In Christ

It refreshes the soul to pause and reflect on what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

“A Christian is one who has been ‘crucified with Christ,’ who has died with Him, been buried with Him, risen with Him, ascended with Him, and is seated ‘in heavenly places’ with Him. (Romans 6:3-8; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:5,6; Colossians 3:1-3)

As such he reckons himself dead unto sin, but alive unto God. (Romans 6:11)

As such he does not yield his members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but he yields himself unto God, as alive from the dead, and his members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

As such he seeks ‘the things which are above,’ and sets his affection on things above, mortifying his ‘members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil [desire] and covetousness, which is idolatry.'” (Colossians 3:1-5)

~Horatius Bonar from God’s Way of Holiness


I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down thy head upon My breast.’
I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.

Horatius Bonar was a Scottish minister, hymn writer, and poet who lived in the 19th century.

His Sacrifice, Our Hope

“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not graciously give us all things?”

~Romans 8:32

The circumstances of life can bring us to a state of hopelessness. Thankfully, God uses many means  – coupled with His Spirit – to renew our hope. Among those means are God’s Word, caring friends, and faithful ministers of today and long ago.

One of those faithful ministers is Reverend Henry Law. He reminded 18th century believers (and you and me today) that there’s fresh hope found in reflecting on Jesus Christ and His sacrifice at Calvary.

“Hope is renewed in strength and mounts up with wings as eagles, when it contemplates what Christ has suffered for His people. He has redeemed them, but with what price!

He paid not silver and gold for their ransom. He gave not all the precious things of earth as their equivalent. He heaped not worlds upon worlds and placed them as payment in the balance of God’s justice. All  such expenditure would have been unfailing as the chaff.

He gave Himself, His life, His blood. He gave so much that He could give no more; and He gave this to bear the extremest curse of God, to endure all the punishment, and all the miseries, and all the anguish which His people must have suffered if they had wailed through all the endless ages amid the torments of the lost.

Hope sweetly reasons. He who has done so much, will He not surely give all that His people really need! Therefore it treads down all hosts of doubt, and against all timidities of reason, ‘laughs at impossibilities, and says, It shall be done!’

O Lord, we look to thy suffering Cross as our sure Hope.”

~Henry Law from Christ Is All

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

~Psalm 42:5

God with Us | Spurgeon

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

One of the great comforts for believers is that regardless of the difficulty of the day we know our mighty God is with us. In Charles Spurgeon’s 1854 Christmas eve sermon, he underscored that wonderful truth to those in attendance at New Park Street Chapel in London.

“He, who was from everlasting to everlasting, came to this world of time, and stood upon the narrow neck of land betwixt the two unbounded seas.

‘God with us:’ He has not lost that name, Jesus had that name on earth, and He has it now in heaven. He is now ‘God with us.’

Believer, He is God with you, to protect you; you are not alone, because the Savior is with you.

Put me in the desert, where vegetation grows not; I can still say, ‘God with us.’

Put me on the wild ocean, and let my ship dance madly on the waves; I would still say, ‘Immanuel, God with us.’

Mount me on the sunbeam, and let me fly beyond the western sea; still I would say, ‘God with us.’

Let my body dive down into the depths of the ocean, and let me hide in its caverns; still I could, as a child of God say, ‘God with us.’

Yes, and in the grave, sleeping there in corruption, still I can see the [footprints] of Jesus; He trod the path of all His people, and still His name is ‘God with us.’

… Now, a happy Christmas to you all; and it will be a happy Christmas if you have God with you.”

You can read the entire sermon here.

A Restful Christmas

One of my favorite Christmases was the Christmas after I first became a Christian. I was 25 years old and I remember going to church and singing the Christmas hymns I had sung since I was a child. But that year I could relate to the words of the songs like never before. I knew in my heart that the new born King we were singing about was my King!

Earlier that year, I became a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. My life was different. I had a peace inside like never before and  I wanted to live my life for God.

I hope you can relate to my experience those many years ago. But maybe you can’t. Perhaps you’ve gone to church all your life, but you know in your heart that you’re not a Christian. Others think you are, but you know deep down inside that you’re not.

I understand how you feel. I felt that emptiness, that restlessness, for a long time.

May I encourage you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling? You likely know someone you feel is a true Christian. You’ve watched his or her life and you know that they are a believer. If you’d like to talk to me, you can email me at rickdrob@gmail.com. I’d love to visit with you.

