• 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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  • March 2014
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

God’s Providential Love

D. A. Carson

D.A. Carson:

God’s providential love over the entire universe: Not only did God make the universe and call it “very good” (Gen. 1:31), but even now in its disordered and rebellious state, Jesus teaches us that God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 4:45). That this is an act of love on God’s part is shown by what Jesus says next: “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matt. 5:46). In other words, our responsibility to love our enemies is grounded in the fact that God providentially loves the just and the unjust. (Love in Hard Places)

The Promise is Yours

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it.” (Genesis 28:13)

No promise is of private interpretation: it belongs not to one saint, but to all believers. If, my brother, thou canst in faith lie down upon a promise, and take thy rest thereon, it is thine. Where Jacob “lighted,” and tarried, and rested, there he took possession. Stretching his weary length upon the ground, with the stones of that place for his pillows, he little fancied that he was thus entering into ownership of the land; and yet so it was. He saw in his dream that wondrous ladder which for all true believers unites earth and heaven; and surely where the foot of the ladder stood he must have a right to the soil, for otherwise he could not reach the divine stairway. All the promises of God are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus; and as He is ours, every promise is ours if we will but lie down upon it in restful faith.

Come, weary one, use thy Lord’s words as thy pillows. Lie down in peace. Dream only of Him. Jesus is thy ladder of light. See the angels coming and going upon Him between thy soul and thy God; and be sure that the promise is thine own God-given portion, and that it will not be robbery for thee to take it to thyself, as spoken specially to thee. (Faith’s Checkbook)

The Intercession of Jesus Christ

Bishop J. C. RyleJ.C. Ryle:

Reader, I charge you solemnly, never to lose sight of this mighty truth of the Gospel,–the intercession and priestly office of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I believe that a firm grasp of this truth is one great safeguard against the errors of the Church of Rome. I believe that losing sight of this great truth is one principal reason why so many have fallen away from the faith in some quarters, have forsaken the creed of their Protestant forefathers, and have gone back to the darkness of Rome. Once firmly established upon this holy truth,–that we have a Priest, an altar, and a Confessor; that we have a unfailing, never-dying, ever-living intercession, who has deputed His office to none,–and we shall see that we need turn aside nowhere else. We need not hew for ourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water, when we have in the Lord Jesus Christ a fountain of living water, ever flowing and free to all. We need not seek any human priest upon earth, when we have a Divine Priest living for us in heaven.

The Christian and Apathy

Apathy_PillThere are many excuses used by Christians to explain why their enthusiasm for growing in Christ has diminished since their conversion. One Christian Education Director asked a long time church member why he did not attend Adult Sunday School. “Don’t you want to grow in Christ?” he asked. The man replied, “No thank you – I’m satisfied where I am.” (True Story)

It is sad to see some Christians grow apathetic after years of church attendance. Why does a Christian begin to lose interest in his walk with God? Let’s look beyond the possibility that they never had a true salvation experience to begin with and assume these persons are Christians for the purpose of this article. Consider the following possibilities: Continue reading

Finding God

R. C. SproulR.C. Sproul:

We have all heard evangelists quote from Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Usually the evangelist applies this text as an appeal to the unconverted, saying: “Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. If you open the door, then He will come in.” In the original saying, however, Jesus directed His remarks to the church. It was not an evangelistic appeal.

So what? The point is that seeking is something that unbelievers do not do on their own. The unbeliever will not seek. The unbeliever will not knock. Seeking is the business of believers. Jonathan Edwards said, “The seeking of the Kingdom of God is the chief business of the Christian life.” Seeking is the result of faith, not the cause of it. Continue reading

The Christian Disciple

jesus-teaching-disciplesA disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40 ESV)

If you are a disciple, you have submitted to the authority of another in order to receive instruction in wisdom, knowledge, proper conduct, and behavior. People today may consider the concept of Christian discipleship to be old-fashioned, legalistic, or “out of style”. However, Christianity promotes a change in our behavior, through discipleship, which can be seen by the world. To do this, we must strive to be more like our teacher – Jesus Christ.

Discipleship and the philosophy of instant gratification do not mix well. Too often, the church focuses on “winning” others to Christ and then fails to teach converts how to live like Christ. Fewer sermons take up the subject of working “out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12, ESV) There is, certainly, a clear lack of concern for Paul’s appeal “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2, ESV) Continue reading

No Lack of Evidence

Sam StormsQuoting Sam Storms:

God has left the indelible mark of His fingerprints all across the vast face of the universe… This revelation is sufficiently clear and inescapable that it renders all without excuse (see Rom. 1:20). Consequently, there is no such thing as “an innocent native in Africa” any more than there is “an innocent pagan in America”… The problem is not a lack of evidence. The problem is the innate, natural, moral antipathy of mankind to God. The problem is not that the evidence is not open to mankind. The problem is that mankind is not open to the evidence. (“General Revelation”, November 8, 2006, http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com)

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