Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

If we set out to serve God...

Christian in Pilgrim's Progress.jpg
If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence. Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives. ...Oswald Chambers  image

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Such a Church—joyful, obedient, loving, and free...

Church, Sky, Religion, Cross, Faith, Christian
Instead of always being one of the chief bastions of the social status quo, the Church is to develop a Christian counter-culture with its own distinctive goals, values, standards, and lifestyle, a realistic alternative to the contemporary technocracy which is marked by bondage, materialism, self-centredness, and greed.

Christ’s call to obedience is a call to be different, not conformist. Such a Church—joyful, obedient, loving, and free—will do more than please God: it will attract the world. It is when the Church evidently is the Church, and is living a supernatural life of love by the power of the Holy Spirit, that the world will believe. ...John Stott

Monday, March 28, 2016

Did Easter change you?

Christ Resurrected  36
It can be so easy for Easter to be a moment in time and not a moment that changes time. Our experience with Christ should change our lives. We shouldn’t experience the resurrection and then just go back to the day to day lives we lead unchanged. Life should be different because of the grace of Christ. Did Easter change you, or are you back to the daily grind? Jesus wants more from us than to just experience the joy of the resurrection - He wants us to live changed lives!
...Don Crane image

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter Morning 05
The astonishing event of the resurrection of Jesus is essentially an event of love: the Father’s love in handing over his Son for the salvation of the world; the Son’s love in abandoning himself to the Father’s will for us all; the Spirit’s love in raising Jesus from the dead in his transfigured body. And there is more: the Father’s love which "newly embraces" the Son, enfolding him in glory; the Son’s love returning to the Father in the power of the Spirit, robed in our transfigured humanity. From today’s solemnity, in which we relive the absolute, once-and-for-all experience of Jesus’s resurrection, we receive an appeal to be converted to Love; we receive an invitation to live by rejecting hatred and selfishness, and to follow with docility in the footsteps of the Lamb that was slain for our salvation, to imitate the Redeemer who is "gentle and lowly in heart", who is "rest for our souls"  ...Benedict XVI image

Holy Saturday 2016

Face of Suffering 05
LORD, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!  
 
For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves.  
 
You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
 
But I, O LORD, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O LORD, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
-Psalm 88 image

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good Friday 2016

File:Cristo crucificado.jpg 
The blood of Jesu’s cross
Was never shed in vain;
There is not any loss
Of His most precious pain:
This is the great, the finished plan
To open heaven’s door for man.

Let all bow down and own
The sacrificèd Lamb!
Among all titles known
His is the greatest name:
Praise, laud, and blessing to our Lord,
Let Him be evermore adored!
...William Williams image

Holy Thursday 2016

Then He poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. -John 13:5
 
The Lord Jesus loves his people so much, that every day he is still doing for them much that is analogous to washing their soiled feet. Their poorest actions he accepts; their deepest sorrow he feels; their slenderest wish he hears, and their every transgression he forgives. He is still their servant as well as their Friend and Master....humbly, patiently, he yet goes about among his people with the basin and the towel. He does this when he puts away from us day by day our constant infirmities and sins....It is a great act of eternal love when Christ once for all absolves the sinner, and puts him into the family of God; but what condescending patience there is when the Saviour with much long-suffering bears the oft recurring follies of his wayward disciple; day by day, and hour by hour, washing away the multiplied transgressions of his erring but yet beloved child!....While we find comfort and peace in our Lord’s daily cleansing, its legitimate influence upon us will be to increase our watchfulness, and quicken our desire for holiness. Is it so? ...CH Spurgeon image

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Learn much of the Lord Jesus...

Head of Jesus Christ 14
Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief. Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. Cry after divine knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding. Seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasure. ...Robert Murray M’Cheyne image

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ride On, Ride On In Majesty!


Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hear all the tribes hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, your road pursue,
With palms and scattered garments strewn.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
O Christ, your triumphs now begin
O’er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The hosts of angels in the sky
Look down with sad and wondering eyes
To see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
Bow your meek head to mortal pain;
Then take, O Christ, your power and reign.
-Henry H. Milman image

Monday, March 14, 2016

Eternal Lord, how faint and small...

Eternal Lord, how faint and small
Our greatest, strongest thoughts must seem
To Thee, who overseest all,
And leads us through Life’s shallow stream.
 
How tangled are our straightest ways;
How dimly flares our brightest star;
How earthbound is our highest praise
To Thee, who sees us as we are.
 
Our feet are slow where Thine are fast;
Thy kiss of grace meets lips of stone;
And we admit Thy love at last
To hearts that have none of their own.
...Robert MacColl Adams image

Monday, March 7, 2016

Inject Your Prayer List with Life

Bible, Glasses, Read, Study, Library, Book Goggles
By P.J. Tibayan
March 5, 2016

I want to pray more this year. More than ever before.

God promises that he hears and actively responds to prayers as we come to him in the name of Jesus. We have not, because we ask not. I’m resolved to pray biblical prayers for myself and others. I’m responsible to pray for the members of my church family because I’m a member of the family and James commands us to “pray for one another” (James 5:16). As a pastor, I’m to be devoted to not only the ministry of the Word, but also the ministry of prayer (Acts 6:4). As a friend, I want those I love to experience the joy of the Lord.

But there’s the problem: My praying through a list of names and needs often feels more like reading a shopping list than meaningfully communing with the Father in heaven.

As a Christian who cares a lot about theological accuracy, I’ve found that if I pray a biblically grounded prayer request then I’m content with that even if I’m not really meaningfully pleading or connecting with God. There has to be a better way.

As I finished up Tim Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, I realized the problem, and discovered two antidotes. Tim Keller writes, distilling the insight of J. I. Packer...
the rest-excellent!