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Quotes

June 07, 2015

R.C. Sproul’s book Chosen by God is undoubtedly one of the most important books ever written on the subject of God’s sovereignty in salvation. Certainly it is the only one that has sold 200,000 copies! It has been invaluable in helping me, and so many others, navigate a very tricky topic. Here are 10 great quotes drawn from its pages.


What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God.

If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.

God is free. I am free. God is more free than I am. If my freedom runs up against God’s freedom, I lose. His freedom restricts mine; my freedom does not restrict his.

The assumption many of us make when we struggle with the Fall is that, had we been there, we would have made a different choice. We would not have made a decision that would plunge the world into ruin. Such an assumption is just not possible given the character of God. God doesn’t make mistakes. His choice of my representative is greater than my choice of my own. 

Total depravity is not utter depravity. Utter depravity would mean that we are all as sinful as we possibly could be. We know that is not the case. No matter how much each of us has sinned, we are able to think of worse sins that we could have committed. Even Adolf Hitler refrained from murdering his mother.

Before God pronounces a deed “good” he considers not only the outward or external conformity to his law, but also the motivation. We look only at outward appearances; God reads the heart. For a work to be considered good it must not only conform outwardly to the law of God, but it must be motivated inwardly by a sincere love for God.

People do not seek God. They seek after the benefits that only God can give them. The sin of fallen man is this: Man seeks the benefits of God while at the same time fleeing from God himself. We are, by nature, fugitives.

Most non-Reformed views of predestination fail to take seriously the fact that fallen man is spiritually dead. Other evangelical positions acknowledge that man is fallen and that his fallenness is a serious matter. They even grant that sin is a radical problem. They are quick to grant that man is not merely ill, but mortally ill, sick unto death. But he has not quite died yet. He still has one tiny breath of spiritual life left in his body. He still has a tiny island of righteousness left in his heart, a tiny and feeble moral ability that abides in his fallenness.

Unless we conclude that every human being is predestined to salvation, we must face the flip side of election. If there is such a thing as predestination at all, and if that predestination does not include all people, then we must not shrink from the necessary inference that there are two sides to predestination. It is not enough to talk about Jacob; we must also consider Esau.

We must never underestimate the importance of our role in evangelism. Neither must we overestimate it. We preach. We bear witness. We provide the outward call. But God alone has the power to call a person to himself inwardly. I do not feel cheated by that. On the contrary, I feel comforted. We must do our job, trusting that God will do his.

May 31, 2015

When it comes to prayer, there are few people I would rather learn from than Joel Beeke. He has spent most of his life as a student of the Puritans and has often written about their commitment to prayer and their practice of it. In a new little booklet titled Piety: The Heartbeat of Reformed Theology, he offers a series of extremely helpful tips for prayer. Here is what he says:


Prayer and work belong together. They are like two oars that, when used together, keep a rowboat moving forward. If you use only one oar—praying without working or working without praying—you will row in circles.

Piety and prayer are closely related because prayer is the primary means of maintaining communion with God. Here are five important guidelines the Puritans offer about praying:

  1. Give priority to prayer. Prayer is the first and most important thing you are called to do. “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed,” John Bunyan writes. “Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan.”
  2. Give yourself—not just your time—to prayer. Remember that prayer is not an appendix to your life and your work, it is your life—your real, spiritual life—and your work. Prayer is the thermometer of the soul.
  3. Give room to prayer. The Puritans did this in three ways. First, they had real prayer closets—rooms or small spaces where they habitually met with God. When one of Thomas Shepard’s parishoners showed him a floor plan of the new house he hoped to build, Shephard noticed that there was no prayer room and lamented that homes without prayer rooms would be the downfall of the church and society. Second, block out stated times for prayer in your daily life. The Puritans did this every morning and evening. Third, between those stated times of prayer, commit yourself to pray in response to the least impulse to do so. That will help you develop the “habit” of praying so that you will pray your way through the day without ceasing. Remember that conversing with God through Christ is our most effective way of bringing glory to God and of having a ready antidote to ward off all kinds of spiritual diseases.
  4. Give the Word to prayer. The way to pray, said the Puritans, is to bring God his own Word. That can be done in two ways. First, pray with Scripture. God is tender of his own handwriting. Take his promises, turn them inside out, and send them back up to God by prayer, pleading with him to do as he has said. Second, pray through Scripture. Pray over each thought in a specific Scripture verse.
  5. Give theocentricity to prayer. Pour out your heart to your heavenly Father. Plead on the basis of Christ’s intercessions. Plead to God with the groanings of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:26). Recognize that true prayer is a gift of the Father, who gives it through the Son and works it within you by the Spirit who, in turn, enables it to ascend back to the Son, who sanctifies it and presents it acceptable to the Father. Prayer is thus a theocentric chain, if you will—moving from the Father through the Son by the Spirit back to the Son and the Father.

