Sermon Sunday – Thomas Watson – A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word

January 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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“O how love I your law.” (Psa. 119:97)

Part A: Godly Man Loves the Word Written

Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden set with ornaments and flowers. A godly man delights to walk in this garden and sweetly solace himself. He loves every branch and part of the Word:

1. He loves the counselling part of the Word, as it is a directory and rule of life. The Word is the direction sign which points us to our duty. It contains in it things to be believed and practiced. A godly man loves the directions of the Word.

2. He loves the threatening part of the Word. The Scripture is like the Garden of Eden: as it has a tree of life in it, so it has a flaming sword at its gates. This is the threatening of the Word. It flashes fire in the face of every person who goes on obstinately in wickedness. “God will wound the head of His enemies, the hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses.” (Psa. 68:21). The Word gives no indulgence to evil. It will not let a man halt half-way between God and sin. The true mother would not let the child be divided (I Kings 3:26), and God will not have the heart divided. The Word thunders out threats against the very appearance of evil. It is like that flying scroll full of curses (Zech. 5:1).

A godly man loves the menaces of the Word. He knows there is love in every threat. God would not have us perish; he therefore mercifully threatens us, so that he may scare us from sin. God’s threats are like the buoy, which shows the rocks in the sea and threatens death to such as come near. The threat is a curbing bit to check us, so that we may not run in full career to hell. There is mercy in every threat.

3. He loves the consolatory part of the Word – the promises. He goes feeding on these as Samson went on his way eating the honeycomb (Judges 14:8,9). The promises are all marrow and sweetness. They are reviving to us when we are fainting; they are the conduits of the water of life. “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” (Psa. 94:19). The promises were David’s harp to drive away sad thoughts; they were the breast which gave him the milk of divine consolation. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Thomas Watson – A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word…

Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Jail for sharing Jesus

January 25, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment

For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Ribur was beaten and locked in jail for 60 days because she talked about Jesus.

Ribur grew up in a Christian family in Indonesia, and during high school she became interested in mission work. After studying for five years in a Bible school, she joined a community-development group that was teaching agricultural methods to villagers in Aceh, located in the far north of Indonesia’s most western island, Sumatra. Teaching agricultural methods, such as organic farming and livestock breeding, gave the team an opportunity to hear about people’s lives and share their Christian faith if asked.

Ribur soon started a small Bible study in a nearby village, meeting weekly with a family of believers and reaching out to the Muslim community as well. She and a friend from the development group, Roy, began speaking with a woman in the community named Maria. They visited her on a Monday and returned to see her the next day. Maria was ill, but they spent a little time sharing about Christ. Maria then appeared to pray and ask Christ into her life.

On the third day, Ribur and Roy went back to check on Maria. A young man waiting outside talked to Roy while Ribur went inside the house to find Maria. As soon as Ribur arrived, Maria excused herself and said she had to go somewhere. Suddenly, the young man speaking with Roy punched him, and a crowd of neighbors gathered.

Someone grabbed Ribur by her headscarf and hair, and the crowd began beating her. The crowd then forced the two Christians to walk to the village leader, lashing them with a cattle whip as they walked. When they arrived, an official accused them, saying, “Why did you bring Jesus to Aceh?” As Ribur began to answer, she was struck again.

The accusatory questions and beatings continued for 45 minutes. Ribur prayed that the Holy Spirit would give her the strength to stand strong and testify to the truth. Her face was bruised, and the inside of her mouth was bleeding. One person had used a stapler to beat her in the head. Roy was also bruised. Eventually the local police came and detained them. They then drove them to the provincial capital, more than an hour away.

They arrived at 8 p.m., and the police questioned Roy and Ribur until 3 a.m., accusing them of blaspheming Islam. “I wasn’t frightened,” Ribur said, “because I had already been beaten in the other office. Also, the Bible says you will have persecution.”

“Why were you sharing about Jesus?” the officers asked.

“Jesus is for all people,” Ribur said.

“What materials did you bring?”

“Just a Bible,” she replied.

“Have you read the Quran?”

“Yes, but not too deeply,” she said.

“Why did you share about Jesus?”

“Jesus wants everyone to know about him,” she said.

