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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As you prepare for the New Year . . .

A very practical man was known to confess: "I have too much religion or too little; I must either give up what I have or get more. I have too much religion to let me enjoy a worldly life, and too much worldliness to let me enjoy religion."

He solved the dilemma triumphantly by a wholehearted acceptance of Christ as his living Lord. He put an end to divided loyalty and doubtful obedience.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Why don't people ask us about our hope?"

"but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." (1 Peter 3:15)

"The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. Our lives don't look like they are on the Calvary road, stripped down for sacrificial love, serving others with the sweet assurance that we don't ned to be rewarded in this life. Our reward is great in heaven (Matthew 5:12)! 'You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just' (Luke 14:14). If we believed this more deeply, others might see the worth of God and find in Him their gladness."

John Piper, "Don't Waste Your Life."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Why would God have bothered to create such a microscopic speck called earth and humanity and then get involved with us?"

"Beneath this question is a fundamental failure to see what the universe is about. It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself. And He says it for us to learn and enjoy--namely, that He is infinitely great and powerful and wise and beautiful. The more the Hubble Telescope sends back to us about the unfathomable depths of space, the more we should stand in awe of God. The disproportion between us and the universe is a parable about the disporportion between us and God. And it is an understatement. But the point is not to nullify us but to glorify Him."

John Piper, "Don't Waste Your Life."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Matthew 2:1-12 (NASB)

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"

Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."

After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Matthew 1:18-25 (NASB)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Message to Holiday Depression

"Depressions of spirit, humiliating thoughts of one’s self, deep and grievous bondage—all these, the children of God are well aware of. With Paul we have, at times, to cry, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Beloved, it is well for us to know, as I am sure we do know experimentally, that in this matter of barrenness and desolation the creature can do but little. It is the Spirit that quickens—the flesh profits little. When we get into this state, we feel like a man who cannot swim. And the more we kick and struggle the more rapidly we sink. It seems as if all human energy were but the energy to sin and a power to make us yet more dead to true spiritual life.

Well, what are we to do, then? Why, let us remember that the text is addressed to us in just such a state. 'Sing, O barren! Break forth and cry aloud you that did not travail with child.' But what can I sing about? I cannot sing about the present. I cannot even sing concerning the past. Well, but yet I can sing of Jesus Christ, can I not? I can turn to that which precedes the text and I can sing of visits which the Redeemer has before paid to me! Or, if not of these, I can sing of the great love with which He loved His people when He came from the heights of Heaven for their redemption!

I will go to the Cross again! Come, my Soul, you were once heavy laden and you did lose your burden there. Come again, come again! Once you did wash in yonder fount and you were clean. O my poor bespattered Soul, come and wash again! A prodigal I once returned— He fell upon my neck and kissed me then. I will go to Jesus once more. Though my sins rise like mountains, I will be obedient to the Word which says, 'Return, you backsliding children, for I am married unto you, says the Lord.'"

************
Charles Spurgeon, "Songs for Desolate Hearts: Isaiah 54:1" preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1865.

Luke 2:8-20 (NASB)

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."

So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas mood

Sherwood Wirt of Decision magazine (he went to be with the Lord in November 2008), once wrote of the mood of the day when Christ was born:

"The people of that time where being heavily taxed, and faced every prospect of a sharp increase to cover expanding military expenses. The threat of world domination by a cruel, ungodly, power-intoxicated band of men was ever just belowe the threshold of consciousness. Moral deterioration had corrupted the upper levels of society and was moving rapidly into the broad base of the populace. Intense nationalistic feeling was clashing openly with new and sinister forms of imperialism. Conformity was the spirit of the age.

Government handouts were being used with increasing lavishness to keep the population from rising up and throwing out the leaders. Interest rates were spiraling upward in the midst of an inflated economy.

External religious observances were considered a political asset, and abnormal emphasis was being placed upon sports and athletic competition. Racial tensions were at the breaking point.

In such a time, and amid such a people, a child was born to a migrant couple who had just signed up for a fresh round of taxation, and who were soon to become political exiles. And the child who was orn was called, among other things, Immanuel, God with us."

Luke 2:1-7 (NASB)

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Luke 1:67-80 (NASB)

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant--as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, and FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US; to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Penn comments on a gift . . .

