D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Possibilities of the Christian Life
Here, then, is the test, here is the challenge. Does the gospel enable us to face the battle of life as it is today in such a way that we are more than conquerors — not merely conquerors but more than conquerors? Does this teaching . . . enable us not merely to put up with tribulations but to rejoice in them?
Do you know what makes men and women Christians? It is the mighty action of the almighty God, the Creator. He takes them as they are and smashes them and makes the anew. He, God, is bringing into being something that was not there; a new disposition is put into them, a new principle of life is infused into them. God enters into their lives. The life of God comes into the soul; it is a creative act, so the New Testament says that the Christian is ‘a new creature.’
What is preaching? Logic on fire! Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc.
Somebody is talking. Who is talking? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: “Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you.”. . . .
The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: “Why art thou cast down” – what business have you to be disquieted?
You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: “Hope thou in God” – instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.
Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.”
If you yourself as a preacher cannot still be moved by a sermon which just deals with the facts and details of the death of our blessed Lord on the Cross on Calvary’s hill, if you do not feel as if you had never preached it before, and if you are not as moved by it as you have ever been, I say again that you had better examine your foundations.