On 'good-byes'

After Miriam’s remark in an earlier post – I  came across this qoute by the Dr.: “Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the blood of Christ.’ That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, page 35

Memo to self

Derek Prime and Alistair Begg suggest that every pastor should set the following  six goals:

  1. to feed the flock (John 21:15-17)
  2. to proclaim the whole will of God (Acts 20:27)
  3. to present everyone perfect in Christ (Colossians 1:28-29)
  4. to prepare God’s people for works of service (Ephesians 4:12)
  5. to equip God’s people to be fisher’s of men (2 Timothy 4:5)
  6. to keep watch over oneself until the task is complete (1 Timothy 4:16)

(Above: from their book “Being A Pastor”, chapter 3)

I wonder what number 3 could mean?

“The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian: when a non-Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with his sin. When a Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with God, against himself.”       Mark Dever

Connected to Turning Points #22

I used to like reading Finney’s writings in my late teens. I am currently unsure about some of his over-emphasis (too Arminian at times), nevertheless I still think he gets it right on some issues – see particularly the highlighted section…

It presupposes that the church is sunk down in a backslidden state, and a revival consists in the return of the Church from her backslidings and the conversion of sinners.

1. The foundations of sin need to be broken up. A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the church. Backslidden professors cannot wake up and begin right away in the service of God without deep searchings of heart. The fountains of sin need to be broken up. In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such conviction; they see their sins in such a light that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God. It does not always go to that extent, but there are always, in a genuine revival, deep convictions of sin, and often cases of abandoning all hope.

2. Revival is a new beginning of obedience with God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with humility, and a forsaking of sin.

3. Backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin.

3. Christians will have their faith renewed. While they are in their Backslidden state they are blind to the state of sinners. Their hearts are hard as marble. The truths of the Bible appear like a dream. They admit it to be all true; their conscience and their judgment assent to it; but their faith does not see it standing out in bold relief, in all the burning realities of eternity. But when they enter into a revival, they no longer see “men as trees, walking,” but they see things in that strong light which will renew the love of God in their hearts. This will lead them to labor zealously to bring others to Him. They will feel grieved that others do not love God, when they love Him so much. And they will set themselves feelingly to persuade their neighbors to give Him their hearts. So their love to men will be renewed. They will be filled with a tender and burning love for souls. They will have a longing desire for the salvation of the whole world. They will be in an agony for individuals whom they want to have saved–their friends, relations, enemies. They will not only be urging them to give their hearts to God, but they will carry them to God in the arms of faith, and with strong crying and tears beseech God to have mercy on them, and save their souls from endless burnings.

4. A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians. It brings them to such vantage ground that they get a fresh impulse towards heaven; they have a new foretaste of heaven, and new desires after union with God; thus the charm of the world is broken, and the power of sin overcome.

5. When the Churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow. Their hearts will be broken down and changed. Very often the most abandoned profligates are among the subjects. Harlots, and drunkards, and infidels, and all sorts of abandoned characters, are awakened and converted. The worst of human beings are softened and reclaimed, and made to appear as lovely specimens of the beauty of holiness.

6. When a revival can be expected? A revival may be expected when Christians have a spirit of prayer for a revival. That is, when they pray as if their hearts were set upon it. When Christians have the spirit of prayer for a revival. When they go about groaning out their hearts desire. When they have real travail of soul. 

 

 


Turning Points #22 – Repentance


First RECONSTRUCTION

Afterwards RE-INSTRUCTION

Now REACTION – regret/repentance

Right reaction: Honesty + Availability – Isaiah 6
 

HELPFUL QUESTIONS – as you listen/read God’s Word:

LORD – what are You saying to me?

LORD – what displeases You in my life?

LORD – what changes do You want to see in me?


EXTRA QUESTIONS about repentance:

Am I willing to do anything God wants me to do?

Do I have a clear conscience in my relationship with my family members?

Is all resentment out of my heart?

Am I sexually pure in deed and in thought?

Do I have anything in my possession that does not rightfully belong to me?

Is the reputation of others safe in my hands?

Do I seek after material blessings more then spiritual ones?
 


‘Scripture is like a pair of spectacles which dispels the darkness and give us a clear view of God.’  

John Calvin

 

Boulevard of Broken Dreams 2 – Desperate Housewife

REMEMBER….the main ideas

  • She was not chosen – we know-she does: 17-18
  •  She was ‘pushed’ into deception – reluctant accomplice?
  • She was unwanted – second time: 25/30
  •  She was broken-hearted – clues – names: 31-34
  • God sees – giving the children: 31
  • God redeems – end of the story: Genesis 49:29-31
  • God uses her: Judah – David – Jesus
  •  Look –up – faith & trust
  • Look out – serving & encouraging others

 

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

  • When treated badly how am I tempted to react?
  • If God sees my hardship – what does it mean?
  • How can I encourage others going through a hard time?
  •  In which way does Leah remind you of Jesus?
  • What can I learn from Leah’s reaction?

 

QUOTES & STORIES

On June 17, 1966, two black men strode into the Lafayette Grill in Paterson, New Jersey, and shot three people to death. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a celebrated black boxer, and an acquaintance were falsely charged and wrongly convicted of the murders in a highly publicized and racially charged trial. The fiercely outspoken boxer maintained his claims of innocence and became his own jailhouse lawyer. After serving nineteen years, Carter was released. As a free man, Carter reflected on how he has responded to injustice in his life. The question invariably arises, it has before and it will again: “Rubin, are you bitter?” And in answer to that I will say, “After all that’s been said and done—the fact that the most productive years of my life, between the ages of twenty-nine and fifty, have been stolen; the fact that I was deprived of seeing my children grow up—wouldn’t you think I would have a right to be bitter? Wouldn’t anyone under those circumstances have a right to be bitter? In fact, it would be very easy to be bitter. But that has never been my nature, or my lot, to do things the easy way. If I have learned nothing else in my life, I’ve learned that bitterness only consumes the vessel that contains it. And for me to permit bitterness to control or to infect my life in any way whatsoever would be to allow those who imprisoned me to take even more than the 22 years they’ve already taken. Now that would make me an accomplice to their crime.

 

 YOUR TURN …comments…ideas…questions

Turning Points #21 – 'Deep Impact'

WHAT

  • After reconstruction – re-instruction!
  • Connecting with God’s Word: attendance/attentiveness/awe
  • Today – DEEP IMPACT – Encountering God’s Word
  • Explanation – Understanding the Word: 7-8
  • Reaction – Responding to the Word: 6l

 

SO WHAT

Seek an understanding of the Bible

  • read the whole Bible
  • get tools: concordance, commentary
  • ask questions – dialogue
  • verify the context

Seek a practical application of the Bible

  • What does that mean for my spending?
  • What does that mean for my relationship?
  • What does that mean for my character?
  • What does that mean for my family life?
  • What does that mean for my work place?

 

QUOTES/STORIES

‘Genuine revival will always foster a high regard for Scripture.’    John Napier

“This day was to prove a turning-point. From now on, the Jews would be predominantly ‘a people of the book'”     Derek Kidner

‘When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, “It is talking to me, and about me.’      Soren Kierkegaard

‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’      Matthew 7:24