Monday, August 31, 2009

Come Out and Be Separate

There is a widely-spread desire to make things pleasant in religion – to saw off the corners and edges of the cross, and to avoid, as far as possible, self-denial. On every side we hear professing Christians declaring loudly that we must not be “narrow and exclusive” and that there is no harm in many things which the holiest of saints of old thought bad for their souls.”

That we may go anywhere, and do anything, and spend our time in anything, and read anything, and keep any company, and plunge into anything, and all the while may be very good Christians – this is the maxim of thousands. In a day like this I think it good to raise a warning voice, and invite attention to the teaching of God’s Word. It is written in that Word, ‘Come out and be separate.’

~J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teaching Them to Observe

In Matthew, chapter 5-7 are commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. According to Matthew the Great Commission is, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mathew 28:19-20).

Preaching is no substitute for teaching. They complement each other, and for every preacher there needs to be many teachers, In this respect as well as all others Jesus is the prime Example.

It is obvious that Jesus had called at least 4 of His 12 disciples not long before He went up into the mountain and opened His mouth and taught them. There are those who time this discourse after He had spent the night in prayer and called the Twelve.

What the Ten Commandments were to the chosen nation under the old covenant, this Sermon on the Mount is to all disciples of Christ. It is different but it does not abrogate one item in the Decalogue. It deals not in particulars but in principles. It is the Magna Carta of the Kingdom. Its greatest demands should be laid on the conscience of all Christians.

It is not futuristic. It is the criterion for ethical practice in this day of grace. The Holy Spirit has come to make it possible for Christians to live by these precepts. The Master dealt with ideals and attitudes. He offered remedies for heart diseases in order that His followers might bear the fruit of the Spirit and thus prove to all who observe their lives that they have been redeemed.

~From Holiness for Every Day, G.B. Williamson, August 1

Saturday, August 22, 2009

2009 Fargo AirSho

Sam, his friend Ethan, and I spent the day at the Fargo AirSho. We had a great time, saw some cool things (even a rocket propelled outhouse!), and the kids burned plenty of energy on the inflatable games. The finale of the show was the Navy's Blue Angels.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just a Little While

Soon this life will all be over,
And our pilgrimage will end.
Soon we'll take our heav’nly journey,
Be at home again with friends
Heaven's gates are standing open
Waiting for our entrance there
Some sweet day we're going over
All the beauties there to share.

Just a Little while to stay here
Just a little while to wait
Just a little while to labor
In the path that’s always straight
Just a little more of trouble
In this low and sinful state
Then we’ll enter Heaven’s portals,
Sweeping thru the pearly gates.

Soon we’ll see the light of morning
Then the new day will begin
Soon we’ll hear the Father calling,
“Come my children, enter in.”
Then we’ll hear a choir of angels
Singing out the vict’ry song,
All our troubles will be ended
And we’ll live with heaven’s throng

Soon we’ll meet again our loved ones
And we’ll take them by the hand,
Soon we’ll press them to our bosom
Over in the promised land;
Then we’ll be at home forever,
Thru-out all eternity,
What a blessed, blessed morning
That eternal morn shall be.

~E.M. Bartlett 1921

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Think of a Wanted Criminal

I really like this illustration!

Ray Comfort writes:
Think of a wanted criminal. He has committed multiple and serious crimes. One night, he is stealing in the dark of a moonless night. The darkness gives him a sense of security. Suddenly police spotlights flood the area. He is exposed. The darkness is no longer a cover for his unlawful activity. He hears a loud voice tell him that ten sharpshooters have his pounding heart in their sights. One wrong move and he is a dead man. At this point he has a choice. He can try and make a run for it and die, or he can lift his hands high in surrender and live.
Before I was a Christian, I was engaged in serious unlawful activity even though I hadn’t violated man’s law. I was unaware that God saw my thought-life and that I had violated His perfect Law--the Ten Commandments. The night of my conversion was when the light came like a flood. I was exposed for my many sins. The darkness was no longer my security. The loud voice of my conscience told me that those Ten Commandments, like ten great cannons, had my pounding heart in their sights. If I tried to run I knew that God's Law would justly send me to Hell. At that point I had a choice. I could run from the light, or I could lift my hands high and surrender. On the 25th of April, 1972 at 1:30 a.m., I surrendered.
Read the full post here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Would Jesus Say?

Recently, John MacArthur was invited as a guest writer on the Washington Post's On Faith section. I appreciated the entire article, but particularly this quote:
"But to "the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3)--those who are exhausted and spent by the ravages of sin; desperate for forgiveness and without any hope of atoning for their own sin--Jesus' call to repentant faith remains the very gateway to eternal life."

Monday, August 10, 2009

If He Had Faltered Even Once

No selfishness, no hatred,
No spitefulness was there.
No unbelief, no cursing,
No pity from despair.
One sinful thought; one failure,
And Love would not succeed.
The ransomed souls of hist’ry
Must His perfection plead.

If He had faltered even once,
In flames of hell would men abide.
Then ponder Christ, and praise at length
The strength of Him there crucified.