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Archive for October 7th, 2010

Contentment is the inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitting to and taking pleasure in God’s disposal in every condition … Perhaps, some of you may say, like David, ‘It is good that I was afflicted’, but you must come to this, ‘It is good that I am afflicted.’ Not just good when you see the good fruit it has wrought, but to say when you are afflicted, ‘It is good that I am afflicted. Whatever the affliction, yet through the mercy of God mine is a good condition.’

Source: Jeremiah Burroughs, Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

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God is in control of His universe.

God is working out His perfect purposes.

God is not my servant.

God’s ways are far more mysterious and wonderful than I can understand.

God is good — all the time, I can trust Him — all the time.

God’s timetable is not the same as mine.

God is far more interested in what I become than what I do.

Freedom from suffering is no part of the Christian Gospel.

Suffering is an integral part of the Christian life.

God works through suffering to fulfill His purposes in me.

God’s purposes, not mine, are what will bring Him glory.

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

I have few greater pleasures than to read His providences than tracing the wonders of God’s ways.

Source: Ferguson, ‘The Mystery of Providence’ in The Devoted Life – An Invitation to the Puritan Classics, 222-223.

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Jesus is the Saviour from…

  • The guilt of sin
  • The shame of sin
  • The penalty of sin and the wrath of God
  • The power of sin
  • The effects of sin in mind, will and affections
  • The one that stands behind sin, the devil

Some of the great things God does in the dark…

  • Creation
  • Incarnation (darkness of Mary’s womb)
  • Crucifixion (darkness from sixth to ninth hour)
  • Resurrection (darkness inside the tomb)
  • Return of Jesus

Source: Sinclair Ferguson, The Evangelists’ Conference 2010

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Broken Bone Hymns

In his psalm of repentance after his sin against God, Bathsheba, and Uriah, David writes this provocative little prayer, “Let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” … “Broken bones” is a physical word picture for the pain of redemption.

It’s time for each of us to embrace, teach, and encourage others with the broken-bone theology

… if you’ve ever prayed that God would be near you and would do what he has promised in and for you, then resist the temptation to doubt his goodness in the middle of your moment of stress. It’s time for you and me to stop thinking that we are going through difficulty because Satan is winning or God is punishing us. If you are God’s child and you humbly recognize and admit that the battle with sin still rages in your heart, then tell yourself that those difficulties are the sure sign of his rescuing and redemptive love.

God hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t turned his back on you. He isn’t punishing you in anger. He surely isn’t withholding the grace that he has promised from you. No, you’re receiving grace, but it’s grace that is willing to break bones in order to capture and transform your heart. This grace is unrelenting. … This is loving, patient, perseverant, powerful grace.

In those moments when you are tempted to wonder if God has forgotten you, may you preach to yourself of this relentless, transforming grace. May you remind yourself that you are being loved with real love and showered with real grace. And as you limp to his throne once more to thank him for his unyielding grace, may the bones that he has lovingly broken sing a hymn of praise to this One who alone blesses you with his amazing grace.

Source: Paul Tripp, http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/broken-bone-hymns

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(Ezra 1:1-4) Sovereignty. God moves Cyrus’ heart to build a temple and release the exiles.

(Ezra 1:1-4) Gob-smacking that a Persian king could be used by God to foreshadow the work of Christ in building temple & releasing exiles.

(Ezra 2) God saves by preserving a remnant.

(Ezra 3) Christ shall come to this temple.

(Ezra 4) Christ only is able to draw Jews and Samaritans into the one people of God who worship in spirit and truth.

(Ezra 6:22) Sovereignty. The LORD turned the heart of the king of Assyria so that he aided them in the work on God’s house. c.f. Pro 21:1.

(Ezra 7:10) Christ, like Ezra, set his heart to study God’s law, to do it and to teach it to Israel c.f. Mat 5-7.

(Ezra 7:27) Sovereignty. God put it into the king’s heart to beautify the temple c.f. Rev 21:24.

(Ezra 8:18) Sovereignty. The good hand of God directs the selection of temple servants to be chosen to go to Jerusalem.

(Ezra 8:21-23,31) Sovereignty. The good hand of God restrains enemy ambushes.

(Ezra 9-10) Christ, like Ezra, interceded for Israel, grieved over their sin, urged repentance and holiness. c.f. Christ’s weeping.

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