Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Kind of Man I Want To Be

A Word To Pastors.

Heard this quotation from John Flavel from a sermon preached by my friend Brian Croft.

O Brethren!  Who would not study and pray, spend and be spent, in the service of such a bountiful Master!  Is it not worth all our labours and sufferings, to come with all those souls we instrumentally begat to Christ: and all that we edified, established, confirmed, and comforted in the way to heaven; and say, Lord, here am I, and the children thou hast given me?  To hear one spiritual child say, Lord this is the minister by whom I believed:  Another, this is he, by whom I was edified, established, and comforted.  This is the man that resolved my doubts, quickened my dying affections, reduced my soul, when wandering from the truth!

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Holy Rebellion

A good word posted on Todd Pruitt’s site, quoting David Wells on prayer.

 

Prayer As Rebellion

 
“What is the nature of petitionary prayer? It is in essence rebellion – rebellion against the world in its fallenness, the absolute and undying refusal to accept as normal what is pervasively abnormal…Petitionary prayer only flourishes where there is a two-fold belief: first, that God’s name is hallowed too irregularly, His kingdom has come too little, and His will is done too infrequently; second, that God Himself can change this situation.”

Now and Then

Whatever a person sows, they shall also reap! Whatever we love in time, we shall love in eternity! Whatever we think wearisome now, we shall think wearisome then. You must be born again, or heaven itself would be a miserable abode! There is no place in heaven for the worldly-minded and profane. You must be renewed in the spirit of your minds, or you will hear that dreadful voice, ‘Friend, how did you come here without a wedding-garment?’ You must become new creatures! How long will you insult your Redeemer by putting it off? Oh! pray you to the Lord Jesus Christ, while it is called today, to send His Holy Spirit on you! Go to the fountain, while the door of mercy is yet open, wash and be clean!

 

J. C. Ryle

HT:  jcrylequotes.com

http://jcrylequotes.com/2012/03/09/what-we-love-in-time-we-love-in-eternity/


Heart Disease

The signs of physical heart disease are relatively easy to identity and in some cases to even reverse.  If you were to see a cardiologist he would be sure to ask you several questions to determine the health of your heart.   What are your eating and exercise patterns?  Have you felt in chest pain?  Are you easily out of breath?  Have you felt any tightness in your left arm or shoulder?    It is far more important to determine the state of one’s spiritual heart.  The Word of God repeatedly stresses the importance of the heart.  Perhaps the best known text in this regard is Proverbs 4:23,   Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

What are some of the signs of heart trouble for the professing saint?

Several come quickly to mind.

The first is drifting from a position of  fervent love for the Savior.  We are all familiar with our Lord’s words to the church atEphesus wherein he warns them concerning their having ‘left’ their first love.  The word translated as left brings with it the notion of drifting, of slow, subtle movements which now result in one being far from the shore.   When love for Christ has grown cold, it is the most significant sign of heart disease.

A second sign is a loss of appetite for God’s Word.   The scriptures picture the Word as food for the soul. It is pictured as sweet food, delightful food.  It is described as a source of wealth and riches beyond compare.  If our Bibles are neglected through the week, barely if ever ‘nibbled’ upon, if the preaching of God’s Word to your soul is not a priority to you, then there is something seriously wrong with your heart.

A third sign to highlight is a growing disinclination to fellowship with God’s people.   Our  modern evangelical society has emphasized the matter of  ‘a personal relationship’ with Jesus to the extent where the need for the church has virtually been eliminated.  If we would ‘cling fast to the Head’ we will find our arms wrapped around his body by necessity.

A fourth sign of  a heart in trouble is a sense of ease with sin.  Rather than making war with sin, rather than seeing sin the way that a man should see a tumor in his body or an invader in his home, we make light of sin and barely register grief toward its presence and its effects  Jesus came to save us from sin’s presence and power just as surely as it’s guilt.

A fifth sign of spiritual heart disease is a heart that is fixed on earthly joys and pleasures above heavenly.   God has, to be sure, given us all things to enjoy. He delights to give good gifts to His  children.  But if our hearts are enamored with the gifts, if our greatest joys and heartaches have to do with the passing things of this world, rather than on those things which are lasting and eternal, we have serious heart work to do.

A sixth and final sign that I would highlight is a cool indifference to the eternal state of the unbelievers around us.  One of the surest signs that we do not really believe the orthodox truths that we profess (that man has an eternal soul which must live forever in one of two places and that Jesus Christ offered in the gospel is the only hope for sinful men) is how we think of, feel toward, and interact with unbelievers. 

Take your heart to the Great Cardiologist, discuss your symptoms with Him honestly and fully.  He has all the remedy you need!


The Place of God’s Glory

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If you wanted to show someone the glory of God, what would you do?  Where would you take them?  Someone has described the glory of God as the ‘off shining of His attributes’, that is, those things and places which showcase who He is, what He is, and what He can do.  Where would you go to show someone that God was real, alive, and powerful?   Where would you go to show them God was gracious and wise and kind and abounding in mercy?  That He hates sin and loves righteousness?  If you wanted to show someone that the things which are impossible with men are possible with God, where would you take them?  If money and technology were not an issue for you, what would you do  to show forth the glory of God to a sinner or  saint?

Would you take them to the world’s best telescope to peer into the farthest reaches of the galaxy?  Would you take them inside the womb of a mother where an infant is being knit together?  Would you take them to the Grand Canyonor to the depths of the sea?  Would you take a ‘fantastic voyage’ inside the human body?  Would you seek to unravel the wonder of  His creation?  Would you bring forth evidence of the amazing way that He holds all things together by the word of His power? 

Do you want to know where I would take them?  I would take them to a church.  I would gladly take them to my church.  I wold take them to any place where there is a gathering of God’s elect, chosen before the foundation of the world, loved in time as well as in eternity.  I would have them sit in a service of worship, in which God receives the glory, through Christ Jesus.  I would take them to a place where a group of people sing His praises and hearken to His word.  I would have this person go from saint to saint and hear the wonders of what God, in grace, has done for them.  I would take them to prayer meeting where 21st century people are pouring out their hearts to an unseen God in believing and fervent prayer.  I would take them to the Lord’s Supper where simple saints remember the One whose body and blood was offered for their redemption.   Here is where I would show someone that God is real and holy and merciful, that He loves sinners, and that He hears prayer.    Though very often despised by the world (religious and irreligious) the church will ever remain the showcase of  God’s glory.


The Spiritual Gift of Discouragement?

The Spiritual Gift of Discouragement?.