Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carving Christ on your heart

(J.R. Miller)
From Grace Gems

A persecuted Christian in prison was cheered an hour every day, by a little spot of sunshine on his dungeon wall. Through a grating, the sun's rays briefly streamed into his cell. With the crude tools of a nail and stone, he carved  a rough image of Christ upon His cross on the wall. He mastered his misfortune, getting a blessing out of it. 

No matter how calamity or disaster builds its dark, gloomy dungeon walls about you--never let despair lay its chilly hand upon your soul. No dungeon is so deep, that God's love cannot stream through. Carve the image of Christ on the wall of your heart! Master your misfortune, and make it give you a blessing. If you let trouble master you--it will leave a permanent scar upon your life. But conquered calamity becomes your helper and leaves beauty on your soul.

A soul given up to sin

by Thomas Brooks

It is the greatest judgment in the world to be left to sin.
O unhappy man--when God leaves you to yourself, and
does not resist you in your sins! Woe, woe to him at
whose sins God winks at. When God lets the way to hell
be a smooth and pleasant way--that is hell on this side
hell, and a dreadful sign of God's indignation against
a man; a token of his rejection, and that God does not
intend good unto him.

That is a sad word, "Ephraim is joined to idols--let him
" (Hosea 4:17) Ephraim will be unteachable and
incorrigible; he has made a match with sin--and he shall
have his bellyful of it!

And that is a terrible saying, "So I gave them up unto
their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own
counsels." (Psalm 81:12). A soul given up to sin is
a soul ripe for hell--a soul hastening to destruction!

Ah Lord! this mercy I humbly beg--that whatever You
give me up to, You will not give me up to the ways of
my own heart! If You will give me up to be afflicted,
or tempted, or reproached--I will patiently sit down,
and say, It is the Lord, let Him do with me what seems
good in His own eyes. Do anything with me, lay what
burden You will upon me--but do not give me up to
the ways of my own heart!

Augustine says, "Deliver me, O Lord, from that evil

From Grace Gems

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"It's true, that the greatest heresies have crept into the Church of Christ by means of ordained men!"

The title of this post is a quote I lifted from  a sermon preached by J. C. Ryle entitled 'Pharisees and Sadducees'. In it he warns the church to beware of the deadliest danger we face; not persecution, not martyrdom. The greatest danger we face is false teaching, false doctrine. This sermon is just as relevant today as it was when he preached it a couple of hundred years ago...

 "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!" Matthew 16:6 Every word spoken by the Lord Jesus is full of deep instruction for Christians. It is the voice of the Chief Shepherd. It is the Great Head of the Church speaking to all its members—the King of kings speaking to His subjects—the Master of the house speaking to His servants—the Captain of our salvation speaking to His soldiers. Above all, it is the voice of Him who said, "I did not speak of my own accord—but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49) The heart of every believer in the Lord Jesus ought to burn within him—when he hears his Master's words, he ought to say, "Listen! It is the voice of My Beloved!" (Song of Solomon 2:8). Every word spoken by the Lord Jesus, is of the greatest value. Precious as gold, are all His words of doctrine and teaching; precious are all His parables and prophecies; precious are all His words of comfort and of consolation; precious, the not least of which, are all His words of caution and of warning. We are not merely to hear Him when He says, "Come to me—all who are weary and heavy burdened;" we are to also hear Him when He says, "Be careful—and be on your guard." I am going to direct attention to one of the most solemn and emphatic warnings which the Lord Jesus ever delivered: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." On this text I wish to erect a beacon for all who desire to be saved, and to preserve some souls, if possible, from making their lives a shipwreck. The times call loudly for such beacons: the spiritual shipwrecks of the last twenty-five years have been deplorably numerous. The watchmen of the Church ought to speak out plainly now, or forever hold their peace.

 continue reading here...

Did Darwin promote racism?

By Ken Ham 

  The human heart is a factory for all kinds of evil—including the evil of racism (see Jeremiah 17:9 and Matthew 15:18–19). Still, while Darwin certainly didn’t invent racism, his ideology of evolution has fostered it. Consider the case of Ota Benga—a pygmy from Central Africa, who in 1906 was caged in the Bronx Zoo with an orangutan. Remember the Jews in the gas chambers devised by Hitler to advance the Aryan “master race.” Reflect on the Australian aborigines hunted down in the 1800s by evolutionists in search of the “missing link.” 

 continue reading here...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Making the most of your day

This comes from Truth Endures; from Richard Baxter. How to spend your day with God...

