Thursday, September 25, 2014

A post on Prayer by J.A.M.

Scripture calls us to pray all the time. We all know this. We all know we should pray, but we don’t always pray. If we are honest with ourselves we don’t always want to pray. We cannot always focus in prayer. There are times when we just do not want to pray, it is the last thing we would want to do. Most of us probably wouldn’t admit this. John Bunyan, however, was willing to admit this. I came across this quote while I was preparing last week to teach on the Holy Spirit’s ministry of intercession and supplication. I think we’d all do well to share in Bunyan’s honesty and reliance on the Holy Spirit in those times where we loathe prayer. May I but speak my own experience, and from that tell you the difficulty to praying to God as I ought; it is enough to make you poor, blind, carnal men, to entertain strange thoughts of me, for, as my heart, when I go to pray, I find it so loathe to go to God, and when it is with him, so loathe to stay with him, that many times I am force in my prayers; first to beg God that he would take mine heart, and set it on himself in Christ, and when it is there, that he would keep it there (Psalm 86:11). Nay, many times I know not what to pray for, I am so blind, nor how to pray I am so ignorant; only (blessed be Grace) that the Spirit helps our infirmities [Romans 8:26]. Oh the starting-holes that the heart hath in time of prayer! None knows how many by-ways the heart hath, and back-lanes, to slip away from the presence of God. How much pride also, if enabled with expressions. How much hypocrisy, if before others? And how little conscience is there made of prayer between God and the soul in secret, unless there Spirit of supplication [Zech. 12:10] be there to help. – as quoted in, A Puritan Theology by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones. p. 426. May we pray with Bunyan for the Lord to constantly set our affections and set it on himself in Christ, and once our hearts rest there that He might keep our hearts there. May we pray with the disciples, “teach us how to pray.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Wonderful Prayer

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP (Contemporary Collects); Thanks Lee.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Our labors are not intended

What is God's remedy for dejection at apparent failure in our labours? This - the assurance that God's purpose cannot fail, that God's plans cannot miscarry, that God's will must be done. Our labours are not intended to bring about that which God has not decreed. A.W. Pink

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

THE MEEK SUBMIT

The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to His Word and to His rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, and are gentle toward all men. Matthew Henry

THE END OF ANXIETY

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Muller

ETERNITY

Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise. Author: Thomas Watson

PRAISE THEE AS I OUGHT

When I see Thee as Thou art, I’ll praise Thee as I ought. Author: John Newton

Affliction Sanctified

Affliction Sanctified Whatsoever is good for God's children they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to heaven; therefore, if poverty be good, they shall have it; if disgrace be good, they shall have it; if crosses be good, they shall have them; if misery be good, they shall have it; for all is ours, to serve for our greatest good. Richard Sibbs

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A DUNGEON WITH CHRIST

"A dungeon with Christ is a throne, and a throne without Christ is a hell." ~ Martin Luther

Sunday, April 27, 2014

O PRIZE CHRIST

O prize Christ, who, to redeem lost man, did hang upon a tree, and drink the cup of wrath as the bitter fruits of sin, and was buried in a garden. The first Adam ate of the forbidden tree, and Christ hung on the cursed tree. Adam’s preposterous love to his wife made him sin, and Christ’s love to his spouse made him suffer. Our first parents pleased their sensual appetite with the taste of the pleasant fruit of the forbidden tree; and therefore Christ got vinegar mixed with gall to drink upon the cross tree. Adam sinned in a garden, and in a garden was Christ buried. By eating the forbidden fruit, death came upon all men to condemnation; and by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, life is brought to the soul. O then, sinners, flee unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath restored that which the first Adam took away; and ye shall be reinstated in all that happiness and favour with God, which he forfeited by eating the forbidden fruit. -Thomas Boston-

Friday, April 25, 2014

UNION WITH CHRIST

Union with Christ is not to be understood as a “moment” in the application of salvation to believers. Rather, it is a way of speaking about the way in which believers share in Christ in eternity (by election), in past history (by redemption), in the present (by effectual calling, justification, and sanctification), and in the future (by glorification). ‪#‎MichaelHorton‬

SPURGEON ON PREDESTINATION

I am persuaded that the doctrine of predestination is one of the 'softest pillows' upon which the Christian can lay his head, and one of the 'strongest staffs' upon which he may lean, in his pilgrimage along this rough road. ~CH Spurgeon

Sunday, April 13, 2014

CURE A MUNDANE DAY

Maybe the cure for a mundane day has nothing to do with changing the events and circumstances of the day, but everything to do with the mindset and attitude in those events and circumstances.

