Saturday, November 26, 2011

Have You Considered That God Loved You Before Time?

Remember, that God loved you from before the foundation of the world..It makes the tears run down one's cheeks to think that we should have an interest in that decree and council of the Almighty Three, when every one that should be blood-bought had its name inscribed in God's eternal book. .. He thought of you before you had a being. When as yet the sun and the moon were not,—when the sun, the moon, and the stars slept in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn cup, when the old sea was not yet born, long ere this infant world lay in its swaddling bands of mist, then God had inscribed your name upon the heart and upon the hands of Christ indelibly, to remain forever. And does not this make thee love God?

Charles Spurgeon, Love, A Sermon (No. 229) Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 19th, 1858, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Glory in Our Midst

I'm enjoying preparing for our Advent Series: "Glory in Our Midst." We will be taking the next four Sundays to examine the truth that Jesus is God's glory in our midst. First we will look at verses 1-3 and learn that He is "Divine Glory in Our Midst." Then, we will look at verses 4-9 and see that He is "The Light of Glory in Our Midst." For December 11th we will look at verses 10-13 and see that we are called to "Receive the Glory in Our Midst." And, finally, on December 18th, we will ponder that we are, "Transformed by the Glory in Our Midst."
There are so many wonderful things in this short section. Perhaps we have read through this too often and missed its riches. One scholar believes it is a beautiful poetic structure called a "Chiasm." Whether or not the Apostle John intended this isn't clear but we can certainly see the beauty of the structure of this passage in this Chiasm. Check out this diagram of the chiastic structure:
Looking forward to learning together from this fantastic section of God's word!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Word Cloud for Philippians

Check out this word cloud (Wordle) for the entire book of Philippians (ESV)!
Wordle: Philippians (ESV)

And in Koine Greek:

Wordle: Philippians in Koine (UBS)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Word Preached - Thomas Watson

A godly man loves the Word preached, which is a commentary upon the word written. The Scriptures are the sovereign oils and balsams; the preaching of the word is the pouring of them out. The Scriptures are the precious spices; the preaching of the Word is the beating of these spices, which causes a wonderful fragrance and delight. The Word preached is 'the rod of God's strength' (Psalm 110:2) and 'the breath of his lips' (Isaiah 11:4).

Taken from the book The Godly Man's Picture by Thomas Watson 1666

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Carnal Heart, A gracious Heart - Jeremiah Burroughs

A carnal heart thinks, I must have my wants made up or else it is impossible that I should be content. But a gracious heart says, 'What is the duty of the circumstances God has put me into?"

Taken from the book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
By Jeremiah Burroughs 1648

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

True Faith - DL Moody

True faith is man's weakness leaning on God's strength. When man has no strength, and he leans on God, he becomes powerful. The trouble is that we have too much strength and confidence in ourselves.

Taken from the book The Way to God by DL Moody 1837-1899

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Beginning of Warfare - John Owen

To labour to be acquainted with the ways, wiles, methods, advantages and occasions of (sins) success, is the beginning of warfare. So do men deal with enemies. They inquire out their counsels and designs, ponder their ends, consider how and by what means they have formerly prevailed, that they may get the start of them.

Taken from the book The Mortification of Sin by John Owen 1656

A.W. Tozer on Treasure

"The man who has God for his treasure has all things in one." A.W. Tozer - @Grace_Quotes

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Songs for the Journey

Right now we are going through Psalms 120-134, the Psalms labeled, "Songs of Ascents". These are Psalms used by Old Testament believers as they journeyed towards Jerusalem, the special place where God and his people dwelt together. 

We, too, are on a journey, making our way to our final home when we will dwell with God and his people forever. These wonderful Psalms instruct and inspire us along the journey.

Click on this graphic to enjoy a "Wordle" word cloud of Psalms 120-134:
Wordle: Pilgrim Songs

Make Every Effort

Great post from Kevin DeYoung on the place of effort in the Christian life. It is so important to enjoy and rely on grace but not think that this means we are to be simply passive. Here are some excerpts:

Make Every Effort

Count the letters carefully: effort is not a four letter word. Even those who believe in blood-bought, Christ-wrought, undeserved, sovereign, gospel grace do not despise effort in the Christian life. How can we? 2 Peter 1:5 tells us to “make every effort.”
Of course, anyone familiar with this passage will remember that the effort enjoined by Peter is God-graced effort. Verse 3 says we have divine power through “knowledge of him.” Verse 4 says we can become “partakers of the divine nature” through “his precious and very great promises.” Verse 5 harnesses these twin turbines of Spirit energy when it says “For this very reason, make every effort.” In other words, Peter holds up a pattern of godliness–increasing faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. This pattern relies on gospel power. And the gospel-powered pattern requires effort....
Christians work–they work to kill sin and they work to live in the Spirit. They have rest in the gospel, but never rest in their battle against the flesh and the devil. As J.C. Ryle put it, the child of God has two great marks about him: he is known for his inner warfare and his inner peace....
But let us not misunderstand what it means to be gospel-centered. As gospel Christians, we are not afraid of striving, fighting, and working. These are good Bible words. The gospel that frees us from self-justification also frees us for obedience. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5 and 1 John and Revelation 21 and a dozen other passages make clear that when we have no obedience to show for our gospel profession, our conduct shows we have not understood the gospel....
When it comes to growth in godliness, trusting does not put an end to trying.
Read the whole thing here: Make Every Effort

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Maundy Thursday!

