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Archive for July 19th, 2012

Think of it: The Lord Jesus Christ is willing to meet with you privately for as long as you want, and He is willing—even eager—to meet with you every day! Suppose you had been one of the thousands who followed Jesus around for much of the last three years of His earthly life. Can you imagine how excited you would have been if one of His disciples said, “The Master wants us to tell you that He is willing to get alone with you whenever you’re willing, and for as much time as you want to spend, and He’ll be expecting you most every day”? What a privilege! Who would have complained about this expectation? Well, that marvelous privilege and expectation is always yours.

Drawn from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney. HT: Challies

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Watch this Christ-centered sermon by C. J. Mahaney!

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It is not that a person should shout, or scream, or be very loud, in order to prove that they are in earnest. But it is desirable that we should be hearty and fervent and warm — and ask as if we were really interested in what we were doing! It is the “effectual fervent” prayer that “avails much.” This is the lesson that is taught us by the expressions used in Scripture about prayer. It is called, “crying, knocking, wrestling, laboring, striving.”

This is the lesson taught us by scripture examples. Jacob is one. He said to the angel at Penuel, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26 . Daniel is another. Hear how he pleaded with God: “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for your own sake, O my God.” Daniel 9:19 . Our Lord Jesus Christ is another. It is written of him, “In the days of his flesh, he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.” Hebrews 5:7 .

Alas, how unlike is this to many of our supplications! How tame and lukewarm they seem by comparison. How truly might God say to many of us, “You do not really want what you pray for!” Lets us try to amend this fault. Let us knock loudly at the door of grace, like Mercy inPilgrim’s Progress, as if we must perish unless we are heard. Let us settle it in our minds, that cold prayers are a sacrifice without fire. Let us remember the story of Demosthenes the great orator, when one came to him, and wanted to plead his cause. He heard him without attention — while he told his story without earnestness. The man saw this, and cried out with anxiety that it was all true. “Ah,” said Demosthenes, “I believe you now!”

Adapted from J.C. Ryle, A Call to Prayer

HT: Aaron

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“We can debate a long time about the how-to’s of being a helper, but let’s not lose sight of what the Bible says: God created man first; it was not good for the man to be alone; God created a woman to be his suitable helper.

In our girl-power, you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to world, this set-up God invented can feel offensive. Our sinful nature resists the idea of being a helper. As a single woman, I sometimes fear the loss of independence it requires. Yet the woman as helper is part of God’s design for the family.”

A take-away from “What Do You Mean I’m To Be My Husband’s Helper” by Martha Krienke–an article that’s worth the time of single women as well as every wife!

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Thanks to Dr. William Combs for posting this reminder. I have heard it before but it is good to hear it again:

Dr. James Montgomery Boice was the longtime pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadephia (1968–2000). He was well known for his expository preaching through books of the Bible—Romans in five years, for example. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2000 and died a few weeks later. Upon hearing the news of his disease, Dr. Boice immediately gave a report to his church in which he addressed the question of praying for him and specifically what to pray for:

A number of you have asked what you can do, and it strikes me that what you can do, you are doing. This is a good congregation, and you do the right things. You are praying certainly, and I’ve been assured of that by many people. And I know of many meetings that have been going on.

A relevant question, I guess, when you pray is, pray for what? Should you pray for a miracle? Well, you’re free to do that, of course. My general impression is that the God who is able to do miracles—and he certainly can—is also able to keep you from getting the problem in the first place. So although miracles do happen, they’re rare by definition. A miracle has to be an unusual thing.

I think it’s far more profitable to pray for wisdom for the doctors. Doctors have a great deal of experience, of course, in their expertise, but they’re not omniscient—they do make mistakes—and then also for the effectiveness of the treatment. Sometimes it does very well and sometimes not so well, and that’s certainly a legitimate thing to pray for.

You can read the entire testimony here.

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“There is no way, short of a miraculous and full-scale changing of hearts and minds, for North American denominations to survive the homosexuality crisis. Denominations like the PCUSA, ELCA, RCA, UMC, and Episcopal Church will continue. They won’t fold their tents and join the Southern Baptists (though wouldn’t that be interesting!). I’m not suggesting most of our old, mainline denominations will disappear. But I do not see how any of these once flourishing denominations will make it through the present crisis intact.”

Kevin DeYoung in “Why No Denomination Will Survive the Homosexuality Crisis”

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