 A holy life is inclined to be made easier when we know the usual sequence and method of our duties – with everything falling into its proper place. Therefore, I shall give some brief directions for spending the day in a holy manner.
Measure the time of your sleep appropriately so that you do not waste your precious morning hours sluggishly in your bed. Let the time of your sleep be matched to your health and labour, and not to slothful pleasure.
First Thoughts
 Let God have your first awaking thoughts; lift up your hearts to Him reverently and thankfully for the rest enjoyed the night before and cast yourself upon Him for the day which follows. Familiarise yourself so consistently to this that your conscience may check you when common thoughts shall first intrude. Think of the mercy of a night’s rest and of how many that have spent that night in Hell; how many in prison; how many in cold, hard lodgings; how many suffering from agonising pains and sickness, weary of their beds and of their lives. Think of how many souls were that night called from their bodies terrifyingly to appear before God and think how quickly days and nights are rolling on! How speedily your last night and day will come! Observe that which is lacking in the preparedness of your soul for such a time and seek it without delay.
Let prayer by yourself alone (or with your partner) take place before the collective prayer of the family. If possible let it be first, before any work of the day.
 Family Worship
 Let family worship be performed consistently and at a time when it is most likely for the family to be free of interruptions.
Ultimate Purpose
Remember your ultimate purpose, and when you set yourself to your day’s work or approach any activity in the world, let HOLINESS TO THE LORD be written upon your hearts in all that you do. Do no activity which you cannot entitle God to, and truly say that he set you about it, and do nothing in the world for any other ultimate purpose than to please, glorify and enjoy Him. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Diligence in Your Calling
 Follow the tasks of your calling carefully and diligently. Thus: (a) You will show that you are not sluggish and servants to your flesh (as those that cannot deny it ease), and you will further the putting to death of all the fleshly lusts and desires that are fed by ease and idleness. (b) You will keep out idle thoughts from your mind, that swarm in the minds of idle persons. (c) You will not lose precious time, something that idle persons are daily guilty of. (d) You will be in a way of obedience to God when the slothful are in constant sins of omission. (e) You may have more time to spend in holy duties if you follow your occupation diligently. Idle persons have no time for praying and reading because they lose time by loitering at their work. (f) You may expect God’s blessing and comfortable provision for both yourself and your families. (g) it may also encourage the health of your body which will increase its competence for the service of your soul.

