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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dying To Self So That Christ Is All!

One of my most common prayers these days is simply this: "Oh Father, please help me to die!"

By this, I'm not praying to die physically, but I'm praying for more death to my own selfishness.

Hear these excellent words on death to self:
Spurgeon: I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to Him.

Bonhoeffer: When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.

Thomas A Kempis: Realize that you must lead a dying life; the more a man dies to himself, the more he begins to live unto God.

Jesus: Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
It has been reported that some missionaries to Africa in the early 1800's shipped their goods overseas in coffins because most of them knew they would probably be struck down during their first term by disease or unfriendly natives. What a great example of death to self.

Michael and Hayley Dimarco write:
To die young is to live for Christ and nothing else, to be set free from the bondage of sin and self, and to live a new kind of life. Those who die young are emotionally bulletproof (or close to it), because they have already died to everything in them that another person could damage or break. In the 1800s, missionary James Calvert left for the Fiji Islands to share Jesus with the cannibals living there. The captain of the ship that brought him tried to dissuade his going by saying,
You will lose your life and the lives of those with
you if you go among such savages.” To which
Calvert replied, "We died before we came here!"
Jim Calvert knew what it was to die young, and because of that he could do what other men were too afraid to do. His confidence was built on the fact that he had already given his life away, so no one else could harm him. His life, and the lives of those like him, are a shining example of the beauty of the death and burial of self.

When you die young, you give all of your needs, fears, worries, wants, hopes, dreams, and failures over to the One who can handle them. And you learn now, while your youth is fresh and your days are bright (if you’ve got any days left at all), to start living like you mean it - to live out of the center of your faith, giving up your rights and your demands so that His will is all you see. When you live a life bent on dying to yourself and living for the Father, you live a life of purpose and passion, a life of hope and peace, and nothing can ever shake you or break you that isn’t the very hand of God Himself molding you and shaping you into His own precious image.

When you die young you bury yourself fully in Christ.
Michael and Hayley Dimarco, Die Young, Burying Your Self In Christ (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 17-18.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"That's My King!" The Bridegroom Of Bridegrooms!

Minister Edwards said God created the world to get a bride for His Son!
And His Son is my King – the Bridegroom of bridegrooms!
He's the main character in the romance of romances that guides all of time and eternity!
He came to His bride, but she utterly rejected Him and had Him nailed to a tree!
He's the great pursing Lover of lovers Who will not take no for an answer!
He's the sovereign, all-glorious, eternal, Bridegroom Who humbled Himself, even to the point of death on the cross, so that He might save and sanctify His blood-bought bride and make her gloriously beautiful and faithful forever!
Death couldn't hold His loving heart in the tomb, He rose up from the grave, and conquered sin, death, and Satan once and for all!

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

He's the mighty, unconquerable Warrior-Husband Who defeated all of His and our enemies to bring as back to God!
He's bringing to pass the great profound mystery as He seeks to become one flesh with His people!
He's the treasure house of the Church!
He's the only one you can't live without!
When He's around you cannot fast because the party is always too hot and happy!
He's radically, single-heartedly, and intimately committed to His people!
He's our Maker and Redeemer – the Holy One of Israel Who came in the flesh!
He's the Husband of husbands Who brought about the everlasting marriage between God and His people!
Even though His bride has committed adultery against Him over and over again, He remains faithful to her no matter what!
When we marry Him by faith, our ugly past, no matter what it includes, is totally washed clean, and we get to start over as if nothing had ever gone wrong!
One day very soon He will be joined together with His bride in wedded bliss where there will be no more pain, no more death, no more sin, and no more tears!
On that day, everything sad will become untrue, joy will increase forever, and we will commune with Him in everlasting bliss and unimaginable ecstasy for all eternity!

That's my King! Come Lord Jesus!

Friday, February 24, 2012

"That's My King!" In The Philly Hood!

Some new words I've learned . . .

My King is the dopest of the dopest!
He made the chain, sustains the chain, and He's totally off the chain like no other!
His own Father snapped on Him on that cross and raised Him up from the dead so that all who repent and believe in Him will be taken back into the Father's everlasting crib!

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

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jesus: The Friend Of Friends Of The Sinner Of Sinners!

Excerpts from a Spurgeon sermon . . .

He draws all manner of sinners to Himself by the magnetic force of His almighty love!
He taught greater wisdom than all the sages put together!
He knew better philosophy than all the wise men of Greece!
But He was still familiar with the common people – tender-hearted, mild, and gentle of spirit!
Ignorant and illiterate men can find in Him their best friend!
He bowed Himself down from the heaven of heavens that He might bring bounteous blessings to the most barbarian, brute sinners!
He's the gentle lover of our souls!
He's the Good Shepherd Who came forth not so much to slay the wolf as to save the sheep!
As a father pities his children, so He pities sinful men and women!

