Do not, I beg of you, read these words carelessly. Go over them again and again, until their force and their solemnity and their preciousness have gripped your soul. Our entire salvation hangs on the truth that our Saviour, Jesus Christ, has abolished (that is, annulled the power of) death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. He went down into the dark stream of death. All its waves and billows rolled over Him. But He came up in resurrection life never to die again. And so for us the waters of this Jordan have been rolled back, and there is a dry way through death for all who believe. Listen to His triumphant words, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” (John 11:25,26.) Does not your heart reply, “Yes, Lord, I do believe; I rest my soul forevermore upon Thy sure testimony, and I confess Thee as my Saviour and my Lord”?
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
In Full Assurance, H.A. Ironside writes:
Monday, July 27, 2009
It is that time of year again--when we remember "the day that started it all"--July 27th.
In honor of the anniversary, here are 10 reasons why I love my dear wife, Lois.
- She loves caring for people.
- She values our marriage.
- She is diligent--when she sets her mind to do something...she's going to do it.
- She is at the same time my greatest supporter and toughest critic.
- She is sensitive to the needs of others--and gently reminds me when I'm not.
- She is a humble servant of our family--providing me time and opportunity to serve the Lord.
- She always tells me the truth.
- She has no problem getting her hands dirty--definitely not a girly-girl. :)
- She is tough--her pain tolerance is at minimum triple mine!
- She loves me--including all of my computer-nerd, book-reading, hard-question-asking, truth-stomping character flaws.
Friday, July 24, 2009
No friend in the world is so constant and unchangeable in friendship as Christ is. John 13:1, "Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end." He bears with millions of provocations and wrongs, and yet will not break friendship with his people. Peter denied him, yet he will not disown him; but after his resurrection he says, "Go, tell the disciples, and tell Peter". Let him not think he has forfeited by that sin of his, his interest in me. Though he denied me, I will not disown him. O how lovely is Christ in the relation of a friend!~ John Flavel
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
W.E. Vine writes in his commentary on John 13:
It does not seem to have entered the minds of the disciples that they might wash one another's feet. Indeed they do not appear to have been in a mood for it (Luke 22:24). If, as Edersheim thinks, Judas, as the manager for the company, took the first place, the Lord may have washed his feet first. In any case here was malice met with kindness. Here was long-suffering manifested with grace and dignity. It has been well remarked, "Jesus at the feet of the traitor--what a picture! What lessons for us!"
So that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
~ Titus 2:10
To Titus, who is sent to put things in order, and who must raise up elders, and is in a culture that is, frankly, as far from the Gospel as the most unchurched city in the ancient world could be, Paul tells Titus, "teach people how to adorn the Gospel." Teach what accords with sound doctrine because these people need to adorn the Gospel.I could probably name ten men right now who would take this post here at TeamPyro and accuse me of adding works to faith, adding works to grace, thereby voiding the Gospel by reading this paragraph exactly as it is written. But this passage is astonishing for one reason only: it says unequivocally that the church ought to be training itself up in such a way that the word of God will not be reviled. That is: it ought to be teaching people how to live after they know the Gospel is true.The doctrine in this passage is shoe-leather doctrine. It says that those of us who are in the church must act like the church -- that it is necessary and not optional. And in that: we have to be building each other up. The older must teach the younger -- not merely systematics but pragmatics, like how to love one's husband and be submissive to him, how to be a self-controlled young man, how to grow old with dignity and sound in faith.And this makes perfect sense, given what Paul has already said about raising up elders: if elders ought to be men who are clinging to the word of God, and are formed by the word of God, bearing fruit by the word of God, somehow the church has to be the place where these kinds of men are grown.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Shaun Groves' intro to the live songs on his Twilight CD:
"You guys ready to worship with me tonight?Worship is not a song.Worship is my response to God with all that I amto all that He is, all that He has done is doing and will do,in me, through me, around me, and in spite of me.But it's not just a songWorship is our response with all of our lives, everything we've been given, to all that God is.So, if we come in here to this place and we raise our hands and we raise our voices but we don't stretch these hands out when we leave this place to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and fight for the poor and the oppressed.Then what you and I have done is worshipped a singer or a song, but not a GodSo, let me ask you again--are you ready to worship with me tonight?"
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Then they were glad to take Him into the boat,
and immediately the boat was at the land
to which they were going. John 6:21
The account of Jesus walking on the water is found here in John 6 but also in Matthew 14 and Mark 6. Only John includes the content of this verse.
Two things that I find striking. First, the obvious nature of the statement "they were glad to take Him into the boat". Why wouldn't they be glad! He had come to them in their hour of great need. Their faith had been tested--but in obedience to His will they had endured the storm. And now, He comes to the ship--and they were thrilled to have Him!
Secondly, I'm struck by "immediately the boat was at the land". Was it a miracle? Did He set aside space and time and simply "translate" or "beam" the ship with the disciples in it to the otherside of the sea? He had just walked the 3-4 miles from the shore to where they were. Certainly, it was within His power to do so. But perhaps there is something richer here.
