The Ploughshare Must be Sent Deeper

This is my heart’s cry:  That the ‘ploughshare’ be sent deeper.  That my love for Christ is not an emotional medley of hearsay theology, but that it might be rooted and grounded in the eternal Truths of His Word.  My heart aches while considering how so few desire to pursue a clearer picture of the Heavenly One, the Holy One, the Savior, the Righteous God.  We squeeze out our tears and lift up barren hands on Sunday… then go on as if He did not give us anything at all… as if His radical plan of salvation is worthy of a few twinges of grateful (perhaps guilty) acknowledgment.  How hollow is our ‘religion’?  How fair-weather is our ‘friendship’ with Christ?

 

I speak as one who would be condemned, not as the condemner.  He knows my heart well, how desperately wicked, how futile my efforts to grasp eternity would be, if not for the Spirit working in me, if not for the finished work of Christ that brings the sinner into favour with God. (Bonar)  How far exceeding is His grace to make Christ the perfect substitute on our behalf that we might approach Him as our Abba.  Do we contemplate the marvel of the gospel enough?  Or is it worn and wearisome to us?

 

Is it enough to be recognized and commended as a believer, impressing with outward professions of faith but void of inward reformation and renewal?  Does it suffice to be warmed by the coziness of a loving Christ and yet be offended by the scope of His Sovereignty and wrath?

 

I’m echoing the words of Horatius Bonar, a 19th-century preacher, in his book “Everlasting Righteousness”:

Religion is fashionable in our age…But… Is it that of apostles and prophets?  Is it the calm yet thorough religion which did such great deeds in other days?  Has it gone deep into the conscience?  Has it filled the heart?  has it pervaded the man?  Or has it left the conscience unpacified, the heart unfilled, the man unchanged, save with some external appliances of religiousness, which leaves him hollow as before?  There is at this moment many an aching spirit, bitterly conscious of this hollowness.  The doctrine, the profession, the good report of others, the bustle of work, will not fill the soul.  God Himself must be there, with His covering righteousness, His cleansing blood, His quickening Spirit.  Without this, religion is but a shell:  holy services are dull and irksome.  Joy in God, which is the soul and essence of worship, is unknown.  Sacraments, prayer-meetings, religious services, labours of charity, will not make up for the living God.

May His Word so deeply probe, penetrate, excavate our hearts that stubborn roots of unbelief may be ripped out and replaced by a humble, ‘more excellent’ treasure.

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My newest finds 5-19-09

I’m always finding new links, blogs, articles, stores, deals etc. and I would like to list them here regularly so that they are not just lost in my growing link sidebar.  So, very Challies-like, I’ll be regularly listing some interesting finds (without quite as much detail as Challies indulges us with!).  Hope these will bless you!

 

TIM CHALLIES

Since I’ve mentioned his blog already, let’s start with Tim Challies’ blog.  Interesting blog entries, great (and extensive) book reviews, latest discussions on current issues, conversations, anything that is sure to create a stir in reformed circles.  Definitely a must-visit!

 

NEXT

Here’s a webzine called NEXT that looks interesting.  In the line-up this week are theological heavy-hitters like D.A. Carson and worship leader extraordinaire, Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Music. 

 

TITUS2TALK

For the Discovery and Recovery of Biblical Womanhood.  They have a post this week for Pastors’ Wives on 10 Questions for Pastors’ Wives.

TRUTHS WE CONFESS

Truths We Confess: 3 Volume set by R. C. Sproul on sale for $34.50 (50% off) at Monergism.  I ordered this for our church library and I think this will be an excellent resource.  I want one for my own library!  I might not agree with everything (i.e. eschatological or paedo-baptism views), I always benefit from Sproul’s writings and this extensive one looks like one to delve into! 

 

CHAPEL LIBRARY

I don’t think enough people are aware of this wonderful ministry called Chapel Library by Mount Zion Bible Church in Florida.  If you would like a taste of Puritan writings, Spurgeon, excellent reformed theology … for FREE then you must contact this organization for some of their resources.  I have been so blessed by their publications as well as their online material.  The website is a bit primitive but they are a non-profit group.  They also have free and extensive Bible studies that are reformed and very well done.  Bookmark this one!  And consider partnering with them so that the Lord can continue to bless many through this unique ministry!

 

If you find something noteworthy, I’d really love for you to share them with me!

 

*I’m having a hard time formatting this on WordPress. The spacing and underlining has come out all strange and I can’t fix it. Oh well!*

 

 

 

 

Cancer in Light of Eternity

Wow. I haven’t finished watching this video yet.  However, I want to share this link of a young mom my age, who is not going to live to see her 38th birthday.  What is considered by most to be a tragedy is bringing great glory to God.  You often hear that only the weak and the simple need the crutch of religion (i.e. Christ).  The strongest people I know acknowledge that it is the truth and that the strength they exude is from Christ alone.  

“Cancer does not define me. Neither does being a wife or a mother. All these things are part of who I am but they do not define me. What defines me is my relationship with Jesus.”

Let Us Hate Sin

This reminded me how great my sin is and how unfathomable His love:

“And let us learn from the story of the passion always to hate sin with a great hatred.  Sin was the cause of all our Savior’s sufferings.  Our sins twisted the crown of thorns; our sins drove the nails into his hands and feet; on account of our sins his blood was shed.  Surely the thought of Christ crucified should make us loathe all sin.  As the Church of England Homily of Passion says so well: “Let this image of Christ crucified be always printed in our hearts.  Let it stir us up to the hatred of sin, and provoke our minds to the earnest love of Almighty God.”

~ J. C. Ryle (Expository thoughts on the Gospel)

Taken from “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” edited by Nancy Guthrie

“Run in With Robbers”

Oh my. Please read this account of this man getting attacked and robbed.  

After that, read the latest update here.  I am in tears to see not only how God takes the scum of the earth (me!) and does a life-changing work, He gave His precious Son, Jesus to do it! 

Thank You, my Lord and my God!

Prayer for Joni Eareckson Tada

I’ve been thinking of Joni Eareckson Tada all morning.  What grace the Lord has shown to me through her life!  I have much to be challenged by considering her suffering and her understanding of God’s sovereignty.  Justin Taylor has a video of one of her latest talks on his website and you can see her struggling to breathe: Between Two Worlds

Justin Taylor:  I asked her how readers of this blog could pray for her.

 

She wrote: I’ve been doing better and feeling much stronger since that presentation at the Dallas Theological Seminary chapel. If I were to ask for anything, I would say…

 

Pray that my very thin fragile bones gain bone mineral density from the quarterly Boniva treatments.

 

Ask God to help my family and care givers “be careful” when lifting me in or out of bed and other transfers onto airplanes.

 

Ask God to infuse courage into my heart daily! Pray away anxiety and fear of the future.

 

Help me not to become me-centered when I’m in pain!

 

Ask God to bring a helper who might be able to assist during nighttimes once a week — I’d like to give Ken and my friend Judy a break.

 

Ask God to alleviate the side affects of the pain medication I take… eventually I would like to wean myself off of it!

 

Plead to God that I might know Jesus better through all of this and not “waste” my sufferings!!

 

So would you consider taking these requests before the throne of grace? I know that she is deeply thankful.

Please join me in praying for this dear sister in Christ.  She has ministered to so many over the years.  The Lord has strengthened and inspired His people through her courage and dependence on her Savior.

Challies: Thoughts on Reading

I came across Tim Challies thoughts on reading and wanted to share. I love to read as well and sometimes I wonder why and occasionally I wonder if I SHOULD be reading so much. Thank you, Tim for stating what I would want to say in a very readable, and encouraging, way!

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