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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Morning Coffee – 02/27/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • Whitefield’s Sin Exposing Spotlight
  • He implored them, “You are lost, undone, without Him; and if He is not glorified in your salvation, He will be glorified in your destruction; if He does not come and make His abode in your hearts, you must take up an eternal abode with the devil and his angels.” None who heard Whitefield were put to sleep with a false sense of security.

  • We All Ban (sort of) Books
  • I truly do not have the power to ban books. I can warn people that certain books are filled with error and will lead them into those same errors. I can warn that some books are divisive because of their doctrinal error. But I cannot actually ban books. Although I must say that the power to do so seems rather tempting.

  • Five Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus
  • The resurrection is an already but not-yet reality for the Christian because of our union with Christ. Jesus’s resurrection means that those who have faith in him have been raised from the dead because they are in Christ, and yet we still await the full experience of the resurrection to come (Romans 8:22–23).

  • What Does “Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread” Mean?
  • We have a tendency to pray in general. When we pray in general, the only way we will see the hand of God’s providence is in general. As we enter into prayer, this conversation and communion with God, and put our petitions before Him, pouring out our souls and our needs specifically, we see specific answers to our prayers.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Links

 

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Salvation’s Work

Salvation’s Work

This morning’s Morning and Evening is a powerful reminder that salvation is a work of God’s doing… not ours. He is the initiator, driver, sustainer, and provider of everything… our salvation, sanctification, and eventual glorification.

Richard Baxter was a puritan who was often imprisoned for his teaching. On his deathbed, a friend attempted to comfort him with all the good his writings had accomplished. Baxter’s response was simply, “I was but a pen in God’s hand, and what praise is due to a pen?”

As Spurgeon says in today’s devotional, “If I have resisted a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.” Apart from Him, we are nothing, have nothing, and can accomplish nothing. We are but instruments in the hand of a mighty Author. Philippians 2:13 states,

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Hebrews 12:2 says,

…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith. He initiates it and refines it to completion. Let’s give glory where glory is due and say with Spurgeon today, “Whenever I sin, that is my own doing; but when I act correctly, that is wholly and completely of God.”

Here is Alistair Begg’s modernization of the Spurgeon classic.

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Salvation belongs to the LORD! — Jonah 2:9

Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in…trespasses and sins,”1 and He it is who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.”

“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand. I do nothing whatever toward my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Whenever I sin, that is my own doing; but when I act correctly, that is wholly and completely of God. If I have resisted a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.

Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who lives in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I separated from the world? I am separated by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”2

Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul and helped me to feed upon it. Do I live on the bread that comes down from heaven? What is that bread but Jesus Christ Himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? Am I continually receiving fresh supplies of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help comes from heaven’s hills: Without Jesus I can do nothing.

As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in Him. What Jonah learned in the ocean, let me learn this morning in my room: “Salvation belongs to the LORD.”

1Ephesians 2:1 2Psalm 62:2

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: Me Worship

It may be a day late and a dollar short, but here is yesterday’s Happy Monday video.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Video

 

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Morning Coffee – 02/21/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • The Flower and Life of True Religion
  • Any thought of joy as being the “icing on the cake” of the Christian life, or a “take-it-or-leave-it” fruit of the Spirit, falls woefully short of the biblical testimony.

  • The Danger of Forgetting How to Read the Bible
  • Leaders stumble for many reasons, and while I could argue that a zealous seminarian has little in common with a vain or depressed middle-aged leader, there is at least one common thread: My peers and my students can both stop reading the Bible as we should.

  • The Christian’s Glorious Freedom
  • Believers sometimes wrongly assume: “I have sinned; therefore, sin still has authority over me. I cannot possibly have ‘died’ to sin.”

  • “Be Anxious for Nothing.” Why?
  • Whether it’s fear, or stress, or a full-blown panic attack, we need to address anxiety as the sin it is – namely, a focus on what might happen without placing confidence in the sovereignty of God.

Match-up Bonus:

  • Eclectic Shock
  • Now that, I thought, is one three-way gentlemanly cage-fight I’d like to tell my grandchildren about.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Links

 

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Graces in the Dark

Graces in the Dark

This morning’s Morning and Evening is a beautifully written reminder that trials serve a greater purpose in the exercise of our faith. Spurgeon provides striking illustrations of glowworms, stars, and soldiers. In each case, today’s thesis is simply this: real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.

At the center of this morning’s devotional, an interesting question is thrown onto the table.

It was only a little while ago that on your knees you were saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith. Let me know that I have faith.” Were you not really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?

The answer to that one is easy. No, Charles, I wasn’t. That’s absurd. But then he answers the question with another question…

For how can you know that you have faith until your faith is exercised?

Oh… yeah… there is that. Thankfully we have a good and gracious Savior who sympathizes with our weakness. He will not give us more than we are able to bear, nor fail to redeem those who belong to Him. When the darkness comes, it is not because evil won the fight that day… Take heart! Even the darkness has its uses in the hands of a sovereign God.

Here is Alistair Begg’s paraphrase of the Spurgeon classic.

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…you contend against me. — Job 10:2

Perhaps, weary soul, the Lord is doing this to develop your graces. There are some of your graces that would never be discovered if it were not for your trials. Do you not know that your faith never looks as good in summer as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glowworm, showing but little light unless it is surrounded by darkness.

Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God sets the jewels of His children’s graces, to make them shine brighter. It was only a little while ago that on your knees you were saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith. Let me know that I have faith.” Were you not really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials? For how can you know that you have faith until your faith is exercised? Depend upon it—God often sends us trials so that our graces may be discovered and that we may be convinced of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.

God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains His soldiers not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and subjecting them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many long miles with heavy backpacks of sorrow. Well, Christian, may this not account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is the Lord bringing out your graces and making them grow? Is it for this reason He contends with you?

Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: Step Out of the Boat

Too big and aggressive for retail stores…

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Video

 

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Psalm 23

Another Scripture animation from Logos…

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Video

 

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