For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Monday, November 30, 2009

There Is Enough In Christ To Satisfy All Our Desires!

Jonathan Edwards said:

"The following reasons may be given why children ought to love Jesus Christ above things in the world: He is more lovely in Himself. He is one that is greater and higher than all the kings of the earth, has more honor and majesty than they, and yet He is innately good and full of mercy and love.

There is no love so great and so wonderful as that which is in the heart of Christ. He is one that delights in mercy. He is ready to pity those that are in suffering and sorrowful circumstances as one that delights in the happiness of His creatures.

The love and grace that Christ has manifested does as much exceed all that which is in this world as the sun is brighter than a candle. Parents are often full of kindness towards their children, but that is no kindness like Jesus Christ’s.

And He is an infinitely holy One. He is God’s holy child, so holy and pure that the heavens are not pure in His sight, so that He is fairer than the sons of men, as the Psalmist says (Psalms 45:2). He is ‘the chiefest among ten thousand,’ and ‘altogether lovely’ (Canticles 5:16).

Because of His glorious excellency, He is compared to the sun, that is the brightest of all things that we behold with our bodily eyes (Canticles 5:10). ‘Tis He that is called ‘the Sun of righteousness’ (Malachi 4:2). So He is called the ‘morning star,’ the brightest of all the whole multitude of stars (Revelation 22:16).

He is so lovely and excellent, that the angels in heaven do greatly love Him. Their hearts overflow with love to Him, and they are continually, day and night without ceasing, praising Him and giving Him glory. Yea, He is so lovely a person, that God the Father infinitely delights in Him.

He is His beloved Son, the brightness of His glory, whose beauty God continually sees with infinite delight, without ever being weary of beholding it. ‘I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him’ (Proverbs 8:30). And if the angels and God Himself love Him so much above all, surely children ought to love Him above all things in this world.

Everything that is lovely in God is in Him, and everything that is or can be lovely in any man is in Him: for He is man as well as God, and He is the holiest, meekest, most humble, and in every way the most excellent man that ever was. He is the delight of heaven.

There is nothing in heaven, that glorious world, that is brighter and more amiable and lovely than Christ. And this darling of heaven, by becoming man, became as a plant or flower springing out of the earth. And He is the most lovely flower that ever was seen in this world.

There is more good to be enjoyed in Him than in everything or all things in this world. He is not only an amiable, but an all-sufficient good. There is enough in Him to answer all our wants and satisfy all our desires."

Jonathan Edwards, "Children Ought to Love the Lord Jesus Christ Above All," Sermons and Discourses: 1739-1742, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 22, Ed. Harry S. Stout (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 171-172.

HT: Tolle Lege

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fighting For Christ To Be All In Your Life

Remember . . .

1. The LORD makes people great in the eyes of the world as He chooses:

Genesis 12:1-2: Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing."

Genesis 39:2-3, 21, 23: The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands . . . But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison . . . The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Exodus 7:1: And the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh . . . ."

Joshua 3:7: The LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you."

Joshua 4:14: On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life.

1 Samuel 2:6-8: The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world.

2 Samuel 7:8-9: Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth."

Daniel 1:9: And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs

Psalm 75:6-7: For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.

Philippians 2:5-11: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

2. The LORD doesn't need you:

Psalm 135:6: Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

Isaiah 59:1: Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear . . . .

Acts 17:24-25: The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

Matthew 3:9: God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

3. The LORD grants all mercies, ministries, and positions of honor or authority as He sees fit:

Romans 9:15: I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.

1 Corinthians 4:7: For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

1 Corinthians 15:10: But by the grace of God I am what I am . . .

Romans 12:3: For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

2 Corinthians 4:1: Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.

1 Corinthians 12:12, 18, 24, 28: For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ . . . But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose . . . But God has so composed the body . . . And God has appointed in the church . . . .

4. The LORD delights in and lifts up the humble:

Psalm 147:6: The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.

Isaiah 57:15: For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite."

1 Peter 5:5: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Matthew 18:4: Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 23:11-12: The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Mark 9:35: If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.

5. Therefore . . .

a. Consider all others better than yourself:

Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

b. Seek the LORD to build whatever you are doing or it is vanity:

Psalm 127:1: Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

c. Forget about yourself and exult in the glory, beauty, and satisfaction of Christ alone!

Philippians 3:7-11: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith - that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

CHRIST IS ALL!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christ Takes Precedence Over All Other Relationships

Machen wrote:

"For if one thing is plain it is that Christianity refuses to be regarded as a mere means to a higher end. Our Lord made that perfectly clear when He said: 'If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother . . . he cannot be my disciple' (Luke 14:26). Whatever else those stupendous words may mean, they certainly mean that the relationship to Christ takes precedence of all other relationships, even the holiest of relationships like those that exist between husband and wife and parent and child. Those other relationships exist for the sake of Christianity and not Christianity for the sake of them. Christianity will indeed accomplish many useful things in this world, but if it is accepted in order to accomplish those useful things it is not Christianity."

From: J. Gresham Machen, Christianity And Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 151-152.

Marry Christ And All Is Yours!!

Gilbert Tennent pled with people to come to Christ this way:

"Sinners, if you marry him all is yours. All his riches are yours forever. If you are in debt even a thousand talents, he has enough to pay all. All he asks is your consent. Will you come to the King's supper? Will you embrace him, accept him as your all? What do you say? What answer shall I return to the great king who sent me to you?"

Cited from: Julius H. Rubin, Religious Melancholy & Protestant Experience in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 90-91.

The Value Of One Drop Of Christ's Blood

Machen wrote:

"When we come to see that it was no mere man who suffered on Calvary but the Lord of Glory, then we shall be willing to say that one drop of the precious blood of Jesus is of more value, for our own salvation and for the hope of society, than all the rivers of blood that have flowed upon the battlefields of history."

From: J. Gresham Machen, Christianity And Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 128.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It All Leads To The Foot Of The Cross!

J. Gresham Machen wrote:

“The Sermon on the Mount, like all the rest of the New Testament, really leads a man straight to the foot of the cross.”

From: J. Gresham Machen, Christianity And Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 38.

Jesus Said, "I say!!"

Commenting on Jesus' sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), J. Gresham Machen wrote:

"For what prophet ever spoke in this way? The prophets said, 'Thus saith the Lord,' but Jesus said, 'I say.' We have no mere prophet here, no mere humble exponent of the will of God; but a stupendous Person speaking in a manner which for any other person would be abominable and absurd."

From: J. Gresham Machen, Christianity And Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1923), 36.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

To Be Sanctified - Apprehend Christ!

Louis Berkhof wrote:

"It deserves particular attention that, while even the weakest of faith mediates a perfect justification, the degree of sanctification is commensurate with the strength of the Christian's faith and the persistence with which he apprehends Christ."

Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 537.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jesus I Come To Thee!

A great song by the Shelly Moore Band!



Here are the words of the hymn by William T. Sleeper (1887):

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy bless├Ęd will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy throne,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.