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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Faith And Zeal To Thee Oh Christ!

Sir Walter Moberly, a non-Christian educator, once said to a group of Christians:
If one tenth of what you believe is true, you ought to be ten times more excited than you are.

Oh Father, we believe, please help our unbelief! For Jesus' sake, Amen!

From Moberly's The Crisis In The University, 1949

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Christ Is All In A History Of Human Failure!

In Genesis 2:15-17, God made a covenant of works with Adam. Afterwards, Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit and breaking the covenant (Genesis 3:1-6).

In Genesis 9:8-11, God made a covenant with Noah. Afterwards, Noah sinned by getting drunk (Genesis 9:20-21).

In Genesis 12:1-3, God made his first promises to Abram. Afterwards, Abram sinned by lying about Sarai being his sister (Genesis 12:11-13).

In Genesis 15, God Himself passed through the severed animals, making a covenant with Abram. Afterwards, Abram sinfully sought a child in his own strength through Hagar (Genesis 16).

In Genesis 17, God gave the covenant of circumcision to Abraham. Afterwards, Abraham sinned by lying about Sarah being his sister yet again (Genesis 20:2).

In Exodus 20, God made a covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai. Afterwards, Israel committed adultery against God on her honeymoon by making a golden calf (Exodus 32).

In 2 Samuel 7, God made a covenant with David. Afterwards, David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah - one of David's mighty, loyal men - mercilessly killed (2 Samuel 11-12).

In Luke 22:20, Jesus told His disciples about the new covenant in His blood. Afterwards, the disciples sinfully disputed over which of them would be the greatest, and Peter denied Jesus three times with oaths and cursing.

Jesus, on the other hand, after telling the disciples about the new covenant in His blood, was perfectly obedient unto death on the cross. He rose triumphantly from the grave, conquering sin, death, and Satan so that all of those who would ever repent and believe in Him will be saved!

Where Adam failed, Jesus obeyed!

Where Noah failed, Jesus obeyed!

Where Abraham failed, Jesus obeyed!

Where Israel failed, Jesus obeyed!

Where David failed, Jesus obeyed!

Where Peter and the disciples failed, Jesus obeyed!

Where you and I have failed and will fail, Jesus obeyed!

Jonathan Leeman writes:
He [Jesus] is the God-man who has come as last Adam, Abraham's seed, the new Israel, and son of David. According to God's plan and by the Spirit's power, he has fulfilled God's covenants and so won all their blessings and promises. He has inherited the earth, [as the greater] Adam. His name has been made great and become a blessing to the earth, [as the greater] Abraham. He has won the promised rest, [as the greater] Israel. His throne is an everlasting throne, [as the greater] David's. But then, most remarkably and graciously, this God-man has declared a new covenant for all who repent and believe.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1


My ideas for this post largely came from Iain M. Duguid, "Covenant Nomism and Exile," in Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry, ed. R. Scott Clark (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2007), 81 and footnote 38. Also, Jonathan Leeman, The Surprising Offense Of God's Love (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 241.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Letting All Go For Jesus' Sake

Charles Spurgeon said:
The trial of our faith usually comes in the form of affliction. Our jealous Lover uses tests to see if He has our heart. You say, "Lord Jesus, I love you. You are my best Beloved." "Well," says the heavenly Lover, "if it is so, then your precious child will become sick and die. What will you say then?" If you are truthful in what you have said concerning your supreme love for Jesus, you will give up your darling at His call and say, "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD."

The more He loves you, the more He will test you. Sometimes He says, "Good woman, I shall take away your husband, on whom you lean, that you may lean the more on Me." I remember Samuel Rutherford, writing to a lady who had lost five children and her husband said, "Oh, how Christ must love you! He would take every bit of your heart to Himself. He would not permit you to reserve any of your soul for any earthly thing." Can we stand that test? Can we let all go for His sake?

May it be so oh Father, for Jesus' sake!

Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters: Words Of Comfort For The Soul, ed. Roy Clarke (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 45.

Great Privileges In Christ!

O LORD GOD,

Teach me to know that grace
precedes,
accompanies, and
follows

my salvation;
that it sustains the redeemed soul,
that not one link of its chain can ever break.

From Calvary’s cross, wave upon wave of grace
reaches me,
deals with my sin,
washes me clean,
renews my heart,
strengthens my will,
draws out my affection,
kindles a flame in my soul,
rules throughout my inner man,
consecrates my every thought, word, work,
teaches me Your immeasurable love.

How great are my privileges in Christ Jesus.
Without him I stand far off, a stranger, an outcast.
in him I draw near and touch His kingly scepter.

Without him I dare not lift up my guilty eyes;
in him I gaze upon my Father-God and friend.

Without him I hide my lips in trembling shame;
in him I open my mouth in petition and praise.

Without him all is wrath and consuming fire.
in him is all love, and the repose of my soul.

