Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Deceptive, Blinding Power of Sin

"On our own, you and I will never develop a competency for recognizing our sin. We'll always need help.

Never forget that others see what you do not. Where you're blind to sin, their vision is often twenty-twenty."

--C.J. Mahaney, Humility: True Greatness

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Attractive But Dangerous Lies

"All fallen human beings tend to buy into two attractive but dangerous lies. These are the lies that were on the tongue of the serpent on that fateful day of manipulation and disobedience in the garden. The first lie is the lie of autonomy, which tells me that I am an independent human being with the right to invest my life however I choose. The second lie is the lie of self-sufficiency, which declares that I have everything I need within myself to be what I am supposed to be and do what I am supposed to do. Because we do not want to live for God, but for ourselves, we are easily seduced, at the mundane, everyday level, by these lies."

--Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Russell Moore on "Why I'm Ungrateful"

Great post by Russell Moore here (a very apt word at this Thanksgiving season).

Praise and Thanksgiving to God

A prayer from The Valley of Vision:

O my God...

For the soul Thou hast created,
For adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
For the body Thou hast given me,
For preserving its strength and vigor,
For providing senses to enjoy delights,
For the ease and freedom of my limbs,
For hands, eyes, ears that do Thy bidding;
For Thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
For a full table and overflowing cup,
For appetite, taste, sweetness,
For social joys of relatives and friends,
For ability to serve others,
For a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
For a mind to care for my fellow-men,
For opportunities of spreading happiness around,
For loved ones in the joys of heaven,
For my own expectation of seeing Thee clearly....

I bless Thee and thank Thee.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lord, Why Was I A Guest?

How Sweet and Awful Is the Place
Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

How sweet and awful is the place,
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores.

Here every bowel of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon, love and blood,
Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
"Lord, why was I a guest?"

Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there's room;
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?

'Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

True Piety or Just a Reputation for Piety?

"The person who prays more in public than in private reveals that he is less interested in God's approval than in human praise. Not piety but a reputation for piety is his concern."

--D.A. Carson

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Holy Scriptures and the Common Tongue

"I totally disagree with those who are unwilling that the Holy Scriptures should be translated into everyday languages and read by unlearned people. Christ wishes his mysteries to be made known as widely as possible....I wish that they were translated into all the languages of all Christian people....I wish that the farm laborer might sing parts of them at his plow, that the weaver might hum them at his shuttle, and that the traveler might ease his weariness by reciting them."

--Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536)

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Wondrous Grace Was This!

Join, Every Tongue, To Sing
Joseph Hart, 1712-1768

Join, every tongue, to sing
The mercies of the Lord;
The love of Christ, our King,
Let ev'ry heart record.
He saved us from the wrath of God,
And paid our ransom with His blood!

What wondrous grace was this!
We sinned, and Jesus died;
He wrought the righteousness,
And we were justified.
We ran the score to lengths extreme,
And all the debt was charged on Him.

Hell was our just desert,
And He that hell endured;
Guilt broke His guiltless heart
With wrath that we incurred;
We bruised His body, spilt His blood,
And both became our heavenly food.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New ESV Seek & Find Bible

Crossway has recently published the new ESV Seek & Find Bible for 5-9 year-olds (but which will also serve as a great Bible for family worship). Read this post by Justin Taylor for more information about it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Good Description of the Bible

"[T]he Bible - the book that could be described as the Father's portrait of the Son painted by the Holy Spirit."

--John Stott

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great Work Is Done While We're Asleep

And [Jesus] said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29)
Sabbath Poems (1979), from A Timbered Choir
Wendell Berry

Harvest will fill the barn; for that
The hand must ache, the face must sweat.

And yet no leaf or grain is filled
By work of ours; the field is tilled
And left to grace. That we may reap,
Great work is done while we're asleep.
We must do the hard work of sowing and scattering the seed (our hands will ache and our heads must sweat), but then we leave it to grace, trusting that "great work is done while we're asleep."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Avoiding Both Escapism and Conformism

"The church has a double responsibility in relation to the world around us. On the one hand we are to live, serve and witness in the world. On the other hand we are to avoid becoming contaminated by the world. So we are neither to seek to preserve our holiness by escaping from the world nor to sacrifice our holiness by conforming to the world. Escapism and conformism are thus both forbidden to us (italics in original)."

--John Stott, The Radical Disciple

Friday, November 5, 2010

Every Prop Will Sink or Fail But Jesus Christ

He That Trusts in His Own Heart
John Berridge, 1716-1793

He that trusts in hiw own heart,
Acts a raw and foolish part;
Base it is, and full of guile,
Brooding mischief in a smile.

Does it boast of love within?
So it may, and yet may sin;
Peter loved his Master well,
Yet a loving Peter fell.

Does it feel a melting frame?
David also felt the same;
Yet he made a woeful trip,
And perceived his mountain slip.

Does it talk of faith, and boast?
Abra'm had as much as most;
Yet beguiled by unbelief,
Twice he durst deny his wife.

Every prop will, first or last,
Sink or fail, but Jesus Christ;
On this sure foundation stone
Let me build and rest alone.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Insipid, Innocuous Pablum

"How wearisome it must be to God to hear His inspired Word replaced by insipid, innocuous pablum dribbled out of pulpits!"

--John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Russell Moore Preaching at FBC Jackson This Sunday

For those of you in and around Jackson, Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church (Fegenbush campus), and author of Adopted for Life, will be preaching at First Baptist Church in our morning service at 9:00am this Sunday, November 7, which is Orphan Sunday. There will be a Q & A on adoption following the service (from 10:30-11:00) in the sanctuary for anyone who is interested.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints Day

For All the Saints
William How, 1823-1897

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!