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Archive for August, 2007

“Reader, if thou art, as many in this pretending age, a sign or title-gazer, and comest into books as Cato into the theatre, to go out again, thou has had thy entertainment; Farewell.”

– John Owen in his introduction to his book Death of Death in the Death of Christ

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“That persons need not and ought not to set any bounds to their spiritual and gracious appetites.” Rather “they ought to be endeavoring by all possible ways to inflame their desires and to obtain more spiritual pleasures …. Our hungerings and thirsting after God and Jesus Christ and after holiness can’t be too great for the value of these things, for they are things of infinite value …. [Therefore] endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying yourself in the way of allurement”

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one God and two worlds

A story is told about Rabbi Joseph Schneerson, a Hasidic leader during the early days of Russian Communism. The rabbi spent much time in jail, persecuted for his faith.

One morning in 1927, as he prayed in a Leningrad synagogue, secret police rushed in and arrested him. They took him to a police station and worked him over, demanding that he give up his religious activities. He refused. The interrogator brandished a gun in his face and said, “This little toy has made many a man change his mind.”

Rabbi Schneerson answered, “This little toy can intimidate only that kind of man who has many gods and but one world. Because I have only one God and two worlds, I am not impressed by this little toy.”

Philip Yancey, in The NIV Student Bible (Zondervan, 1996)

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People lift their hand to rebel against the Most High only to find that their rebellion is unwitting service in the wonderful designs of God.

– John Piper

Click on the verses below

Psalm 115:3

Psalm 135:5-7

Proverbs 16:33

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The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.

(Matthew Henry –Nehemiah 8:9-12 c.f. Psalm 135:1-4; Psalm 97:8-12; Mark 14:12-31)

John Piper responds by saying, “I know of no other way to triumph over sin long term, than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God.”

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Source: Seven Treatises by Richard Rogers (1550-1618)

1. Whether I continually keep a narrow watch over my heart, words and deeds.

2. Whether I am careful to redeem the time now, and to make sure time in the future is not idly, carelessly or unprofitably spent.

3. Whether I attend to private prayer and meditation at least once each day.

4. Whether I have been careful to do good and receive good from others with whom I spend time.

5. Whether my family is instructed, watched over and governed with diligence.

6. Whether I have given more time and care to earthly pleasures and worldly profits than necessary.

7. Whether I have stirred myself and others up, to love God’s people, and especially to suffer for doing good.

8. Whether I have given too much freedom to wandering thoughts and carnal emotions.

9. Whether I have prepared myself to bear the cross, no matter when or where it might please God to exercise me.

10. Whether I have carved out any time, not only to mourn for my own sins, but also for the sins of my time and the age in which I live.

11. Whether I have looked daily with longing for the coming of my Lord Jesus Christ, for my full deliverance out of this world of sin and misery.

12. Whether I have sought out (as my need requires) the acquaintance of some honest, godly and faithful person, with whom I may converse and open my heart, for the quickening of God’s grace in me.

13. Whether I have observed the vanity of all earthly things, in order to condemn them and long after heaven; and whether I have noted the mortality and deaths of other people, and thought often and earnestly of my own passing.

14. Whether I have read daily (when I could with convenience) out of Scripture, for the further increase of my knowledge and conscience.

15. Whether I have renewed my covenant with God to strive against sin, especially against those sins and corruptions of my own heart and life, by which I have dishonored the Lord most.

16. Whether I take note of how sin dies and is weakened in me, and keep myself from returning to my old sins, wisely avoiding all occasions that might lead me to them.

17. Whether I have not lost my first love and liking of God’s word, and all the holy exercises of religion (e.g., prayer, reading, meditation, fellowship, etc.).

18. Whether I have been occupied often in reflecting on God’s benefits and works, in order to sound forth his praises for them.

19. Whether I have fought to cherish my faith, by taking comfort and delight in the great benefit of my redemption by Jesus Christ.

20. Whether I have not made spiritual exercises (see 17. above) and practices of repentance matters of course and custom, rather than matters of conscience.

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Chinese characters

The Chinese word ‘good’ is made up of the characters for ‘woman’ + ‘child’. Good is a mother with a child.

The ultimate conception of good though is God with his people.

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