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Archive for February 7th, 2013

But it seems hopeless

David Murray shares 10 reasons to hope when life seems hopeless.

When discouraging and depressing news threatens to flood the nation, the church, and the soul, we need God’s help to lift up our heads, hearts, and hands. Posts like this encourage us not to fear. But once fear is cast out, we then have to build positive Christian hope in its place, a beautiful virtue and life-transforming grace that yields multiple benefits:

1. Hope moves us forwards

2. Hope energizes the present

3. Hope lightens our darkness

4. Hope increases faith

5. Hope is infectious

6. Hope is healing

7. Hope is practical

8. Hope purifies

9. Hope stabilizes in the storm

10. Hope defends

David explains each point with Scripture in “Ten Reasons to Hope When All Seems Hopeless”

 

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Sanctified wit

“There is no inconsistency between holiness and laughter. It is no sin to smile. Indeed, a somber religion is unnatural. Gloom is morbidness. Our lives should be sunny and songful. Christ’s religion is joyous, even amid sorrows. We hear songs in the night.

There is a flower which is most fragrant after the sun has set, and in the darkness pours its richest aroma on the air. Just so, true religion grows in sweetness–as the shadows deepen. He misrepresents Christianity and the likeness of the Master whose piety is cold, dreary, cheerless, joyless, or who frowns upon innocent gladness and pure pleasures.

Sanctified wit has a blessed mission. Life is so hard, so stern, with so many burdens and struggles–that there is need for all the bright words we can speak. The most wretched people in the world are those who go about in sackcloth, carrying all their griefs in their faces and casting dark shadows everywhere. Every Christian should be a happiness-maker. We need a thousand times more joy in our lives, than most of us get. We would be better men and women, if we were happier.”

–J. R. Miller

 

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In court with our Accuser

Mark Altrogge writes “In Court with the Accuser of the Brethren”

I’m sitting in a courtroom at a table near the judge’s bench.

Someone says ‘All rise’ and everyone stands. Suddenly there is lightning and thunder, smoke and fire as the Judge enters the room. The Judge is the most terrifying, frightening, glorious being you have ever seen. Winged beings fly around him, covering their faces while crying, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” Everyone in the court room falls to the floor in abject fear. Then the Judge sits down, slams his gavel on his desk, and says, “Let the proceedings begin.”

Now the prosecutor stands. My blood runs cold as I see that the prosecutor is none other than the ancient Serpent himself. He is trembling and I see the fear in the yellow slits of his eyes as he nervously inches forward toward the Judge’s bench and summons up the courage to speak.

“Your Honor, you are the righteoussss Judge,” he hisses. ”All justice is in your hands. And I – I demand justice this morning. You see, the defendant” – and he turns slowly and looks right at…ME, with his terrible eyes. And he slowly points a long, gnarled finger at me – “The defendant is guilty of breaking your holy law and has violated divine justice. He has rebelled against you, ignored you and spit in your face. He has failed to thank you for all your blessings, and he has worshipped false gods. These crimes must be punished! Give the defendant to me – let me take him where he deserves to go.”

There is silence in courtroom. Every eye is on the Judge. And my heart is sinking because every accusation of the prosecutor is true.

What happens next? Keep reading!

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God’s power in the sky

Enjoy these 23 pictures of the sky and remember God’s power in the sky (Psalm 68:34).

 

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Jeremy Walker:

Losing Adam means losing my dignity.

Losing Adam means losing my humanity.

Losing Adam means that I have no adequate explanation for the sinfulness of my soul or my race

Losing Adam means losing hope, for my solidarity with Adam as a man condemned finds its Scriptural counterpart in my solidarity with Christ, the last Adam, as a man redeemed.. . .  Losing Adam means losing not only my present but also my future hope. If there is no earthly man whose image I have borne, what confident expectation do I have of one day bearing the image of the heavenly man?

Losing Adam means losing Christ.

Jeremy expands each of these points in “Losing Adam.”

 

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“Bring your heart with its profoundest emptiness, its most startling discovery of sin, its lowest frame, its deepest sorrow, and sink it into the depths of the Saviour’s love… Christ’s love touching your hard heart, will dissolve it; touching your cold heart, will warm it; touching your sinful heart, will purify it; touching your sorrowful heart, will soothe it; touching your wandering heart, will draw it back to Jesus. Only bring your heart to Christ’s love.”

— Octavius Winslow, The Sympathy of Christ HT: FI

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