The Magician Penn Fraser Jillette, of "Penn and Teller" is an athiest. Listen and watch what he has to say about the gift he received, and the giver:

The Binding of Satan as Seen in The Birth (and Survival) of Jesus

by Daryl Wingerd

Jesus once said, "No one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man" (Mark 3:27). The "strong man" Jesus was alluding to was Satan, and his house was this world—Satan's realm of influence and power.

The Old Testament speaks repeatedly of God's intention to enter Satan's house and plunder his goods, that is, to save many who were "being held captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:26).

Satan knows the Scriptures (Matt. 4:5-6), and he is acutely aware of current events (consider, for example, his awareness of Job's prosperity). He is a highly intelligent being who hates God, has plenty of evil resources at his disposal, and would love to foil God's redemptive plan. Yet concerning this great redemptive "burglary," God gave him all the details in advance. He told Satan exactly when, where, and how He would enter his house to plunder his goods. He didn't announce His plan in secret codes or change it at the last minute. He revealed it publicly and repeatedly, and performed it exactly as announced.

Genesis 3:15—God spoke to Satan directly, telling him that his head would one day be crushed (indicating total defeat) by One born of the woman. Isaiah 9:6 magnified this threat by describing the rule of absolute authority that would be given to the Seed of the woman.

Isaiah 7:14—God told Satan when and how the Child would enter the world. It would be an event that would draw a great deal of public attention because it would involve a virgin conceiving a baby.

Micah 5:2—God told Satan where the child would be born: "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah . . . from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel."

Matthew 1:18-19—God reminded Satan of the immanent birth of Christ. In fact, He gave him 9 months warning. Mary, a virgin, conceived a child, plainly fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. It is impossible to hide a pregnancy for long, even from people, let alone from Satan.

Luke 2:4-5—God gave Satan yet another notice that the birth of Christ was soon to occur. Mary, who was due to give birth any day, left with Joseph to go to Bethlehem—an obvious fulfillment of Micah 5:2.

Luke 2:8-14—Immediately after the birth of Jesus, when He was a helpless infant at His most vulnerable point in life, a multitude of angels broadcast His birth to shepherds in the hills around Bethlehem.

Luke 2:15-20—These same shepherds went to see the baby Jesus, and then they told many others what they had seen and heard: The Messiah has been born in Bethlehem!

Matthew 2:2—God ordained an astronomical event to broadcast the news about the birth of Christ as far away as Persia. All who knew the Scriptures and how to read the signs in the heavens now knew both when and where the Messiah had been born.

Matthew 2:1-7—Herod, an evil instrument of Satan, learned of the birth of Jesus through the wise men and the chief priests. They told him where Jesus had been born. Herod clearly understood that this Child, who represented a serious threat to his authority, was living among peasants in Bethlehem, unprotected by any human authority. Amazingly, however, Herod took no immediate action to have the baby destroyed. Instead he waited for the wise men to return, as though he were dependant upon them for information he already possessed.

Revelation 12:1-5—Satan, portrayed as a great red dragon, clearly knew all of the above facts related to the birth of Christ. He also had many instruments of murder at his disposal. The Bible describes him as a dragon waiting before the woman to devour her Child at birth. What an easy kill this would be. And yet the dragon failed!

An intelligent and powerful being like Satan should have been able to prevent the birth and survival of this Baby. After all, he was given God's plan well in advance. Yet Jesus was born, survived, grew, and went about Israel preaching and teaching about the kingdom of God and performing miracles. He even empowered his disciples to cast out demons, further demonstrating the loss of Satan's authority. Many attempts were made to kill Him before His appointed time of death, but they all failed. Satan's servants were only able to bring about His death when He chose to lay His life down (John 10:18), and when it was God's predestined purpose for Him to suffer and die (Acts 4:27-28).

Satan is a devil to be sure, but He is a bound devil. To this day his house is being plundered by the One to whom all authority has been given "in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18). Satan is a defeated "strong man." Bow down to King Jesus, who has bound him forever!

Copyright © 2008 Daryl Wingerd
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form, including web address.
http://www.bulletininserts.org/binding.html

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Luke 1:57-66 (NASB)

Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her. And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father. But his mother answered and said, "No indeed; but he shall be called John."

And they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name." And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called.

And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, "His name is John." And they were all astonished. And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.

Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Anybody who reads this blog will note that I do not post on Sunday's but this is a double exception (another post will come later today). Here's a little "sump'n, sump'n" I got for my darling wife . . .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Luke 1:39-56 (NASB)

Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."

