Monday, June 29, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Assurance

The Bible specifically declares that we can know we have eternal life. This week’s verse speaks to that assurance. It is found in 1 John 5:11, 12; “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

If you read some of the other posts that will be coming in the next days and weeks, you will find a discussion on the importance of the written word in the Christian life. A big part of using that word appropriately is meditating on it. It’s hard to meditate on Scripture if you don’t know it. This would be a good verse to get started with and to spend time really thinking about.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Christianity and the Importance of Reading

Words and reading are at the very core of the Christian faith. There are cultural trends that are taking their toll on careful, thoughtful reading and this has implications for us as Christians.

There seems to be a fairly significant generational divide developing in this area with people 55 and older having one understanding and attitude toward reading and those under 25 having a completely different viewpoint.

My hope is that by raising awareness of this situation within the church, we might be able to turn things around for those younger people with whom we have influence.

I am in the process of preparing a couple of Sunday School sessions dealing with this important topic and I will post summaries of some of the key points here. This is something I have been becoming more concerned about as time goes by and an interesting book spurred me on to think more deeply about the current situation. The book is called "Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age" by Maggie Jackson. Although not a Christian book, it raises a number of issues that should be of significance to all of us who believe that God has communicated in the spoken and written word.

Watch for follow-up posts in the coming days.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Learning to be Content

Do you have difficulty being content? I would say that it is one of my most besetting sins. There doesn't seem to be any reason for it since God has fulfilled every promise He has made and yet there is a struggle.

Tim Challies, a hyper-blogger... (I don't think he's missed a day in many years), often calls for others to join him in reading a Christian classic together. The book he's proposing this time is "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" by Jeremiah Burroughs. I'm going to take this opportunity as a challenge for myself to learn more about this important topic and perhaps gain some much needed victory.

My encouragement to you would be to join me and other Challies' readers in this effort. You can find the information here. I think it would be great if my readers at Faithful Men could have our own mini-discussion as we work our way through this book.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spurgeon's Evening Reading for June 11

Read Spurgeon's devotional on Christ's victory over sin and Satan from this evening's reading. If this doesn't thrill your soul...nothing will.

"There brake He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle." --Psalm 76:3

Our Redeemer's glorious cry of "It is finished," was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of "the and the battle." Behold the hero of Golgotha using His cross as an anvil, and His woes as a hammer, dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned "arrows of the bow"; trampling on every indictment, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty Breaker gives with a hammer far more ponderous than the fabled weapon of Thor! How the diabolical darts fly to fragments, and the infernal bucklers are broken like potters' vessels! Behold, He draws from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of Satanic power! He snaps it across His knee, as a man breaks the dry wood of a fagot, and casts it into the fire. Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow mortally to wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement was made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuseth? Who now condemneth? Christ hath died, yea rather, hath risen again. Jesus has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath; the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell's warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance. Sin hath no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away for ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk ye of all the wondrous works of the Lord, ye who make mention of His name, keep not silence, neither by day, nor when the sun goeth to his rest. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Memorization Monday - Salvation Must be Personally Received

Salvation is a free gift, but it must be believed or received personally. Our verses for this week are Romans 10:9, 10: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Notice the focus on “you”. It’s often easy to listen to sermons and assume that just because we are hearing it we must be “in”. But these verses say that you must confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead in order for you to be saved. Are these things true of you?

Paul challenges us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. It never hurts to take that as a personal admonition. Jesus said there are many who will say, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name?” and He will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Matt 7:22. It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Salvation Must be Received

The next topic in our Scripture memory series is that the free gift of salvation must be received. This week’s verse is John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Hopefully most of you have already committed this verse to memory, but it’s worth a good review.

Have a good week.