Archive for July 16th, 2012

Christopher Ash in The Priority of Preaching:

“We persevere in the hard discipline of immersing ourselves in a Bible book for a preaching series, so that the word gets right into the preacher as the preacher gets into the word.  We wrestle and struggle with the word.  As a preacher friend of mine put it, we lay ourselves on the anvil and come out of our preparation and our preaching hurting, as our own sin is exposed; we ourselves are moved afresh to repentance and faith, as we feel the pain of a rebellious, dying world.  This is what happens as we let a book of the Bible sink deep into us and we immerse ourselves in it.  Those who just relish quiet time in the study and think preparation is an enjoyable experience have missed the point; there is a kind of study and preparation that can just be self-indulgent.  Year after year I grieve at how slow, how dim, how spiritually obtuse I am, and therefore how long it takes for God to get his word through my calloused skin and deep into my heart.  Godly preparation is a struggle, but there is no substitute for the time and the pain of this engagement with the word.” (42)

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The Big Picture has over 40 photos of hundreds of thousands of Hindus making their way to shrine of one of their gods. Look and pray!

Each year, Hindu devotees make a pilgrimage to the sacred Amarnath Cave, one of the most revered Hindu shrines, near Baltal, Kashmir, India. The Amarnath Cave has been a place of worship since times immemorial, with references found in many ancient texts. According a Hindu legend, this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort Parvati. The cave itself is covered with snow most times of the year except for a short period in summer when it is open for pilgrims. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft). Hindu devotees brave sub-zero temperatures to hike over glaciers and high altitude mountain passes to reach the sacred Amarnath cave, which houses an ice stalagmite, worshiped by Hindus as a symbol of the god Shiva. More than 700,000 Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in this year’s two-month pilgrimage, according to local officials, causing strain on the environment and political stability of the region, which has long fought for independence from India.

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Clint Archer provides some biblical wisdom from 1 Corinthians 7 for singleness.  In all he gives nine attitudes to cultivate as you celebrate singleness.

A number of women gather with Nancy Leigh DeMoss to discuss glorifying God in singleness as well.

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David Platt shared this illustration at T4G 2012.  He was illustrating the point that those who believe in the sovereignty of God will be be willing to lay down their lives for the gospel if necessary.

Romanian pastor Josef Tson recounted a time he was being interrogated by six men. He said to one of them:

What is taking place here is not an encounter between you and me. This is an encounter between my God and me. . . . My God is teaching me a lesson [through you]. I do not know what it is. Maybe he wants to teach me several lessons. I only know, sirs, that you will do to me only what God wants you to do—and you will not go one inch further—because you are only an instrument of my God. Every day I saw those six pompous men as nothing more than my Father’s puppets!

Tson again:

During an early interrogation I had told an officer who was threatening to kill me, “Sir, let me explain how I see this issue. Your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying. Here is how it works. You know that my sermons on tape have spread all over the country. If you kill me, those sermons will be sprinkled with my blood. Everyone will know I died for my preaching. And everyone who has a tape will pick it up and say, ‘I’d better listen again to what this man preached, because he really meant it; he sealed it with his life.’ So, sir, my sermons will speak ten times louder than before. I will actually rejoice in this supreme victory if you kill me.” After I said this, the interrogator sent me home. Another officer who was interrogating a pastor friend of mind told him, “We know that Mr. Tson would love to be a martyr, but we are not that foolish to fulfill his wish.” I stopped to consider the meaning of that statement. I remembered how for many years, I had been afraid of dying. I had kept a low profile. Because I wanted badly to live, I had wasted my life in inactivity. But now that I had placed my life on the altar and decided I was ready to die for the Gospel, they were telling me they would not kill me! I could go wherever I wanted in the country and preach whatever I wanted, knowing I was safe. As long as I tried to save my life, I was losing it. Now that I was willing to lose it, I found it.

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Quiet Time guide

You may find this one page quiet time worksheet (in both PDFand Word format) helpful for

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When this Truth of God enters the soul, it breeds zealots, martyrs, confessors, missionaries, saints. If any Christians are in earnest and full of love to God and man, they are those who know what Grace has done for them. If any remain faithful under reproaches, joyful under losses and crosses—they are those who are conscious of their indebtedness to Divine Love. If any delight in God while they live and rest in Him as they die—they are the men who know that they are justified by faith in Jesus Christ who justifies the ungodly.

All glory be to the Lord who lifts the beggar from the dunghill and sets him among princes, even the princes of His people! He takes the very cast-offs of the world and adopts them into His family and makes them heirs of God by Jesus Christ! The Lord grant us all to know the power of the Gospel upon our sinful selves! The Lord endear to us the name, work and Person of the Sinner’s Friend! May we never forget the hole of the pit from where we were drawn, nor the hand which rescued us, nor the undeserved kindness which moved that hand! From now on let us have more and more to say of Infinite Grace. “Free Grace and dying love.” Well does the old song say, “Ring those charming bells.” Free Grace and dying love—the sinner’s windows of hope! Our hearts exult in the very words! Glory be unto You, O Lord Jesus, ever full of compassion.

~ Charles Spurgeon

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Paul Tripp remind us how we are so quick to take credit for things in our lives and equally quick to minimize God.  For example, he writes,

– “You did not choose the family you were born into.

– You did not choose the period of history you would live in.

– You did not choose the world events that would take place around you.

– You did not control the progress of science and knowledge, but you have benefited from both.

– You did not create the technology that has made your life easier and more comfortable.

– You did not choose what street you would grow up on.

– You did not choose what childhood school you would attend.

– You did not choose how healthy your body would be.

– You did not choose who your parents and siblings would be.

– You did not choose who would be your neighbor, your mayor, your president.

– You did not choose what the economic conditions would be around you.

– You did not choose how safe your environment would be.

– You did not choose how early you would be exposed to truth.

– You did not choose whether you would live in the first world or the third world.

– You did not choose what language you would grow up speaking.

– You did not choose what culture would shape your view of life.

When you really begin to access the sum total of your life, you can only end up with one conclusion. Here it is – God is great! He is awesome in his wisdom, power, and glory. His magnificence reaches beyond the most descriptive and poetic ability of human language. His glory lives way beyond the boundaries of the human intellect to reason. But there is something else to be said. Pay careful attention here: He is great and we are not. We are all tempted to buy into the delusion of our own greatness and our own sovereignty. We really like to think that we are in more control of more things than we actually are. And why do we do this? Because we are terrified of the dependent danger of humble faith. We find it very hard to put ourselves in the hands of Another. So what do we do? It is an awful thing. We exaggerate our greatness and we minimize the Lord’s. We take credit for what we did not produce and we fail to give him credit for what has come from his hands. All of this works to make us more comfortable with a dangerous and delusional self-reliance.”

Today, give God glory for all He has done and rest in Him for His more-than-sufficient-grace for every need you face!

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