28 February 2009

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

An old hymn with with worship inspiring lyrics, Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken has a new tune. You can find the new tune here with the lyrics on plain text or a pdf file. May God bless us as we joyfully sing praises to His name.

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Composer: Davide C. Marney, 2004
Lyricist: Henry F. Lyte, 1824; text of 1833

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow thee;
Destitute despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shalt be:
Perish ev'ry fond ambition
All I've sought, or hoped, or known;
Yet how rich is my condition,
God and heav'n are still my own.

Man may trouble and distress me,
'Twill but drive me to thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me,
Heavn' will bring me sweetter rest:
O 'tis not in grief to harm me
While thy love is left to me;
O 'twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with thee.

Take, my soul, thy full salvation,
Rise o'er sin and fear and care;
Joy to find in ev'ry station
Something still to do or bear;
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
What a Father's smile is thine,
What a Saviour died to win thee:
Child of heav'n shouldst thou repine?

Haste then on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer;
Heav'n's eternal day's before thee,
God's own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthyly mission
Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

Mohler on Porn

Al Mohler on the Pornification of Cuture. This is the conclusion of his post:

Pornography is not just about dirty magazines and movies, or even just about the Internet and one-click-away sexual fantasies. Pornography now threatens to redefine the way this society views sex itself. The real danger here is that pornography becomes so pervasive that it is no longer distinguishable from the other images and messages transmitted and received within the culture.
A society that embraces pornography as a constitutionally protected form of "speech" will have a hard time policing sexually explicit material. When courts rule that filtering pornography from public computers in a public library is unconstitutional, the public library is transformed into a pornographic playground. When employees spend company time (and government funds) viewing pornography at work, the moral character of the entire enterprise is at stake.
The real cost of pornography cannot be reduced to lost hours of labor. The far larger issue is the cost to the nation's soul. When public libraries become places parents do not let their children go, something precious is lost.
The real cost of pornography is measured in broken lives, broken marriages, broken children, and broken dreams. In reality, the true cost is spiritual, for pornography destroys the soul.
This one fact is enough to prove just how immense this problem is -- 70 percent of pornography on the Internet is viewed at work. That explains why so many employees are distracted. It also underlines the fact that pornography is truly a spreading cancer. It will not easily be forced into retreat.

Lord's Day 9 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 9:

Scripture Readings: Matthew 14:15-21; John 2:1-11; 2 Peter 3:1-3

Question 26. What do you believe when you say, "I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth"?
Answer. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ, God's Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt that God will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity God sends me in this sad world. God, being almighty God, is able to do this; God, being a faithful Father, desires to do this.

25 February 2009

Through the Fire

Day Of Fire is an outstanding heavy metal band with a lead vocalist that has a quite a story to tell. I leave it to you to read that story here. My focus today however, is the lyrics of Through the Fire. The song is heavy, thunderous and lyrically robust with biblical references. Take a look and if you have a chance to hear them, go for it.

Walk in the flame again, (Dan. 3:24-25)
I'll be there to hold your hand, (Ps. 73:23)
Keeping you safe until the end (Ps. 4:8)
And when the flood begins, (Gen. 6:17-18; Ps. 29:10)
I'll be there with you to stand,
Walking in faith until the end (Hebrews 13:5)

Chorus: 2x's
I'll see you through the flood, (Gen. 6:17-18)
I'll see you through the fire, (Daniel 3)
I'll see you through the storms-a-raging. (Ps. 107:29)

Walking the darkest rain (Matt. 7:25)
I cover you by my name, (John 17:11-12)
A shelter inside your world of pain (Is. 32:2)
Step on the waters waves (Matt. 8:23-27)
Coming to me by faith (James 2:24)
I am the light of better days (John 8:12)

I'll see you through the flood,
I'll see you through the fire,
I'll see you through, the storms-a-raging

Don't be afraid (Php. 4:6)
I'll never leave you lying

Forever yours
Forever yours
Forever yours
Forever yours I am

(chorus) 2x's
I'll see you through the flood
I'll see you through the fire
I'll see you through the storms-a-raging

24 February 2009

Having Joy in Sorrowful Times

...the joy that endures through sorrow is the foretaste of that future joy in God which we hope for in the future. When Jesus was “very sorrowful, even to death” in Gethsemane he was sustained by “the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). This does not mean that he felt in the garden or on the cross all that he would feel in the resurrection. But it does mean that he hoped in it and that this hope was an experienced foretaste of that joy.