Temptations and Things That Corrupt 
Be thoroughly acquainted with your temptations and the things that may corrupt you – and watch against them all day long. You should watch especially the most dangerous of the things that corrupt, and those temptations that either your company or business will unavoidably lay before you. Watch against the master sins of unbelief: hypocrisy, selfishness, pride, flesh pleasing and the excessive love of earthly things. Take care against being drawn into earthly mindedness and excessive cares, or covetous designs for rising in the world, under the pretence of diligence in your calling. If you are to trade or deal with others, be vigilant against selfishness and all that smacks of injustice or uncharitableness. In all your dealings with others, watch against the temptation of empty and idle talking. Watch also against those persons who would tempt you to anger. Maintain that modesty and cleanness of speech that the laws of purity require. If you converse with flatterers, be on your guard against swelling pride. If you converse with those that despise and injure you, strengthen yourself against impatient, revengeful pride. At first these things will be very difficult, while sin has any strength in you, but once you have grasped a continual awareness of the poisonous danger of any one of these sins, your heart will readily and easily avoid them.
When alone in your occupations, improve the time in practical and beneficial meditations. Meditate upon the infinite goodness and perfections of God; Christ and redemption; Heaven and how unworthy you are of going there and how you deserve eternal misery in Hell.
The Only Motive 
Whatever you are doing, in company or alone, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Otherwise, it is unacceptable to God.
Redeeming The Time 
Place a high value upon your time, be more careful of not losing it than you would of losing your money. Do not let worthless recreations, idle talk, unprofitable company, or sleep rob you of your precious time. Be more careful to escape that person, action or course of life that would rob you of your time than you would be to escape thieves and robbers. Make sure that you are not merely never idle, but rather that you are using your time in the most profitable way that you can and do not prefer a less profitable way before one of greater profit.
 Eating and Drinking 
Eat and drink with moderation and thankfulness for health, not for unprofitable pleasure. Never please your appetite in food or drink when it is prone to be detrimental to your health. Remember the sin of Sodom: “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food and abundance of idleness” – Ezekiel 16:49. The Apostle Paul wept when he mentioned those “whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their minds on earthly things, being enemies to the cross of Christ” – Philippians 3:18-19. O then do not live according to the flesh lest you die (Romans 8:13).
 Prevailing Sins 
If any temptation prevails against you and you fall into any sins in addition to habitual failures, immediately lament it and confess it to God; repent quickly whatever the cost. It will certainly cost you more if you continue in sin and remain unrepentant. Do not make light of your habitual failures, but confess them and daily strive against them, taking care not to aggravate them by unrepentance and contempt.
Remember every day the special duties of various relationships: whether as husbands, wives, children, masters, servants, pastors, people, magistrates, subjects. Remember every relationship has its special duty and its advantage for the doing of some good. God requires your faithfulness in this matter as well as in any other duty.
Closing the Day 
Before returning to sleep, it is wise and necessary to review the actions and mercies of the day past, so that you may be thankful for all the special mercies and humbled for all your sins. This is necessary in order that you might renew your repentance as well as your resolve for obedience, and in order that you may examine yourself to see whether your soul grew better or worse, whether sin goes down and grace goes up and whether you are better prepared for suffering, death and eternity. May these directions be engraven upon your mind and be made the daily practice of your life. If sincerely adhered to, these will be conducive to the holiness, fruitfulness and quietness of your life and add to you a comfortable and peaceful death.

Evidence for a young earth

Lead us not into temptation

From the blog Reformed Reader, we find a short excerpt from Thomas Watson on the sixth petiton from the Lord's prayer on how Satan attempts to trick and deceive...

 “If he cannot keep a Christian from duty, he will run him on too far in it. Humiliation, or mourning for sin, is a duty, but Satan will push it too far; he will say, ‘You are not humbled enough;’ and, indeed, he never thinks a man is humbled enough till he despairs. He would make a Christian wade so far in the waters of repentance, that he should get beyond his depth, and be drowned in the gulf of despair. “Satan comes thus to the soul and says, ‘Your sins have been great, and your sorrows should be proportionate to your sins. But is it so? Can you say you have been as great a mourner as you have been a sinner? You did for many years practice no other trade but sin – and is a drop of sorrow enough for a sea of sin? No, your soul must be more humbled and lie steeping longer in the brinish waters of repentance.’” “Satan would have a Christian weep himself blind, and in a desperate mood throw away the anchor of hope. Now, lest any be troubled with this temptation, let me say that this is a mere fallacy of Satan; for sorrow proportional to sin is not attainable in this life, nor does God expect it. It is sufficient for you, Christian, if you have a gospel-sorrow; if you grieve so far as to see sin hateful and Christ precious, if you grieve so as to break off iniquity, if your remorse ends in divorcing sin. This is to be humbled enough.
 “The gold has lain long enough in the fire when the dross is purged out; so a Christian has to be humbled enough for divine acceptance. God, for Christ’s sake, will accept this sorrow for sin; therefore let not Satan’s temptations drive you to despair” (p. 276-7).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Holy Spirit

by A. W. Pink

                                                    THE HOLY SPIRIT
                                              Chapter One


In the past having given consideration to the attributes of God our Father, and then to a contemplation of some of the glories of God our Redeemer, it now seems fitting that these should be followed by this series on the Holy Spirit. The need for this is real and pressing, for ignorance of the Third Person of the Godhead is most dishonoring to Him, and highly injurious to ourselves. The late George Smeaton of Scotland began his excellent work upon the Holy Spirit by saying, "Wherever Christianity has been a living power, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit has uniformly been regarded, equally with the Atonement and Justification by faith, as the article of a standing or falling church. The distinctive feature of Christianity as it addresses itself to man’s experience, is the work of the Spirit, which not only elevates it far above all philosophical speculation, but also above every other form of religion."

