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, September 26, 2011

All The World Does Not Compare With Christ!

William Greenhill wrote:
If you would have your heart removed from the things of the world, behold the crucified and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.

Set Christ crucified often before your eyes, and look on Him with the eye of faith.

"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14).

That is, "I look on Christ crucified, and by the eye of faith I can see Him hanging there, and all the glory of the world stained there.

Is all the world comparable to Christ? There is the King, the High Priest, the Mediator, the great Prophet. There is the Heir of the world crucified. There is His blood running down. He has laid down His life for sinners, and to take my heart off from the world."

If you look on a dead man, it deadens your spirit. What will looking on Christ do then? It will deaden your heart toward the world if you look on Jesus Christ crucified. "I am crucified to the world," said Paul.

Then look on Christ glorified, and your heart will be raised above the world. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:1-2).

Christ has died, risen, and gone to glory. If now you are risen out of the state of sin, transferred from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son, you will have your heart where Christ is.

Consider Christ in this way: "There is my Head, my King, my Husband. There is my Redeemer, the one who is a thousand times better than the world.

Therefore, I will not set my heart on things of the earth, but on things above. How glorious it is to see the King in His glory!" Look much, and consider much of Christ crucified and glorified.
William Greenhill, Stop Loving the World

HT: Christ . . . Altogether Lovely

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Main Message Of The Bible: Christ!

Moses And The Prophets' Main Message Is Jesus Christ Himself:
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Lk. 24:27)

We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote - Jesus of Nazareth . . . (Jn. 1:45)

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (Jn. 5:39)

For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. (Jn. 5:46)

To Him all the prophets witness . . . (Acts 10:43)
The Father's Main Message Is Jesus Christ Himself:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Jn. 3:16)

And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. (Jn. 5:37)

I [Jesus] am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me. (Jn. 8:18)

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 Jn. 4:14)

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 Jn. 5:9-12)
Jesus' Main Message Is Jesus Christ Himself:
I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (Jn. 6:35)

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. (Jn. 8:12)

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved . . . (Jn. 10:9)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (Jn. 10:11)

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. (Jn. 11:25)

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jn. 14:6)

I am the vine, you are the branches for without Me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5)
The Holy Spirit's Main Message Is Jesus Christ Himself:
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (Jn. 15:26)

He [the Spirit of truth] will glorify Me [Jesus], for he will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (Jn. 16:14)

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:3)
The Apostles' Main Message Is Jesus Christ Himself:
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me . . . (Acts 1:8)

. . . and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before . . . (Acts 3:20)

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. (Acts 5:42)

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria & preached Christ to them. (Acts 8:5)

Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35)

. . . he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. (Acts 9:20)

And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42)

But some of them . . . spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. (Acts 11:20)

This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ. (Acts 17:3)

. . . he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:18)

. . . Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 18:5)

. . . We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. (Acts 19:13)

. . . we preach Christ crucified . . . (1 Cor. 1:23)

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2)

. . . I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you . . . that Christ died for our sins and that He was buried, and that He rose again . . . (1 Cor. 5:1-4)

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us . . . (2 Cor. 1:19)

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord . . . (2 Cor.4:5)

. . . to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles . . . (Gal. 1:16)

I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ . . . (Eph. 3:8)

. . . Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached . . . (Phil. 1:18)

Him we preach . . . (Col. 1:28)

God was manifested in the flesh . . . Preached among the Gentiles . . . (1 Tim. 3:16)
HT: Greg Gibson

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Preach Christ Up!

I received this advice about my task as a minister of the Gospel tomorrow in church:

PREACH HIM UP!

Now that's some good advice! May God cause us to do so!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jesus Christ: The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah!

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion! Proverbs 28:1

You Are Enough In Your Jesus!

Richard Alleine wrote:
Christian, do you feel as if you are nothing? It matters not, for you are enough in your Jesus.

Are you dark? He is a fountain of light.

Are you dead? He is a fountain of life.

Are you poor and low, weak in knowledge, in faith, in love, in patience? He is a treasure of all grace.

And whatever He is, He is for you!

Is He wise? He is wise for you.

Is He holy? He is holy for you.

He is meek, He is merciful, humble, patient for you.

He is strong, rich, and full for you.

