Thursday, February 26, 2009
After listening to this song you may have a strong Holy Spirit inkling that you’ll see him again over yonder! The Spirit bears witness brother Cash (Romans 8.16).
Listen to this song and watch the screen as it unfolds a powerful pictographic album of Johnny’s life!
Johnny Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003)
Friday, February 20, 2009
Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. (Psalm 96.2, 3)
The heart and soul of the Christian gospel is a Person, not a church or a particular theology. To evangelize is to make known the good news of Jesus Christ - who He is and what He did! Jesus Christ came to this fallen world, died a sinless death, and was raised from the grave according to the Scriptures. And, as Lord of the heaven and earth, He now provides forgiveness of sins and the indwelling gift of His Holy Spirit to all who repent and believe.
Today, however, many false teachers claim that God speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Several years ago, I was invited to our local High School to defend the uniqueness of Christianity in a religiously pluralistic society. There was another pastor who presented a view that compromised the Gospel. He maintained that there are many ways to god. You know the line. I asked the class to slowly read John 14.6 and tell me what it says with reference to coming to the Father. Unanimously, they saw that the text was clear; Jesus was the only way. The point is, those who believe that there are many ways to God neither believe the Scripture nor consider a personal faith in the Person and work of Christ to be essential. They maintain that Jesus merely represents one way to god. Christians must reject such speculation as heretical! There is no other way to the Father but through Jesus Christ (John 14.6).
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Lawrence Osborne has an intriguing report from the streets of Beirut:
Three of our "scoop" brigade--Jonathan Foreman, Michael Totten and Christopher Hitchens--got involved in a street brawl with some thugs of a Syria-loving skinhead party called the SSNP after Hitchens rather gallantly insulted their swastika flag. On our way to a meeting with Minister of State Nassib Lahoud, Hitchens showed me the gashed knuckles and bruises suffered during the punch up. The attackers had apparently come out of nowhere on posh Hamra Street, where they had gone to buy shoes. "I was on the ground," Hitchens said, "and getting it in the head." It was a miracle they didn't pull Kalashnikovs.
Hitchens is author of the book "God Is Not Great." If Osborne's account is accurate, God intervened to save the hide (though presumably not the soul) of a professional atheist. The Lord does work in mysterious ways. Maybe he just figures there's no such thing as bad publicity.
WSJ: Best of the Web Today - February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The initiative against despair!
Rise let us be going (Matthew 26:46).
The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say—‘It is all up now, it is no use trying any more.’ If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink in despair, and Jesus Christ comes and says—‘Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.’ Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.
There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said—‘Arise and do the next thing.’ If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.
Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.
Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (February 18). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.
…nothing takes place by chance (1.16.4).
…it is certain that not one drop of rain falls without God's sure command (1.16.5).
…God's will is the highest and first cause of all things because nothing happens except from his command or permission (1.16.7).
…God by the bridle of his providence turns every event whatever way he wills (1.16.9).
Reading Section: 1.16.4-9 of “The Institutes of The Christian Religion”, Westminster, John Knox, McNeill / Battles translation
Technorati Tags: Calvin,Providence,Theology,Institues
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, and evolutionists are celebrating worldwide that they are nothing more than bags of meat and bone with electricity running through them. “Praise Darwin from whom all matter flows!,” their doxology goes. The religious character of Darwin is evident in the way those from the Freedom From Religion Foundation are commemorating his birth. Their billboards look like stained glass windows! Soon we’ll be seeing signs pointing us to First Church of Charles Darwin. Oh, wait, it’s the local public schools.
"The devil your enemy goes about as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour; resist him, be firm in your faith" [I Peter 5:8-9 p.], and the like. Paul admits that he was not free from this sort of strife when he writes that, as a remedy to tame his pride, he was given an angel of Satan to humble him [II Cor. 12:7]. Therefore this exercise is common to all the children of God. But because that promise to crush Satan's head [Gen. 3:15] pertains to Christ and all his members in common, I deny that believers can ever be conquered or overwhelmed by him. Often, indeed, are they distressed, but not so deprived of life as not to recover; they fall under violent blows, but afterward they are raised up; they are wounded, but not fatally; in short, they so toil throughout life that at the last they obtain the victory.
God does not allow Satan to rule over the souls of believers, but gives over only the impious and unbelievers, whom he deigns not to regard as members of his own flock, to be governed by him. For the devil is said to occupy this world unchallenged until he is cast out by Christ [cf. Luke 11:21]. Likewise, he is said to blind all those who do not believe in the gospel [II Cor. 4:4]. Again, to carry out his "work in the sons of disobedience" [Eph. 2:2], and rightly, for all the impious are vessels of wrath. Hence, to whom would they be subjected but to the minister of divine vengeance? Finally, they are said to be of their father the devil [John 8:44]; for, as believers are recognized as the children of God because they bear his image, so are those rightly recognized to be the children of Satan from his image, into which they have degenerated [I John 3:8-10].
Reading Section: 1.14.18 of “The Institutes of The Christian Religion”, Westminster, John Knox, McNeill / Battles translation
PS. If you are interested in a reading schedule of the “Institutes” click on Calvin’s picture!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
“Yet, since the devil was created by God, let us remember that this malice, which we attribute to his nature, came not from his creation but from his perversion” (1.14.16).
“Therefore, lest we ourselves linger over superfluous matters, let us be content with this brief summary of the nature of devils: they were when first created angels of God, but by degeneration they ruined themselves, and became the instruments of ruin for others. Because this is profitable to know, it is plainly taught in Peter and Jude. God did not spare those angels who sinned [II Peter 2:4] and kept not their original nature, but left their abode [Jude 6]. And Paul, in speaking of the "elect angels" [I Tim. 5:21], is no doubt tacitly contrasting them with the reprobate angels” (1.14.16).
“As for the discord and strife that we say exists between Satan and God, we ought to accept as a fixed certainty the fact that he can do nothing unless God wills and assents to it” (1.14.17).
“For inasmuch as the devil is by nature wicked, he is not at all inclined to obedience to the divine will, but utterly intent upon contumacy and rebellion. From himself and his own wickedness, therefore, arises his passionate and deliberate opposition to God. By this wickedness he is urged on to attempt courses of action which he believes to be most hostile to God. But because with the bridle of his power God holds him bound and restrained, he carries out only those things which have been divinely permitted to him; and so he obeys his Creator, whether he will or not, because he is compelled to yield him service wherever God impels him” (1.14.17).
Reading Section: 1.14.14-17 of “The Institutes of The Christian Religion”, Westminster, John Knox, McNeill / Battles translation
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
Groundhog Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. Although that may sound like bad news to most, we Minnesotans are rejoicing. In this AP Photo taken by Carolyn Kaster, Ben Hughes, handler of the weather-predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, holds Phil in the air after removing him from his stump at Gobbler's Knob on Groundhog Day, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Punxsutawney, Pa.
BTW: More information on Groundhog Day can be found here.