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

Saturday, February 15, 2020

18 Reasons We Should Be Slow To Anger

1. Be slow to anger because God is slow to anger: 


Exodus 34:6: The LORD passed before him & proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness"

2. Be slow to anger because God knows better than you do: 


Job 38:1-4, 8-12: Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding . . . Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed'? "Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?"

3. Be slow to anger because God will be angry with you: 


2 Kings 17:11-12: And they did wicked things, provoking the LORD to anger, and they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this."

4. Be slow to anger because sinful anger results from a failure to trust God: 


Psalm 37:1-8: Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

5. Be slow to anger because being slow to anger is wise: 


Proverbs 14:29: Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

6. Be slow to anger because being slow to anger encourages peace: 


Proverbs 15:18: A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

7. Be slow to anger because anger often leads to sin: 


Proverbs 29:22: A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.

8. Be slow to anger because sinful anger is foolish: 


Ecclesiastes 7:9: Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

9. Be slow to anger because sinful anger is one of the works of the flesh that leads to hell: 


Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

10. Be slow to anger because sinful anger gives opportunity to the devil: 


Ephesians 4:26-27: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

Ligon Duncan: "Paul knows that anger is hard to handle responsibly, and so the evil one lurks, ready to exploit us, ready to provoke us, ready to prompt us, ready to sail with the wind. Our sinful anger is kindled, he is ready to fan the flame, he's ready to blow wind into those sails and help us go along in the expression of that sinful anger, because the devil wants to use our sinful, prideful, selfish anger to breach the fellowship of the body and rob God of glory. And he wants to use it to destroy your souls. And when he can do all three of those things at the same time, he loves it! When he gets to rob God of glory, destroy the fellowship of the body, and send your soul on the way to destruction, it's three for the price of one for him! He loves that! And the Apostle Paul says 'Friends, understand that your battle with anger is a matter of spiritual warfare, because when you are expressing sinful anger, the evil one is at your shoulder ready to do his [wicked] work.'" (https://ligonduncan.com/anger-and-the-glory-of-god-469/)

11. Be slow to anger because sinful anger grieves the Holy Spirit of God: 


Ephesians 4:30-32: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

12. Be slow to anger because sinning in anger is not who you are in Christ: 


Colossians 3:1-13: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

13. Be slow to anger because prayer should be done without sinful anger: 


1 Timothy 2:8: I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling

14. Be slow to anger because the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires: 


James 1:19-20: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires.

15. Be slow to anger because vengeance belongs to God: 


Romans 12:16-21: Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

16. Be slow to anger because sinful anger leads to murder: 


Genesis 4:3-8: In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Matthew 5:21-22: You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; & whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; & whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.

17. Be slow to anger because sinful anger will destroy you: 


Frederick Buechner: Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given & the pain you are giving back . . . in many ways, it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at that feast is you.

18. Be slow to anger because Jesus Christ never got sinfully angry and then died for sinners and rose from the dead to save sinners from all of their sinful anger forever: 


Romans 5:8: but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

God's Righteous Anger Found Its Place On The Head Of His Own Son

Dr. Ligon Duncan teaching us that God was angry with Jesus on the cross:

And notice, by the way, God in both of those instances was not simply angry at sin, He was angry with sinners. We often say God loves the sinner and hates the sin, and there's something very important and true about that truth. But you also need to understand that God is angry with people, and not simply with acts. He was angry with Solomon when Solomon married many foreign wives, who led him astray from his fidelity and devotion to the one true God. He was angry with Israel when Israel strayed into idolatry. His anger comes to rest on people. Does not the cross teach us that? That His righteous anger found its place on the head of His own Son?

That's penal substitution. That's the heart of the Gospel.

From: Ligon Duncan, "Anger And The Glory Of God," Sermon delivered from Ephesians 4:26-27 on May 7, 2006, https://ligonduncan.com/anger-and-the-glory-of-god-469/ Accessed 15 FEB 2020.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

They Sacrificed The Ring - For The Glory Of The King - Who Will Forever Make Them Sing!

Rosalind Bell-Smith, born in London in 1864, was twelve years old when she heard a sermon on John 3:16 at a revival meeting. The love of God was presented with such fervor and intensity that she yielded herself absolutely to Christ and stood up, along with others, to confess Him publicly as her Lord and Master.

Her father having been an artist, she grew up with a great love for art and went to art school in Toronto. But there was a strong pull in two opposite directions: Should she give her life to painting or should she serve her Master to whom she belonged? In her mind the two were mutually exclusive. When she was twenty she began to pray that if married life was what God wanted for her, He would give her a husband “wholly given up to Him and His service. I wanted no other.”