That's my Friend of sinners! Do you know Him?!

He's the Savior Who took us just as we were – all tarnished, and defiled, and loathsome – and He made us clean!
He's done ten thousand times more for poor lost souls than mere philanthropy ever even suggested!
While we condemn the outcasts, He comes forth to save them!
While we try to keep sinners away from us, He goes to them and heals them!
While we hope the best concerning them, He goes to them and restores them!
He takes into His arms those whom we would not touch with a ten foot pole!
He receives into His very heart some whose names we would hardly venture to mention!
He uplifts the beggar from the trash dumpster!
He raises the depressed from the pit of despair!
He takes the vilest of the vile and transforms them by His grace and makes them fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light!
He's the most approachable Savior!
And He's more than that, He's waiting eagerly to be gracious!
He stands with arms outstretched, longing to clasp poor sinners to His heart!
To become the Friend of friends of the sinner of sinners, though He never sinned, He had to be made the sinner of sinners on that cross and condemned by His heavenly Father!

That's my Friend of friends Who gave His life for me! Oh may you know Him!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"That's My King!" On Valentine's Day Who Takes Your Breath Away And Shall Forever Love Display!

My King is the Lover of all lovers of all time!
He's the Valentine of valentines!
His love far surpasses your ability to even understand or comprehend how much He loves!
His love surpasses knowledge!
His love is the only love that satisfies the deepest longings of your heart!
His love was enough to satisfy the infinite, everlasting Father for all eternity – so how much more must it satisfy your finite, frail human heart?!
He's enough for God! So He's so much more than enough for you!
He'll love you like no one has ever loved you before!
He's the most loving Father, Spouse, Friend, Brother, Master, and King – all in one!
He loved so much-
that He took on human flesh-
lived a perfect life-
died the most horrifying death this universe has ever seen-
suffered the pains of hell in your place-
rose up from the grave triumphant over sin, death, and Satan-
and ever lives to plead mercy for His beautiful, blood-bought bride!

That's my all satisfying King!

My King is more precious than trillions of universes filled with gold and diamonds!
And every other good gift in this life compared to Him is worth less than nothing!
He commands me to hate everything else in comparison to the love I must have for Him!
And He's worthy of all that kind of love and all that kind of hate!
He's more valuable than the most precious gold and the most priceless diamond!
His value far exceeds ten trillion worlds with all their riches and pleasures!
Whatever you love and value most in this life – Jesus exceeds that value in ways that are incomparable!

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

He's the King of all beauty!
He's the Beauty of beauties!
He's more beautiful than the most beautiful sunset because He made the sunset!
He's more beautiful than the most breathtaking scenery in the universe because He made the universe and upholds it by the Word of His power!
He's more beautiful than the most stunning flower of the field because He made them and sustains them all!
He's more beautiful than all the starry hosts of heaven and the most amazing phenomenon in the galaxy because the heavens are telling His glory, and He placed all the stars in the heavens to magnify His own beauty!
He's more beautiful than the most gorgeous woman who has ever crossed the horizon of this world because-
she is created, but He created her-
she is sinful, but He is perfect-
she is finite, but He is infinite-
she is the image, but He is the real thing!
If the art work of woman is so amazingly, breathtakingly, gloriously, speechlessly beautiful (and she is!), oh how much more amazingly, breathtakingly, gloriously, speechlessly beautiful must my King the Artist be! And He is so beautiful! More beautiful than we could ever dream or imagine!

That's my King!

He made you in His own image!
He loves you with an everlasting love!
He chose you before the creation of the world to be His very own!
He will never leave you nor forsake you!
He is always for you! 
And if He is for you, no one can successfully be against you!
He takes great delight in you like no one else ever will!
He quiets you with His love!
He rejoices over you with singing - with loud shouts of joy and delight! 
He loves you like no one else will ever love you!
He loves you more than the best mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife ever could!
His love for you is deeper than the ocean!
His love for you is vaster than 10 million galaxies!
His love for you stretches as far as the east is from the west!
His love never ends!
His love never changes!
His love never grows cold!
His love lasts forever!
He will never leave you alone!
He will cause your joy and delight in Him to increase forever throughout all eternity!
You will be fully saved, safe, and satisfied in Him one day very soon and all things sad will become untrue!
The best days of your life are always in the future with Him, and He will do you good all your days forever!
He's pursuing and chasing you down with goodness and mercy all the days of your life, and you shall dwell in His house forever!

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

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Greatest "Me" This World Has Ever Seen!

And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, "Follow Me." And he rose and followed Him. Mark 2:14

Jesus said, "Follow Me" and oh what a glorious "Me" He is!