Bewail your own poverty and weakness, but bless yourself in your Lord, for He is rich, righteous, and all powerful . . .

As the head and the body, as the husband and wife, so Christ and His saints are mutually concerned. They are rich or poor, stand and fall, live and die together.

The husband conveys to the wife a title to what he has; as the wife holds of the husband, so it is between Christ and His church. They have nothing but through Him. Their whole tenure is in Him as the Head.

Whatever is His is theirs. Whatever is theirs is His.

His God is their God, His Father is their Father, His blood, His merits, His Spirit, His victories, all the spoils He has captured, all the revenue and income of His life and death - ALL IS THEIRS!

He obeyed for them, He suffered for them, He lived for them, He died for them, He rose for them, He ascended for them, and He has set down on the right hand of God to act for them.

This is that Jesus who is given to us. This is He who by covenant is made over to all His saints.
Richard Alleine, Heaven Opened

HT: Christ . . . Altogether Lovely

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jesus Is Very Very Great!

John Piper said:
Jesus is very, very great . . . Is there anything great in the world that excites you, that you go out of your way to see or hear or experience? Christ made it! He thought it up. And He is ten million times greater in every respect - whatever it is, except sin.

If you took all the greatest thinkers of every country and every century of the world and put them in a room with Jesus, they would shut their mouths and listen to the greatness of His wisdom. All the greatest generals would listen to His strategy. All the greatest musicians would listen to His music theory and His performance on every instrument . . . Jesus is very great. Words fail us to describe how great Jesus is.

There is nothing that Jesus cannot do a thousand times better than the person you admire most in any area of human endeavor under the sun . . . You admire politicians? - you admire physically beautiful people? - you admire intelligent people? - you admire musicians? - you admire sports? . . . Anything that you admire Jesus Christ can do ten thousand times better!
John Piper, "Christ Conceived By The Holy Spirit," Luke 1:26-37, March 11, 1984.

Christ: All Of Our Enjoyment In Anything!

Anne Dutton wrote:
You see, Madam, how precarious and uncertain all things here are! Live beside the creatures while you have them — let Christ be the all of your enjoyment in them — and then, when they fail, and your own heart and flesh too, Christ will be your all in Himself — the strength of your heart, and your portion forever — an all of bliss and glory, ineffable and eternal.

Value your own Lord Jesus. Let His price (His worth in your esteem) be far above rubies, and all creatures and things, desirable and desired. The all-beauteous Godhead is in Him. He is the mighty God, as well as the Man Jesus, for you. Emanuel is His wonderful, glorious name.

His personal and relative glories are, and shall be, the wonder and praise of men and angels unto ages without end. Look upon His lovely face — there is not another such a beauty in both worlds!

See, Madam, this is your Beloved, and this is your Friend. This is He who has loved you, and given Himself for you; that laid aside His glory and joy, who was the adoration of angels, and the darling of the Father's bosom, to clothe Himself, His matchless Self, with your sin, shame, and sorrow, that He might raise you from the ash-heap of sinful nature to inherit with Him the joys and glories of the upper world; yes, to set you with Him upon His own throne!

Oh, dear Madam, you are the Lamb's bride, even you, who come unto God, as the God of peace, only by and through the sacrificed Lamb. Admire the Lamb's love — the Lamb who was slain for you, that has wooed and won and betrothed you to Himself forever. Live upon Him, live to Him, and long to live with Him.
Anne Dutton, Letter

HT: Christ . . . Altogether Lovely

Saturday, September 10, 2011

May We See Jesus!

Charles Spurgeon preached:
Are you poor, my dear brother? Do you see Jesus? He was poorer than you. You have somewhere to sleep tonight, but He could say, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head?" (Luke 9:58).

Are you racked with pain? Let it help you to see Jesus. You are not "exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" (Matt. 26:38), nor is your grief to be compared with His.

Have you been betrayed and deserted? See Jesus as He is kissed by Judas (Matt. 26:49). Have you been denied by some friend who promised to be faithful? Look into the face of Jesus as He turns to Peter (Luke 22:61).

Is death staring you in the face? Remember Him who "being found in appearance as a man, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8).