Therefore, we groan here, waiting for the redemption of our bodies and for the removal of all our sins (Romans 8:23). This groaning and grieving is godly if it is molded by our delight in hope of glory (Romans 5:2-3). The delight is muffled by the pain. But it is there in seed form. It will one day grow into a great vine that yields wine of undiluted delight.

So let us embrace whatever sorrow God appoints for us. Let us not be ashamed of tears. Let the promise that joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5) sustain and shape our grief with the power and goodness of God.
- John Piper.

I encourage you to read the entire article here.

21 February 2009

Lord's Day 8 Heidelberg Catechism

Lords' Day 8:

Scripture Readings: Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1:1-8; Genesis 18; Matthew 28:18-20

Question 24. How are these articles divided?
Answer. Into three parts: The first concerns God the Father and our creation; the second, God the Son and our redemption; and the third, God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.
Question 25. Since there is only one divine Being, why do you speak of three, Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit?
Answer. Because that is how God is revealed in God's own Word; these three distinct persons are one, true, eternal God.

G.I. Williamson sums up his chapter on Lord's Day 8 in his Study Guide this way, ...Let us think of the words of the Apostle John. They make it clear that we must believe in each of these persons. "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also" (1 John 2:23). Those who do not know - and believe in - this triune God do not have God but only an idol. So let us make sure that we confess this triune God with the church of all ages.

16 February 2009

MacArthur on Suffering

Blues fans like myself are familiar with the John Lee Hooker tune, It Serves Me Right To Suffer.
The first verse goes something like this:

It serves me right to suffer
It serves me right to be alone
It serves me right to suffer
It serves me right to be alone
Because the life livin'
I'm livin' in memories gone by

As Christians we do suffer & if you're not perhaps you should be asking yourself why you're not, at least from time to time. Unlike this blues tune which unwillingly accepts suffering, we should be embracing it, as contradictory as that may seem, its true (James 1:2-4). Permit me to quote John MacArthur on Paul embracing suffering in Stand. Its worth a read.
Success frightens me because it panders to my flesh. When Paul looked at his own life, he thought of himself not only as a mere clay pot but also as a battered one: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9). These four contrasts all say the same thing, which is that Paul experienced severe trials in his ministry, but none of them prevailed. He goes on, The prosperity gospel is absolutely non-biblical. It is an affront to God. The way to power is through suffering and weakness. As Paul said, “For the sake of Christ . . . I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” All true servants of Christ learn through the years to embrace the assaults that cut to the heart, the mutinies, the betrayals, the disaffection, the massive disappointment, the heartache, and even the physical pain and suffering because they know all those things work together to destroy self-reliance. Paul said, “[We are] always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Cor. 4:10). In other words, Christ is more powerfully revealed in his servants when they bear up under severe affliction. Jesus has already died, risen, and ascended to heaven. People can’t get at him anymore, but they can get to us. People will sometimes hate us for Jesus’ and the gospel’s sake. Paul knew all about that, saying, “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Gal. 6:17) and “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col. 1:24). Can you and I say with Paul, “He took the blows meant for me, so I’ll take the blows meant for him—let them come!”? (pgs 66-67). Its time we starting gettings our heads around suffering in whatever form it takes in our lives. Its a difficult thing to do but do it we must so that we can count it all joy when we encounter the trials of this life. Download a free copy of Stand here.

14 February 2009


John Piper and Justin Taylor have put together the small tome, Stand. Its concise, convicting and well worth a read. Some of the most convicting portions are Piper's thoughts on retirement. He drills it home in his chapter, Getting Old to the Glory of God. For example, he quotes J. Oswald Sanders on retirement, O God, don't let me waste my final years! Don't let me buy the American dream of retirement - month after month of leisure and play and hobbies and putzing around in the garage and rearranging the furniture and golfing and fishing and sitting and watching television. Lord, please have mercy on me. Save me this curse. Piper goes on himself to say, Oh, that God would give us a passion in our final years to spend ourselves to make him look as great as he really is - to get old to the glory of God. And further, Don't settle for anything less than the joyful sorrows of magnifying Christ in the sacrifices of love. Now, I'm not anywhere near the age of retirement but Piper's point is well taken.

