Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fly to his arms

Spurgeon on August 26 - reflecting on Jesus' transfiguration:

"Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories. Behold his flowing wounds and thorn-crowned head! He is the Son of God, and therein he is greater than Moses, but he is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in his death revealed more of God’s justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Saviour, and as thou feelest the attraction of his love, fly to his arms, and thou shalt be saved."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Assurance: your sin lies not on you

"Beloved, can you feel assured that he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not. Have you laid your hand upon his head, confessed your sin, and trusted in him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder as a load heavier than the cross."


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

His love frees us from stinginess

"The Father prefers to keep us on the edge. His plan is to liberate us from our defensive, hoarding, tight-fisted, miserly ways, and to teach us that when we have been given the kingdom - the kingdom! - stinginess is unnatural and unbecoming. When you are confident that you are the Father's treasured possession, you are also confident that his loving care will continue forever."

Ed Welch

Monday, August 19, 2013

Disrespectful speech comes from an arrogant heart

"So, if you are disrespectful toward others with your speech, don’t start by trying to listen to the person in front of you who drives you crazy. Start with meekness before God (1:21). Your problem is not poor interpersonal skills; it is arrogance before God himself. You only listen to him when there is a happy coincidence between your desire and his words. Don’t even think about talking to another person until you have heard the word of the Lord and are silent before him. No backtalk. No grumbling or complaining. Simply rest in the certainty that he is God and you are not, and life is not about the satisfaction of your desires or the supremacy of your will."

CCEF Blog post by Ed Welch

Ouch. Super convicted by this and need God's help to change. He is the only one who can change my heart, and therefore, my speech.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Resurrection love

"Bring thy sorrow and watch for the sunrise of the resurrection. Yea, verily there cometh always a resurrection - a morning when hope is reborn and life finds new beginning. Wait for it as tulip bulbs anticipate the spring. The rarest blooms are enhanced by the coldness of winter. The snow plays her part in producing the pageant of spring. But when the blossoms break through, we do not then turn back to thought of winter, but instead, we look ahead to the full joys of the coming summer. 

So ye must do also. Thy God is thy maker. He is thy defender. And He is mighty to save. Yea, He is not only mighty to save from sin, but He is mighty to save from despair, from sorrow, from disappointment, from regret, from remorse, from self-castigation, and from the hot, blinding tears of rebellion against fateful circumstances. He can save thee from thyself, and He loveth thee when ye find it hard to love thyself.

Let His peace flow in thee like a river, carrying away all the poison of painful memories, and bringing to thee a fresh, clear stream of pure life and restoring thoughts."

Come Away My Beloved, Pg. 34-35
Frances Roberts

A simple question about faithfulness

“What will you do in the mundane days of faithfulness?”
Martin Luther

Lord, help me to be faithful in the small things and the big things. 
In the things seen and things unseen.
In my words, thoughts and deeds.
Teach me what it means to be faithful to You each and every day.

Friday, August 16, 2013

It is done in love. It must be well.

"Remember the words of Paul: 'He who spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?' (Romans 8:32).  

See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for your sins! 

Say to yourself,  'This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.'"

A tough word to swallow from JC Ryle, but an amazing reminder that God orders all things and is fully committed to us in love and hope and joy and glory - because of Jesus. It's our sure promise.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gladdening us with Divine nearness and help

"God does not give us everything we want, but God does fulfill all God's promises, i.e., God remains the Lord of the earth, God preserves the Church, constantly renewing our faith and not laying on us more than we can bear, gladdening us with Divine nearness and help, hearing our prayers, and leading us along the best and straightest paths to holiness. By God's faithfulness in doing this, God creates in us praise for God alone."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recipients of Mercy

"...the Gospel is good news for Christians because it tells us of a God of both love and justice. The wrath of God doesn’t cause us to cower, or to judge our neighbors. It ought to prompt us to see ourselves as recipients of mercy, and as those who will one day give an account. If that’s true, let’s sing it."

Russ Moore

Monday, August 12, 2013

Left to ourselves, we are undone

"As an evangelical, I would argue that it’s necessary to sing about the wrath of God because we are singing not just from and to our minds, but to and from our consciences. There’s a reason why evangelical congregations reach a kind of crescendo when they sing out that line in the Getty's song. [Moore references the hymn In Christ Alone where a verse states, "'Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied, for every sin on him was laid, here in the death of Christ I live."] It’s not because, per the caricature, we see ourselves as a “moral majority” affirming our righteousness over and against the “sinners” on the other side of the culture war.

Instead, it’s just the reverse. When Christians sing about the wrath of God, we are singing about ourselves. Our consciences point us to the truth that, left to ourselves, we are undone. We’re not smarter or more moral than anyone else. And God would be just to turn us over to the path we would want to go—a path that leads to death. It is only because Jesus lived a life for us, and underwent the curse we deserve, that we stand before God. The grace of God we sing about is amazing precisely because God is just, and won’t, like a renegade judge, simply overlook evil."

Russell Moore on why Christians shouldn't neglect to sing about the doctrine of the wrath of God. 

Emphasis and additional notes are mine.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The whole work is His

"Faith is the acknowledgment of the entire absence of all goodness in us, and the recognition of the cross as the substitute for all the want on our part. Faith saves, because it owns the complete salvation of another, and not because it contributes anything to that salvation. There is no dividing or sharing the work between our own belief and Him in whom we believe. The whole work is His, not ours, from the first to last."

Horatius Bonar

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Monuments of grace

“Well did the Apostle declare that the righteous scarcely are saved. It is no child’s play to be a Christian. The Christian life is beyond the poet’s meaning, real and earnest. The hills of difficulty which lie before us are no molehills, and the giants and dragons with which we must contend are no phantoms of a disordered brain. When we reach Heaven, what monuments of Grace we shall be, and how shall we throughout eternity emulate one another’s praises, each one feeling himself to be the deepest debtor to Sovereign Grace.”