Archive for April 4th, 2013

Russell Moore:

When the disciples screamed in the face of a storm, Jesus slept (Mk. 4:37-38). When Jesus screamed in the face of a cross, the disciples slept (Mk. 14:37,41).

Why could Jesus sleep so peacefully through a life-threatening sea-storm, and yet is awake all night in the olive garden before his arrest, crying out in anguish? Why are the disciples pulsing with adrenaline as the ship is tossed about on the Galilee Lake, but drifting off to slumber as the most awful conspiracy in human history gets underway?

Peter, James, and John rebuke Jesus for falling asleep on the boat: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mk. 4:38) Jesus rebukes them for falling asleep as he prays before the cross: “Could you not watch one hour?” (Mk. 14:37)

Jesus isn’t the anxious sort. He tells us, remember, to be anxious for nothing, to take no thought for tomorrow (Matt 6:25-34). So why is he awake all night, “greatly distressed and troubled” (Mk. 14:33). In the storm, Jesus dismisses the disciples’ terror with a wave of the hand. In the garden, he screams, with loud cries and tears (Heb. 5:7), until the blood vessels in his face explode.

It is because Jesus knows what to fear. Jesus knows to fear not him who can kill the body, but instead Him who can cast both body and soul into hell (Matt. 10:28). Jesus doesn’t fear the watery deeps, which can be silenced by his voice. But he knows that is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Danger doesn’t keep Jesus awake; the judgment of God does.

The disciples are just the opposite, and I fear I am too. They are worried about relatively meaningless things, things that need only to be given over to the attention to Jesus. But they are oblivious to the cross that overhangs the cursed world around them, and within them.

I lose sleep quite often over the things Jesus tells me I should not worry about: my life, my possessions, my future. Such is not of the Spirit. Why is it easier for me to worry about next week’s schedule, and to lose sleep over that, than over those around me who could be moments away from judgment? Why am I more concerned about the way my peers judge my actions than about the Judgment Seat of Christ?

The Spirit of Jesus joins us to him in his Gethsemane anguish. We groan with him for the revealing of the sons of God, for resurrection from the dead (Rom. 8:23-27). We like him, through the Spirit, come to terms with the crosses we must carry. And, through it all, we cry with him, “Abba, Father!” (Mk. 14:36; Rom. 8:15).

The next time you find yourself unable to sleep due to worry, ask whether you’re in the Galilee waters or the Gethsemane garden. Ask yourself whether your wakefulness is of the weakening flesh or the awakening Spirit.

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I have heard of a book entitled ‘The Story without an End.’ I know no story deserving that title so well as the everlasting Gospel: this is indeed and in truth the story without an end.

There is an infinite ‘fulness’ in Christ; there are in Him ‘unsearchable riches;’ there is in Him a ‘love which passeth knowledge;’ He is an ‘unspeakable gift’ (Col 1:19; Eph 3:8Eph 3:192 Cor 9:15).

There is no end to all the riches which are treasured up in Him—in His person, in His work, in His offices, in His words, in His deeds, in His life, in His death, in His resurrection.

— J. C. Ryle Old Paths (Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 1999), 346

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Watch and weep. This is the unvarnished position of the biggest abortion organization in our country.  The position they hold on this issue makes even the spokeswoman uncomfortable and ill-prepared as she defends this position.

Just incredible how calmly and matter-of-factly proponents can talk about such issues.


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Last Sunday morning, Resurrection Sunday, we sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”  I was fascinated to find that the origin of this hymn goes back all the way to the 14th century in Latin, although the version most of us sing dates back to the 1700’s with the words penned by John and Charles Wesley.  We usually sing three or four stanzas of this rousing hymn, but there are actually eleven, count them, eleven stanzas that were penned by the Wesley brothers.  Read all 11 of them today and read more about the history of this hymn here.

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CNN has a feature story now on the American-citizen, Iranian-born pastor who I have requested prayer for previously:

His children cry out for him. His wife wonders about his “survival battle.”

Such is the struggle of the family of an American pastor recently sentenced in Iran to eight years in prison for his Christian beliefs.

The couple’s two children “miss him terribly. They cry, they ask for him,” wife Naghmeh Abedini says. “They’re struggling every day.”

Her husband Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen of Iranian birth, was arrested and charged in Iran last June during a visit. Abedini, 32, converted to Christianity from Islam and then became a pastor, living in Boise, Idaho. He has reportedly been detained in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison since late September. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Muslim who converts to another faith can face the death penalty.

Please pray for this man, his family, those working for his release and even the guards he has contact and read the rest of the article here.

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