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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Happy Monday: The Break Up

Breaking up is hard to do…

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Video

 

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Looking to Jesus

Looking to Jesus

This morning’s Morning and Evening reminds us that we are nothing and Christ is everything. We cannot afford to trade the sight of our Savior for a view of ourselves. Today’s passage is taken from Hebrews 12:2.

…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.

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

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Looking to Jesus… — Hebrews 12:2

It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus. But Satan’s work is just the opposite; he is constantly trying to make us look at ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within.

But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits.

Therefore, do not look so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ as to Christ; do not look to your hope but to Jesus, the source of your hope; do not look to your faith, but to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith.

We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we are to overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking to Jesus.”

Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon your mind. When you waken in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/26/14

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

  • Lawless Christians?
  • What is the difference between the sins of believers and unbelievers? When a believer sins, is it the same as when an unbeliever sins?

  • Naming the New Calvinism
  • To identify the current Reformation-oriented crowd as “neo-Calvinist” is to confuse a venerable movement that focuses on God’s sovereignty over creation with a current movement that focuses on God’s sovereignty in salvation.

  • What Does It Mean to Be An “Unprofitable Servant”?
  • When Jesus said that we are unprofitable servants, He did not mean that our service is of no value. Jesus frequently called His disciples to be productive. Rather, He meant that we gain no “bonus points” or merit from our service.

  • Sustainable Preaching
  • An expository message translates a text from the original, analyzes its structure, and draws on literary and cultural contexts to discover and communicate what the text meant both to the author and also the first audience and then what it means to believers through the years, including our day.

  • True Love – 1 John 4:7-13
  • We love them enough to share the hope of Christ. And they might reject us or our message. But we don’t do it for acceptance. We do it because we love them.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in Links

 

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Mountaineers

Mountaineers

This morning’s Morning and Evening reminds us that the higher we climb, the more we see of Christ. This is an observation that every believer can attest to. We know more of Him today than we did yesterday and we long for the day when we will know Him fully. Is the climb worth it? Nothing compares to growing in the knowledge of Christ.

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

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Get you up to a high mountain… — Isaiah 40:9

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of the mountains in Wales. When you are at the base you see only a little: the mountain itself appears to be only half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles around, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Higher still, and the scene enlarges; until at last, when you are on the summit and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all of England lying before you. There is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, “I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation.”

Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ, we see only a little of Him. The higher we climb, the more we discover of His beauty. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ that passes knowledge? When Paul had grown old and was sitting gray-haired and shivering in a dungeon in Rome, he was able to say with greater emphasis than we can, “I know whom I have believed,”1 for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole panorama of the faithfulness and love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Get up, dear friend, into a high mountain.

1 2 Timothy 1:12

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Devotional

 

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The Unturned Burn

The Unturned Burn

Occasionally, a well-crafted, articulate devotional enters the scene. The author’s intent is clear, concise, and virtually every line is laced with quotability. This morning’s Morning and Evening is such an achievement. It contains pithy statements of candor such as: “although sanctification might not be complete in you, still it must be at work in you” and “the saint in public is a devil in private.”

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

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Ephraim is a cake not turned. — Hosea 7:8

A cake not turned is uncooked on one side; and so Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: Though there was partial obedience, there was too much rebellion left. My soul, I charge you to see whether this is true of you. Are you thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone to the very center of your being so that its divine operation is felt in all your powers, your actions, your words, and your thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be your aim and prayer; and although sanctification might not be complete in you, still it must be at work in you. There must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another; otherwise you will also be a cake not turned.

A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth that they overemphasize; others are charred to a cinder with a self-congratulatory pharisaic performance of those religious activities that suit their mood. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness, and the saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake that is burned on one side is dough on the other.

This is true of me, Lord Jesus; turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of Your love, and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and lack of heat when I am removed from Your heavenly flame. Let me not be a double-minded man, but one who is entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace. I know only too well that if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of Your grace, I will be consumed forever in everlasting burnings.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: Hello Brother!

He hath blessedeth me so verily…

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Video

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/21/14

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

  • Bitter Pills: 4 Unpleasantries that Make for Healthy Churches
  • I’m not saying all good churches leave a constant bitter taste lingering on your palette. But if you find these attitudes to be too bitter to swallow, perhaps its time to consider whether you’re looking for a biblical, healthy church that please Jesus, or if you are looking for a social club focused on keeping its clientele comfortable.

  • What Is Hell?
  • There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.

  • The Deep Joy of Self-Denial
  • And therefore, we silence those false claims that the old person inside us would otherwise promote. We renounce them, and we set our eyes on heaven, even through the things of this earth, for behold, “[our] reward is great in heaven.”

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Links

 

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