One day in June 1885, she joined a group of art students bound for [an outing] at Niagara Falls. On the same boat as they crossed the lake was another party, headed for a Bible conference. She envied the latter group – her heart was more with them than with her own crowd. On the return trip that evening both groups were on the boat again, plus others who had been at the Bible conference. The Bible teacher recognized Rosalind as the organist in the church where he had spoken the previous Sunday and invited her to join a mission group the following Saturday.

“We are to have a workers’ meeting and tea, and I would like you to meet them all.” She was on the point of saying this was impossible when her brother whispered, “You have no time. You are going to England.” Partly to show her brother that she would do as she pleased (“and what a trifle can turn the course of a life!” she said later), she accepted the invitation on the spot.

As the teacher turned to leave, he called to a friend who looked to Rosalind like a “very shabby fellow.” He was introduced as Jonathan Goforth, “our city missionary.” “I forgot the shabbiness of his clothes, however, for the wonderful challenge in his eyes!” she wrote.

“The following Saturday found me in the large, square workers’ room of the Toronto Mission Union. Chairs were set all around the walls, but the center was empty. Just as the meeting was about to begin, Jonathan Goforth was called out. He had been sitting across the corner from me with several people between. As he rose, he placed his Bible on the chair.”

“Then something happened which I could never explain, nor try to excuse. Suddenly I felt literally impelled to step across, past four or five people, take up the Bible and return to my seat. Rapidly I turned the leaves and found the Book worn almost to shreds in parts and marked from cover to cover. Closing the Book, I quickly returned it to the chair, and returning to my seat, I tried to look very innocent. It had all happened within a few moments, but as I sat there, I said to myself, ‘That is the man I would like to marry!'”

“That very day, I was chosen as one of a committee to open a new mission in the east end of Toronto, Jonathan Goforth being also on the same committee. In the weeks that followed I had many opportunities to glimpse the greatness of the man which even a shabby exterior could not hide. So when, in that autumn he said, ‘Will you join your life with mine for China?’ my answer was yes, without a moment’s hesitation.”

“But a few days later when he said, ‘Will you give me your promise that always you will allow me to put my Lord and His work first, even before you?’ I gave an inward gasp before replying, ‘Yes, I will, always,’ for was not this the very kind of man I had prayed for? (Oh, kind Master, to hide from Thy servant what that promise would cost!)”

“A few days after my promise was given, the first test in keeping it came. I had been (woman-like) indulging in dreams of the beautiful engagement ring that was soon to be mine. Then Jonathan came to me and said, ‘You will not mind, will you, if I do not get an engagement ring?’ He then went on to tell with the greatest enthusiasm of the distributing of books and pamphlets on China from his room in Knox [College]. Every cent was needed for this important work. As I listened and watched his glowing face, the visions I had indulged in of the beautiful engagement ring vanished. This was my first lesson in real values.”

Dr. and Mrs. Goforth sailed for China in February 1888 and served there until 1935. He celebrated his seventy-sixth birthday on board ship, bound for Canada, where he died the following year.

From: Elisabeth Elliot, Quest For Love, (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1997), 156-158. Direct quotations in the story were taken from Rosalind Goforth, Goforth of China (Minneapolis: Bethany, n.d.), 47-49.

Monday, February 10, 2020

"That's My King!" In Proverbs 16!

Christ Overall Is King Supreme
All Events His Perfect Scheme
All Words And Steps And Lots His Team
To Carry Out The Highest Theme
God's Glory Is His Great Esteem
And For This Theme He'd Die And Scream
"It Is Finished!" By Death Redeem
Then Rise With Joy And Bright-Eyed Gleam
So Now We Trust In His Regime
And Serve Him With A Love Extreme!

That's my King!

Christ's Ways And Spirit All Were Pure
The LORD Weighed Him Beloved, Mature
All He Did Was Right For Sure
The Humble God-Man Sinner's Cure
His End The Way To Death Endure
He Suffered For Our Pride Impure
Then Rose Salvation To Secure
Now Pride Of Life Has No Allure
All Things We Count As Loss, Manure
To Have Our Christ Who Does Assure
New Humble Life In Him Procure!

That's my King!

Jesus Is The Righteous King
Eternal Wisdom's True Wellspring
He's More Precious Than Anything
Yet Died And Took For Us Hell's Sting
Then Rose To All Salvation Bring
In Him We're Wise God's Pure Offspring
So Trust In Christ And To Him Cling
He Makes You Wise And Praise And Sing!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

Christ Is God's Wisdom Better Than Gold
He Died And Rose Just As Foretold
By Faith In Him You'll Live As Bold
In Righteousness You'll Walk As Told
Turn From All Evil Wisdom Hold
Work Hard And Fight A Heart That's Cold
Trust In The LORD By Grace Grow Old
You'll Finish Well His Face Behold!