Genuine piety calls for well-planned, hard, and sweat-inducing prayer and work, the Puritans said. Careful planning as to how you are going to live for the Lord is necessary if you want to achieve much of abiding value for him. Yet the Puritans were not self-reliant. They understood that daily living for a Christian must go something like this:

  1. Look ahead and see what you have to do.
  2. Go to the Lord in prayer and say, “Lord, I do not have what it takes to do this; I need divine help.”
  3. Rely on the Lord to answer the prayer you have offered, then proceed expectantly to the task that lies before you.
  4. After completing the task, return to the Lord to thank him for the help he gave.
  5. Ask his forgiveness for all your failures and sins in the process, and ask for grace to fulfill your task more faithfully next time.

The Puritan method of daily piety includes earnest prayer and hard work without self-reliance; all the exertion of energy is done by faith. By grace, exercising piety is both faithful effort and fruitful effort.

Image credit: Shutterstock

May 24, 2015

One of the most difficult things to do is to lovingly confront another person about sin, or—even harder—about what may have been sin. In his excellent book Side by Side, Ed Welch offers some practical counsel on doing this well.


The hardest sins to talk about are those we see someone commit, but we receive no invitation to speak. Here, we must decide if the sin is to be called out or covered.

Don’t Be Silent Out of Fear

Most people who have witnessed sin or are even suspicious of it in another don’t regret raising such important matters when they are raised well, but they do regret having been silent.

A church was left dazed when both a men’s leader and a women’s leader left their spouses, wrote a good-bye note to their families, and disappeared together. As a plan for pastoral care gradually developed, over a dozen people in the church said “I should have said something.” They had observed the way the two leaders had interacted and spoken about each other, and they regretted their silence.

When sin becomes public, especially when it is sin that damages relationships or incurs legal problems, so many think, “I should have said something.” Yet we are slow to remember those mental notes. Our fear of people’s angry reactions, the myth that help is needed only when asked for, and our sense that we have no right to say anything because we ourselves are quite a mess—these contribute to safe relationships rather than loving ones.

Don’t Be Silent Out of Anger

If the sin has been against us, our anger is an even bigger problem than fear. The Old Testament puts it this way: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him” (Lev. 19:17). When angry, we might be excellent at talking to others about someone’s sin, but wretched at talking to the actual sinner. Meanwhile, just a smidgeon of humility would remind us that we are rivaling the very sin we oppose as we stand in prideful judgment. If we are stuck in anger, we are the needy ones, and we ask for help.

Get Help

If we have any questions about how to proceed, we ask for help. We are part of a larger body, not private therapists, and we will often ask the larger body to help us to help others. And even when we ask for help, we proceed carefully. Confidences are important to us, and we want to speak well of people, so we might ask anonymously.

“I think I should speak to someone about something I witnessed. Could you help me know what to say and even whether I should say it?”

Just the Facts

Our task is to hold up a mirror so that others see themselves more than they see us. We tell what we have actually seen; we avoid interpretations and usually stay away from speaking of how the actions might have hurt or disappointed us—that can wait for another time.

”The other day I saw you walking down the street with Rich [not her husband]. Is everything okay? Should I be concerned?

”At the church meeting, you seemed pretty angry. I noticed that everyone went silent after you spoke, as if they were afraid to say anything. Could we talk about that?”

”You seemed on edge this morning. When I asked about your upcoming day, you said my question was stupid. Is something wrong?”

I was thinking about our conversation the other day. When you talked about Jackie, you seemed to be holding some things against her. Could we talk about that?”

”When we were talking about your marriage, everything was about her—it was all her fault—and nothing was your own. I know things are complicated, but isn’t our goal to be seeing our own faults long before we see our spouse’s?

Yes, any of those comments would be difficult for most of us. But we are compelled by love. How would we want to be approached by someone who is aware of our public sin?

