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, December 19, 2009

Hating Those We Love Most . . . Because Jesus Is Better

Jesus said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27

In this passage, Jesus demands absolute, undivided love, commitment, and devotion without rival. The love we are to have for Jesus should make all other loves in our lives seem like hatred. Only if we have this kind of love for Christ will we be able to love the lesser goods in our lives (like our families) as they should be loved. Only by trusting, loving, and adoring Jesus most of all can we even begin to love our neighbors as ourselves or to love our wives as Christ loves the church.

Beware of idolizing the good gifts from God in your life.

Dr. Timothy Keller writes:

“We think that idols are bad things, but that is almost never the case. The greater the good, the more likely we are to expect that it can satisfy our deepest needs and hopes. Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the very best things in life . . . What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.

A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living . . . It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving ‘face’ and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry.”

(Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods, The Empty Promises Of Money, Sex, And Power, And The Only Hope That Matters (New York: Dutton, 2009), xvii-xviii.)

What, in your life, do you need to look straight in the eyes and say: “I hate you . . . compared to Jesus?” It could be your family, your blog, or even your Christian ministry.

May Christ be your all in all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trust And Adore: The Death Of Legalism

Geerhardus Vos wrote:

"Faith in its last analysis was to the patriarchs the apprehension, the possession, the enjoyment of God Himself . . . Legalism lacks the supreme sense of worship. It obeys but it does not adore."

Apparently, Vos was a Christian Hedonist!

Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History And Biblical Interpretation, The Shorter Writings Of Geerhardus Vos (Phillipsburg: P&R, 1980), 229, 231.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Cannot Esteem Christ Enough

Spurgeon said:

"My Master has such riches that you cannot count them. You cannot guess them, much less can you convey their fullness in words. They are unsearchable! You may look, and search, and weigh, but Christ is a greater Christ than you think Him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest.

My Master is more able to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more ready to supply than you are to ask, and ten thousand times more prepared to save than you are to be saved. Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus. Your highest estimates will dishonor Him.

When you put the crown on His head, you will only crown Him with silver when He deserves gold. When you sing the best of your songs, you will only give Him poor, discordant music, compared with what He deserves. But Oh! Do believe in Him, that He is a great Christ, a mighty Saviour.

Great sinner, come and do Him honor by trusting in Him as a great Saviour. Come with your great sins, and your great cares, and your great wants! Come and welcome. Come to Him now, and the Lord will accept you, and accept you without upbraiding you."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ," in Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 9 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 259-260.

HT: Tolle Lege

Saturday, December 5, 2009

May Christ Ravish Us All!

John Donne wrote:

"Batter my heart, three personed God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend.
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new,
I, like an usurped town, to another due,
Labor to admit you, but, oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend;
But is captive and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you and would be loved fain;
But am betrothed unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me."

(John Donne, "Batter My Heart")

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What It Cost To Be The Good Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1

This amazing truth is ultimately fulfilled in the Good Shepherd - the Lord Jesus Christ. Only in Him is this supernatural satisfaction fully realized, and for this realization to happen, Jesus had to lay down His life for the sheep (John 10:11).

Jesus had to lack everything for His sheep.

Contra rest in green pastures, He had no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20)

Contra still waters, He was baptized with the wrath of God (Luke 12:50)

Contra a restored soul, His soul was poured out unto death (Isaiah 53:12)

Contra being led in right paths, He was lead as a sheep to the slaughter and offered Himself as a propitiation so that God might be proved righteous (Acts 8:32, Romans 3:25-26)

Contra fearing no evil in the dark death valley, He was made evil Who knew no evil and sorrowed unto death as He contemplated the darkness of death that would utterly consume Him (2 Corinthians 5:21, Mark 14:34-36)

Contra having God with him as His comfort, God forsook Him, pouring out His just wrath upon Him (Matthew 27:46)

Contra having a rod and a staff to comfort Him, the rod of the Father was pleased to crush Him (Isaiah 53:10)

Contra having a table spread before Him, He hungered in the wilderness and thirsted unto death (Luke 4:1-2, John 19:28)

Contra having His head anointed with oil, He wore a blood-soaked crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29)