And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. 'AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.' He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. 'HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS;' and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever."
56And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1

Marcellus to Horatio and Bernardo, after seeing the Ghost,

"Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."

(Shakespeare)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Luke 1:26-38 (NASB)

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."

Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God."

And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word."

And the angel departed from her.

Sarah A. Adams (1988 - 2008)

Thank you, God, for Sarah.

We love you Erick, Ann, William and Jeanelle.

Looking for a Gift?

Don't Waste Your Life.
Click on cover for details:


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Isaiah 11:1-10 (NASB)

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.

What have you got?

What is Christmas?

Strip off the date, the name, Santa Clause, the cards, the presents, the tree and the food, and what have you got? Nothing! Absolutely Nothing! It isn't biblical, it isn't Christian. It is nothing.

So, why do it, if it is nothing?

Christmas is important because it gives Christians the opportunity to catch the world barely aware of Jesus, and give them the gospel truth, that God loved the world so much He gave Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ because of our sin: born in a manger, died on a cross and risen from the grave!

Spurgeon said, "Look, Christmas is here. We might as well live with it and take the opportunity to exalt Christ."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Luke 2:8-15 (Kringle Jingle Version)

8 And there were in the same country children keeping watch over their stockings by the fireplace.

9 And, Lo! Santa Clause came upon them; and they were sore afraid.

10 And Santa said unto them: "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people who can afford them;

11 for unto you this day will be given feasts of turkey, dressing and cake; and many presents;

12 and this shall be a sign unto you, ye shall find the presents, wrapped in bright paper, lying beneath a tree adorned with tinsel, colored balls and lights."

13 And suddenly, there appeared a multitude of relatives and friends, praising you and saying,

14 "Thank you so much, for it was just what I wanted!"

15 And it shall come to pass as the friends and relatives have gone away into their homes, that parents shall say to one another, "What a mess to clean up! I'm tired, let's go to bed and pick it up tomorrow. Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year!" And they go with haste to their cold bed and find their rest.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Tradition

The song says, "Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled." What Christmas traditions do you observe that can be used to communicate the gospel to a world barely aware of Jesus during this time of year?

My family gives away Gospels of John to nearly everyone we meet when we go out during the month of December. We just walk up to people and say, "Merry Christmas! Here is a gift for you." One lady started to take a Gospel of John, then drew her hand back and asked, "Are you Jehovah's Witnesses? I won't take it if you are a Jehovah's Witness . . ." What a gospel opportunity!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's your Christmas Excuse?

Christmas is an excuse to get drunk, have a party, get something, give something, leave work, get out of schol, spend money, overeat . . . ;

or,

Christmas is an excuse for us to exalt Jesus Christ in the face of a world that is at least tuned in to His name.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Humility

"Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble."

Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Hello Lord" by Sara Groves

Hello Lord, it's me your child I have a few things on my mind Right now I'm faced with big decisions And I'm wondering if you have a minute, cuz Right now I don't hear so well And I was wondering if you could speak up I know that you tore the veil So I could sit with you in person And hear what you're saying but Right now, I just can't hear you.

I don't doubt your sovereignty I doubt my own ability to Hear what you're saying And to do the right thing And I desperately want to do the right thing But right now I don't hear so well And I was wondering if you could speak up I know that you tore the veil So I could sit with you in person And hear what you're saying but Right now, I just can't hear you.

And somewhere in the back of my mind I think you are telling me to wait And though patience has never been mine Lord, I will wait to hear from you

Oh Lord, I'm waiting on you Right now I don't hear so well And I was wondering if you could speak up I know that you tore the veil So I could sit with you in person And hear what you're saying but Right now, I think you're whispering

Still touching lives

In 1990, the president of Columbia International University (then called Columbia Bible College), Robertson McQuilkin resigned from his position to care for his wife Muriel who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease. The words from his resignation letter still touches lives around the world.

Most recently, those words were featured on a Christmas-themed radio program of Proverbs 31 Ministries. To hear the program go to:
http://proverbs31radio.blogspot.com/2008/12/priceless-gift.html


Today, McQuilkin serves as president emeritus of CIU.

Posted on CIUNet by Bob Holmes

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Sin For Which There Is No Excuse

[by Charles Spurgeon, from sermon #1763, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington]

So that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful”—Romans 1:20, 21.

