Manton’s Merciful Appeals

By Thomas Manton

For the other sort, who are kept from coming to trust Christ by their own fears, they are likely to say things like,

“It is true there is mercy in Christ for sinners, but Christ has not callrd me personally.”

– My brothers, what are you looking for? An audible voice to speak to you, You John, You Thomas, etc.? In the the tenderness of the gospel you are included as well as others, and why will you exclude yourselves? If God says sinners, you should reply, “I am the greatest sinner”.

“I remember it said, in John 10:3, Christ calls hi sheep by name, and leads them forth. How does Christ call them by name?”

-By speaking particularly to their case, as if he tapped them on the shoulder, and said; “Here is comfort for you.” As at a feast, when there is a dish that we set on the table , though all are free to take from it, yet we say, Here is a dish for me.”  So you should apply yourselves and take your own portion;  though it be put forward to everyone, when God directs his messengers to speak particularly to your case, that is all the calling by name you need, since prophesies are ceased, so you should say, This dish was provided for my hungry conscience, intended for me,..But they will reply,

“Sure there is no mercy for me, I am so unworthy.”

-I answer—The invitation does not look for worth, but thirst: Rev.22:17, “Let him that is thirsty come, and whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely.” You are not worthy, but you are thirsty, or else why are you groaning as you are?

-And by the way take notice of the pride that is in legal dejection.[disqualifying yourself through the law]

Men unwilling to come to Christ; would like to be worthy before they come to him; and therefore the apostle says: “For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Rom 10:3. A proud man would attempt to establish a righteousness in himself, and is reluctant to low themselves to take all from another;…

-The more the need to come to Christ; he came to call sinners. Matt.9:13. It doesn’t’ matter what you have been, but what you could be; Christ does not call us because we are holy but that we may become holy. Is it rational to say, “I am too poor to take charity, I am too dirty to take a shower?

But they have refused so many call already, and scorned God’s counsel.

-Wisdom calls scorners, Prov.1:22. “Turn you scorners; how long will you delight in scorning?” It is a mercy that you have been able to hear one more call; don’t increase your guilt that you complain about.

But I don’t know how to come to Christ.

-The blind and the lame are invited to the wedding, Matt.22, and wisdom calls fools, Prov.9:4, “Whosoever is simple”. The stray lamb is brought home on the shepherd’s shoulders, Luke 15.  Oh, that these words might be spirit and life to you!

 


[Language slightly modernized in places by this site.]

Peter’s Masterpiece 2

by Paul M.

1st Peter 1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (3)


to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance, and that doesn’t fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (4-5) 

I believe God(Father, Son, Spirit) is good, merciful, gracious and reasonable.  God is love. He obviously desires us to be these to one another, He is the source the from which these streams of love flow.  This is the God who gave us an illustration condemning the the rich man who cared little for poor Lazarus, at his door step.  God being the ultimate “rich man” does not treat us poor and needy ones as the rich man He condemned, if we would only believe, He is, who He says He is.  This is the God who communicates Himself as running to meet His son, this son who had rejected and treated his father as if he were dead to him.  This father also reaffirmed his love to his older ungrateful and unmerciful son.

This is the heart of the gospel.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”  First and foremost the gospel message of reconciliation is one of the mercy, goodness, graciousness and love of God.  God through His reconciling mercy is reaching to us all, at times almost as if He is begging us to trust and come.  He lowers himself at times in the scripture to the place of beggar, tenderly entreating us not to destroy ourselves, through disbelief.

We are given hope, raised to a much greater hope than we have ever known.  Before coming to know this hope, we had our minds on other inheritances, we wanted and sought in a variety of ways, the respect, the love and the honor of other people.  We sought things that enhanced these  for us, we wanted more than anything else, to be seen as successful, great, and worthy of these things from others.  Many of us envisioned the “blessed life” the “good life” as being one of independence, one of finding peace and security in our own greatness, ingenuity and character.  We are learning now, the blessed life is one of meekness and dependence on God.

