Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blessed Saviour, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded
there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.
-Joseph Scriven

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who is the true Son of Promise?

God’s final atonement for sin was not a ram caught in the thicket but the Son of the promise. Isaac could be spared, must be spared, for while he was the seed of the promise, he was so only in shadow, pointing to the true Seed, the beloved Son, not of Abraham but of the heavenly Father. God the Father spared the beloved son of Abraham but not His own Beloved.

-Edmund Clowney, Preaching Christ in All of Scripture

"the second time to reign"

The second coming of Christ will be utterly unlike the first. He came the first time in weakness, a tender infant born of a poor woman in the manger at Bethlehem, unnoticed, unhonoured and scarcely known. He will come the second time in royal dignity, with the armies of heaven around Him, to be known, recognized and feared by all the scribes of the earth. He came the first time to suffer - to bear our sins- to be reckoned a curse - to be despised, rejected, unjustly condemned and slain. He will come the second time to reign - to put down every enemy beneath His feet - to take the kingdoms of this world for His inheritance - to rule them with righteousness - to judge everybody, and to live forevermore.

J.C. Ryle's commentary on Mark 13
Crossway Classic Commentaries, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. Page 210

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What makes Moses special?

[Exodus 32-34 (the golden calf incident followed by Moses' intercession for the people of Israel)]is not so much a story of rebellion as it is a story of God's forgiveness and Moses' role in making this happen. it is in these chapters that Moses' role as intercessor, as mediator of the covenant, reaches its zenith. If we wish to point out the episode that makes Moses truly special, that makes him deserving of all the honour, attention, and respect he has received through the ages, it is his shielding an ungrateful people from the end they most certainly deserve, even if it means taking their place and bearing the full weight, horror and ignomy of God's anger. The world will not see the likes of this again for many generations.

(Thank You, Jesus!) -Exodus (The NIV Application Commentary), Dr. Peter Enns

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

May we be foolish enough to believe that we can make a difference!

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

-A Franciscan Benediction-

Friday, March 11, 2011

What makes a church beautiful?

(Photo from Gene Veith's blog. These are the remains of the oldest known church building in the world.)

Let us learn ...that the true glory of a church does not consist in its buildings for public worship, but in the faith and godliness of its members...Without these two things, the noblest ecclesiastical edifice is radically defective. It has no glory if God is not there. With these two things, the humblest brick cottage where the Gospel is preached is lovely and beautiful. It is consecrated by Christ's own presence and the Holy Spirit's own blessing.

J.C. Ryle's commentary on Mark 13:2
Crossway Classic Commentaries, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. Page 201

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Triune Prayer from the Valley of Vision


Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,
I adore Thee as one Being, one Essence,
one God in three distinct Persons,
for bringing sinners to Thy knowledge and to Thy kingdom.
O Father, Thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;
O Jesus, Thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,
shed Thine own blood to wash away my sins,
wrought righteousness to cover my unworthiness;
O Holy Spirit, Thou hast loved me and entered
my heart, implanted there eternal life,
revealed to me the glories of Jesus.
Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise Thee,
for love so unmerited, so unspeakable,
so wonderous, so mighty to save the lost and raise them to glory.
O Father, I thank Thee that in fullness of grace
Thou hast given me to Jesus, to be His sheep, jewel, portion;
O Jesus, I thank Thee that in fullness of grace
Thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;
Oh Holy Spirit, I think Thee that in the fullness of grace Thou hast
Exhibted Jesus as my salvation,
Implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with Him forever.
O Father, Thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,
O Jesus, Thy hand is outstretched to take my petitions,
O Holy Spirit, Thou art willing to help my
infirmities, to show me my need,
to supply words, to pray within me,
to strengthen me that I faint not in supplication.
O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,
Thou hast commanded me to ask for those things that concern my kingdom and my soul.
Let me live and pray as one baptized into the threefold Name.