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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Reformation Day Is A Time For Christians To Celebrate!

Samuel at Gilgal

If you are not familiar with Reformation Day, it celebrates the day that the Reformation began in Europe with Martin Lutherposting his 95 theses on the Wittenburg church door to protest the selling of indulgences on October 31, 1517. Little did he realize how his 95 theses would be used by God to change the world. His desire was to see the Catholic Church reform in terms of God’s Word. His intention was to begin a

discussion with other teachers in the Catholic Church. Instead, Luther was used by God to begin a reformation of the church by returning to the foundation of Scripture alone. Scripture alone taught that salvation was not earned or sold by indulgences and grace was God’s alone to give.

Martin Luther is widely considered the father of the Protestant Reformation. As a monk, Luther struggled to find peace with God. He dedicated…

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God is not Surprised!

John StottJohn Stott:

We can never take God by surprise. We can never anticipate him. He always makes the first move. He is always there ‘in the beginning’. Before we existed, God took action. Before we decided to look for God, God had already been looking for us. The Bible isn’t about people trying to discover God, but about God reaching out to find us.

Many people imagine God sitting comfortably on a distant throne, remote, aloof, uninterested, a God who doesn’t really care for our needs and has to be badgered into taking action on our behalf. Such a view is completely wrong. The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to men and women to turn to him, while they are still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds them. (Basic Christianity)

Providence is Creation Continued

NPG D29700; Joseph Caryl by Robert WhiteJoseph Caryl:

The Spirit of God creates every day: what is it that continueth things in their created being, but providence? That is a true axiom in divinity, Providence is creation continued. Now the Spirit of God who created at first, creates to this day: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created.” The work of creation was finished in the first six days of the world, but the work of creation is renewed every day, and so continued to the end of the world. Successive providential creation as well as original creation is ascribed to the Spirit. “And thou renewest the face of the earth.” Thou makest a new world; and thus God makes a new world every year, sending forth his Spirit, or quickening power, in the rain and sun to renew the face of the earth. And as the Lord sends forth his power in providential mercies, so in providential judgments. (Mystery of Providence)

Even When Life Hurts

Jerry BridgesJerry Bridges:

Thousands of Christians have experienced…injustices at the hands of teachers, coaches, fellow workers, and supervisors at work. Perhaps you have, too. When these events occur, they always hurt. We cannot dismiss them with the glib expression, “God is in control.” God is in control, but in His control He allows us to experience pain. The pain is very real. We hurt, we suffer. But in the midst of our suffering we must believe that God is in control, that He is sovereign. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

Facing Suffering in a New Way

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

We must think of suffering in a new way, we must face everything in a new way. And the way in which we face it all is by reminding ourselves that the Holy Spirit is in us. There is the future, there is the high calling, there is the persecution, there is the opposition, there is the enemy. I see it all. I must admit also that I am weak, that I lack the necessary powers and propensities. But instead of stopping there . . . I say, ‘But the Spirit of God is in me. God has given me his Holy Spirit.’ . . . What matters . . . is not what is true of us but what is true of Him. (I highly recommend – Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure)

Christ’s Mercy

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon:

Christ’s mercy is to be had for nothing, bribe or purchase is out of the question. I have heard of a woman whose child was in a fever and needed grapes; and there was a prince who lived near, in whose hothouse there were some of the rarest grapes that had ever been grown. She scraped together the little money she could earn, and went to the gardener and offered to buy a bunch of the royal fruit. Of course, he repulsed her, and said they were not to be sold. Did she imagine that the prince grew grapes to sell like a market gardener? And he sent her on her way, much grieved. She came again; she came several times, for a mother’s importunity is great; but no offer of hers would be accepted.

At last the princess heard of it and wished to see the woman; and when she came the princess said, “The prince does not sell the fruit of his garden:” but, snipping off a bunch of grapes and dropping them into a little bag, she said, “He is always ready to give it away to the poor.” Now, here is the rich cluster of gospel salvation from the true vine. My Lord will not sell it, but he is always ready to give it away to all who humbly ask for it and if you want it come and take it, and take it now by believing in Jesus. (recommended by Spurgeon – Christ’s Glorious Achievements: What Jesus Has Done for You)

That God May Grant Repentance

Chosen for LifeSam Storms:

If a person is to repent, he or she must be enabled by God to do so. He must be ‘granted’ repentance as a gift. Whether or not a person repents, says Paul, is ultimately up to God. It rests with him and his sovereign good pleasure to give or to withhold that which leads to ‘a knowledge of the truth.’ That God does not bestow this gift universally is self-evident. Were repentance something that God gives to all, Paul would hardly have said that ‘perhaps’ God may grant repentance. Clearly he envisions the real possibility that God may not so grant. (ref. 2 Timothy 2:24-26) (Chosen for Life, A Case for Divine Election)

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