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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Waiting Well

In keeping with today’s theme, here is our first chapel message for the Fall semester.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Video

 

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Wait? I Hate Waiting…

Wait? I Hate Waiting…

Learning to wait is one of life’s hardest lessons. Most of us echo this sentiment on a daily basis.

When darkness comes, our inclinations are to run away from danger or throw ourselves headlong into the fight. We run because we are afraid. We foolishly attack because we rely too much on our own strength or assume we have God’s plan figured out for ourselves.

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to faithfully remember where our help comes from. A patient pause will often protect us from anxiety, fear, retreat, and presumptuous folly. Time and again, the noblest course of action is simply to wait.

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

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Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! — Psalm 27:14

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures that a Christian soldier cannot learn without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier for God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, does not know what role to play. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Retreat back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the matter before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of help.

In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is best to be humble as a child and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly and are genuinely willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is just an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keeps you waiting even until midnight, He will still come at the right time; the vision will come and not delay. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because things are difficult, but blessing your God for the privilege of affliction.

Never grumble against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the circumstance as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any selfish agenda, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Yours be done. I do not know what to do. I am at an end of myself, but I will wait until You part the floods or drive back my enemies. I will wait, even if You test me for a while, for my heart is fixed upon You alone, O God, and my spirit waits for You in the deep conviction that You will still be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Devotional

 

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The Monster of Unbelief

The Monster of Unbelief

Doubt and unbelief are monstrous sins that produce severe consequences. Thomas Watson once wrote…

There are no sins God’s people are more subject to than unbelief and impatience. They are ready either to faint through unbelief, or to fret through impatience.

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to continually hack the Agag of our unbelief. It is a fight no one can afford to lose. As Spurgeon points out, to distrust Christ is a needless, foolish, and unwarranted sin. “Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated.”

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

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And how long will they not believe in me,
in spite of all the signs
that I have done among them? — Numbers 14:11

Strive with all diligence to keep out the monster of unbelief. It is so dishonoring to Christ that He will withdraw His visible presence if we insult Him by tolerating it. It is true it is a weed that we can never entirely remove from the soil, but we must aim at its root with zeal and perseverance. Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated. Its hurtful nature is so poisonous that he that uses it and he upon whom it is used are both harmed by it. In your case, believer, it is most wicked, for the mercies of your Lord in the past increase your guilt in doubting Him now. When you distrust the Lord Jesus, He may well cry out, “Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down.” To doubt is to crown His head with thorns of the sharpest kind.

It is very cruel for a well-beloved wife to mistrust a kind and faithful husband. The sin is needless, foolish, and unwarranted. Jesus has never given the slightest ground for suspicion, and it is hard to be doubted by those to whom our conduct is consistently affectionate and true. Jesus is the Son of the Highest and has unlimited wealth; it is shameful to doubt Omnipotence and distrust His sufficiency. The cattle on a thousand hills will be enough for our most hungry feeding, and the granaries of heaven are not likely to be emptied by our eating. If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness, but who can drain a fountain? Countless believers throughout the ages have drawn their supplies from Him, and not one of them has complained at the insufficiency of His resources.

Dispel this lying traitor unbelief, for his only errand is to cut the bonds of communion and make us mourn an absent Savior. Bunyan tells us that unbelief has “as many lives as a cat”; if so, let us kill one life now, and continue the work until the whole nine are gone. Down with you, traitor, my heart detests you.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: Romantically Challenged

“I don’t think that’s what the Ephesians 5 passage means…”

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Video

 

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No More Tears

No More Tears

Heaven matters. In his book, Of God and Men, A. W. Tozer writes…

We must face today as children of tomorrow. We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come.

Today’s Morning and Evening draws our attention towards the future hope we have in Christ Jesus.

Suffering is temporary. The eternal joy of our Savior awaits us. Once all cause for sorrow has come to an end, so will our need for tears.

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

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I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress. — Isaiah 65:19

In heaven the glorified do not weep, for all outward causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships, nor unfulfilled longings in heaven. Poverty, famine, danger, persecution, and slander are unknown there. There will be no pain to distress us, no anxious thoughts of death or bereavement to sadden. Those there do not weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No evil heart of unbelief prompts them to depart from the living God; they are faultless before His throne and fully conformed to His image. Well might they stop mourning since they have stopped sinning. They do not weep, because all fear of change is past.

They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They are safe in a city that will never be taken; they bask in a sun that shall never set; they drink of a river that will never run dry; they pluck fruit from a tree that will never wither. Countless cycles may revolve, but eternity will not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their immortality and blessedness shall endure with it.

They are forever with the Lord. They do not weep because every desire is fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that they do not have. Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire and will—all the faculties are completely satisfied; and although our present ideas of what God has prepared for those who love him are imperfect, still we know by the revelation of the Spirit that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessing.

That same joyful rest awaits us. It may not be too long before the weeping willow is exchanged for the palm-branch of victory, and sorrow’s tears will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss. “Therefore encourage one other with these words.”1

1 1 Thessalonians 4:18

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Giving and Getting

Giving and Getting

Giving to get and getting to give… today’s Morning and Evening highlights the reciprocal nature of providing for others.

The best medicines typically oppose our inclinations. Need comfort? Be a comfort to someone else. There is so much benefit in serving others, but those gains are not our only motivators. As Christ’s servants, we have been called to the task. Galatians 5:13-14 says…

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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

* * * * *

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered. — Proverbs 11:25

We are taught here the great lesson that to get, we must give; to accumulate, we must scatter; to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and unused gifts that become apparent by exercise. Our strength for work is even hidden from ourselves until we take our stand and fight the Lord’s battles or climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow’s tears and soothe the orphan’s grief.

We often find in attempting to teach others that we gain instruction for ourselves. What gracious lessons some of us have learned in visiting the sick! We went to teach the Scriptures, and we came away blushing that our knowledge of them was so poor. In our conversation with humble saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it, and how much the humble saint may outstrip us in knowledge.

Our own comfort is also increased by working for others. We endeavor to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Consider the two men in the snow—one massaged the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in doing so kept his own blood circulating and saved his own life. Remember the poor widow who supplied the prophet’s needs from her own meager resources, and from that day she never experienced need again. Give, and it will be given to you—good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: Hearitol

Men… how many times has this happened to you?

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Video

 

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