That's my King!

Jesus Lived The Greatest Good
Desired God's Glory As None Would
Trusted Him Like No One Could
Yet Died And Bled Upon The Wood
Then Rose Alive On Death He Stood
Trust The LORD Olney Neighborhood
In Him You'll Live A Life That's Good!

That's my King!

Jesus Is King And God And LORD
With Righteous Lips He Ruled And Roared
Yet For Poor Sinners He Was Gored
On Him God's Fury-Wrath Was Poured
But Then He Rose And From Death Soared
His Mighty Power None Ignored
He's Given States To Use The Sword
But All Must Bow To Him As LORD
He Is Forever Praised Adored
Then All Peace Will Be Restored!

That's my King! I wonder if you know Him today?!

No King But Christ Upon The Throne
Established Righteous Cornerstone
Yet Died And Rose So Mercy's Shown
For All Our Sins He Did Atone
Burst From The Tomb Rolled Back The Stone
So Trust The LORD And Make Him Known
He'll Come With Wrath For Those Who've Sown
An Evil Life And Sin Condone
But For His Loved And Blood-Bought Own
His Face Will Shine With Light Alone!

That's my King!

Christ Never Abused His Infinite Power
But Loved And Served Each Day And Hour
Yet For Our Sins God's Wrath He'd Devour
Then Rise From The Dead Our Unconquerable Tower
Cry Out To Him When Abusers Overpower
Before His Throne All Kings Will Soon Cower
On You God's Blessings He'll Eternally Shower!

That's my King!

Christ's Words Were Like None Others Spoke
He's Righteous Tall Like Red Wood Oak
No Foolish Evil Talk Or Joke
But Only Sweetness Love Evoke
Yet He Died His Body Broke
And Took Our Sin God's Justice Stroke
Then Rose Alive And Broke Death's Yoke
The Spirit Came Our Hearts Awoke
By Faith We Wear His Righteous Cloak
And Speak With Words That Love Provoke!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

Jesus' Lips Are God's Delight
He's King Of Kings Who Spoke What's Right
His Words Are Sweet Pure Hearts Excite
Yet For Poor Sinners Took Death's Blight
The God-Man Humbled Low Contrite
Then Rose Alive The World's Great Light
Trust In Him For You He'll Fight
There's No More Condemnation Fright
You'll Speak His Words With Sweetness Bright
With Loving Words Of Grace Unite!

That's my King!

Jesus Grew Angry At A Pace Very Slow
He's Mighty Like None You'll Ever Know
Though His Righteous Anger Should Ever Flow
He's Patient Toward Every Sinner And Foe
To The Point For Us He Took God's Woe
He Died And Rose His Love To Show
And Made Our Sins As White As Snow
Now In Christ We're Mighty To Grow
And Sinful Anger Overthrow
We'll Rule Our Spirits Patience Sow
And With Christ's Joy Overflow!

That's my King! That's my King!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Gracious, Sweet Words

Proverbs 16:13, 21, 23-24: Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right . . . The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness . . . The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

These proverbs encourage righteous, discerning, persuasive, gracious, and sweet words that flow out of a wise, transformed heart!

What are gracious words?

1. True words: Ephesians 4:25: having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor

2. Bible words: Speak God's Word to one another and remind one another of God's precious truth and promises: Ephesians 5:18-21: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

3. Loving words: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4. Humble words: 1 Peter 5:5: Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

5. Helpful words: Proverbs 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

6. Right time words: Proverbs 15:23: A man finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!

7. Right tone words: Use a tone that conveys love and humility, compassion and care. Or stern warning words!

8. Clear words: Someone said: "Men like John the Baptist and Jesus were not put to death because they were unclear!"

9. Thankful words: 1 Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Samuel Sey: "One of the greatest evidences of a humble heart is a grateful tongue. When I'm not grateful for what I have, it's because I proudly think God owes me more than he's richly given me in Christ. I want a heart that beats in humility and a tongue that sings in gratitude."

10. Encouraging words: 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18: and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

11. Repentant words: Luke 18:13-14: But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

Friday, February 7, 2020

No One Ever Spoke Like This Man!

Luke 4:22: all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth

Luke 19:47-48: And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests & the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

John 7:44-46: Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this man!"

Matthew 7:28-29: And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

- John 8:58: Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

- John 11:25-26: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

- John 14:6: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

- John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.