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    The choice we all face
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An Important Question

I love the Puritans, plain and simple.  I first started reading the Puritans around 1980 when someone gave me Thomas Watson’s All Things For Good, a little paperback on Romans 8:28.  I was hooked!!  There was a time in my life, in the 80s, that I didn’t read much else besides the Puritans.  I was even told by more than one person, “Bill, you were born about 400 years too late.”  I took that as a compliment, though in all instances I’m not sure it was meant to be.  But I still love the Puritans.  In 2009 the Banner of Truth Trust published a devotional book with excerpts from various Puritans broken up into “bite-size” daily readings.  I highly recommend it as a good introduction to the Puritans.

You’ve heard me quote Charles Spurgeon, when he said, I have been charged with being a mere echo of the Puritans, but I had rather be the echo of truth, than the voice of falsehood.”

The January 28th reading fits right in with the series I am currently preaching in the book of Hebrews.  Enjoy it, but more importantly, think about it:

Now faith is “the essence of things hoped for.” It helps us to be content before we received our distant and future comforts. A Christian has tasted how sweet God is in Christ, therefore he groans after the full enjoyment of him. Faith is, in every way, as sure as actual fulfillment, though not as sweet. In faith, a believer waits as long as God has anything for him to do in this world, upon the security of faith. It is true he is in a strait, and his desire presses him, yet he will wait. Plus Paul said: “I am hard pressed . . . to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23 — 24). Many men say that they believe this, but alas, how does that belief influenced him? Does it affect him like things that are present and enjoyable to do? Alas, in general, things temporal work more upon us than things eternal, and the things visible than things invisible. A small matter will prove to be a temptation, and a little pleasure or profit will greatly motivate us. We do not have half the seriousness in spiritual things as an earthly. Surely men do not cherish heaven, since they labor and care for it so little. Alas! They live as if they have never heard of such a thing, or do not believe what they hear, since every toy and trifle is preferred before it. If a proud man understood that some great inheritance was bequeathed to him, would he not often think of it, rejoice in it, and long to take possession of it? The promise of eternal life is left with us in the gospel, but who puts in for a share? Who longs for it? Who takes hold of it? Who gives all diligence to make sure? Who desires to go and see it? Oh, that I might be dissolved, and be with Christ! If these hopes have so little influence on us, it is a sign we do not cherish them more in our hearts. (Thomas Manton, By Faith, Sermons on Hebrews 11, pp. 16 — 17)