The Truth of the Cross

In his book The Truth of the Cross, R.C. Sproul spends some time discussing the human condition and as he does so he uses three biblical concepts: debtors, enemies, and criminals. The Bible describes all of us in these terms. What Sproul does here, and this really helped it hit home for me, is show how it is always the Father who has been offended and the Son who intercedes. We have committed crimes against God and are, thus, justly …

Discount Personal Feelings

I thought you would enjoy this quote from Jim Andrew’s Polishing God’s Monuments (one of my favorite books from a couple of years ago). This book, which offers “pillars of hope for punishing times” tells Andrews’ story of faith and perseverance through almost unbelievable suffering. This man writes from hard experience and here he offers sound, biblical wisdom. ***** When the Lord’s ways do not neatly conform to our pat little paradigms of what seems (to our fallible minds) right …

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Meeting God

Here is another great Puritan prayer, this one beseeching God to allow the Christian to live a life filled with prayer, filled with grace, filled with the Spirit. What a perfect prayer to make your own on this Lord’s Day! ***** Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until …

Believing Lies, Rejecting Truth

The following quote is from the pen of Horatius Bonar (1808 – 1889), the great Scottish preacher, poet, author and hymn writer. It talks about the nature, the true nature, of unbelief. It’s worth reading and pondering. ***** In all unbelief there are these two things–a good opinion of one’s self and a bad opinion of God. Man’s good opinion of himself makes him think it quite possible to win God’s favor by his own religious performances; and his bad …

The Gospel Without Adulteration

Here is a brief quote taken from John Newton’s A Review of Ecclesiastical History which was published in 1769. It strikes me that the words he wrote them are perfectly applicable today: Whenever and wherever the doctrines of free grace and justification by faith have prevailed in the Christian Church, and according to the degree of clearness with which they have been enforced, the practical duties of Christianity have flourished in the same proportion. Wherever they have declined, or been …

Contentment

I mentioned a week ago that last week had been a long and difficult struggle to find joy. W week later I feel that God has really brought me through a tough time, but a time that was not in any way useless or wasted. This morning, when I sat down with The Valley of Vision, I came to the prayer titled “Contentment.” It ministered to me this morning. Isn’t it funny how a prayer can be such a great …

Longings After God

Through the past couple of weeks I have been fighting for joy, fighting to find joy in the journey. It has been one of those times that I’ve been longing for God but have seemingly found so little of him. And so this morning, when I opened up The Valley of Vision, as I so often do on a Sunday morning, I was encouraged by this prayer titled “Longings After God.” My dear Lord, I can but tell thee that …

Quotable

A little while ago I was sorting through my files and found a document where I had jotted down quotes from four different books I had read at just about the same time. They are vastly different books so it was kind of interesting to me to see the juxtaposition between each of the quotes. The first quote is from God’s Bestseller, a biography of William Tyndale written by Brian Moynahan. The author, comments about Thomas More’s bloodlust when considering …

Reliance

Here is another selection from Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision. This old prayer confesses to God a reliance on self, and as it does so, it teaches both the folly of such reliance and the joy of relying fully on God. “When thou art angry towards me for my wrongs I try to pacify thee by abstaining from future sin.” Who can say that he has not, at one time or another, done this same thing? For those who …

Happiness

Here is another prayer from Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision. This is a prayer titled simply “Happiness.” As I read the prayer I was particularly drawn to these words: “How precious is time, and how painful to see it fly with little done to good purpose! I need thy help.” How much time I waste and how painful it is to me to see if fly on by, wasted, unused, with little done to good purpose. ***** O Lord, …