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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Hating Sin

Hating Sin

This morning’s Morning and Evening is taken from Psalm 45:7.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.

Sin is serious. It should anger us, disgust us, and drive us headlong to the feet of Christ. Charles Spurgeon’s short devotional is excellent today.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. — Psalm 45:7

Be angry and do not sin.”1 There can hardly be goodness in a man if he is not angered by sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Three times it assailed Him in different forms, but He responded with, “Be gone, Satan.” He hated it in others, no less fervently by showing His hatred often more in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than such words as, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.”

He hated wickedness so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might forever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fine clothes and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple and will not tolerate it in the church.

So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what a war is waged between Christ and Satan! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart from me, you cursed” that are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning sin shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as His love is to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. Glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause God has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

1 Ephesians 4:26

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Morning Coffee – 05/29/14

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

  • God and Controversy
  • But that is not all Jude describes. He goes much further, showing not just how the false teachers speak and behave, but how, in response and as a defense, we are to contend for the faith.

  • Grace Is Not a Thing
  • The great American theologian Al Pacino once said, “I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”

  • The Tone Deaf Singer
  • You can be utterly tone deaf and sing beautiful music in the ear of God when the gospel is dwelling richly within and when you are singing to exult in the Savior.

Video Clip Bonus:

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Links

 

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Suffering and Security

Suffering and Security

Today’s devotional is taken from the great “Golden Chain” of Romans 8.

For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. — Romans 8:29-30

We quote Romans 8:28 all the time. But how often do we forget that the purpose of verse 28 is for us to “be conformed to the image of His Son” in verse 29? God is the ultimate agent of our salvation. He foreknows, He predestines, He calls, He justifies, and He glorifies. He begins the work and finishes it (Philippians 1:6). Why does God deserve all the glory? Well, for one thing, He does all the work.

As Spurgeon acknowledges in this morning’s Morning and Evening, these truths are a tremendous comfort for believers. He says, “do not bemoan your troubles, but rather rejoice” because a day is coming when there will be no more pain. A big understanding of God produces big comfort for the Christian. Peter encouraged the believers who were suffering under Nero’s persecution with these amazing words:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. — 1 Peter 1:3-9

The recipients of this letter are being wrapped in wax and set on fire to light Nero’s dinner parties. Many of them have lost mothers, fathers, limbs, and dear friends for the sake of the gospel. Peter does not ignore their pain. He simply redirects their focus. What does he say? God has caused us to be born again to a living hope! Our inheritance lasts forever and is guarded by the very power of God Himself. The afflictions of this life are temporary, but God’s promises are eternally secure. These are comforting words indeed for anyone in need of consolation.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Those whom He justified He also glorified. — Romans 8:30

Here is a precious truth for you, believer. You may be poor or suffering or unknown, but for your encouragement take a moment to review your calling and the consequences that flow from it, and especially the blessed result spoken of here. As surely as you are God’s child today, so surely will all your trials soon come to an end, and you shall be rich to an extent that is hard to imagine.

Wait awhile, and your weary head will wear the crown of glory, and the worker’s hand shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Do not bemoan your troubles, but rather rejoice that before long you will be where no longer “shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.”1 The chariots of fire are at your door, and it will take only a moment to transport you to the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on your lip. The portals of heaven stand open for you.

Do not think that you can fail to enter into your rest. If He has called you, nothing can divide you from His love. Distress cannot sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link; the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. You are secure; that voice which called you at first shall call you yet again from earth to heaven, from death’s dark gloom to immortality’s unuttered splendors. Rest assured, the heart of Him who has justified you beats with infinite love toward you. You will soon be with the glorified, where your portion is; you are only waiting here to be made ready for the inheritance, and with that done, the wings of angels shall carry you far away, to the mount of peace and joy and blessedness, where

Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in,

you shall rest forever and ever.

1 Revelation 21:4

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Morning Coffee – 05/22/14

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

  • A Hope Worth Dying For
  • Death is not termination but initiation—the start of an existence far better than anything we can imagine.

  • Back to Basics: The Church
  • If the church has a wrong view of its purpose in the world, its ministries will be ineffective, and its members will be poorly equipped and spiritually immature.

  • 8 Lessons on Evangelism from Proverbs
  • Solomon is not a lecturer, he’s a pleader. Solomon is not simply reciting facts, he’s persuading souls. . . He’s calling, alluring, beseeching, appealing, and imploring.

  • Another Try
  • There are times when the best place to stand is on the margins and the best place to play is in the second division.

  • Bonhoeffer and Blind Spots
  • We easily identify blind spots in contexts other than our own while nurturing our own forms of blindness. Our own blind spots would not be so if we could see them (that’s why they are aptly named).

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Links

 

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Building on Eternal Truths

Building on Eternal Truths

In the words of my Selected General Epistles professor, “1 Peter has become a dear friend.” It is a bastion of comfort, hope, and timeless reminders. Going through a tough time? 1 Peter is your book! This morning’s Morning and Evening encourages us to search our hearts with the spotlight of self-examination.

1 Peter 2:1-3 says:

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

2 Corinthians 13:5 is a great companion to today’s devotional.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Doubt has no place in a believer’s life. However, self-examination is a healthy and necessary component for assurance. As Spurgeon urges, we should not rest until we have a full assurance of our interest in Jesus.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1 Peter 2:3

“If.” Then this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race. “If”—then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious. “If”—then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is necessary to ask whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favor that may not be a matter for heart-searching.

But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content while there is any such thing as an “if” about his having tasted that the Lord is good. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to the question even in the believer’s heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Savior in the arms of faith and say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”1

Do not rest, believer, until you have a full assurance of your interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy you until, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit, you are identified as a child of God. Do trifle with this. Do not be satisfied with “perhaps” or “if” or “maybe.” Build on eternal truths; really build upon them. Let your anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that your soul is linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Get beyond these dreary “ifs”; stay no longer in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the promised land of peace, where the land ceases not to flow with milk and honey.

1 2 Timothy 1:12

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: The Unmerciful Servant

Let it go?

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Video

 

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Passing on the Truth Part 2

Here is the follow-up message to this excellent sermon.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Video

 

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