Contra having a cup that overflows, He drank the cup of the wrath of God to the dregs (Isaiah 51:17, Matthew 26:39)

Contra goodness and mercy pursuing Him all His days, wrath and torment pursued Him unto death (Isaiah 53)

Contra dwelling in the house of the LORD, He was banished from the dwelling of the LORD as the unclean and cursed one (Galatians 3:13)

Jesus had to lack everything as He Himself became the Lamb Who was slain (Revelation 5:6, 12)

And He did all of this on behalf of stubborn, sinful, hell deserving sheep who rebelled against Him. This is the best news in the world! All who know this Good Shepherd by grace through faith will lack no good thing, for He will provide for them, protect them, comfort them and satisfy them fully - He will be all and all to them now and forever and ever:

"Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Revelation 7:15-17

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.


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 blessèd 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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Come To Christ!

Charles Spurgeon preached:

"We need a Mediator between our souls and God, but we do not need any mediator between our souls and Christ. We need to get ready to come to God, but we need not get ready to come to Christ! You cannot come to God unless you are washed in the blood of Christ and clothed in the righteousness of Christ! But you may come to Christ just as you are - no need to rid yourselves of one foul blot. Come just as you are, without any good thing, whatever, without even enough goodness in you to be seen with a microscope! Come just as you are, even if you have so much sin that eternity could scarcely hold it! You may come to Christ though you are almost as bad as a devil. Though, in some respects, you are a very devil, yet you may come to God in Christ, but not to God out of Christ! You must come to Christ, first, and, at the foot of the Cross, look up to the atoning Sacrifice. There is a way to God’s heart for you, even you!"

From: Charles Spurgeon, Sermon: "The Only Road," John 14:6, March 31, 1872. The sermon can be accessed here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

An Everlasting Righteousness Makes All The Difference!

Adam was a righteous man in the garden before the fall. He was in paradise! He had everything he could want, including a perfect relationship with the God of the universe. Yet he turned from it all, rebelled against God, and sinned.

But think about Job. He was a fallen sinner; he lost all of his possessions; he lost all of his beloved children; he lost his health; and his wife told him to curse God and die. Would he sin against God like the first Adam? NO! HE BLESSED GOD IN HIS TRIALS! HE SAID GOD IS GOOD! GOD DOES ALL THINGS WELL! THOUGH HE SLAY ME I WILL HOPE IN HIM!

And why? Because, unlike Adam's righteousness, Job, through the Promised Redeemer, had an everlasting righteousness by grace through faith!

Dr. Meredith Kline comments on Job's triumph over Satan:

"Satan seduced Adam even while Adam was standing in the integrity of his creation righteousness. From this it might have appeared that Satan could trip up the depraved sons of Adam at will and trample upon them. But herein lies a great wonder of redemptive grace: sinner Job stands triumphant where righteous Adam tragically fell! Thus, for the confounding of Satan and the reassurance of the saints, the Lord gave clear proof that a righteousness more enduring than that of Adam was being provided through the second Adam. This triumph of Job’s patience over the Adversary’s malice provided a seal, especially for the ages before the Incarnation, of God’s promise that He would bestow on the faithful the gift of eternal salvation through the Christ to come."

From: Meredith Kline, Job in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), 464.

Faith: An Absorbing Preoccupation With Christ!

John Murray wrote:

"As one has aptly and truly stated the case, it is not faith that saves but faith in Jesus Christ; strictly speaking, it is not even faith in Christ that saves but Christ that saves through faith . . . The specific character of faith is that it looks away from itself and finds its whole interest and object in Christ. He is the absorbing preoccupation of faith."

From: John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), 139.

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Overwhelming Passion To Know Christ And To Make Him Known

Stephen Neill wrote:

"When a man, by constant contemplation of the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord, finds himself so inflamed with love of God and man that he cannot bear the thought of any man living and dying without the knowledge of God, he may begin to bear the Cross of Christ. If, as he bears it, this longing for the glory of God and for the salvation of all men becomes so great that it fills all his thoughts and desires, then he has that one thing without which no man can truly be a messenger of Christ."

From: Stephen Neill, Out of Bondage (Edinburgh: Edinburgh House Press, n.d.), 135-136. Cited from: D. A. Carson, The Gagging Of God, Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 514.

Oh may God inflame us with His love and with a love for men! May we bear the Cross of Christ! May our longing for the glory of God and for the salvation of lost sinners become so great that it fills all our thoughts and desires! Please make us messengers of Christ, oh Father . . . for Jesus' sake!

Devote Yourselves To The Gospel Of Christ, Not Peripheral Issues

D. A. Carson writes:

"One observes the decline of family and personal devotions and the rising number of self-confessed evangelicals who assume the gospel but devote themselves to relatively peripheral issues that become their premier passion: debates over Lordship salvation, spiritual warfare, counseling, home schooling, divorce and remarriage, abortion, Christian schools, Gothard seminars, social drinking, debt-free financing, charismatic issues, tastes in music and corporate worship, sex education in public schools, church polity, church discipline, ecology, women’s ordination, and much more."

D. A. Carson, The Gagging Of God, Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 482.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jesus Christ: A Greater Than Solomon Is Here!

Dr. Bruce Waltke lists 18 ways Jesus Christ is greater than the wisdom of Solomon!

1. The Queen of Sheba testified to her amazement of Solomon’s wisdom in this world, but she will rise up in judgment over those who reject Christ’s superior wisdom (Matt. 12:46).

2. Solomon taught his disciples to wait for God to repay the wrongdoer, but Christ Himself will repay them (Prov. 24:12; Matt. 25:41-46; Rev. 2:23; 22:12; cf. Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:14; 1 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 20:12-13).

3. Solomon depended on God to discipline those he loves, but Christ Himself disciplines those he loves ([Prov.] 3:11-12; Rev. 3:19).

4. Solomon taught that those who share with the poor will be rewarded by God, but Christ identifies himself with and as the poor and as the one who rewards those who sacrifice for them (Matt. 25:31-45).

5. Solomon focused on health and wealth now and minimized present sufferings; Christ focused on present suffering for righteousness and maximized future, eternal glory ([Prov.] 3:1-10, 34; Matt. 5:3-12; 25:1-13).

6. Solomon offers eternal life opaquely, but Christ by his resurrection brought immortality into the full light of day ([Prov.] 8:35; Matt. 25:46; 2 Tim 1:10).

7. Solomon motivates his disciples to please their parents, but Christ, while upholding the honor of parents, teaches his disciples to love the triune God more ([Prov.] 10:1; 19:13; 23:22-25; 27:11; 29:3; Matt. 5:45; 7:21; 10:32, 33, 35, 37; 15:4; 23:9; 25:34; Luke 9:60).

8. Solomon's wisdom is a bubbling brook, but Christ offers streams of water from within ([Prov.] 18:4; John 7:38).

9. Solomon offers a banquet of food and drink, but Christ himself is the Christian's food and drink (Prov. 9:1-3; John 6:53).

10. No human ascended into heaven to comprehend the whole, but Christ both descended from heaven and ascended into it ([Prov.] 30:4; John 3:13; 6:33).

11. Solomon depended in part on the sayings of others, but Christ speaks as the authoritative Son of Man from heaven (Prov. 22:23; Matthew 12).

12. Solomon calls on his disciples to write his teachings on their hearts, but Christ sends his Spirit to write God's word on their hearts (Prov. 3:3; 2 Cor. 3:3).

13. Solomon calls for obedience, but Christ's Spirit empowers his elect to obey (Prov. 1:20-21; Rom. 8:1-8).

14. Solomon anticipates a future ideal king ([Prov.] 16:10-15), but Christ is the Messiah (Matt. 27:37).

15. Solomon pointed to atonement by showing reliable love to others, but Christ showed such reliable love to his own [in] that he died to atone for their sin (Mark 10:45; 2 Cor. 5:14).

16. Solomon failed to obey his wisdom, but Christ is the perfect example of his ([Prov.] 3:2; 25:26; 1 K. 11:9-10; Luke 2:52; Heb. 4:15).

17. Solomon lost his kingdom, but Christ builds his (1 K. 11:10; Matt. 16:18).

18. Solomon called on his disciples to feed their enemies, but Christ died for his enemies ([Prov.] 25:21; Rom 5:8).

Nevertheless, even though Christ's wisdom is so much greater than Solomon's, we do not discard the latter any more than we would throw away a five-dollar bill because we also owned a twenty-dollar bill.

From: Bruce K. Waltke, The Book Of Proverbs, Chapters 1-15 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 131-132.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Christ: Our Perfect and Sovereign Happiness!

John Calvin commenting on Ephesians 3:14-19:

". . . when the Scripture sets Jesus Christ before us, it is not without cause that we are told to rest wholly upon him, and keep to him when we have come to him, because he has all fulness of good things in himself. Therefore we do not need to be wandering here and there, or taking such great trouble in seeking the things that are needful for us. In short, we must no longer go astray, but must adhere wholly to him, as to our perfect and sovereign happiness."

John Calvin, Sermons On The Epistle To The Ephesians (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1975), 300.

We Have Everything In Christ!

John Calvin commenting on Ephesians 3:14-19:

"Therefore when we once know how well God loves us, and how inestimable is the mercy of which he has given us so good a pledge in the person of his only Son, we have everything . . . ."

John Calvin, Sermons On The Epistle To The Ephesians (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1975), 296.

Keep Yourselves Strictly In Awe Of Him!

Commenting on Ephesians 3:14-19, John Calvin said:

"To be brief, we must be sure of the infinite good that is done to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, in order that we may be ravished in love with our God and inflamed with a proper zeal to obey him, and keep ourselves strictly in awe of him, to honour him with all our thoughts, with all our affections, and with all our hearts."

John Calvin, Sermons On The Epistle To The Ephesians (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1975), 295.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

May All Else Be Shut Out But Christ!

Harry Ironside wrote: "The secret of holiness is heart-occupation with Christ. As we gaze upon him we become like him. Do you want to become like Christ? . . . Let the loveliness of the risen Lord so fill the vision of your soul that all else is shut out."

Cited in Bryan Chapell, Ephesians (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2009), 164.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Witnessing about Christ in the Face of Muslim Persecution

From Voice of the Martyrs:

On Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith, with the Muslim women telling Asia about Islam. Asia responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for our sins, then asked them what Mohammed had done for them, according to VOM sources. She told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammed is dead. “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”

Upon hearing this response the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia Bibi. Then some men came and took her and locked her in a room. They announced from mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey. Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan. She is currently being held at the police station in Nankana city. Christians there urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed that they must go forward due to pressure from local Muslim leaders.

The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia Bibi and her family. Further, we call on the Pakistani government to insure that the rights of Christians like Asia are protected.

See more here.

God Can Make Us Happy Without Anything Else

On his death bed, Edward Payson wrote:

"Christians might avoid much trouble and inconvenience if they would only believe what they profess, that God is able to make them happy without anything else. They imagine that if such a dear friend were to die, or if such blessings were to be removed, they would be miserable, whereas God can make them a thousand times happier without them. To mention my own case, God has been depriving me of one blessing after another [he was on his death-bed when he wrote this], but as each one was removed He has come in and filled its place. And now, when I am cripple and not able to move, I am happier than ever I was in my life before or ever expected to be; and if I had believed this twenty years ago I might have been spared much anxiety."

Cited in D. M. Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, An Exposition of Ephesians 3:1 to 21 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 240-241.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Holy Longings For Christ To Be All

Count Zinzendorf:

I have one passion; it is Christ, and Christ alone.

Hudson Taylor:

Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me
A living, bright Reality;
More present to faith's vision keen
Than any outward object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh
Than e'en the sweetest earthy tie.

Theodore Monod:

O the bitter shame and sorrow,
That a time could ever be,
When I let the Savior’s pity
Plead in vain, and proudly answered,
“All of self, and none of Thee!”

Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on th’accursèd tree,
Heard Him pray, “Forgive them, Father!”
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee!”

Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and ah! so patient,
Brought me lower, while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee!”

Higher than the highest heavens,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last hath conquered:
Grant me now my supplication,
“None of self, and all of Thee!”

Friday, October 2, 2009

All Satisfaction in Him!

A. W. Tozer wrote:

"The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever."

From The Pursuit of God

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Luther Wanted Nothing But Christ!

"I want nothing but this Christ. He shall be a Treasure so great to me that everything else will seem dung to me. He shall be a Light so great to me that, having apprehended Him by faith, I do not care to know whether there is a law, sin, and any righteousness or unrighteousness in all the world. For what is everything in heaven and on earth compared with the Son of God, Jesus Christ, my Lord, who loved me and gave Himself for me?"

(Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 4429, p. 1373.)

HT: Tolle Lege

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Give Me Jesus!

Fernando Ortega - "Give Me Jesus" from Adamson.TV on Vimeo.

Because Christ Is All; All Things Are Yours Believer!

Francis Turretin wrote:

God is ours by reason of the communication of goods. He cannot be our God without all things belonging to him becoming ours; and as all things belong to God, ours also are all things in heaven and on earth: "All things are yours," says Paul, "and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (1 Corinthians 3:21,23). Ours are God's creatures on the earth to serve us; the angels in heaven to guard us (heaven as our native land); the earth as a place of pilgrimage, the world as an inheritance given to us with Abraham (Romans 4:13). Thus all God's promises are ours - of the present life as well as of the future; and the goods of God are ours - of grace as well as of glory: "The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good things will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11). A sun of all manner of blessing for the communication of good things; a shield of invincible protection for the repelling of evils, so that we may rightly infer with Paul that nothing can hurt us because God is for us ("If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31); and with David that we shall want nothing because God is our shepherd ("The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want," Psalm 23:1) - because he denies nothing to those who fear him, but grants all things liberally and blesses us with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). "Christ is all in all" in grace (Colossians 3:11); "God will be all in all" in glory (1 Corinthians 15:28); "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Revelation 21:7).

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, trans. George Musgrave Giger, ed. James T. Dennison Jr., vol. 2 (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1994), 181.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Motto Upon Your Whole Ministry: Christ Is All!

Charles Bridges wrote:

The Missionary Eliot's word to young Ministers was - "Let there be much of Christ in your Ministry . . . Exhibit," said Mather to his Student and Pastor . . . "as much as you can of a glorious Christ: yea, let the motto upon your whole Ministry be - "Christ is All."

Let your Sermons be dyed in the blood of the Redeemer, was the strong language of a celebrated Divine. (Skelton)

"Persons," as Mr. Romaine once observed to a friend of the Writer, "wonder that we are always preaching Christ; but the truth is, that we have nothing else to preach about."

"Preach Christ," said a venerable Minister to a young brother. "I have," was the reply. "Then preach Him again. Be always on it. Let every thing be in connection with it."

From Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2006), 240, note 2.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jesus Christ: The All in All God Man!

Revelation 1:7-8: Jesus is the ALMIGHTY.
Genesis 17:1: And the ALMIGHTY is God.

John 8:12: Jesus is the LIGHT.
Isaish 60:20; Psalm 27:1: And the LIGHT is God.

John 8:58: Jesus is the great I AM.
Exodus 3:14: And the great I AM is God.

Luke 21:33: Jesus' WORD stands foever.
Isaiah 40:8: And the WORD that stands forever is God's.

John 1:14: Jesus is the WORD.
John 1:1: And the WORD is God.

Acts 3:14: Jesus is the HOLY ONE.
Isaiah 43:15: And the HOLY ONE is God.


John 8:24: Jesus is the I AM HE.
Isaiah 43:10: And the I AM HE is God.

Revelation 22:13: Jesus is the FIRST AND THE LAST.
Isaiah 44:6: And the FIRST AND THE LAST is God.

Revelation 22:13: Jesus is THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA.
Revelation 21:6: And THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA is God.

Revelation 22:13: Jesus is THE BEGINNING AND THE END.
Revelation 21:6: And THE BEGINNING AND THE END is God.

I Corinthians 10:4: Jesus is THE ROCK.
Psalm 18:31: And THE ROCK is God.

II Corinthians 11:2: Jesus is the ONE HUSBAND.
Jeremiah 31:32: And the ONE HUSBAND is God.

Matthew 23:8: Jesus is the ONE MASTER.
Malachi 1:6: And the ONE MASTER is God.

John 10:16: Jesus is the ONE SHEPHERD.
Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:11: And the ONE SHEPHERD is God.

Acts 4:12: Jesus is the ONE SAVIOR.
Isaiah 45:21: And the ONE SAVIOR is God.

Luke 1:68: Jesus is the ONE REDEEMER.
Isaiah 41:14: And the ONE REDEEMER is God.

Revelation 5:9: Jesus is THE WORTHY ONE.
Revelation 4:11: And THE WORHTY ONE is God.

Revelation 5:13: Jesus recieves GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER.
Revelation 4:11: And GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER are received by God.

John 20:28: Jesus is THE LORD AND GOD.
Genesis 14:22: And THE LORD AND GOD is God.

Matthew 2:11: Only Jesus must be WORSHIPED AND ADORED.
Matthew 4:10: And people must only WORSHIP AND ADORE God.

Isaiah 28:29: And He Who is WONERFUL IN COUNSEL is God.

Isaiah 9:6: Jesus is THE MIGHTY GOD.
Jeremiah 32:18: And THE MIGHTY GOD is God.

Isaiah 9:6: Jesus is EVERLASTING.
Psalm 90:2: And He Who is EVERLASTING is God.

Psalm 45:6: And He Whose THRONE IS FOREVER AND EVER is God.

Hebrews 3:1-3: Jesus BUILT THE HOUSE.
Hebrews 3:4: And He Who BUILT ALL THINGS is God.

Romans 9:5: Jesus is THE GOD OVER ALL.
Ephesians 4:6: And THE GOD OVER ALL is God.

Titus 2:13: Jesus is THE GREAT GOD.
Psalm 95:3: And THE GREAT GOD is God.

Mark 1:1-3: Jesus had a WAY PREPARED for Him.
Isaiah 40:3: And a WAY WAS PREPARED for God.

1 Corinthians 1:30: Jesus is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jeremiah 23:6: And THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS is God.

Romans 10:13: Jesus is the name you MUST CALL ON TO BE SAVED.
Joel 2:32: And the name you MUST CALL ON TO BE SAVED is God.

Revelation 19:16; 1 Timothy 6:14: Jesus is THE LORD OF LORDS.
Deuteronomy 10:17: And THE LORD OF LORDS is God.

Philippians 2:10: To Jesus every knee MUST BOW.
Isaiah 45:23: And every knee MUST BOW to God.

Psalm 139:7-10: And He Who CAN BE PRESENT EVERYWHERE is God.



Colossians 2:9: In Jesus dwells THE FULLNESS OF DEITY bodily.
Deuteronomy 7:9: And THE FULLNESS OF DEITY dwells in God.

Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3: In Jesus ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER.
Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 119:90-91: And ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER in God.

Matthew 8:8-13: Jesus HEALED BY HIS WORD.
Psalm 107:20: And He Who HEALED BY HIS WORD is God.

Colossians 1:16: For and through Jesus ALL THINGS WERE CREATED.
Romans 11:36: And ALL THINGS CREATED are from, through, and to God.

Luke 7:48-49: Jesus FORGIVES SINS.
Psalm 103:2-3: And He Who FORGIVES SINS is God.

John 5:22: Jesus JUDGES EVERYONE.
Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:2-3: And He Who JUDGES EVERYONE is God.

2 Corinthians 5:17: In Jesus, people are MADE NEW CREATIONS.
Revelation 21:5: And He Who MAKES ALL THINGS NEW is God.

John 1:3-10: Jesus is the ONE CREATOR.
Genesis 1:1: And the ONE CREATOR is God.

John 1:49: Jesus is the KING OF ISRAEL.
Isaiah 44:6: And the KING OF ISRAEL is God.

Philippians 3:3: Jesus must be everyone's ONLY BOAST.
Jeremiah 9:23-24: And everyone's ONLY BOAST must be in God.

Colossians 3:11: Jesus is THE ALL IN ALL.
1 Corinthians 15:28: And THE ALL IN ALL is God.

Many of these truths came from:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Christ . . . The One Thing Necessary!

Philippians 1:9-11: And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Commenting on what it means to approve what is excellent in verse 10, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:

The difficulty in life is to know on what we ought to concentrate. The whole art of life, I sometimes think, is the art of knowing what to leave out, what to ignore, what to put on one side. How prone we are to dissipate our energies and to waste our time by forgetting what is vital and giving ourselves to second and third rate issues. Now, says Paul, here you are in the Christian life, you are concerned about difficulties, about oppositions and about the contradictions of life. What you need is just this: the power to concentrate on that which is vital, to leave out everything else, and to keep steadily to the one thing that matters.
(The Life of Joy: Philippians, vol. 1, pp. 54-55.)

The Apostle Paul came preaching one thing:

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

He boasted in one thing:

Galatians 6:14: But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

One thing is of first importance:

1 Corinthians 15:3-4: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures . . . .

We proclaim one thing in the Lord's Supper:

1 Corinthians 11:26: For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

May we approve what is excellent and proclaim that Jesus Christ and Him crucified is all!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In Self We Possess Nothing; In Christ We Possess All

Luke 9:46-48: An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great."

A Dutch Poem:

Make me, O Lord, a child again,
So tender, frail, and small,
In self possessing nothing, and
In Thee possessing all.

O Savior, make me small once more,
That downward I may grow,
And in this heart of mine restore
The faith of long ago.

With thee may I be crucified-
No longer I that lives-
O Savior, crush my sinful pride
By grace which pardon gives.

Make me, O Lord, a child again,
Obedient to thy call,
In self possessing nothing, and
In Thee possessing all.

(From William Hendriksen's Commentary on Matthew 18:2-4)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Christ Was All To Some Saints Of Old

John Calvin:

. . . if we seek salvation, we are taught by the name of JESUS that it is in Him . . . If we seek redemption, it will be found in His sufferings; absolution, in His condemnation; remission of the curse, in His cross; satisfaction, in His sacrifice; purification, in His blood . . . newness of life and immortality, in His resurrection . . . protection, security, abundance and enjoyment of all blessings, in His kingdom; a fearless expectation of the judgment, in the judicial authority committed to Him . . . Christ is the beginning, middle and end . . . nothing is, or can be found, apart from Him . . . Let us draw from His treasury, and from no other source.

Octavius Winslow’s response to the text: "Unto you therefore which believe He is precious" (1 Pet 2.7):

Precious Jesus! All in all to me Thou art!

Samuel Rutherford:

Convene all your lovers before your soul, and give them their leave; and strike hands with Christ, that thereafter there may be no happiness to you but Christ, no hunting for anything but Christ, no bed at night, when death cometh, but Christ. Christ, Christ, who but Christ!

Paul Gerhardt:

O Jesus, nothing may I see,
Nothing desire, or seek, but Thee.

Charles Wesley:

Jesus, my all in all Thou art,
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The medicine of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain,
My smile beneath the tyrant’s frown,
In shame my glory and my crown.
In want my plentiful supply,
In weakness my almighty power,
In bonds my perfect liberty,
My light in Satan’s darkest hour,
My help and stay whene’er I call,
My life in death, my heaven, my all.

Gerhard Tersteegen:

Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside;
The fairest of the fair is He.

Augustus Toplady:

Object of my first desire,
Jesus crucified for me;
All to happiness aspire,
Only to be found in Thee.
Let me but Thyself possess,
Total sum of happiness:
Perfect peace I then shall prove,
Heaven below and heaven above.

Philip Henry:

Have ye renounced all other things for your all, and have ye received Him to be your all?

Samuel Ward:

He that desires anything above Him, equally with Him, or without Him, shall never obtain Him.

Ralph Robinson:

The saints . . . would rather lose all than Christ; they are contented to part with liberty, estate, life, rather than with Christ.

Jeremiah Burroughs:

In all you enjoy, look how much you see of Christ in it. So far let your delight and esteem be carried out towards it, and no farther.

Do not satisfy yourself with anything without Christ.

Octavius Winslow:

The believer can say: Christ is mine, and I have all things in one, even in Christ, who is my all and in all.

Christ in His Godhead, Christ in His humanity, Christ in His great and finished work, Christ in His mediatorial fulness, must be all in all to the sinner.

Horatius Bonar:

"Christ is all and in all" (Col 3.11). He who knows this knows what fully satisfies and cheers. He who knows this best has the deepest and truest peace: for he has learned the secret of being always a sinner yet always righteous, always incomplete yet always complete, always empty and yet always full, always poor and yet always rich.

Samuel Rutherford:

I wish it were in my power . . . to cry down all love but the love of Christ, and to cry down all gods but Christ, all saviours but Christ, all well-beloveds but Christ, and all soul-suitors and love-beggars but Christ.

All quotations were taken from this excellent article.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Christ Is All In All In Our Lack

Jeremiah Burroughs said:

Again, He is all in all in the lack of things, whatever it is that we lack. Do we lack grace, do we lack gifts, do we lack outward comforts in the world? There is enough in Christ.

It is Christ that is instead of all, that is better than all, and that will supply all in His due time. Those who know Christ and have acquaintance with Him, though they have this and that comfort taken from them, they still know how to make supply out of Christ.

They have that skill and art and mystery of godliness that they can make Christ to be all in all in the lack of all, and it is a great skill and mystery of godliness to know how to make up all in Christ in the lack of all.

See the whole sermon here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jesus Is Worthy To Come To . . . Always!

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 blessed 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 home,
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.

Words: Wiliam T. Sleeper, 1887

Hear it sung beautifully here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Than All In Jesus We Find!

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.


Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

Words: J. Wilbur Chapman, 1910.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Beauty of Christ

John Piper said:

"I do believe that deeply rooted in every human heart is a longing for beauty. Why do we go to the Grand Canyon, the Boundary Waters, art exhibits, gardens? Why do we plant trees and flower beds? Why do we paint our inside walls? Why is it man and not the monkeys who decorated cave walls with pictures? Why is it that in every tribe of humans ever known there has always been some form of art and craftsmanship that goes beyond mere utility? Is it not because we long to behold and be a part of beauty? We crave to be moved by some rare glimpse of greatness. We yearn for a vision of glory."

Read the whole sermon here.

Do you want to see the greatest glory and beauty in the universe?

Paul wrote: "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6

Look to Christ and you will find this greatest of glories and greatest of beauties!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Christ Is Shown To Be Glorious In The Midst Of Pain

See how here.

When You Lose Your Only Child . . . Christ is All!

Thomas Watson wrote:

Has God taken away your only child? He has given His only Son. This is a happy exchange. What need does he have to complain of losses who has Christ? He is His Father’s brightness (Hebrews 1:3), His fullness (Colossians 2:9), and His delight (Proverbs 8:30). Is there enough in Christ to delight the heart of God? And is there not enough in Him to ravish us with holy delight? He is wisdom to teach us, righteousness to acquit us, sanctification to adorn us. He is that royal and princely gift. He is the bread of angels (according to Bernard), the joy and triumph of saints. He is "all in all" (Colossians 3:11). Why then are you discontented?

(Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment (Grand Rapids: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2001), 34.)

This is amazing indeed! The infinite, everlasting, all-mighty, all-knowing, all-glorious God of all the universe has been absolutely satisfied with Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Trinity from all eternity. Is Christ, then, not enough for us, mere finite vapors? Christ must be all! If He is enough to satisfy the infinite, then He is enough for you, no matter what you lose in this life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Christ! An All Satisfying Portion!

Jonathan Edwards said:

They that have Christ, they have a soul-satisfying portion. They have the truest pleasures and comforts. Here is to be found the proper happiness of the soul. Least liable to accidents and change . . . Here is the best employment for the understanding . . . Such as have Christ, they have better and greater riches than others . . . Better honor . . . Far better pleasures than sensual men. The joys are more exquisitely delighting than ever was enjoyed by the greatest epicure [a man who is dedicated sensual pleasure]. [There are] no pleasures like those that are by the enlightenings of the Spirit of Christ, the discoveries of the beauty of Christ and the manifestations of his love.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Christ is All in Faith!

John Piper said:

"When faith stands in front of a mirror, the mirror becomes a window and sees on the other side the glory of Christ. The decisive alternative to saying, 'I am all,' is not to say, 'I am nothing,' but to say, 'Christ is all.' Faith looks to Christ, not self, not even the new self. In fact the definition of the new-self is the self that looks to Christ as its Savior and Lord and Treasure and Joy and Satisfaction."

From this sermon.