Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jesus Wants the Rose

I've watched this video a million times and it never gets old. If you haven't seen it, please watch. It is awesome.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some Rest Y'all

simple but great song by Coffey called 'All Ye'

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crucified With Christ

Tony Reinke reproduces a moving section from a Charles Spurgeon sermon (November 2, 1884):

The best preaching is, “We preach Christ crucified.”

The best living is, “We are crucified with Christ.”

The best man is a crucified man.

The more we live beholding our Lord’s unutterable griefs, and understanding how he has fully put away our sin, the more holiness shall we produce.

The more we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard, where we can view heaven, and earth, and hell, all moved by his wondrous passion—the more noble will our lives become.

Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior.

Get close to Christ, and carry the remembrance of him about you from day to day, and you will do right royal deeds.

Come, let us slay sin, for Christ was slain.

Come, let us bury all our pride, for Christ was buried.

Come, let us rise to newness of life, for Christ has risen.

Let us be united with our crucified Lord in his one great object—let us live and die with him, and then every action of our lives will be very beautiful.

O that Christians today—that I—would truly get this: Living in union with Christ is the key to holiness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jesus: The Key to the Story

"So Jesus is the key to the story. Jesus is the key, as well, because he expresses undeniably the character and intentions of the story's protagonist, God. If we think that the biblical story is about how we can ascend to God, we have it completely wrong. God is the one who comes to his people to enter into intimate covenant relationship with them and to be with them forever. Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, comes in the flesh. The Old Testament draws us to recognize and respond in love to the coming God. The final chapters of Revelation confirm that God's dwelling with his people, ever his concern from the beginning, is his ultimate goal in which he will ultimately be satisfied.

Jesus is the key to the story, finally because he is the Christian's Redeemer. He is the one who by his death purchases us for God. He is our way into the story, the one who makes the story ours. He is the one who opens our eyes to see it and embrace it. We do not come to God, first of all, by looking at his creation. In fact, without Jesus, we cannot rightly grasp the significance of creation. For us then, the story begins with Jesus."

Mike Williams--'Far as the Curse is Found' (pg. 2-3)

Beloved for Jesus' Sake

"You do not get love from God for any reason apart from Jesus' sake. He's not impressed with you because you lead ministries. He doesn't love you more because you fasted for 41 days. He doesn't approve of you more because you pray, and encourage people and write people Bible verses or tweet about Jesus. There is nothing apart from Jesus alone that will produce for us the lavished favor and love of the father. God loves you because of Jesus alone. How has he loved us, he loved us enough to send his only Son Jesus to die for us."

David Choi, as preached at Wheaton College, 9/3/2010

My Song is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.

O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In My Behalf

"So when the devil throws your sin in your face, and says you deserve death, say, 'I admit I deserve death and hell. What of it? For I know one who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God. Where He is, there I shall be also."

Martin Luther

Underlying Sin

"The sin underneath all our sins is the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ, that we must take matters into our own hands."

Martin Luther

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
(Psalm 51:1 ESV)


"What's actually true is that when I come to the Lord after I've blown it, I've only one argument to make. It's not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It's not the argument of the difficult people that I'm near. It's not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. No, I have only one argument. It's right there in the first verse of Psalm 51, as David confesses his sin with Bathsheba. I come to the Lord with only one appeal, his mercy. I've no other defense. I've no other standing. I've no other hope. I can't escape the reality of my biggest problem - me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that's sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given. I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding, and I admit who I am. But I'm not afraid, because I've been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus did, God looks on me with mercy. It's my only appeal; it's the source of my hope; it's my life. Mercy, mercy me!"

