You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. Matthew 12:34-35
Lay up provisions in store against the approach of any temptation. This is a part of our watchfulness. It is in the heart where provision is to be laid up and the we can draw from it for our use. When an enemy draws near to besiege a fort, if he finds it well manned and furnished and well able to hold out, he withdraws and does not assault it. If Satan finds our hearts fortified against his batteries with ample provisions, he not only departs, but he flees (James 4:7). Gospel provisions will keep the heart full of the love of God in Christ. This is the greatest protection against temptation. Joseph was prepared in this way, and on the first appearance of temptation, he cried out, ‘How can I do this great evil and sin against God?’ The temptation ended and could not lay hold of him. He was furnished with a ready sense of the love of God (Gen. 39:9). ‘The love of Christ controls us’, said Paul (2 Cor. 5:14). A man should also lay in law provisions with the terror of the Lord in them: the fear of death, hell, punishment. But these are far more easily conquered than the gospel provisions. Hearts trusting in them alone will struggle for a while, but will quickly give over to temptations. We must store up in our hearts a sense of the love of God in Christ, with the eternal design of his grace, with the taste of the blood of Christ, and his love in the shedding of it. We must cherish our adoption, justification, and our acceptance with God. Fill your hearts with thoughts of the beauty of holiness, since this was the design of Christ in his death. With these considerations you will in the ordinary course of walking with God have great peace and security from the disturbances of temptations.
Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.
A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”
It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.
Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.