Friday, January 12, 2018

Out of the hillsides of humiliated pride...

Hexham Abbey, Hexham, Northumberland, England
Out of the hillsides of humiliated pride; deep in the darkness of crushed despair; in the fretting and dusty atmosphere of little cares; in the hard, cruel contacts that man has with man; wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways;—there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple. ...Phillips Brooks image

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait...

waiting
If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people. ...CH Spurgeon image

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bibles read without prayer...

closer
Bibles read without prayer; sermons heard without prayer; marriages contracted without prayer; journeys undertaken without prayer; residences chosen without prayer; friendships formed without prayer; the daily act of prayer itself hurried over, or gone through without heart: these are the kind of downward steps by which many a Christian descends to a condition of spiritual palsy, or reaches the point where God allows them to have a tremendous fall. ...J.C. Ryle image

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder...

Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body.

As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die. ...Peter Chrysologus image

Friday, January 5, 2018

Insistence on security is incompatible with the way of the cross...

Le Jour ni l’Heure 4799 : Eugène Delacroix, 1798-1863, Crucifixion, 1835, dét., musée de la Cohue, Vannes, Morbihan, mardi 28 octobre 2014, 14:59:50
Insistence on security is incompatible with the way of the cross. What daring adventures the incarnation and the atonement were! What a breach of convention and decorum that Almighty God should renounce his privileges in order to take human flesh and bear human sin! Jesus had no security except in his Father. So to follow Jesus is always to accept at least a measure of uncertainty, danger and rejection for his sake. ...John R.W. Stott image

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Beware in your prayer...

sunset.
Beware in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. ...Andrew Murray image

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Theology of Vacationing

A Nice Place To Sit
By Mark Johnston
August 8, 2017

This summer has been no different than those which proceded it. At this time of year, you are possibly continuing to see references to the usual litany of 'Summer Reading recommendations for Pastors.' As end-of-summer vacations loom, men in the ministry feel the need to catch up on those weighty tomes of theology that have been gathering dust somewhere but which a guilty conscience tells them ought to be read. (Though their wife and children may have other ideas!)

Despite the title, these paragraphs are not intended to add to this ministerial guilt trip; but, rather, they are intended to relieve it! Instead of offering yet more theology to take on vacation, I wish to offer a theological justification for viewing a vacation as being a good thing - and this, not just at 'vacation times' when they happen to occur...   the rest image
Flowing out of this we can't help but notice Jesus' appreciation of the rhythm of life. Built into the fabric of the created order, God has embedded the principle of Sabbath. It is the cycle of a 7-day week that cannot be explained by planetary or lunar alignment; only by the words of Genesis. (How astonishing that this has shaped the entire history of a humanity most of whom have never read it.)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

When on the mount the Lord appeared...

File:Giovanni Gerolamo Savoldo 005.jpg
When on the mount the Lord appeared
Transfigured to the sight,
His countenance was like the sun,
His raiment glistened white.
 
But dull the minds, and dark the eyes,
On whom such glory shone;
They saw not God upon the mount,
They saw but man alone.
 
And when the dark and cloudy days
Of death and sorrow came,
What were their thoughts of Him who hung
Upon the cross of shame?
 
They knew not that the God of Life
An offering yielded there,
And of His will endured for all
The load of sin He bare.
 
Lord, to the mount where Thou art seen
In all Thy glory bright,
Thy servants now would wend their way
To gaze upon the Light,
And there behold, in glory clad,
The Light to mortals given,
That in the night that hid the cross,
Shone with the light of heaven.”
-Hymns from the Morningland: tr. John Brownlie image

Monday, July 24, 2017

Walk A Life Unnoticed

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
by Paul Tripp

We don't know much about the man Enoch.

The Bible doesn't divulge any details of his life, amazing feats, battles won, or journies taken by faith like it does with other biblical characters. All we know is that he was the seventh generation between Adam and Noah, that his father was Jared, and that his son was the famous long-living Methuselah (see Genesis 5:18-24).

Despite his unremarkable life (in terms of historical prominence and biblical detail), Enoch is the second character enshrined in the famous "Hall of Faith" - Hebrews 11.

What's the reason for Enoch's inclusion among men like Noah and Abraham and Moses? I have a theory: like Enoch, we will live unnoticed.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that we won't have influence or that people will ignore us. I simply mean that the majority of Christians will never make their way into history books. We'll only have a small following on Twitter Facebook. Most of us won't have a million people reading our blogs, and when we die, apart from a loyal circle of family and close friends, the details of our lives will be largely forgotten by those who knew us.

Are you discouraged by that reality? Be honest: it's tempting to think that we can't make a difference. It's easy to think that who we are, what we believe, and how we live won't impact others. Aren't we just biological blips on the huge universal radar of space and time?..... The rest image