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Archive for October, 2011

“There he is at five in the morning . . . . on his knees with his English Bible, his Greek New Testament and Henry’s Commentary spread out before him.  He reads a portion in the English, gains a fuller insight into it as he studies words and tenses in the Greek and then considers Matthew Henry’s explanation of it all.  Finally, there comes the unique practice that he has developed: that of ‘praying over every line and word’ of both the English and the Greek till the passage, in its essential message, has veritably become part of his own soul.”

Arnold Dallimore, author of George Whitefield (London, 1970), I:82-83.

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Clint Archer on three things you can do to make the reformers proud today:

1. Read more Bible, less blogs

2.  Use your Latin

3.  Don’t go back to Rome

What’s he talking about?  Clint explains.

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The Christian Post reports:

“With his speech sounding somewhat slurred and labored, Family Radio Stations Inc. founder and chairman Harold Camping sought to address in a recent message why Christ failed to return on Oct. 21 as the Bible teacher had predicted. Camping confessed, after decades of falsely misleading his followers, that he was wrong and regrets his misdeeds.

In addition to attempting to correct his erroneous teachings on the Rapture and God’s day of final judgment on the world, Camping, 90, also confessed, “incidentally,” that he was wrong to claim that God had stopped saving people after May 21 – the date which God’s so-called “spiritual” judgment had begun.”

Read the whole story.

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A great post by Kevin DeYoung.  I have seen this in too many lives.

I’d really encourage you to read through and think about what Kevin says in this article.

Here’s an excerpt:

Resentment is that “friend” that sticks closer than a brother. It allows you to dream of all you could have been and all your might have done if things had gone better for you . . . Resentment provides the comfort of an all-encompassing worldview. Every failure is attributable to some harm done to us. Everyone who disagrees with us is but another example of the hardship we must face. There is no unknown for the resentful person–everything has been decided in advance.

Is there any area of your life where the seed of resentment is trying to plant itself?  Remove it today by God’s grace!  Is there someone in your life who is resentful?  Pray that God will reveal the horrors of this sin to them!

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Praying when life is crazy busy

I can identify with Carlton Wynne who writes:

Lately I’ve been sleeping less to get more done, and therefore feel drained in the doing; so I sleep more and get less done, but worry that I need to work faster. It’s a vicious cycle I’m sure many reading this have experienced.

And how true it is that when life gets hectic, prayer is the first to go, so this reminder is so good.

Reading through some old notes on Calvin’s Institutes made me realize what always gets dropped when life feels like one giant game of whirlyball: prayer. Calvin says that if we do not pray, we are like a man who “neglect[s] a treasure, buried and hidden in the earth, after it had been pointed out to him” (3.20.1). “So true is it,” Calvin explains, “that we dig up by prayer the treasures that were pointed out by the Lord’s gospel, and which our faith has gazed upon” (ibid.). The metaphor is apt: digging is hard work, but digging for a treasure known to be there is worth the effort.

Carlton continues, “Then Calvin offers four rules for prayer–four rules for when we need the basics all over again.”

The four rules are reverence, helplessness, humility, and confidence that God will hear and answer.

Read more about these four here.

Is your life a whirlwind of activity right now? And is everything urgent it seems?  You might think you can’t afford to take time to pray, but when we are crazy busy, we still need to take time to speak often with our Lord!

 

 

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Why do we have to wait?

Paul Tripp gives 5 reasons why we are often called to wait.  He is writing to pastors but the principles are equally applicable to all. Here are the five reasons he gives.

  1. Because we live in a fallen world
  2. Because God is sovereign
  3. Because God is a God of grace
  4. So we can minister to others
  5. For the increase of the glory of God
Read it all here.

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One thing

One Thing

One thing to know:

One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. (John 9:25b)

One thing is necessary:

Mary . . . sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39-42)

One thing to do:

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

One thing to ask for:

One thing have I asked of the LORD ,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.
(Psalm 27:4)

HT: Helen Roseveare via Justin Taylor

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I shared an illustration on Sunday from Erik Raymond who was reminded of this from a recent podcast of The White Horse Inn:

Simply put, if you are an “and God” Christian then you think that God saved you after you have tried and perhaps in conjunction with your trying. However, if you are a “but God” Christian then you believe that God saved you in spite of your deadness, your inability to strive. That is, God saved you by himself, without cooperation from you. And further, he saved you from yourself and your sin.

It is this understanding of utter inability and total depravity that gives way to joyful tears of understanding of such terms as “mercy,” “great love,” “alive,” and “grace.” All of these terms are underscored by our inability and God’s sovereign, conquering grace.

Read the whole article here.

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A prayer by Scotty Smith as a model for asking God for things beyond our own power and ability!

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.Hebrews 11:11

Heavenly Father, I’ve always loved Sarah’s story, for I’ve laughed the laugh of unbelief many times myself (Genesis 18:10-15). I understand her incredulity. How could her barren womb possibly bring forth Israel’s next patriarch? She doubted you and then she lied about her doubts—and you loved her. And here she is, showing up in the “fall of fame of faith” in Hebrews 11—chronicled as a woman who considered you faithful to do what you had promised you would do. And thus, Isaac was born. There is no other God like you.

It’s always been about your great faithfulness, not our great faith. The only real hero in your story is Jesus—in whom all your promises find their “Yes!” (2 Cor. 1:20) And so we come to you today asking you to do things well beyond our power—looking to Jesus, not to ourselves.

There are things many of us are facing which, on the surface, seem just as unlikely, just as daunting, just as impossible as Sarah giving birth to Isaac. Bring much glory to yourself as you hear and answer the cries of our hearts, Father.

For friends whose hearts have grown indifferent, even cold towards you, we ask you to bring new life into the barrenness of their souls.  It’s hard to watch some of your previously faithful servants become disillusioned and disconnected. How does a cynical saint become childlike again? How can vain regrets be trumped by renewed affections? with Pour out your Spirit, Father, in the name of Jesus.

In church families under assault of the enemy, in the entanglements of pettiness, over their heads in messes—do exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. Replace rancor with revival; gossiping with gospeling; armchair quarterbacking with bent-knee praying; a spirit of retaliation with the spirit of reconciliation. Pour out your Spirit, Father, in the name of Jesus.

On those of us facing ill-timed crises; anxious about rebellious children; wanting to flee dead marriages; fearful of acknowledging not-so-hidden addictions; mired in toxic self-righteousness; paralyzed by guilt and shame; entering major transitions; weak in the face of strong temptations… running out of money, time and hope… on us, pour out your Spirit, Father, in the name of Jesus.

“Great is your faithfulness, oh God our Father. There is no shadow of turning with you. You do not change and your compassion does not fail. As you have been, you will ever be. Great is your faithfulness! Great is your faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies we see. All we have needed your hand has provided, great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto us!” So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ strong and loving name.

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Here are a few posts I have found helpful:

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