Without him is gaping hell below me, and eternal anguish.
in him its gates are barred to me by His precious blood!

Without him darkness spreads its horrors before me.
in him an eternity of glory is my boundless horizon.

Without him all within me is terror and dismay,
in him every accusation is charmed into joy and peace.

Without him all things external call for my condemnation;
In him they minister to my comfort, and are to be enjoyed with thanksgiving.

Praise be to You for grace,
and for the unspeakable gift of Jesus.

"Privileges" in Valley Of Vision (Carlisle: Banner Of Truth, 1997), 158.

HT: Justin Taylor

Friday, September 24, 2010

Worship: The First Business

W. T. Conner wrote:
The first business . . . of a church is not evangelism, nor missions, nor benevolence; it is worship.

From: Gospel of Redemption, 277, (1945)

Note: Yes, that was written before John Piper was born :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nailing Yourself To The Cross

Charles Bridges wrote:
The missionary Eliot is said to have "become so nailed to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, that the grandeurs of this world were unto him just what they would be to a dying man. He persecuted the lust of the flesh with a continual antipathy; and when he has thought that a Minister had made much of himself, he has gone to him with that speech - 'Study mortification, brother; study mortification.'"

Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2006), 128.

Christ Is Better Than All The World Has To Offer!

Please make this song true in our hearts and lives oh Father . . . for Jesus' sake!
What is the world to me
With all its vaunted pleasure
When Thou, and Thou alone,
Lord Jesus, art my Treasure!
Thou only, dearest Lord,
My soul's Delight shalt be;
Thou art my Peace, my Rest -
What is the world to me!

The world is like a cloud
And like a vapor fleeting,
A shadow that declines,
Swift to its end retreating.
My Jesus doth abide,
Though all things fade and flee;
My everlasting Rock -
What is the world to me!

The world seeks to be praised
And honored by the mighty,
Yet never once reflects
That they are frail and flighty.
But what I truly prize
Above all things is He,
My Jesus, He alone -
What is the world to me!

The world seeks after wealth
And all that Mammon offers,
Yet never is content
Though gold should fill its coffers.
I have a higher good,
Content with it I'll be:
My Jesus is my Wealth -
What is the world to me!

The world is sorely grieved
Whenever it is slighted
Or when its hollow fame
And honor have been blighted.
Christ, Thy reproach I bear
Long as it pleaseth Thee;
I'm honored by my Lord -
What is the world to me!

The world with wanton pride
Exalts its sinful pleasures
And for them foolishly
Gives up the heavenly treasures.
Let others love the world
With all its vanity;
I love the Lord, my God -
What is the world to me!

The world abideth not;
Lo, like a flash 'twill vanish;
With all it gorgeous pomp
Pale death it cannot banish;
Its riches pass away,
And all its joys must flee;
But Jesus doth abide -
What is the world to me!

What is the world to me!
My Jesus is my Treasure,
My Life, my Health, my Wealth,
My Friend, my Love, my Pleasure,
My Joy, my Crown, my All,
My Bliss eternally.
Once more, then, I declare:
What is the world to me!

Hymn #430 from The Lutheran Hymnal
Author: Georg M. Pfefferkorn, 1667
Translated by: August Crull,1923

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Consecration To Christ

Adapted Prayer From Jonathan Edwards' Daily Consecration

Oh Father, please help me claim no right to myself - no right to my understanding, my will, my affections; my body or its members - no right to my tongue, to my hands, my feet, my ears, my eyes, my sexuality and all my strong desires. They are all Yours and belong to You. You bought them with Your dear Son's blood. You own all of me Oh God! Please use me as You please for Your own glory.

Please help me give myself clear away to You today and not retained anything of my own. I give myself wholly to You. May I give You every power, so that for the future I claim no right to myself in any respect. Only by Your grace I will not fail. Please help me take You alone as my whole portion and delight, looking upon nothing else as any part of my happiness. May Your law be the constant rule of my obedience.

Please help me fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, and the devil to the end of my life. Please help me adhere to the faith of the Gospel, however hazardous and difficult the profession and practice of it may be.

Please grant me Your blessed Spirit as my Teacher, Sanctifier, and only Comforter, and cause me to cherish all admonitions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort, and assist me.

Please help me not to act in any respect as my own. Please keep me from using any of my powers to do anything that is not for Your glory. Please make Your glory the whole and entire business of my life.

Please keep me from murmuring in the least at any afflictions; from being unkind in any way; from ever seeking revenge; from doing anything purely to please myself; from failing to do anything because it is a great self-denial; from trusting in myself; from accepting praise for any good which Christ does by me; and from being proud in any way.

Please hear my prayer and answer for Jesus' sake! Amen!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Unadulterated Enjoyment Of Christ!