CHEERFULLY ACQUIESCE

"It is our interest, as well as duty, cheerfully to acquiesce in the will of God, whatever befalls us. That we may not complain of what is, let us see God's hand in all events; and, that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us see all events in God's hand." --Matthew Henry

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

COMPLETE IN HIM

Oh desponding Christian, is not your grief caused by looking within yourself? Is not that miserable feeling of failure and disappointment, caused by your strange fixation upon your hollow heart of iniquity? You look within, hoping to find something good, something pure, something precious, something clean--but what do you see? Nothing but sin! To stare into one's self--is to stare into a bottomless pit of despair and hopelessness! "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked!" Jeremiah 17:9

Will we ever learn this? There is nothing within us to give us hope, rest, or peace. Have we ever found anything within us that gave us joy? Of course not! Then why do we continue to stare into the darkness? All that we see within is foul, ugly, and grim! One glance within ought to sicken us. We would sooner find diamonds in a dunghill or roses growing in a sewer--than find goodness dwelling within!

In ourselves we are sinful, guilty, and vile! But bless God forever! Our standing before God is not in ourselves; it's in Christ! He is . . .
our Salvation,
our Righteousness,
our Hope,
our Holiness, and
our Acceptance with God!

Change the direction of your gaze--and look up! Stop staring into the empty void of your heart--and fix your eyes upon Jesus your Lord, in whom all fullness dwells. Our hope is not within, but without, seated at the right hand of the Father! Lift up your head that is bowed down with guilt and shame! Behold Christ your Savior! Behold your glorious Redeemer! Bid sorrow goodbye and fear depart! Rejoice, for "You are complete in Him!"

Believers are perfect in Christ. To be complete in Christ is to be perfect in Christ. Perfect is not something that we will be, or strive to be--but something that we are right now, by virtue of our eternal union with God's darling Son.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are, by the free grace of God, complete in Christ our Savior!
We lack nothing!
All that He is--we are in Him!
All that He has--we have in Him!
All that He has done--we've done in Him!
We possess the infinite fullness of eternal life and everlasting salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord!

We are completely righteous in Him!
We are completely holy in Him!
We are completely forgiven in Him!
We are completely accepted in Him!
We are completely, everlastingly, perfectly sinless in Him!

"Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith" Hebrews 12:2

~Frank Hall

Saturday, April 5, 2014

HOW DO WE MEASURE GROWTH

Why do we have a perpetual tendency to major in minors? As Christians, we want to be recognized for our growth in sanctification and for our righteousness. Which is easier to achieve, maturity in showing mercy or in the paying of tithes? To pay my tithes certainly involves a financial sacrifice of sorts, but there is a real sense in which it is cheaper for me to drop my money into the plate than it is for me to invest my life in the pursuit of justice and mercy. We tend to give God the cheapest gifts. Which is easier, to develop the fruit of the Spirit, conquering pride, covetousness, greed, and impatience, or to avoid going to movie theaters or dancing? We also yearn for clearly observable measuring rods of growth. How do we measure our growth in patience or in compassion? It is much more difficult to measure the disposition of our hearts than it is to measure the number of movies we attend. R.C. Sproul

Friday, April 4, 2014

WHY BE REGENERATE AT ALL

"If we hold that we become regenerate because we have already believed, then we have to show why we need to be regenerated at all... The doctrine of regeneration has a great deal to say about election and this doctrine of divine choice... The natural man hates this doctrine more than any other."-Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Ephesians - God's Ultimate Purpose)

PEOPLE IN AWE OF GOD

The complaint that church is boring is never made by people in awe. 
~~ R. C. Sproul ~~

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Questions about the Sabbath

a.  How many of the 10 commandments had ceremonial and moral elements woven into it's one command?

b.  How many of the 10 commandments (or any moral command) pointed to the "eternal rest"

c.  How many of the ceremonial laws pointed to the "eternal rest" but not to Christ.

d.  How many of the ceremonial laws were abrogated by Christ without vestige?