The Importance of Studying the Holy Spirit

Not at all too strong was the language of Samuel Chadwick when he said, "The gift of the Spirit is the crowning mercy of God in Christ Jesus. It was for this all the rest was. The Incarnation and Crucifixion, the Resurrection and Ascension were all preparatory to Pentecost. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit all the rest would be useless. The great thing in Christianity is the gift of the Spirit. The essential, vital, central element in the life of the soul and the work of the Church is the Person of the Spirit" (Joyful News,1911).
The great importance of a reverent and prayerful study of this subject should be apparent to every real child of God. The repeated references made to the Spirit by Christ in His final discourse (John 14 to 16) at once intimates this. The particular work which has been committed to Him furnishes clear proof of it. There is no spiritual good communicated to anyone but by the Spirit; whatever God in His grace works in us, it is by the Spirit. The only sin for which there is no forgiveness is one committed against the Spirit. How necessary is it then that we should be well instructed in the Scripture doctrine concerning Him! The great abuse there has been in all ages under the pretense of His holy name, should prompt us to diligent study. Finally, the awful ignorance which now so widely prevails upon the Spirit’s office and operations, urges us to put forth our best efforts.
Yet important as is our subject, and prominent as is the place given to it in Holy Writ, it seems that it has always met with a considerable amount of neglect and perversion. Thomas Goodwin commenced his massive work on The Work of the Holy Spirit in Our Salvation (1660) by affirming, "There is a general omission in the saints of God, in their not giving the Holy Spirit that glory that is due to His Person and for His great work of salvation in us, insomuch that we have in our hearts almost forgotten this Third Person." If that could be said in the midst of the balmy days of the Puritans, what language would be required to set forth the awful spiritual ignorance and impotency of this benighted 20th century!

In the Preface to his Lectures on "The Person, Godhead, and Ministry of the Holy Spirit" (1817), Robert Hawker wrote, "I am the more prompted to this service, from contemplating the present awful day of the world. Surely the ‘last days’ and the ‘perilous times,’ so expressly spoken of by the Spirit, are come (1 Tim. 4:1). The floodgates of heresy are broken up, and are pouring forth their deadly poison in various streams through the land. In a more daring and open manner the denial of the Person, Godhead, and Ministry of the Holy Spirit is come forward and indicates the tempest to follow. In such a season it is needful to contend, and that, ‘earnestly, for the faith once delivered unto the saints.’ Now in a more awakened manner ought the people of God to remember the words of Jesus, and ‘to hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.’"
So again, in 1880, George Smeaton wrote, "We may safely affirm that the doctrine of the Spirit is almost entirely ignored." And let us add, Wherever little honor is done to the Spirit, there is grave cause to suspect the genuineness of any profession of Christianity. Against this, it may he replied, Such charges as the above no longer hold good. Would to God they did not, but they do. While it be true that during the past two generations much has been written and spoken on the person of the Spirit, yet, for the most part, it has been of a sadly inadequate and erroneous character. Much dross has been mingled with the gold. A fearful amount of unscriptural nonsense and fanaticism has marred the testimony. Furthermore, it cannot be denied that it is no longer generally recognized that supernatural agency is imperatively required in order for the redemptive work of Christ to be applied to sinners. Rather do actions show it is now widely held that if unregenerate souls are instructed in the letter of Scripture their own willpower is sufficient to enable them to "decide for Christ."

From A. W. Pink's book, 'The Holy Spirit'

This is what love is

God established the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, each entering into this covenant and taking the vow, in sickness and in health,  'til death separates. Sadly, here is a rarity in this day and age, this is what marriage was intended to be...

What Is Love? from cvcnow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This new life

By nature we are all dead in trespasses and sins. There is . . .
  no breath of prayer, 
  no sight of God, 
  no listening to the voice of mercy, 
  no power of faith; 
but we are alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in us. In this state we live--until God who is rich in mercy with the great love with which He loved us, quickens us together with Christ, and saves us by His grace. The Holy Spirit imparts a new, a divine life. In consequence of this, we . . .
  discover our lost state,
  feel our dangerous position,
  fear the wrath of God,
  desire true holiness, and
  flee to Jesus for full salvation.

This life coming from God--always leads us to God. 
Being holy--it produces earnest longings for holiness. 
Being spiritual--it can only be satisfied with spiritual blessings. 

