Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Love the Truth

John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will guide you into all the truth;
for He will not speak on His own initiative,
but whatever He hears, He will speak.”

James MacDonald writes:
The older I get the more laid back I get about more things, but not about the truth, not about the Scriptures, not about the Bible. I am more and more casual about people and politics. I really have no idea who should win any election or how to fix the economy. I am increasingly laid back about sports teams and other meaningless allegiances. I’m so much more easy going when my kids see smaller things differently, or I can’t make it work, or I don’t get my way, etc.

But MORE AND MORE AND MORE, I have no patience for people who distort and deny God’s Word. I just can’t take it. I can sit back and smile about a lot of things, but I can’t take preachers, or practitioners, who think they are somehow helping the kingdom of God by distancing themselves from or diluting the explicit statements of Scripture. I hate it when I hear it because I love the truth. Here’s a quote from an article I wrote some time ago as a blog post written for Leadership Journal’s “Out of Ur” blog:
We are expected to obey our Master and to accept His Word without equivocation. Cavalier questioning of the explicit statements of Scripture regarding the necessity of the new birth, the priority of biblical proclamation or eternal destination of the lost, or any other thing the Bible proclaims with clarity cannot build a stronger, more Christ-honoring church no matter how sincere the messengers. Critiquing the church is good; disregarding or diminishing the revealed truth of our Founder is not good, no matter how ‘nice’ the people are who do it.
I love the truth of God’s Word, and so should you! Even when I don’t fully understand it, even when I fail to live it, even when I foolishly seek another source of soul satisfaction . . . Not for long, God’s Spirit always brings me back. He loves God’s Word too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We're Going to Camp

Posting will likely be on hold for about two weeks while we're at Teen Camp at Story Boook Lodge.

Somehow Lois got all of this stuff into the car. She has serious "Morgan Packing Prowess"! If I would have done it--well, let's just say...we probably wouldn't be able to go to camp.

Please pray with us as we head to camp. I've been thinking about part of Isaiah 43:13 which reads: "I work, and who can turn it back?" That is our prayer as we go--that He would work...in, through, and (perhaps) in spite of us. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

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If Twitter is not your thing, you can check out our mini blog on Posterous.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

While Ever Unseen, They Were At Work

Listen as a first-century historian describes the common opinion of Roman pagans concerning the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They were intensely propagandist. While ever unseen, they were at work. Every member was a missionary of the sect and lived mainly to propagate a doctrine for which they were ever ready to die. Thus the infection spread by a thousand unsuspecting channels, like a contagion propagated in the air it could penetrate, as it seemed, anywhere and everywhere. The meek and gentle slave that tends your children or attends you at table may be a Christian. The favourite daughter of your house who has endeared herself to you by a tenderness and grace peculiarly her own, and which seems to you as strange as it is captivating, turns out to be a Christian. The Captain of the guards, the legislator in the Senate house, may be a Christian. In these circumstances, who or what is safe? What power can defend the laws and majesty of Rome and the peace of domestic life against an enemy like this?

~ Quoted by David Legge

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fight For the Faith

Just because the brilliant Commander-in-Chief promises victory on the beaches doesn't mean the troops can throw their weapons overboard. The promise of victory assumes our valor in battle. When God promises that the church will be kept from defeat, his purpose is not that we lay down our sword and go to lunch, but that we pick up the Sword of the Spirit and look confidently to God for the strength to fight and win. Wherever the promised security of God is used to justify going AWOL, we may suspect there is a traitor in the ranks.
~John Piper on Jude 3

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Honor and Reproach Go Hand in Hand

The tremendous honor bestowed upon Mary must not be passed by without looking at the awful bruden coupled with the honor. It is always thus in the world. Honor and reproach go hand in hand. The virgin was told, "Yea a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also" (Luke 2:35).

She knew what others did not know. Even Joseph had to wait for an answer as to her virginity. The Jews accusingly said, "...We be not born of fornication..." (John 8:41); they were saying they were not illegitimate. Mary knew the reproach, but she also knew the honor that accompanied it.

Such is the dual experience of every Christian. We no sooner experience the blessing of salvation, made possible by the impeccable Savior, than we find ourselves going outside the camp bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:13).

~ From The Impeccable Christ - W. E. Best

Monday, June 1, 2009

WANTED: Mature Christians

The church wants mature Christians very greatly, and especially when there are many fresh converts added to it. New converts furnish impetus to the church, but her backbone and substance must, under God, lie with the mature members.

We want mature Christians in the army of Christ, to play the part of veterans, to inspire the rest with coolness, courage, and steadfastness; for if the whole army is made up of raw recruits the tendency will be for them to waver when the onslaught is fiercer than usual. The old guard, the men who have breathed smoke and eaten fire before, do not waver when the battle rages like a tempest, they can die but they cannot surrender. When they hear the cry of "Forward," they may not rush to the front so nimbly as the younger soldiers, but they drag up the heavy artillery, and their advance once made is secure. They do not reel when the shots fly thick, but still hold their own, for they remember former fights when Jehovah covered their heads.

The church wants in these days of flimsiness and timeserving, more decided, thoroughgoing, well-instructed, and confirmed believers.

We are assailed by all sorts of new doctrines. The old faith is attacked by so-called reformers, who would reform it all away. I expect to hear tidings of some new doctrine once a week. So often as the, moon changes, some prophet or other is moved to propound a now theory, and believe me, he will contend more valiantly for his novelty than ever he did for the gospel.

The discoverer thinks himself a modern Luther, and of his doctrine he thinks as much as David of Goliath's sword, "There is none like it." As Martin Luther said of certain in his day, these inventors of new doctrines stare at their discoveries like a cow at a new gate, as if there were nothing else in all the world but the one thing for them to stare at.

We are all expected to go mad for their fashions, and march to their piping. To whom we give place; no, not for an hour.

They may muster a troop of raw recruits, and lead them whither they would, but for confirmed believers they sound their bugles in vain. Children run after every new toy; any little performance in the street, and the boys are all agog, gaping at it; but their fathers have work to do abroad, and their mothers have other matters at home; your drum and whistle will not, draw them out. For the solidity of the church, for her steadfastness in the faith, for her defense against the constantly recurring attacks of heretics and infidels, and for her permanent advance and the seizing of fresh provinces for Christ, we want not only your young, hot blood, which may God always send to us, for it is of immense service, and we cannot do without it, but we need also the cool, steady, well-disciplined, deeply-experienced hearts of men who know by experience the truth of God, and hold fast what they have learned in the school of Christ.

May the Lord our God therefore send us many such; they are wanted.

~ Excerpt from "Ripe Fruit," a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon August 14, 1870 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London (Thanks to Pyromaniacs)