gift. It takes something unnatural to be obsessed with Christ.

The fashions of Christendom change as often as those in the world. The Bible is unchanging.

The Christian ought to have but one ambition: to be more like Christ every day. 

When there is something in the Bible that worldly Christians don’t like they call it legalism.


If your pathway is smooth it is also likely to be slippery.

Atheism is a religion. It has a god (Darwin), it has a belief system (evolution) through which everything must be interpreted, and it has evangelists (Dawkins etc.) to proclaim its message.

The world has many problems, but men will not go to the Man with the answers.

Being “[the] most miserable of all men” (1 Cor. 15: 19) is playing Christianity in this world, without hope in the next; Being “sober in all things” (2 Tim. 4: 5) is taking account of things here as God sees them, while having real hope in another world.

Levitical service is the portion of every Christian: all ought to be occupied with carrying what is of Christ through this world.

You may be able to train a pastor to be a better pastor, but you cannot train to be a pastor.

Appeal to the head and you may win the argument. Appeal to the heart and head, and you may win a soul.

Follow the Bible and you may be seen as out of date—but it ought never to mean that you are out of touch.


First confess your sins to God; second, confess your Saviour to men.

The Devil is a master-copier – and we are often the unwitting dupes of his imitations.

If my Lord has prepared me a place there (see John 14: 2, 3), how can I ever think of seeking a place here?

Christ in all the Scriptures (see Luke 24: 27), but not Christianity in all the Scriptures!

Paul’s Christianity involved overabounding in joy under affliction (see 2 Cor. 7: 4). In all honesty, what do we know of this?

How lightly we think of error is but another way of saying how lightly we value truth.

Boasting of the past is evidence of weakness in the present.

The saints may fail in zeal and earnestness, the Enemy will not.


In the garden, the Devil implied that God was holding something back from man (see Gen. 3: 5). Romans 8: 32 is the divine answer to this lie: “He who, yea, has not spared his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him grant us all things?”

You are a reflection of the company you keep. If you are not much like Christ then you have not been much in His company. 

It’s a poor thing not to be evangelical—and it is a poor thing to be only evangelical.

We must have right relations with the Lord before we can have right relations with one another.

“God is light” (1 John 1: 5)—and so we are to “walk as children of light” (Eph. 5: 8). “God is love” (1 John 4: 16)—and so we are to “walk in love” (Eph. 5: 2).

Money is a universal provider for everything but happiness, and a universal passport to everywhere but heaven.

He took my place so that I might have a place with Him.

Every Christian is in full–time service: “Whatsoever ye do, labour at it heartily, as [doing it] to the Lord, and not to men” (Col. 3: 23).


Ezekiel in Chebar, Daniel in Babylon, Paul at Lystra, and John in Patmos—how near these men were to God, despite the times of persecution and scattering in which they lived!

The shipwreck in Acts 27 had its roots in not listening to Paul (see vs 11, 21)—and yet how often we hear it said “That’s only Paul”?!

‘Easy come and easy go’ reception makes the Assembly a hotel and not the house of God.

That history repeats itself is no less true in ecclesiastical circles than it is in the world.

Looking for the Lord’s coming is as much a question of the heart as it is of the head.

Anyone can read a sermon; only those who have been with God can deliver a message from heaven.

Read the Scriptures, not as a duty, but because you cannot do without them.

A shallow ministry will never produce persons able to swim in deep water or rough seas.


We help other souls just so far as we put them in contact with Christ.

There is no such thing as enjoying the heavenly portion of the Church without conflict with the Enemy.

Some things can be measured; God’s grace is beyond measure.

Ignorance can be addressed and opposition can be dealt with, but indifference to the truth is the most difficult of all situations to meet. 

We need to live in hope—not as if there were any question about it, but to live out now the bright prospect we have before us.

Jonathan strengthened David’s hand in God (see 1 Sam. 23: 16). Whatever else may be said of him, that was an admirable service, and one, sadly, we see little of. 

If we are drifting, we are in danger of shipwreck for there is no intelligent guidance of the vessel. 

The more I feed the more I want—such is the effect of reading God’s Word.


Abraham had power with God in relation to men; Lot had no power with men in relation to God.

God not only counts our actions but weighs them (see 1 Sam. 2: 3)— He observes quality as well as quantity.

In all ages, the people love to move with the tide. If the tide is flowing in the right direction (as in Josiah’s revival) many will go with it—outwardly (see Jer. 3: 10). If, however, the tide is flowing in the wrong direction, then the mass will go with it eagerly.

“Come with me, and see my zeal for Jehovah” (2 Kings 10: 16)—a true servant of the Lord does not speak in this way.

Faith, love and hope (see 1 Cor. 13: 13)—how these things must shine in a world of unbelief, hatred and hopelessness.

Prayer and Bible–reading need to be in balance—in the one I speak to God, in the other He speaks to me.

Many are prepared to serve. Fewer are prepared to allow God to prepare them for service.

Human dignitaries are addressed using specific reverential terms— ‘Your Majesty’, ‘Your Honour’ and so on. Innovation in this area inevitably implies a lack of respect. In a similar way God ought to be addressed in the terms He has set out in Scripture.


When all you have is the Lord, then you have all.

“Better is as meal of herbs where love is, than a fatted ox and hatred therewith” (Prov. 15: 17).

Opening the floodgate to the world by a crack is easily done; shutting it is quite another matter.

Clubs and societies write their own constitutions; the Assembly’s is already written.

The more I look into them, the greater and more wonderful my blessings are. This is indeed ‘Glad Tidings’!

However many books men write, they all shrivel into irrelevance before the one book that God has written. The Bible stands alone.

The simplest believer can appeal to Scripture. Any other ‘authority’, living or written, is really only a form of popery.

What you spend your time on and what you devote your energy to shows you where your heart is.


It is to Paul’s kinsmen “according to flesh” to whom pertain “the promises” (Rom. 9: 3, 4, my emphasis). This nullifies the prevalent idea that the Church has inherited Israel’s promises.

The faults of some brethren are maximised in the telling, while others are minimised. How does this honour the Lord we profess to serve? 

Christ has come out of heaven; He has come out of the grave; He will yet come out of Zion (Rom. 11: 26). 

‘I once was lost’—awful condition. ‘But now am found’—a blessing that cannot be put into words. 

There is a difference between being governed by Scripture and being governed by a tradition with which Scripture agrees. The authority of the first is Scripture, the authority of the second is tradition. 

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Sound doctrine must go hand in hand with sound living.


If God has called you to it, then you can live by faith in the office or the factory just as much as on the mission–field or in the pulpit.

The land was the same. Unbelief saw walled cities “very great”, faith saw a “very, very good land” (Num. 13: 28; 14: 7).

He has done great things—and yet we are so often preoccupied with little things!

The sheep have been scattered, but they still need feeding. Do what you can—minister Christ to them.

The man of God cannot help being distressed by what he sees around him, but he is not disturbed. The Book predicted these things long ago. Surely the Master cometh!

Playing church is often followed by the lesson of humility.

Everything that has ever happened in history, and everything that will ever happen, is as nothing when compared to the fact that the Christ of God was made sin at Calvary.

The knees must be used before the tongue, the eyes shut in prayer before the mouth opened.


The sinner who has the greatest sense of sin has the greatest sense of the grace which forgives sin.

Christ is sight to the blind, bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and clothes to the naked.

Sin entered the scene of innocence, grace has entered the scene of ruin.

Christ is a saviour, indeed, the Saviour, but is He your Saviour?

The Bible is more fervently loved, and more intensely hated, than all the rest of the world’s books put together.

We may know forgiveness, and like Martha, be engaged with “much serving” (Luke 10: 40), but what about sitting at His feet?

Man will believe anything, apart from what God has said about him.

The Scriptures are the only light we have with regard to the knowledge of God, and we must either take them as they are, or reject them altogether.

Get heaven’s view-point—only then will you begin to appreciate the extent of God’s work today. The soldier can see the battle, the general sees the war.

‘Lost’ speaks of my will; ‘found’ speaks of His will.


It is one thing to accept the Spirit’s order and pray for Him to work in His own way; it is quite another to set up our order and then pray for Him to work according to our arrangement.

Christ is the only one who delivers up His kingdom (see 1 Cor. 15: 29). All others have their rule taken away from them.

2 Tim. 3: 16 proves that Scripture comes from God; Rom. 15: 4 that it comes to us.

The weakness is in ourselves, not in the truth.

Unbelievers may not listen to your preaching, but they can do nothing about your prayers.

If you do what God wants you to do, you will not have time for what He does not want you to do.

Why do some Christians grow faster than others? It’s simple really: they devote more time to feeding on Christ.

If there’s little heart for the Gospel, then there’s little heart for Christ; if there’s little heart for the Church, then there’s little heart for Christ.


The proof that I am not governed by tradition is that I am prepared to heed the hard sayings of Scripture.

Your soul is only ever progressing or regressing.

Israel is the key player on the prophetic and political stage—all others are being moved by an unseen hand in relation to her.

My personal relationship with Christ underpins everything—neglect Him, and everything else will begin to crumble.

Nations scarcely out of barbarism are being blessed in the Gospel, while nations with a long history of blessing are scrabbling back from whence they were delivered!

There are no God–honouring compromises with regard to the truth—only surrenders.

Foolish jesting by the preacher means the world is in the pulpit.

Believing on Christ is good, following Christ is better, but being devoted to Christ is best of all.


In this world’s darkest hour, God’s love shines out like never before.

The more worldly we are, the less effective our evangelisation.

How much should we love the saints? “He has laid down his life for us ... we ought for the brethren to lay down [our] lives” (1 John 3: 16).

If our relationship with Christ is right, then our relationships with each other will be right too.

Daniel’s friends were government ministers of the empire but over and above that, they were servants of the Most High God (see Dan. 2: 48; 3: 26). Nebuchadnezzar might make proclamation, but all that mattered was that God had already spoken.

We are almost too–familiar with some divine truths. Stop and think, and you will regain that sense of wonder at all that God has done. 

Evidence by itself will never turn a man to God. No one will be converted without there first being a work of God in the soul.