e.  Considering that all the ceremonial Sabbaths had their origin from either the 10, or the Creation, it seems hard to understand why they did not retain the moral elements of their very name and their very origin.

f.  What other ceremonial laws (or civil laws) are based in origin from the other 9 commands, but retained only ceremonial and civil features while abandoning it's moral features and origin.

g.  Are we saying that among the Creation Ordinances that Adam would not have had Civil laws before the fall.  Yes, Adam would have naturally kept the 10 commandments, but even so 7 Billion upright persons would still need a Civil structure of how things are shared and operate: who gets to live by the beach, will there be a speed limit for cars, will there be a hunting license to maintain deer populations,  can I chop your favorite tree down for my house.

h.  How many of the 10 commandments (or any moral command) were altered in observance upon the resurrection of Christ/entrance of the New Covenant.

d.  How many things in the creation ordinance had "ceremonial" and "moral" elements.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thomas Boston Good Quote

Thomas Boston, Works, 2:73:

 The law is perfect, and requires a full conformity thereto. It requires the utmost perfection in every duty, and forbids the least degree of every sin. So that life and salvation are absolutely unattainable by it, since no man can perform such an obedience to it as it requires. Our salvation is suspended in obedience to the law; which since we cannot perform, let us be induced to betake ourselves to the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, by which the law is magnified and made honourable, and with which God is well pleased; and will be pleased with every sinner that takes the benefit thereof.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Notes on the Lord's Day Observance

a. by Larry Bray: A moral law is one that all men are bound to. Ceremonial laws were done by the priests, not by all men Civil laws were done by the civil magistrate, not buy all men There are also laws of particular equity and general equity. Laws of general equity were binding on all men while laws of particular equity were binding only on the Jews in order to show a difference between them and the Gentiles. Dietary laws were of particular equity Generally speaking all laws are moral but have different spheres in which they are limited to. Strictly speaking moral laws are those commanded to all men

 b. by Nick Napier: As there are a couple of men on your post with whom I would disagree---and I do not care to "get into it" with them, I thought I'd try to help you with your questions: a. A moral law is a law that flows from and is essential to the character of God. Positive law is a law which God ordains for His own purposes---often for testing His people. Ceremonial laws are those specific laws which were given in the Mosaic economy which were to point to Jesus as our only hope and Savior. So then, the 10 commandments each flow from the character of God---He will not tolerate false worship b/c He is worthy of perfect worship (& on we go down the line---He gives us 1 in 7 as a rest b/c ultimately He is our rest...etc.) Positive law--example, do not wear mixed fabrics or eat shell fish. God gave these to separate His (theocratic Nation of Israel) from the rest of the world--they are not rooted in His character, and so He is free to change them with the administration of the New Covenant in Jesus. (Acts 10). Ceremonial law is that which was designated to point to Jesus and was fulfilled by Him----sacrificing bulls & lambs. Since the moral law is demonstrable of the character of God, it is irrevocable---the Sabbath is a part of that. Its principle is acknowledged by its change and perpetuity in the NT. (Jonathan Edwards argues the case well, here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/sabbath.htm) Some of the reason for such distinctions in laws is that we are no longer the theocratic nation of Israel, but are Israel in its fullness---that is a spiritual kingdom. Chapter 19 of the WCF does a good job of sorting through these things. Fasting is not a moral law. Marriage is a creation ordinance---but the ordinance is that those who are married are to "be fruitful & multiply"---there are eunuchs for the Kingdom of God (as Jesus and Paul demonstrate; further if it meant that all must be married, then Jesus would have been in sin & we know that's not the case). As far as work---work is good, God worked, but rested from His labors on the 7th day; so, we rest. For h. see WCF 19.1----the people before Moses knew the moral law of God---it was inscipturated with Moses. So that it was passed down it was the law written on their hearts, as it were.

 c. Most helpful: http://wscal.edu/resource-center/resource/the-law-and-the-sabbath

 d. A good resource: http://heidelblog.net/2013/11/resources-on-the-doctrine-of-sanctification-and-the-third-use-of-the-law/

 e. another page: http://feedingonchrist.com/the-third-use-of-the-law-and-finished-work-of-christ/

Saturday, March 29, 2014

SARAH EDWARDS QUOTE

"What shall I say: A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness that we had him so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left to us! We are all given to God: and there I am and love to be. Your ever affectionate mother, Sarah Edwards."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not mind alone, not heart alone