Roy and Ribur were arrested on May 29, 2012, and three days later were charged with abusing Islam so that police could continue to hold them. The police seemed to be searching for evidence.

Ribur was alone during the 60 days she spent in jail. She was the only woman in the women’s cell, and she used the time to read the Bible and pray. No one bothered her, but one of the guards told her it was the first time they had seen how a Christian prayed and read.

“Prison was a learning process for me,” she said.

Ribur was released after two months. Police could find no evidence against her and Roy, so they had to let them go. “After I was released, I felt that the same God who helped me in the prison was helping me still,” said Ribur.

The group’s work in Aceh has stopped for now. Ribur continues to help at her local church, and she dreams of planting churches in Sumatra.

Storytellers and vision casters

January 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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There seems to be a growing contrast between the preachers/pastors of today and those that came before. The days of the expositional pastor seem to be fading into the bygone days and those men are becoming a dying breed. In their place have arisen men that doing things very differently. This is not to say that there are no pastors who preach expositionally, because there are still a few around. This is also not to say that all of the men of the days of old were sound biblical preachers. They weren’t. There were false teachers and heretics then as there are now, but there seems to be an explosion of men (and women…ugh) who feel that they are no longer bound to certain tenets or standards. Continue Reading Storytellers and vision casters…

Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – A Call For Revival

January 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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“Come my beloved, let us go forth into the field, let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grapes appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give you my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.”

Song of Solomon 7:11-13 Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – A Call For Revival…

Truth and discernment vs. Emotion and “tolerance”

January 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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The modern evangelical church has replaced truth and discernment for emotion and “tolerance”. Doing the hard work of studying and rightly dividing the word of truth is no longer in vogue. It takes too much time and forces the disciple to compare their current theological stance with what scripture actually says. Added to this is the fear of speaking the truth of scripture in defense of the gospel. It is a serious sacrilege to tell someone they’re wrong or to call someone a false teacher or even (gasp!) a heretic.

All of this has been replaced by the squishy, Kum-by-ya style “community of believers”. No study is necessary because we’re all already convinced of what we believe. We can even believe contradictory things because there is no systematic approach to the Christian faith. Instead, we pigeonhole each belief in its own special place and only pull it out (and only all by itself) when others are talking about the same belief (and only if it matches our belief perfectly!). Once that uncomfortable five minutes is over, we put it back in its pigeonhole to forget about it until needed. The rest of our time is spent socializing over Starbucks and Krispy Kremes.

Because of this, there would NEVER be any thought of questioning the beliefs of others. This would not only mean that the accuser was convinced of their own beliefs, but that they took the time to understand and verify with scripture the beliefs of the other person. That’s twice the work and all you get is the chance of losing a friend or group of friends. Who wants that? What’s sound doctrine with you can have a larger group of friends? No, no, no…it’s much easier be an evanjellyfish. Let’s use emotion and anecdotes to drive people to the altar in hordes like Charles Finney. Maybe I’ll go dust off the anxious seat….

Resolutions

January 1, 2013 at 10:59 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It’s a new year. The Mayans were wrong, we’re still dangling on the edge of “the cliff”, and no one has any clue what’s going to happen this year. Many people are making resolutions to change their eating habits, their attitudes, their weight, their job, their marriage, and a number of other things. These resolutions are a vow to help make them a “better person”. Many people who make resolutions will have broken them by the end of the week much less the end of the year. One resolution that I never see is “I resolve to change my heart this year!”. Why? People seem to focus on changing what people see and what makes them feel good, or what’s good for them, but they never seem to be concerned with changing what’s inside them.

Scripture says that the heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) . Jesus said that the heart is the source of all “evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders” (Matt. 15:19). No one resolves to change this about them….and they can’t. There is nothing that man can do to change his heart. The only One that can change the hearts of men calls all men to repent. Scripture says that if someone repents, God will take their heart of stone and will give that person a heart of flesh that loves God and His desires.

My prayer for this year is that all of you will not resolve to change the outside without first considering the inside. My hope is that you will repent of your sins and will trust in Jesus Christ as the perfect Savior who will change your heart and grant you eternal life. In light of this, all other things are nothing of value.


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