When we hurt…where is God?

He is right there with us… Heb. 4:15 – For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

I cannot say it any better than this extraordinary poem:

The Weaver
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
Benjamin Malachi Franklin (1882-1965)
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TETELESTAI! John 19:30

Near the end of His agony on the cross, Jesus uttered this phrase: τετελεσται (it is finished). Not “I” am finished, but “it!”

The vocabulary and grammar of the Greek word used here are incredibly powerful. The base word of this statement is telos, or “end.” It is a perfect tense, indicating something that took place in at point of time in the past, the results of which will remain. Christ, in His perfect sacrifice, is stating that His payment of the penalty of sin had already happened, never to be repeated, added to, revised, etc.

How is this true? In Rev. 13:8 He is described as “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world!”

To quote Jonathan Edwards, “You contribute nothing to your salvation but sin that made it necessary.”

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Inspiration from a Missionary…

“Let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Let us see to it that the devil will hold a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets the news of our departure from the field of battle.” C.T. Studd

Wow! Now THAT’S a quote worth repeating! This powerful statement remind me of some of the last words of the Apostle Paul in encouraging his young charge Timothy:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:7,8

 

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God in the Manger

As this Special Season approaches, some powerful thoughts from the pen of C.S. Lewis…manger-524x404

For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged.
– From God Is In the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth;  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Phil. 2:10, 11

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Want to be Strong? Embrace Your Weakness!

“If understanding our dependence on God is our goal, then our weakness is an advantage.”– Alistair Begg

As God responded to Paul’s request (which he made 3 times!) for the removal of his affliction, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.

Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired response was staggering: “Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.  Therefore I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am powerful.” (2 Cor. 12:9,10 MKJV)

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The Greatest Enemies of the Christian Church…

…may surprise you. It’s not coming through attacks from without, but from within. To quote Phil Johnson,

“… hireling pastors in worldly churches that trivialize the Gospel.”

Nothing new here; virtually all of the Apostle Paul’s warnings to the Church focused on this fact:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
–  2 Cor. 11:13

For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things… – Phil. 3:18,19

For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.
 – 1 Tim. 4:3

Paul’s counsel to Titus in the face of these threats speaks to us today:

But you must say the things that are consistent with sound teaching. – Titus 2:1

 

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“Weasel Words” and “Epistemological Humility”

What does this mean? Epistemological Humility (although not that new) is the favorite mind set of the Postmodern proponent. Truth is relative, and if truth exists at all, it probably cannot be known, and it absolutely is NOT universal. “I will never be so dogmatic to say that I have the answer, perhaps any answer!”

Such a world view has created a “new vocabulary” which Phil Johnson has called “weasel words,” words like the following:

It seems to me, Perhaps, Might, I Suppose, Conceivably, Maybe, Possibly, Perchance…

In approaching the Ultimate Truth in Scriptures (Ps. 119:160 speaks of the entirety of God’s word being Truth; Jesus in prayer to the Father noted that His word is truth in John 17:17), there is NO ROOM for these “weasel words.”

To quote the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in 2 Tim. 1:12,

“I know Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

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