Durham was a diligent minister who was searching but careful in his sermons. Renowned for eminent godliness and humility, he was also able to resolve complex questions and issues.
He was a minister for only eleven years but left a considerable number of writings. While expounding the Book of Revelation from the pulpit, he devoted two days each week for fasting and prayer. This was to seek divine help for a correct understanding of its meaning. He expressed simple trust on his deathbed. “For all that I have preached and written”, he said. “There is but one scripture I can remember or dare grasp…‘Whosoever cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out’”.
If it matters to Christ, shouldn’t that make us think?
Wouldn’t it make a vast difference to our hearts, lives, families and churches if we benefited more from preaching? James Durham gives some helpful advice for how to benefit from hearing the Word preached.
The life motto “no regrets” often buries conscience and refuses to be impacted by guilt. But the only way to truly live without regrets is to take conscience as seriously as possible. Living like this is “heaven upon earth”.
We have genuine, justified fears for the Church. What can we do? Our answer is in looking beyond confidence in our own activities to the activity that is taking place in heaven.
If we are prepared to learn from contemporary Christians why not from those in the past? Let’s hear James Durham make the case for making use of older books.
It seems as if our culture tries to pretend that death doesn’t exist, even though it is a central part of human experience. Perhaps it has influenced the Church. But there are real spiritual benefits from thinking about death.
Is God’s presence purely a subjective sense that borders on a mystical feeling or being emotionally charged? Is it a particular experience or atmosphere? James Durham draws out what the Bible has to say about it.
Holiness is a gospel priority; it is a gospel-shaped life. James Durham shows how the gospel calls for holiness in six ways. To fail or be defective in any of them makes our life to that extent to be unfitting the gospel.
We were not made to live for ourselves or the things of time. We were made for God and for eternity. That’s why we will never be truly content without godliness.
It seemed like a moral revolution was taking place when licentious behaviour was being challenged publicly. But it didn’t last long and didn’t go far enough. We desperately need a real moral revolution in relation to the seventh commandment.
What is it in human nature that is drawn to sharing falsehood? It’s so easy for any of us to rush to engage with it. James Durham speaks about the honest, simple and straightforward attitudes and behaviour we need.
James Durham brings us back to the One whose words are Spirit and life and who is able to use the words of those whom He has sent. This is an encouragement for preachers who are discouraged.
James Durham has some vital considerations in relation to what it means to prepare for eternity.
Some Christians are in danger of losing the Ten Commandments because they fail to acknowledge their Godward aspect. We need to understand how deep and broad the Commandments are in relation to our inward and outward lives.
The extent of our love to Christ may be measured by the extent of our hatred of sin. James Durham shows how.
Paul speaks of being all things to all men in order to save them. Does that mean that we must adopt the culture around us and everything we do must be changed? How should we understand this verse?
The only definition of worship that matters is God’s.
We need discernment in what we read and how we read it in order to get most benefit. James Durham gives some simple rules to identify the most beneficial reading possible.