G. Campbell Morgan writes:
In our eagerness to retain all the miracles we need not be eager to read miracles into things that are not miracles. John the mystic, John the lover, John the man who talks mos tabout fellowship says, When He came on board we were there directly. Did not John go as far as the rest? "Straightway!" Every youth and maiden who is in love understands that. A longer journey may be covered in what seems but a few moments.The storms are about us yet, and He is trying our faith by being absent from us, or so it seems. We are never far from Him nor He from us. He is coming over the waters and through the wind. Presently in the company of the King, we shall be home, and we shall hear His voice more clearly and see His face perfectly. O that God may help us to be so true to Him that He may be able to correct all our faltering and failing! May we be in His Kingdom, and He our King.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Commenting on Mark 6:47-52, William Barclay writes:
It is the simple fact of life, a fact which has been proved by countless thousands of men and women in every generation, that when Christ is there the storm becomes a calm, the tumult becomes a peace, what cannot be done is done, the unbearable becomes bearable, and men pass the breaking point and do not break. To walk with Christ will be for us also the conquest of the storm.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
While cleaning out my work notebook (the notebook I use for everything work-related), I stumbled across several pages of drawings. I had forgotten that I borrowed the work notebook to Sam so he could write during one of the meetings at the chapel. Sam agrees with yesterday's post!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
“Oh brother, pray; in spite of Satan, pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fast, and lose breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper – and sleep too – than not pray. And we must not talk about prayer, we must pray in right earnest. The Lord is near. He comes softly...”
~ Andrew A. Bonar
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The folks over at worship.com give the following as the definition of worship:
I've been thinking about the words everything and most in this statement.
Everything you thinkEverything you sayAnd everything you doRevealing that which you treasure and value most in life.
Worship is not just for Sunday morning. In fact, a worshipper that is only interested in Sunday morning really isn't much of a worshipper at all. We all live the other six days of the week--if we live them to ourselves--who is valued most? I am. Me. Myself.
The Savior who loved me to death deserves everything that I think. Paul said, "Set your mind on things above." (Colossians 3:2)
The Word who became flesh and dwelt among us deserves everything that I say. David said, "Let the words of my mouth...be acceptable in your sight, O LORD." (Psalm 19:14)
The Servant who came not to be served but to serve deserves everything that I do. The believers at Corinth read "...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Worship--not just for Sundays.
Monday, July 13, 2009
“We’ve become very familiar with preaching that, pays scant attention to the Bible; is self-focused; and is consequently only capable of making the most superficial impact upon the lives of the listeners. This would be bad enough were it not for the fact, that large sections of the church who listen to this kind of stuff are actually oblivious to the fact that what they’re getting is a placebo rather than the real medicine. And therefore they leave satisfied with the feeling that it has done them some good. A feeling which disguises the gravity of the situation… They get bloated up by all this stuff, and it gives them the feeling that somehow or another they’ve had a meal, but after a few hours they say, ‘You know, I don’t know whether that thing did anything at all…’ And so, in the absence of bread the population grows accustom to cake.”
~ Alistair Begg
Saturday, July 11, 2009
"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land,
and verily thou shalt be fed."
~ Psalm 37:3
Sprinkled throughout this psalm are various pictures that provide the assurance of God’s victory--not only in His eternal plan, but also in and through the lives of His precious saints.Trust is the most basic of the characteristics of our relationship with the Lord and sets the foundation for all the rest. The Hebrew word carries the meaning of confidence, or boldness, and is often used in such a way that it would imply that we are to "gain support" and "lean on" the One in whom we trust. The expanded definition of trust is contained in Proverbs: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones" (Proverbs 3:5-8).But merely having great confidence in the God of creation is not enough. We must "do good" (our text). The entire New Testament book of James is devoted to this theme: "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). "O that there were such an heart in them," God told Moses, "that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29).If we would enjoy the blessings of God, we must embrace the plan of God. If we are to expect the promise that we will "dwell" and "be fed," then we must submit to the instructions of our Lord, who told us to "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).~Henry Morris in Days of Praise, March 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
I stumbled across My Song is Love Unknown this evening. The words certainly are rich with meaning:
My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?
He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.
Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.
In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.
Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.
~ Samuel Crossman
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Several years ago, Lois and I attended our first Weekend to Remember marriage conference sponsored by Family Life Today. We thoroughly enjoyed it--and recommend it for all couples interested in fostering oneness in your marriage relationship.
While at the conference, my Mom and Dad bought me the book How to Make a Moose Run...And Other Great Things my Dad Taught Me by Gary Stanley who was one of the speakers at the conference.
The book is a collection of anecdotal yet insightful stories from his childhood days. I recently read the following introduction for section three entitled A Teachable Heart Begins in the Teacher:
I've been thinking much lately of the World's Greatest Teacher--and how He spoke with such authority that the crowds were amazed. And why shouldn't they be! He was Immanuel--God With Us. He was perfect in all that He said and did.The greatest teacher who has ever lived once remarked, "The student, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher." He said this immediately before observing that you have to take the log out of your own eye before you can ehlp anyone else get the speck out of his or her eye.Makes a lot of sense--it isn't the content of the class that makes all the difference; it's the content of the teacher.When the student falls asleep in class, there's only one thing to do: Get a sharp stick and poke the teacher.
My prayer is to be a teacher who recognizes that the content of my life is more important that the content of my message. And that I would never need the poke of the sharp stick!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
What does He mean when at the close of this wonderful unfolding of law He brings us back to the narrowness of the gate, to the straitness of the way? These conditions imply the making of heroic character! For entrance to, and abiding in, this Kingdom there can be no dilettante fooling with the passing hours. If men would pass that gate and walk that way they must enter into strenuous life. If a man should tell you that Christianity is an easy softness, he knows nothing of it. If a man should tell you that for your life there is nothing to do, he is right as to the initiation of it by the act of God, for life is the gift of His grace; but he is wrong as to human responsibility for entering into it. Every man who would enter this Kingdom must come through the narrow gate. Every man who would live in this Kingdom must walk the straitened way.~ G. Campbell Morgan - comments on Matthew 7:13-28