We would never be alone if we could see Jesus; or if we were alone it would be a blessed solitude. We would never feel deserted if we could see Jesus; or if we were deserted we would have the best of helpers. If we could always see Jesus we would not feel weak for He would be our strength and our song.

Oh to see Jesus! You have seen Him as Your Savior, and you desire to see Him as Your Master. Oh to see Him as a friend on whom you can still lean your aching head, someone into whose ear you can pour your [story] of sorrow! Through this wilderness, you may continually lean on Him and have perpetual sweet enjoyment. Then this earth, desert as it is, will seem to blossom like a garden of roses, and your spirit will enjoy heaven below.
Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters, Ed. Roy H. Clarke (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 305.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Looking Unto Jesus

Adolphe Monod wrote:
Looking unto Jesus - three words only, but in these three words is the whole secret of life.

Looking unto Jesus in the scriptures to learn who He is, what He has done, why He did it, and where He is now.

Looking unto Jesus incarnate, our representative, our federal head and surety.

Looking unto Jesus crucified, to find in His blood our ransom, our pardon, our peace.

Looking unto Jesus risen again, to find in Him the righteousness which alone justifies us and permits us, unworthy as we are, to approach with assurance in His name, Him who is His Father and our Father, His God and our God.

Looking unto Jesus glorified, to find in Him our High Priest, our heavenly advocate, appearing even now for us before the presence of God and supplying the imperfections of our persons and prayers by the efficacy of His holiness and His prayers, which the Father hears always.

Looking unto Jesus and not to our faith, for it is not of faith that strength comes, but it is from the Savior by faith. It is not looking unto our look: it is by looking unto Jesus.

Looking unto Jesus and not to our strength nor our weakness, not to our gifts nor our griefs, not to our meditations or lack of them, not to our brethern nor our enemies.

It is looking unto Jesus ALONE, unto Jesus AGAIN, unto Jesus ALWAYS, and unto Jesus UNTIL He comes again and "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

See The Glory Of God At The Cross!

Charles Spurgeon preached:
Never did God have such honour and glory as He obtained through the sufferings of Jesus. Oh, they thought to scorn Him, but they lifted His Name on high! They thought that God was dishonoured when He was most glorified . . .

O nature, adoring God with thine ancient and priestly mountains, extolling Him with thy trees, which clap their hands, and worshipping with thy seas, which in their fulness roar out Jehovah's praise; with all thy tempests and flames of fire, thy dragons and thy deeps, thy snow and thy hail, thou cannot not glorify God as Jesus glorified Him when He became obedient unto death.

O heaven, with all thy jubilant angels, thine ever chanting cherubim and seraphim, thy thrice holy hymns, thy streets of gold and endless harmonies, thou cannot not reveal the Deity as Jesus Christ revealed it on the cross.

O hell, with all thine infinite horrors and flames unquenchable, and pains and griefs and shrieks of tortured ghosts, even thou cannot not reveal the justice of God as Christ revealed it in His riven heart upon the bloody tree.

O earth and heaven and hell! O time and eternity, things present and things to come, visible and invisible, ye are dim mirrors of the Godhead compared with the bleeding Lamb.

O heart of God, I see Thee nowhere as at Golgotha, where the Word incarnate reveals the justice and the love, the holiness and the tenderness of God in one blaze of glory.

If any created mind would fain see the glory of God, he need not gaze upon the starry skies, nor soar into the heaven of heavens, he has but to bow at the cross foot and watch the crimson streams which gush from Immanuel’s wounds.

If you would behold the glory of God, you need not gaze between the gates of pearls, you have but to look beyond the gates of Jerusalem and see the Prince of Peace expire.

If you would receive the noblest conception that ever filled the human mind of the lovingkindness and the greatness and the pity, and yet the justice and the severity and the wrath of God, you need not lift up your eyes, nor cast them down, nor look to paradise, nor gaze on hell, you have but to look into the heart of Christ all crushed and broken and bruised, and you have seen it all.

Oh, the joy that springs from the fact that God has triumphed after all! Death is not the victor. Evil is not master. There are not two rival kingdoms, one governed by the God of good, and the other by the God of evil.

