Archive for the 'Quotes' Category

20
Mar
09

I love the Puritans

I love the Puritans!

Thanks be to God for sanctifying some parts of the Internet.
Due to God’s mercy and faithful laborers we now have access to some of the richest theological works in the world right at our fingertips through the Internet.
Some of our richest resources come to us through the practical, theological and passionate writings of the Puritans. These writers passionately display our biblically reformed heritage in words that are both rich in meaning and doctrine yet packed with practical implications and application.

I love the Puritans, these were men and women devoted to living out their theology in every aspect of their life. For the Puritans as well as for all Christians in history there is no division of life into secular and sacred. The Puritans understood all of life was “set apart” to God as sacred. Their homes, business, friendships and fellowship in the Church were all seen as the arena to practice Christian love toward others and devotion to God. One example of their deep commitment to God and the practice of godliness has been encapsulated for us in a small book titled “The Valley of Vision” which is a compilation of Puritan prayers.

My fellow reformed brothers and sisters are probably well acquainted with this title and I hope you are all acquainted with its rich and practical content.
If you are not acquainted with this work please let me serve you by sharing just a taste of the blessing with you in this blog. I pray you after reading this you will be challenged to prayer more passionately and biblically. Let this example help you to peer at life through the eyes of those who lives were marked by constant seeking and savoring the glory of God in all arenas of life.

Please read this slowly and carefully then use it as fuel for your own prayer life.

Sovereign God,
Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart,
and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom
to set up they kingdom in every place
where Satan reigns;

Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,
for to bring honor to thy name is my sole desire.

I adore thee that thou art God,
and long that others should know it, feel it, and rejoice in it.

O that all men might love and praise thee,
that thou mightest have all glory from the intelligent world!

Let sinners be brought to thee for thy dear name!
To the eye of reason everything respecting
the conversion of others is as dark as midnight,
But thou canst accomplish great things things;
the cause is thine,
and it is to thy glory that men should be saved.

Lord, use me as thou wilt,
do with me what thou wilt;
but, O, promote thy cause,
let thy kingdom come,
let thy blessed interest be advanced in the world!

O do thou bring in great numbers to Jesus!
Let me see that glorious day,
and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls;
let me be willing to die to that end;
and while I live let me labour for thee
to the utmost of my strength,
spending time profitably in this work,
both in health and in weakness.

It is thy cause and kingdom I long for, not my own.

O, answer thou my request!

The “Valley of Vision” prayers remind us to go to Scripture to examine our heart and rejoice in God’s manifold graces that come to us through Jesus. Many of these prayers also remind us of the precious gift of Christian fellowship expressed through the local church. The Puritans put great biblical emphasis on the importance of gathering together locally to prepare their hearts to praise God with one voice.

Within the local Church they preached the one true Word, prayed together to the one true God, and praised God together with one voice united in Jesus Christ. This fueled their passion to go proclaim the Gospel of God to the world through evangelistic profession and personal holiness.

The Lord’s Day was precious to the Puritans because here they were feed the graces that fueled their hearts. From within the Church flowed a river of grace poured out into their souls and it shaped their life practically and passionately. That grace was first felt within their family life and then flowed out to the world. The Puritans called the family the little church. In their homes they fed upon Christ daily with their children which is our foremost ministry and mission field. This devotion led their children to see the transforming power of Jesus in their parent’s life then see that authentic witness reach out to the world.

The Puritans witness was not just intentional it was unavoidable for these dear souls because they were consumed with a desire see God glorified in every place and in every soul they met.

The Puritans consuming passion for God’s glory came their love of God’s Word which declares God’s chief end – “His own glory”.
The Puritans loved to hear the Word preached, practiced and praised!
Does that desire consume your soul today? Is there a seeking and savoring of scripture in your life? Do you love to gather with other saints in worship? Is there a burning desire to minister to your family first then the world? Are you and I consumed with seeing God glorified in the Church?

I pray that this simple prayer will help fuel your desire to see Jesus Christ exalted in and through the Church and go out into the world for the Glory of God the Father. Amen

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30
Jan
09

Take up and Read

venerabledead2“The man who never reads will never be read;
he who never quotes will never be quoted.
He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains,
proves that he has no brains of his own.”
— C. H. SPURGEON
I received this quote from a friend a couple of days ago and thought it was worth passing on. I hope it challenges us all to “take up and read” a biblically grounded Christ-focused book.

Read men who walked the bible out daily in trials and in joy (the puritans are of highest value here). Read the men who actually believed that God ordained the preaching of His Word to transform the lives of His people and give life to dead sinners.

You might be asking why do you think another sermon or book on sermons will actually change the lives of those that hear and read them?

Because God says in 2 Timothy 3:16-4:3
“All scripture is inspired by God and PROFITABLE for TEACHING, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for TRAINING in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: PREACH the WORD; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction.”

Why Preach the Word?
Paul tells us why in 2 Timothy 4:3 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (teaching); but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”

The Word is to be proclaimed historically, contextually, grammatically and passionately. This is God’s ordained means of grace to sinners and saints. This is God’s blessed and God’s empowered means to convert, transform, sanctify and bring joy to the human soul. This happens when there is a clear Exposition, Explanation, Exhortation and Admonition of the Word. This is powerful because the contextual exposition of the Word is God’s self-disclosure and our only source to bring the light of Christ to bear on our soul. So, when we read a book or listen to a preacher this should be our guide and criteria. Is the author or speaker following these rules? If we are going to spend our time and money wisely we should at least carefully examine those investments.

So now let me challenge you to pick up some dusty old books that derive power from the clear exposition of the Scriptures. Read them with new eyes that are transformed by old truths.
Jeremiah 6:16 “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.”
God has called us to stay in tune with Him by staying on the old path.
Staying on the old path doesn’t mean we don’t recognize cultural changes and challenges. It does however mean that we are not to be changed by our culture, we are to confront it and challenge the culture to be transformed by truth. We are new creations in Christ Jesus and we belong to a new culture that is based on Christ not the contemporary. We need to engage the contemporary not run from it but to do so we must be prepared to accurately proclaim the only thing that can transform culture namely God’s Word. Bible-saturated Christians are the only one’s equipped to do this with power and love. Only Christ’s people have the words of eternal life and hope. God’s truth has not changed though culture always will. The Scriptures alone is eternally relevant because it reveals the objective truth of who Jesus Christ is and what He has done The Bible alone has the power to cut through culture and pierce the heart of sinful man and bring joy to the redeemed soul.
Hebrews 4:12-13 (ESV)
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The early church didn’t seek to be relevant they were relevant because the message they proclaimed was divine. The message of the Scripture hasn’t changed nor will it ever change and when we try to change it or make it more relevant through our cleverness we only dilute or distort the truth. We are equipped with the same source of relevance as the early church – The Word of God it never changes it remains the same forever yet it always changes those who hear it.
Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

New movements come and go but the truth of God’s word is always fresh, relevant and powerful enough to reach anyone, anywhere at anytime. So, why not take up and read books that proclaim the truths that are ageless and Christ-centered rather than time sensitive, man-centered and irrelevant.