Jesus becomes the food, the repose, the delight of the soul. To Jesus the spiritual life always tends; on Him it feeds; and of Him alone it boasts. 

This new spiritual life is imparted in regeneration, and reveals itself in conversion to God. Its manifestations are . . .
  repentance for sin,
  faith in Jesus,
  love to God, and
  earnest longings for holiness of heart and life. 

It is this spiritual life which distinguishes the real believer from the mere professor of religion. It makes him a new man, and leads him to prove the truth of the Apostles words, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 

From Grace Gems

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Two Roads of Life

"Blessed is the man that doeth not walke in the counsell of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in ye seate of the scornefull:" Psalm 1:1 {from the Geneva Bible, 1587}

"Walk with God, and you cannot mistake the road; you have infallible wisdom to direct you, permanent love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you." —Charles H. Spurgeon
The High Way and the Low
John Oxenham, the noted British author and hymn writer of the well-known classic “In Christ, There is No East Nor West,” wrote in his poem The Ways:
"To every man there openeth A Way, and Ways and a Way, And the High Soul climbs the High way, And the Low Soul gropes the Low, And in between, on the misty flats, The rest drift to and fro. But to every man there openeth A High way and a Low, And every man decideth The Way his soul shall go."
Penned with poignant language, this literary masterpiece states that there are many different paths that lie before every person, a series of choices that open before each life. But amid these many different roads that could be taken, there are but, in reality, two paths—“a High way and a Low.” Every person's life and, ultimately, his destiny is marked by the choice he makes regarding “the Way his soul shall go.” So, it is clear, each life must choose wisely. Decisions determine destinies. The road one chooses marks the course of every life, not only for the present, but for the eternities that follow.
Psalm one clearly differentiates between these two paths of life. One road leads to blessing, the other to cursing; one to salvation, the other to destruction. The fact is, there are two, and only two roads in life—the way of the godly and the way of the ungodly—and they lead to two diametrically opposite destinies—one to life, the other to death. According, this first psalm is considered a wisdom psalm, one intended to provide guidance for godly living. Like a clearly-marked entrance onto the path of righteousness, it serves as an introduction to the entire psalter, directing all travelers onto the path of God's blessedness. As such, this initial psalm, intentionally placed at the beginning, stands as a preface to the remaining 149 psalms. Let us now consider these two roads of life.

continue this study here...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Learning contentment

How easy is it to murmur and grumble? How natural it comes when things or situations cause us to do what comes with such ease...complain. Like a spoiled child, I all too often complain when I should be quiet - I wrestle with this more than I care to admit; this morning's devotional by Charles Spurgeon speaks on this very subject....

“I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.”
- Phi_4:11
These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. “Ill weeds grow apace.” Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us. Paul says, “I have learned ... to be content;” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave-a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

Always interceding on our behalf

There are many who claim we can lose our salvation; I wholeheartedly disagree. We cannot lose what does not originate with us, what we have no part in. With that said, here is a bit of encouragement for you...this comes from the Reformed Reader...

Here’s a great mini commentary on Hebrews 7:25 (…consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them).  It’s by John Newton from a letter written on July 9, 1767.
“An awful cause we had to manage in the court of heaven; and, when we expected to be asked what we could say, in order that judgment should not be given and executed speedily against us, we were speechless and without plea. We could not deny the fact [that we were guilty] or offer the least amends. We could neither stand nor flee.”
“But since Jesus has been pleased to take our affairs in hand, how are appearances changed! The law is fulfilled, justice satisfied, and heaven opened to those who were upon the brink of despair and destruction.  And Jesus did not plead for us once only, but he ‘ever lives to make intercession for us.’ Let us then take courage.”
“That word ‘uttermost’ (Heb. 7:25) includes all that can be said. Take an estimate of all our sins, all our temptations, all our difficulties, all our fears, and all our backslidings of every kind, still the word uttermost goes beyond them all. And, since he ever lives to make intercession, since he is the righteous one who is always heard, since his promise and compassions are unchangeable, may his Spirit enable us to apply the conclusion without wavering to our soul’s comfort, that he is indeed able and willing, and determined, to save us even to the uttermost.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Depravity runs deep

This is another excellent teaching from A. W. Pink on man's depravity...

