Archive for March, 2010
Erik quotes Ryle:
We must not be content with a vague belief that Christ’s sufferings on the cross were vicarious. We are intended to see this truth in every part of His passion.
We may follow Him all through, from the bar of Pilate to the minute of His death, and see Him at every step as our mighty substitute, our representative, our head, our surety, our proxy – the divine friend who under took to stand in our place and, by the priceless merit of his sufferings, to purchase our redemption.
Was He flogged? It was done so that “by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Was He condemned, though innocent? It was done so that we might be acquitted, though guilty.
Did He wear a crown of thorns? It was done so that we might wear the crown of glory.
Was He stripped of His clothes? It was done so that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness.
Was He mocked and reviled? It was done so that we might be honored and blessed.
Was He reckoned a criminal, and counted among those who have done wrong? It was done so that we might be reckoned innocent, and declared free from all sin.
Was He declared unable to save Himself? It was done so that he might be able to save others to the uttermost.
Did He die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful death? It was done so that we might live forevermore, and be exalted to the highest glory.
~ from “The Sufferings of Christ” by J.C. Ryle in Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross: Experiencing The Passion and Power of Easter, edited by Nancy Guthrie, pp. 58-59.
On the lighter side in the middle of this week–WORLD reports:
Finally, some good news for those chocolate lovers out there! A new study proves that small doses of chocolate everyday can lower your chances of having heart problems by nearly 40 percent, AP reports.
German researchers followed around 20,000 people over eight years and found that those who had an average of six grams of chocolate a day, about the size of one square of chocolate, had a 39 percent lower chance of getting heart attack or stroke.
The article goes on with a couple of paragraphs about white vs. dark chocolate and the danger of eating too much chocolate. So eat your favorite candy bar but make sure you read the rest here.
Persecution blog has this announcement:
Recently, Tom White, from The Voice of the Martyrs USA and Michael Wurmbrand, the son of the founder of VOM, Richard Wurmbrand, had the opportunity to go to Romania and visit the prison that Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand spent time in.
This is an amazing journey into one of the most depressing and desolate prisons. In this 30 minute video you will hear Richard Wurmbrand share his feelings about his mom and dad being in this prison.
You’ll also see Tom White share about his time in prison and how Richard Wurmbrand offered to take his place while he served in a Cuban prison. And you’ll also see the barbed wire that Tom takes to commemorate his visit to the prison.
There are also other moving testimonies in this short film, that will move your heart.
This is an amazing video of the never seen before prison of the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. Please take some time to watch this and be inspired. And may this continue to spur you on to pray for the persecuted church worldwide.
The songwriter said it well:
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
–John H. Sammis
Some great counsel from Darrin Patrick:
I have always struggled with prayer as a Christian. I was sharing my frustration one day with my seminary professor and spiritual disciplines guru Don Whitney. Dr. Whitney shared with me a quote for George Müller, a godly giant of the faith who also struggled with prayer. This is from an entry in George Müller’s diary, dated May 7, 1841.
- I saw more clearly than ever that the first great primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord . . . not how much I might serve the Lord, . . . but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers . . . and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit. Before this time my practice had been . . . to give myself to prayer after having dressed myself in the morning. Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the Word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.
Whitney pointed out that Müller excelled in prayer only after he meditated on Scripture, that “getting his soul happy” was accomplished through meditation, which enabled communion with God through prayer. I became utterly convinced of this method and have sought to practice it ever since.
What Does It Mean to Meditate on Scripture?
The Greek word for meditate means “to attend.” To meditate is to read with attention to what the verse is saying and then seeking to understand the verse its context. The Hebrew words for meditate are hagah, which means to ponder or imagine (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2), and siyach, which means to converse with oneself, to pray (Psalm 119:15).
So meditation is when we pay attention to God’s Word, understanding it in relation to its context. It involves pondering God’s Word, asking questions about the application of its truth, speaking that truth to oneself, and using God’s Word in prayer to God himself. Below is a sample meditation following these guidelines.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
- What does it mean that God is my Lord? What is he Lord of?
- What does he want to shepherd me through right now?
- What is my want?
- God, in what ways are you providing for me that I am not even aware of?
“It is in meditation that the heart holds and appropriates the Word. . . . The intellect gathers and prepares the food upon which we are to feed. In meditation the heart takes it in and feeds on it” (Andrew Murray).
Meditation is not just praying, nor is it merely reading Scripture. Meditation is prayerfully reading Scripture, taking God’s Word and turning it into a prayer to God.