The Great Hunter

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Ray Ortlund:

The Lord appointed a great fish.  Jonah 1:17
The Lord God appointed a plant.  Jonah 4:6
God appointed a worm.  Jonah 4:7
God appointed a scorching east wind.  Jonah 4:8
The Lord has more ways of confronting me than I have ways of evading him.

What would it look like to be uninterested in things that don’t last?

Jim Elliff illustrates what it means to set your mind on things above with an amazing story about William Tennent and then concludes with these words: 

Francis Schaeffer wrote that believers should live their lives as if they had died and gone to heaven and then returned again. Just how would you respond to your normal temptations after having seen heaven?

"Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth . . . therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed . . ." (Col. 3:2,5)

Start ‘Em Early!

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It is crucial to understand the basic doctrines of Scripture from an early age. The Puritans passed on these doctrines to their children through a question and answer system called the catechism based on the Westminster Confession of Faith. Here is a simpler version for smaller children that I have taken, reduced, and adapted (due to differences I have with the Westminster Confession and reduced into easier language) that I would encourage you to use at the supper table regularly and systematically to enhance their grasp on God’s revelation of Himself to us. Set goals as a family, make it fun, and reward them when they reach your family goal!

1. Who made you? God

2. What else did God make? God made all things.

3. Why did God make all things? For His own glory and enjoyment.

4. Why do things work as they do? God has ordered it.

5. How do we learn about God? God shows Himself.

6. Where does God show Himself? In His word and in creation.

7. What does God show about Himself in creation? His character, law, and anger.

8. What more does God show about Himself in His Word? God’s mercy toward His people.

9. Where is God’s Word today? The Bible is God’s Word.

10. How many Gods are there? There is one true God.

11. How many persons are in the Godhead? Three.

12. Who are these persons? Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

13. Where is God? He is everywhere.

14. How long has God been alive? He has always been alive.

15. How is man special? He is made in God’s image.

16. Who was the first man? Adam.

17. What was Adam like at creation? He was good.

18. Did Adam remain good? No, he sinned.

19. What is sin? Disobedience to God’s law.

20. What is the penalty for sin? Death.

21. What happened because of Adam’s sin? Death came to all men.

22. Why did Adam’s sin affect all of us? We all sinned when Adam did.

23. Must everyone die for sin? No, God offers eternal life.

24. How may we be saved from sin and death? Only through Jesus Christ.

25. Who is Jesus Christ? He is God’s Son.

26. Did Jesus ever sin? No, only He is righteous.

27. What did Jesus do for His people? He conquered death.

28. How did He do this? He died, then rose again.

29. What else did Christ conquer? All his enemies.

30. Are His enemies powerful? They have come to nothing.

31. What did He give to His people? His own righteousness.

32. What did He take from His people? Their sin.

33. How is Christ’s work brought to His people? By the Holy Spirit.

34. What does the Holy Spirit do? He gives faith.

35. What is faith? Resting on Christ for salvation.

36. How do we recognize true faith? It produces good works.

37. Who are Christ’s people? They make up His church.

38. What are the traits of His church? The Word, discipline, and ceremonies.

39. How is the Word a trait of His church? All God’s Word is preached.

40. How is discipline a trait of His church? God’s people are protected.

41. What are ceremonies? Signs of God’s new promise.

42. What ceremonies are there? Baptism and the Lord’s supper.

43. Who is Head of the Church? Jesus Christ.

44. What offices has Christ appointed? Overseers and deacons.

45. Is His Church perfect? It is being perfected.

46. When will it be perfect? At the resurrection.

47. What happens at the resurrection? Christ judges all men’s deeds.

48. What of those He holds righteous? They dwell with Him forever.

49. What of those He condemns? They perish forever.

50. How does this judgment affect Christ? It makes His glory bigger.

Is God an egomaniac?

 

So is God selfish and vain [to pursue His own glory]? No, for while it would be sinful for sinners (like us) to promote our own glory, it would be wrong if God acted for any purpose less than His own glory. Giving preeminence to any purpose other than Himself – since all things are less than God – would make God an idolater. God can give us nothing greater than Himself in all His glory, so it’s to our advantage for God to glorify Himself above all.

Don Whitney

Why it’s selfish to discriminate against the moon on Earth Day.

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Let me enumerate the ecological disaster that exists on the moon.

1. There is no breathable air on the moon. We worry selfishly about the quality of our air here on earth when there is no breathable air on the moon.
2. There is no clean, potable water on the moon.  We have been selfishly hoarding it here on earth.
3. The moon lacks healthy verdant vegetation because of numbers 1 and 2.
4. Animals are completely missing from the moon. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 make it impossible for animals to live on the moon.  Think about how much more beautiful the moon would look in the sky if it was more like our earth.
5. The moon’s climate is unhealthy. Half of the moon is in the dark perpetually. The other half is exposed to dangerous unfiltered solar radiation. We are worried about climate change here on earth, when the moon’s climate is more than changing, it is uninhabitable.

 

Read the rest here.

Have you ever seen a janitor interviewed for his testimony?

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Tullian:

A decade ago, some people were offended when media mogul Ted Turner called Christianity “a religion for losers” (he later expressed regret for that and similar remarks).  But the fact is, in one sense Ted Turner was exactly right. Christianity is for losers.

For a long time, we Christians have spent time and energy and money trying our best to convince the world we’re cool, and that we’re winners. And in our world, cool means being just as prominent and prosperous, just as smart and stylish, just as successful and savvy as anybody else. Just look at how Christians swell with pride when a successful athlete or actor or politician professes his faith. It’s as if we shout to everyone, “See! This guy has everything, and he’s a believer—so Christianity has to be cool.” We want to parade these celebrities and their faith before the world.

In Too Good to Be True, Michael Horton asks, “Have you ever seen a janitor interviewed for his testimony?”  The reason we haven’t is that God-fearing janitors don’t represent strength or intelligence or coolness in our culture. They’re viewed as less valuable than the famous entertainer or the sports star or the rising politician. And we, as the church, have adopted the same categorization.

The gospel, however, is not just for the all-star and the illustrious and the legendary. It’s for the loser. It’s for the defeated, not the dominant. It’s for those who realize they’re unable to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders—those who’ve figured out that they’re not gods. It’s for people who understand the bankruptcy of life without God. It’s for people who recognize that while they’re definitely deficient, God is more than sufficient.  

Read entire article.

Who said this?

Without googling it, who wrote this?

God admitteth all men unto himself without exception, and by this means doth he invite them to salvation, as Paul gathereth in the tenth chapter to the Romans, and as the prophet had set it down before, "Thou, Lord, which hearest the prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come," (Psalm lxv. 2.)
Therefore, forasmuch as no man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men; neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief. I speak of all unto whom God doth make himself manifest by the gospel.