Be Prepared for Possible Negative Reactions

It doesn’t always go well. The one we approach might get mad at us, which means we have probably identified something important. Anger is usually a self-indictment. Or the person becomes upset because we have been clumsy, self-righteous, or judgmental, in which case we are saddened, ask forgiveness, and grow in wisdom.

And what if the other person does not accept our words and refuses to hear? Perhaps we wait, perhaps we persist because the matter is so important, perhaps we get advice from a wise friend, or perhaps we enlist someone else who has witnessed the sinful behavior and go together (Matt. 18:15-16). Love is what orients us. Fear or anger will blind us, but love and the best interests of others are our guide.

Image credit: Shutterstock

May 17, 2015

I was interested to read through a new little booklet written by Ian Hamilton, pastor of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, England. In this work he means to show that Calvinism is both deeper and richer than the well-known 5 Points (a.k.a. TULIP). Calvinism at its best is also experiential, a word which Tom Nettles once helpfully described in this way: “An experiential theology, or experimental Calvinism, pursues the purposeful application of every doctrine to some area of life that needs further conformity to Christ’s perfect humanity.” Hamilton explains further:

Calvinism is natively experiential. Before it is a theological system, Calvinism is deeply affectional, God-centered, cross-magnifying religion. A man may loudly trumpet his adherence to the distinctive tenets of Calvinism, but if his life is not marked by delight in God and His gospel, his professed Calvinism is a sham. In other words, there is no such thing as “dead Calvinism.” Such is a theological oxymoron for one simple reason: Calvinism claims to be biblical religion, and biblical religion is not only profoundly theological, it is deeply experiential and engagingly affectional! Wherever men and women claim to be Calvinists, their lives and their ministries will pulse with life—the life of living, Spirit-inspired, Christ-glorifying, God-centered truth.

Hamilton goes on provide 8 fundamental features of the experiential Calvinist, and looks at the subject from a confessionally Reformed perspective. I would disagree with some of the finer points, such as his insistence that Reformed worship necessarily adheres to the regulative principle. Still, I found each of his points is very helpful.

  1. The experiential Calvinist honors God’s unconditional sovereignty. God’s sovereignty is never seen in Scripture as an excuse for believers to become passive. God’s sovereignty does not suspend human responsibility but rather embraces it. [This] is shown chiefly in God’s people giving themselves to consistent, faithful, heartfelt prayer. Nothing more honors God’s unconditional sovereignty than prayer.
  2. The experiential Calvinist cherishes God’s grace. Calvinism supremely rejoices in and placards the grace of God. … Experiential Calvinists are jealous to magnify the grace of God because it opens to us the heart of the God of grace.
  3. The experiential Calvinist has a deep sense of the sinfulness of sin. It is the greatest tragedy of our age that the supreme focus in much of the Christian church today is man, not God! Man and his needs, not God and His glory, is the organizing principle and central concern of much that passes for evangelical Christianity. Perhaps the greatest difference between us and our Reformation and Puritan forefathers is that they had high views of the glory of God and therefore deep views of the sinfulness of sin.
  4. The experiential Calvinist lives before God’s face. Experiential Calvinism has one preeminent concern: to glorify God. He recognizes that the only verdict that counts is God’s.
  5. The experiential Calvinist shapes all of life by the revelation of God’s unimpeachable holiness. The experiential Calvinist is … an obedience-loving believer. God’s commandments are his happy choice. … This piety is rooted in a love for God’s law. The experiential Calvinist loves God’s law. Experiential Calvinism seeks to give God’s holy law the place in the believer’s and church’s life that God’s holy Word gives it.
  6. The experiential Calvinist is content and satisfied with scriptural worship. Submission to the unconditional sovereignty of God is seen practically in submission to the authority and sufficiency of his holy Word. This means that the experiential Calvinist seeks to have his life and the church’s life contoured by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). This means that our worship can (and must) never be shaped and informed by the fads and fashions of the moment, but by the abiding precepts and principles of God’s Word. Historically, this has come to be known as the regulative principle.
  7. The experiential Calvinist pursues godly catholicity. From its inception, the Reformed faith was a multifaceted faith. To be sure it had a well-defined core of nonnegotiable doctrines. But it did not have and has never had one public face or particular theological expression. The Continental Reformed tradition, centered upon the Three Forms of Unity—the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort—is no less Reformed than its British and American Reformed counterpart within the tradition of the Westminster Standards.
  8. The experiential Calvinist cultivates communion with God. … Experiential Calvinism cherishes communion with God and understands that this communion requires two things: that we “receive” His love and that we “make suitable returns unto him.” The Father’s love is received “by faith” through Christ. “The soul being thus, by faith through Christ, and by him brought into the bosom of God, into a comfortable persuasion and spiritual perception and sense of his love, there reposes and rests itself.” But there is more: “God loves, that he may be loved.” So, we are to make “returns” of love to the Father. (Note: The quotes are from John Owen.)