We grow in wisdom by being content to take the place of having none.

What can break the seal of the Spirit? Nothing!

Worldliness does not simply relate to what we do—it is an attitude of mind. Thus it is impossible to preserve oneself against worldliness by legalism—a list of do’s and don’ts.

The only One in the universe who can condemn the sinner (see John 5: 22) is the crucified of Calvary, and He is now sitting on the throne of God as Saviour.

One of the saddest results of spiritual weakness among Christians is the rarity of restoration. 

We cannot earn our salvation, but neither can we lose it.

Doctrinal differences should never be made personal, and personal differences should never be made doctrinal.

Get out of communion with Christ and you will seek to maintain what you have lost by legal means.


It is not difficult to take a theory to Scripture and find evidence for it. That is not the same as testing it by Scripture.

A salvation that will not save from the world will also not save from Hell.

If a knowledge of the past is important, then a knowledge of the future must be more important still.

What judgment shall be inflicted on those who delight to proclaim themselves doubters, while claiming to be ministers of a religion of which faith is the essential characteristic?

To maintain that we cannot know that the Bible is the Word of God is equivalent to asserting that the God who made us cannot speak to us in such a way that we are convicted that it is from him.

Peter witnessed every miracle, including the transfiguration, but his faith was based, not on miracles, but a revelation (see Matt. 16: 17).

One mighty man’s deliverance of a plot of lentils seems trivial, but it was a portion of the divinely–given inheritance to be defended (see 2 Sam. 23: 11, 12). So is every link in the chain of truth.

Where Christ is made much of, then we may be confident that there is the Spirit’s power. Where the Spirit is supposedly to the fore, then the power is from elsewhere (see John 16: 14).


A doctrine cannot be proved true by the number of its adherents, or by the length of time during which it has been generally received.

In creation, “God divided between the light and the darkness” (Gen. 1: 4)—it has been the object of the Devil ever since to re–unite them.

It is one thing to occupy a right position and quite another to be in a right condition.

No amount of failure alters divine truth. We are as responsible as our fathers to go back to that which is written and act in faith upon it.

Apply yourself to the Scriptures and the Scriptures to yourself.

You are either investing in this world or the next.

Is it not a shame, indeed, a disgrace, that it should ever be true of saints going to heaven, that they are unconcerned about sinners going to hell?

One reason there is so little power with much of the preaching and teaching of today is a lack of consistently doing the truth before proclaiming it.


A sinner hides from God, a saint hides in God.

No room for Him at birth, no place among the great in life, and only a borrowed tomb in death. Yet God has highly exalted Him!

Who does 'whosoever' (John 3: 16) mean? Better to ask 'Who does it not mean?'!

Sin in the life of the believer is different from sin in the life of the unbeliever. It is worse.

The Lord prepared us for heaven when He died on the cross, and prepared heaven for us when He went back there as man.

A fixed order of service may be written or unwritten—but neither is the leading of the Spirit.

With every step into God's inheritance, the landscape widens out before me. His blessings are inexhaustible.

Saints of long ago "thought upon his name" (Mal. 3: 16). What of saints today?

The question of the believer's eternal security is simply answered by a question: Who saved me? If Christ saved me. How can I ever be lost? It is impossible! “Salvation is of Jehovah” (Jonah 2: 9).


God is willing to save, but many are not willing to be saved in God’s way.

Our salvation from first to last is entirely of God; our ruin, if lost, is entirely of ourselves.

It is not enough that the truth is in your head, or upon your lips—it must be in your heart.

Just as a man cannot live without breathing, so a man is not a believer unless he prays.

Faith is to prayer what the feather is to the arrow: without it prayer will not hit the mark.

Daniel had all the affairs of a kingdom on his hands, and yet he prayed three times a day.

The flute, the pipe and the trumpet each have their peculiar note, yet the breath that calls forth the notes is, in each case, one and the same. So it is with the writers of Scripture.

Fellowship is mutual—it is as much about you agreeing to walk with me, as I with you.

The right way of interpreting Scripture is to take it as we find it, without any attempt to force it into any particular system.


Sin and prayer do not go together: we must give up one or the other.

How can Christians divorce, when divorce is going before the law (see 1 Cor 6: 1–11)?

“Thou art the man!” (2 Sam. 12: 7)—the first man, a guilty sinner. “Behold the man!” (John 19: 5)—the second man, the guiltless, holy lamb of God.

What is the subject of your conversation? What you delight to talk about reveals what means most to you. Is it Christ and His things—or something else?

There is only one question worth asking about our actions: How will they look at the judgment seat?

Flagrant sinners carry out “wicked works” (Col. 1: 21) and religionists practise “dead works” (Heb. 9: 14), but Christians have “been created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2: 10).

The grace of God led a degraded woman in a doomed nation to be left “outside the camp of Israel” (Josh. 6: 23), then to dwell “in the midst of Israel” (v25), and finally to be placed in the royal line that led up to Christ (see Matthew 1: 5).


For the believer, the question of sin was settled at the cross; for the unbeliever, it is postponed to the day of judgement.

Where there are no cares there will generally be no prayers.

How many of us are like Naphtali and “goodly” in our words (Gen. 49: 21), yet also like Rueben and “unstable” in our ways (v4, AV)!

Faith is sometimes so weak and feeble that it looks like nature. Nature is sometimes so plausible and well–dressed that it looks like faith.

The only way to pass through things seen with comfort and look forward to things unseen without fear is to have Christ as our Saviour and friend.

God has been very patient with me; let me, therefore, be very patient with others.

Believing Christ died is belief in history; believing Christ died for me is belief in God.

We are disappointed in others, and others are disappointed in us. There is, however, One who never disappoints.

Beware of making selections from your Bible to suite your taste—refusing, like a spoilt child, whatever you think bitter and seizing whatever you think sweet. It would be better to say over every chapter and verse “Speak, Jehovah, for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam. 3: 9).


James says “Be not many teachers” (Jas 3: 1) but there is no corresponding ‘be not many learners’.

The Bible is a rock from which all the hammers of criticism have never chipped a single fragment. 

I ought never to be irritated by circumstances: God uses them for my blessing. 

Having one foot in the world is like putting one foot off the boardwalk into the marsh: it is impossible to stay on the path.

The world has its mirth and laughter—trivial, shallow and transient. The Christian has a joy behind price, immeasurable and eternal. 

God is doing great things in the world today, far greater than our minds can comprehend. May we ever resist being insular in our thoughts! 

The first lesson in Bible study is that the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know.

The One who has been made “very high” (Is. 52: 13), was the One who made himself very low (see 2 Cor. 8: 9). 

Saints with Christ as their one object, and the Word of God as their one guide will not be long in seeing eye to eye.


If you show others what Christ has done for you, then they may be persuaded to see what He can do for them.

What is worse than a breakdown in fellowship is an acrimonious breakdown in fellowship.

I have never met a soul who set out to satisfy the Lord who has not been satisfied himself.

Man was made in the image of God, but it is foolish to imagine that God is in the image of man.

Liberty for some of the gifts is not the same as liberty of gift.

When God looks down on me He ought to see a life that reflects Christ. There may be explanations if it is otherwise, but there are no excuses.

Ecclesiatical separation is no barrier to worldliness of heart.

Life is short, but it can also be full. What are you filling yours with?


“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32: 23)—and yet how often we imagine otherwise, whether in personal things, business affairs or ecclesiastical matters!

Revivalism, as commonly understood, is a misnomer. An unconverted person is dead in trespasses and sins, and cannot be revived.

The route to spiritual power is to acknowledge my incapacity to do anything for God: I become strong out of weakness (see Heb. 11: 34).

I shall never fully comprehend what God has done for me: His giving has been beyond measure.

Religious fame and flattery is no different from worldly fame and flattery—but more dangerous because it looks so fine.

Beware of choosing a Bible translation simply to get a form of words that suits you.

If people do not go in for heavenly things there is only one reason and it is always this reason: they do not value them.

It is very foolish for a Christian to have ‘rigid views’. They may as well say they understand all Scripture perfectly, for they see no need of its “correction” (2 Tim. 3: 16).

Faith grows best in the winter of trial.


“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32: 23)—and yet how often we imagine otherwise, whether in personal things, business affairs or ecclesiastical matters!

Revivalism, as commonly understood, is a misnomer. An unconverted person is dead in trespasses and sins, and cannot be revived.

The route to spiritual power is to acknowledge my incapacity to do anything for God: I become strong out of weakness (see Heb. 11: 34).

I shall never fully comprehend what God has done for me: His giving has been beyond measure.

Religious fame and flattery is no different from worldly fame and flattery—but more dangerous because it looks so fine.

Beware of choosing a Bible translation simply to get a form of words that suits you.

If people do not go in for heavenly things there is only one reason and it is always this reason: they do not value them.

It is very foolish for a Christian to have ‘rigid views’. They may as well say they understand all Scripture perfectly, for they see no need of its “correction” (2 Tim. 3: 16).

Faith grows best in the winter of trial.


The more we are tested, the more our imperfections come out; the more He was tested, the more His perfections came out. 

There is no such thing as chance, luck, or accident in the Christian journey through this world. All is arranged and appointed by God, and all things are working together for the believer’s good.

The old nature knows no rules, and the new nature needs no rules.

Finding Scripture to support one’s views is a completely different thing to getting one’s views from Scripture.

Investment in prayer provides the greatest dividends.

It is good to be well–versed in Scripture; it is even better to also be well–acquainted with Christ.

Doing things by the letter is not enough. It will always turn out badly unless it also done by the Spirit.

There is a man living at God’s right hand in glory today—amazing when you review the sad history of every other man that ever lived.

No doctrine is so sacrosanct that it cannot be brought to the bar of Scripture.


If you cannot define a doctrine in the vocabulary of Scripture, then there is something wrong with the doctrine.

It is the grace of God that carries with it salvation for all men (see Titus 2: 11), not the law of God.

Christ’s work makes us secure, God’s Word makes us certain.

The same flesh which makes us indulgent to our own faults makes us sharp on the faults of others.

The law condemns the best of Adam’s line, grace can save the worst.

