“When you cease from labour, fill up your time in reading, meditation, and prayer: and while your hands are labouring, let your heart be employed, as much as possible, in divine thoughts.”—David Brainerd
“On the one hand, Christianity is the most exclusive religion imaginable. It insists that belief in Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation. Jesus is the only way. You must go to Him to get eternal life. On the other hand, Christianity is the most inclusive religion possible because it makes salvation accessible to everyone. Salvation is offered for all people through one Person. Whoever believes in Him will not perish. Anyone who receives or believes in Jesus will live forever with God. There are no racial, social, intellectual, or economic criteria that prevent anyone from joining God’s family. One of the problems with the other religions of the world is that they all smack of elitism… Only Christianity offers salvation to everyone as a free gift.”—Philip Graham Ryken
“The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer.”—Jonathan Edwards
“If it is right for man to have the glory of God as his goal, can it be wrong for God to have the same goal? If man can have no higher purpose than God’s glory, how can God? […] The reason it cannot be right for man to live for himself, as if he were God, is because he is not God. However, it cannot be wrong for God to seek His own glory, simply because He is God.”—J.I. Packer, as quoted by Matt Redman in “Facedown” (via facedownworship)
I believe Paul wrote this down as a profound encouragement…
“Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now” [1 Cor….
“When you’re tempted to doubt God’s love for you, stand before the cross and look at the wounded, dying, disfigured Savior, and realize why He is there. I believe His Father would whisper to us, ‘Isn’t this sufficient? I haven’t spared My own Son; I deformed and disfigured and crushed Him — for you. What more could I do to persuade you that I love you?’”—C. J. Mahaney ~ Living the Cross Centered Life (Sisters, Or.: Multnomah Books, 2006), 56
Gotta say - this is a pretty compelling post that really makes my heart pull, that maybe this is something we should consider.
If the translation has been wrong all along - and the emphasis was only ever on prostitution and not on same sex marriages - it would suggest, while not formally supporting gay marriage, that gay marriage is not the point of the issue we’ve been discussing for so long. But instead, heart heartbreakingly awful displays of disrespect for human life and sexuality - perhaps we should have been focusing harder on prostitution than happy Christ loving same sex couples.
I listened to this while going to work last week and it addresses the issue of mistranslation and shows how it confuses the issue. It is done in a loving way, but teaches the truth, that all sexual immorality is sin, not just homosexuality.
“Here’s one other little tip that I use. If I pick a verse or a couple of verses or a paragraph, I’ll put it on a piece of paper and I’ll carry it here in my shirt pocket. And at little times during the day, I’ll pull it out and read it for my soul. For my soul! I don’t memorize verses that don’t help my soul. I’m not into mechanical memorizing. I’m into fighting the fight of faith. I want to memorize Scripture so that I can defeat the devil at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, that’s why! It’s so that I can minister to a saint in the hospital at 10 o’clock at night if I’ve forgotten my Bible. This is for our soul. So I carry it around and I review it. Review is so crucial.”—
John Piper, on the memorization of Scriptures (via aaronfeeney)
I keep them on a notebook in my pocket and pull them out at work and work on memorizing while I work.
It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:7-11 ESV)
A little behind, but still working on it. Work has been keeping me very busy lately.
“The Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men into Christ… If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other reason.”—C. S. Lewis
“Mark the subject of Job’s devout anticipation “I shall see God.” He does not say, “I shall see the saints”—though doubtless that will be untold felicity—but, “I shall see God.” It is not—“I shall see the pearly gates, I shall behold the walls of jasper, I shall gaze upon the crowns of gold,” but “I shall see God.” This is the sum and substance of heaven, this is the joyful hope of all believers.”—Charles Spurgeon
“Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement … from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude, heartfelt joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ. “My God and your God.” … Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy… Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. May I never be separated from him.”—
Blaise Pascal- French mathematician
This quote was found written on a piece of parchment and sewed into his coat where it was found 8 yrs. after his death.
Found this in a John Piper sermon which I will post next.
