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Archive for June, 2010

"It is true, Christian, the debt thou owest to God must be paid in good and lawful money, but, for thy comfort, here Christ is thy paymaster. Send Satan to him, bid him bring his charge against Christ, who is ready at God’s right hand to clear his accounts, and show his discharge for the whole debt." 

Source: William Gurnall, The Christian In Complete Armour, Vol I, Part Second, Direction I – Second General Part

“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him …”

Job 13:15 

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This is a prayer for the sick or for the spiritually-distressed. It allows the possibility that suffering is a form of chastisement from God while celebrating God’s sovereignty and his goodness even through suffering.

Merciful God and Father, You give eternal hope and salvation to the living and eternal life to the dying. You alone have life and death in Your hands, and Christ alone has the keys of death and of the grave. All things are in Your power so that neither health nor sickness, good nor evil, life nor death can happen to us without Your will. We also know that by Your power and direction all things must serve our salvation. Gracious Father, we implore You to grant us the grace of Your Holy Spirit, that He may teach us truly to know our misery and to bear patiently with Your chastisements. If You, O Lord, kept a record of our sins these chastisements should have been ten thousand times more severe. We believe that they are not evidence of Your wrath but of Your fatherly love towards us, that we might not be condemned with the world.

Lord, strengthen our faith by Your Holy Spirit, so that we become more and more united with Christ our Head, since it is Your good pleasure to unite us to Him in both suffering and glory. Enable us to bear what is brought upon us by Your fatherly wisdom. We submit ourselves entirely to Your will, whether You leave us on earth or whether You take us home unto Yourself. We trust that with body and soul, both in life and in death, we belong to Christ, whose resurrection is the guarantee of our blessed resurrection.

Grant that we may experience the comfort of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. May His innocent blood wash away the dirt of our sins and may His righteousness cover our unrighteousness in Your sight. Arm us with faith and hope, so that we may overcome the assaults of Satan and not be put to shame by any fear of death. When our eyes grow dim, let Your eyes be open toward us. When You take away from us the ability to speak will You then hear the sighing of our hearts. When our hands have lost their strength, continue to support and carry us on Your everlasting arms.

Father, we commit our spirit into Your hands. Deal with us according to Your promise. Never forsake us, but always be with us, even in the hour of death.

source: The Canadian and American Reformed Church web site.

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(1Sa 1:11) God’s looking on affliction, remembering and not forgetting his servants results in his giving hem salvation.

(1Sa 1:28) Like Samuel, Jesus is ‘lent’ to the LORD’s service all the days of his life from childhood.

(1Sa 2:7-8) Hannah speaks of God’s raising the poor and bringing the powerful low. These actions are seen clearly in Jesus’ ministry.

(1Sa 2:9) God’s guarding the feet of his faithful ones and cutting off the wicked into darkness resonates with Jesus’ parables.

(1Sa 2:10) The Christ will rule his enemies with a rod of iron breaking them to pieces c.f. Psa 2:9; Rev 19:15.

(1Sa 2:10) Jesus is both the divine judge of the ends of the earth and the king empowered and anointed by God.

(1Sa 2:18,21,26) Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man. True of Christ. c.f. Luk 2:52.

(1Sa 3:19) Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. True of Christ.

(1Sa 3:20-21) All Israel knew Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD and word of God continued to come to Samuel. True of Christ.

(1Sa 4) The ark of God’s presence given over into hands of Gentiles looks like defeat. Messiah handed over to Gentiles will result in glory.

(1Sa 5:7,12) The hand of God works against the Philistines and their idols even as Jesus drives out demons by finger of God c.f. Luk 11:20.

(1Sa 7:17-18) Tribute is offered to the LORD by the nations as when Israel left Egypt and in the last days.

(1Sa 7:8-9) Jesus, like Samuel, offered up petitions with loud cries & tears to the one who could save from death and was heard c.f. Heb 5:7

(1Sa 8:7-8) Despite God’s working signs, Israel rejects him as their King. Despite Jesus’ working signs, Israel rejects him as their King.

(1Sa 9:3) The herdsman who lost his donkeys stands in contrast to David/Jesus who shepherd and preserve the lives of the sheep.

(1Sa 9:16-17) The function of kingship is best seen in Christ i.e. prince, savior and restrainer for the people of God.

(1Sa 10:1) Saul’s anointing as king is to save the people of God. Likewise Jesus is anointed as king to save his people.

(1Sa 10:10-11) A king on whom the Spirit rests upon and who prophesies is a foreshadowing of the Christ.

(1Sa 10:26-27) Some reject and despise God’s chosen king as weak while others ‘whose heart God touches’ go with him and follow him.

(1Sa 11:15) The anointing of God’s king is a source of joy.