Excerpted from What Is Experiential Calvinism? by Iain Hamilton.

Image credit: Shutterstock

May 10, 2015

Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth is a book I have read and re-read, and one I intend to read again in the very near future. As I flipped through it today I came across the fascinating account of her conversion. 

While still at L’Abri, I had once accosted another student, demanding that he explain why he had converted to Christianity. A pale, thin young man with a strong South African accent, he responded simply, “They shot down all my arguments.”

I continued gazing at him somewhat quizzically, expecting something more, well, dramatic. “It’s not always a big emotional experience, you know,” he said with an apologetic smile. “I just came to see that a better case could be made for Christianity than for any of the other ideas I came here with.” It was the first time I had encountered someone whose conversion had been strictly intellectual, and little did I know at the time that my own conversion would be similar.

Back in the States, as I tested out Schaeffer’s ideas in the classroom, I was also reading works by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Os Guinness, James Sire, and other apologists. But inwardly, I also had a young person’s hunger for reality, and one day I picked up David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade. Now, here was a story exciting enough to suit anyone’s taste for the dramatic—stories of Christians braving the slums and witnessing supernatural healings from drug addiction. Fired up with the hope that maybe God would do something equally spectacular in my own life, that night I begged Him, if He was real, to perform some supernatural sign for me—promising that if He did, I would believe in Him. Thinking that maybe this sort of thing worked better with an aggressive approach, I vowed to stay up all night until He gave me a sign.

Midnight passed, then one o’clock, two o’clock, four o’clock … my eyes were close in spite of myself, and still no spectacular sign had appeared. Finally, rather chagrined about engaging in such theatrics, I abandoned the vigil. And as I did, suddenly I found myself speaking to God simply and directly from the depths of my spirit, with a profound sense of His presence. I acknowledged that I did not really need external signs and wonders because, in my heart of hearts, I had to admit (rather ruefully) that I was already convinced that Christianity was true. Through the discussions at L’Abri and my readings in apologetics, I had come to realize there were good and sufficient arguments against moral relativism, physical determinism, epistemological subjectivism, and a host of other isms I had been carrying around in my head. As my South African friend had put it, all my own ideas had been shot down. The only step that remained was to acknowledge that I had been persuaded—and then give my life to the Lord of Truth.

So, at about four-thirty that morning, I quietly admitted that God had won the argument.

May 03, 2015

One sure sign of salvation, and one sure sign of progression in sanctification, is a hatred of sin. This is not only a hatred of sin’s consequences, but a hatred of sin as it is—rebellion against a just and holy God. Here is Richard Sibbes on a true hatred of sin.

If we would make it evident that our conversion is sound we must loathe and hate sin from the heart; now a man shall know his hatred of evil to be true, first if it be universal. He that hates sin truly hates all sin.

Secondly, where there is true hatred it is fixed; there is no appeasing it, but by abolishing the thing it hates.

Thirdly, hatred is a more rooted affection than anger; anger may be appeased, but hatred is against the whole kind.

Fourthly, if our hatred be true, we hate all evil in ourselves first, and then in others. He that hates a toad would hate it most in his own bosom. Many like Judah are severe in censuring others but are partial to themselves (Genesis 38:24).

Fifthly, he that hates sin truly, hates the greatest sin in the greatest measure; he hates all evil in a just proportion.

Sixthly, our hatred is right if we can endure admonition and reproof for sin and not be enraged with him that tells us of it; therefore those that swell against reproof, hate not sin; only with this caution, it may be done with such indiscretion and self-love that a man may hate the reprover’s proud manner. In disclosing our hatred of sin in others, we must consider our calling; it must be done in a sweet temper, reserving due respect to those to whom reproof is offered, that it may be done out of true zeal, and not out of anger nor pride.