The limitations of human freedom pointed out above pertain alike to man unfallen or fallen, but the entrance of sin into the human constitution has imposed much greater limitations. While it is true that man is as truly free now as Adam was before his apostasy, yet he is not as morally free as he was. Fallen man is free in the sense that he is at liberty to act according to his own choice, without compulsion from without; yet, since his nature has been defiled and corrupted, he is no longer free to do that which is good and holy. Great care needs to be taken lest our definition of the freedom of fallen man clashes with such scriptures as Psalm 110:3; John 6:44; Romans 9:16; for he only wills now according to the desires and dictates of his evil heart. It has been well said that the will of the sinner is like a manacled, fettered prisoner in a cell. His movements are hampered by his chains, and he is hindered by the walls that confine him. He is free to walk, but in such a constrained way and within such a limited space that his freedom is bondage—bondage to sin.
Whether we understand "the will" to be simply the faculty of volition by which the soul chooses or refuses, or whether we regard it as the faculty of volition together with all else within us which affects the choice—reason, imagination, longing—still fallen man is quite free in exercising volition according to his prevailing disposition and desire at the moment. Internal freedom is here used in contrast with external restraint or compulsion. Where the latter is absent the individual is at liberty to decide according to his pleasure. Where the Arminian errs on this point is to confound power with "will," insisting that the sinner is equally able to choose good as evil. That is a repudiation of his total depravity or complete vassalage to evil. By the fall man came under bondage to sin, and became the captive of the devil. Even so, he first yields voluntarily to the enticements of his own lusts before he commits any act of sin, nor can Satan lead him into any wrongdoing without his own consent.

The natural man does as he pleases, but he pleases himself only in one direction—selfward and downward, never Godward and upward. As Romans 6:20 says of the saints while in their unregenerate state, "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness." In all his sinning man acts as a free agent, for he is forced neither by God nor by Satan. When he breaks the law he does so by his own option, and not by coercion from another. In so doing he is freely acting out his own fallen nature. Thus it is a mistake to say that a bias of the mind or a propensity of heart is destructive of his volition. Both must be self-moved in order for there to be responsibility and guilt, and both are self-moved. The murderer is not compelled to hate his victim. Though he cannot prevent his inward hatred by any mere exercise of will, yet he can refrain from the outward act of murder by his own volition; therefore he is blameworthy when he fails to do so. These are indisputable facts of our own consciousness.

Continue reading here...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Get Ready

It seems with each passing day wickedness grows at a dizzying pace; I read a story about 2 preschool children who got caught in a sexual act at school. Naturally, the parents blame the school and are suing; perhaps raising their children with proper morals should have been considered. Society has an insatiable appetite for sex; age is not a factor.
Homosexual marriage is marching forcefully on, with both French and British parliaments passing homosexual marriage laws this past week. The demand for acceptance of what the Bible clearly condemns and calls an abomination has swung the doors wide open for all kinds of perverse sexual acts as deviants to demand acceptance of their disgust; you may be interested in this piece. It seems now birth certificates can have up to three listed as parents {read here}, again, we are sinking into the abyss at a rapid pace.
 I thought I would share this brief writing with you on this very subject; it's authored by David Murray...

 I hate writing about this subject, but with both French and British parliaments passing gay marriage laws in the past week, we’re reaching a no-turning-back point in our world. God is sovereign and specializes in last minute rescues, but barring a Mordecai-type intervention we might as well face up to the reality that gay marriage is coming down the pike at an unstoppable speed, and it’s going to impact many Christians in damaging and even destructive ways. While continuing to pray, preach, and campaign against this (read these nine words again), we must also ask how we can prepare for the collision in such a way that minimizes the carnage.
Read on here...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What I am not

In his old age, when he could no longer see to read, John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace" heard someone recite this verse, "By the grace of God--I am what I am." 1 Corinthians 15:10. He remained silent a short time, and then said:
I am not what I ought to be. Ah! how imperfect and deficient.
I am not what I might be, considering my privileges and opportunities.
I am not what I wish to be. God, who knows my heart--knows I wish to be like Him.
I am not what I hope to be. Before long, I will drop this clay tabernacle, to be like Him and see Him as He is!
Yet, I am not what I once was--a child of sin, and slave of the devil!
Though not all these--not what I ought to be, not what I might be, not what I wish or hope to be, and not what I once was--I think I can truly say with the apostle,  "By the grace of God--I am what I am!"

