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The Imitation of Christ

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

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or view out daily devotionals below the music
Mar 27
Music on this page is from the Don Francisco site at
http://www.rockymountainministries.org/
This song is by Don Francisco
Album
The Package - Collection VolIII 2004
Song = Flyin By The Seat Of Your Pants


Mar 27

1. Thoughts Helpful in the Life of the Soul

1.13 Resisting Temptation

SO LONG as we live in this world we cannot escape sufferingand temptation. Whence it is written in Job: "The life ofman upon earth is a warfare." {#Job 7:1} Everyone,therefore, must guard against temptation and must watch in prayerlest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom hemay devour, find occasion to deceive him. No one is so perfect orso holy but he is sometimes tempted; man cannot be altogetherfree from temptation.

Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are oftenuseful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, andinstructed. The saints all passed through many temptations andtrials to profit by them, while those who could not resist becamereprobate and fell away. There is no state so holy, no place sosecret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is neversafe from them as long as he lives, for they come from withinusóin sin we were born. When one temptation or trialpasses, another comes; we shall always have something to sufferbecause we have lost the state of original blessedness.

Many people try to escape temptations, only to fall moredeeply. We cannot conquer simply by fleeing, but by patience andtrue humility we become stronger than all our enemies. The manwho only shuns temptations outwardly and does not uproot themwill make little progress; indeed they will quickly return, moreviolent than before.

Little by little, in patience and long-suffering you willovercome them, by the help of God rather than by severity andyour own rash ways. Often take counsel when tempted; and do notbe harsh with others who are tempted, but console them as youyourself would wish to be consoled.

The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind andlittle trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven hitherand yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted inmany ways. Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just.Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows uswhat we are.

Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginningsof temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he isrefused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the thresholdwhen he knocks.

Someone has said very aptly: "Resist the beginnings;remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gainedstrength." First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strongimagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent.Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gainsfull entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much theweaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemygrows against him.

Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of theirconversion, others toward the end, while some are troubled almostconstantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted butlightly according to the wisdom and justice of Divine ProvidenceWho weighs the status and merit of each and prepares all for thesalvation of His elect.

We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, butpray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us,for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue withtemptation that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble oursouls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for Hewill save and exalt the humble in spirit.

In temptations and trials the progress of a man is measured;in them opportunity for merit and virtue is made moremanifest.

When a man is not troubled it is not hard for him to befervent and devout, but if he bears up patiently in time ofadversity, there is hope for great progress.

Some, guarded against great temptations, are frequentlyovercome by small ones in order that, humbled by their weaknessin small trials, they may not presume on their own strength ingreat ones.



March 27-Morning {Daily Reading: #Jud 12:1-14:20} {Quick Study: #1Sa 1:1-3:21}

"Then all the disciples forsook him and fled." {#Mt 26:56}

He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from him in the very beginning of his sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf cometh. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels. It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lordís sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform. It would have been to their eternal honour to have stood at Jesusí side right manfully; they fled from honour; may I be kept from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and even so the Holy Spirit can make my recreant spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness for his truth.

What anguish must have filled the Saviour as he saw his friends so faithless! This was one bitter ingredient in his cup; but that cup is drained dry; let me not put another drop in it. If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify him afresh, and put him to an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful.



And Also

March 27-Evening

"And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masterís table." {#Mt 15:27}

This woman gained comfort in her misery by thinking GREAT THOUGHTS OF CHRIST. The Master had talked about the childrenís bread: "Now," argued she, "since thou art the Master of the table of grace, I know that thou art a generous housekeeper, and there is sure to be abundance of bread on thy table; there will be such an abundance for the children that there will be crumbs to throw on the floor for the dogs, and the children will fare none the worse because the dogs are fed." She thought him one who kept so good a table that all that she needed would only be a crumb in comparison; yet remember, what she wanted was to have the devil cast out of her daughter. It was a very great thing to her, but she had such a high esteem of Christ, that she said, "It is nothing to him, it is but a crumb for Christ to give." This is the royal road to comfort. Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace. "My sins are many, but O! it is nothing to Jesus to take them all away. The weight of my guilt presses me down as a giantís foot would crush a worm, but it is no more than a grain of dust to him, because he has already borne its curse in his own body on the tree. It will be but a small thing for him to give me full remission, although it will be an infinite blessing for me to receive it." The woman opens her soulís mouth very wide, expecting great things of Jesus, and he fills it with his love. Dear reader, do the same. She confessed what Christ laid at her door, but she laid fast hold upon him, and drew arguments even out of his hard words; she believed great things of him, and she thus overcame him. SHE WON THE VICTORY BY BELIEVING IN HIM. Her case is an instance of prevailing faith; and if we would conquer like her, we must imitate her tactics.



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