Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Son of the Covenant

God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, 
you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
Ge 17:9

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Various and Severe Lessons of Misery

"In one word, the whole soul, wrapped up in carnal delights, seeks its happiness on this earth. To counteract this, the Lord by various and severe lessons of misery, teaches His children the vanity of the present life. . .But, if it is necessary for us to be taught by God, it certainly is also our duty to listen to Him when He speaks, and arouses us from our sluggishness, that we may turn our backs upon this world, and try to meditate with all our heart on the life to come. . .For the Lord ordained that those who are to be crowned in heaven, should first fight the good fight on earth, that they may not celebrate their triumph without actually having overcome the difficulties of warfare, and having gained the victory." -- Excerpts from John Calvin's "Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life", Chapter 4. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Contending for the Oil of Conversation

Noah S. Sweat - Whiskey Speech

"My friends,

"I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey.

"If when you say whiskey you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.


"If when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

"This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Dad's Day Promise

"I will be to him a father, and he will be to 
me a son. When he commits iniquity, 
I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but My steadfast love will not depart from him. . ."
2 Sa 7:14-15a

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cross-Bearing is More Difficult than Self-Denial

"Cross-bearing is more difficult than self-denial. . .For all whom the Lord has chosen and received into the society of his saints, ought to prepare themselves for a life that is hard, difficult, laborious, and full of countless griefs. It is the will of their heavenly Father to try them in this manner that He may test them. . .For Saint Paul tells us that if we know the fellowship of His sufferings we shall also understand the power of His resurrection; and that while we are participating in His death, we are also being prepared for sharing His glorious resurrection. . .There are many reasons why we should live under a continual cross. First, whereas we are naturally prone to attribute everything to our human flesh, unless we have, as it were, object lessons of our stupidity, we easily form an exaggerated notion of our strength, and we take for granted that, whatever hardships may happen, we will remain invincible. . .This vanity He cannot better repress than by proving to us from experience not only our folly, but also our extreme frailty. Therefore He afflicts us with humiliation, or poverty, or loss of relatives, or disease, or other calamities. Then, because we are unable to bear them, we soon are buried under them. . .For it is no small profit to be robbed of our blind self-love so that we become fully aware of our weakness; to have such an understanding of our weakness that we distrust ourselves; to distrust ourselves to such an extent that we put all our trust in God; to depend with such boundless confidence on God that we rely entirely on His help so that we may victoriously persevere to the end; to continue in His grace that we may know that He is true and faithful in His promises; and to experience the certainty of His promises so that our hope may become firmer. . .If everything proceeded according to our wishes, we would not understand what it means to follow God." -- Excerpts from John Calvin's "Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life", Chapter 3.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Habits of Discrimination

Michael Horton, writing on the need to know what we believe and why we believe it, says, "We're always willing to invest in anything that's valuable to us--sports, hobbies, family history, or technology. The more invested we are, the more we care for it and for the people who are a part of it. Since our first calling is citizenship in Christ, with his body, we should seek to develop habits of discriminating between what is beautiful and ugly, good and bad, true and false. Often we will find that things aren't totally one or the other, but even that is a wise and generous appraisal that comes from discriminating habits." - Taken from the article "Spring Cleaning", Modern Reformation magazine, Mar-Apr edition, 2013.

"But solid food is for the mature, for those 
who have their powers of discernment 
trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."
He 5:14