Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday's Hymn

God moves in a mysterious way - William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quotes for the Week

"Have you never thus led others into sin? Perhaps some, who are now lost forever, may be lamenting in outer darkness and despair the fatal hour when they became acquainted with you."
- J. G. Pike, Persuasives to Early Piety.

“All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was written your reach and you have lost it forever.”
- C. S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 147.

"There seems to be a kind of conspiracy, to forget, or to conceal, where the doctrine of Hell comes from. The doctrine of Hell is not 'mediaeval priestcraft' for frightening people into giving money to the church: it is Christ's deliberate judgment on sin . . . We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ."
- Dorothy Sayers, A Matter of Eternity, 86.

"A Christ-centered church is not a showcase for saints but a hospital for sinners."
- Randy Alcorn, Heaven, 35.

Monday, August 24, 2009


After the greatness that is Perelandra, That Hideous Strength feels like a knuckle-curve thrown from left-field. I mean the Space Trilogy’s concluding volume is set on earth and Merlin is one of its heroes. It was a good book, just a little unexpected; I’m told its due to the increasing influence of Charles Williams on Lewis.

But the most intriguing aspect of the story (to me) was the character Mark Studdock. He is a professor at the fictional college in the story and he has just become a member of the inner circle of faculty who really run the college. The odd thing is that he doesn’t actually seem to like the members of the Inner Circle, but he craves being accepted by them. It comes out in the book that he has abandoned one set of people after another, always trying to climb into higher and higher "inner circles." This is how he gets sucked into N.I.C.E., who are the real villains of the piece. Only after he has lost everything does he come to his senses and get his priorities straight. To his credit (what little he can be given) he is offered a chance to get back in and although tempted he refuses.

I think this temptation to want to be in the Inner Circle is universal, though maybe not as pronounced as in the case of Mark Studdock. If you’ve ever felt the thrill of a shared secret, passion, or hobby then you know what I’m talking about. Think of the camaraderie that comes immediately; think of the new dynamic that is created. I remember in high school there was a guy that I didn’t have much use for and he felt the same way. Then one day we discovered that we were both addicted to boxing and suddenly we were talking like old friends or a couple of chicks gushing about shopping (sorry about the stereotype). Something new had been created. Suddenly there was an "us" and a "them." Those who knew the thrill of a right-hook landing flush and those who didn’t (or couldn’t – the Inner Circle creates arrogance as well). He and I, and those who were missing out.

There is a danger of this happening to our Christian faith. With our churches, the danger is that "us and them" dynamic. With small churches, that danger is compounded by the consolidation of power in Inner Circles and the ability to know everyone well. But there is a danger for individuals as well. It can come by way of a fascination with a doctrine that has captivated us and then discovering a kindred spirit who shares this love. Instead of a doctrine, it could also be an author or particular book. But suddenly there is an "us" who loves so and so and "all those other putzes" who really should acknowledge the greatness of our doctrine/hero/view.

Why is this so bad for a Christian? The "us" and "them" circles inside the church hinder the Christian fellowship that is supposed to transcend all barriers. And circles that become Inner Circles undermine the Gospel itself. Inner Circles are exclusive by definition, but the Gospel demands that church be wide-open to receive all who repent and believe in Jesus. The Inner Circle is dangerous and seductive and must be fought.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday's Hymn (kind of a hymn)

All My Tears

When I go don't cry for me,
In my Father's arms I'll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I'll be whole.
Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus' face
And I will not be ashamed,
For my Savior knows my name

It don't matter where you bury me,
I'll be home and I'll be free
It don't matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away.

Gold and silver blind the eye,
Temporary riches lie
Come and eat from heaven's store,
Come and drink and thirst no more

It don't matter where you bury me,
I'l be home and I'll be free
It don't matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away

So weep not for me my friends,
When my time below does end
For my life belongs to Him,
Who will raise the dead again.

