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Showing posts from April 4, 2017

Tongue as Word of Evil

Tongue as Word of EvilJames 3:6 Excerpt The tongue is “the world of evil.” In the ancient way of thinking, this is not a difficult phrase. The body was the microcosm of the universe. In all its complexity, the human being was a small, self-contained universe, thus the term “microcosmos.” There is a double sense of microcosm here: not only the body in relation to the universe of nature but also the tongue in relation to the universe of wickedness.19 Thus, contained within the tongue or speech are all the representations of wickedness in the world. Is a representation of evil, in words that is, the same as the evil itself? Obviously not, but the power of verbal representation is not slight; this James knew full well. Words have the power to elicit action; indeed, the activity of speech itself interprets every other human action. There is no evil act that the tongue cannot tell, let alone initiate. More Richardson, Kurt A. James. Vol. 36. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997. P…

The Lord Tells Abram about Future Events

The Lord Tells Abram about Future EventsExcerpt A deep sleep fell upon Abram; with this sleep, a horror of great darkness fell upon him: a sudden change. The children of light do not always walk in the light. Several things were then foretold. 1. The suffering state of Abram’s seed for a long time. They shall be strangers. The heirs of heaven are strangers on earth. They shall be servants; but Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing. They shall suffer. Those that are blessed and beloved of God, are often sorely afflicted by wicked men. 2. The judgment is of the enemies of Abram’s seed. Though God may allow persecutors and oppressors to trample upon his people a great while, he will certainly reckon with them at last. 3. That great event, the deliverance of Abram’s seed out of Egypt, is here foretold. 4. Their happy settlement in Canaan. They shall come hither again. The measure of sin fills gradually. Some people’s measure of sin fills slowly. The knowledge of futu…

Aquinas on the Lord’s Prayer

Aquinas on the Lord’s PrayerExcerpt The Lord’s Prayer is most perfect, because, as Augustine says to Proba (Ep. cxxx.), if we pray rightly and fittingly, we can say nothing else but what is contained in this prayer of Our Lord. For since prayer interprets our desires, as it were, before God, then alone is it right to ask for something in our prayers when it is right that we should desire it. Now in the Lord’s Prayer not only do we ask for all that we may rightly desire but also in the order wherein we ought to desire them so that this prayer not only teaches us to ask but also directs all our affections. More Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne. Print.

The Preacher and Preparation: Selection

The Preacher and Preparation: SelectionExcerpt ‎How we choose what to preach—how we select texts and topics—is critical for each message preached, as well as the whole character and content of a preaching ministry. ‎What begins as a simple question, What do I preach next Sunday? (for instance), actually forces the preacher to consider what preaching itself is supposed to be and do, what the content of preaching needs to be on any given occasion, how the Holy Spirit works, and how Godsovereignly plans and orchestrates situations. Let it be said that ultimately there is a majestic mystery intrinsic to this whole process. Although we will seek to bring biblical truth to bear on these matters, that in no way means that the question above can be answered simply, unless you say, “Preach what God has told you to preach.” … More Olford, Stephen F., and David L. Olford. Anointed Expository Preaching. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998. Print.

Connect the Testaments

April 4: Forgive, Forget, and Comfort Deuteronomy 5:1–6:25; 2 Corinthians 2:1–11; Psalm 33 There is a subtle type of grudge that festers. When we extend forgiveness, the challenge isn’t necessarily in the moment of reconciliation. It’s extending that moment and letting it permeate the interactions that follow. In 2 Corinthians, Paul doesn’t just ask the Corinthians to forgive. He asks them for much more: “So then, you should rather forgive and comfort him lest somehow this person should be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to confirm your love for him. Because for this reason, also I wrote, so that I could know your proven character, whether you are obedient in everything” (2 Cor 2:7–9). Patronizing superiority suits our selfish desires, but grudging forgiveness doesn’t heal a community. Paul calls the Corinthian church too much more. He wants them to live sacrificially. That’s why, when Paul calls for the offender in Corinth to be reprimanded, he correctly turns to ad…

Morning and Evening

Morning, April 4Go To Evening Reading
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” —2 Corinthians 5:21
Mourning Christian! Why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in him. Thou art in God’s sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee so that thou hast more than the righteousness of man—thou hast the righteousness of God. O thou who art mourning because of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn thee. Thou hast learned to hate the sin, but thou hast also heard to know that sin is not thine—it was laid upon Christ’s head. Thy standing is not in thyself—it is in Christ; thine acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much accepted of God to-day, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be when thou standest before his t…

My Utmost for His Highest

April 4th Those borders of distrust Behold, the hour cometh, … that ye shall be scattered.John 16:32. Jesus is not rebuking the disciples, their faith was real, but it was disturbed; it was not at work in actual things. The disciples were scattered to their own interests, alive to interests that never were in Jesus Christ. After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to be worked out in actualities. We shall be scattered, not into work, but into inner desolations and made to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is not that we choose it, but that God engineers our circumstances so that we are brought there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is bolstered up by feelings and by blessings. When once we get there, no matter where God places us or what the inner desolations are, we can praise God that all is well. That is faith being worked out in actualities. “… and shall leave Me alone.” Have we left…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

April 4 All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever Gen. 13:15 God’s promises are ever on the ascending scale. One leads up to another, fuller and more blessed than itself. In Mesopotamia, God said, “I will show thee the land.” At Bethel, “This is the land.” Here, “and I will give thee all the land, and children innumerable as the grains of sand.” And we shall find even these eclipsed. It is thus that God allures us to saintliness. Not giving anything till we have dared to act—that He may test us. Not giving everything at first—that He may not overwhelm us. And always keeping in hand an infinite reserve of blessing. Oh, the unexplored remainders, of God! Who ever saw His last star? F. B. Meyer

 Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.