In the types of the last dispensation God was teaching his children their letters. In this dispensation He is teaching them to put those letters together, and they find that, arrange them as they will, the letters spell Christ, and nothing but Christ.

What God has not said is to be respected as much as what He has said.

The reality of fellowship is seen, not with those who we are naturally inclined to get on well with, but with those whom we are not.

Man’s work, if we are continually poring over it, will soon weary us—a little attention will in time make us masters of it. Yet the more we examine and look into God’s work, then the more it opens out, at each step unfolding fresh and endless wonders.


All things we do, are to be “done in love” (1 Cor. 16: 14), even the separation from an erring brother (see 1 Cor. 5: 11–13).

To be ‘well–taught’ or ‘well–read’ is, in itself, of little value; to be ‘like Christ’ is priceless.

You cannot misappropriate what is promised to Israel in the OT and retain the fullness of the truth of Christianity in the NT.

The Lord Jesus entered the darkness (see Matt. 27: 45) in order that we might enter His wonderful light (see 1 Pet. 2: 9).

Christ took up His Cross (see John 19: 17) in order to make you and I His own.

Job did not think, or hope, or imagine—he said “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19: 25, my emphasis).

If you are gathered only on the ground of the one body, then you must accept all true Christians, irrespective of their behaviour.

“What she could she has done” (Mark 14: 8)—may it be said of you and I with respect to the service of the Lord!

Science now believes that it has found the particle that holds the universe together—the Higgs boson particle. The Bible told us the Person who holds the universe together nearly two millennia previously: “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1: 3) and “all things subsist together by him” (Col. 1: 17).


Watch a mother serve her family. She is a slave to them, yet free because of the bonds of love. True love makes slaves of each believer.

Death is a reality, but it is no more real than the certainty of “thus we shall be always with [the] Lord” (1 Thess. 4: 17).

The shortest distance between your problems and their solutions is the distance between your knees and floor. Those who kneel down to God can stand up to anything.

We do not grieve as the rest who have no hope, for we are sons of light and of day (see 1 Thess. 4: 13; 5: 5).

Man in his natural state never trusts God; God, on His part, never trusts man.

All things, whether in heaven or earth or under the earth, will be subjected to Christ (see Phil. 2: 10), but only the things in the earth and heaven will be reconciled to God (see Col. 1: 20).

Some dear Christians insist on using words that the Holy Spirit has not taught (see 1 Cor. 2: 13). Do they know better than God?

God is ever faithful to us: “his compassions fail not; they are new every morning” (Lam. 3: 22, 23).

In the power of the blood of Christ, God can accomplish all his eternal counsels of grace. He can save the Church and raise it into the heights of glory, restore Israel’s scattered tribes, unite Judah and Ephraim, accomplish all the promises made to Abraham Isaac and Jacob, bless untold millions of the Gentiles and restore creation itself. All this He can do and will do, but the one solitary pedestal upon which everything will rest forever is the blood of the cross.

If you assert a doctrine as being Biblical, then on you lies the obligation of proving it.


Revelation does not always include explanation. If we add our own, then we only have speculation.

We are told that Solomon was seven years building the temple and thirteen years building his own house (see 1 Kings 6: 38; 7: 1). And see what time and money Christians will spend upon the adornments of their own houses compared with what they give for the furtherance of the house of God!

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to produce rain, broken grain to give bread and broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. Not only that, God loves those with a contrite heart and a broken spirit.

It doesn’t matter how small your light is—in the darkness it will still show.

Faith in God is a step into the light not a leap into the dark.

The Holy Spirit does not gather Christians around views and opinions but around a blessed Person.

An ecclesiastical position is nothing; what matters is how much of Christ is there in me?


It is very easy to hold things in mere doctrinal terms when the vital power of them is gone.

Creativity is a virtue in an original author, but it is a crime in an interpreter.

Jonathan stripped himself of everything for David except his shoes (see 1 Sam. 18: 4). Shoes speak to us of a person’s walk with Lord, and this was Jonathan’s problem. He was not prepared to go with David.

If I cannot read Scripture unless it is through the prism of what others have said, then my reading is no different, in principle, to the Romanist idea that it is the Church that interprets the Scriptures.

The Lord Jesus only did the things that pleased His Father (see John 8: 29). As believers, we are not given the option of pleasing ourselves.

We may, by grace, be able to avoid being overcome by evil, but still be almost paralyzed as to doing anything positive for the Lord. Let us not give in to this feeling, for His word is “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19: 13, AV).  

It is one thing to study the condition and capacity of those we minister to and to prepare accordingly; it is quite another to study likes and dislikes, and to seek to please them.

It is very wrong to set one Scripture against another, and to use one to weaken the force of the other.

Real ministry points to Christ: they heard John speak and followed Jesus (see John 1:37).


If the eye is not fixed on the Lord then there is a danger of making a little world even out of Christian service.

I ought to recognize gift wherever it is. To ignore it, is to slight the Giver.

Christ was made sin for us (see 2 Cor. 5: 21)—how this Scripture brings out the depth both of His suffering and His love!

When I awake in His likeness I shall be satisfied (see Ps. 17: 15)—blessed prospect for the departing saint!

I am not outside the camp, not at all—unless I, personally, have gone forth to Him (see Heb. 13: 13).

In the Assembly I cannot be neutral: my presence is either a help or a hindrance.

We are waiting for the Lord to arrive so that we can depart.

Get persons focused on Christ and they will love one another. Just telling people to love each other will achieve nothing.


We are left here below to reflect the One above.

There is nothing wrong with having a trade, but my career is to be Christ (see Acts 18: 3; Phil. 1: 21).

If you become unbalanced spiritually, then you are likely to have a fall.

Spiritual blindness is not the exclusive preserve of the unbeliever— thought it ought to be.

The Lord Jesus opened up the Old Testament to His own so that they could see “in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24: 27). And yet how much of that volume is a virtual closed book to you and I!

I must not bring my own thoughts to Scripture, but instead I am to open it, and let it speak for itself.

“What she could she has done” (Mark 14: 8). Could that be said of me?

We are to be liberal in giving (see 2 Cor. 8: 2), because God has been unrestrained in His giving.


God’s love is the source of the Gospel, God’s grace is its characteristic, but God’s righteousness is its basis.

When the Law was given, 3000 perished (Exod. 32: 28); when the Spirit was given, 3000 were made alive (see Acts 2: 41).

Living a good life can never erase the smallest sin.

If the life of Christ is the basis of our justification and His death the basis of our pardon (as many preach), then we have the nonsense of justification preceding pardon!

You must distinguish between what seems good to the brethren and the plain and explicit instructions of Scripture.

Solomon’s temple was built according to a divine pattern (1 Chron. 28: 12, 19). How sad that he afterwards abandoned the divine pattern for his own life!

We can look back to better days, we can look forward to a better day, but what of today? What is my relationship with the Lord today?

Scripture never says the Father forsook the Son (see John 16: 32).


Scripture is a land never exhausted by the harvests it yields.

You can never improve on the language of the Spirit of God.

True wisdom is subjection to the will of God. To natural eyes, no plan for taking Jericho could have been more foolish than that which Joshua adopted—but it was God’s plan and so it was a complete success.

The only One in the universe who can condemn a sinner is the crucified of Calvary.

Job had three bad friends; Daniel had three good friends.

Whether in matters of Church history or in relation to doctrine, there is an enormous difference between ‘presenting a case’ and recording all that is relevant—whether favourable to the case or not.

We are not asked to believe in God—we are asked to believe what He has said.

It is a characteristic of Scripture, in its most simple passages as well as its most difficult, to invite research and to hold back something to be the reward of diligence.

While delighting in the intimacy of the relationship into which he has been brought, the Christian is never to forget that the Father is ever God—hence the often repeated expression “God and Father” (Eph. 1: 3 etc.), in which God is always placed first.


Only One who knew not sin could be made sin for us (see 2 Cor. 5: 21).

Joshua was qualified to lead the people into the land because he had been there himself.

God still heals people today, but there is no gift of healing.

Practical Christianity is the only sort of Christianity there is.

Am I governed by what most people think (orthodoxy) or what God says (Scripture)? 

Christ is the image of the invisible God (see Col. 1: 15) and the expression of the Father (see John 14: 9). 

Gift is given for “the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4: 12), not just a select band of the similarly–minded. That the day is ‘difficult’ does not absolve us from our responsibility towards all.

The Scriptures are opened up to us in the company of Christ (see Luke 24: 27).


God has a bag for His people’s transgressions, a bottle for their tears and a book for their names (see Job 14: 17; Ps. 56: 8; Mal. 3: 16).

Never go before your faith and never lag behind your conscience. 

The mystery is neither mysterious nor mystical.

If God could fail in His promises to Israel, then He can also fail in His promises to the Church.

My eternal blessing rests simply on whether I believe what God has told me: “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” (Rom. 4: 3). 

No man or woman can train you for ‘the ministry’—only God.

The moment our understanding of Scripture becomes formulated, then the danger is for that ‘orthodoxy’ to become the test of everything, rather than Scripture itself.

In terms of the Church’s activities, Paul was marginalised (see 2 Tim. 1: 15), but he was in the forefront of God’s activities.

We are not directors of conscience but ministers of the Word, and our desire is to so minister as to leave readers to direct their own consciences by the Word.


No matter what may be the subject in the Word of God, we are certain to learn it more truly and deeply, if we view it in its connection with the person of Christ rather than dwelling on the way the truth may affect ourselves, or relate to ourselves.

We are to do good towards all, especially those of the household of faith (see Gal. 6: 10). Scripture never envisages a narrower circle of philanthropy.

I do not think God ever intended Christians to learn primarily through books. The place of learning ought to be through current ministry of the Word in the Assembly.

When Samuel first met Saul, Saul was looking for his father’s asses which he could not find; when Samuel first met David, David was keeping his father’s sheep, which he did not lose (see 1 Sam. 9: 3-10: 2; 16: 11–13; 17: 34, 35).

As the appearance of the star in the East was the sign of the birth of Emmanuel, so the disappearance of the sun at noonday was the signal of his death (see Matt. 2: 2; 27: 45).