It don't matter where you bury me,
'Cause I'll be home and I'll be free.
It don't matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away

Oooh, it don't matter.....
Ooooh, it don't matter

(From Jars of Clay's Good Monsters album)

Friday, August 21, 2009


Perelandra is my favorite C. S. Lewis book. In my less than humble opinion it is also his best. It covers some of the same ground that he covers in his non-fiction, but in the hands of a truly great writer story makes truth shine in neon unforgettable lights. And this is what Lewis does in Perelandra. And the scene where Ransom realizes that his antagonist Weston has become more and less than a man is particularly momentous.

This is the second book of the Space Trilogy preceded by Out of the Silent Planet and followed by That Hideous Strength. In the first book Ransom travels to Mars (Malacandra) and finds intelligent life there. Now he has been sent on a mission by the Eldila (angels, kind of) to do something on the planet Venus (Perelandra). There he meets the Queen who is living in perfect ignorance of evil, she relates naturally with Maleldil (Jesus). Then shortly a spaceship lands bearing Weston, Ransom’s antagonist from the first book. Quickly it becomes clear that he and Weston will do combat for the Lady’s future and for the future of all her children (she and the King have no children yet). She has been forbidden the fixed land but given freedom to live on the floating islands. Weston spends the book seeking to convince her to sleep on the fixed land against the command of Maleldil whereas Ransom urges her to obey the command. During the course of this long argument Ransom becomes aware that Weston is not quite Weston. There is one moment in particular when all clears up.

This is the moment when Ransom comes face to face with pure unadulterated evil. A thing which he describes in such a way that it sent chills down my spine and a bit of unease with the world that I live in. Ransom had come upon Weston using a long wickedly sharp fingernail to disembowel a frog-like creature. And this is the moment when he realizes that Weston is no longer Weston, that this thing only resembles a man, that Weston is no longer in that body, that it is being preserved undecaying but without true life in it. Then when it realized that Ransom had caught it in its evil . . .

“It looked at Ransom in silence and at last began to smile. We have all often spoke – Ransom himself had often spoken – of a devilish smile. Now he realized that he had never taken the words seriously. The smile was not bitter, nor raging, nor, in an ordinary sense sinister; it was not even mocking. It seemed to summon Ransom, with horrible naiveté of welcome, into the world of its own pleasures, as if all men were at one in those pleasures, as if they were the most natural thing in the world and no dispute could ever have occurred about them. It was not furtive, nor ashamed, it had nothing of the conspirator in it. It did not defy goodness, it ignored it to the point of annihilation. Ransom perceived that he had never before seen anything but half-hearted and uneasy attempts at evil. This creature was whole-hearted. The extremity of its evil had passed beyond all struggle into some state which bore a horrible similarity to innocence. It was beyond vice as the lady was beyond virtue.” 110-111

Weston isn’t quite Weston anymore. He is being indwelt by an entity of pure unbridled evil. What we would probably call demon possession/oppression. And this set me thinking about what it would be like to come face to face with evil. My first thought would of a vindictive schemer. But Lewis paints a very different picture. Hear Lewis again . . .

Indeed no imagined horror could have surpasses the sense which grew within him as the slow hours passed, that this creature was, by all human standards, inside out – its heart on the surface and its shallowness at the heart. On the surface, great designs and an antagonism to Heaven which involved the fate of worlds: but deep within, when every veil had been pierced, was there, after all, nothing but a black puerility, an aimless empty spitefulness content to sate itself with the tiniest cruelties, as love does not disdain the smallest kindness? 123

At the bottom of this evil is a simple cruel desire to make others suffer. It is not a grand plan to storm Heaven. But, rather simply to wreak as much havoc as it can for as long as it can. According to Lewis then, evil is rebellion for the sheer joy of rebellion. I’m sure that that’s not all there is to say about the nature of evil, but this is surely more Biblical than Dante’s noble devil. Now I want to close with a last and most chilling account of the Unman (as Ransom called him) . . .

'But this is very foolish,' said the Un-man. 'Do you not know who I am?

''I know what you are,' said Ransom. 'Which of them doesn't matter.'

