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Herbert: A Conversation with Death.

Herbert: A Conversation with Death.

A DIALOGUE-ANTHEM

CHRISTIAN,  DEATH.
Chr.
ALAS, poor Death !  where is thy glory ?
Where is thy famous force, thy ancient sting ?

Dea.
Alas, poor mortal, void of story !
Go spell and read how I have killed thy King.

Chr.
Poor Death ! and who was hurt thereby ?
Thy curse being laid on Him makes thee accurst.

Dea.
Let losers talk, yet thou shalt die ;
These arms shall crush thee.

Chr.
Spare not, do thy worst.
I shall be one day better than before ;
Thou so much worse, that thou shalt be no more.

 

 

(George Herbert)

“Ordinary churches pastored by ordinary people like you and me…”

“Ordinary churches pastored by ordinary people like you and me…”

Ray Ortlund (via Matt Smethurst) tweeted this quote, and it’s stuck with me all week. So much so that I have revisited it a couple times, and wanted to post it here.

however long it takes.

however long it takes.

“The source of freedom for today’s ministers in located at the very heart of their vocation. The source lies not in their professional status or their current location along the trajectory of a career. It lies in the fact that they serve the living God, who is no respecter of persons, in the fact that they are the servants of his Word and Son, before whom all will be judged. It is this understanding that gives ministers the freedom to remain in one location however long it takes to make theological truth a central and effective part of their ministry, regardless of whether their careers pass them by in the meantime.”

David F. Wells, No Place For Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology
He Bought for Us Our Bibles and Our Sabbaths.

He Bought for Us Our Bibles and Our Sabbaths.

Last week I was stuck in an airport waiting to see my family, and was given a sweet gift: I got to read a sermon on John 15:5 from Jonathan Edwards. It is entitled, Christ Jesus the Original and Fountain of All Spiritual Life and Nourishment, written in 1726.

An Edwards sermon on Jesus is one of my favorite things to read. Few things do more to lift my eyes, expand my imagination (as well as my vocabulary), and point to the beauty of Jesus like Edwards’ words.  I am grateful for them. They take my travel-wearied heart strings and make them sing again.

Enjoy this paragraph from Edwards sermon on John 15:5 :

 

Christ is the author of spiritual blessings, these two ways:

(1) As he procures it by his mediation. All that we receive of spiritual good, he has bought and paid down his blood for. These blessings which he distributes amongst men, are not what he has for nothing, but what he has given an infinite price for. All are the fruits of his obedience and his death. He has bought for us our Bibles and our sabbaths; the ministers of his Word and the ordinances of worship are his purchase. He has bought for us sanctification and the knowledge of God, and faith in himself and divine love; he has bought for us peace of conscience, spiritual joy and consolation, and a hope of glory, and likewise the actual enjoyment and possession of a crown of glory.

He not only bought them by his obedience and death, but he now procures them by his daily intercession. John 14:16–17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever: even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.”

Edwards, J. (1726). Christ Jesus the Original and Fountain of All Spritual Life and Nourishment. In W. H. Kimnach (Ed.), Jonathan Edwards Sermons (Jn 15:5). New Haven, CT: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

 

 

Baxter: He can deliver.

Baxter: He can deliver.

He can deliver me from myself

and the noise I’ve welcomed into my life.

He can bring stillness and give abiding.

He delights in his children—in who you are more

than what you could ever do for him

or have done against him.

And he does it because of his steadfast love.

Oh – that we would know it!

That the love of God would quiet our hearts

and cure us from the addiction to movement,

the want of approval

and the fear of quiet.

– RIchard Baxter (1615-1691)

Edwards on Abiding in Christ

Edwards on Abiding in Christ

I’ve been spending time meditating on / researching John 13-17, and came across a sermon from Edwards on John 15:5. In the application section he gives six motives for Abiding in Christ, which I have put below. I encourage you to take some time and let your heart be refreshed as you think about Christ, the fountain of all spiritual life and joy.
_____

There are six Motives that Christ in the context makes use of, to persuade his disciples to abide in him:

1. Because without him, they cannot bear fruit. We can do no good work, exert no holy actions, nor do anything that is acceptable to God, as in the 4th and 5th verses.

2. If we don’t abide in him, we shall be cut off, and shall be gathered up and burnt as dry and barren branches, as in the 6th verse. Therefore, if we are desirous of escaping the fire, let us abide in Christ.

3. Abiding in Christ is the only way to have our prayers heard and answered. And if we do so, whatsoever we ask shall be granted, [as] in the 7th verse.

4. By so doing, we shall glorify God, as in the 8th verse; which implies that by deserting him, we shall do what will be greatly to his dishonor. None so dishonor God as false professors, those that make a profession of Christ and in time of temptation fall away.

5. Christ has loved us, and thereby has laid under great obligations to abide in him. By departing from him, we shall be guilty of the basest ingratitude and abuse of his love, as in the 9th verse.

6. If we abide in Christ, we shall continue in his love. Christ engages to us, that if we are constant to him, he will be so to us, and that there is nothing but our inconstancy and our forsaking him that will separate us from his love, as v. 10.

 

 

Edwards, J. (1726). Christ Jesus the Original and Fountain of All Spritual Life and Nourishment. In W. H. Kimnach (Ed.), Jonathan Edwards Sermons (Jn 15:5). New Haven, CT: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

Determining your Identity: Merton on Self-Knowledge

Determining your Identity: Merton on Self-Knowledge

I cam across this quote in college, and it has stayed with me each year as I think about the changing seasons and choices life brings. IN a recent staff discussion, I put it before our team and asked them to think through what type of person they want to be in five years – not what accomplishments or goals they want to attain- but the type of character they want to have. When we discussed our answers in light of the quote below, it was a call to prayer that we would sow toward the thing we are living for – and that the fruit of the Spirit would come out in our lives as we are made more like Jesus in our actions and reactions, our loves and our thoughts.

 

If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better answer he has, the more of a person he is.

(Thomas Merton, as quoted from Basil Penington’s Thomas Merton: Brother Monk)

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