Now we come to consider the second sin. May the word which I may have to say about it, be blessed to many of my hearers by the power of the Holy Spirit! Have you ever thought of it in this light before—that men were without excuse because when they knew God they were not thankful? Unthankfulness is a sin for which there is no excuse if it be attended with knowledge. I fear there are thousands who call themselves Christians, who are not thankful, and yet they
never thought themselves very guilty on that account. Yet you see these sinners were without excuse, because they were guilty of a great sin before God, and that sin was unthankfulness. I tremble both for myself and you when I see want of thankfulness thus set in the front rank of sins. How is it that we may be unthankful?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Check your . . .

Have you checked the oil in your car?
The air pressure in the tires?
The weather?
The news?

Is everything in order?
Ever run a check on your god?

  • Has your god created man on the earth or done anything like that?
  • Has any people heard the voice of your god from the midst of the fire and survived?
  • Has your god tried to take for himself a nation from within another nation?
  • Has your god shown his might and power as God did in Egypt before so many witnesses?
  • Has your god been heard from heaven?
  • Has your god disciplined you because he loves you, as a father loves his children?
  • Has your god driven out nations before his people?
  • Has your god given you an inheritance?
  • Has your god given commandments, that it may go well with you and with your children, that you may live long?

(Deuteronomy 4:32-40)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"Santa Christ?"

by Sinclair B. Ferguson

I took the hand of my toddler son (it was several decades ago now) as we made our way into the local shop on the small and remote Scottish island where earlier that year I had been installed as minister. It was Christmas week. The store was brightly decorated and a general air of excitement was abroad.

Without warning, the conversations of the customers were brought to a halt by a questioning voice from beside me. My son's upraised index finger pointed at a large cardboard Santa Claus. "Daddy, who is that funny-looking man?" he asked.

(Go on over to Lingonier Ministries Blog for the rest of the article.)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure

"A depressed Christian is a contradiction in terms, and he is a very poor recommendation for the gospel . . . . Nothing is more important, therefore, than that we should be delivered froma condition which gives other people, looking at us, the impression that to be a Christian means to be unhappy, to be sad, to be morbid, and that the Christian is one who 'scorns delight and lives laborious days.'" (D. Martin Lloyd Jones)

Click on cover for more details:




Friday, December 05, 2008

Awash in White

Ever stop by one of those sunglass places and try on different colored lenses? Those silver-grey tinted ones sort make everything look overcast. Some yellow lenses seem to liven, sharpen the scenery. Red-tinted lenses make everything look red, and blue-colored lenses make everything look cartoon-ish (to me, at least).

"South Pacific" is considered to be one of the greatest musicals of all time; but, the 1958 film is the version everyone loves to hate. The musical sequences of the film already help lift the story out of the harsh realities of WWII, but the director thought he would assist the fantasy by filming the musical sequences through filtered lenses. When the studio got the film, they sharpened the lens colors so the entire musical sequences are presented in nearly other-worldly colors: brilliant yellows, soft oranges, deep blues, tense greens, etc.





Yes, when you look through a colored glass, everything is awash in that color.

When we stand before God, having broken His moral laws, no measure of good can color the wickedness we have done against Him. He cannot simply say we are clear and let us go.

When we repent of our sin and "put on" the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and rose again, God looks at us through Christ our Savior. Instead of the seeing the darkness of our sin, God sees the white holiness of His Son through His shed blood.

"'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD, 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'" (Isaiah 1:18)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

LARGE FONT

“We ought to be Christians in large type [font] so that it would not be necessary (for others) to be long in our society, or to regard us through spectacles, in order to detect our true discipleship. The message of our lives should resemble the big advertisements which can be read on the street-boardings by all who pass by.”

(F.B. Meyer, 1847-1929)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Abstaining From Sexual Sin

Read the transcript and/or listen to this two-part message by Dr. John MacArthur.

Abstaining from Sexual Sin, Part 1
Abstaining from Sexual Sin, Part 2

Monday, December 01, 2008

I wonder if Nikola Tesla saw this one coming?

A wireless device has been developed that can pick up and record a conversation taking place inside a building--three miles away. No microphones are in the room. This listening device is simply pointed at its target and "viola!" Eavesdropping!

From the distance of three miles.

Yet some people doubt that God can know everything about us . . .

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