This little book was born out of a recent conference and has several contributors including John MacArthur. Its full title reveals the thrust of the book, Stand, A Call for the Endurance of the Saints. Its full of life-giving advice and help. At only $10 from Desiring God, don't let this one pass you by.

Lord's Day 7 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 7

Scripture Readings: Acts 16:11-15; Eph. 2:1-10; Hebrews 11

Question 20. Will all people then be saved through Christ just as they were lost through Adam?
Answer. No. Only those are saved who by true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all his blessings.
Question 21. What is true faith?
Answer. It is not only a certain knowledge by which I accept as true all that God has revealed to us in the Word, but also a wholehearted trust which the Holy Spirit creates in me through the gospel, that, not only to others, but to me also God has given the forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation, out of sheer grace, solely for the sake of Christ's saving work.
Question 22. What then must a Christian believe?
Answer. All that is promised us in the gospel, a summary of which is taught us in the articles of our universally acknowledged Christian faith.
Question 23. What are these articles?
Answer. I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he
shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the
resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

10 February 2009

Beale on Christ the Center

The Christ the Center podcast of 09-01-30 is well worth a listen. Greg Beale is interviewed about his new book and Carl Trueman joins the regular panel. Inerrancy is a crucial issue that deserves our attention. And if you’re not listening regularly to these dudes, well ya should be. Their podcasts always include interesting and thought provoking subjects that need our consideration. Take a look at Dr. Beale's book at Westminster Bookstore on the sidebar or at the Christ the Center website.

07 February 2009

Singing the Westminster Shorter Catechism #1

Hey, this is worth a listen...

Lord's Day 6 Heidelberg Catechism

I'm a bit late getting started but I'd like to post the weekly Heidelberg Catechism questions with accompanying Scripture. I've wanted to work through this catechism, at least read through and meditate on it weekly, for some time now so, I may as well get started and post the readings here. Without further delay, here we go...

Lord's Day 6

Scripture Reading Psalm 110, Isaiah 53

Question 16. Why must the mediator be truly human and perfectly righteous?
Answer. God's justice demands that a human being must pay for human sin; but a sinful human could never pay for others.
Question 17. Why must the mediator also be truly God?
Answer. So that the mediator, by the power of divinity, might bear the weight of God's wrath as a human being, and earn for us and restore to us righteousness and life.
Question 18. Who is this mediator true God and at the same time truly human and perfectly righteous?
Answer. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was given to redeem us completely and to make us right with God.
Question 19. How do you come to know this?
Answer. The holy gospel tells me. God began to reveal the gospel already in Paradise; later, God proclaimed it by the holy patriarchs and prophets and portrayed it by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law and, finally, fulfilled it through God's own dear Son.

Let this be a reminder to us all that the final and ultimate atonement was made by Jesus Christ, seed of the woman.

An inexpensive book worth investing in is Williamson's The Heidleberg Catechism, A Study Guide. Cheap and easy to read yet worth the mental investment to work through this catechism.

05 February 2009

Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty

Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty is a very old hymn penned by Benjamin Schmolck. I enjoy the reminders of communion with God and the comforts thereof. I specially like the last verse. It is good for us to think on these things and remember the care we receive daily from the Lord. Its taken from Psalm 84.

Open now thy gates of beauty,
Zion, let me enter there,
Where my soul in joyful duty
Waits for him who answers prayer.
Oh, how blessed is this place,
Filled with solace, light, and grace!

Lord, my God, I come before thee,
Come thou also unto me;
Where we find thee and adore thee,
There a heav'n on earth must be.To my heart,
O enter thou,Let it be thy temple now!

Here thy praise is gladly chanted,
Here thy seed is duly sown;
Let my soul, where it is planted,
Bring forth precious sheaves alone,
So that all I hear may be
Fruitful unto life in me.

Thou my faith increase and quicken,
Let me keep thy gift divine,
Howsoe'er temptations thicken;
May thy Word still o'er me shine
As my guiding star through life,
As my comfort in my strife.

Speak, O God, and I will hear thee,
Let thy will be done indeed;
May I undisturbed draw near thee
While thou dost thy people feed.
Here of live the fountain flows,
Here is balm for all our woes.