(1Sa 12:19) Jesus, like Samuel, intercedes for God’s people that they may not die for their sins.

(1Sa 12:20) Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD but serve the LORD with all heart.

(1Sa 12:22) The LORD does not forsake his people for the sake of his glory because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.

(1Sa 13:15) Saul’s short-lived kingdom contrasts with the eternal kingdom of the obedient Christ who is one after God’s own heart.

(1Sa 14:15) A very great panic, trembling, quaking earth points tp the great eschatological defeat of God’s enemies. c.f. ‘the war’ in Rev.

(1Sa 15:22-23) Unlike Saul, Jesus listens and obeys and so is not a rejected king.

(1Sa 16:1-13) David foreshadows Jesus as the anointed king after God’s own heart.

(1Sa 16:18,23) David is a pleasing man in word, deed and presence, upon whom the Spirit rests enabling him to cause evil spirits to depart.

(1Sa 17:40) Jesus, like David, is a shepherd-king savior of God’s people who relies upon the LORD not human resources to save c.f. Zec 9:9.

(1Sa 17:46) The language of David’s feeding of the bodies of dead enemies to the birds and wild animals is used in Revelation 19 of Jesus.

(1Sa 18:6-7) Praise, singing & joy that flow from David’s victory. Greater praise, singing & joy follows the greater victory of the Christ.

(1Sa 18:13,16) The language of David’s going out and coming describes David as a shepherd over God’s people. Jesus is THE good shepherd.

(1Sa 19) God’s powerful deliverance of David from enemies and death foreshadows the greater deliverance of the Christ from enemies and death

(1Sa 20) Rulers like Saul,Herod,Pilate seek to destroy God’s Christ but people who enter into a covenant with Christ have a promise of life.

(1Sa 21:6) The ceremonial law is suspended that David’s men might have grace.Even more so is the law suspended for mercy to those in Christ.

(1Sa 22:2) As those is distress or in debt i.e. the poor were drawn to David so too in the gospels it is the poor who are drawn to Christ.

(1Sa 22) Those who persecute David will also persecute those aligned with David. The same is seen of Christ and his followers c.f Joh 15:18

(1Sa 23) David is betrayed by the very people whom he came to save. Also Christ.

(1Sa 23) David as the anointed king experiences suffering in the wilderness. So too Christ suffered in wilderness wanderings without a home.

(1Sa 24:15,20) In the face of death both David & Christ are delivered and vindicated by God and their kingship recognized even by enemies.

(1Sa 25:29) The life of David/Christ is made secure – bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD. Opponents face death.

(1Sa 26:24) The life of David/Christ is precious in the sight of the LORD who delivers him out of all tribulation.

(1Sa 30) David’s victory over Amalekites & dividing spoils amongst people of God prefigures victory of the Christ & his giving gifts to men.

(1Sa 31) The death of Israel’s king by Gentiles, body publicly displayed and burial by faithful people is similar to Christ, yet he rises.

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Growth means change

Change means loss

Loss means pain

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He saved you !

Sometimes I just need to yell in my ears to look at the evidence of God’s love for me, placarded before my eyes …

HE SAVED YOU !!!

If he had not set his love upon me then things would be a lot worse … but he saved me !!!

So thank him and be joyful in the grace and forgiveness you have received !

 

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

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I was reading about God’s Providence today.

[Providence is] the unceasing activity of the Creator, whereby in overflowing bounty and goodwill (Psalm 159:9, c.f. Matthew 5:45-8), He upholds His creatures in ordered existence (Acts 17:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3), guides and governs all events, circumstances, and free acts of angels and men (Psalm 107, Job 1:12, 2:6; Genesis 45:5-8), and directs everything to its appointed goal, for His own glory (c.f. Ephesians 1:9-12).

source: J.I.Packer ‘Providence’ in the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, vol.3 page 1292.

 

God guides me by enabling me to read His providences through the lenses of His Word.

I have few greater pleasures than tracking the wonders of God’s ways.

source: Ferguson, ‘The Mystery of Providence’ in The Devoted Life – An Invitation to the Puritan Classics (IVP, 2004),222f.

 

“The greatness of God is a glorious and unsearchable mystery. It is the great support and solace of the saints in all the distresses that befall them here, that there is a wise Spirit sitting in all the wheels of motion, and governing the most eccentric creatures and their pernicious designs to blessed and happy issues.”

source: John Flavel, The Providence of God.

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God very graciously gives us the gift of our emotions to help alert us to when something needs attention in our hearts.

God is our redeemer and because of the cross even the most difficult and painful experience of your life can be turned into a story of grace.

Source: Carolyn Mahaney "Teach what is Good"

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