What is faith? It is thinking as God thinks.

Every purpose fails that is entrusted to the first man. But the purposes of God stand because there is a second man.

As a ray of sunlight remains pure, whatever objects it might shine upon, so the pathway of the Lord Jesus was unsullied by any of the scenes through which He passed (see Heb. 7: 26).


To be old and learned does not make one a father (see 1 John 2: 14). By definition it is a title of relationship—with younger persons. 

Sometimes we are exhorted to make better use of our time. Better to realise that it is not our time at all.

The unity of the body is to recognised, the unity of the faith is to be aimed for, and the unity of the Spirit maintained (see 1 Cor. 10: 17; Eph. 4: 3,4,13). 

One of the great distinctive features of the present dispensation is access by the Spirit to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The good news in the Gospel is not that I have accepted what Christ has done, but that God has accepted it, and that there is salvation in believing His testimony regarding it.

A great deal of so-called exposition of Scripture is making the Bible say what we want it to say. You can ‘interpret’ any work of literature this way. My business ought to be to find out what God is really saying. 

We can get very depressed by the current state of things among Christians—the remedy is to remember that the Lord is the same as He ever was.


There are at least three things that the Church never does. It does not teach, it does not preach and it does not baptise. All three services are the responsibility of individuals.

Civilisation and barbarism are simply the same fallen human nature working under different conditions.

There is no such thing as the power of prayer. Power lies in the One prayed to.

If you want to know what the time is on God’s clock, look at Israel.

Daniel lived in Babylon, but he did not live for Babylon. His windows were open towards Jerusalem (see Dan. 6: 10).

When it is impossible to beg to differ from a recognised teacher without eyebrows being raised, then we are already too far down the road of transferring authority from Scripture to those who teach.  

The really devoted servant will keep his eye not on his service, but on his Master. If I am thinking only of Him, then planting churches and making tents will be both alike to me. I will not mind doing either, so long as it is His will.


Believers are not promised a better deal in this life than unbelievers. They still get sick and they still die. What they are assured of is that the Lord will be with them in all their trials. 

Prayer is a lack of confidence in self, and an expression of confidence in God. 

There are two great lessons of the wilderness: we learn what man is, and we learn what God is.

God is less interested in my ability as in my availability.

God uses little things to great ends.

The only errors in the Bible are those of the copyist, the translator or the printer.

The same genial beam of the sun which melts the wax also hardens the clay. Grace accepted softens the heart, grace rejected hardens it. 

All things which the Lord Jesus heard from His Father He told to His disciples. In His absence from them, He promised that the Holy Spirit would do likewise (see John 15: 15; 16: 13).

What counts with God is not what men judge as success, but the obedience that flows from affection.


God makes no mistakes: all the circumstances of life are for our good.

What is true is not necessarily trustworthy—ecclesiastical histories being a case in point. Is it the whole truth?

The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil (see Prov. 8: 13). In proportion as evil is excused so is God not feared. 

Man hopes for mercy; God provides grace abounding.

The Gospel of Matthew begins with “God with us” and ends with “behold, I am with you all the days, until the completion of the age” (Matt. 1: 23; 28: 20).

The mother of the Lord had a unique place of favour, but the Lord sets hearing and keeping the Word of God above that place (see Luke 1: 42, 48; 11: 27, 28).

Salvation costs me nothing; it cost the Saviour everything. 

The Lord Jesus has not bridged the gulf between the sinner and God; in His death He has removed it. 

Calvary reveals the true nature of man, and the true nature of God.


My Master may go where He pleases, but I must go where I am told.

A fugitive is a man who has fled from home. A vagrant is a man who has no home. A stranger is a man who is absent from home. A pilgrim is a man who is on his way home.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude v21). God always loves us, but we are most blessed if we keep near His side. 

However strong the opposition, it is helpless in the face of our prayers. 

The unspiritual consider only their own circle; the spiritual does “good towards all, and specially towards those of the household of faith” (Gal. 6: 10). 

Pride is a deceiver, and spiritual pride the most delusional of all.

It is not unheard of for refugees to sell their food vouchers in order to obtain a Bible: “Work not [for] the food which perishes, but [for] the food which abides unto life eternal, which the Son of man shall give to you” (John 6: 27). While such have never read John 6: 27, they know far more of its reality than those of us who possess many Bibles, can quote the verse and expound upon it, but who have never had an empty stomach.


The believer’s household must be so ordered that it reflects the character of the God that he serves (see Gen. 18: 19; 1 Tim. 3: 4).

John characteristically speaks of light, life and love—remarkably, three things that man’s mind struggles to explain.

Your principles may preserve you—but only as a museum piece. The Spirit preserves in life.

You cannot walk in the Spirit without abiding in Christ.

Testimony to the world depends on separation from the world.

Christ as Man is the image of God—the perfect representation to Man of God.

You do not occupy simply a non–sectarian position simply by charging all others with sectarianism. 

Dealing with sin is not a matter of pragmatism or expediency (see Deut. 24: 8–9), but of doing what is Scriptural.

According to the Bible, there is no ‘right to life’. No one has the right to live because “all have sinned”, and “the wages of sin [is] death” (Rom. 3: 23; 6: 23).


God does not use an angel to wipe away His people’s tears (see Rev 7: 17)—He does it Himself. 

Your ways can appear entirely Scriptural and yet you may not be governed by Scripture. 

It is one thing to sing ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’, quite another to prove it in your own experience. 

Joseph sought the welfare of his brethren (see Gen. 37: 14); they sought his hurt (see v18). 

Dislike of the Biblical concept of God is not a rational basis for unbelief.

If in walking in separation, your focus is on evil, then you are sure to miss some. Separation must, first and foremost, be to God.

To teach an illiterate shepherd boy how to repeat “The Lord is my Shepherd,” he was told to touch the tops of the first three fingers of his left hand as he repeated the first three words. When, however, he repeated the fourth word “my”, he was to grasp the fourth finger with his right hand. Not long afterwards, while seeking his sheep in a snowstorm, he perished. His body was found with the fourth finger of the left hand firmly grasped by the right hand. He died in the faith. “The Lord is my shepherd” (Ps. 23: 1 AV; my emphasis).


The Lord’s service brought Him into the company of others; His character made Him a man apart from others. 

God’s Word: know it in the head, store it in the heart, show it in the life, and sow it in the world.

Just–as–if–never–sinned is word–play and wrong. In the Biblical description of justification, our account is not just cleared of debt, but we have received credit in the form of the “free gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5: 17).

The price of our redemption was paid. There was no lesser price, and there was no greater price. And such a price was paid in full.

Long before I began with Christ, He began with me. 

Satan’s counterfeit religion is the Church without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance and salvation without regeneration. 

Mercy would have taken the prodigal back as a hired servant. Grace however, clothed him in the best robe, gave him a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet. Best of all, it covered him with kisses (see Luke 15: 19–22).


Christ is spoken of as the “light of the world” (John 8: 12), as the “Sun of righteousness” to Israel (Mal. 4: 2) and as the “bright [and] morning star” to the Church (Rev. 22: 16). 

It says Abraham believed God (see Rom. 4: 3) not that he understood God. At the time, the message was too great for his mind to grasp, but he believed it because of the One who told it to him.

Except a man be born again, he will wish one day that he had never been born at all.

It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it that distinguishes the child of God from an empty professor. 

True Christianity is not merely believing a set of dry propositions —it is to live in daily, personal communication with the living God. As the apostle Paul could say, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Tim. 1: 12, my emphasis).

Faith makes all things possible, love makes all things easy.

A cheap Christianity without a cross will in the end prove a useless Christianity without a crown.

Simply stating the truth alone will not suffice to rebut error. Error has an advantage over the truth in that it fits in easily with the natural principle of our hearts. Error needs to be exposed by the truth, and for that it needs to be named.


Denials should be issued with care, for usually more knowledge is needed to deny than to assert. Thus I may assert that a certain thing is in the Bible, and need know very little of the book. However, if I deny a thing is in the Bible, then my knowledge needs to be extensive.

“Even what my God shall say, that will I declare” (2 Chron. 18: 13) are the words of a truly faithful servant.

The point of departure being the point of recovery applies just as much to companies as it does to individuals.

Circumstances may be the form of the expression of God’s will for us, but the normal thing for the Christian ought to be an inward apprehension of the Lord’s mind.

When we pray it is good to remember that God “is able to do far exceedingly above all which we ask” or, even if we don’t dare ask it, “above all which we ask or think” (Eph. 3: 20, my emphasis).

Truth is truth whoever uttered it, and error is error whoever uttered it. Let us not be blinded by personalities.

The true measure of God’s love is that He loves without measure. 

Christ must have the first place, not in most things, but all things.


It is the Lord’s work we are to be concerned with, not our own vindication. It does not matter if I am misrepresented. It does matter if the Lord is misrepresented.

The apostle Paul was a minister, both of the Gospel (see Col. 1: 23), and of the Church (see vs. 24, 25). He was a balanced servant, never emphasising one aspect of the truth to the detriment of another.

Sometimes we meet so–called Bible experts; sometimes we meet people who know such Bible experts; the fact is, there are no experts—we are all students.

Ministry read as the last word on the subject is ministry mis–read.

Sorrow and shame can be are only reaction when we ponder church history; joy and exultation will be our feeling when we consider all that Christ has done and will do. 

No amount of failure alters divine truth. We today are as responsible as our fathers were to go back to that which is written and act in faith upon it.

The Lord is personally interested in me with an interest that is unwavering and unending.

Serving the Lord is not a question of being busy but of obedience.

Under the old covenant, there was “a calling to mind of sins yearly” (Heb. 10: 3); under the new covenant, “their sins and their lawlessnesses I will never remember any more” (v17).


Christians often make much of the truth as a matter of doctrine while allowing themselves to become utterly negligent in walking in that truth daily. They are like a cake not turned, all brown on one side and raw dough on the other. Doctrinally, they might be very particular. Practically, however, they are loose and unconcerned.

How can you be satisfied with the extent of your practical Christian fellowship in such a day as this? Thankful for any measure of fellowship that can be had, but never satisfied.