God came to this earth, lowly and meek.  The hope He gives us which replaces our former hopes to varying degrees, and I hope great degrees is to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance.  This inheritance doesn’t fade away as the spindle of our lives run out. This is a hope which grows stronger year after year, decade after decade.  He has reserved the best for last, reserving for us a place with Him in heaven.  He himself guards this hope within us.  We are guarded by this merciful and loving God, through His power.  He gives, renews and revives our faith in Him.  He sustains and grows the perfect seed within us, though it resides along side our remaining sin.  This remaining sin that we grow to hate, believe and pray against.

This gospel, of the good news of mercy, peace and love, has been revealed to the world through Christ.   This gospel goes against our natural inclinations, of finding respect, love and honor through our own greatness, ingenuity and character and in resulting material security.   The gospel message is one of progressively dying to these things, meaning the loving and seeking of these things.  These deceptive dreams and prizes of our former lives, before God’s merciful invasion of us personally.  By the mercy and grace of God we will turn more and more from ourselves, our greatness, our glory, our character, and our love and dependence on these things will fade.  Our Lord will pull us out of this horrible pit, of muddy and boggy false dreams more and more.  He will by giving us a growing faith and love for Him, for Jesus, for His righteousness, character and glory, increase the clarity of our eyes and hearts.  Though we may stumble at times and fall from this clarity, if we are His, he will draw us back, and even to a place of greater clarity.  We can have this expectant hope, even at and in the low places.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.  When darkness seems to hid His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.  His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood.  When all around my soul gives way,  He then is all my Hope and Stay.  When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found.  Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.-Edward Mote

 



The Storm

Clarity

 

 

 

 

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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He Turns Our Eyes

He Turns Our Eyes

 

Psalm 80:3

Turn us again, God.  Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.


As our eyes are turned upward towards our Hope more continuously, they will be filled more with light rather than darkness.  We will be looking in faith to His perfect face, His perfect eyes, His perfect heart.  We will be looking less and less to ourselves and others.  We will be less depressed, disturbed, distracted or discouraged by the remaining sin, darkness, and wickedness coming from ourselves or others.   We will grow more immune and protected from the schemes of the evil one.  His destructive games of comparing, judging, condemning ourselves and others will lose their hold and power over us as we grow to trust the Lord and His righteous and true judgment.  The vapor-like judgments and thoughts of men will find their right place, infinitely below the thoughts and judgments of God.  We will turn away from the sharpening of our tongues, wits and expressions for malicious, damaging use, or even hurtful defensive uses.  We will rather use our tongues and actions to share the love and hope of Jesus with one another and others.  We will be more like harmless lambs or doves, loving and encouraging others to a greater trust in this God Who is beside us, in us and loves us so much.  Our love relationship with Jesus will become more and more our main pursuit and enjoyment of life.  We will desire others to know and love Jesus as we do.  Many can experience life and His favor.

 

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This is my hope and vision.  That we, as seekers and believers looking to Jesus, would become people more like those described by Jesus Himself: poor in Spirit – desiring above all things more of Jesus, more of His Spirit, His righteousness , His love within us or manifested from within us.  We would mourn more, grieving our perceived or felt distance from Him in our thoughts, actions, and feelings.  Mourners also for others who are resistant to His mercy, grace, and love for them.  We would be more gentle as we learn, trust and seek more the gentle Spirit’s leading.  We would be those who hunger and thirst after righteousness more.  As some rich in the treasures of this world are greedy for more, we, being enriched by God, would be “greedy” for more of Him, His righteousness, His love, His presence found in Jesus, our Love.  We would be more merciful as we have learned more the greatness of the mercy of God.  Our hearts will be purified more as Jesus becomes more so our One Desire.  We will become greater peacemakers as we have come to value more the peace we have been given.  We will fear uttering words that seemingly cause only little wounds to others, such as belittling wit and sarcasm at others expense.  We will less often give in to the desire to glorify and elevate our own selves at the expense of others and His glory.  We will become those willing to suffer persecution, ridicule, and exclusion by others rather than compromising our seeking, loving and treasuring of Jesus, our Love.