“Faith in Christ is not the reception of a dry, dead orthodoxy—to believe in Jesus is not simply to be a sixteen-ounces-to-the-pound Calvinist.
Saving faith is not the mere reception of a creed or form of any kind. To believe is to trust and no man truly believes—in the New Testament meaning of the word—until he is brought to trust in Christ, alone, and takes his whole religion upon trust, relying not on what he sees, nor on what he is, but on what is revealed in God’s Word—not on what he is, or can be, or shall be, nor on what he does or can do, nor on what he feels or does not feel—but relying solely on what Christ has done, is doing and shall yet do.”—1901, Sermon #2737 ~~Charles H. Spurgeon~~

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PRAYER IS NOT AN APPENDIX

Part of our problem is that we view prayer as an appendix to our work rather than as the first major part of our work. If we are to live godly lives, we must pray. If we would learn the art of sacred wrestling and holy argument with God, we must pray. All the books we read on prayer and all the sermons we preach on prayer will be of no help unless we pray as Jacob did when he wrestled with God, saying, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me" (Gen. 32:26). -Joel Beeke-

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

THINGS WE SHOULD HAVE ENJOYED

Sermon quote, "When you are familiar with the secret place, it won't be a secret." /// meaning, prayer transforms and strengthens us, so that the light of Jesus will be shining and vibrant, not hidden under a bush.
Someone said, "On day we will have to give an account for all the things that we should have enjoyed, but didn't." /// Oh, that we would enjoy prayer, Scripture, evangelism, hospitality, mercy, truth, sanctification, kindness, and focusing upon the Lord in His grace, glory, and love.

Monday, March 17, 2014

HOW TRAGIC

"How tragic to have an orthodox head wedded to a rebellious heart!" Dr.James Montgomery Boice

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ADDRESS MY SOUL

Calvin says "We are all partly unbelievers throughout our lives", and Martin Lloyd-Jones lights the way out of this particular area of stumbling. He puts it perfectly in the chapter "Feelings"- "I cannot make myself be happy, but I can remind myself of my belief. I can address my soul as the psalmist does in Ps.42 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou'...believe thou, trust thou. That is the way." ~~Martin Lloyd-Jones~~

EVERY WHAT IF

''If you're God's child, know that every "What if" your fearful heart can generate is about something that is ruled by your sovereign Savior.''- Paul Tripp

"exceeding sinful."

Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Saviour, and you will see it to be "exceeding sinful." ~~ Charles H. Spurgeon~~

BATTERED PASTORS

The call to be a pastor is one of unparalleled privilege. It is a joy, though a sobering one, to apostle paul.gifpreach God's Word for the benefit of God's people. For battered pastors, however, (and they are numerous) the glad labor of being a pastor has become detrimental to their well-being and that of their family. I have written previously that the reality of battered pastors is a scandal upon the church. A startling number of pastors leave the ministry every month. The proof is in the research. The anxiety of caring for the church (to use Paul's words) is simply too much for many pastors to bear. They leave not because they lost their love for Christ. They love Jesus and they love his church. But the battering they have received at the hands of a congregation or elders has left them too wounded to go on. It is for these men that my heart aches.

 In 1989 the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development embarked on an 18 year study that revealed some rather frightening statistics about pastors. It is important to point out that this particular study focused only on evangelical churches. Mainline denominations were not included in the testing.

 Here is a sampling of the findings: • 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week. • 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job. • 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid. • 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands. The unique demands placed upon the pastor simply cannot be adequately prepared for in a classroom. • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. • 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living. The training that pastors must receive leaves them ill equipped to do anything else when they are driven from their church. • 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. • 80% of spouses feel the pastor is overworked. • 80% of spouses feel left out and under-appreciated by church members. • 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend. • 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month. • #1 reason pastors leave the ministry -- Church members are not willing to follow the leadership of the pastor. • 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years. • 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form. Only 10% of ministers will last long enough to retire as ministers. • 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close. • Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year. • Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month, many without cause. One of the authors of the study wrote: Over 70% of pastors do not have anyone they would consider to be a friend, and hardly any pastors had any close friends. Ninety percent (90%) of pastors feel they were not adequately trained to cope with ministry coordination and the demands of the congregation. Seventy-five percent (75%) of pastors experience a significant crisis that they faced due to stress in the ministry (Fuller Institute, 1989-1992).

We at the FASICLD retested that data by various means starting in 1998 and also retested the results in an internet survey form several times over the last eight years. We found it has slightly worsened. Most pastors now work up to and more than 60 hours a week. Hence, why the divorce rate among pastors is rising and pastor's children rarely stay in the church or keep their faith. In both studies, over 40% of the pastors reported serious conflicts with their parishioners every month. This leaves pastors physically tired, spiritually weary, and even distant from God! Thus, they cannot properly minister or connect with their flock. Most of the pastors I know work hard and care deeply about the church. Most of the pastors I know have never expected to get rich from being a pastor. We are sickened by stories of pastors building 16,000 square foot mansions and using hundreds of thousands of dollars of church money to pay a marketing firm to ensure that their next book will be a NY Times bestseller.

The pastors I know are scandalized by such a thought. The vast majority of pastors toil away in relative obscurity making just enough money to pay the bills (so long as their wives are working as well). Many of these very men face heartbreaking conflict regularly with members of the church. I don't suppose anyone likes conflict. But it must be kept in mind that when pastors go through conflict they rarely have the sorts of close friendships upon which they may lean for solace. It is very difficult for a pastor to make close friends within the church he serves. This is not so because he does not desire those friendships. I assure you he does. He longs for the sorts of friendships in church he had before he became a pastor. The problem is that he knows that members of his church have a very hard time when they realize that he is a fellow sinner. The pastor does not want to cause members of the flock to stumble. And while church members know that their pastors are sinners, it is another thing entirely when they actually gain knowledge of those sins with which he struggles. So the pastor guards himself. And it cannot be fixed by telling your pastor, "Go get yourself some close friends outside of church."

He simply does not have the time or energy to pursue additional relationships. His life orbits around the church almost exclusively. This means that church members have the power to break the heart of their pastor. This was certainly evidenced in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 2 he references a particularly painful time in his ministry. It was after he had written his lost "hard letter." Since we don't have this letter we don't know its content precisely. But we do know that it was a stinging rebuke. Paul was grieved by their reception of the so-called "super apostles" who had cruelly slandered him. But now his heart was deeply troubled by the possibility that the Corinthian church would refuse his counsel and reject him personally. To make matters worse, Titus, who was supposed to bring word to him concerning the Corinthian response, had not met him as arranged. Paul assumed the worst. "When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia" (2 Corinthians 2:12-13).

 Paul was so distressed by his anxiety concerning the Corinthian church that he even walked away from an open door for the gospel. Paul was in deep pain. Today we would almost certainly describe him as being depressed. He loved the Corinthian church and because he loved them they had the capacity to hurt him deeply. And they did. Ultimately however Paul recognized that being a pastor means following Christ in His Triumph (2 Cor 2:14-17). Like the conquered following along in the procession of a Roman Triumph, ours is not to win victories. Ours is to be led along in Christ's triumph. We are captives to His cause. We do not spread our fame but the fragrance of Christ. Even through the battering, that is enough.

POSTED MARCH 10, 2014 @ 8:56 PM BY TODD PRUITT TOPICS: Battered Pastors, pastoral ministry

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The true church is too different

"The true church is too different for the world to tolerate it." —Sinclair Ferguson

Saturday, March 8, 2014

FIRE IN MY BONES

…THERE IS IN MY HEART AS IT WERE A BURNING FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES, AND I AM WEARY WITH HOLDING IT IN, AND I CANNOT.” – JEREMIAH 20:9

“I agree that the great thing your people in your churches will need, is a correct communication of truth. That I believe with all my heart. They need you to look at the grammar, they need you to diagram the Greek sentence possibly, they need you to do everything in its context-they need truth! And truth is something you have to dig for, and it’s hard. But I am going to say something here that some people would not agree with. They need a preacher inflamed with the reality of the truth being communicated by all that grammar, a man on fire. Not a false fire. Not a, “this fire comes from me, look at how great I am. A man who is literally dumbfounded at what he is seeing. A man found in awe-that is what they need.” – Paul Paul David Washer - Heartcry Missionary Society

Friday, March 7, 2014

DESPERATELY SET AGAINST GOD

“The great destroyer of man is the will of man. I do not believe that man’s free will has ever saved a soul, but man’s free will has been the ruin of multitudes. 