It is a small thing to mark your Bible, but it is a great thing when it marks you.

God says “there is no God else beside me” (Is. 45: 21). We are not giving a choice of the sort of God we want to believe in or not believe in. This, is the God who we must face.

See to nurture your own relationship with God first, then seek the spiritual welfare of the family God has given you, then the interests of all God’s people, and finally the blessing of men generally.

God does not ask merely for the first place in our hearts, for He wants it all: “My son, give me thy heart” (Prov. 23: 26). 

Grace is not merely unmerited favour, but favour despite merited judgment.

Many see service as a means of thanking God for what He has done for them. It is good to be thankful, but that is not the primary reason for service. I serve because I am a servant.


The Christian is left here to be a visual display of Christ.

The things that really matter are the things that are not seen, for those that are not seen are eternal (see 2 Cor. 4: 18).

The habitual use of unscriptural phraseology is both the product and cause of unscriptural ideas. 

Free will in conversion is an absurd idea. It implies that the new nature is begotten by the free will of our old nature.

There is a notion in Christendom that a pastor is a man set over a congregation. The idea is in people’s heads, but not in Scripture.

If a particular brother is expected to administer the bread and wine, then where is the direction of the Holy Spirit in that?

The best kind of blessings are in the best place, for they are all in Christ (see Eph. 1: 3).

I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.

God is not said to forget sins, as if a human weakness attached to God. Instead, He never remembers them any more (see Heb. 10: 17)—He does not hold them in His mind against us in any way.


God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.

There is nothing in the old nature that can move in faith towards God, and until God works, that is the only nature we have.

Many of us have the faith to ask God for money but lack the faith to give it away. 

Only he that has learned God in the school of obscurity is likely to shine in the blaze of publicity.

Today we have a tragic convergence of an indifferent world and a lukewarm church.

All that matters in the final reckoning is not what we think we have done for Christ, but what was actually in accordance with His will.

How we react to death shows what life we are living.

In the kingdom, the Gentile is subservient to the Jew, while in the mystery they are equal. Thus you never get the mystery preached while the kingdom is still being offered to the Jew.

Nothing is harder for man to do than to wait on God. The restlessness and activity of the flesh will not brook delay but counts time spent in waiting and watching as so much time lost. How much better to be a patient learner, and wait “to see what he will say unto me” (Hab. 2: 1)!


If one man reads the Word of God, a hundred men read you and I. 

To be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine is the effect of our learning not from God but from men.

We enter the ministry the moment we are converted. 

The Good Shepherd is connected with death, the Great Shepherd with resurrection, and the Chief Shepherd with glory (see John 10: 14, 15; Heb. 13: 20; 1 Pet. 5: 4). 

It is one thing to agree with the truth but quite another to be governed by the truth.

Meditation to the soul is as digestion is to the body.

On drawing near to Jerusalem, the disciples rejoiced, but the Lord wept (see Luke 19: 37, 41). The difference was that He knew what was in man (see John 2: 25). 

A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.

Nobody ever outgrows the Bible—the book widens and deepens with our years.


Whether we have others to walk in fellowship with or not, each of us, individually, must be walking with God. 

The Jews believe that the Lord was wounded for His own transgressions, but in a day to come they will know and accept that He was wounded for their transgressions. 

A man’s true wealth is not what he leaves behind when he departs this scene, but what he takes with him.  

Those who deny the eternity of damnation must also deny that hope is the exclusive preserve of the believer. In their scheme, even those in hell have hope—hope in an end to their torment. 

The Jews held prophetic truth and searched the Scriptures, but the truth did not hold them, and neither did they consent to be searched by the Scriptures.

Why am I blessed with the knowledge of the love of God? To spread it abroad. Why am I blessed with health and strength? To spend and be spent. Why am I blessed with time or possessions? To use them on behalf of Him to whom they belong.

“Never” was the reply of one leaving for a distant shore in the service of the Gospel, when a friend, at the side of the vessel, asked “When are you coming back?” That is what commitment means!

We love only because He first loved.


When saints come together (see 1 Cor. 14: 26­–33), the occasion is not open to man. It is a meeting that is open to the Holy Spirit. He directs.

Where the progress of Christianity is arrested, it is because many of its preachers live in an unreal world. The truths they set forth are truths of utterance rather than truths of their lives.

The wonderful thing about man is that he can be changed. Some of the angels have fallen away from God, but we are not told anything about such beings to suppose that they are capable of change. 

There is no doubt that a lack of humility has been at the root of a great many ecclesiastical troubles. 

The most notable example of “cutting in a straight line the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2: 15) is the Lord Himself. He read from Isaiah 61, but rolled up the book without reading “the day of vengeance of our God” (v2). That, was for a different time.

The Gospel is not about letting sinners off the hook. The debt is paid and in full. 

Man is alone in creation in blushing because of guilt. The wisdom of the world is trying to work out how such a feature could evolve.  

“Many are the thoughts in a man’s heart, but the counsel of Jehovah, that doth stand” (Prov. 19: 21).  

In the midst of the sorrows of this world, the Holy Spirit blends the name of Christ with what is bitter or painful in order to make the memory of the grief pleasant because of Christ. It was this that so often cheered the Apostle Paul’s heart. Thus on approaching Rome as a prisoner, he was comforted when he saw the brethren coming to greet him (see Acts 28: 15). Later, he was to experience the failure of brethren, and not one of them standing by him in his hour of need (see 2 Tim. 4: 16), but he was nonetheless able to say “the Lord stood with [me]” (v 17).


I would much rather see affection without intelligence, than intelligence without affection. The former is real, and its defect is much easier to remedy.

In terms of fellowship, I do not believe Scripture ever sanctions  you and I sitting down contentedly with the imperfect situation in which we find ourselves.

Job was not only able to say “blessed be the name of Jehovah!” in relation to “Jehovah gave” but also in relation to “Jehovah hath taken away” (Job 1: 21).

The argument that it is difficult to understand certain concepts of divine revelation without using terms not found in the Bible is not persuasive. It is tantamount to denying the all–sufficiency of Scripture.

Spiritual insularity and spiritual poverty go hand in hand. It is with “all the saints” that we are “fully able to apprehend” (Eph. 3: 18, my emphasis).

The Gospel is not a question of trying but trusting, not of doing but done.  

As being in Christ, we are the visible display of God’s righteousness (see 2 Cor. 5: 21)—that God has been righteous in saving us.

Righteousness is reckoned to the believer on account of his faith in what God had said (Rom. 4: 5). This is not a question of transferring from God or Christ a quantity of righteousness as some teach, like the transfer of funds from one bank account to another. If that were the case then what would be credit to the one, would clearly be debit to the other, and God would be less righteous than before! As always, Scripture must be its own interpreter. In Romans 2: 26, the uncircumcised are reckoned as circumcised. The same word is used as in Rom. 4: 5. It is simply that a man is reckoned to be what he is not. Thus God reckons him who is not righteous to be righteous—He “justifies the ungodly” (Rom. 4: 5).


To enter through the narrow gate, is to travel along the narrow way (see Matt. 7: 14). If the way is broad, then the question arises as to what gate you have passed through.

The Bible is a mine that will never be exhausted—but it has to be mined to gain the precious ore. God is a rewarder of those who seek him out (see Heb. 11: 6).

If you take little or no interest in God’s Word, then it is futile to claim you have a relationship with God.

The Holy Spirit is mentioned in every book of the Pentateuch apart from Leviticus—the very book which describes how God is to be approached under the old dispensation.

"Whosoever" (John 3: 16) is a name that any perishing sinner can lay a claim to.

We are to give thanks at all times for all things (see Eph. 5: 20)—we will find that impossible, but bring in God, and all things are possible.

The fellowship of God’s Son has terms and conditions—but they are set by God, and not by those in the fellowship.


The Lord cannot forget His people for He says they are graven “upon the palms of [my] hands” (Is. 49: 16)—the hands that were nailed to the cross.

Read Scripture to get the facts, study it to get the meaning, and meditate on it to get the benefit.

The evangelist sometimes preaches an imperfect message (see Acts 18: 25), but that should never lead us to depreciate the value of his work.

NT Christianity was not withdrawn and insular. Paul endangered himself “every hour” and “fought with beasts in Ephesus” (1 Cor. 15: 30, 32). How do we compare?

We sometimes hear Christians say ‘I am not able to get along with So and So’. No surprise there, because they have their own ability in view, rather than God’s power.

Where unity is maintained at all costs, then it is evident that this can never be the unity of the Spirit!

The Lord’s blood was “poured out” (Luke 22: 20)—deliberately and unrestrainedly. Who for? “For you” (my emphasis).

The apostle John describes twelve different precious stones adorning the foundations of the wall of the new Jerusalem (see Rev. 21: 19, 20). The order of which is not random, for they are ingeniously arranged according to their various shades and tints. A prominent gemologist has commented that this displays an “exact knowledge of particulars, only possessed by persons dealing in precious stones ... which could never have been found in a Galilean fisherman”. In his opinion, no layman could “arrange from memory, and by his own casually acquired knowledge alone, twelve gems, or even half that number, according to their proper tints”. All this, of course, leaves out God!


True service is not simply effort but also obedience: Persis “laboured much”, but that labour was also “in [the] Lord” (Rom. 16: 12).

Confession of sins involves self–judgment whereas asking for forgiveness may not.

We are seated in heavenly places in Christ and we need to live lives that reflect that on earth.

Did Boaz learn the grace of God towards ‘outsiders’ like Ruth, the Moabitess, from his mother Rahab, a Canaanite (see Matt. 1: 5)?

Grace is in “abundance”, has “overabounded”, and its riches are “surpassing” (Rom. 5: 17, 20; Eph. 2: 7). This   “true grace” (1 Pet. 5: 12) cannot be exceeded—there is no such thing as ‘hypergrace’.

God’s will is always “good ... and perfect”. Not only that, but it is also “acceptable” (Rom. 12: 2). May we find it so!

Modern theology exhorts us to lead ‘successful’ lives. The Christian is a slave, and a slave knows nothing of success, only obedience.