In our understanding, seeking God will look something like the following:  Simply looking to Him in expectant faith.  Spending time in His Word, as He speaks to us and greatly encourages us through it.   Spending time communicating with Him in prayer, giving His Spirit more time with focused attention.  Thinking continuously about Him, allowing Him and His love to become where your mind is continually returning for renewal, refreshment and rest.  God (Father, Son, Spirit) will become our universe, our everything, our True Love.  We will care less about the things valued highly by the world but of little value to Him.  Our hearts and lives will be moving further from the earthly and natural to the heavenly and supernatural as the Lord is accomplishing His work in us.   May we become more confident in His merciful, gracious, and loving working within us.  He provides for us from Himself all that is needed to reconcile with Him, know Him, love Him, and become intimate friends, children, and even lovers of God.  Allow Him to become your Hope, and even more so.

 


 

 

 

 

Hope of the Dance

There is a Hope.  A hope of freedom, peace, and joy resulting in singing and dancing.  The spring of this freedom and peace flows gently and most often must be sought.  Even after tasting and fully receiving this thirst-quenching and satisfying stream, care must be taken to keep {going to} this stream {of living water}.  Finding it’s renewal and restoration.

Psalm 87:7

 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, “All my springs are in you.”

Those of us who of a more melancholy nature do have a sure hope of singing and dancing.  Truly singing and dancing in freedom, peace, and joy.  This sure Hope is found in our only true Hope, Jesus. This is the stream and spring that can and will produce true singing and dancing.  God Himself, under our Shepherds watchful eye, His Spirit within us producing springs and streams of joy and peace.

You may say. “I don’t seem to have these streams of joy and peace coming forth from within me.” “My streams of joy and peace seem stopped up.”   “I cannot say I am singing and dancing with joyful exclamations, “All my springs are in you.”   This writer would not add sorrow to God’s children feeling this way, by questioning the reality of your faith, or Jesus within you.  Depression and lack of joy is where our enemies revels in attacking, not me.  There is hope for singing and dancing with joy still though.  May we fight the enemy and His lies of hopelessness, through hope.  May we turn our eyes, minds and hearts to Jesus, may we place ourselves in His care.  All our springs our in Jesus, whether they seem streams of sorrow or of gladness, from our Man of sorrows and gladness.  We can come to His garden of hope and communion.  I believe we come to this garden of streams and springs through His word and through  prayer.  We can rely on His gentle and helping Spirit to reveal His truth to us more clearly, and lessen the strength of the lies we tend to believe, the lies that dampen the experience of His gladness.  This gentle spirits which is the streams, that flow from us like rivers, whether they be streams of joy or streams of sorrow and longing for God.  These streams bring us nearer to our lord, bringing is to greater change, to reveal His image in us more to others, that they may taste and long for Jesus also, becoming His.

We can look to hope in God, for a possibly, if so, slow and gradual defeat of the enemy through hope.  We can look to an increase in our singing and dancing, here. We can look to our sure hope of singing and dancing in our full change, our full redemption.  We can begin meditating more and more on this sure future hope of full peace and joy.  Even if this seems our only hope for ever singing and dancing, let this be our sure hope, on which we think on and meditate on with faith and anticipation.  Thinking on the day our melancholy will be left with our natural bodies, and we will begin to dance and sing with our Loved one, unhindered in ecstasy within His forever hold of love.

Warriors of the Light

Song of Songs 3:7-8

 Behold, it is Solomon’s carriage!
    Sixty mighty men are around it,
    of the mighty men of Israel.
They all handle the sword, and are expert in war.
    Every man has his sword on his thigh,
    because of fear in the night.


 

Within the love story of Jesus and His bride.  The book about the sacred romance, the devotion, the intimacy, and true personal and mutual love, between God and man, there is a reminder.  I believe these verses are written reminders to all seekers, devotees and lovers of Jesus.  While we are very much to love Jesus, with devotion, adoration, praise and worship in a personal way, our person’s with His person.  We are also warriors of the Light.  While there is very much a sense of weakness and dependence as we rely on our Loved One for the life of love, we must be pursuing and seeking His strength, for warfare.  We putting on His armor, weapons for war.  We dying with Jesus on the cross, are also raised with Him in resurrection power.  We must seek and trust for His powerful armor, and weapons of warfare given us. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  All risen with Jesus, have this armor available to them, however we must seek and trust for it’s effectual use (putting on of it) through faith in God’s provision of it for everyday life. We becoming mighty through His might(not ours) mercifully surrounding and protecting of us against our enemy.  Giving us His strength and will for our battles.  We becoming warriors of The Light, warriors of The Hope.

