Even if you don’t like football or USC, this will inspire you and make your cry and very thankful that you could see this post!
Archive for November, 2009
Charles Darwin (who believed man evolved) influenced Thomas Huxley (who developed and promoted agnosticism) who discipled H. G. Wells (who promoted social darwinism) who highly shaped the worldview of Margaret Sanger (she was the popular supporter of eugenics and founder of planned parenthood) who influenced Adolf Hitler.
Ideas have consequences.
Here are the post in the series by Phil Johnson on the morality of gambling:
- Is Gambling OK? Don’t Bet on It
- Gambling: Some Definitions and Distinctions
- Answering a couple of objections
- Oh, and one more thing . . .
- Gambling vs. Faithful Stewardship
- Does ‘Mutual Consent’ Eliminate the Evil in Gambling?
- A good question
- The Sin of Putting God to the Test
- Gambling: The Moral Antithesis of Charity
The answer is: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9). It may interest you that, according to those who have time to figure such things out, these verses are the middle verses of the Bible. I am told that in the KJV there are 31,174 verses (though verse divisions were not part of the original manuscripts). These verses are numbers 15,587 and 15,588. Interesting yes, life-changing probably not. But I can’t think of two better verses to remind us of our need for rescue than these.The verses are identical except for the last word–”man” and “princes.”
Why is it better to take refuge in the Lord than in man or princes? Albert Barnes says it memorably,
1) because man is weak and God is Almighty 2) because man is selfish but God is benevolent 3) b/c man is often faithless and deceitful–God never 4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind, and friendly he may be–but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us; and 5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to the present life–the power of God will be there for all eternity.
Tulian, a pastor who has been through an incredibly stressful year, writes why he is thankful for his pain. Here are two brief paragraphs:
As crazy as this might sound, I have finally come to the place where I am genuinely thankful for all of the pain and difficulty and loss I experienced this year. As much as my family and I suffered, I look back on the way God used our desperation to make us more dependent on him and I am deeply grateful. In fact, I told a friend the other day that I wouldn’t trade one desperate, difficult day for all the dollars in the world. Seriously!. . . .
To be thankful for our comforts only is to make an idol of this life. “God-sent afflictions”, says Maurice Roberts, “have a health-giving effect upon the soul” because they are the medicine used to purge the soul of self-centeredness and this world’s vanities. Pain, in other words, sharpens us, matures us, and gives us clear “eye-sight.” Pain transforms us like nothing else can. It turns us into “solid” people. Roberts continues, “Those who have been in the crucible have lost more of their scum.” All of this should cause us to be deeply thankful.
If you are in pain or stress, or know one who is, do yourself a favor. Read the whole post.
The answer is Psalm 118, of which Luther wrote,
“This is my own beloved Psalm. Although the entire Psalter and all of Holy Scripture are dear to me as my only comfort and source of life, I fell in love with this psalm especially. Therefore I call it my own. When emperors and kings, the wise and the learned, and even the saints could not aid me, this psalm proved a friend and helped me out of many great troubles. As a result, it is dearer to me than all the wealth, honor, and power of the pope, the Turk, and the emperor. I would be most unwilling to trade this psalm for all of it.”
Between shopping, eating leftovers, watching football, or whatever else you are doing, enjoy these incredible pics that have been entered into the National Geographic International Photography Contest (sorry the deadline for entry has passed for your entry)! Wow! How are they going to decide the winnter?
This is to whet your appetite!
I have not adopted into a physical family! God gave me a wonderful, godly set of parents who raised me from birth till I graduated from college and was married. What a privilege to be raised by godly parents and parents who stayed together and loved each other. (Do you know that 60% of children born today will not experience a “family” as God intended it to be: born to parents who are married first and who remain married for the child’s first 18 years of life). I am thankful for God’s blessing of having a stable, intact home life. I am also very grateful for those who adopt children who are parent-less for one reason or another.
But I am adopted in another sense, a greater sense! I have been adopted by God. He is my Father! And his adoption of me was not necessary, but oh how grateful I am.
I am also grateful for a series of blog posts by C. J. Mahaney on the theme of our spiritual adoption and weaves in some stories about human adoption–see third post below) I recommend them to you:
Here are ten more reasons to be thankful!
11. For love demonstrated by others: “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3, ESV).
12. For faith expressed by others:“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” (Romans 1:8, ESV).
13. For grace given to others:“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Corinthians 1:4, ESV).
14. For care displayed by others: “But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.” (2 Corinthians 8:16, ESV).
15. For the nearness of God: “We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.” (Psalm 75:1, ESV).
16. For the privilege of strength: “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,” (1 Timothy 1:12, ESV).
17. For earthly pleasures: “who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,” (1 Timothy 4:3-4, ESV).
18. For all people“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,” (1 Timothy 2:1, ESV).
19. For all things: “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11, ESV).
20. For anything else that I have forgotten in the above!
The #1 item I am thankful for today is to be in Christ Jesus! I am thankful for God’s Word, for all the precious doctrines of Scripture, for the Godhead! I am thankful for my family, for my country, for God’s provisions to us, my health, and so much more. But more than all of that I am thankful to be in Christ today! I have grace flowing from Christ today. It is according to His glorious riches that God meets every need. I have fellowship with Christ today! How thankful I am to be in Christ. Today I want to make much of Christ!
Christianity is all about grace and it is about Christ. This is illustrated well in the book of Philippians where Paul just keeps talking about Christ from beginning to end. Christ or other titles relating to him appear 40 times in this book of just over 100 verses—that is about one mention every 2.5 verses. John MacArthur summarizes these references this way:
“Paul described himself as a servant of Christ (1:1); he addressed the Philippians as saints in Christ (1:1); his imprisonment was for the cause of Christ (1:13); for him to live was Christ (1:21) and death ushered him into Christ’s presence (1:23); he exhorted the Philippians to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of Christ (1:26) by having the attitude of Christ (2:5); he called for them to glory in Christ (3:3); he counted everything in his past as garbage in view of the riches he found in Christ (3:8); he was saved by faith in Christ (3:9); he eagerly awaited Christ’s return (3:20); and his sufficiency was in Christ (4:19).”
The apostle expresses his hope, intentions, resolutions and plans in relation to Christ. I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you!
We are to rejoice in Christ. We find pardon and peace in Christ. Christ is the fountain of all knowledge and peace. He wants to know Christ, the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
He calls on us to stand firm in the Lord, to be of one mind in the Lord, to be calm and gentle knowing that the Lord is at hand.
And now his last message of blessing brings them to depend on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Commentator Handley Moule sums it up:
“What a witness it all is to the glory of our beloved Redeemer; to the majesty of His person; to the fullness and perfection of His work; the solidity, the sobriety, the strength, of the faith which is in Him! There is no inflation or rhetoric in the language of the epistle about Him. Glowing with love, it is clear and calm. Yes, for Christ Jesus is not a phantom of the fancy; a hope floating on the thick waves of wild enthusiasm. He is an anchor, sure and steadfast. Blessed are those who ride secure on the deep, held fast by Him.
The epistle witnesses to Him as to a treasure worth all our seeking, at any cost; infinitely precious to our joyful finding; infinitely deserving of our keeping, of our holding, our “apprehending,” as He in His mercy had laid hold of us, and will keep hold of us, even to the end; “unto the day of Jesus Christ.”
Among the many things for which you give thanks this day, don’t forget to give thanks that you are in Christ!