Sunday, August 30, 2015

Solace, Security, Satisfaction

“Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow” 2 Samuel 23:5

This is not so much one promise as an aggregate of promises — a box of pearls.    The covenant is the ark which contains all things.   These are the last words of David, but they may be mine today. Here is a sigh: things are not with me and mine as I could wish; there are trials, cares, and sins. These make the pillow hard.
 
Here is a solace — “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.”  Jehovah has pledged Himself to me, and sealed the compact with the blood  of Jesus. I am bound to my God, and my God to me.  
This brings into prominence a security, since this covenant is everlasting,  well ordered and sure.   There is nothing to fear from the lapse of time, the  failure of some forgotten point, or the natural uncertainty of things.  The  covenant is a rocky foundation to build on for life or for death. 
David feels satisfaction: he wants no more for salvation or delectation. He  is delivered, and he is delighted.  The covenant is all a man can desire.
O my soul, turn thou this day to thy Lord Jesus, whom the great Lord has given to be a covenant to the people. Take Him to be thine all in all.

 
Faith’s Checkbook by C.H.Spurgeon August 30

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thankful Thursday


I’ve never participated in this blogger’s tradition before but last week my friend  Kim mentioned on Facebook how she missed seeing these postings on blogs.   I may not make it every week, but I'll try.     
I'm thankful..  
  • for livestream Sunday services when I'm unable to attend church.   I can virtually "attend church" with my son and daughter-in-law who live in another state and attend that church.
  • that my grandson was baptized this summer.  I’m thankful that his parents were very careful to make sure he displayed evidence of  genuine conversion before permitting it.    These are the very best kind of blessings.  
  •  for the progress that has been made this summer on our kitchen remodel.   Robert has done all the remodeling  in our home himself  and is a true master craftsman at designing  and woodworking.  
  •  for a friend who asked Robert to help him cut down several trees.   We now have enough free firewood to last for three winters. 
  • I'm thankful that Jesus is ever near and is always patient with me..
 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Encouraging Parents of Prodigals

everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me.”  Ezekiel 18:4

What could be more grievous to Christian parents than to have their adult child reject the Gospel?   Some children go through a season of rebellion and return to the Lord,  but when a grown child makes a cogent decision to forsake the essential truths of Christianity it is heart wrenching.   I’d like to share some things parents commonly experience when this happens  and try to offer a little encouragement for those going through this.    Please join me today  at Out of the Ordinary.

 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Love and Seek True Wisdom

 
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shalt find me” Proverbs
8:17
Wisdom loves her lovers, and seeks her seekers. He is already wise who seeks to be wise, and he has almost found wisdom who diligently seeks her. What is true of wisdom in general is specially true of wisdom embodied in our Lord Jesus. Him we are to love and to seek, and in return we shall enjoy His love, and find Himself.
 
Our business is to seek Jesus early in life.  Happy are the young whose morning is spent with Jesus! It is never too soon to seek the Lord Jesus. Early seekers make certain finders. We should seek Him early by diligence. Thriving tradesmen are early risers, and thriving saints seek Jesus eagerly. Those who find Jesus to their enrichment give their hearts to seeking Him. We must seek Him first, and thus earliest. Above all things Jesus. Jesus first, and nothing else even as a bad second.
 
The blessing is that He will be found. He reveals Himself more and more clearly to our search. He gives Himself up more fully to our fellowship. Happy men who seek One who, when He is found, remains with them for ever, a treasure growingly precious to their hearts and understandings.
Lord Jesus, I have found thee; be found of me to an unutterable degree of
joyous satisfaction.
 
Faith’s Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon – August 23

 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sincere Heretics

“The heretics were never dishonest men; they were mistaken men.    They should not be thought of as men who were deliberately setting out to go wrong and to teach something that is wrong;   they have been some of the most sincere men that the Church has ever known.    What was the matter with them?    Their trouble was this: they evolved a theory and they were rather pleased with it;     then they went back with this theory to the Bible, and they seemed to find it everywhere.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Obeying God in the Hard Places

 
In these troubling times  when we can become  so disheartened by  those ruling over us, how good it is to know   “The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;  He turns it wherever He wishes.”  Proverbs 21:1.   
 
 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Has Blog Commenting Gone by the Wayside?

