Sunday, August 30, 2009

TO QUESTION

Election - "Whatever may be said about the doctrine of election, it is written in the Word of God as with an iron pen, and there is no getting rid of it; there it stands." Disbelief of Election - "I believe the man who is not willing to submit to the electing love and sovereign grace of God, has great reason to question whether he is a Christian at all...

-Charles H. Spurgeon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

FATHER PLANNED IT ALL

My Father Planned It All

1- What tho the way be lonely,and dark the shadows fall,
I know wher'er it leadeth, My Father planned it all.
I sing thru the shade and the sunshine, I'll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent, My Father planned it all.

2- There may be sunshine tomorrow, Shadows may break and flee,
Twill be the way He chooses, My Father's plan for me.
I sing thru the shade and the sunshine, I'll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent, My Father planned it all.

3- He guides my fal'tring footsteps, A--long the weary way;
For well he knows the pathway, Will lead to endless day.
I sing thru the shade and the sunshine, I'll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent, My Father planned it all.

4- A day of light and gladness, On which no shade will fall;
Tis this at last awaits me , My Father planned it all....
I sing thru the shade and the sunshine, I'll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent, My Father planned it all.

NEAR TO GOD

Dear friend,

I hope that you have found your trials so sweetened, and so sanctified, by God's blessing, that you have been enabled to rejoice in them!

Whatever may be the immediate causes of your troubles--they are all under the direction of a gracious hand--and each, in their place, cooperating to a gracious end. Your afflictions all come from God's heart, who loves you better than you love yourself! They are all tokens of His love and favor--and are necessary means of promoting your growth in faith and grace.

You are in the hands of Him who does all things well, and conducts His most afflictive dispensations to those who fear Him, with wisdom and mercy!

The Lord knows what is best for you! When there is an especial need-be for your being in the furnace--He knows how to support you; and at what season, and in what manner, deliverance will best comport with His glory and your good. These are the two great ends which He has in view, and which are inseparably connected together.

He knows our frame, and of what we are made. His pity exceeds that of the most tender parent. And though He causes grief--He will have compassion. Your afflictions which at present are not joyous but grievous, shall, when you have been duly exercised by them--yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. I trust the Lord gives you a measure of patience and submission to His holy will. If so, everything shall be well--and when He has fully tried you--you shall come forth as gold!

The thoughts of what we have deserved at His hands--and what Jesus suffered for our sakes--when applied by his Holy Spirit, have a sovereign efficacy to compose our minds, and enable us to say, "Not my will--but may Yours be done!" How unspeakably better is it to be chastened by the Lord now--than to be left to ourselves for a season, and at last condemned with the world.

The path of affliction is sanctified by the promises of God, and by the consideration of our Lord Jesus, who walked in it Himself, that we might not think it too much to tread in His steps. Yes, it has been a beaten path in all ages; for the innumerable multitudes of the redeemed who are now before the eternal throne, have entered the kingdom by no other way. Let us not then be weary and faint--but cheerfully consent to be the followers of those who, through faith and patience, are now inheriting the promises!

If, after much tribulation, we stand accepted before the Lord in His glory, we shall not then think much of the difficulties we met with in our pathway to glory. Then sorrow and sighing shall cease forever--and songs of triumph and everlasting joy shall take their place! Oh, happy transporting moment, when the Lord God Himself shall wipe every tear from our eyes!

Until then, may the prospect of this glory which shall be revealed, cheer and comfort our hearts! Hitherto the Lord has helped us. He has delivered us in six troubles--and we may trust Him in the seventh.

Whatever storms may arise, we have an infallible and almighty Pilot, who will be a Sun and a Shield to those who love Him!

As long as we live, new trials will be needful. It is not that the Lord delights in grieving us and putting us to pain; on the contrary, He rejoices in the prosperity of His servants. No, it is not for His pleasure--but for our profit, that we may be made partakers of His holiness!

Perhaps you may have observed a bird, in a hedge, or upon the boughs of a tree; if you disturb it--it will move a little higher--and thus you may make it change its place three or four times. But if it finds, after a few trials, that you continue to follow it--it takes wing at last, and flies away!

Thus it is with us! When the Lord drives us from one creature-rest, we immediately perch upon another! But He will not allow us to stay long upon any. At length, like the bird, we are sensible that we can have no safety, no stable peace below! Then our hearts take flight and soar heavenwards, and we are taught by His grace to place our treasure and affections out of the reach of earthly vanities. So far as this end is accomplished, we have reason to be thankful and say,
happy rod--that brought me nearer to my God!

-- John Newton; (from Gracegems)

John Piper - The Pride of Attachment to Someone Special

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

REJOICING OF GOD

The evangelist can get weary for after giving his message to man it is "forgotten, ignored, and without impact." but the solution for joy is to know God, "remembers, pays attention, and is pleased." Our joy is not based on the reaction of man, but the rejoicing of God.

Monday, August 17, 2009

ANNOY MEN NOT GOD

We fail to witness, because we know people are annoyed when they are presented with the gospel, but this works 3 ways. #2. You should be annoyed by their disinterest in the gospel, so why should you appease their annoyance, and they not appease your annoyance; but more importantly #3. We should rather annoy men in witnessing, than annoy God in not witnessing. Jesus knew his message offended men, but He lived to please God, and not men; So if need be, offend men, than offend God. And may this Jesus live in us by the Spirit.

PRAYER HELPS

“…it is very important for us to call upon him: First, that our hearts may be fired with a zealous and burning desire ever to seek, love and serve him, while we become accustomed in every need to flee to him as to a sacred anchor. Secondly, that there may enter our hearts no desire and no wish at all of which we should be ashamed to make him a witness, while we learn to set all our wishes before his eyes, and even to pour out our whole hearts. Thirdly, that we be prepared to receive his benefits with true gratitude of heart and thanksgiving, benefits that our prayer reminds us come from his hand [cf. Ps. 145:15-16]. Fourthly, moreover, that, having obtained what we were seeking, and being convinced that he has answered our prayers, we should be led to meditation upon his kindness more ardently. And fifthly, that at the same time we embrace with greater delight those things which we acknowledge to have been obtained by prayers. Finally, that use and experience may, according to the measure of our feebleness, confirm his providence, while we understand not only that he promises never to fail us, and of his own will opens the way to call upon him at the very point of necessity, but also that he ever extends his hand to help his own, not wet-nursing them with words but defending them with present help.”

John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book Three, Chapter XX)

source: http://cal.vini.st/

Saturday, August 15, 2009

ABSENCE OF

If you aren't a witness for Christ in the absence of suffering, what makes you think you'll be a witness 4 him in the presence of suffering?-- Tim Brister.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

SCRIPTURE POST#2

1 Samuel 8:1-9 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations." 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD.

7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.

8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."

SCRIPTURE POST

1 Kings 11:1-14 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, "You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. 3 He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8 And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods. 9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. 11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen." 14 And the LORD raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom.

PRAYER WORK

The godly man does not play at prayer, for his heart is in it. Prayer to him is his chief work. (forget the source)

For prayer in secret is the veritable mainspring of the godly man’s life. And when we speak of prayer we are not referring to the prim, proper, stereotyped, self-regarding formalities which sometimes pass for the real thing. (forget the source, probably a puritan)

Like God Himself, the godly man is supremely jealous that God, and God only, should be honoured. (forget the source, probably a puritan)

"We take for granted that prayer is preparation for the work, whereas prayer is the work."

- Oswald Chambers (source: Mark Calhoun)

"We bank on service and do away with prayer. Consequently, by succeeding in the external we fail in the eternal, because in the eternal we succeed only by prevailing prayer"

- Oswald Chambers. (source: Mark Calhoun)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christ's Call by K.P. Yohannan - Part 1

Christ's Call by K.P. Yohannan - Part 2

DEEMED IT MEET

"The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should: why he deemed it meet, we know not. It is certain, however, that it was just, because he saw that his own glory would thereby be displayed."

-- John Calvin, (Inst. 3.23.8)

source: Gene Long;

DELUSIONS

"Since our sins were so great that nothing could take them away except a ransom so immeasurable, shall we still claim to obtain righteousness by the strength of our own will, by the power of the law, or by the teaching of men? What shall we do with all these artifices, with all these delusions?" -

-- Martin Luther

source: monergism.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ADJUSTMENT

Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of GOD.


-- from J.M. Vergara

FOR A MOMENT

"If we were left to ourselves but for a moment–we would destroy ourselves in that moment! We can defile ourselves–but we cannot cleanse ourselves. The sheep can go astray alone–but can never return to the fold, without the assistance of the shepherd. “Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” (Psalm 119:117)"

— William Secker, The Consistent Christian, 1660

(source: newdemonstration.com)

HATRED AND LOVE

“Sense of sin and deep hatred of it, faith in Christ and love to Him, delight in holiness and longing after more of it, love for God’s people and distaste for the things of the world, – these are the signs and evidences which always accompany conversion.”

~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, August 10, 2009

NECESSARY

“Everything is necessary that [God] sends. Nothing can be necessary that he withholds.”

-- John Newton


"Pride is more fatal than death."

--John Piper


"Replacing the mercy of disapproval with tolerance is replacing medicine with poison."

--Robert Hart


“Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to failure.”

--John Piper

Four great quotes from a new FB friend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

HOW GREAT

How great is that strength you have, if that strength is Jesus Himself?

How great is that joy you have, if that joy is Jesus Himself?

How great is that shield you have, if that shield is Jesus Himself?

How great is that hope you have, if that hope is Jesus Himself?

How great is that reward you have, if that reward is Jesus Himself?

How great is that boasting you have, if that boasting is Jesus Himself?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

HOLY

"God is Holy, and is angry with the unholy, but in love has provided a Holy Sacrifice to make unholy people holy"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

RELEVANT

"To be always relevant, you have to say things which are eternal."

