How Does God interact with His Children

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on January 26, 2011 by dvalentine

David Powlison is a gifted writer and insightful counselor. I would encourage each of you to become familiar with his resources. He leads a Christian Counseling oganzation, CCEF. I found the following clip very interesting. I would enjoy hearing the evaluation of others as they listen to the insights of Powlison.

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John Calvin: Pursuing Christ Above All Else

Posted in Hunger for God, The Faithful on January 19, 2011 by dvalentine

How do we as Christians battle against the sinful pursuit of success, wealth and power that the world pursues?

Therefore, to avoid similar entanglements, the course which Christian men must follow is this: first, they must not long for, or hope for, or think of any kind of prosperity apart from the blessing of God; on it they must cast themselves, and there safely and confidently recline.

How, then, can the Christian rightly pursue success?

Therefore, if we believe that all prosperous and desirable success depends entirely on the blessing of God, and that when it is wanting all kinds of misery and calamity await us, it follows that we should not eagerly contend for riches and honours, trusting to our own dexterity and assiduity, or leaning on the favour of men, or confiding in any empty imagination of fortune; but should always have respect to the Lord, that under his auspices we may be conducted to whatever lot he has provided for us.

How should we as Christians think about our lack of success?

Lastly, if our success is not equal to our wish and hope, we shall, however, be kept from impatience and detestation of our condition, whatever it be, knowing that so to feel were to murmur against God, at whose pleasure riches and poverty, contempt and honours, are dispensed.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III.9

 

An Intentional Routine

Posted in Prayer, Resources, Sola Sister Saturday on January 15, 2011 by Anna Valentine

A constant struggle for me in my Christian walk has been keeping a consistent time each day to spend in the Word and prayer.  I was really encouraged to read of this ladies club designed specifically for the purpose of exhorting one another to be persistent in rising early to meet with the Lord.  I have enjoyed reading the weekly updates posted by women sharing their real triumphs and struggles in their commitment to meet with the Lord first thing in the morning.  I hope that this will be as much of an encouragement to you as it has been to me. Click here for more details on this helpful resource for women.

Hunger for God

Posted in The Faithful, The Race, Theology for the Church on January 12, 2011 by dvalentine

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16

“The idea of being on fire for Christ will strike some people as dangerous emotionalism. ‘Surely,’ they will say, ‘we are not meant to go to extremes? You are not asking us to become hot-gospel fanatics?’ Well, wait a minute. It depends what you mean. If by ‘fanaticism’ you really mean ‘wholeheartedness,’ then Christianity is a fanatical religion and every Christian should be a fanatic. But fanaticism is not wholeheartedness, nor is wholeheartedness fanaticism. Fanaticism is an unreasoning and unintelligent wholeheartedness. It is the running away of the heart with the head. At the end of a statement prepared for a conference on science, philosophy and religion at Princeton University in 1940 came these words: ‘Commitment without reflection is fanaticism in action; but reflection without commitment is the paralysis of all action.’ What Jesus Christ desires and deserves is the reflection which leads to commitment and the commitment which is born of reflection. This is the meaning of wholeheartedness, of being aflame for God.

One longs today to see robust and virile men and women bringing to Jesus Christ their thoughtful and their total commitment. Jesus Christ asks for this. He even says that if we will not be hot, he would prefer us cold to lukewarm. Better be frigid than tepid, he implies. His meaning is not far to seek. If he is true, if he is the Son of God who died for the sins of men, if Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Day are more than meaningless anniversaries, then nothing less than our wholehearted commitment to Christ will do. I must put him first in my private and public life, seeking his glory and obeying his will. Better be icy in my indifference or go into active opposition to him than insult him with an insipid compromise which nauseates him!”

John R. W. Stott, What Christ Thinks of the Church (Grand Rapids, 1958), pages 116-117.

The History of Redemption

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on January 5, 2011 by dvalentine

Recently, a sermon was preached on the History of Redemption. The pastor had taken three years to memorize all of the Texts that you will hear below. Here is a website where you can learn more about the project, watch the sermon, and purchase an illustrated book with these passages to help you learn and remember the history of redemption.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


The History of Redemption – Book and Prints, posted with vodpod

 

My Only Reason

Posted in The Faithful, Theology for the Church on December 29, 2010 by dvalentine

C.H. Spurgeon. From his message, “The Glorious Gospel,” from 1 Timothy 1:15

This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

“And my only reason at this hour for believing Jesus Christ is my Redeemer is just this:—I know that I am a sinner: this I feel, and over this I mourn; and though I mourn it much, when Satan tells me that I cannot be the Lord’s, I draw from my very mourning the comfortable inference, that inasmuch as he has made me feel I am lost, he would not have done this if he had not intended to save me; and inasmuch as he has given me to see that I belong to that great class of characters whom he came to save, I infer from that, beyond a doubt, that he will save me. Oh, can you do the same, ye sin stricken, weary, sad, and disappointed souls, to whom the world has become an empty thing? Ye weary spirits who have gone your round of pleasure, now exhausted with satiety, or even with disease, are longing to be rid of it—oh, ye spirits that are looking for something better than this mad world can ever give you here, I preach to you the blessed Gospel of the blessed God:—Jesus Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; dead and buried, and raised again the third day to save you—even you, for he came into the world to save sinners.”

Merry Christmas – “Mine eyes have seen Your Salvation”

Posted in Community Life on December 22, 2010 by dvalentine

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:25-32

Merry Christmas to You!