John twice tells us that “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1: 18; 1 John 4: 12).  In the first Scripture, he goes on to say that the Son has declared Him; in the second Scripture he goes on to say that if we love one another, God abides in us. Both result in making God known.


Come to a conversational Bible reading not to air your views but as a learner. That is the only way you will be helped and be a helper to others.

The Gibeonites got into the camp of Israel by illicit means and so it is of great interest that later they are found repairing the boundary of Jerusalem (see Josh. 9: 3–27; Neh. 3: 7).

The ruler of this world has something for every kind of man bar one. In the Son of the Father he found no response (see John 14: 30).

A God who lets the sinner off the hook is not a God you can trust. That, is a false God invented according to man’s own fallen nature.

Jericho was the scene of Israel’s first and greatest victory in the land and also of her final and most ignominious defeat (see Josh. 6; Jer. 39: 5).

If the world being unjust is an argument against the existence of God then where exactly did the concept of justice come from?

Some confuse ritual with serving God. Parade duty is not the same as being on the battlefield.


Individual humility may co–exist in conjunction with corporate pride. 

It is a poor thing to regard the term “the feast of the Jews” (John 6: 4) merely as an explanatory reference by the writer. It is that, but it also has a moral force as seen in its contrast with what God says in Lev. 23: 2: “these are my set feasts” (my emphasis).

There is no one living who does not have a place reserved, whether in heaven (see 1 Pet. 1: 4) or in hell (see Jude 13). Only the latter reservation can be changed, and that offer will soon close.

Revelation is not the same as inspiration. “Every Scripture is divinely inspired” (2 Tim. 3: 16), but some Scriptures also contain the record of the thoughts of men as well as revelation from God.

‘Once saved, always saved’ is true so long as the person was saved in the first place. No fruit after conversion means no conversion took place.

What is Christianity? Abiding in Christ, and Christ abiding in me (see John 15: 4).

God loved me despite me being a sinner. As a believer He loves me with the same delight that He found in His Son.


Inferences from Scripture are not the same as plain texts, and nor do they carry the same weight for the conscience.

Sadly there may sometimes be a difference between a Christian household and a household of Christians.

To be occupied with my guilt in the presence of God is not humility but unbelief as regards the sacrifice God has provided. 

Love is to be unto all the saints (see Eph. 1: 15), and love, if true, must be expressed (see 1 John 3: 18). Which is it for you? Actions—or just words?

We often try to get more out of this world than ever God put in it. We shall not find peace, contentment or fulfilment outside of Christ.  

There can be no new revelation, for the Spirit taught the apostles “all things” (John 14: 26), and led them into “all the truth” (John 16: 13). There can be nothing beyond “all the truth” and hence any pretension to a new revelation and the development of new ‘truth’ (meaning thereby teaching not contained in the sacred canon of inspiration) is an effort on man’s part to add to what God calls all truth. 

Look for Christ in one another, and we may get along better.


Christ is heir of all things and we have an inheritance in Him. This is grace abounding.

“Many are the thoughts in a man’s heart, but the counsel of Jehovah, that doth stand” (Prov. 19: 21).

Some saints are well–versed in Scripture, others merely in commentaries on Scripture.

If I live for Christ, I will live like Christ.  

If we are to truly serve God, then public service can only be preceded by secret meditation. 

Job 1: 21 is not fatalism. Fatalism is the acceptance of circumstances without reference to God.  

We should not interpret Scripture in the light of our experience, but our experience in the light of Scripture.

In Exodus 12: 4, 5, we have first “a lamb”, then “the lamb”, and finally “your lamb” (my emphasis).


As Jews, the disciples did not look on Samaria as a place of harvest, but the sowing had already been done and all they had to do was reap (see John 4: 35–38). It is to our own detriment if we think in the same insular way, and are blind to what God is doing even in our neighbourhood. “Lift up your eyes and behold the fields” (v35)!

Christ is heir of all things and, praise God, we have an inheritance in Him.

The better we know God’s thoughts about Christ the better we shall know God’s thoughts about ourselves, for we are in Christ.

We are surprised when God answers prayer but not when he doesn’t.

The believer leads a very full life. It is the unbeliever who leads a two dimensional existence: his spirit is dead towards God.

Earthly parents raise their children to become independent. God our Father raises you and I to become more dependent.

God is using me as much as He can. My prayer should not be ‘Lord, use me more’ but ‘Lord, make me more usable’. 

The Lord’s words did not need to be seasoned with salt (Col. 4: 6). He was incorruptible.

True faith is not focused on itself, as to whether it is a strong faith or weak faith, but is occupied with God.


Scriptural arrangements are nothing without spiritual conditions.

We thank God for the extraordinary but often forget the ordinary.

Clericalism can exist even where the doctrine of clericalism has been rejected.

It is not spiritual to think that we leave our brains behind in Christianity: the believer is to be transformed by the renewing of his mind (see Rom. 12: 2). Thinking is not incompatible with faith. 

A free for all is the liberty of the flesh not the liberty of the Spirit.

The secret strength of faith lies in the fact that all is treasured up in a Person—not merely doctrine, but Himself, not merely deliverance but a Deliverer, not merely redemption but a Redeemer.

A question does not always imply a doubt. Some don’t like being asked questions but we should ask questions, for the simple reason we desire to know for ourselves.

Grace is difficult to define, but impossible to measure.

The Bible stands utterly alone among books—every book bar one is the record of what man has said. This book is the exception for it is God’s Word. That being so, what it has to say will stand forever.


Some measure their fidelity by the opposition and reproach they encounter. That can be a very unreliable assessment.

When those in Nazareth where the Lord “was brought up” rejected His ministry, He “went his way” (Luke 4: 16, 30)—probably never to return.

I believe in the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen Him. 

If you are daily and habitually feeding on God’s Word, I am not afraid of you being easily shaken in mind with regard to its truth. 

A glimpse of the thorn–crowned head and the nail–pierced hands and feet is the sure remedy for ‘modern thought’ and all its vagaries.

When a preacher comes forward to preach, he must speak as from the Lord. If he cannot do that then he is better remaining silent.

“Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?”. So said Nebuchadnezzar in a “spirit hardened unto presumption” (Dan. 4: 30; 5: 20)—before God reduced him to utter helplessness in a moment. A lesson with relevance for our times.

When the critics have finished savaging the Bible they leave the sinner with nothing more than a thin pamphlet on morality to read on his way to hell.


If you think about heaven merely as a place then you lose the point of it all. The word is I "shall receive you to myself ... that they may behold my glory" (John 14: 3; 17: 24, my emphasis).

The Jewish hierarchy thought that the two classes of men were, on the one hand, "the tax–gatherers and the sinners" (Luke 15: 1) and, on the other, "the Pharisees and the scribes" (v2). By contrast, the Lord taught that the two classes were the "lost" and the "found" (v24).

Just as Pharaoh did not wish the children of Israel to "rest from their burdens" (Ex. 5: 5), let alone leave Egypt for three days to sacrifice to Jehovah, so Satan does not want the unconverted to think there is anything beyond this life and this world.

If God sees fit to allow certain circumstances to come our way, then it ought to raise a question with us as to His purpose. Are we able to say "It is Jehovah: let him do what is good in his sight" (1 Sam. 3: 18)?

Hell is also spoken of as the "lake of fire" (Rev. 20: 14, my emphasis). Why fire? The present heavens and earth will be destroyed by fire (see 2 Pet. 3: 7, 10) showing that God has finished with them forever, and the same is true of anyone not found written in the book of life.

As the Son kept the commandments of the Father and so abode in his love, so we will be conscious of Christ’s love if we keep His commandments (see John 15: 10).

The place of the wife is not to demand more love from the husband, but to be in subjection to him "as to the Lord" (Eph. 5: 22). The place of the husband is not to demand of his wife that she be more subject, but to love her as "Christ also loved the Assembly" (v25).

The old adage says that ‘You are what you eat’ and this is very true in divine things. The Lord Jesus defines a true believer as one who "eats my flesh and drinks my blood" (John 6: 54)—his soul feeds upon the Christ as an offering to God, and as a result he "has life eternal" and will be raised up "at the last day" (v54). So what about you, dear reader? Are you working for the food "which perishes" or for "the food which abides unto life eternal" (v27)? Christianity is more than simply a profession of faith made at a juncture in time—it is a life that is sustained by feeding on Christ as "the bread of life" (v35). So what do you know about that which the Lord called "truly food" (v55)? Food produces growth, and what is assimilated into our lives is a reflection of what we are feeding on day by day.


With regard to Christian fellowship, we are not at liberty to make things up as we go along. We are in the fellowship of God’s Son (see 1 Cor. 1: 9). It is His Word that governs His fellowship.

“He who has begun in you a good work” (Phil. 1: 6). So who is the “he”? You or God? Some seem to think it is themselves!

The prayer of faith in James 5: 13–15 implies knowledge and acceptance of the will of God. It is not a question of ‘believing enough to make it happen’. That is faith in faith, not faith in God.

The NT speaks far more of the appearing than what is known as the rapture—and yet many of us speak far more of the rapture than we do of the appearing. The root of this imbalance can be traced to thinking more about ourselves than we do about Christ.

Some distinguish between the moral, civil and ceremonial law in the OT in order to argue that the Christian is still in certain respects under law. This arbitrary distinction is not found in Scripture, and the doctrine built on it must therefore be rejected.

It is quite sad to find professing believers living under the shadow of “the king of terrors” (Job 18: 14).  All the terror is gone for the believer in Christ for “where, O death, [is] thy sting? where, O death, thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15: 55).


How we are to remember the Lord is governed by His own words: “this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22: 19, my emphasis). If He is Lord to us, then this gives no licence for adaptations or innovations.

There would be far fewer problems among Christians if they submitted themselves to one another in the fear of Christ (see Eph. 5: 21).

When God sends drought or pestilence then there can be no blessing unless God’s people first seek His face (see 2 Chron. 7: 14).

The idolatrous priesthood in Dan was set up by a grandson of Moses (see Judges 18: 30). Family connections are no guarantee of spirituality.

Those who oppose the Lord’s Messianic credentials ignore the fact that most of the prophecies He fulfilled were brought about by his enemies.

