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The Importance of Determination in the Ministry

Darrin Patrick pointed me to a couple of quotes this morning about the importance of determination in the ministry.

We are seeking to uphold the world, to save it from the curse of God, to perfect the creation, to attain the ends of Christ’s death, to save ourselves and others from damnation, to overcome the devil, and demolish his kingdom, to set up the kingdom of Christ, and to attain and help others to the kingdom of glory. And are these works to be done with a careless mind, or a lazy hand? O, see, then that this work be done with all your might! – Richard Baxter

Those that are about to undertake this work should do it with the greatest seriousness and consideration of the vast importance of the work, how great a thing it is to have the care of precious souls committed to them, and with a suitable concern upon their minds, considering the great difficulties, dangers, and temptations that do accompany it. It is compared to going to warfare (1 Cor. 9:7; 1 Tim. 1:18) – Jonathan Edwards

August 29 2012 | Blog | Comments Off on The Importance of Determination in the Ministry

The Root of Our Distress

“I wonder if the root of much ungodliness in our lives, the root of our idols, the root of our adulterous thoughts and actions, the root of our addictions, the root of our pride, the root of our rebellion against God, is the fundamental resistance to the true love of the eternal Son of God for us.” – Hans F. Bayer, A Theology of Mark

July 01 2012 | Blog | 2 Comments »

The Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision is a book of prayers that has meant a lot to me over the years, especially in times of darkness and uncertainty. They provide a well lit path when my own soul seems dark and unable to pray. This is the opening prayer and it has meant a lot to me over the years and especially today.

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Thou has brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness, thy life in my death, thy joy in my sorry, thy grace in my sin, thy riches in my poverty, thy glory in my valley.

January 19 2012 | Blog | Comments Off on The Valley of Vision

“Go Deeper”

Jesus says, "You see, if you have me, I will actually fulfill you, and if you fail me, I will always forgive you. I’m the only savior who can do that." But it is hard to figure that out. Many of us first start going to God, going to church, because we have problems, and we’re asking God to give us a little boost over the hump so that we can get back to saving ourselves, back to pursuing our deepest wish. The problem is that we’re looking to something besides Jesus as savior. Almost always when we first go to Jesus saying, "This is my deepest wish," his response is that we need to go a lot deeper than that. – Tim Keller, King’s Cross.

October 26 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on “Go Deeper”

What makes a great preacher?

Throughout the history of the church the greatest preachers have been those who have recognized that they have no authority in themselves and have seen their task as being to explain the words of Scripture and apply them clearly to the lives of their hearers. Their preaching has drawn its power not from the proclamation of their own Christian experiences or the experiences of others, nor from their own opinions, creative ideas, or rhetorical skills, but from God’s powerful words. Essentially they stood in the pulpit, pointed to the biblical text, and said in effect to the congregation, “This is what this verse means. Do you see that meaning here as well? Then you must believe it and obey it with all your heart, for God himself, your Creator and your Lord, is saying this to you today!” Only the written words of Scripture can give this kind of authority to preaching. – Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

October 25 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on What makes a great preacher?

Three Things to Remember in Prayer

When we pray, we must always remember three things. We must remember the love of God, which ever desires only what is best for us. We must remember the wisdom of God, which alone knows what is best for us. We must remember the power of God, which alone can bring to pass that which is best for us. He who prays with a perfect trust in the love, wisdom, and power of God will find God’s peace. – William Barclay

June 22 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on Three Things to Remember in Prayer

Hope in Despair

“Nothing is more foreign to the human mind, than in the depth of despair to exercise, nevertheless, a feeling of hope, in the depth of poverty to see opulence, and in the depth of weakness to keep from giving way, and, in fine, to promise ourselves that nothing will be wanting to us when we are left destitute of all things; and all this in the grace of God alone, which is not itself known otherwise than through the word, and the inward earnest of the Spirit.” – Calvin

June 16 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on Hope in Despair

CS Lewis on Love

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. – CS Lewis in The Four Loves

May 04 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on CS Lewis on Love

A Sermon in Hell

"Oh, what would the damned in hell give for a sermon, could they but listen once more! They would consent, if it were possible, to bear ten thousand years of hell’s torments, if they might but once more have the Word presented to them! If I had a congregation such as that would be, of men who have tasted the wrath of God, of men who know what an awful thing it is to fall into the hands of an angry God, how they would lean forward to catch every word."
C.H. Spurgeon

HT: Truth Matters

April 27 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on A Sermon in Hell

Falling Away

fallingOne of the hardest things to go through in ministry is watching a friend turn their back on Christ and fall away from the faith. Sadly, I’ve seen it a number of times and each has grieved me to my core.

Bunyan talks about the process of falling away in Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s a sober reminder and a powerful warning to continue pursuing Christ.

01) They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.

02) They they cast off by degrees private duties, as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow, for sin, and the like.

03) Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.

04) After that, they grow cold to public duty; as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.

05) They then begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly, and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming colour to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmity they have spied in them) behind their backs.

06) Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose,a nd wanton men.

07) Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.

08) After this, they begin to play with little sins openly.

09) And then, hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.

April 13 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on Falling Away

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