'And you think, little one,' it answered, that you can fight with me? You think He will help you, perhaps? Many thought that. I've known Him longer than you, little one. They all think He's going to help them -- till they come to their senses screaming recantations too late in the middle of the fire, mouldering in concentration camps, writhing under saws, jibbering in mad-houses, or nailed on to crosses. Could He help Himself?' -- and the creature suddenly threw back its head and cried in a voice so loud that it seemed the golden sky-roof must break, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.

'And the moment it had done so, Ransom felt certain that the sounds it had made were perfect Aramic of the first century. The Un-man was not quoting; it was remembering. These were the very words spoken from the Cross, treasured through all those years in the burning memory of the outcast creature which had heard them, and now brought forward in hideous parody; the horror made him momentarily sick.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quotes for the Week

"One of the greatest frustrations in the Christian ministry, and a principle cause of "weariness in well doing," is the inability to calculate the spiritual outcome of faithful labors in the work of the Lord. For this reason we must be cautious in putting too much stock in what we often call "visible results." We serve a Sovereign God who has promised that His Word will not return void. The ultimate harvest is assured, but it will only come "at the proper time," that is in God's own good time."
- Timothy George, Galatians (NAC), 426.

"A person cannot claim to accept the Gospel and the obligations that come with it and at the same time live in obedience to the flesh instead of the Spirit."
Ronald Y. K. Fung, The Epistle to the Galatians (NICNT), 294.

"I suspect, however, that the more basic reason we avoid or ignore the idea of God's wrath is that we simply don't think of our sinfulness as warranting the degree of judgment inferred by the expression."
- Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life, 49.

“All the simplicity in the world can do no good, unless you preach the simple gospel of Jesus Christ so fully and clearly that everybody can understand it. If ‘Christ crucified’ has not His rightful place in your sermons, and sin is not exposed as it should be, and your people are not plainly told what they ought to believe, and be, and do — your preaching is of no use!”
- J. C. Ryle, The Upper Room, 54.

“Jesus gives his bride full liberty to take all that He has to be their own; He loves them to help themselves freely to His treasure and appropriate as much as they can possibly carry. The boundless fullness of His all-sufficiency is as free to the believer as the air he breathes.”
- Charles Spurgeon, Morning By Morning, 190.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing - Hymn for Sunday

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

Friday, August 14, 2009


When I was in High School I took a semester of JROTC (which Edna lovingly refers to as the Pickle Patrol; she has a song and everything). Now, toward the end of that semester we went on a run up a long hill. Some of us started struggling (I know what some of you are thinking; it wasn’t me. I was in good shape at this point of my life. I even broke the JROTC record for sit-ups in a minute) and our Sergeant yelled that we were whining like a bunch of girls, and that if we were in the real military we would have been running with 120 lb. backpacks on. At the time that made me feel really impressed with our soldiers and it also convinced me that I just might not be cut out for the military.

But that idea has stuck with me. That image of men in camouflage running with elephant sized backpacks on their backs still strikes me as heroic. But this week I’ve been studying Hebrews 11.39-12.2 and there we are told to lay aside every weight that hinders. And I’m just guessing, but a huge backpack would probably be a little bit of a hindrance.

I also have a competing image in my head. It’s of my college roommate, Phil. You see, Phil was a cross country runner, and a good one. He ate slept and breathed running. Cold or heat, rain or shine, Phil put on his shiny short shorts and ran for about a hundred miles everyday.

As I compare the images, the soldier with the huge backpack and Phil with his short shorts, it really is striking because the call in Hebrews 12.1 is to run with endurance. And I’ve got to tell you, if I needed someone to run thirty miles carrying medicine to my sick daughter, I’m taking Phil in his short shorts. The reason is that Phil doesn’t have the hindrance of that big backpack. He can run freely and swiftly and with endurance.

So we’re called like Phil to run with endurance. This isn’t a sprint. We have to be committed to the long haul, so like Phil we have to travel light. We need lay aside anything that might slow us down or keep us from finishing altogether. As I’ve prepared to preach, I’ve really wrestled with how to apply this challenge, and it has been a struggle since we are not talking about things that are inherently sinful (that’s easier - stop sinning). This is something that is intensely personal. What hinders me from running for Jesus, you might laugh at. But I want to give two examples that I think are pretty general.

Sports is a common preoccupation for Americans, especially American males. We love us some football. And there was a time in my life where I was downright obsessed with football. I watched the NFL network like a thirsty man drinking from an oasis. And when my Patriots played in those Superbowls, it was an internal war because everything in me screamed that I should skip the evening service to watch the game (I didn’t by the way, Dad taped them for me). It was an unhealthy preoccupation that is certainly not unique to me, Think of all the men you know who spend all day watching a NASCAR race. Or the man who goes to the golf course five times a week now that he’s retired but doesn’t have time for church activities.

Or how about TV? And I don’t just mean the sensual nonsense that we shouldn’t be watching on principle. Think about the sheer amount of hours that we spend watching TV instead of playing with our kids or sharing our faith, or hanging out with other Christians, or going out and doing ministry. If you want to get convicted, put a post it note under your clicker and add the hours for just one week. It will startle you. How many of the hours should have been spent running after Jesus?

I think that far too many Christians are choosing to put those 120 lb. backpacks on and then trying to run for Jesus with these burdens slowing us down. Instead we have to look at Phil. We need to get up early like Phil, put on our shiny spiritual short shorts and run with endurance for Jesus.

BTW - I still love football, but I don’t watch every second of the draft like I used to. Having a whole NFL network seems excessive to me now, and I limit how many games I watch. Oh, and the Patriots will return to the Superbowl this year. And when they do I’ll enjoy watching the tape on Monday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Plan Your Run with Jesus: A Fall Challenge Care of John Piper

(This is from a John Piper Sermon on Hebrews 11.39-12.2)

Rather, all of us should listen and obey. Here's what I would suggest. Between now and Labor Day, pick a day or a half day and get away by yourself - away from the house, the phone, the beeper, the TV, the radio and all other people. Take a Bible and a pad of paper and plan your fall run with Jesus.

On that pad of paper note the entangling sins. Note the seemingly innocent weights and encumbrances that are not condemned explicitly in the Bible, but which you know are holding you back in the race for faith and love and strength and holiness and courage and freedom. Note the ways you subtly make provision for these hindrances (Romans 13:14): the computer games, the hidden alcohol or candy, the television, the videos, the pull-tab stop on the way home, the magazines, the novels. In addition, note the people that weaken you. Note the times that are wasted, thrown away.

When you have made all these notations, pray your way through to a resolve and a pattern of dismantling these encumbrances, and resisting these sins, and breaking old, old habits. And don't rise up against the Bible at this point and say, "I can't change." It is an assault on God if you read Hebrews 12:1 and go away saying: "It can't happen. Hindrances can't be removed. Sins can't be laid aside." God has not spoken this command for nothing. And this entire book is written to undergird these practical commands. So go back and read the book and ask God to take all the glorious truth that is here (about the superiority of Christ, and the power of his death and resurrection, and the effectiveness of his intercession for you) and make this truth explosive with life-changing power. Carry some of the story to your small group and get them to pray for you. Find someone you trust and ask them to check in with you and support you. That is what Hebrews 3:12-13 says we should do. Don't drift from this moment into this Sunday afternoon. Before this day is over choose a day or a half-day and get away to plan your fall run with Jesus.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quotes for the Week

"The church's worst enemy is the man of little faith within its membership, not the faithless man of the world."
- Iain Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 185.

“Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or tract, or friend above the Word. Cursed be that book, or tract, or human counsel, which creeps in between us and the Bible, and hides the Bible from our eyes!”
- J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion, 137.

"We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization that I am accepted by God, not on the basis of my personal performance, but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ."
- Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life, 18.

"There would be absolutely no benefit to us if Jesus merely lived and died as a private person. It is only because He lived and died as our representative that His work becomes beneficial to us."
- Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life, 37.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I have always wrestled with the old problem of secular versus Christian music. It is hard to articulate why we must avoid all secular music and this has left me confused even as I threw away all my Pearl Jam and Korn CD’s. Then at other times, I swing in the other direction and thank God as the giver of artistic gifts. He certainly would not want us to avoid a gift that He has given (as long as it does not lead to sin). When music is done with excellence and beauty I struggle to reject it, unless what is advocated is clearly sinful and offensive.

Now I don’t want to come off as some Christian culture snob, looking down my nose at Christian culture. For example, some Christian music is so cheesy that it is absolutely unpalatable. This is also true of some secular music however. And I do want to be clear before I go further, the absolute optimum in music for me is music done in excellence but that also honors the Lord in how it deals with whatever it happens to deal with.

But I wonder why have this weird relationship in the arena of music and no where else. I mean, I know Christians who would never listen to secular music who watched Sex and the City and R-rated movies. This seems kind of schizophrenic to me. So why do we put music in this special class, with its own special restrictions? I came up with three reasons.

First, I have heard some say that music has a unique ability to penetrate the heart without having to fight the barriers the mind would throw up. And I think there is some legitimacy to this. I think my love of Live (the band) contributed to my fascination with eastern religions in High School. But I don’t think that the case is quite as strong as some make out. I knew what Ed Kowalczyk believed and what he was saying. So it didn’t slip past anything, he just made it seem cool. The problem I think has to do more with our celebrity culture than to any heart espionage.

I also think that some confusion in a whole other arena has led to this problem. You see, nobody thinks of TV as worship, few go to the movies with their only intention being to worship. Yet this is what we have done with music. In many Christian circles worship has come to mean music. But in the Bible it is clear that while music is a terribly important form of worship, all of life is to be worship. It is not just those few songs we sing before the sermon. It is how we conduct ourselves at work, how we treat our families. It is also how we spend our time with the Lord, and yes, it involves music. But the problem comes when music is thought of only as worship. When this happens music that is not for the purpose of worship is seen as a perversion of worship. This is unhealthy and misleading.

Last, and probably least important, we are just flat out uncomfortable with the world. We don’t know how to relate to it. We are unsure what is acceptable and healthy, and what is seductive and unhealthy. And it is certainly better to be cautious than reckless. So I want to close by saying that if you disagree with me and think that all secular music is bad, well that’s ok. Do not sin against your conscience on my account. But do think about all the other common grace gifts we appreciate even when they come from non-Christians.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


There is a Fountain - William Cowper
There is a fountain fill'd with blood,
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, as vile as he,
Wash'd all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransom'd church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I wanna run away
Never say goodbye
I wanna know the truth
Instead of wondering why
I wanna know the answers
No more lies
I wanna shut the door
And open up my mind

These lyrics are from Linkin Park’s song ‘Runaway’. And in my mind they are some of the saddest lyrics I’ve ever heard. These words (especially with the passion they are sung with) reveal a real longing for truth. They seem to have come to a realization that our world is missing something. However like all of fallen mankind they look in the wrong place.

As Romans 3 says there are none who seek God. Even if we diagnose the problem accurately that we have a need for truth, we always look in the wrong place, we never seek God. And this is where one of our culture’s biggest mistakes comes in. We encourage people to look inward for the only truth that matters. However, we have also redefined truth so that it is personal and relative, as opposed to universal and absolute. Or as we hear it more often, you have your truth and I have mine. So then there isn’t even any real truth to find.

So people are told to look inward for answers. But this on face value seems insane to me. If I’ve been struggling for answers why on earth would I look inward, if I’m struggling apparently I don’t have the answers. So we are encouraged to make up our own answers, no matter what we may call it, at that point we are no longer searching for truth. We are left simply trying pacify our consciences.

So since I started with Linkin Park lyrics I though I would answer with Project 86 lyrics.