In the early morning hours after Christmas day, the Iranian government arrested 25 Christians in Tehran and other locations. They also planned to detain sixteen others, but were unable to locate them. There are also unconfirmed reports that the authorities have arrested over 50 other Christians. According to BBC Persian, the Governor of Tehran has vowed to arrest more evangelical Christians.
One of those detained was able to make a call to friends from an unknown location on the morning of the arrests, leaving this message -
"Unfortunately early this morning the authorities came to our homes. They arrested us and many other believers. I want to ask you to pray for us.We are sure God will never leave us or forsake us. God bless you. Sorry for giving you bad news over Christmas, but I believe God will do something for us."
Those who received the voice message were impressed by the caller’s courage and calmness.
Armed, plain-clothes, special security officers forcefully entered the homes of Christians while they were asleep, and verbally and physically abused them. They were handcuffed and taken for interrogation. Among those arrested were five married couples. One couple was separated from their two-year old baby. Another couple was also forced to leave their baby that the mother was breast feeding. A number of single young women were also among those taken.
Another sixteen Christians would have been arrested, but were not at home. The security forces broke into at least five such homes, ransacking them, taking personal possessions, changing the locks and placing a government seal on the door. Family members of these Christians have been called by the authorities and threatened and harassed. They were instructed to tell the Christians to surrender themselves.
After many hours of interrogation, eleven of the detained were released. The other fourteen are still in prison. There has been no contact from eight of the arrested. Six have been able to make a very short call to their families. In one of the brief calls, one of the arrested complained that they are being subjected to sleep deprivation.
None of them have been granted any legal representation. No charges have been made, though it is clear that they were arrested for their active Christian faith.There has been a gross lack of due process. The government authorities have not provided any written documents as to the reason for the arrests, any record of the items confiscated, and family members are not allowed to visit the detained.
There is an urgent need for Christians all over the world to intercede for our brothers and sisters in prison in Iran.
Let us pray that they will experience the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, even in their prison cells. Pray they will have supernatural endurance and courage through this trial, and be shining witnesses to the guards and other inmates. Pray for peace and wisdom when they are being interrogated. Pray for their health. Pray for comfort and confidence for their families. Pray they will soon be released.
Pray for the welfare and protection of those the government is still seeking to arrest. Pray the Lord will guide their every step. Pray for the wider church in Iran to continue faithfully and fearlessly proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel. Pray for those who are working to help the persecuted and their families.
It is comforting to know that our sovereign, omniscient, all-powerful God knows about every single arrest that has been made, and that He will bring glory to His name through this suffering. He will cause this persecution to bring victory for His Kingdom in Iran.
“Even as we slog through the trials, persecutions, irritations, temptations, distractions, apathy, and just plain weariness of this world, the gospel points us to heaven where our King Jesus — the Lamb of God who was crucified in our place and raised gloriously from the dead — now sits interceding for us. Not only so, but it calls us forward to that final day when heaven will be filled with the roaring noise of millions upon millions of forgiven voices hailing him as crucified Savior and risen King.”—Greg Gilbert -What is the Gospel? (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2010), 121
I have really been getting into the memorization of the book of Philippians. Interstingly enough, I have been having the same problem with the word “all” as Aaron Armstrong of Blogging Theologically has had. Go here to read his reflections.
I will update with my own reflections on the Philippians 1:1-6 on Sunday.
“Here’s one other little tip that I use. If I pick a verse or a couple of verses or a paragraph, I’ll put it on a piece of paper and I’ll carry it here in my shirt pocket. And at little times during the day, I’ll pull it out and read it for my soul. For my soul! I don’t memorize verses that don’t help my soul. I’m not into mechanical memorizing. I’m into fighting the fight of faith. I want to memorize Scripture so that I can defeat the devil at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, that’s why! It’s so that I can minister to a saint in the hospital at 10 o’clock at night if I’ve forgotten my Bible. This is for our soul. So I carry it around and I review it. Review is so crucial.”—John Piper, on the memorization of Scriptures (via aaronfeeney)