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Archive for April, 2011

I hope I can say this as I prepare to die one day.

From DG:

Andrew Rivet was a devout theologian at the University of Leyden who died in 1651 at the age of 78. The approach of his death became a seminary for his soul. I pray it will be this way for you and me. Here is what he wrote just before his death.

The sense of divine favor increases in me every moment. My pains are tolerable, and my joys inestimable. I am no more vexed with earthly cares.

I remember when any new book came out, how earnestly I have longed after it—but now all that is but dust. You are my all, O Lord; my good is to approach to you. O what a library I have in God, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!

You are the teacher of spirits—I have learned more divinity in these ten days that you have come to visit me, than I did in fifty years before.

(Archibald Alexander, Thoughts on Religious Experience [London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967], 207)

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Great reminder about the true source of contentment:

The following excerpt is taken from Stephen Altrogge’s new book, The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence (Crossway, 2011), pages 65–66:

In the gospel we have full, free, open access to God. This isn’t “come once a year, kill a lamb, and hope you don’t die” access to God. We don’t need to whip ourselves into a twirling religious frenzy or to light sticks of incense. There’s no need to walk ten miles with broken glass in our shoes or wash ourselves clean in a sacred river. We can come into the presence of God at all times and at all places.

This is the greatest benefit of the gospel. Forgiveness of sins, a new heart, and eternal life are only a means to this magnificent end. Jesus Christ ushers us into the presence of God, and it’s in the presence of God that we find our soul’s deepest satisfaction. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

A speedboat, job promotion, or beautiful, loving spouse who likes long walks on the beach can’t bring fullness of joy. Eternal pleasures can’t be purchased with a platinum credit card. Full, overflowing, eternal joy and pleasure are found only in the presence of God, and in the gospel we have access to his joyful presence….

If we’re not consistently spending time in the presence of God, we won’t be content.

Period.

Nicely said.

For more background on The Greener Grass Conspiracy, watch the trailer here:

Sovereign Grace Ministries

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This online resource is now, in my opinion, the easiest way to interact with the Greek text of the New Testament with advanced searches, intuitive design, parsing, interlinears, etc. It’s only $10 for lifetime access, and can do most of the things that you’d pay hundreds of dollars for elsewhere.

The price goes up to $14.99 on May 13.


You can try it for free at ESV Online, under the Content tab. Or you can purchase it atcrossway.org/GRKTLS.

You can see a video introduction and some explanation below:

ESV GreekTools puts the original language of the New Testament into the hands of beginning and advanced students, as well as seasoned pastors, scholars, and laymen looking for an affordable and accessible Greek reference tool. Intuitive, easy-to-use, and fully customizable, ESV GreekTools is an online application available through the ESVBible.org platform. Now you can do serious work with the Greek text, at home or on the go, no matter your level of proficiency.

Features:

  • Complete NA27 Greek text
  • ESV interlinear and reverse-interlinear renderings of the text
  • Complete data set for each word, including lexical data, contextual and morphological information (including parsings), and Strong’s number.
  • Powerful search tool that lets users search by Greek word, transliterated Greek word, Strong’s number, English word, or any combination of those values
  • Complete English and Greek concordances
  • Customizable interface that works seamlessly with other ESVBible.org features, including study resources and notes.

Helpful documentation and instructions can be found here.

HT:  Justin Taylor

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A strange mixture of themes in the title I know.  But thought I would pass around two posts that really don’t fit well into the emphases of this blog, yet nevertheless are helpful as we seek to fulfill our responsibilities before God. Both are by Professor David Murray, who regularly gets me to think afresh about the Bible and productivity.

I’m sure most of us have thought, “I’m never going to get to this.”  Here’s how one wife helped her husband with that one.

And if you need to be more creative, here are 29 ideas he found helpful that you might as well.

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Our men’s group is reading Christ Formed in You by Brian Hedges.  Today we are discussing the theme of holiness from chapter 6 of the book.  It is full of many encouraging, helpful quotes about holiness as author Brian Hedges works through various questions about holiness.  Here are three I’ve been thinking on.  I will share a few more on Monday.

Holiness is a most beautiful and lovely thing.  We drink in strange notions of holiness from our childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour, and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely.”–Jonathan Edwards

God’s holiness is not simply the best we know infinitely bettered. We know nothing, like the divine holiness.  It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible, and unattainable.  The natural man is blind to it.  He may fear God’s power and admire His wisdom, but His holiness he cannot even imagine.”–A. W. Tozer

“Sin has infected our thinking with viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.  Our minds are sabotaged by false patterns and thinking, by deceitful desires, and by images, information, and ideologies that distort reality, compromise truth, and lead to futility. The only way to be freed from this deception is to be continually renewed with the truth of the gospel.” — Brian Hedges

When you think of holiness, what comes to your mind?

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The sound/video quality is not the greatest.  But it’s all transcribed for you.  A great and very simple definition of sovereign grace election by Paul Washer (a very powerful preacher in the pulpit).  Not a theologian?  No problem.  He makes it accessible for all.

(HT: Reformation Theology)

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From an interview with TableTalk with Dr. Albert Mohler.

This is worth chewing on for a bit today and remembering for awhile.

Although there are many, is there one lesson the Lord has taught you that you would care to share with us?

I think the one great lesson the Lord has taught me over these years is that the importance of the family and the local congregation supersedes every other relationship to which the Christian is called. Christians demonstrate the glory of God and the power of the gospel by the way we marry and stay married, by the way we raise our children, by the way we love each other, and by the way we live faithfully in the congregation of believers. In the end, I fear that far too much energy is devoted to and far too many hopes are invested in institutions, programs, and projects that will not last. The centrality of Christ’s purpose to glorify himself in His church and the blessings of God that are directed to the precious gift of the family — these far exceed our other allegiances.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

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