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Random Thoughts

I’ve just started reading Erik Larson’s book The Splendid and the Vile. It’s the story of Winston Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister of Great Britain (May 10, 1940 to May 10, 1941). This period of time included the Dunkirk rescue and The Blitz – the nightly German bombing raids on London. Larson normally writes historical fiction, but this is straight non-fiction. This will be the first book of Larson’s I’ve read.

If I never hear the term “social distancing” ever again, it will be too soon.

“Everywhere you go, there you are.” We take our worldview with us wherever we go. We take our past, our particular baggage, our opinions, our attitudes, and the way we look at everything with us. A Christian is a Christian in a pandemic or in peacetime; in Beaverton, New York, or North Platte, Nebraska. It’s impossible to be a Christian at home, but not one at work. We take ourselves with us wherever we go.

Dustin Benge wrote this on Twitter:

We’ve created a 21st century fabrication of God.

A god who is wringing his hands.

A god who is powerless to intervene.

A god who has no wrath.

A god who can be manipulated.

Refuse to preach this god!

I guarantee that every (well, at least 99.999999%) pastor has felt this way. Read Lee Eclov’s article, then pray for your pastor.

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Tozer on God

A.W. Tozer begins his book The Knowledge of the Holy by saying,

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.

He ends the first chapter by saying,

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him–or of her. In all her prayers and labors this should have first place. We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past. This will prove of greater value to them than anything that art or science can devise.

(The Knowledge of the Holy, pp. 1, 4)

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JC-Ryle

Beware of manufacturing your own god: who is all mercy but not just; all love but not holy; has a heaven for everybody but a hell for none; makes no distinction between good and evil.

He is not the God of the Bible. Beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.

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He is Risen!

He is Risen

He is risen!

Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead…

…Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled (Job 19:25-27; Ps. 16:10).
….His own predictions were fulfilled (Matt. 17:9; Luke 18:31-33; John 2:19-22).
…His deity was confirmed (Rom. 1:4).
…His atoning work and sacrificial death were accepted by the Father (Rom. 4:25).
…salvation for His people is provided (1 Pet. 1:3).
…the sins of His people are forgiven (1 Cor. 15:17-18).
…He was established Him as the Head of the church (Col. 1:15-19).
…an unshakable foundation of hope was established (Rom. 8:23-25; 1 Cor. 15:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:3).
…the future bodily resurrection of His people was guaranteed (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Rom. 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Cor. 15: 20, 23).

That’s just a few of the implications. There are many more!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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sponsor

This is a post from 2009, but I thought it needed to be published again. With Coronavirus, quarantines, and a lot of uncertainty, the gospel of Jesus Christ is something we can absolutely count on. It’s the most important message of this, or any, time.

Coram Deo

 

Every now and then, we need to be reminded of what’s really important. What’s really important is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.

As the church of Jesus Christ, we know our purpose – to glorify God, our mission – to make disciples of all the nations, and our objectives – evangelism, worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry/service. But what is our message? Our message is the gospel.

God created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. We were meant to have intimate fellowship with Him and each other.

It’s painfully obvious, though, that something has changed in that relationship. It’s called sin. Adam and Eve, our first parents, disobeyed God and sought to be their own gods, in effect. As a result, they were removed from the garden of Eden, alienated and separated from God. Adam and Eve also passed their sin on to you and me…

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gehrig

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig by Jonathan Eig is a book I’ve waited a long time to read. Gehrig has always been one of my favorite baseball players, especially after I watched a movie called “Pride of the Yankees” when I was in elementary school.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the movie is a Hollywood version of Gehrig’s story and not the complete picture (as is true of most movies). Eig’s account gives the actual story of a great baseball player cut down in the prime of life by a disease that now bears his name. It’s gritty, touching, and, most importantly, real.

It’s said that we should never meet one of our heroes because we’ll be disappointed. Reading about them in a biography can have the same effect, but in this case (for me) it helped to know that everyone is a package. We all have strengths and weaknesses – we’re mixed bags (even those of us who are Christians!) as was Gehrig. I learned a lot about Gehrig and was surprised in spots, but not disappointed.

Eig has captured Gehrig the baseball player and Gehrig the man in his book. I recommend it!

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Benedictus

images

I needed the passage of Scripture I read and meditated on this morning in my devotions. It was Luke 1:67-80.

(Take a few minutes and read it. Go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back!)

It was so important because I can be irritable, and there are times when it doesn’t take much to trigger it. With all that is going on because of the Coronavirus, my old “friend” irritability has knocked on the door quite a few times. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love is not “irritable” (ESV), which the NASB translates as “provoked.” Irritability is closely related to ungratefulness and unthankfulness, both of which are poisonous.

The Lord spoke directly to this in His Word this morning. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was unable to speak after he balked at God’s promise of a son (Luke 1:18-20). After his son was born, Luke 1:67-68 say, “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and accomplished redemption for His people.”

Notice the first words that came out of the priest’s mouth were praise and thanksgiving, as he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He praised God because his son, John, would be the forerunner and prepare the way for the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ! The rest of the passage (verses 69 through 79) is a string of pearls – quoting one Old Testament prophet after another – exclaiming his great joy.

What grabbed me was this: I can always praise God and give thanks to Him for the redemption of His people, which was accomplished by His Son Jesus Christ! My circumstances or feelings, like thick fog, can obscure my view of the many, many blessings which God has given me by His grace. But I can be certain there are clear skies above that fog – beautiful blue skies – and that there is coming a day when there will be no more fog (and no more irritations or irritability), only because of the saving work of Jesus on our behalf.

Thank God for a needed Benedictus, or “blessing”!

 

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