‘You would not,’ is still the solemn accusation of Christ against guilty men. Did He not say, at another time, ‘You will not come unto Me, that you might have life’? 

The human will is desperately set against God and is the great devourer and destroyer of thousands of good intentions and emotions which never come to anything permanent because the will is acting in opposition to that which is right and true.”— 1894, Sermon #2381~~Charles H. Spurgeon~~

FAITH UPHOLDS

Faith upholds a Christian under all trials, by assuring him that every painful dispensation is under the direction of his Lord; that chastisements are a token of His love; that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him, according to his need.
~~John Newton

PINK ON PRAYER

Prayer is the way and means God has appointed for the communication of the blessings of His goodness to His people. 

Prayer is not intended to change God's purpose, nor is it to move Him to form fresh purposes. God has decreed that certain events shall come to pass through the means He has appointed for their accomplishment.~~A.W. Pink~~

Real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours. What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him.


The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonouring and degading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best.~~A.W.Pink~~

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude - an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.~~A.W. Pink~~

Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE WORSE I GET

"I’ve realized the more I try to get better, the worse I get. I’m just realizing I am a narcissist. I think way too much about how I’m doing, if I’m doing it right, have I confessed every sin. In other words, I’m thinking much more about me and what I need to do than Jesus and what He’s already done. And as a result, I’m not getting better. I’m getting worse. " - Tullian Tdjividjan

WATSON

Yes, and worse than a dog!

(Thomas Watson)

Christian, you cannot believe that evil which is in your heart, and which will break forth suddenly--if God should leave you! 

"You will burn their strongholds, slay their young men with the sword, dash their infants in pieces, and rip up their pregnant women. And Hazael answered: What is your servant, only a dog, that he should do this monstrous thing!" (2 Kings 8).

Hazael could not believe he had such evil in his heart, that he should rip up women with child. Is your servant a dog? Yes, and worse than a dog--when that corruption within is stirred up!

If one had come to Peter and said, "Peter, within a few hours you will deny Christ," he would have said, "Is your servant a dog, that he should do such a monstrous thing?" But alas! Peter did not know his own heart, nor how far that corruption within would prevail upon him!

The sea may be calm and look clear; but when the wind blows--how it rages and foams! Just so, though now your heart seems good, yet, when temptation blows--how may sin reveal itself, making you foam with lust and passion! Who would have thought to have found . . .
  adultery in David,
  drunkenness in Noah,
  and cursing in Job?

If God leaves a man to himself--how suddenly and scandalously may sin break forth in the holiest men on the earth!
"Hold me up--and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117 

OUR POWERLESSNESS

A consciousness of our powerlessness should cast us upon Him who has all power. Here then is where a vision and view of God's sovereignty helps, for it reveals His sufficiency and shows us our insufficiency. A.W. Pink

Monday, March 3, 2014

CONSTANT GRACE AND MERCY

: "You are often sinning, but He is always forgiving you; you are often wandering, often erring, often grieving Him, but “He forgives all your iniquities.” I do not feel like preaching when I touch this text. I heartily wish I could sit down and have a happy cry over this blessed truth that my God is at this moment forgiving me." ~ Spurgeon

MY FAITH RESTS ON HIS OMNIPOTENCE

: "My faith has no bed to sleep upon but omnipotence." ~ Rutherford

REMEDY FOR APPARENT FAILURE

What is God's remedy for dejection at apparent failure in our labours? This - the assurance that God's purpose cannot fail, that God's plans cannot miscarry, that God's will must be done. Our labours are not intended to bring about that which God has not decreed. A.W. Pink

 Nothing is too great and nothing is too small to commit into the hands of the Lord. A.W. Pink


 Unbelief, and a thousand evils, are still in our hearts: though their reign and dominion is at an end, they are not slain or eradicated; their efforts will be felt more or less sensibly, as the Lord is pleased more or less to afford or abate His gracious influence. A.W. Pink

UNLESS WE ARE CONVINCED

"Unless we are convinced that without Christ we are under the eternal curse of God, we shall never flee to him for refuge." ~ John Owen

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MEMBERSHIP AND BAPTISM

March 2nd, 2014.

a.  We made public membership vows to Sovereign Grace Redeemer Presbyterian Church; Hickory, OPC.

b.  Martin received covenant Baptism.