- Simone Weil

(RT @bkauflin)// J.m. Vergara RT @MattRodatus

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

CONFUSION PREVAILS

God's Sovereignty and the Human Will: A.W. Pink

Concerning the nature and the power of fallen man’s will, the greatest confusion prevails today, and the most erroneous views are held, even by many of God’s children. The popular idea now prevailing, and which is taught from the great majority of pulpits, is that man has a “free will”, and that salvation comes to the sinner through his will cooperating with the Holy Spirit. To deny the “free will” of man, i.e. his power to choose that which is good, his native ability to accept Christ, is to bring one into disfavour at once, even before most of those who profess to be orthodox. And yet Scripture emphatically says, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” Rom. 9:16. Which shall we believe: God, or the preachers?

Should it be asked, But does not the Holy Spirit overcome a man’s enmity and hatred when he convicts the sinner of his sins and his need of Christ; and does not the Spirit of God produce such conviction in many that perish? Such language betrays confusion of thought: were such a man’s enmity really “overcome”, then he would readily turn to Christ; that he does not come to the Saviour, demonstrates that his enmity is not overcome. But that many are, through the preaching of the Word, convicted by the Holy Spirit, who nevertheless die in unbelief, is solemnly true. Yet, it is a fact which must not be lost sight of that, the Holy Spirit does something more in each of God’s elect than he does in the non-elect: he works in them “both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure” Php 2:13.

In reply to what we have said above, Arminians would answer, No; the Spirit’s work of conviction is the same both in the converted and in the unconverted, that which distinguishes the one class from the other is that the former yielded to his strivings, whereas the latter resist them. But if this were the case, then the Christian would make himself to “differ”, whereas the Scripture attributes the “differing” to God’s discriminating grace 1 Cor. 4:7. Again; if such were the case, then the Christian would have ground for boasting and self-glorying over his cooperation with the Spirit; but this would flatly contradict Eph 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”.

A.W. Pink

typed by: Bob Timenuff Johnson

SACRAMENT PREP

Christian Questions with Their Answers

Prepared by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament

[The "Christian Questions with Their Answers," designating Luther as the author, first appeared in an edition of the Small Catechism in 1551, five years after Luther's death].

After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves these questions:

1. Do you believe that you are a sinner?
Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.

2. How do you know this?
From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.

3. Are you sorry for your sins?
Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.

4. What have you deserved from God because of your sins?
His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Romans 6:21,23.

5. Do you hope to be saved?
Yes, that is my hope.

6. In whom then do you trust?
In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.

7. Who is Christ?
The Son of God, true God and man.

8. How many Gods are there?
Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

9. What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him?
He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.

10. Did the Father also die for you?
He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed his blood for me.

11. How do you know this?
From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.

12. What are the Words of Institution?
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: "Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me." In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: "Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

13. Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament?
Yes, I believe it.

14. What convinces you to believe this?
The word of Christ: Take, eat, this is My body; drink of it, all of you, this is My blood.

15. What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge?
We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

16. Why should we remember and proclaim His death?
First, so that we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for our sins. Only Christ, true God and man, could do that. Second, so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. Third, so we may find joy and comfort in Christ alone, and through faith in Him be saved.

17. What motivated Christ to die and make full payment for your sins?
His great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as it is written in John 14; Romans 5; Galatians 2 and Ephesians 5.

18. Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament?
That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and also learn from Him to love God and my neighbor.

19. What should admonish and encourage a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently?
First, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord. Second, his own pressing need, because of which the command, encouragement, and promise are given.

20. But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for the Sacrament?
To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch his body to see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of it in Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the world, and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15-16 and in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with his lying and murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the Scriptures picture him in John 8 and 16; 1 Peter 5; Ephesians 6; and 2 Timothy 2.

SHOW MY LOVE

"Probably the only way to show my love to Muslims is to be persecuted by them."

-Susanne Geske, writing in her journal before her husband was martyred for Christ in Turkey.
(The Voice of the Martyrs - USA)

You Must Suffer - John Piper

Monday, August 3, 2009

PRAYER GRACE

“This is what we should say: ‘Lord, I am a poor, wretched creature, and am unworthy to look up and to seek anything from you. Nevertheless you continually take me by the hand. Your reach is wide. Although I am far from you, do not withhold your grace from me. Despite all I have done, extend your boundless power even to me, and hear my request.’”

-- John Calvin, Sermons on the Beatitudes p.9

Kent B Jenkins// A lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and a lack of trust in God’s Word. We pray to demonstrate our faith in God, that He will do as He has promised in His Word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for. (and my note...blessing is not always connected to materialistic ideas)

Mark Calhoun// Amen and fully agree! It also demonstrates a lack of desire to commune with God.

Mark Calhoun// "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him." - 1 John 5:14


Kent B Jenkins // Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. - James 5: 16-18


Sunday, August 2, 2009

ONLY COMFORT

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer 1: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;
(g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j)

-- The Heidelberg Catechism; 1563

Saturday, August 1, 2009

LIFE BREATH

"Prayer is the very life-breath of true Christianity."

~ J.C. Ryle