The Book of John

Most of the parables of Christ are found in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). While the Gospel of John contains a few stories and illustrations, there are no true parables. John 10:6 KJV uses the word “parable”, but it is a different Greek word than other parables and signifies an illustration or figure of speech.

The Pearl of Great Price

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
—Matthew 13:45-46

The goal of a merchant is to buy and sell merchandise in order to attain the greatest profit. For centuries, at the expense of their lives, people have sailed the vast oceans and explored new territories in pursuit of treasure and riches. The troubles and dangers encountered were considered worth the risk when valued against the potential gain of earthly possessions.

Jesus spoke this parable illustrating salvation from sin and the eternal reward as a pearl of great price. A merchant, when he has found such a great pearl, sells all his possessions in order to buy something of far greater value. Salvation is of more worth than any literal pearl. The seeker of salvation should with joy and gladness forsake all the things of this world in pursuit of Christ and deliverance of sin. This wonderful pearl can and will only be attained by those who seek after it with all their hearts.

Christians who are lazy and haphazard in their experience with God have either not truly found real salvation or they are in danger of losing that which they possess. To follow Jesus, we must forsake all to attain the power and joy of true salvation. We must seek after that pearl of great price with our whole hearts, holding nothing back.

When we find that pearl of great price, salvation from sin and hope of eternal life, it is accompanied by an inward peace and joy that the world cannot give. As servants of the Lord, may we convey the true worth and value of salvation. May our lives exemplify the riches and joy of full salvation. The enemy would like to cause us to paint a dire picture of the necessity of selling all other possessions rather than focusing on the wonderful treasure found in Jesus Christ.

If you are saved and know Jesus Christ, you have a rare pearl of great price. Go tell someone else about this great salvation that they also may have eternal life.

God Is Our Refuge

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. —Psalm 46:1
Why is there a need for a refuge? Does not salvation through Christ exempt God’s children from the trouble, pain, and sorrow of life? The answer is clearly “no.” Salvation is a wonderful experience where there is freedom from sin and condemnation. There is inward peace, joy in the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal life. However, because we live in a sinful world and are creatures of emotion and feeling, we will all face difficulties. There are times when the sun will seem not to shine, and the inward and outward sorrows of life will try to encompass our souls. When the heart is overwhelmed, it is truly then that there is a need of a refuge.Read more

The Lord Shall Be a Light Unto Me

When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. —Micah 7:8
Jesus Christ came to this world because of the Father’s great love. He experienced the pain, sorrow, and suffering of humanity to enable Him to intercede for us with compassion and understanding. In a time of great spiritual darkness, Jesus Christ came to lift up the fallen and bring light to the darkened soul.

After deliverance from sin through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, one must still face the battles and trials of this world. The enemy of our soul is doing all He can to destroy hope and bring despair. We must hold on for dear life to the promises of God and cling to the cross, for therein is light and life.Read more

Promises of God in Times of Trouble

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle
shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. —Psalm 27:5

God Loves You

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
—Jeremiah 31:3
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ….Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:35-39Read more

The Trial of Your Faith

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).

If we walk close to God, we shall find that in the midst of our trials, even when they are bitter, there is an undercurrent of sweet joyfulness way down in the depths of our souls. The consciousness that we are the Lord’s, that He loves us and that He is our Helper, will be sweet in the midst of all our woes. This may sometimes be obscured by doubts and fears for a time; but if we hide away under His wings and trust se­curely, the harp of joy will sound in our souls though in the tumult of emotions. We may sometimes have to listen carefully, however, to hear the soft, sweet strains of its melody.

Be patient in your trials; endure hardness as a good soldier; keep up the shield of faith: fight the good fight. In due season your soul will sing tri­umphant songs of victory, and the joy-bells, pealing out their merry music, will summon God’s people to rejoice with you in your Lord and Savior.

“Heart Talks” by C. W. Naylor

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Shut Your Heart’s Door to Doubting

Doubting God and His Word is a habit imposed by the devil, and the longer it is indulged in, the stronger becomes its binding power. Doubting causes a path, or furrow, on the brain like a path across an orchard or a field where many feet have trod; and nothing but a stern resistance and the power of God can ever erase these furrows and break the habit of doubting. I repeat that doubting is a habit, imposed by the devil….Read more

Facing the Sunrise

It is better to face the sunrise. Even in the darkness, we may face the east with the assurance that dawn will presently come. There shall be new friends for the old friends that are gone. There shall be new hopes for the perished hopes. There shall be new opportunities instead of the vanished ones. Let us resolutely look away from the sunset to where the dawn shall break again and the glorious light shine anew upon us.

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Singing in Adversity

Life has its adversities. It must need have them. Adversity, pain, sorrow, and disappointment are the lathe upon which God shapes us. They are the emery wheel that grinds and smooths us. They are the polishing wheel that makes us shine. If we can never be happy until we are so situated that nothing which exists may tend to render us unhappy, we shall have little happiness in life. Happiness does not come from a life of ease and indolence. It is not the result of the absence of obstacles and difficulties. Happiness comes from triumphing over them….

In adversity we sing a different song than we do when we are untroubled. We must join courage to trust. When we do this, we can sing songs of confidence born of our confidence in God’s help. We can sing songs of trust that allay our fears. We can sing songs of anticipation as we look forward to the victories that lie before us and at the crown at the end of the road. We can sing in joyful remembrance of God’s former mercies.

“The Secret of the Singing Heart” by C. W. Naylor

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Make Your Faith Master Your Feelings

We should have faith in our Christian experience. I have seen many downcast, doubting people. When I asked them, “What is the matter,” some said, “I don’t feel right.” When I asked, “Why don’t you feel right?” some answered, “I don’t know, but I don’t feel right.”

Perhaps you don’t feel right. Well, what of it? Your emotions are not the test of your spiritual state. Some people feel bad physically when there is very little wrong with them, perhaps nothing of any consequence. Others may feel all right when they are in the grasp of a deadly disease. Just so spiritually. You cannot tell by your emotions what is your relationship with God. Your emotions were never intended to be evidences of your spiritual standing. We must stand by faith, learn to exercise faith, and learn to live by faith. Judge yourself righteously. Do not let your feelings master your faith. Make your faith master your feelings. As a general thing, when you believe right you will feel right; but very often faith is based on feelings instead of on realities. It does not matter so much how you feel. How are you? This is to be settled by your faith, quite apart from your feelings; when you settle it, leave your feelings out of the question as evidence.

We should make a practice of building into our lives every day the building blocks of faith; not building blocks of doubts and fears, anxieties, and worries. There are plenty of these building blocks of faith to be had. In learning to build with these building blocks of faith, we learn the Secret of the Singing Heart—of a joyful, happy Christian experience, of certainty for the future, and just as much certainty for the present.

“The Secret of the Singing Heart” by C. W. Naylor

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