Sound funny to you? It sounds almost like we are saying “Happy Monday Thursday.” Ever wondered what “Maundy” means? The word “Maundy” comes from the same root as “mandate”. The reason it is called, “Maundy Thursday” is because it was on the Thursday of Holy Week when Jesus gave his new mandate, or, new commandment:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
Jesus gave this commandment in the context of the last supper where he had washed the disciples feet. It is amazing that Jesus Christ, the Holy One become a man, the rightful King of all and, the one to whom we all owe perfect worship, would lower himself to act like an abased servant and wipe the muck and filth from the feet and toes of his disciples. Furthermore, we know that his love led him even to do more than wash feet. On the next day, Good Friday, he bore the sins, the countless, horrific sins, of his people, on the cross. He did this in amazing humility and love. He did it to bear the just wrath of God for your sins and mine. He did it to forever wash us from the muck and filth of our sin. There is no greater love than this.

So, today, on Maunday Thursday, let’s remember the amazing love of the Savior and find ourselves profoundly grateful, rejuvenated and freshly eager to obey his new commandment  - his mandate – to love like he does.

Happy Maundy Thursday!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Hero

John W. Buckley

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BUCKLEY, John W. Of Wellesley, 75, passed on peacefully March 13, 2011 while vacationing in Naples, Florida after a courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Donna (Fitzgerald); his daughter Sheila and husband Lance Tucker, their children Victoria and Emma; his son Michael and wife Karen, their children Brendan, Joseph, and Susanna; his son Paul and wife Margaret, their children Daniel, Caleb, John, and Mary; his son Matthew and wife Ann, their son Noah; and sister and brother-in-law, Claire and Terence O'Shea. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Winifred, siblings Margaret (Santagate), Thomas, Catherine, and Eleanor (Couture). John was raised in Brighton, MA where he was an all-scholastic athlete at Brighton High School and later graduated from Northeastern University. After serving his country as an Army officer, he had a long career with the Raytheon Company retiring in 1992 as a highly honored engineer and executive. He was a devoted husband, father, friend and faithful member and Eucharistic Minister of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Wellesley. He enjoyed golf, tennis, bridge, fishing, puzzles, the vacation home he built, his friends, and, most of all, time with his family. His steady love, unique humor, genuine faith, and constant devotion will be sadly missed by so many. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 23rd, 10AM at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Wellesley. Visitation will be on Tuesday, March 22nd, 4-8PM at Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home, 56 Washington St., Wellesley. Memorial gifts may be made to St. John's Discretionary Fund, St. John the Evangelist Parish, 9 Glen Rd., Wellesley, MA, 02481. Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home

John W. Buckley Obituary: View John Buckley's Obituary by The Boston Globe

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

Paul David Tripp has been so helpful to us in parenting - not only helping us actually parent better but also helping us pay attention to our own hearts in parenting. I recommend reading everything you can find by him. Here is a portion of a recent article from the Gospel Coalition site.

Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

It was eleven o’clock on a Sunday night, and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we had put our four children to bed, later than we had planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn’t be described as joy, I got in the car and did the late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hit me. It seemed like I had been given an impossible job to do; I had been chosen to be the dad of four children.

It is humbling and a bit embarrassing to admit, but I sat in my car and dreamed of what it would be like to be single. No, I didn’t want to actually leave Luella and my children, but parenting seemed overwhelming at that point. I felt like I had nothing left to face the next day of a thousand sibling battles, a thousand authority encounters, a thousand reminders, a thousand warnings, a thousand corrections, a thousand discipline moments, a thousand explanations, a thousand times of talking about the presence and grace of Jesus, a thousand times of helping the children to look in the mirror of God’s Word and see themselves with accuracy, a thousands “please forgive me’s,” and a thousand “I love you’s.” It seemed impossible to be faithful to the task and have the time and energy to anything else...... Read the rest here: Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Must Read for All Those Concerned for Our Nation's Critical Marriage Debate *

Do you want to be salt and light in a culture confused about truth? One of the most significant ways to do this is to be informed and equipped for the nation-wide discussion of the nature of marriage. The conclusions to this discussion will drastically determine the future of our country because the nature of the debate goes to the roots of law, justice, family, society and morality.

For starters, check out this excellent presentation by Robert P. George, Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, “What Is Marriage?” published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

You can also follow the inevitable counter arguments and debate here:
Stay informed and equipped to be salt and light!

* HT & Sources: Justin Taylor