- Paul David Tripp, Whiter than Snow

Monday, October 18, 2010

Derek Webb- 'Wedding Dress'

In ourselves, we are completely unlovely. This song uses the biblical illustration of God's people as a bride. We are the unfaithful bride, completely unworthy of the husbands love, constantly turning our backs, constantly running away. We lack beauty and are completely unlovely in ourselves. However, what's amazing about the Gospel, is that it says God is like a faithful husband, who has remained patient. He sees us in our dirty, broken, unworthy, sick, selfish state, and chose to come to earth in order to redeem us. God loves his people (though defiled and totally jacked up) as a husband jealously loves His bride. The fact is, we are messed up, dirty and are a pitiful bride. But, in Christ, we are made completely lovely. We are clean, spotless, beautiful. Christ died for His bride. Love to the loveless shown, that they may lovely be. All we need to do is run to the faithful husband, who anxiously awaits His bride.

If you could love me as a wife
and for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I?d ever need
or is there more I?m looking for

and should I read between the lines
and look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich, and wise
Is that really what you want

I am a whore I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
and I run down the aisle
and I run down the aisle
I?m a prodigal with no way home
but I put you on just like a ring of gold
and I run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
Though I don?t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side

I am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

Because money cannot buy
a husband?s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Infinite Joy

" If there lurks in the most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept if from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased."

C.S. Lewis

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A few thoughts on Hebrews 12:1-3

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

As Christians, we are called to run the race that God has set before us. We are to run the race by casting off sin, by having perseverance, by not growing weary, and with joy. A few thoughts on the Cross and how we run the race.

1) Jesus ran the ultimate race set out for Him by the Father. He ran the race we could never have finished. Jesus ran the course of Calvary unto completion, in order to clear the path for our present race.

2) Jesus, in His race, fully took on the heavy load of sin, so that we would be free from its entanglement. He absorbed the obstacles and hindrances that we would have never been able to conquer. We are only able to cast off the sin that entangles because Jesus already bore the full burden and already defeated the sin that so easily entangles.

3) Jesus carried our shame, so that we would not lose heart

4) Jesus demonstrated the ultimate endurance by carrying the Cross, defeating death and then resurrecting victoriously. We are able to run our race with endurance and perseverance because Christ' victory over death is imputed to us. The power of His resurrection enables us to persevere.

5) Jesus joyfully embraced his course. We too, being united to Christ, are able to joyfully participate in the race God has set before each one of us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gospel doctrine, gospel culture

Gospel doctrine creates a gospel culture. The doctrines of grace create a culture of grace, healing, revival, because Jesus himself touches us through his truths. Without the doctrines, the culture alone is fragile. Without the culture, the doctrines alone appear pointless.

The doctrine of regeneration creates a culture of humility (Ephesians 2:1-9).

The doctrine of justification creates a culture of inclusion (Galatians 2:11-16).

The doctrine of reconciliation creates a culture of peace (Ephesians 2:14-16).

The doctrine of sanctification creates a culture of life (Romans 6:20-23).

The doctrine of glorification creates a culture of hope (Romans 5:2).

If we want this culture to thrive, we can’t take doctrinal short cuts. If we want this doctrine to be credible, we can’t disregard the culture. But churches where the doctrine and culture converge bear living witness to the power of Jesus.

HT: Ray Ortlund

Monday, October 11, 2010

Famous Last Words

Buddha: "Never cease striving"

Jesus: "It is finished"

Redemption is accomplished. Period.

Preaching the Gospel to Yourself

Josh, thanks for bringing this video to my attention.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spurgeon: The Covenant Blessing

Mike, your last post was very insightful. Thank you for your consistent encouragement in your words. I learn a lot and love reading how God is transforming your mind. I just recently came across this passage in Spurgeon's Grace: God's Unmerited Favor...bulwark.


"However, when God comes in the covenant of grace, He does not merely give us the law in a book--the law written in legible characters--but He comes and writes on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. That way, the man knows the law by heart. What is even better, he loves the law. That law accuses him, but he would not have it altered. He bows and confesses the truthfulness of accusation. He cries, "Lord, have mercy upon me, that you may incline my heart unto Yourself, to walk in all Your ways, and to keep Your commandments and Your statutes" (See 1 Kings 8:58). This is the covenant blessing: God makes men to love His commandments and to delight themselves in truth, righteousness, and holiness."

