For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. Matthew 15:19
Consider what a great deal of sin there is in the thoughts of man, and how dangerous it is to your soul. O the vile sins that are committed in men’s thoughts! Victory begins by avoiding the object from which your evil thoughts proceed. We must keep a sufficient distance from tempting objects that fuel evil thoughts. Can you expect that a drunkard could rule his thoughts while he is in the tavern? Or that a glutton could rule his thoughts while the pleasing dish is in his sight? Or that a lustful person could keep chaste in his thoughts in the presence of his enamouring toy? Away with the fuel, fly from this infectious air, if you would be safe! Make a covenant with your senses if you desire to have obedient thoughts. Consider too how close a relative the thought is to the actual deed. A malicious thought and deed are from the same spring. A lustful thought is from the same defiled puddle as actual filthiness, and the thought is the passage to the action. Always be aware that you are under God’s government, and his law extends to your thoughts. All your thoughts are in his sight. He sees every filthy, covetous, proud, ambitious, unloving, malicious thought. Consider how careful you would be if your thoughts were written on your forehead. O how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts! Is not the eye of God ten thousand times more to be regarded? Keep a tender conscience to be aware of the smallest sin. A tender conscience fears evil thoughts and a seared conscience feels nothing. Cast out sinful thoughts in the beginning, before they settle themselves and make a dwelling in your heart. They are easier to be resisted at the beginning. Your heart will allow them to root and grow if you allow them to stay. Remember your hidden thoughts must one day be brought into the open light.
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.