No, evil is bound, chained, and led captive. Its sinews are cut, its head is broken. Its king is bound to the dread chariot of Jehovah-Jesus, and as the white horses of triumph drag the Conqueror up the everlasting hills in splendour of glory, the monster of the pit cringe at His chariot wheels.

Therefore, beloved, we close this discourse with this sentence of humble yet joyful worship: "Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen."
Charles Spurgeon, "Mourning at the Sight of the Crucified," from Twelve Sermons on the Passion and Death of Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1971), 54-55.

HT: Tolle Lege

Study Jesus!

D. A. Carson writes:
Do you want to know what God looks like? Look at Jesus. "No one has ever seen God," and God in all of His transcendent splendor we still cannot see until the last day. But the Word became flesh; God became a human being with the name of Jesus; and we can see Him.

That is why Jesus later says to one of His own disciples, "Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

Do you want to know what the character of God is like? Study Jesus.

Do you want to know what the holiness of God is like? Study Jesus.

Do you want to know what the wrath of God is like? Study Jesus.

Do you want to know what the forgiveness of God is like? Study Jesus.

Do you want to know what the glory of God is like? Study Jesus all the way to that wretched cross. Study Jesus.
D.A. Carson, The God Who is There (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010), 113.

HT: Tolle Lege

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Sufficiency Is In Him!

When I served on a Navy ship, the father of a friend of mine wrote his son this encouraging note:
Good Morning Son,

It is the Lord's Day and the whole house (company and all) are still in the sack. I was inclined to pray for you this morning and have finished a refreshing season with the Lord.

I was homing in on your "special request" and thought of a precious Scripture. Moses was intimidated by his high calling and ministry. He had to lead God's children, and at the same time he had to stand in high authority before the political world. He knew his own inadequacy and tried to bow out. (you well remember the story)

Rather than the Lord making Moses adequate, He left him human and helpless so that the Lord could manifest HIS OWN ADEQUACY. The verse that came to mind was Exodus 7:1 "And Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee as God to Pharoah . . . ."

It seems as if it is in the Lord's hand to exalt His leader in the eyes of those to whom he is sent. Moses knew he was no god, yet, in the eyes of Pharoah, God made it appear so!

I know you are trusting in the Lord. If you spend even a lonely moment dwelling on some inadequacy, you will be undone. He is your sufficiency! He is your adequacy! He can exalt you in the eyes of those you are called to obey, lead, and conquer.

I love you son, in the Lord. I sin often, but not the sin of ceasing to pray for you. (I Sam 12:23)

Rest! Enjoy! Abide! Worship! Drink deeply from His adequacy!

In Union with Jesus,

Dad

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fix Your Eyes On Jesus Christ!

David Harsha wrote:
Above all, contemplate your blessed Redeemer, seated on His great white throne, encircled with heavenly glory.

Look at the King in His beauty!

It is the sight of a glorified Savior that will make the heaven of the believer.

Endeavor now, by the eye of faith, to behold the Lord Jesus in all His matchless beauty and excellence.

Contemplate His glorious character;

His infinite mercy;

His unparalleled condescension;

and His boundless love.

There is enough in Jesus to employ the soul in rapturous meditation through a vast eternity –

His excellence, His goodness, and His love can never be fathomed.

O, then, keep your eye fixed on this adorable Savior, while you sojourn in this valley of tears; and in a little while you shall see Him as He is - face to face, and ascribe to Him unceasing praise.
David Harsha, The Christian On Pisgah's Mount

HT: Christ . . . Altogether Lovely

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Christ Is Worth More Than All!

Today was my first day on the job as the new pastor of Olney Baptist Church. And this is what I need to remember every moment of every day . . .

John Piper preaches:
The noble army of martyrs are praising God with us this morning because they all said, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

They all said, Christ is worth more than life.

Christ is worth more than falling in love.

Christ is worth more than marrying and having children.

Christ is worth more than seeing my children grow up and become independent.

Christ is worth more than making a name for myself.

Christ is worth more than finishing my career.

Christ is worth more than the dream spouse and the dream house and the dream cruise and the dream retirement.

Christ is worth more than all my unfinished plans and dreams.

All the martyrs said, "It is better to be cut off in the midst of my dreams, if I might gain Christ."
John Piper, The Noble Army of the Martyrs Praise Thee, Philippians 1:19-21, May 23, 1993.