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We must spend much time handling the sword, or the word of God, becoming experts in warfare with our enemy.    Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.  For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:11-12)  The Spirit of God uses this sword to communicate truths to us.  He shows us our weaknesses, our sins, He warns us, He encourages us, comforts us, He trains us for battle.  We must allow time for these training sessions.  We must keep the word, keep it close to our hearts, thinking about and ruminating on the word of God.  We must allow the word and Spirit to shape our thoughts, meditations and affections of our Loved One.  These warriors kept the sword close on their thighs, for easy accessibility, ready to take up arms at any instant a threat was sensed.  We must keep the word close, also.  We do not know when and from what angle the enemy will attack.

As we seek intimacy we must stay in the word of God, trusting God through His Spirit to train us and lead us rightly.  Not only the Spirit , but Jesus and our Father take part personally and in our training for warfare, working with the Spirit.  We cannot allow our devotion, love and worship of Jesus and of God (Father, Jesus, Spirit) to become distanced from much time in the word of truth.  The word that washes, purifies, renews and revives us.

How many stories have we heard of worship leaders with seeming intimate love, and affection for Jesus, written on their faces, turning to adulterous lovers for their intimacy.  I personally believe many of these were not “hypocrites” in the worst sense of the word.  Many were truly seeking love and intimacy with Jesus.  The love and affection written on their faces was true or they felt true love and affection for Jesus.  In my mind, these verses on warfare were placed within this great song of love, as a great warning for  the lovers of Jesus.  We must keep ourselves close to His word, and His word close to us.  We must not become greater lovers of love, greater lovers of feelings of intimacy, greater lovers of feelings of loving and being loved, than loving Jesus Himself, as He would have us love Him.  I believe, any of us, if we are not grounded in His word, can be led astray even by feelings, feelings that seem so right, so loving, if they are left by themselves, undefended.  We can selfishly indulge in this one aspect of our life with Jesus.  We can neglect to seek Jesus, seek God, in and through His word and Spirit, by being overly wrapped in this one aspect worship and adoration.  We must remember how untrustworthy, quick to forget, and plain dumb we are.  We cannot trust ourselves to stray away from time in His word, communing with Jesus, through His Spirit, in the safety of His word.  We must allow His word and Spirit to lead our love and lives.

Ours is a story of a great sacred romance, but it is also a story of a great and fearful warfare.  These warriors were not without fear.  Every man has his sword on his thigh,
because of fear in the night.  They had a fear of the night, a God-given fear of the enemy, and His secretive maneuvers, schemes, and plans of attack.   They knew better than to be only led by their emotions, their own thoughts and understanding, they must also be led by God’s word and Spirit, for this warfare.  It is my hope, that as we progress together seeking Jesus, and His heart, we will have times when our love, or rather His love is written on our faces.  That we would have emotional feelings of personal love for Jesus, knowing His love for us.  My hope is that we would also be very useful and diligent warriors and servants of Jesus.  That we would also rely strongly on His word, spoken and taught to us by God Himself, to keep us safe, and productive to and through Himself.   Sharing His mercy and love, His glory with others, without shame.

 


Hope of the Dance

There is a Hope.  A hope of freedom, peace, and joy resulting in singing and dancing.  The spring of this freedom and peace flows gently and most often must be sought.  Even after tasting and fully receiving this thirst-quenching and satisfying stream, care must be taken to keep {going to} this stream {of living water}.  Finding it’s renewal and restoration.

Psalm 87:7

 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, “All my springs are in you.”

Those of us who of a more melancholy nature do have a sure hope of singing and dancing.  Truly singing and dancing in freedom, peace, and joy.  This sure Hope is found in our only true Hope, Jesus. This is the stream and spring that can and will produce true singing and dancing.  God Himself, under our Shepherds watchful eye, His Spirit within us producing springs and streams of joy and peace.

