Monday, July 27, 2009

Spurgeon's Evening for July 27

Every now and then one of Spurgeon's devotionals really encourages me and today's was one of those.

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"
Romans 8:33

Most blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation, and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God's book against his people: he seeth no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel; they are justified in Christ for ever. When the guilt of sin was taken away, the punishment of sin was removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God's angry hand-nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may be chastised by his Father, but God the Judge has nothing to say to the Christian, except "I have absolved thee: thou art acquitted." For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Jesus. There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it. They who wear the white robe in heaven overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that thy sin is a condemned thing. It may kick and struggle, but it is doomed to die. God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has crucified it, "nailing it to his cross." Go now and mortify it, and the Lord help you to live to his praise, for sin with all its guilt, shame, and fear, is gone.

"Here's pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come here's pardon too."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Promised Blessings - Forgiveness

Our series of Scripture memory verses continues with this verse about forgiveness.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (NKJV)

Have a good week.

Hymn of the Week -- All Because of God's Amazing Grace

Ruth and Erin are singing this song in church this morning. I love the words. Both words and music are by Stephen Adams

Amazing grace, oh how sweet the sound
that saved a poor sinner like me!
Though once I was lost, yet now I'm found,
Though I was blinded, now I see!

Through disappointment and danger, too,
through labors and sorrows we've come!
But God's grace has guided safely through,
And it will surely lead us home!

Then with the ransomed around God's throne
We'll praise our redeemer and King!
We'll tell how His mercy for sin did atone,
Through countless ages this song we'll sing!

It was all because of God's amazing grace!
Because on calv'ry's mountain He took my place!
And someday, some glorious morning
I shall see Him face to face,
All because of God's amazing grace!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Promised Blessings - Forgiveness

This week we begin a series of verses which help us focus on the promised blessings we have as Christians. Each blessing will be emphasized in three verses. The first blessing we want to memorize and meditate on is Forgiveness.

The verse for this week is 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Assurance

The third memory verse in the series on assurance is found in I John 5:13 "These things I have written unto you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life."

Next week we start memorizing Scriptures that help us review the promised blessings we have as Christians.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Christianity and the Importance of Reading - Part 1

Reading is important because God has given us His Word in written form. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Greek word for scripture in this verse is “graphe” from which we get the words graph, graphite, etc. All of these words in English have the concept of writing associated with them. So Paul is telling Timothy that all of “The Writing” is given by inspiration of God. It is God breathed and is profitable.

In 2 Peter 1:21 we learn that holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The Psalmist tells us that the Lord gave the word and great was the company of those that published it. Psalm 68:11

And finally in Hebrews 4:12 we learn that the Word of God is living and powerful and able to pierce down to distinguish between the soul and spirit and between the thoughts and intents of the heart.

So I maintain that reading is important because the God that exists has chosen to communicate with us through the medium of the written word. If we don’t know how to read or we don’t care to read then God’s Word will be closed to us unless we hear it read.

Next time we’ll look at how reading is commanded, encouraged and expected.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Memorization Monday -- Assurance

This week’s verse is again under the topic of Assurance. The verse is John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

What a promise! Sometimes when I start to doubt my salvation, I go back and think about this verse. It’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Thoughts on Contentment

I mentioned in a previous blog post that Tim Challies is encouraging us to read through the book “The Rare Jewel of Christian contentment” by Jeremiah Burroughs. This book was first published in 1648 and so the perspective and vocabulary are a bit different than we are used to, but it gives some great thoughts on learning to be content. I’ll share some of them here from time to time in between my posts on reading and other things that I’m thinking about.

Burrough’s key verse for chapter 1 is Philippians 4:11: I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. This of course was written by the Apostle Paul. Burroughs points out that in verse 12 where Paul says, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed…” the word “instructed” means to learn the secret of something. Burroughs calls it a mystery. Contentment is something that can be learned and there is a secret to it, just as someone who is a cook might say, “I’ll show you the secret of making a great pie crust.” It isn’t really a mystery as in mysterious. There are just certain skills and attitudes that need to be developed to learn contentment.

Burroughs gives the following definition of contentment: “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

A couple of points that really spoke to me were first of all that it is inward. Contentment can’t be forced from without. In fact the outward circumstances don’t matter much when it comes to contentment. Another point is that it is gracious. That is, it comes from the grace of God and it forms the entire frame of the spirit. It is not just something that is partially content. Everyone can be content at times or in various ways. This is contentment that forms the very frame of our spiritual being. Finally, the most difficult aspect for me is that of freely delighting in God’s handling of every situation. The key words there are freely, delighting and every.

I’m looking forward to working my way through the entire book and learning a great deal from it. If you’re interested in joining in, you can find Challie’s posts here.