May the God of peace be with you today.
On sale this week at Westminster Books is the excellent book Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth.
“The way we talk about those living in Everlasting Rest can convince us that an impenetrable divide exists between them and us. They have gone to be with the Lord. They have departed. Their eyes behold the King, face to face, in all His beauty—how could they turn away? This is all true. Yet it does not mean the departed saints go about their living blinded to the happenings of the earth, deaf to our murmurings and cries.”
Andrée Seu Peterson, whose column I always enjoy reading, writes about evidence and discernment.
Mike Leake: “I do agree with Thomas Watson that until sin be bitter Christ will not be sweet. But I kind of wonder if he has that flipped a bit. What if we said, ‘Until Christ is sweet, sin will not be bitter’. That seems to me to be what happens in New Testament narratives when radical change takes place.”
In this article at TGC Australia, Jodie Cooper writes with transparency about anger in marriage. “I began to share about my anger issues and the damage they had caused to our marriage as I sat nervously in the counsellor’s office. He had known me in my youth, long before I met my husband. He said he was surprised to hear about this behaviour, as I’d always come across as a relaxed person. Honestly, I agreed. Before I was married I didn’t have anger issues. Where had all this come from?”
“Knowing my church members’ interests informs the kinds of illustrations I employ. For example, I know my people would look puzzled if I trotted out an illustration about a sci-fi television show, but they’d instantly connect to a basketball story. They may scratch their heads if I cite a noted philosopher, but they would light up if I quoted a lyric from a country song. Knowing our church members’ interests allows us to build common ground with them in the sermon, and it helps us connect biblical truths to them more effectively.” (This is why it can be hard to be a guest preacher—you don’t know the people, so often miss with the illustrations.)
I get more emails about the unforgivable sin than just about any other topic. I usually tell people, “if your conscience is concerned that you’ve committed it, you haven’t.” Here’s Murray J. Harris’ take on it. “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, not because God is unwilling to forgive but because the repentance that is the necessary precondition for God’s forgiveness is absent. The heart has become so hardened that no need for repentance is recognized, and so no request for forgiveness is offered.”
Janie Cheaney discusses the problem with the perpetual victimhood some espouse today.
We do well to end suffering when we are able to. We do well to cure disease and eliminate curable pain. But we dare not step into God’s place as those who will design babies according to our plan rather than his.
No mirth, no music, can be so pleasing to us as the prayers of the saints are pleasing to God. —Thomas Brooks