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Archive for July 28th, 2012

Are you paralyzed or affected by fear?  anxiety?  worry?

A prayer by Scotty Smith to encourage you today:

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s timely, stunning, and encouraging to realize that the most repeated command throughout the whole Bible is “Do not be afraid—do not fear.” The angels spoke these words to startled shepherds at your birth, and you repeated the command to a devastated Mary on the morning of your resurrection. Now you speak these liberating words into our hearts unnerving stories: “Do not be afraid!”

Because you are the First and the Last, Jesus, we don’t have to be afraid of anything between Alpha and Omega. You are God, and we are not. You’ll never have to say “Oops” about anything in world history, or in our stories. You never “try” to do anything. You never have to scratch your head in confusion. You never have to resort to plan B. You are perfectly executing your sovereign will, from naming the stars to numbering our hairs. Glory!
Because you are the Living One, who was dead and who is now alive forever, we don’t have to be afraid of Judgment Day or this day; for your death on the cross was our Judgment Day, and your resurrection is our assurance of being eternally and fully accepted by God. Now the refrain that’s constantly sung over us by the whole Trinity is, “There is now and forevermore no condemnation for those who are in Christ!” Not only is there no condemnation, there is only full delight! What wondrous love is this, indeed!
 Lord Jesus, because you hold the keys of death and Hades, and to everything else, we don’t have to be afraid to die or to live. You’ve robbed the grave of its victory, you have removed the sting of death, and you have defeated the devil and all the powers of darkness! We don’t have to be afraid of people and their opinions.
 We don’t have to be afraid of world powers and terror. We don’t have to be afraid of failure and its consequences. We don’t have to be afraid of not being enough or having enough. We don’t have to be afraid of getting older or being forgotten. Yes, yes, YES!
You will never leave or forsake us, Jesus. We’re secure and held compassionately, in the palm of your hand. The saints in heaven are joyful than we are, but not more loved. Free us more fully from our fears that we might live more fully to your glory. So very Amen we pray, in your loving and powerful name.

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Photos here.

Prayers here.

HT: Z

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We now stand in the twenty-first century, almost five hundred years removed from John Calvin’s time, but we find ourselves in an equally critical hour of redemptive history. As the organized church was spiritually bankrupt at the outset of Calvin’s day, so it is again in our time. Certainly, to judge by outward appearances, the evangelical church in this hour seems to be flourishing. Megachurches are springing up everywhere. Christian contemporary music and publishing houses seem to be booming. Men’s rallies are packing large coliseums. Christian political groups are heard all the way to the White House. Yet the evangelical church is largely a whitewashed tomb. Tragically, her outward facade masks her true internal condition.

What are we to do? We must do what Calvin and the Reformers did so long ago. There are no new remedies for old problems. We must come back to old paths. We must capture the centrality and pungency of biblical preaching once again. There must be a decisive return to preaching that is Word-driven, God-exalting, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered. We desperately need a new generation of expositors, men cut from the same bolt of cloth as Calvin. Pastors marked by compassion, humility, and kindness must once again “preach the Word.” In short, we need Calvins again to stand in pulpits and boldly proclaim the Word of God.

Charles H. Spurgeon shall have the final word here. This great man witnessed firsthand the decline of dynamic preaching and issued this plea:

We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our foemen’s ears. We have dire need of such. Whence will they come to us? They are the gifts of Jesus Christ to the church, and will come in due time. He has power to give us back again a golden age of preachers, and when the good old truth is once more preached by men whose lips are touched as with a live coal from off the altar, this shall be the instrument in the hand of the Spirit for bringing about a great and thorough revival of religion in the land…

I do not look for any other means of converting men beyond the simple preaching of the gospel and the opening of men’s ears to hear it. The moment the church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to revive and bless His churches.

May Spurgeon’s heartfelt prayer be answered once again in this day. We do want Calvins again. We must have Calvins again. And, by God’s grace, we shall see them raised up again in this hour. May the Head of the church give us again an army of biblical expositors, men of God sold out for a new reformation.”

Excerpt from Steven Lawson’s The Expository Genius of John Calvin.Available from ReformationTrust.com as seen at Ligonier Blog

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What’s RefNet?

Chris Larson shares the exciting new from Ligonier.  I have been listening to this on and off for a month almost and wanted to pass on this goodie to you all

While Christian terrestrial radio continues to be an effective outreach in the United States, we’re pushing to leverage the growth of internet-enabled mobile phones and tablets around the world. RefNet is freely available on your internet connected iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch; on your computer through the RefNet website; or on many other mobile browsers through RefNet’s lite mobile version.

You’ll hear Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul, plus hundreds of teaching series, messages from our teaching fellows, and more than twenty-five years of conference messages. Ligonier has a digital library of many thousands of hours of solid Bible teaching and preaching, but up until this point we have been limited in ways to provide useful access to it. RefNet enables us to serve you better with unique daily teaching and preaching.

RefNet is pleased to also feature the ministries of other broadcast partners who echo the same great historic truths that have been well-framed by the creedal consensus coming out of the Reformation. RefNet includes broadcasts from Alistair Begg at Truth For Life, John MacArthur at Grace to You, John Piper atDesiring God, Albert Mohler with The Briefing and Thinking in Public, and many others. And you’ll hear daily news briefs from World Magazine and SRN News to help you stay current with that day’s headlines.

In the evening, families can enjoy biblically-based audio drama produced by Lamplighter Theater. We then move throughout the night into a blend of Bible reading, brought to you by our friends at Crossway Books, and pleasant music suitable to background listening.

Many people already connect their computers, smartphones, and tablets to their home audio systems, so this will be one additional way to serve Christians who want a Scripture-saturated home.

More here plus a video to watch!

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Les Sillars profiles seven U.S. Olympians who will seek to win a medal and bring glory to God in the process–whether they win or lose.

Read “Qualified for the Prize!”

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