Applying the truth from the hard soil in Jesus’ parable in Mark:
“The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. ” (Mark 4:14–15, ESV)
Beware of being so busy that the path to your heart is beaten down and hardened. What a picture of our day: a warning to people on the go. This is “a warning to people on the go–who have no time for contemplation. How does God often break up such hard ground? Often times he reaches this heart by bringing a trial that arrests the pace of the crammed life. Grace comes through slowing down Difficulties come and make us quit busyness―then the Word of God falls powerfully on such a heart.
“When they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.” This is portrayed in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis when the demon Wormwood spots a man in the British Museum. He is reading, and his reading suggests a train of thought which sets him on the path of spiritual inquiry. But Screwtape, devil that he is, intervenes by making the man terribly hungry for lunch.
Once he was in the street the battle was won. I showed him a newsboy shouting the midday paper, and a No. 73 bus going past, and before he reached the bottom of the steps I had got into him an unalterable conviction that, whatever odd ideas might come into a man’s head when he was shut up alone with his books, a healthy dose of “real life” [by which he meant the bus and the newsboy] was enough to show him that “that sort of thing” just couldn’t be true.
I fear that may be some here today. Is that you? Have you heard the Word again and again and again? You just live out there and let sins just stomp you hard day after day after day, week after week, after week, you live this unfenced unprotected life where it’s just overrun by the trampling of iniquity? Is that you? And you come and God’s Word is preached and before you’ve gone a mile out of here, the Word is gone. Are you so comfortable where you are in your unbelief that you’re impenetrable? That’s a scary place to be. You need to cry out to God to plow deeply your hard heart.
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David Murray is providing a Bible reading plan that he has designed for his children to use. It is designed for 8-10 year olds in mind, although it can be adapted for a bit younger or even older children. Actually his whole family is participating (obviously the older ones are reading more than what is suggested) so that they can all talk about the same Scripture reading each day.
David lists the reasons why he is doing it and some of the goals he hopes this will help his family attain spiritually.
Give it a look! If you don’t have any current plan right now, try it out. I hope some might find it helpful.
Here’s David’s post.
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Posted in Genesis, Uncategorized, tagged sin on October 5, 2010 |
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Martin Luther thought pretty deeply on Genesis 3–in relation to Adam and Eve’s sin. In his commentary on this chapter he reminds us of three lessons about followed by a brief excerpt.
1. Sin is progressive: it constantly compounds itself:
“Let us learn, then, that this perversion and stupidity always accompany sin and that sinners accuse themselves by their excuses and betray themselves by their defense, especially before God. … This is the nature of sin: unless God immediately provides a cure and calls the sinner back, he flees endlessly from God and, by excusing his sin with lies, heaps sin upon sin until he arrives at blasphemy and despair. Thus sin by its own gravitation always draws with it another sin and brings on eternal destruction, till finally the sinful person would rather accuse God than acknowledge his own sin. Adam should have said: ‘Lord, I have sinned.’ But he does not do this. He accuses God of sin and says in reality: ‘Thou, Lord, hast sinned. For I would have remained holy in Paradise after eating of the fruit if Thou hadst kept quiet.’ This is in reality the meaning of his words when he says: ‘I would not have fled if Thy voice had not frightened me.’
2. Sin is the same everywhere
“Eve, too, is put before us as an example; and when she is corrupted by sin, she is not one whit better than Adam. Adam wanted to appear innocent; he passed on his guilt from himself to God, who had given him his wife. Eve also tries to excuse herself and accuses the serpent. … So we see that sin is and acts the same everywhere. It does not want to be sin; it does not want to be punished because of sin. It wants to be righteous. When it cannot achieve this, it puts the guilt on God, so that it accuses God of a lie when he accuses sin. Thus out of a human sin comes a sin that is clearly demonic; unbelief turns into blasphemy, disobedience into contempt of the Creator.”
3. Sin is blinds us to the goodness of God
“The beginnings of this affair, if we evaluate them properly, are more lenient than what Adam deserved. There is not that terrible sight as on Mt. Sinai, where trumpet blasts were mingled with flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. But God comes in a very soft breeze to indicate that the reprimand will be fatherly. He does not drive Adam away from himself because of his sin, but he calls him and calls him back from his sin. Yet Adam does not understand or see this fatherly concern, since he is overwhelmed by his sin and terror.”
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Posted in Theology, tagged Tozer on October 5, 2010 |
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Recently I have been encouraging God’s people at GHBC to pray every day for some specific requests. But before they pray about the requests I encourage them to think about God rightly. One brother sent me a list of 40 names of God that A. W. Tozer had put together. I have been sending one name a day to the congregation. Before the list though was an excerpt from Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy which I have often read. I share it with you today for your edification.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God. Thought and speech are God’s gifts to creatures made in His image; these are intimately associated with Him and impossible apart from Him. It is highly significant that the first word was the Word: “And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We may speak because God spoke. In Him word and idea are indivisible.
That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence. Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.
A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well. It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.”
–A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
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