Outside you there's a remedy
Inside you is an enemy
This twist (this twist) of irony
Can I say you were ever a friend to me?
(Just like we promised)
And you know it was never a lie
The fallen son that bought our freedom
Is the I, the I that had to die

Here we see a much more Biblical and realistic picture of the world we live in. Because we have broken and fallen hearts, as Project 86 says there is only an enemy inside. We cannot trust our own hearts. Our hearts long for all the wrong things. Our hearts will unerringly lead us astray. So as the first line says we must look outside ourselves for the remedy, for our solution can only be found there. Well then, where do we look outside ourselves? Clearly the Christian answer is going to be that we look at God’s Word. It is inerrant, it has no errors and when it is understood it will never lead astray. It is also inspired, in the sense that it comes from God Himself through the personality of human authors without being contaminated by them. So when we hold the Bible in our hands we hold the very Words of God, His perfect guidance for how to come to know Him and how to live in a manner that pleases Him. This is the truth that is the answer to the screams of Linkin Park and our entire generation.

But how sad is it that so many Christians in this free land fall back on listening to their hearts simply because they do not know the Word. We have enfeebled ourselves by neglecting a great gift from our God. I fear that we deserve the confusion and chaos of our lives. And it is much uglier for us who know Christ. Linkin Park doesn’t where to find the truth. We do, yet we do not look there. How pathetic.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


My brethren, this is a lesson for us; let us never reckon that we have learned a doctrine till we have seen its bearing upon our lives. Whatever we discover in God’s word, let us pray the Holy Spirit to make us feel the sanctifying influence of it. You know not a man because you recognize his features, you must also know his spirit, and so the mere acquaintance with the letter of truth is of small account — you must feel its influence and know its tendency. There are some brethren who are so enamored of doctrine that no preacher will content them unless he gives them over and over again clear statements of certain favourite truths: but the moment you come to speak of practice they fight shy of it at once, and either denounce the preacher as being legal, or they grow weary of that which they dare not contradict. Let it never be so with us. Let us follow up truth to its practical “therefore.” Let us love the practice of holiness as much as the belief of the truth; and, though we desire to know, let us take care when we know that we act according to the knowledge, for if we do not our knowledge itself will become mischievous to us, will involve us in responsibilities, but will bring to us no effectual blessing. Let everyone here who knoweth aught, now pray God to teach him float he would have him to do, as the consequence of that knowledge.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quote's for the Week

“There is no royal road to a knowledge of the Bible. There must be patient, daily, systematic reading of the Book, or the Book will not be known.”
- J. C. Ryle

"There he is at five in the morning . . . . on his knees with his English Bible, his Greek New Testament and Henry's Commentary spread out before him. He reads a portion in the English, gains a fuller insight into it as he studies words and tenses in the Greek and then considers Matthew Henry's explanation of it all. Finally, there comes the unique practice that he has developed: that of 'praying over every line and word' of both the English and the Greek till the passage, in its essential message, has veritably become part of his own soul."
- Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, I:82-83.

“Be content to be nothing, for that is what you are. When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full, except in the Lord.”
- Charles Spurgeon

“When we preach Christ crucified, we have no reason to stammer, or stutter, or hesitate, or apologize; there is nothing in the gospel of which we have any cause to be ashamed.”
- Charles H. Spurgeon

“Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service, comes to wealth via giving all away. And those who receive his salvation are not the strong and accomplished but those who admit they are weak and lost.”
- Timothy Keller, Gospel Christianity, 2.

“Everything good that God has made and that God sustains is ruined when it is not done in reliance on God’s grace and in pursuit of God’s glory”.
- John Piper, Finally Alive, 58.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Great Hymn

Soldiers of Christ, in truth arrayed,
A world in ruins needs your aid:
A world by sin destroyed and dead;
A world for which the Savior bled.

His Gospel to the lost proclaim,
Good news for all in Jesus’ Name;
Let light upon the darkness break
That sinners from their death may wake.

Morning and evening sow the seed,
God’s grace the effort shall succeed.
Seedtimes of tears have oft been found
With sheaves of joy and plenty crowned.

We meet to part, but part to meet
When earthly labors are complete,
To join in yet more blest employ,
In an eternal world of joy.

Basil Manly, 1860