Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Olde English. Eternal Truth.

It is our heaven to lay many weights and burdens upon Christ. Let him find much employment for his calling with you; for he is such a Friend as delighteth to be burdened with suits and employments; and the more homely ye be with him, the more welcome.
-Samuel Rutherford

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Gospel According to Edwards

Being stuck at home this weekend due to 10 inches of snow, I dusted off my Works of Jonathan Edwards and reminded myself of why I love Edwards so much. Here are a few favorite quotes from his sermon Pardon for the Greatest Sinners.

"They who truly come to God for mercy, come as beggars, and not as creditors: they come for mere mercy, for sovereign grace, and not for anything that is due. "

"The whole contrivance of the way of salvation is for this end, to glorify the free grace of God. God has it on his heart from all eternity to glorify this attribute; and therefore it is, that the device of saving sinners by Christ was conceived. The greatness of divine grace appears very much in this, that God by Christ saves the greatest offenders. The greater the guilt of any sinner is, the more glorious and wonderful is the grace manifested in his pardon."

"The Redeemer is glorified, in that he proves sufficient to redeem those who are exceeding sinful, in that his blood proves sufficient to wash away the greatest guilt, in that he is able to save men to the uttermost, and in that he redeems even from the greatest misery."

"Men cannot get off from the notion, that it is for some goodness or service of their own, either done or expected to be done, that God accepts persons, and receives them into favor."

"The way to be accepted is to come-not on any such encouragement, that now you have made yourselves better, and more worthy, or not so unworthy, but- on the mere encouragement of Christ's worthiness, and God's mercy."

"Spread all your wickedness before him, and do not plead your goodness; but plead your badness, and your necessity on that account: and say as the psalmist in the text, not 'Pardon mine iniquity, for it is not so great as it was,' but 'Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.'"

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Not-Forgotten Forgetter

I'm a natural born forgetter.

Sure, I can remember the most odd and obscure things, but when it comes to what I need most to remember, it seems like I was born to forget. I'm slowly learning that the Christian life is a fight to remember. So easily I forget my need for a Savior. I forget how sinful I really am and how utterly desperate I am for the person and work of Jesus Christ on my behalf. How strongly is my flesh opposed to the gospel! It will do anything to make me forget. When I forget the gospel, I forget the ugliness of my sin and the beauty of Christ and his cross. I forget the unsurpassed worth of knowing my Lord and his unfathomable love for sinners.

It's also very easy to forget I'm not an orphan. It's so natural to live like my life is in my own hands. I run around and do things believing I have to somehow keep my life together by my own strength and wisdom. I forget I have a loving Father who has loved me from before I was born and will not stop now. I forget he accepts me not on the basis of anything I do, but on the basis of Christ and his righteousness. I forget all things, good and evil, are from his hand and are working for my good. I forget that he is my helper, my strength, and my salvation.

But in all of my forgetfulness, I have never been forgotten. Although my doubt and unbelief often hinder my view of Jesus, Jesus' view of me is never hindered and he looks upon me with nothing but tender mercy and grace. Even when I forget his love and promises, he remembers me in my low, forgetful estate and loves me with an everlasting love. There is hope for forgetters like me and it's in remembering this Savior who loves us despite all the ways in which we forget him. He is the ultimate rememberer of his mercy towards forgetters.

Monday, February 4, 2008

First Calls

Picking up the phone and calling potential supporters has to be one of the most nerve-wracking, scary things I've ever done! So many fears and questions race through my mind and straight to my heart before I make a call. I began to wonder what people will think of me, my decision to do missions, and my considering them as potential supporters. My first thoughts before I call are that people think negatively of these things and really just wish I would leave them and their peaceful evening alone.

This way of thinking is the devil's attempt to paralyze me and to stop me from calling. The devil doesn't want me in London He'd rather I spend my life in the safety and security of my comfort zone and he'll use every lie in hell to keep me there. These lies are very subtle excuses which sound so good and innocent but in the end are false and deadly.

When it comes time to make some calls, I start thinking things like It's better not to call or I probably shouldn't call at all because why would they want to support me? They probably support other ministries and I'm just a 23 year old college graduate with little mission experience. They'll probably think I'm just a mooch, out to get their money and not really genuine about missions. I mean come on, London? Who wouldn't want to live there for a few years right out of school. These are just a few of the subtle lies and questions from hell that I have to fight just to pick up the phone.

So how do I fight these paralyzing fiery darts? One word: Gospel. Before every call, I have to preach the Gospel to myself. In Christ and his righteousness, I am perfectly accepted and adopted as God's child. When the Father looks on me, he sees his perfect, beloved Son who died for me and provided a righteousness I could never attain. This is the identity I have in the gospel. In this identity, my Father's sovereign grace works all things for my good. Satan wants me to believe that I'm an orphan who has no loving Father and in that belief, doubts and fears are bound to rise. But finding my identity in Christ enables me to pick up the phone and trust that whatever the response is, it is straight from a loving Father's hand. What freedom that truth gives me!

This is his work, not mine, and I'm excited to exit my comfort zone and enter a work which requires me to preach the gospel to myself day after day and call after call. My faith is being stretched in new ways and who knows, maybe I'll enjoy making these phone calls someday!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Fight of Faith

Everyday is a fight of faith to stay satisfied in God's promised grace and blessings. Often I feel like I don't deserve them, I can't have them, or they just don't really exist. The devil subtly puts thoughts in my head that God isn't really good and won't be my helper. It's so natural and easy to believe these lies, doubt God, and then begin to search for other cisterns that will always run dry.

I'm learning how imperative it is to battle these lies with the cross. At the cross, I see that Christ purchased the infinite favor, love, and acceptance with God as he took upon himself all the punishment from God that I deserved. There can be nothing but God's steadfast love and grace guiding my life because of what happened at the cross of Christ. This is quite an attack on every lie from hell that says God is angry with me and has forsaken me. The cross makes that an utter impossibility and makes all the riches of God's free grace, mercy, and love mine forever.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Spurgeon for the Soul

While I regarded God as a tyrant I thought my sin a trifle; But when I knew Him to be my Father, then I mourned that I could ever have kicked against Him. When I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon my breast to think that I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so, and sought my good.

-C.H. Spurgeon

First Entry

This blog will records all my thoughts, reflections, and non-sensical ramblings for the next 8 or 9 months as I raise support to join World Harvest Mission in London. In the past I have been a blogging failure but my prayer is I'll be able to keep this one updated and somewhat interesting for everyone.