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Archive for July, 2013

… from the Bible we know that God’s “hand of mercy may be towards a man, when his heart may be against that man, as you may see in Saul and others; and the hand of God may be set against a man, when the heart of God is dearly set upon a man, as you may see in Job and Ephraim. The hand of God was severely set against them, and yet the heart and affections of God were strongly working towards them.”

  • God will not remove the temptation to sin, except you turn from the occasion of sin.
  • We must not only hate and avoid gross sins—but everything that may carry a savor or suspicion of sin.
  • Abused mercy will surely turn into fury.
  • Afflictions are a crystal glass, wherein the soul has the clearest sight of the ugly face of sin.
  • Afflictions are sweet preservatives to keep the saints from sin, which is a greater evil than hell itself.
  • God makes afflictions to be but inlets to the soul’s more sweet and full enjoyment of his blessed self.

 

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Thus the promise of God, which had exalted [Joseph] to honour, almost plunges him into the grave.  We, also, who have received the gratuitous adoption of God amidst many sorrows, experience the same thing.  For, from the time that Christ gathers us into his flock, God permits us to be cast down in various ways, so that we seem nearer to hell than heaven.  Therefore, let the example of Joseph be fixed in our minds, that we be not disquieted when many crosses spring forth to us from the root of God’s favour.  For I have before showed, and the thing itself clearly testifies, that in Joseph was adumbrated [foreshadowed], what was afterwards more fully exhibited in Christ, the Head of the Church, in order that each member may form itself to the imitation of his example.

Source: John Calvin on Genesis 37

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Sometimes we can’t see the gloriousness of our sufferings yet – but we shall!

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What battles do pastors expect?

  • I knew there would be battles for the gospel or battles for a biblical philosophy of ministry.
  • I knew that people don’t always hunger for or treasure the gospel of Jesus Christ as they should.
  • I knew that not everyone to whom I was called to minister would have a natural affection for or connection to me.
  • I knew I would be called to battle for the gospel in people’s lives in very hard moments.
  • I knew that there would be times when people were angry with God and therefore not all that excited with me.

What battle do pastors not expect?

  • … but what I didn’t know or anticipate were the battles that would rage inside of me …

Pastoral ministry is always shaped by a war between the kingdom of self and the kingdom of God, which is fought on the field of your heart.

Source: Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling

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