Earlier he writes...."It is a covenant of grace, a covenant made, not with the worthy, but with the unworthy; a covenant not made upon conditions, but unconditionally, every supposed condition having been fulfilled by our great Representative and Surety, the Lord Jesus Christ."


What a wonderful reminder that God's grace is not only completely responsible for our salvation in our atonement, but also, for our sanctification, as we come to love his perfect law which he has given to us as a gift. God is always the actor. It is through His word, and the by the power of the Holy Spirit that we, the unworthy, may know our Creator and Redeemer.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Law: Good or Bad?

I often think when we here about The Law, we instantly pit Law against Grace or Law against the Gospel. There are some good reasons for this. For one, the Law, (or God's Holy moral code) condemns us. When we look at the law, and then look at our lives, we are able to see the sin and defilement of our hearts. We fail to live up to the laws standards. In this sense, the Gospel frees us from the condemnation of the Law. Christ fully met the requirements of the Law and has imputed his obedience to us. Therefore, we not under the condemnation of the Law. We are free from this aspect of the law.

But, I don't think it is biblical to stop there in our discussion of the Law, or to think the Law is bad. Calvin talked about another use for the law (he called it the 3rd use), whereas Christians are to 'delight in God's law'. The logic is simple.

1) The Law is the written transcript of God's character

2) Christians, being in Christ, are in the process of being conformed to His image

3) Therefore, as Christians grow and are conformed to Christ's image, we will naturally obey His law. We will take delight in obeying God's law in being conformed to His character. It will be a joy.

Now, it is important to separate obeying God's law out of sonship and out of legalism. Christians do not obey the law in order to be accepted by God. Our acceptance was already accomplished by Christ and rests fully in God's grace. However, we increasingly obey the law because we are in Christ, and as our nature is renewed in the Spirit, we are inclined to love God. And how do we love God, well Jesus tells us pretty clearly, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3)

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol Him, all peoples!
For great is His steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!


In whatever season of life, may we all remember the faithfulness of our sovereign and gracious God throughout history toward his people! He is so good.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We Can Never Obligate God

The following quote comes from Jerry Bridges book 'Transforming Grace'. I highly recommend this book.

"He doesn't owe me anything, and what He has given me was given by His grace alone."

Without doubt, we live in a culture of entitlement. People feel entitled to certain things. Older adults feel entitled to live a certain lifestyle with a certain level of enjoyment and comfort. Younger adults feel entitled to jobs, to fun, to a life free of responsibility. Teenagers and kids feel entitled to materialistic things. On a deeper level, we all struggle with a sense of entitlement from God.

This attitude of 'deservingness' is extremely detrimental and contrary to the Gospel. In our minds, more times than not, we believe that if we obey God, or do good, we are entitled to God's blessing. In essense, God is beholden to us. He is in our control.

However, in the Bible we get a very different picture of the whole human and God relation. Rather, God says, "Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me." (Job 41:11) and "Who has ever given a gift to God that He should repay him?" (Romans 11:35). The Bible is clear that 1) everything in creation belongs to God 2) Therefore, anything we have in this life is a gift from God and 3) Therefore, we cannot give God anything that God has not already given us.

Reflecting on this, it is obsurd to think how humans even think about questioning God. We are nothing but creatures, who are completely 100% dependent on the grace of God. It is crazy to think that God owes us anything. We are but dirty worms in comparison to the incomprehensible, majestic, flawless God of glory. To think we deserve or are entitled to anything from him is seriously crazy.

But, this is not said to bring us into a state of depression because we realize how small and powerless we really are. Rather, it should bring us to a state of increasing gratitude and joy. Gratitude in that God gives us common grace everyday, in the air we breath, in our health, in every good thing we enjoy in a day. But also, in the particular grace which he has applied to His people. The saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross is that much more glorious when we rightly perceive how unworthy and ill deserving we really are. This, should then produce great joy, that the God of creation, the all powerful, sovereign over every square inch of this universe holds His people, calls them his children, and will see them through unto the end.