O saints, do but let your thoughts dwell upon the love of Christ, who passed by angels and thought of you, who was wounded that, out of his wounds, the balm of Gilead might come to heal you; who leaped into the sea of his Father’s wrath, to save you from drowning.
Tim Challies is in the middle of a series which examines ”some of Christianity’s most notorious false teachers. Along the way we will visit such figures as Arius, Servetus, Fosdick, and even a few you might find on television today.”
So far he has profiled Muhammed, Pelagius and Arius. It’s helpful to know these “dead” false teachers because many of their heresies still flourish today. An ounce of history might be worth avoiding a lot of heartache. So read and beware!
Many more to come.
I think many will relate to and be helped by this post by Tony Reinke:
Loneliness can be an embarrassing topic we don’t like to talk about or admit to. Yet all of us are familiar with it, to some degree, because loneliness is an inescapable consequence of the fall.
No surprise, we get requests for more content on loneliness. To that end, let me introduce Paul Matthies. Paul is a Christian, former missionary in Asia, current pastor in Texas, he’s single and he has openly shared his struggle with loneliness over the years. In the summer of 2006, while serving as a pastor at The Village Church, Matthies preached a four-part sermon series titled “Only the Lonely” (links available below). The series offers a much-needed biblical theology of loneliness and is filled with mature thoughts on the problem, and wise words of gospel hope, for those enduring its pain.
Recently I went through the four sermons and pulled out 20 quotes to share the flavor of the hope offered in these messages.
“Loneliness is a common human experience. Meaning that all of us, whether single or married, whether for a short period of time or for an extended season, deal with loneliness. Why so? Well that leads into my second aim that loneliness is, at it’s root, a spiritual issue. But often we define loneliness in physical or emotional terms. We think loneliness can be defined by the absence of people whether physically or emotionally. So we think to ourselves, ‘What we need to do to fix our problem of loneliness is to have more people in our lives.’ And when that doesn’t work we think, ‘Well, we needmore considerate people in our lives.’ And so I talked about how we define loneliness as emotional or physical. But that doesn’t complete the picture because loneliness is also the presence of pain. Loneliness is not just the absence of people, it’s the presence of pain, the pain of separation from God and others. It began in the Garden of Eden when Adam decided to choose the pleasures of sin, and in doing so, inherited the pain of loneliness.”
“The worst type of loneliness comes from our sin and disobedience. We do it to ourselves through the pleasures of sin. . . . The second type of loneliness is that loneliness that comes upon us through our circumstances. Not all loneliness is our fault. Sometimes we’re thrust into it. . . . The third type of loneliness comes upon us through our obedience and courage, the loneliness that comes from being Christ’s disciple.”
“In Philippians 3:10, Paul uses the phrase, ‘the fellowship of his sufferings.’ So many of us love to enter into the fellowship of God’s joy, but Scripture also calls us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. And sometimes, we don’t need avoid the pain or numb the pain, we need to look at that pain and ask God for a deeper joy.”
Much more at 20 Quotes on Loneliness
Family teaches us about God’s nature, his gospel and his church, and family ministers to both the church and the world. No wonder, then, that Satan is always attacking the family and no wonder he will stop at nothing to attack your family. If he can destroy family, he can destroy these powerful metaphors and these powerful ministries. If he can distort or destroy the family, he can make the gospel opaque to those who are not yet saved.
More at Why Satan Hates Your Family
It’s fundamentally impossible to be in a situation, location, or relationship where he is not present. It’s impossible for anything to exist outside of the sphere of his control. It’s impossible for anything or anyone to be more powerful than him. It’s impossible for anything or anyone to be wiser than him. It’s impossible for what he desires and has chosen and planned not to come to be. He rules every microbe of physical and spiritual creation. There is no rule of law that stands above him. There is no one to whom he must answer. He is perfect in every way, existing entirely without flaw of will or character. He is the beginning and epicenter of everything that’s good, loving, wise, and true. He never forgets, and he never fails to deliver on any of his promises. And Scripture says that he exercises his rule for the sake of his body, the church (see Eph. 2:22-23).
You are secure not because you have control or understanding. You are secure even though you are weak, imperfect, and shortsighted. You are secure for one reason and one reason alone: God exists and he is your Father, He will never leave your side.
[Excerpt from Paul Tripp, A Shelter in the Time of Storm.]
The Lord permits us to feel our weakness, that we may be sensible of it; for though we are ready in words to confess that we are weak, we do not so properly know it, till that secret, though unallowed, dependence we have upon some strength in ourselves is brought to the trial, and fails us. To be humble, and, like a little child, afraid of taking a step alone, and so conscious of snares and dangers around us, as to cry to him continually to hold us up that we may be safe, is the sure, the infallible, the only secret of walking closely with him.
~ John Newton