The Shallowness of Worldly Possessions

The possession of the whole world, and all that it contains, will never make a person happy. Its pleasures are false and deceptive. Its riches, rank, and honors, have no power to satisfy the heart. So long as we have not got them they glitter, sparkle, and seem desirable. The moment we have them we find that they are empty bubbles, and cannot make us feel content. And, worst of all, when we possess this world’s good things, to the utmost bound of our desire, we cannot keep them. Death comes in and separates us from all our property forever. Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth, and of all our possessions we can carry nothing with us. Such is the world, which occupies the whole attention of thousands! Such is the world, for the sake of which millions are every year destroying their souls!

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke – Volume 1

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Do Not Forget the Holy Nature of God

Myriads of professing Christians at the present day have not an idea of their own sinfulness and guilt in the sight of God. They flatter themselves that they have never done anything very wicked. They have never murdered, or stolen, or committed adultery, or borne false witness. They cannot surely be in much danger of missing heaven. They forget the holy nature of that God with whom they have to do. They forget how often they break His law in temper, or imagination, even when their outward conduct is correct. They never study such portions of Scripture as the fifth chapter of Matthew, or at any rate they study it with a thick veil over their hearts, and do not apply it to themselves. The result is that they are wrapped up in self-righteousness. Like the church of Laodicea, they are “rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” (Revelation 3:17) Self-satisfied they live, and self-satisfied too often they die.

—J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark

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