It is a good thing when we choose to devote the day ahead to God but actually the choice is already made. Everything we do should be to the glory of God (see 1 Cor. 10: 31).

The Word is the sword of the Spirit (see Eph. 6: 17), but it must be wielded by the Spirit if it is to be effective.


None will come to Christ of themselves though all may come, and thank God some shall come.

If Hell is not eternal, would God not have spared His own Son? 

Some Christian fathers appear to believe that it is the Church’s responsibility to bring their children up in the “discipline and admonition of [the] Lord” (Eph. 6: 4). They have failed as fathers.

On the Cross, everything was against the Lord in order that there might not be nothing now against us.

Why Christians should be worried about dying escapes me. You will die when the Lord has completed His work in you.

The burnt offering and the oblation are what the Lord was in Himself. The sin offering was what He was made for us.

Teaching today is largely milk, rather than solid food (see Heb. 5: 13, 14) and yet it is often falsely presented as the latter!

Talk to God about men before talking to men about God.

If we had more pleading for souls in prayer we might be more effective in pleading with souls in the Gospel.


It will require a determined heart and significant courage to wrench ourselves loose from the grip of our times and return to Biblical ways.

The objection to the study of prophecy arises from a selfish attitude in which interest in a subject depends on the measure in which it bears immediately on me. What God takes for granted is that His children love to hear whatever will exalt the Lord Jesus.

The desire to get out of trial is a perilous thing. The trial may be sent to show us what we really are, or to prove what God is for us and to us. But it may also be sent to stop us falling into sin. The Lord in His love thus often averts evil we cannot see.

Insular Christians are failing Christians. You cannot contend for the faith once delivered without engaging others outside your own circle.

The proof of conversion is not the profession of salvation that is made, but the life that is lived thereafter.

Paul’s desire was that “Christ shall be magnified in my body whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1: 20). Is it ours?

What others have written on the Scriptures may have great value, but such ministry should not shape our minds. Our minds must be formed by the Scriptures alone.

If your hopes are here, then all is uncertain. If your hopes are centred in the Man in the glory, then everything is certain.


Christians are not God’s volunteers but God’s bondmen. That puts a completely different complexion on service.

The "I" who said "before Abraham was, I am" (John 8: 58) was also the "I" in Hebrews 2: 13: "I will trust in him". There are not two different I’s, but one.

It is silly to take only our big things to God in prayer. In His sight, all our requests are little.

Innovation in the things of God is always wrong—there are never any extenuating circumstances.

Without God, there is no right and wrong—morality can be whatever men want to make it.

Christians walk in the light (see 1 John 1: 7) because that is the Christian position but we are also to "walk as children of light" (Eph. 5: 8, my emphasis).

The first doxology in Revelation is glory and might, the next, glory, honour and power, then blessing, honour, glory and might, and, finally, blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honour, power and strength (see Rev. 1: 6; 4: 11; 5: 13; 7: 12).


It is delusional to think that we can have a ‘ministry of Christ’ that enables us to continue as we are. If we are to be formed after Himself, then there will be a ‘cutting off’ and a ‘letting go’.

No believer is ever truly ashamed of Christ and His words (see Mark 8: 38), although, like Peter, He may be overcome by cowardice.

Christians should not allow themselves to be distracted by side–issues that do not lead to the furtherance of Christ’s interests.

The most important meeting when there is a crisis in the Assembly is the prayer meeting. We need His presence.

In any division among saints you are likely to find warm–hearted ambiguity and cold-hearted exactness. Both are bad attitudes.

The incarnation brought God to man, but it did not bring man to God.

The first thing that man says to God in the Bible is "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I feared" (Gen. 3: 10); the last thing is "Amen; come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22: 20).

In the eyes of the modern world, women in positions of power is a sign of progression. In God’s eyes it is the reverse (see Is. 3: 12).


How often can it be said of you and I “but they did not enquire at the mouth of Jehovah” (Josh. 9: 14)?

Christ is heir of all things (see Heb. 1: 2) and we have an inheritance in Him (see Rom. 8: 17).

It does not say ‘as often as ye drink the wine’ but “as often as ye ... drink the cup” (1 Cor. 11: 26, my emphasis). Ponder the practical implications.

Unlike many pulpit performances today, Paul’s preaching was characterised by “much earnest striving” (1 Thess. 2: 2).

You cannot serve God and mammon, but you can serve God with mammon (see Luke 16: 13).

The concept of God’s Assembly as a holy temple (see Eph. 2: 21) appears to be fast disappearing among God’s people. 

We can only get encouragement through the Scriptures (see Rom. 15: 4) if we actually spend time reading them.

“The faithful word” (Tit. 1: 9)—what a rock to depend on in an unstable and changing world! 

We are rightly critical of the children of Israel in their bad attitude (see Num. 21: 4-6). However, we have a tendency to give up under much less pressure.


Money is a universal provider for everything but happiness, and a universal passport to every place but heaven. If Christ is our life, then He must die (again!) before we can perish.

A distracted heart is the curse of the believer. When his heart is filled with Christ, then he will have no eye for the world.

The coming of the Lord for His saints will not reveal the faithfulness of the servant. Christ’s appearing will. That day will be the display of what has been done that will endure.

It is a common device of Satan to seek the destruction of the power of a testimony through evil insinuations against the one giving it. 

If God is to be your judge, you cannot be saved. If God is your justifier, you cannot be lost.

It was independence of God that opened the door for Satan, and it is simple dependence on God alone that can shut it.

People will seek direction from anyone and anywhere but God in His Word.


You cannot improve upon the terminology of Scripture and, particularly in relation to the person of Christ, it is foolish to attempt it.

Many souls are satisfied with relief of conscience instead of going on to satisfying of heart. 

At the judgment seat of God you cannot shelter yourself by saying that it was a collective decision, and you could not but concur. Then, “each of us shall give an account” (Rom. 14: 12, my emphasis). 

It is the veil of the temple that is rent (see Matt. 27: 51). The veil spoken of in Hebrews, is that of the tabernacle and is never said to be rent. We enter through it (see Heb. 10: 20).

Christians must never substitute reasoning for revelation.

It is a serious matter to break off links of fellowship—for fellowship in Scripture is only broken on the basis of serious charges. It is quite a different matter with those with whom I have never been in fellowship as the matter of fitness may never have arisen.

How we need grace in our dealings with one another! We may not think others deserve it, but that is precisely the point.

It is vain to talk of ‘the Lord being in the midst’ when there is no power to address problems in the company.


What a solemn assessment: "thou art near in their mouth, but far from their reins" (Jer. 12: 2). This is self-will dressed up as piety.

Trouble may come in the Church, and disappointment arise, even from brethren, but the man of God goes on just the same. Why? Because He has Christ before him.

Whatever weakens attachment to Christ destroys power. It is not gross sin that does it, for that may well be judged, but it is the little things of everyday life when they are prioritised ahead of the Lord.

I cannot conceive a more revolutionary statement than "now Christ is raised from among [the] dead" (1 Cor. 15: 20). It has changed the course of history and, thank God, it has changed me.

The work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ (see John 16: 14), not Himself. Hence in Leviticus, which is the book of approach, the Holy Spirit is not once named.

The woman is to cover her head when praying not decorate it.

One of the more disturbing features of the recent world crisis has been the watering down of plain statements of Scripture by professing Christians—either to fall in with the demands of the secular authorities, or to perpetuate a comfortable way of living. In either scenario, the Word of God is placed beneath the word of man. All kinds of superficially plausible reasons may be pleaded as to why the hard edges of Scripture must be rounded and smoothed in this way, but all fall under the same solemn heading of unbelief. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the unruly behaviour of some he said "But if any one obey not our word by the letter, mark that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed of himself; and do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother" (2 Thess. 3: 14-15, my emphasis).


The bondmen in Eph. 6 were “doing the will of God” (v6). This shows that the common idea that some believers are in full-time service and some not is entirely false. We are all full-time.

Do I want the Lord and His glory or the world and its pleasures?

If I will only accept those parts of the Bible that I consider reasonable then I am sitting in judgment on the book and ultimately on its author.

The Lord is no security against the storms of life, but He is perfect security in those storms. He has never promised us an easy passage, only a safe arrival.

An act of worship, if altered for the benefit of man, becomes an act of sacrilege.

Having received the blessing, do we long for the Blesser?

When children are told in Ephesians 6 to honour their parents “that thou mayest be long-lived on the earth” I would hesitate to say that it guarantees longevity for the Christian. However, for the Jews, a long life in the land was a sign of God’s blessing (see Exod. 20: 12), and I think that God’s blessing is assured for the child that honours his parents.

‘Stay safe’ is the language of those who have no hope beyond the grave, and whose thoughts are dominated by preserving their lives here as long as possible.


Christians sometimes debate whether they will continue to preach should the law change. This is a mutinous spirit—we are under orders (see 2 Tim. 4: 1).

Rending your heart and rending your garments (see Joel 2: 13) are completely different things.

Fundamentally, the Lord’s Supper is the Lord’s. He decides what is done there, not you or I. Paul, in describing its institution does not speak from himself, but says “I received from the Lord, that which I also delivered to you” (1 Cor. 11: 23). Those who change the order of the Lord’s Supper must ask themselves by what authority they do these things.

God’s blessing knows no restraint, but comes with responsibility. Thus while on the one hand He said “I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Exod. 16: 4, my emphasis) on the other it was “that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not”.

What does it matter if the sea is rough if Christ is there to make us walk on it? And what good is a calm if Christ is not there?

The great weakness with terminology not found in the Bible is that it is not defined by the Bible, and so can mean different things to different people.

Meekness never takes offence, and lowliness never gives offence.


The sight of the Man in the glory enabled Stephen to suffer and die, but it also enabled Paul to suffer and live.

Unanswered prayer is not as big an issue as unoffered prayer. An unoffered prayer cannot be answered.

The only cases that ought to be brought before the Assembly as such are those that every believer is able to judge. Otherwise it will be the few not the “many” (2 Cor. 2: 6), and not a true Assembly judgment.

Spiritual instincts are no substitute for plain statements of Scripture.