There's no "Me" like this "Me!"
He's the "Me" of Me's and He's the "He" of He's!
He's the God "Me!"
He's the "Me" Who heals the sick, sets the captives free, gives sight to the blind, and raises the dead!

That's my "Me!" Do you know Him?!

He's the greatest "Me" that has ever crossed the horizon of this world!
He's the only "Me" Who saves!
He's the only perfect "Me" Who never sinned.
He's the "Me" Who bore the wrath of His Father on that cross for sinners!
He's the only "Me" Who conquered sin, death, and Satan and rose up from the grave!
He's the "Me" Who ever lives to care for, sustain, uphold, and intercede for His people!
If you have this "Me," you don't need anything else because He's got it all!
He's the "Me" that makes you see, sets you free, and utterly satisfies your heart, mind, and soul with unimaginable glee!

That' my "Me!"

And He's the "Me" Who is calling you to follow Him right now!

Will you follow hard after my great and glorious "Me" today?!

I Need Thee Precious Jesus!

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
For I am full of sin;
My soul is dark and guilty,
My heart is dead within.
I need the cleansing fountain
Where I can always flee,
The blood of Christ most precious,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
For I am very poor;
A stranger and a pilgrim,
I have no earthly store.
I need the love of Jesus
To cheer me on my way,
To guide my doubting footsteps,
To be my strength and stay.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
I need a friend like Thee,
A friend to soothe and pity,
A friend to care for me.
I need the heart of Jesus
To feel each anxious care,
To tell my every trouble,
And all my sorrows share.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
I need Thee, day by day,
To fill me with Thy fullness,
To lead me on my way;
I need Thy Holy Spirit,
To teach me what I am,
To show me more of Jesus,
To point me to the Lamb.

I need Thee, precious Jesus,
And hope to see Thee soon,
Encircled with the rainbow
And seated on Thy throne.
There, with Thy blood bought children,
My joy shall ever be,
To sing Thy praises, Jesus,
To gaze, O Lord, on Thee.

Words: Fred­er­ick Whit­field, 1855

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

There Was Nothing Small About Him!

Francis Grimke said:
[Christianity] is the religion of Jesus Christ.

Who was Jesus Christ? You have the record of His life in the four Gospels; read them, and you will find out who He was.

He was the God-man.
In Him dwelt all the fullness of the God-head bodily;
He was the brightness of the Father's glory and the expressed image of His person.
He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.

It is impossible to read that record and not to be impressed with the singular beauty and nobility of His character.

There was nothing small about Him:
He was big in every way – big of soul;
He lived on the loftiest plain;
He saw things as God saw them – from the high vantage ground of truth, of justice, [of] righteousness.

There was nothing narrow [or] provincial about Him:

His sympathies were world wide; His great scheme of redemption was all-embracing.
When He came to send out His disciples, after His plans were consummated, He said to them: "Go ye, into all the world, and preach the Gospel unto every creature."
The whole world, every creature, were embraced in His great scheme of redemption.

It is impossible to stand in the presence of Jesus Christ, to become fully conscious of what He was, in His singularly pure and beautiful character, in the great sweep of His noble thoughts and sympathies, without feeling ashamed of all that is little, mean, contemptible, ignoble within us.
Francis Grimke, "Christianity And Race Prejudice," May 29th 1910.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

You've Never Seen Anything Like This!

A summary of Mark 2:1-12 . . .

Everywhere He went crowds of people clamored to try and hear Him!
He packed out the house so much that no one could even get inside the door!
He's the Prince of preachers!
Everywhere He went He preached the healing, saving Word of God!
People tore up houses just to get into His perfect, pleasure-filled, purifying presence!
He forgives sinners!
He's the God Who alone can forgive sin!
He knows what everyone's thinkin' before they think it, while their thinkin' it, and after they think it!
He knows how you feel before you feel it!
He knows what's in all the hearts of men!
He knows exactly what's in your heart and mind right now!
He causes the lame to take up their beds and walk!
He makes legs that haven't worked or walked for years work perfectly as if they'd never been broken!
The command of His precious, saving voice creates and brings into reality the very thing that He commands!
He gives eternal life to everyone who will put their trust in Him!
His Words and works move us all to glorify God!
He's amazing!
He's the Son of Man!
He's got dominion!
He's got glory!
He's got a kingdom!
All peoples, nations, and languages serve Him!
His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not ever pass away!
His kingdom shall never be destroyed!
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given unto Him!
There's never ever been anything like Him in the past!
There's nothing like Him around right now!
And there'll never be anything like Him in the future throughout all eternity!
He's the once in an eternity phenomenon Who became a man to make everything wrong right once and for all!
You have truly never seen anything like Him!

That's my forgiving, healing, authoritative King! I wonder if you know Him today?!