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’”.
Perhaps for various reasons we do not often pray, ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’ Yet there is a strong emphasis in Scripture on longing for Christ to come again. How can we increase that desire? Here are some ways.
Have we stopped talking about it? There are many reasons why we ought to be longing for Christ’s Second Coming as well as speaking of it.
It is easy to go wrong in understanding and explaining the trinity. There are new challenges. But this is not merely a theological debate, it has an impact on our devotion.
Christ reveals a majesty that transcends our thoughts and makes us tremble. Yet it is combined with such infinite tenderness that the majesty and comfort are able to remove our fears.
It is easy to be cast down in the face of any difficulties and trials Christ’s Church faces. Yet there is great comfort in His special overruling providence in all things that concern His Church.
Our current crisis shows the limitations of our knowledge and control. If we are humbled in the face of nature, the proper response is to be humble towards the God of nature.
The word “godly” has lost its meaning if it is just used to refer to a committed Christian. How does Scripture define it? And how does it carefully distinguish real godliness from its counterfeit?
Is there a greater contradiction than being ungracious about spiritual things? Anything we have received spiritually is only by grace: how should that impact us?
Has the coronavirus prompted more concern about spiritual things? To some extent, yes; though it may be difficult to measure right now. But there is a wider question about what happens when Christ opens a door of blessing for the gospel and what that means. James Durham explains more.
We are uniquely focussed on defining what is essential in society at present. This is an important decision for preserving life and health. But take a step backward and consider things from the widest possible perspective. What is truly and absolutely essential?
It’s one thing to say “I have behaved foolishly”. It’s another to truly acknowledge and confess the guilt of what we have done. Yet God’s offers of peace are for even those who have committed the greatest folly.
Heart idols go even deeper than you think. They are bound up with the deepest emotions and instincts of our heart and that is what keeps them hidden.
Prayer can be offered anytime, anywhere. Short, silent prayers produce a sense of God’s presence and our dependence on Him. They help maintain and stimulate our spiritual life.
It’s clear, encouraging and also very challenging. Listen to what Christ is saying about His priorities for your church.
James Durham explains the different ways we can be impacted by the sense of sin forgiven and hope of future mercy.
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.
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