You may say. “I don’t seem to have these streams of joy and peace coming forth from within me.” “My streams of joy and peace seem stopped up.”   “I cannot say I am singing and dancing with joyful exclamations, “All my springs are in you.”   This writer would not add sorrow to God’s children feeling this way, by questioning the reality of your faith, or Jesus within you.  Depression and lack of joy is where our enemies revels in attacking, not me.  There is hope for singing and dancing with joy still though.  May we fight the enemy and His lies of hopelessness, through hope.  May we turn our eyes, minds and hearts to Jesus, may we place ourselves in His care.  All our springs our in Jesus, whether they seem streams of sorrow or of gladness, from our Man of sorrows and gladness.  We can come to His garden of hope and communion.  I believe we come to this garden of streams and springs through His word and through  prayer.  We can rely on His gentle and helping Spirit to reveal His truth to us more clearly, and lessen the strength of the lies we tend to believe, the lies that dampen the experience of His gladness.  This gentle spirits which is the streams, that flow from us like rivers, whether they be streams of joy or streams of sorrow and longing for God.  These streams bring us nearer to our lord, bringing is to greater change, to reveal His image in us more to others, that they may taste and long for Jesus also, becoming His.

We can look to hope in God, for a possibly, if so, slow and gradual defeat of the enemy through hope.  We can look to an increase in our singing and dancing, here. We can look to our sure hope of singing and dancing in our full change, our full redemption.  We can begin meditating more and more on this sure future hope of full peace and joy.  Even if this seems our only hope for ever singing and dancing, let this be our sure hope, on which we think on and meditate on with faith and anticipation.  Thinking on the day our melancholy will be left with our natural bodies, and we will begin to dance and sing with our Loved one, unhindered in ecstasy within His forever hold of love.

A Believer’s Complaint

If you spend much time reading the psalms, you will realize something.  God is not above being complained to.  He is our Father, and as a father, he is willing to listen to our needs, pleas, and misunderstandings.  I would not advise shaking a puny fist at God when things go terribly bad.  God is however able to handle our complaints to Him and our pleas and cries for help.

Exodus 6:12-13, 30

Moses spoke before Yahweh, saying, “Behold, the children of Israel haven’t listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, who am of uncircumcised lips?”   Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a command to the children of Israel, and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

Moses said before Yahweh, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh listen to me?”

I believe this was a good question from Moses.  I believe he was basically saying, ” I believe you Lord, however, I see no authority or anointing in my speaking.  Even my own people do not listen to me.  I need You to give me Your power, I need You to put power into my words and speaking.  I cannot convince others of anything, I am not a persuasive or eloquent speaker.

Moses, I believe, was not showing weakness of faith so much as he was pointing out the obvious.  He was asking the Lord, for more of Himself(God) to be with himself. (Moses)  This was the cry of a man who was poor of Spirit, he needed more of God’s Spirit, or more evidence of God’s Spirit, and power working mightily from within him. This was a personal cry from Moses, to His personal God.  A God who desires everyone to relate to Him in a personal and heartfelt way.

Moses was not reproved for this plea.  He was reproved and disciplined, when he became frustrated with God, and his fellow people at the Rock.  He hit the Rock, His Savior, in an outburst of anger.  I believe, what was going on in his mind was; “God!, Why are You burdening me with these unbelieving people?, You are not being good to me!, I am worthy of more respect than this, after all this time.”   Moses, hadn’t learned the lesson of mercy as fully as was desired by God. (none of us do)  Moses’s meekness gave way to anger and bitterness, to his followers and I believe, his Lord, for an instant.  Moses, like us all, fell far short of the perfect standard.  Moses did not enter the symbolic promised land, He did however enter the true promised land. It is the mercy and graciousness of God that we able to stand on another’s righteousness and not our own.

We all fall so far short.  Even the “Great” ones of the faith also fell far short.  God knows our need of Him, He is not taken aback when we question Him, on His promises to us,  when we come to him, and reverently take Him to task.  In psalm 88, and 89 we also see complaining believers.  The psalmist of 88 seemed to be a believer who was perpetually overcome by depression. ” Where’s my joy and peace, Lord?”  In Psalm 89, the psalmist, is complaining about God’s seemingly forgetting of His promises to David.  May we come to God with our faults and needs and honestly speak and even complain to Him.

This is, I believe, is a complaint from my favorite modern day psalmist, at a time of spiritual frustration with his Savior: