Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Hark! the glad sound! the Savior comes,
The Savior promised long:
Let every heart prepare a throne,
And every voice a song.
He comes the prisoners to release
In Satan's bondage held;
The gates of brass before him burst,
The iron fetters yield.
He comes, the broken heart to bind,
The bleeding soul to cure;
And with the treasures of his grace
To enrich the humble poor.
Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,
Thy welcome shall proclaim;
And heaven's eternal arches ring
With thy beloved Name.
-Philip Doddridge image
November 28th 2016
I was confused and distressed.
I couldn’t find any comfort.
I lay awake at night.
I didn’t know what to say.
I groaned when I remembered the good old days.
Any of these statements sound familiar? I wonder how many you could tick off.
They are all sentiments expressed in the opening verses of Psalm 77. And they are followed by the Psalmist’s questions: “Has God forgotten to be merciful?” “Has his unfailing love vanished for ever?”
Yet the Psalm ends with a great expression of confidence. Something happens which makes the Psalmist ask a very difficult kind of question: “What god is as great as our God?”
What’s brought about this transformation? It’s not down to any change in his circumstances. There’s no hint of that in the Psalm. Something else has changed. And whatever it is, it’s surely a secret worth knowing. Here is something that enables us to face life with confidence—even in the midst of regret, heartache and struggle.
The answer is that the Psalmist appeals to the story of God. “To this I will appeal,” he says in verse 10, “the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.” It’s followed by four resolutions “to remember the deeds of the LORD”. The Psalmist determines to let the story of God shape his understanding of God and his understanding of himself.
For the Psalmist that meant remembering the story of the exodus. He alludes to the plagues on Egypt and he describes the parting of the Red Sea. The exodus story kicks off when God meets Moses at the burning bush. “I have come down,” God tells Moses, “to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians” (Exodus 3 v 8). God came down to reveal himself, to liberate Israel from slavery and to form them as his own people. This was the great defining moment for Israel. And it’s recalling this moment that so radically changes the Psalmist’s perspective on life... the rest image
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
It was not suddenly and unannounced that Jesus came into the world. He came into a world that had been prepared for him. The whole Old Testament is the story of a special preparation …Only when all was ready, only in the fullness of his time, did Jesus come. ...Phillips Brooks image
Thursday, November 3, 2016
My God, how endless is Thy love!
Thy gifts are ev’ry ev’ning new;
And morning mercies from above
Gently distill like early dew.
Thou spread’st the curtains of the night,
Great guardian of my sleeping hours;
Thy sov’reign word restores the light,
And quickens all my drowsy pow’rs.
I yield my pow’rs to Thy command,
To Thee I consecrate my days;
Perpetual blessings from Thine hand
Demand perpetual songs of praise.
...Isaac Watts image
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
November 1, 2016
by Albert MohlerSometimes persistent questions demand a response. The question I would like us to ask and answer this morning is will beauty save the world? It may sound like an odd question. It’s a question occasioned by Dostoevsky the great Russian novelist, in his work The Idiot—a novel drenched in Christian content and deeply engaged with Christian theology. Beauty will save the world. Is that a Christian affirmation or not? When Dostoevsky said that beauty will save the world, how was he defining beauty?
I want us to consider two biblical texts in response to this question. First Isaiah 53:1-10.
“Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
the rest image