Friday, January 29, 2016

The Whole Bible

It takes the whole Bible to make a Christian whole.

Pride -- the fundamental vice

"The essential vice, the utmost evil is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison; it was through Pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice; it is the complete anti-God state." - C.S. Lewis

Grieving God

"The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him, is not to believe that he loves you." -- John Owen

When Jesus Is Your King

"Three ways to make Jesus your king: trust him, obey him, and expect great things from him." -- Tim Keller

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Deciding on the Questionable Matters

“Mature and maturing Christians, when making a decision about a matter that might seem ethically uncertain, don’t fail to take into account that, according to the New Testament, their ultimate decision must be guided by a number of principles, including, 1) the effect it will have on others -- might it trip another believer up, causing them to fall (back?) into sin?), and, 2)whether they can in good conscience say that they are doing the action out of conviction and faith that this is a good way to please their Lord. These are principles taught in a passage like Romans 14, which ends with, ‘But whoever doubts stands condemned if he [does the questionable action], because his eating is not from a conviction (or ‘from faith’), and everything that is not from a conviction is sin.’ (v. 23, HCSB). These principles are especially relevant for those who have been entrusted with leadership and influence in Christ’s church (and who have accepted that special stewardship -- see James 3:1).”

-- Jon G. Baldwin

Friday, January 8, 2016

Living with the Mystery of Providence

“Your rest is not to be found in figuring your life out, but in trusting the One who has it all figured out for your good and his glory.”

-- Paul David Tripp

"Be Still My Soul"

"Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Hymn #651 
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: "Stille, mein Wille"
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
Tune: "Finlandia"

Jesus and Romans 8:28

Remember that Romans 8:28 was at work in the experience of Jesus (who "loved God" and was "called according to His purpose") from Gethsemane to Golgotha -- with all the horrors He "endured" for the "joy set before Him" (Hebrews 12:2, cp. the "good" of Rom. 8:28) -- the joy/good of accomplishing God's redeeming work for God's glory and our true good. His enduring obedience was the path to His being exalted and glorified by God (Phil. 2:9-11; Isa. 53:10-12). My understanding of Rom. 8:28 has to 'fit' with this kind of experience.