Jonathan Leeman writes:
One of the greatest ironies of the postmodern West might be this: that great symbol of pleasure in our culture for which it (consciously or not) most emphatically rejects God - sex - is the very thing God has given humanity so that it might have an analogy, a category, a language for knowing what the unadulterated enjoyment of him will be like in glory (see Eph. 5:22-33). In other words, we reject God for sex, but sex is exactly what he's given us in order to faintly grasp the experience of a perfect union with him.

D. A. Carson writes:
It is as if the only pleasure and intimacy in this life that comes close to anticipating the pleasure of the church and her Lord being perfectly united on the last day is the sexual union of a good marriage. (Love in Hard Places, 191)

John Piper writes:
God created us with sexual passion so that there would be language to describe what it means to cleave to him in love and what it means to turn away from him to others . . . God made us powerfully sexual so that he would be more deeply knowable. We were given the power to know each other sexually so that we might have some hint of what it will be like to know Christ supremely. (Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor (Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2005), 28, 30.)

(Jonathan Leeman, The Church And The Surprising Offense Of God's Love (Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2010), 112-113, and footnote 64.)

Most Unspeakably Happy In Jesus!

Jonathan Edwards said:
Every thing desirable and excellent in the union between an earthly bridegroom and bride, is to be found in the union between Christ and his church; and that in an infinitely greater perfection and more glorious manner. There is infinitely more to be found in it than ever was found between the happiest couple in a conjugal relation; or could be found if the bride and bridegroom had not only the innocence of Adam and Eve, but the perfection of angels.

Christ and his saints, standing in such a relation as this one to another, the saints must needs be unspeakable happy. Their mutual joy in each other is answerable to the nearness of their relation and strictness of their union. Christ rejoices over the church as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, and she rejoices in him as the bride rejoices over the bridegroom.

(Jonathan Edwards, "The Church's Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God," Isaiah 62:4-5, http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/works2.iii.ii.html. Accessed 07 SEP 2010.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Prayers That Christ Would Be All In All

Adapted from Betty Scott Stam
Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes; all my own desires and hopes and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, and work out Thy whole perfect and pleasing will in my life at any cost now and forever.

Adapted From A Prayer By Rafael, Cardinal Merry Del Val
From the desire of being praised, From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being preferred, From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved, From the desire of comfort and ease
Please deliver me, oh Father.

From the fear of being humiliated, From the fear of being criticized,
From the fear of being passed over, From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being lonely, From the fear of being hurt,
From the fear of suffering,
Please deliver me, oh Father.

That others may be loved more than I,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, That others may be made more holy than me, as long as I am made as holy as I should be, oh Father, please grant me the grace to desire it.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, please make my heart like Yours.
O Father, please strengthen me with your Holy Spirit.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, please teach me Your ways.

O Father, please help me love You with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and love others deeply as I love myself. Please help me put my self importance aside, humble myself, die to self, forget myself, consider all others better than myself, and say "Christ is all!" with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength in all my thoughts, words, feelings, and actions - by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Please hear this prayer and answer for Jesus' sake. Amen!

John Wesley's Prayer Of Consecration
Oh Father, I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will; rank me with whom You will. Put me to doing; put me to suffering. Let me be employed for You or laid aside for You. Let me be full; let me be empty. Let me have all things; let me have nothing . . . I truly and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. For Jesus' sake. Amen!

Adapted Prayer From The Words Of Helen Roseveare
Oh Father, please help me be a living sacrifice for You. Please help me live every minute for You in accordance with Your perfect will and purpose . . . Let me consider no time as my own, or as 'off-duty' or 'free' . . . Please help me relinquish all control of my possessions to You . . . May all I own be available to You for the furtherance of Your Kingdom. May my money be all Yours . . . May You direct the spending of each penny . . . May I consider that I own nothing. All is Yours and what I have, I have on trust from You; May You use it as You wish.

Please cause me to give you all of myself. May my will and my emotions, my health and my vitality, my thinking and my activities all be available to You, to be employed as You choose, to reveal You to others. Should You see that someone would be helped to know You through my being ill or other sufferings, may I accept ill health, weakness, and suffering. May I always acknowledge that I have no right to demand what people call good health or the "good life" . . . All rights are Yours - to direct my living so that You can most clearly reveal Yourself through me. Oh Father, You have the right, then, to choose my job and where I work, to choose my companions, and my friends . . .

To be a living sacrifice will involve all my love - may You own all my love . . . please cause me to relinquish the right to choose whom I will love and how. Please help me humble myself and submit to Your right to choose for me . . . Whether I have a life partner or not is wholly Yours to decide. Please help me accept gladly Your best will for my life. Please help me bring all the areas of my affections to You for Your control, for here, above all else, I need to sacrifice my right to choose for myself. Help me to surrender this to You for Jesus' sake.

Please help me to be so utterly Yours in all ways that I will be satisfied to be used or hidden as You choose, as an arrow in Your hand or in Your quiver.  Please help me ask no questions. Please cause me to relinquish all rights to You Who desires my supreme good. You, oh Father, know best in all things. May Your will be done. For Jesus' sake. Amen!