April 26, 2015

In their book Compelling Community, Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop write about the importance of diversity within each local church. While the word diversity tends to draw our minds immediately to racial diversity, they believe the Bible points to a wider kind of diversity. Here is what they say:

Many reading this book live in places where churches share guilt for the moral scourge of racism. As a result, we care deeply about the presence of ethnic diversity in our churches. And this concern is noble. Scripture celebrates ethnic diversity. Certainly, that’s at least part of what Paul speaks of in Ephesians 3.

But if by diversity we only ever mean ethnic diversity, we’re missing the main message of Ephesians 3. After all, not every region of the world has ethnic diversity. The diversity I’m writing about is any multiplicity of backgrounds where unity is possible only through the gospel. With this as our standard, many types of differences fit the basic pattern of Ephesians 3. Think of all the different boundaries—respected by society—that the local church must transgress.

Boundaries of age. “Multigenerational” has become a buzzword among evangelicals for good reason: it’s not something we often see in the world. This was perhaps the first kind of diversity that attracted me to my own church, as the generation who joined in the 1940s was infiltrated in the 1990s by a generation recently come of age. Amazingly, they functioned as a single community! Young men spent their Friday nights in nursing homes. Octogenarians vacationed in Cancun with twenty-somethings.

Boundaries of economics. Our world is familiar with rich people doing kind things for poor people. But then those rich people retreat to the comfort of other rich people—or at least those with a similar educational pedigree. Not so in the church. That’s why James castigates the church’s preferential treatment of the rich in James 2:8–9: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

Boundaries of politics. The local church must speak strongly on moral issues. But rarely does that moral authority translate cleanly into the details of public policy. As a result, Christians with divergent views on government policy should find unity in the more ultimate reality of God’s kingdom. Of course, there are groups—such as the Nazi party in 1930s Germany—whose claim of moral authority so stretches credulity that the church must chose political sides. But by God’s grace, we often find ourselves in less extreme situations.

Boundaries of social ability. Do socially awkward people describe your church as a refuge? Or do they find it as cold and impersonal as the world outside? Social ability is no barrier to true fellowship in the Spirit.

Boundaries of cultural background. Especially for those who grew up in the church, cultural background carries with it expectations for how a church should feel. As a result, some degree of sacrifice is necessary to have a church composed of Christians from suburban, rural, and urban backgrounds; liturgical, Pentecostal, and African-American religious traditions; and many different countries of origin. That’s just fine. But explain to your congregation that everyone must sacrifice, in both the majority and the minority culture. Unity will often require sacrificing our interests for those of our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

If we seek boundary-crossing love that perplexes the world around us, then some types of diversity will often speak louder than others. A church in the suburbs of Boston comes to mind. Everyone might have similar skin color, but the congregation sits at the intersection of four towns with dramatically different class identities. So when a former addict from Weymouth spends nights and weekends speaking truth into the marriage of a Hingham banking executive, something is happening that perplexes the surrounding world. In my church, on the other hand, located in what has been one of the most ethnically segregated cities in the country, ethnic diversity speaks volumes. To be sure, ethnic diversity can be found among non- Christians in my city—so long as we’re only talking about, for example, young political liberals from Ivy League schools. But the first comments I often hear from visitors is about how my church includes such dramatically different backgrounds—and yet still functions as a single community.

What about for your church? What boundaries has the gospel overrun that society fiercely respects?

April 19, 2015

We can make things far too complicated. We can make things far too dependent upon our own work instead of the Lord’s. John MacArthur looks at Mark 4 and says, “Just tell the truth.”

Look, all I can do is tell the truth. All I can do is speak the truth. I can’t take care of the results. I can’t give life. It’s mysterious, just like to the farmer to us. The only human act is to plant the seed and wait…and wait, go to sleep, it’s all God’s work. First Corinthians 3 says, “God gives the increase.” Life and growth is a divine operation. You must be born from above, John 3. Not of the will of a man…of men, not of the will of flesh, John 1:12, but of God. Listen to it this way, no human being contributes to the regeneration, conversion, justification, salvation process. All we can do is tell the truth. The seed is potent, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1, the soil when prepared by God will receive it and once God makes it grow, I love this part of the little parable, when it begins to grow, it does not stop until it is harvested…first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head and then the harvest. What God begins He completes, right? Philippians 1:6, “Whoever begins a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ.”