Also, I encourage you to read the Bible and as you’re reading ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. A good place to start is in the book of John.

Life is empty and pointless, unless it’s lived for Jesus Christ. I’m sure you’ve felt that. Someone has said that our lives are restless until they find their rest in Jesus Christ. I know that to be true.

The Bible says to seek the Lord while He may be found. That’s right now. Please don’t delay.

Edward Payson lived a couple centuries ago in America. Here’s a small portion of a message he shared around Christmas one year. He had a heart for those who had not yet found their rest in Jesus.

“Trembling sinner, … permit me to take you by the hand and lead you to Jesus.

Why do you linger, why do you hang back?

It is to Christ, it is to Jesus, it is to the Babe of Bethlehem, to a man like yourselves, to the meek and lowly Savior of sinners, that I would bring you. Here are no terrors, no flaming sword, no burning throne to appall you.

Come, then, to His feet, to His arms, to His heart which overflows with compassion for your perishing souls.

Come and contemplate the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and receive of His fullness grace for grace.”

~Edward Payson, 1783-1827


Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

A Christmas Hope

We can depend on J. I. Packer to assist us in our pledge to stay Christ-centered this Christmas season.

“We see now what it meant for the Son of God to empty Himself and become poor. It meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill-treatment, malice and misunderstanding; finally, a death involved such agony – spiritual even more than physical – that His mind nearly broke under the prospect of it.

It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely human beings, that they through His poverty might become rich.

The Christmas message is that there is a hope for ruined humanity – hope for pardon, hope for peace with God, hope for glory, because of the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that 30 years later He might hang on a cross.”

~J. I. Packer, Knowing God


“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

~Matthew 1:21 (ESV)

For Unto Us

Here’s a small portion of a Christmas day message from Reverend Edward Payson to help us as we determine – with God’s help – to make this a Christ-centered Christmas season.

“Is it true that unto our sinful race a child is born, to whom belong the wonderful names mentioned in our text, and to whom the salvation and the government of the world is committed? Surely then, my friends, it becomes us to rejoice, and to commemorate this all-important event with most lively emotions of thankfulness and praise.

In this offering all mankind are called upon to join [in], since the gift is to the whole race of men; for all people, and nations, and tongues, and languages, may cry,

‘Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.’

And the song [that started] in one part of the earth at the dawn of this [Christmas day], ought to be echoed round the world as the same day dawns successively on its different chimes.

Even the blessed spirits of the ‘just made perfect’ in heaven may be considered as rejoicing in the birth of the great Deliverer, who redeemed them from worse than Egyptian bondage, brought them into the glorious light and liberty of the children of God, and finally raised them to the blissful mansions which they now inhabit, and where the increase of happiness will never end.

Nay more, the blessed angels themselves, who sang ‘glory to God in the highest,’ when they announced the Saviour’s birth, may be considered as repeating the same song.

Let it give intensity to our joy, that we may now celebrate His birth and resurrection at once.”

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'”

~Luke 2:11-14 (ESV)


Reverend Edward Payson, whose dad was a pastor too, was born in 1783 in Rindge, New Hampshire. His daughter, Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, wrote the familiar hymn, “More Love to Thee.”

Unparalleled Sufferings

” [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to His own way and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6

“Here, my friends, we see the true cause of our Savior’s unparalleled sufferings. He was cut off, says the prophet, but not for Himself. He knew no sin, but He was made sin, made a curse for us. We have all strayed from the path of duty. Yes, you and I,  and all our race, have forsaken the God that made us, and chosen the path that leads to hell. God’s violated law condemned us to die.

Justice demanded the execution of the sentence. There was apparently no remedy. It is true that God, as our Creator and Father, bade Him to do it, unless a suitable atonement could be found.

There was but one individual in the universe who could make such an atonement, and that being, prompted by infinite compassion, offered Himself for this purpose.

The Father, with equal love, accepted the offer. To carry it into effect, the Son assumed our nature, and appeared on earth; and the bitter cup, which the divine law condemned us to drink, was put into His hand, and He drank it to the last drop. …

Come then, sympathize with your sorrowing Master in His sufferings. Come and look at this great sight, until sin appears above all things hateful, until Christ appears most precious and lovely, until your hearts are broken for sin, and the love of Christ constrains us to feel and live to Him who died for you.”

~The Complete Works of Edward Payson