As 2012 dawns many believers are thinking about what they will do in regard to their daily intake of God’s Word. I have noted in recent years that there has been some degree of push back in evangelical and Reformed circles to what has traditionally been called ‘devotions’ or a ‘quiet time’. It is argued that you do not have to read your Bible every day. The Bible nowhere commands believers to read their Bible every day and, hence, any exhortation to do so is legalism and a form of guilt manipulation. It is true that the Bible doe not command believers to read their Bible every day. That for one simple reason–first century Christians did not own a personal Bible. While the Bible does not command us to read every day, it does command that we want to read every day!
Peter commands believers in 1 Peter 2:2 to ‘desire’ or ‘long for’ the pure milk of the Word that they might grow thereby. Are you hungry for God’s word? You need to be!
Below is a link to a multitude of resources which will aid you in growing in the New Year. Dig in!!
Every few years Christmas Day happens to fall on the Lord’s Day. Such is the case with 2011. This has caused a dilemma for some pastors and their churches. What to do? Should we cancel services so that families can spend time together? How many will show up and how many will choose to ‘opt’ out because of the holiday. Some people face the same pressure when a birthday, an anniversary, or a family reunion happens to conflict with the Lord’s Day. How are we to think? Perhaps I am simplistic, but it seems obvious to me. Christmas (for all its fun) is a day of man’s invention. There is nothing in the Bible that commands us to celebrate Christmas as a church or as families. There is nothing that commands us to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries. However, we are commanded to keep one day in seven as to the Lord. We are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We are told that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. How odd it would be to ‘honor’ Christmas Day by forsaking the worship of the One whose coming into the world we are celebrating!
I saw this wonderful bit from Thomas Watson on Jeremy Walker’s blog (who got if from Reformation21).
”He was poor, that he might make us rich.
He was born of a virgin that we might be born of God.
He took our flesh, that he might give us His Spirit.
He lay in the manger, that we may lie in paradise.
He came down from heaven, that he might bring us to heaven….
That the ancient of Days should be born.
that he who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle….
that he who rules the stars should suck the breast;
that a virgin should conceive;
that Christ should be made of a woman, and of that woman which himself made,
that the branch should bear the vine,
that the mother should be younger than the child she bare,
and the child in the womb bigger than the mother;
that the human nature should not be God, yet one with God
Christ taking flesh is a mystery we shall never fully understand till we come to heaven
If our hearts be not rocks, this love of Christ should affect us . Behold love that passeth knowledge! Eph 3:19”
Taken from Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, pages 196 and 198
Another gem from Winslow:
“What shall I do to be saved?” is his cry: “I am a wretch undone! I look within me, all is dark and vile; I look around me, everything seems but the image of my woe; I look above me, I see only an angry God: whichever way I look, is hell!—and were God now to send me there, just and right would He be.” But, blessed be God, no poor soul that ever uttered such language, prompted by such feelings, ever died in despair. That faithful Spirit who begins the good work, effectually carries it on, and completes it. Presently He leads him to the cross of Jesus—unveils to his eye of glimmering faith a suffering, wounded, bleeding, dying Savior—and yet a Savior with outstretched arms! That Savior speaks—oh, did ever music sound so melodious?—”All this I do for you—this cross for you—these sufferings for you—this blood for you—these stretched-out arms for you. Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest—Him that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out—Look unto me, and be you saved—only believe. Are you lost? I can save you. Are you guilty? I can cleanse you. Are you poor? I can enrich you. Are you low sunk? I can raise you. Are you naked? I can clothe you. Have you nothing to bring with you—no price, no money, no goodness, no merit? I can and will take you to me, just as you are, poor, naked, penniless, worthless; for such I came to seek, such I came to call, for such I came to die.” “Lord, I believe,” exclaims the poor convinced soul, “Help You mine unbelief.” You are just the Savior that I want. I wanted one that could and would save me with all my vileness, with all my rags, with all my poverty—I wanted one that would save me fully, save me freely, save me as an act of mere unmerited, undeserved grace—I have found Him whom my soul loves—and will be His through time, and His through eternity.”