This is a critical lesson, by the way, to all evangelical manipulators and clever marketers who think they can make people believe. No human being no matter how persuasive, no matter how clever, makes a contribution to regeneration, conversion or justification. All we can do is give the truth. We can’t change hearts and we can’t produce life from dead people. That’s something the Lord alone does. “No man comes to me except the Father draws him.” And once He begins to draw him, then it’s the blade, then it’s the ear, then it’s the full grain. It needs to be drummed into the heads and hearts of all Christians who have been seduced by the contemporary lies, that if we just get better at marketing the gospel, we can be more convincing and we can convince people to be saved. Just tell the truth.

I hate to tell you this, music doesn’t have anything to do with it in terms of style. The content of what is said and sung in music may bring the gospel, convey the gospel. But it’s not about mood, it’s not about music, it’s not about invitations, it’s not about any human effort. We don’t do God’s work with human means.

April 12, 2015

Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon if you prefer, must be one of the most controversial books in the whole Bible, and whether it is meant to be literal or allegorical (or both) is one of the great debates of every age. But what we must know and believe is that the book is a good gift of God and relevant for our day and every day. In the opening chapter of his new commentary, James Hamilton has this to say about the book’s contemporary importance.

The people of God need the Word of God, and we desperately need the Song of Songs today. Our time is notable for massive sexual confusion, distortion, and perversion. Pornography is pervasive. Adultery is celebrated in the cultture at large, the devastation of divorce normalized, the fiction of same-sex marriage legalized—all satanic attempts to make immorality moral through the permission of the legislature. In this subverted moral universe, those who adhere to morality as the Bible asserts the Creator intended it are regarded as bigots, or worse.

As a result of the Fall, we who are Christians experience deeply distorted and destructive instincts and attitudes about sexuality. Even among the redeemed we can find broken and damaged marriages. Some members of the bride of Christ harbor unrealistic expectations about what marriage will be like, about what our needs are, and about how to achieve satisfaction.

How are we to straighten out our crooked thinking, find healing for old wounds, and be renewed in our minds when it comes to marriage and sex? God’s Word is living and active. God’s Word is relevant. God’s Word is able to make us wise unto salvation. And I am confident that God has given us the Song of Solomon so that we will think rightly about sexuality. As we present the living sacrifices of our lives—even in our sexuality—to the One who showed us mercy (Rom. 12:1-2), the Song of Songs is one of the tools the Spirit of God will use to conform us to the image of Christ, to transform us from one degree of glory to another, to enable us to take every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ.

God has given us the Song of Solomon so that His glory in Christ will shine in our marriages and in our sexuality. We want the glory of God in Christ to shine in the way we think about and live out the emotional and physical intimacy God intends for husbands and wives by the power of the Spirit.

The Song of Songs is inviting, exciting, and daunting, and God will use it to make us love Him, to make us long for Christ, and to make us better single people and better spouses, better adolescents and better adults, better children and better parents. The Bible is more real than the world, and the way to live in the Bible’s account of reality, which is the real world, is to steep ourselves in it, to understand it, to relish it, meditating on it day and night.

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April 05, 2015

Sometimes you stop reading just a little bit too soon. That may be your temptation as you read this quote from Charles Spurgeon. But you’ll be missing out if you don’t read right to the end…

Heaven will be full of the ceaseless praises of Jesus. Eternity! thine unnumbered years shall speed their everlasting course, but forever and for ever, “to him be glory.” Is he not a “Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”? “To him be glory.” Is he not king for ever?—King of kings and Lord of lords, the everlasting Father? “To him be glory for ever.” Never shall his praises cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the lustre of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. O Jesus! thou shalt be praised for ever. Long as immortal spirits live—long as the Father’s throne endures—for ever, for ever, unto thee shall be glory. Believer, you are anticipating the time when you shall join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying him now? The apostle’s words are, “To him be glory both now and for ever.” Will you not this day make it your prayer? “Lord, help me to glorify thee; I am poor, help me to glorify thee by contentment; I am sick, help me to give thee honour by patience; I have talents, help me to extol thee by spending them for thee; I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee; I have a heart to feel, Lord, let that heart feel no love but thine, and glow with no flame but affection for thee; I have a head to think, Lord, help me to think of thee and for thee; thou hast put me in this world for something, Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life-purpose: I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into thy treasury; I am all thine; take me, and enable me to glorify thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.”

Pray it, and allow yourself to imagine what your life would look like if you lived it…

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