A Place to Die

Harry W. Schaumburg wrote a blog post entitled “Sexual Sin in the Ministry”.   He makes a strong case that our “diagnosis determines the treatment” and suggests that nothing short of the cross will heal people caught in sexual sin.

“The cross isn’t a recovery program, the place to improve on what good is already there. It is a place to die.  It is not a question of giving up sexual sin, but of giving up one’s rights.”

Remembering God

image“What one thing about God in Christ speaks directly into today’s trouble? …

Just as we don’t change all at once, so we don’t swallow all of truth in one gulp.

We are simple people. You can’t remember ten things at once. Invariably, if you could remember just ONE true thing in the moment of trial, you’d be different. Bible “verses” aren’t magic.

But God’s words are revelations of God from God for our redemption. When you actually remember God, you do not sin. The only way we ever sin is by suppressing God, by forgetting, by tuning out his voice, switching channels, and listening to other voices.

When you actually remember, you actually change. In fact, remembering is the first change.”

– David Powlison

To God be the Glory

GodsGlory “So God glorifies himself towards the creatures also two ways:

(1) by appearing to them, being manifested to their understandings

(2) in communicating himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying the manifestations which he makes of himself.

They both of them may be called his glory in the more extensive sense of the word, viz. his shining forth, or the going forth of his excellency, beauty and essential glory ad extra.

By one way it goes forth towards their understandings; by the other it goes forth towards their wills or hearts. God is glorified not only by his glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in, when those that see it delight in it: God is more glorified than if they only see it; his glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart.

God made the world that he might communicate, and the creature receive, his glory, but that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. He that testifies his having an idea of God’s glory don’t glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.

Both these ways of God’s glorifying himself come from the same cause, viz. the overflowing of God’s internal glory, or an inclination in God to cause his internal glory to flow out ad extra. What God has in view in neither of them, neither in his manifesting his glory to the understanding nor communication to the heart, is not that he may receive, but that he [may] go forth: the main end of his shining forth is not that he may have his rays reflected back to himself, but that the rays may go forth.

Jonathan Edwards [1722], The "Miscellanies": (Entry Nos. a-z, aa-zz, 1-500) (WJE Online Vol. 13) , Ed. Harry S. Stout

Can you hear me now?

“But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”  Matthew 13:8

soilandseedlingThe good soil has none of the faults of the rest of the field.  It is loose and thus unlike the path, deep and thus unlike the rocky bit, clean and thus unlike the thorny infestation.

Jesus interprets this in one word: understands. While others  received the Word, and it had some growth in them, the distinction here is surely of a moral nature.

Biblical usage of “understanding” regards the action of the whole moral and spiritual nature, not purely the intellectual process.  It involves the grasp of the truth with the whole being, the complete reception of the Word of the kingdom not merely into the intellect but into the central self that is the undivided fountain from which flow the issues of life.  Only he who has housed the Word deep in his inmost soul “understands it.”  ‘

Alexander MacLaren In His Presence, June 26th, Emerald Books, 1998.

The Gospel is Strong Wind!

"For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep doing…What a wretched man I am!   Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!…Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Romans 7:19, 24-25, 8:1

mistress1 What a gift to a believer’s heart are these words from Romans 7-8!

From his own experience, Paul describes the struggle of having new creation wants and desires coexisting and battling within the same body that still houses the desires that he had before being indwelt by Christ. 

He turns not to the law to resolve the inner conflict–he turns to Christ and the glory of the gospel!

"The law can tell us what obedience looks like and can chart our course for it, but it cannot give what it commands, and this is as true for the Christians as it is for unbelievers. 

Continue reading “The Gospel is Strong Wind!”

Loved Beforehand

images "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."  Genesis 1:27

"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…In love He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:4-5

"There is a world of difference between that which is constructed and that which is created.

That which is constructed can only be loved after it is constructed.

That which is created can be loved before it is created."

G.K. Chesterton

Like one being taught

“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” 

Isaiah 50:46

“True teachers are those who are ever conscious that they must be taught themselves before presuming to teach others.  Once we are eager to be taught, the Lord God will soon present us with pupils!  We will have to be up early in the day to receive our instructions from the Lord realizing that in all probability the word we receive will be needed by another before the day is through.”  

 Jill Briscoe