It is a very solemn word from Jehovah in 1 Sam. 3: 12: “I will begin and make an end”—said in relation to a child of God.

It is sometimes said that Father, Son and Holy Spirit together are necessary to convey the complete thought of God. The inevitable result of such human reasoning is that a limitation is placed on the deity of each.

In the types of the old dispensation God was teaching His people their letters. In this dispensation He is teaching them to arrange them together, and they find that they spell CHRIST.

I do not see that we are to strive to maintain ‘Christian values’ in the laws and government of this world. I am to walk as a Christian but I have no business meddling in the affairs of men.

If you examine the Greek translation of the OT (or Septuagint), you will find that “Enoch walked with God” (Gen. 5: 24) is translated “Enoch was well-pleasing to God”. In Heb. 11, the writer states of Enoch that “before [his] translation he has the testimony that he had pleased God” (v5). Now whatever you make of this, there is very clearly a close link between walking with God and being pleasing with God. Indeed, it could be said that the only way to be pleasing to God is to walk with Him, and the only way to walk with God is to be pleasing to Him.


The men and women of Heb. 11: 32-40 were not only prepared to die but to die awful deaths. That is where genuine faith takes you.

I am not only to be a reservoir of God’s blessing but a channel.

Man’s so-called free will can head in one direction only, for “the mind of the flesh [is] death” (Rom. 8: 6).

The manna is feeding on the Man who came down from heaven but “the old corn of the land” (Josh. 5: 11) is feeding on the Man who is in heaven.

The prayer meeting is often the most poorly supported meeting, and yet it there that the Lord promises to be present with us (see Matt. 18: 20). The question is, do we believe it?

Faith counts on God for deliverance but is unaffected if there is no deliverance (see Dan. 3: 17, 18).

It is very inconsistent to say that there is no question that the young children of the saints will rise with them to meet the Lord in the air when He returns, and yet not have them baptised as belonging to a Christian household. This is to demand heaven for the children through the Lord’s death, but to refuse to commit them to that same death, as regards earth.

A new nature brings new desires, but we need the power of the Holy Spirit before we can say that we “do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit” (Rom. 8: 4).


We are in Christ for blessing and Christ is in us for character. If we have His place before the Father, His character is to come out in us before the world.

What is referred to as ‘free-will’ is essentially lawlessness.

Are you worried about money? Remember that “the fear of Jehovah shall be your treasure” (Is. 33: 6).

We are not born again because we believe, but we believe because we have been born again.

The first step in living righteously is to render God His rights.

Happiness depends on happenings—events—but joy connects us with God. It is the “God of hope” that fills us with “all joy” (Rom. 15: 13).

The Holy Spirit distributes gift “to each in particular according as he pleases” (1 Cor. 12: 11). No amount of training can make a man a pastor or a teacher or an evangelist. They are gifts (see Eph. 4: 11).

For the child of God, the Lord “shall be the stability of thy times” (Is. 33: 6). What an anchor for the soul in an uncertain world!


Believers who live like others in the world share the world’s fears, and their prayers reflect this. Just as its successes ensnare them, so its troubles oppress them.

Abraham had no possession upon the earth apart from a burying place. He was marked by the tent and the altar.

The period of probation in which Israel were to choose whom they would serve ended ultimately in the rejection of Christ.

The Lord was truly Man, but in no sense was He merely Man.

What God says about mankind is that “male and female created he them” (Gen. 5: 2). So “shall the thing formed say to him that has formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Rom. 9: 20).

Difficulties make us either better believers or bitter believers.

The more fully God was declared, the more the opposition of man grew. It was not a case of the more the light the less the opposition. 

A prophet brought God’s Word close to man, but Christ brought God Himself close to man.

God has been very patient with me, and so I will be very patient with others (see 1 Thess. 5: 14). To be otherwise is not a good sign.

Even if he says nothing, a Christian should stand out in this world because he holds that “piety with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6: 6).


The instruction to “strengthen the things that remain” (Rev. 3: 2) cannot be limited to the circle of fellowship with which I may be associated.

Defective theology can often be traced back to the influence of hymns, whose emotional hold on the mind can be unhealthy.

We often think of witnessing as something we do when it is really something we are.

When quoting Matt. 18: 20 we are usually more conscious of the absence of the people rather than the presence of the Lord.

It is good to remember those who are sick before the Lord, but it is not always clear exactly what we are praying for. How would we know that our prayers have been answered? 

We are never said to be ‘in Jesus’ (His earthly name), but rather ‘in Christ’ or ‘in Christ Jesus’. ‘In Christ’ associates us with the glory where He now is.

Christianity is essentially four things: admit, submit, commit and transmit.

I must always come to the Bible reading as a seeker after truth. Those with more understanding must never forget that they are also learners with much to learn.

Where fellowship is ill-defined (or even undefined), it is inevitable that, in time, meetings will simply disappear like droplets of milk in a glass of water. It is impossible to remain distinct (if we have a legitimate cause to be so), and at the same time act as if boundaries did not exist.


We like encouragement, but God knows what we need, whether it be conviction, rebuke, or, indeed, encouragement (see 2 Tim. 4: 2).

If the prayers in the prayer meeting are much the same each week, why are they not answered?

Pressure will usually crush, but in God’s hands it enlarges (see Ps. 4: 1).

“The work is great and extended, and we are scattered upon the wall, one far from another” (Neh. 4: 19). That, essentially, is the position of the faithful in our day.

Because He loved me, God in love gave up the dearest object of His love. There will never ever be anything to compare with this.

We pray for people to come in and hear the Gospel, but we don’t really believe God will do it because we don’t put out any extra seats. 

We have no right to expect outsiders to simply fall in with whatever ‘terms of fellowship’ prevail in our group. Fellowship is mutual, and if we do not understand that then we do not understand fellowship.

“Stand up, bless Jehovah your God from eternity to eternity. And let [men] bless the name of thy glory, which is exalted above all blessing and praise” (Neh. 9: 5). What a sense of the greatness of God!


The term ‘Father in the heavens’ occurs only in the synoptic gospels; in John’s Gospel the Lord tells us that the Father will come and make His abode with us (see John 14: 23).

The Jewish leaders could say where the Christ was to be born (see Matt. 2: 3-6) but it had no moral effect on them.

Christianity is “faith working through love” (Gal. 5: 6).

Liberty is not found in a system where we must do what we are told, nor an arrangement where, within broad limits, we may do what we like. The path of true liberty is found in obedience to the Lord and His Word. 

To be much like Christ, be much with Christ.

To stand by an open grave is to be in the presence of death in all its harsh reality. However, for the Christian there is something else that is just as real: the presence of the Man who has conquered death.

God isn’t just watching you; He is watching over you.

Grace not righteousness reigns, otherwise all of us would have been overtaken by judgment and condemnation. However, grace reigns not at the expense of righteousness, but through it (see Rom. 5: 21).

The resurrection of Christ has changed everything for the believer. To profess Christianity and yet say “there is not a resurrection of [those that are] dead” (1 Cor. 15: 12), renders faith futile and life miserable. The apostle would have none of it: “but now Christ is raised from among [the] dead”. He does not stop there, however, but goes on to speak of Christ as the “first-fruits of those that have fallen asleep”. (v20, my emphasis). The resurrection of a departed saint is made just as certain as Christ’s, and that is why we do not grieve like those “who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4: 13).  


If you want to preach accurately, read your Bible. If you want to preach powerfully, pray.

The infidel’s idea of God’s love is amiability about sin.

They put a reed in the Lord’s right hand, and He held it (see Matt. 27: 29). He, in grace, allowed their mockery of Him, the Creator of the universe.

Talking of faith is all very well; living by faith is what counts. 

How quickly we slip into thinking of the rapture as merely a doctrine to be believed. It is a hope that ought to thrill the soul and govern the life.

You can only be disappointed with yourself if you have believed in yourself.

Conviction about what we believe, leads to courage in telling others what we believe. 

It is mercy we seek but it is grace we receive.

If I realise that I am neither Jew nor Gentile in the eye of God, I shall not claim to be Jew or Gentile on earth.

We are not looking for something to happen but for Someone to come. Christ, not signs, is our hope.


It is “the goodness of God” that “leads thee to repentance” (Rom. 2: 4). If I have repented, it is because God has led me there.

Trials are divine sculptors: they chisel away at what we are, carving us into what we should be.

The new nature is not cultivated by law-keeping (which leads to self-occupation) but is cultivated by faithoccupation with Christ. 

Nowhere do Christians in the Bible pray that moral conditions in the world might be improved—and nor is there any exhortation to do so.

God’s compassions not only “fail not”, but they are “new every morning”. Well might we exclaim, “great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3: 22-23)!

God’s Word teaches me how to walk, and where to walk. It is both “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119: 105).

The coming together for ‘open ministry’ (see 1 Cor. 14: 26-33) is characteristic of those walking according to the truth of the Assembly.

I do not know why God chose mebut I do know that he chose me in order that I might praise His name.

Those under law, were exhorted to “remit us our sins, for we also remit to every one indebted to us” (Luke 11: 4) but in Christianity we are to forgive “one another, so as God also in Christ has forgiven you” (Eph. 4: 32).

We should neither be ashamed of the Gospel nor a shame to it.


The hope of the Lord’s coming used to separate people from the world. Now we have the doctrine of ‘premillennialism’ and people stay where they are.

One single sentence out of God’s Word has more value, more power and more certainty than all the discoveries of all the learned men of all the ages.

Eph. 2: 18 is essentially a summary of what Christianity is: “For through him we have both access by one Spirit to the Father”.

Daniel did not seek political office. That is the great difference between him and those believers today who choose to be politicians in this world.

“Forbearing one another” is a passive word—what I patiently endure; “forgiving one another” (Col. 3: 13) is grace actively shown to others.

How soon barriers between races, nations, classes, and cultures disappear when Christ is “all” (Col. 3: 11; AV), and how quickly love springs up when Christ is seen “in all” (v 11, my emphasis).

The truth of God is not merely a thing to know but to live out.

How can we ask according to His will? By immersing ourselves by the Spirit in His Word (see John 15: 7).