For whom did Christ die?

 The very nature of the Atonement evidences that, in its application to sinners, it was limited in the purpose of God. The Atonement of Christ may be considered from two chief viewpoints—Godward and manward. Godwards, the Cross-work of Christ was a propitiation, an appeasing of Divine wrath, a satisfaction rendered to Divine justice and holiness; manwards, it was a substitution, the Innocent taking the place of the guilty, the Just dying for the unjust. But a strict substitution of a Person for persons, and the infliction upon Him of voluntary sufferings, involve the definite recognition on the part of the Substitute and of the One He is to propitiate of the persons for whom He acts, whose sins He bears, whose legal obligations He discharges. Furthermore, if the Law-giver accepts the satisfaction which is made by the Substitute then those for whom the Substitute acts, whose place He takes, must necessarily be acquitted. If I am in debt and unable to discharge it and another comes forward and pays my creditor in full and receives a receipt in acknowledgment, then, in the sight of the law, my creditor no longer has any claim upon me. On the Cross the Lord Jesus gave Himself a ransom, and that it was accepted by God was attested by the open grave three days later; the question we would here raise is, For whom was this ransom offered? If it was offered for all mankind then the debt incurred by every man has been cancelled. If Christ bore in His own body on the tree the sins of all men without exception, then none will perish. If Christ was "made a curse" for all of Adam’s race then none are now "under condemnation." "Payment God cannot twice demand, first at my bleeding Surety’s hand and then again at mine." But Christ did not discharge the debt of all men without exception, for some there are who will be "cast into prison" (cf. 1 Pet. 3:19 where the same Greek word for "prison" occurs), and they shall "by no means come out thence, till they have paid the uttermost farthing" (Matt. 5:26), which, of course, will never be. Christ did not bear the sins of all mankind, for some there are who "die in their sins" (John 8:21), and whose "sin remaineth" (John 9:41). Christ was not "made a curse" for all of Adam’s race, for some there are to whom He will yet say, "Depart from Me ye cursed" (Matt. 25:41). To say that Christ died for all alike, to say that He became the Substitute and Surety of the whole human race, to say that He suffered on behalf of and in the stead of all mankind, is to say that He "bore the curse for many who are now bearing the curse for themselves; that He suffered punishment for many who are now lifting up their own eyes in Hell, being in torments; that He paid the redemption price for many who shall yet pay in their own eternal anguish ‘the wages of sin, which is death’" (G. S. Bishop). But, on the other hand, to say as Scripture says, that Christ was stricken for the transgressions of God’s people, to say that He gave His life for the sheep, to say that He gave His life a ransom for many, is to say that He made an atonement which fully atones; it is to say He paid a price which actually ransoms; it is to say He was set forth a propitiation which really propitiates; it is to say He is a Saviour who truly saves.

A.W. Pink, from 'The Sovereignty of God'

Monday, February 4, 2013

Raising our daughters in a culture saturated by sex

I read this article, which is quite good, concerning the pressures young girls face from our sexually saturated society. It doesn't help that the entertainment industry exploits women like a sex trafficking operation would do. Nor does it help when we have 'idols' like Beyonce get up on stage during a half-time show ,dress like a slut, and dance like one as well { "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion"}; and to have the first lady of the President of the United States claim she is proud of Beyonce. We have a huge responsibility to raise our children with biblical morals and values; society will fight us every step of the way. There is a battle for our children.
Here is the article for all mothers as well as fathers to read...

One of the sadder news accounts I've read recently is this piece from the UK Telegraph. In a nutshell: Thirteen-year-old Chevonea Kendall-Bryan had been pressured into performing a sex act on a boy at school. He recorded their encounter on his cell phone and shared it with his friends. Leaning from the window of her house, threatening to jump if he did not delete the recording, Chevonea slipped, fell, and later died.

Obviously, there's plenty of blame to go around: The culture, technology, the absence of shared moral values, etc., etc., etc. But it's more fruitful to talk about solutions -- and they start with women being brave enough to be honest with young girls.

Continue reading here...