Friday, February 28, 2014

"Belonging to Jesus"

"Thou hast taught me that faith is nothing else than receiving thy kindness; that it is an adherence to Christ, a resting on him, love clinging to him as a branch to the tree, to seek life and vigor from him." -from "Belonging to Jesus" (page 57)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

confidence in Scripture

"All believers have the experience that in the best moments of their life they are also most firm in their belief in Scripture. The believer's confidence in Christ increases along with their confidence in Scripture and, conversely, ignorance of the Scriptures is automatically and proportionately ignorance of Christ." (H. Bavinck, RD.2.440)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SHORTER CAT 100

Q. 100. What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
A. The preface of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, Our Father which art in heaven, teaches us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I WILL HEAL THEIR APOSTASY

(Hos 14:4-8) 4 I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.  5 ​I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;  6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.  7 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.  8 O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CLARKS BAPTISM LINKS











http://wscal.edu/resource-center/office-hours

There are bibliographies in the resources linked above. I recommend starting with Sacred Bond. It's very well done. Mike Horton's volume on covenant theology is also very useful. Check out the links and the audio resources. There are several episodes of the Heidelcast (linked above) that discuss covenant theology and there are episodes of Office Hours about baptism.

JEREMIAH 32:37-42

Jer 32:37-42  Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety.  (38)  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.  (39)  I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them.  (40)  I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.  (41)  I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.  (42)  "For thus says the LORD: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cast yourself into the arms of Christ

"Cast yourself into the arms of Christ, and if you perish, perish there." - Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

PERSONAL REMINDER POST

Hint: From Shem to Abram. Genesis 11:10-32

 This is Genesis 3:15 being carried out to Genesis 12, 15, 17.

 See too, Matthew 1.

Acts 2, is Genesis 12, and is Romans 1:16.


Covenant isn't Co-extensive with Election, the Abrahamic Covenant isn't Co-extensive with Election, the New Covenant isn't co-extensive with election.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SCRIPTURE; BAVINCK'S INSIGHT

“Scripture resists all naturalistic and rationalistic explanations of its origins as revelation and attributes it solely to an extraordinary operative presence of God the Holy Spirit. Scripture does not give us data to interpret; it is itself the interpretation of reality, the shaper of a distinct world view, a worldview that is theistic and naturalistic” (p84) Here again we see Bavinck’s faithful commitment to Holy Scripture. Scripture is the sole authority, and it cannot be proven or interpreted by another means, other than scripture alone. Again this may seem circular, but only a word from God can authorize the word of God, and that is exactly what we have in the Bible. And this is the decisive point; Christianity is based upon a revelation that is received in faith. Not a revelation that can be authenticated, or proven by reason. 

http://onechurchonefaith.blogspot.com/


Saturday, January 18, 2014

MERCY OF GOD

Some people imagine that in order to be a merciful Christian you must never present the Word of God, the Holiness of God, the Justice of God, or the Warnings of God; however, it is precisely the mercy of God which ensures that these very things will be presented to mankind. The most unmerciful thing we could do is to fail at presenting these very truths.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

To be in His Kingdom

On the morning news a guy shares his experience of auditioning to play guitar on the road with Billy Joel. Billy pulled him aside in private during a session and asked, "So can I use you to go on the road for me?" The guitarists face beamed as he recounted the moment and he said with a smile, "Are you kidding me! Yea!!" The reporters all chuckled at this wonderful excitement of being asked to play for Billy Joel. Years went by and this guitarist was rehearsing in the stud...io and singing the lyrics. Billy walked in the back and asked, "Are you listening to me?" (Being sure that they were). They all said, No, that is the guitarist. And now the guitarist has a cover band for Billy Joel that even Billy thinks sounds like his own voice.

So #1. How excited and grateful and thankful we should be that Jesus called us to be in His kingdom. #2. What a compliment it would be for people to walk in the room and say, "that sounds like Jesus."...May we be transformed into His image in our voice, thoughts, desires, actions. In the interview you could tell this man was genuinely thrilled to be in the band and to be like the leader, what a faint example of how thrilled we should be to be called to His Kingdom and be made like our King.


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If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!