 Is it just me or have you noticed an overall decrease in commenting on Christian blogs?  There used to be more action in  the comment sections of  the blogs I visit  whether the blogger was  well known or not.   Of course  uber bloggers always had a bazillion comments,  but  even ordinary blogs had more engaged readers.  
I  realize  that commenting is not  an indicator  of readership.  People are still reading  Christian blogs  and   sharing them on  Facebook,  Twitter, and Pinterest even if they never say anything.    I  don’t comment  on websites as much as I used to either,  even though I  still read most of  the same blogs and have added some new ones.      
 I  think there are several reasons for the slow down.     One is that  some people  have  scaled back on  all forms of  social media.    Priorities and interests change,  life moves on,  and maybe the novelty of blog reading has worn off.   
Another reason may be that the blogging world has  changed and has become  more of a professional venue  and less of  a meeting place for personal interaction.  
I  also think in  the earlier days of  blogging,  a doctrinal zeal fueled by the  resurgence of Calvinism  drew evangelicals who were new to Reformed theology.    Christians were discovering a more theologically robust  perspective as well as being  introduced to the writings of  the  Puritans and Reformers.   Some  were feeling out of round in their churches and needed the encouragement of other kindred spirits.    But now many of them, both bloggers and blog readers,  have settled in  churches they're growing  in and no longer  feel the need  for  online support.  
Who knows?  Maybe it's a combination of all of the above.   If you have any thoughts please leave a comment. :) 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pruning for Fruit Bearing

 
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” John 15:2
 
This is a precious promise to one who lives for fruitfulness. At first it seems to wear a sharp aspect. Must the fruitful bough be pruned? Must the knife cut even the best and most useful? No doubt it is so, for very much of our Lord’s purging work is done by means of afflictions of one kind or another. It is not the evil but the good who have the promise of tribulation in this life. But, then, the end makes more than full amends for the painful nature of the means. If we may bring forth more fruit for our Lord, we will not mind the pruning and the loss of leafage.
 
Still, purging is sometimes wrought by the Word apart from trial, and this takes away whatever appeared rough in the flavor of the promise. We shall by the Word be made more gracious and more useful. The Lord, who has made us, in a measure, fruit-bearing, will operate upon us till we reach a far higher degree of fertility. Is not this a great joy? Truly there is more comfort in a promise of fruitfulness than if we had been warranted riches, or health, or honor.
 
Lord Jesus, speedily fulfill thy gracious word to me, and cause me to abound in fruit to thy praise!
 
Faith’s Checkbook by CH Spurgeon – August 9

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Whatsoever things are lovely…

Christians are keenly aware that the world is evil and that things are only going to  get  worse,   but I have to wonder if  we might be dwelling  too much on this.     I had to stop regularly checking  my Facebook newsfeed  because I  grew weary of  the never-ending  stream of commentary on things like gay marriage,  Planned Parenthood,   shootings,  ISIS,  and  Cecil the lion.   
I believe these things need to  be brought to light  but for me the steady  barrage of depressing  news can be overwhelming.   I can do nothing about these things except to  obey the Lord and pray,  so why  should I continually fill my mind with things that make me anxious?   
When I became a Christian  one of the first  things  to impact my life was the knowledge  that  I could have complete peace of mind because of the blood of Christ.   As my understanding of  how Jesus had  won the victory over sin and death deepened,   I knew that I  could trust Him for everything in my life and the world around me.     Not only had His blood cleansed me from sin and a guilty conscience,  but it also had the power to liberate  me from worrying about all the evil  going on in the world.     
We used to sing a hymn called  “Power in the Blood”   but  I wonder if in these troubling times  we’ve somehow overlooked  this simple message.  An elderly sister in Christ gave me a tract back in the 70’s  entitled  “The Mind Under the Blood”  and I was happy to find it  online the other day.   Here are some excerpts from it:
“Thoughts are bold and daring things.  They keep up a din and chatter and strain the nerves and chill the heart.   Fear dashes into the mind and captures us and holds us fast.
 The spotless Lamb of God has shed His most precious blood for you to cleanse and cover and free and keep you from torments and distractions.  
By faith put death between [your anxious thoughts] and you.   Say to thoughts and all hindering visitors to the mind’s distraction from the peace Christ gives: "The blood of Jesus is a shelter for me.  I shelter my mind, conscious and subconscious, under the blood of Jesus.”
Trust Him to keep your thoughts stayed on Him, and to keep your mind in the peace of God that passeth all understanding, and He will do it.” 1.
We spend an awful  lot of time reading  books and blogs about anxiety these days  while at the same time consuming a steady diet of despairing news.     Perhaps  the sky really is falling,  but God is the one who owns the sky and I think I will  be better prepared for whatever lies ahead  if I can  learn to practice the things mentioned in  Philippians 4:4-8.
  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”  V.8-9
 
1. Classic Christian Writings: "The Mind Sheltered Under The Blood" By D. W. Griffin

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Deciding to Follow Christ?


 
[The] term ‘decide’ has always seemed to me to be quite wrong…A sinner does not ‘decide’ for Christ; the sinner ‘flies’ to Christ in utter helplessness and despair saying — 
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
No man truly comes to Christ unless he flies to Him as his only refuge and hope, his only way of escape from the accusations of conscience and the condemnation of God’s holy law. Nothing else is satisfactory. If a man says that having thought about the matter and having considered all sides he has on the whole decided for Christ, and if he has done so without any emotion or feeling, I cannot regard him as a man who has been regenerated. The convicted sinner no more ‘decides’ for Christ than the poor drowning man ‘decides’ to take hold of that rope that is thrown to him and suddenly provides him with the only means of escape. The term is entirely inappropriate.”  ― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers