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, April 30, 2011

Christ Must Have All Of Us!

Elizabeth Elliot wrote:
When a woman consents to marry a man, she (if she's a Christian) should think about the relationship between Christ the Bridegroom and the Church, His Bride. The Church responds to His call. The Bride relinquishes her independence, her name, her destiny, her plans for a "life of her own" (remember Jesus' words: "If anyone wants to follow Me, let him give up his right to himself"), her family, her home, and perhaps even her country to join the life of this man. She accepts his destiny, his name, his future, and everything else as her own. If she is called to be his wife, she is called to support and encourage him in the work God calls him to do . . . .

Elizabeth Elliot, "Where Will Complaining Get You?" November/December 1983 Newsletter.

Christ: Worth More Than A Thousand Worlds!

Thomas Brooks wrote:
Christ is a jewel more worth than a thousand worlds, as all know who have Him. Get Him, and get all; miss Him and miss all.

He is a portion that exactly and directly suits the condition of the soul. The desires of the soul, and the necessities of the soul, and the wants of the soul, and the longings of the soul, and the prayers of the soul.

The soul can crave nothing, nor wish for nothing, but what is to be found in Christ. He is light to enlighten the soul, wisdom to counsel the soul, power to support the soul, goodness to supply the soul, mercy to pardon the soul, beauty to delight the soul, glory to ravish the soul, and fullness to fill the soul.

Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 3.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Christ Is Fully All To Him Now

Pastor David Wilkerson died on April 27th in a car accident. He knows for sure now that to die is gain as he enjoys paradise with his precious Savior. His last blog post is a good word. He wrote:
To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”

Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.

HT: David Wilkerson

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jesus Christ: The Good Above All Goods!

‎Thomas a Kempis wrote:
What can the world profit thee without Jesus? To be without Jesus is the nethermost hell, and to be with Jesus is sweet paradise. If Jesus were with thee, no enemy could hurt thee. He who findeth Jesus findeth a good treasure, yea, good above all good; and he who loseth Jesus loseth exceeding much, yea, more than the whole world. Most poor is he who liveth without Jesus, and most rich is he who is much with Jesus.

Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 1886.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Christ: The Very Essence Of All Delights!

John Flavel said:
Christ [is] the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is congregation or meeting-place of all waters in the world: so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet . . . His excellencies are pure and unmixed; he is a sea of sweetness without one drop of gall.

John Flavel, The Method of Grace, from Sermon XII.

HT: Justin Taylor

Friday, April 22, 2011

Show Them The Glory Of God's Christ!

Dr. Tony Curto passionately preached:
What do you need to do to motivate the congregations [to carry the Gospel to the nations]? Do you need to make them feel guilty? No! Do you need to tell them great stories? No! Do you need to beg and plead with them? No! What you must do . . . you must show them the glory of God's Christ! You must show them the glory of God's Christ!

Tony Curto, "The Motive Of The Church," GPTS Conference 2006.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Christ Our True Rest!

Christina Rossetti prayed:
O Lord, Jesus Christ, who art as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, who beholdest Thy weak creatures weary of labour, weary of pleasure, weary of hope deferred, weary of self; in thine abundant compassion, and fellow feeling with us, we pray Thee, give us Thy rest.

Great Trials - Great Mercies!

Charles Spurgeon wrote:
Believer, you are not exempt from trials, but you have sufficient grace for any trouble. God's choicest love letters are sent in black-edged envelopes. The envelope frightens us, but if we know how to break the seal we will find riches for our soul. Great trials are the clouds from which God showers great mercies. Frequently, when the Lord has an extraordinary mercy to send, He employs His rough and grizzled horses to drag it to our door. The smooth rivers of ease are usually navigated by little vessels filled with common commodities, but a huge ship loaded with treasure crosses deep seas.

Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ed. Roy H. Clarke, 1999), 100.

His Comforts Delight Our Souls!

Charles Spurgeon wrote:
Some of you are perplexed with a multitude of anxieties about your life. You do not know what to do. One plan was suggested, and for a time it seemed the best action. But now you have doubts. You are bewildered and you cannot see Providence's clue. You are lost in a maze. Indeed, at this moment, you are depressed.

You have tried various ways and methods to escape your present difficulty. But you have been disappointed and distracted. Your thoughts have no order; they drag you in opposite directions. The currents meet and twist as if you were in a whirlpool.

My perplexed friend, remember the children of Israel at the Red Sea. The sea was before them, rocks were on either side, and the cruel Egyptians roared in the rear. Imitate Israel's actions. "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today" (Exodus 14:13). You reply, "I cannot be quiet. I am agitated, perturbed, perplexed, tossed, and distracted. What shall I do?"

"In the multitude of my anxieties with me, Your comforts delight my soul" (Psalm 94:19). Turn your eyes to the deep things of God. Cease from anxious consideration of seen things, which are temporary, and gaze by faith on things that are eternal.

Remember, your way is ordered by a higher power than your will and choice. The eternal God has fixed your every step. All things are fixed by the Father's hand. He who loved us from before the foundations of the world has immutably determined every step of our pilgrimage.

It is a blessed thing, after you have been muddling and meddling with your anxieties, to throw your burdens on the Lord and leave them there.

Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ed. Roy H. Clarke, 1999), 95.

One Sight Of Christ And All Our Desires Will Be Fulfilled!

Stephen Altrogge writes:
When we see Christ, we'll realize that all our earthly longings were really longings to see and be with Christ. When we look upon Jesus, the battle for contentment will come to an end, and we'll finally have all that we ever desired.

Stephen Altrogge, The Greener Grass Conspiracy (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All Glory, Laud, And Honor Be To Christ Alone!

A monk rebuked Richard Wurmbrand for his pride in the following parable:
On Palm Sunday, when the Lord entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, He was received with shouts of "Hosanna to the Son of David!" and with the waving of palm branches. That evening the donkey told his fellow donkeys in the stable: "If only you could have seen with what honor I was acclaimed in Jerusalem!

They called me "Son of David, King of the Jews." I had never before known the name of the donkey who was my father. I was very pleased to find out that he was called David. And the crowd seemed very determined to make me king! They threw their clothes before me on the road in order that I might walk on softness.

I suppose they will come tomorrow to enthrone me. I imagine that when a donkey becomes king, he gets plenty of hay and is not made to carry burdens anymore!"

As the monk finished the story, he looked at me significantly. "There are quite a few such donkeys. Young pastors are prone to believe that the honor they receive is for them."
Richard Wurmbrand, "Preaching for Eternity," Ministry (July 1994), 16.

Here's Martin Luther on this point:
If, however, you feel and are inclined to think you have made it, flattering yourself with your own little books, teaching, or writing, because you have done it beautifully and preached excellently; if you are highly pleased when someone praises you in the presence of others; if you perhaps look for praise, and would sulk or quit what you are doing if you did not get it—if you are of that stripe, dear friend, then take yourself by the ears, and if you do this in the right way you will find a beautiful pair of big, long, shaggy donkey ears.

Then do not spare any expense! Decorate them with golden bells, so that people will be able to hear you wherever you go, point their fingers at you, and say, “See, see! There goes that clever beast, who can write such exquisite books and preach so remarkably well.” That very moment you will be blessed and blessed beyond measure in the kingdom of heaven. Yes, in that heaven where hellfire is ready for the devil and his angels.
Martin Luther, LW 34:287-288.

HT: Justin Taylor

Monday, April 18, 2011

No Mercy, Comfort, Or Privilege Withheld In Christ!

Commenting on this verse:

"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32

John Flavel wrote:
Surely if He would not spare his own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever He should, after this, deny or withhold from His people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them.

Christ's Righteousness Is Of Infinite Worthiness!

Jonathan Edwards wrote:
Christ by His obedience, by that obedience which He undertook for our sakes, has honored God abundantly more than the sins of any of us have dishonored Him, how many soever, how great soever . . . . God hates our sins, but not more than He delights in Christ's obedience which He performed on our account. This is a sweet savor to Him, a savor of rest. God is abundantly compensated, He desires no more; Christ's righteousness is of infinite worthiness and merit.

Jonathan Edwards, The Works Of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, p. 930 (Sermon on Isaiah 32:2)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Christ Knows All!

Robert Murray M'Cheyne commented on Jesus' Words to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7:
Now, let us see, second, What Christ says in the praise of Ephesus. "I know thy works." It is Jesus that knows them. Now, does this make you quake - does it make you fear - does it make you tremble from head to foot, to think that the eye of Christ is upon you, that He says, "I know thy works" Why should it?

Because when Jesus says to you, I know thy sin;
you should say to Him, I know Thy sufferings.

When He says to you, I know all thy wants, that thou hast many;
then you should say to Him, I know Thy fullness.

When He says to you, I know that thou hast got little strength;
then say you to Him, I know that Thou hast got all strength - that Thou art Almighty.

When He says to you, I know thy folly;
then say you to Him, I know Thy wisdom - what treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Thee.

When He says unto you, I know what darkness is in thee;
then say you to Him, I know what light is in Thee.

For what does David say in the 139th Psalm? "O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down-sitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether" and then rejoicing he says - "How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

But then Jesus knows your good works too; He knows every cup of water given for His sake; He knows every throb of love in your bosom for Himself - every act of affection to His people, to the brethren. Every believer feels that his own works are nothing, and it is right that he should feel so; every believer looks upon them in this way, because he feels there is so much vileness in everything he does - such a mixture of motives.

For instance, if you were to be kind to a stranger, you may have in doing so but one grain of love to Christ, and a hundred grains of other feelings; perhaps love of praise, or a desire to be thought well of. Now I will tell you what Christ does; He sprinkles the hundred grains with His own blood, He forgets them all, and treasures up the one grain of love to Himself, and says unto you, "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience."

Robert Murray M'Cheyne, The Seven Churches Of Asia (Fearn, Tain, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1986), 7-8.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fighting Lust So That Christ Is All!

A young man's prayer against lust and for more delight in his most beautiful God:
Oh Father! You have made women so unbelievably beautiful! Their hair, their eyes, their faces, everything about them is so beautiful and attractive - so powerfully attractive! I praise and thank You oh God for this! You are the great Author of this beauty and my attraction to it! You designed every last detail of their beauty. Please help me honor You by the way I think about this beauty. Please help me look upon these women with purity, honor, and holiness. Please help me look beyond the human beauty to see Your beauty - the great Author of all beauty. Oh Father, if mere sinful, finite creatures are this beautiful and attractive to me, how much more beautiful, satisfying, and attractive must You be! You Who created the beauty of women; You Who are without sin and the infinite Creator!! Oh Father, please give me a heart like Your servant David who said: "One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple" (Psalm 27:4). Please satisfy me with Your beauty oh God! Please forgive me for all my sinful lusts, and thank You for Jesus Christ - my sin bearing substitute Who never sinfully lusted in the least bit! Thank You that He bore the wrath on the cross that I deserve for all of my heart adultery. Please help me to hope in Him and His perfect work, and please help me to always look upon all women with a pure heart for His glory, honor, and praise! For Jesus' sake. Amen!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jesus Christ: He Is The King Of Kings!

Shadrach Meshach Lockridge preachin' 'bout his King!

My King was born King.
The Bible says He's a Seven Way King.
He's the King of the Jews - that's an ethnic King.
He's the King of Israel - that's a national King.
He's the King of righteousness.
He's the King of the ages.
He's the King of Heaven.
He's the King of glory.
He's the King of kings,
and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that's my King!

David said the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament
showeth His handiwork.
My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can
define His limitless love.
My King is a sovereign King. No far seeing telescope can bring into
visibility the coastline of His shoreless supplies. No barriers can
hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.

He's enduringly strong.
He's entirely sincere.
He's eternally steadfast.
He's immortally graceful.
He's imperially powerful.
He's impartially merciful.
That's my King!

He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He's God's Son.
He's the sinner's savior.
He's the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
He's august.
He's unique.
He's unparalleled.
He's unprecedented.
He's supreme.
He's preeminent.
He's the loftiest idea in literature.
He's the highest personality in philosophy.
He's the supreme problem in higher criticism.
He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
He's the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion.
He's the only one qualified to be the all sufficient Savior.
That's my King!

He's the miracle of the age.
He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
He's the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He's available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes, and He saves.
He's the Almighty God who guides and keeps all His people.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him?

My King is the key of knowledge.
He's the wellspring of wisdom.
He's the doorway of deliverance.
He's the pathway of peace.
He's the roadway of righteousness.
He's the highway of holiness.
He's the gateway of glory.
He's the Master of the mighty.
He's the Captain of the conquerors.
He's the Head of the heroes.
He's the Leader of the legislators.
He's the Overseer of the overcomers.
He's the Governor of governors.
He's the Prince of princes.
He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords.
That's my King!

His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you, but He's indescribable.

He's incomprehensible.
He's invincible.
He's irresistible.
I'm trying to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let
alone a man explain Him.
You can't get Him out of your mind.
You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him.

The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him.
Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod
couldn't kill Him.
Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him.
That's my King!

He always has been and He always will be.
I'm talking about He had no predecessor, and He'll have no successor.
There was nobody before Him, and there'll be nobody after Him.
You can't impeach Him, and He's not gonna resign.
That's my King!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

All I Have Is Christ!

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jesus: The Savior Of Our Prayers

Paul Miller comments on what it means to pray in Jesus' name:
Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: "I want to see the king." Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, "Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus." At the name of Jesus . . . the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms.

The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn't just the Savior of my soul. He's also the Savior of my prayers . . . . "Asking in Jesus' name" isn't another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect.

Paul Miller, A Praying Life (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2009), 135.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Infinite Satisfier Of Souls

Jonathan Edwards said:
. . . we needed not only to be delivered from hell, but to have some satisfying happiness bestowed. Man has a natural craving and thirst after happiness. And [he] will thirst and crave, till his capacity is filled. And his capacity is of vast extent. And nothing but an infinite good can fill and satisfy his desires. But, notwithstanding, provision is made in this way of salvation to answer those needed, there is a satisfying happiness purchased for us, that which is fully answerable to the capacity and cravings our souls.

Here is food procured to answer all the appetites and faculties of our souls. God has made the soul of man of a spiritual nature. And therefore he needs a corresponding happiness, some spiritual object, in the enjoyment of which he may be happy. Christ has purchased the enjoyment of God, who is the great and original Spirit, as the portion of our souls. And he has purchased the Spirit of God to come and dwell in us as an eternal principle of happiness . . . There is an infinitely excellent Being offered to be chosen, to be rested in, to be loved, to be rejoiced in, by us, even God himself, who is infinitely lovely, the fountain of all good; a fountain that can never be exhausted, where we can be in no danger of going to excess in our love and joy. And here we may be assured ever to find our joy and delight in enjoyments answerable to our love and desires.

Jonathan Edwards, "The Wisdom Of God, Displayed In The Way Of Salvation," Ephesians 3:10, 1733.

Christ: The Glory Of Heaven!

Samuel Rutherford said:
O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want . . . Heaven and Christ are the same thing.

C. H. Spurgeon said:
There will be little else we shall want of heaven besides Jesus Christ. He will be our bread, our food, our beauty, and our glorious dress. The atmosphere of heaven will be Christ; everything in heaven will be Christ-like: yes, Christ is the heaven of His people.

God: An Ocean Of Satisfaction!

Jonathan Edwards wrote:
The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.

Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume II, 244.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jesus: Satisfier Of Your Deepest Longings!

Dr. Timothy Keller writes:
If you trust in Jesus' substitutionary sacrifice, the greatest longings of your heart will be satisfied on the day you sit down for that eternal feast in the promised kingdom of God.

Timothy Keller, King's Cross: The Story Of The World In The Life Of Jesus (New York: Dutton, 2011), 172.