30 November 2010

St. Andrews Day

In honour of St. Andrews Day...

Robert Bruce’s March to Bannockburn (song)

SCOTS, wha hae wi’ WALLACE bled,
Scots, wham BRUCE has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour;
See approach proud EDWARD’S power—
Chains and Slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha, for Scotland’s King and Law,
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
FREE-MAN stand, or FREE-MAN fa’,
Let him on wi’ me!

By Oppression’s woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
LIBERTY’S in every blow!—
Let us Do or Die!

Robert Burns

26 November 2010

The Vanity of this Life

Whatever kind of tribulation we may suffer, this should always be our goal: to learn contempt for the present life, and thus be led to meditate on the life to come. ...Our folly comes from the fact that our minds are more or less dazzled by the false glitter of wealth, honour and power, which are superficially attractive and which stop us looking further ahead. By the same token our heart is full of greed, ambition, and other evil desires, and is held so fast by them that it cannot look higher up. Lastly, our entire soul seeks its happiness here on earth, because it is wrapped and entangled in the pleasures of the flesh.

To remedy this evil, the Lord teaches his servants to recognize the vanity of this present life, carefully training them by means of various afflictions. Lest they look forward in this life to peace and tranquility, he allows war, turmoil, theft and other evils to upset and trouble them. Lest they thirst too much  for ephemeral wealth or trust too fondly n the wealth they have, he reduces them to poverty, sometimes by sending barrenness to the earth, sometimes by fire, sometimes by other means; or else he condemns them to bare sufficiency. Lest they delight too much in marriage, he gives them difficult or headstrong wives who torment them, or wayward children to humble them, or else afflicts them with the loss of spouse or children. If, however, in all these things he treats them kindly, to stop them becoming proud in their conceit and complacent through excessive confidence, he warns them by means of sickness or peril, and gives them as it were visible proof of how fragile and fleeting are the good things we enjoy, since they are subject to decay.

Thus the discipline of the cross is of great benefit to us when we understand that the present life, judged in itself, is full of worry, trouble and much misfortune. It is never completely happy at any time, and all the blessings we hold dear are transitory and uncertian, trifling and tinged with endless misery. The conclusion we draw then, is that here we must expect nothing but conflict. If we would seek  our crown, it is to heaven that we must look. We may be sure that our heart will never really learn to want the life to come, and to meditate on i, without first feeling disdain for this earhly life. (From A Guide to Christian Living by John Calvin, translated by Robert White, Banner of Truth, pgs. 87-91.)

This passage from John Calvin has helped more than many others to understand our place here on earth and the afflictions we all encounter. I hope it helps you as well.

25 November 2010


THE FIRST THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION - 20 JUNE 1676: "The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present War with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions."

Read more here and enjoy your day.

24 November 2010

Whate'er My God Ordains is Right

Catherine Winkworth (translated this hymn to English)
Verse four of Whate'er My God Ordains is Right is such a powerful reminder to us of God's loving Providence in our lives...

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

23 November 2010

Saul Anointed

We see in 1 Samuel 9:1 - 10:16:

1. God's plan is in place by Providence
2. God's plan is interpreted by prophecy
3. God's plan is under girded by promise

22 November 2010

20 November 2010

Pink on Sin

The Bible lays open, as no other book, the turpitude (shameful depravity) and horrid nature of sin as “that abominable thing” which God “hates” (Jer. 4:4), and which we are to detest and shun. It never gives the least indulgence or disposition to sin, nor do any of its teachings lead to licentiousness. It sternly condemns sin in all its forms, and makes known the awful curse and wrath of God which are its due. It not only reproves sin in the outward lives of men, but discovers the secret faults of the heart which is its chief seat. It warns against the first motions, and legislates for the regulating of our spirits, requiring us to keep clean the fountain from which are “the issues of life.” Its promises are made unto holiness, and its blessings bestowed upon “the pure in heart.” The ineffable (that which cannot be expressed) and exalted holiness of the Bible is its chief and peculiar excellence, as it is also the principal reason why it is disliked by the majority of the unregenerate. The Bible forbids all impure desires and unjust thoughts as well as deeds. It prohibits envy (Prov. 23:17), and all forms of selfishness (Rom. 15:1). It requires us to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1), and bids us to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22). Heavenly doctrine is to be matched with heavenly character and conduct. Its requirements penetrate into the innermost recesses of the soul, exposing and censuring all the corruptions found there. The law of man goes no farther than “Thou shall not steal,” but that of God “Thou shalt not covet.” The law of man prohibits the act of adultery, but the law of God reprehends (finds fault with, censures, blames) the looking upon a woman “to lust after her” (Matthew 5:28). The law of man says, “Thou shalt not murder,” that of God forbids all ill-will, malice or hatred (1 John 3:15). It strikes directly at that which fallen nature most cherishes and craves. “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you” (Luke 6:26). It prohibits the spirit of revenge enjoins the forgiveness of injuries. and, contrary to the self-righteousness of our hearts, inculcates humility.

Such a task calls for Divine aid, hence help and grace need to be earnestly and definitely sought of the Holy spirit each day. And as, so many today are just playing with the solemn realities of God, never embracing and making them their own. How about you, reader? Is this true of you? - A.W. Pink

16 November 2010

1 John Week 7

This is week 7 of our 1 John study. We look at how John describes Cain as the prototype of hate and Christ as the prototype of love.

10 November 2010

How to Lead a Tranquil Life

...In seeking to know how to lead a tranquil life, Scripture insists that we should resign ourselves and all we have to God, surrendering to him our dearest desires, that he might tame and master them. ...We have a prodigious hatred and fear of poverty, obscurity and disgrace, which is why we do our best to run from them. The result is that people who live according to their own counsel are dogged by constant anxiety: they will therefore try any stratagem, and put themselves through all kinds of torment, to attain whatever ambition and greed impel them to seek, and to escape poverty and loss of status.

There is a path which believers must follow if they would avoid falling into this trap. First, they must cease to wish, hope or imagine they can prosper apart from the blessing of God. That is the only thing on which they can safely lean and rely. ...The fact is that, when problems abound, only God's blessing will find a way through, and ensure a good outcome in all we do. (Taken from A Guide to Christian Living by John Calvin, Banner of Truth, pgs. 44-46.)

This lengthy quote is simply to say that we too often, even as believers, are fearful of the wrong things. We seek to maintain what is not important while we seek after what will perish. Only the Lord makes life truly a blessing in whatever circumstances we are in.

09 November 2010


Redeemer's sermon series on 1 Samuel continues this week as we examine 7:2-17.

There is no gospel without deliverance, there is no deliverance without repentance, there is no repentance without rememberance and there is no rememberance without an Ebenezer.

08 November 2010

1 John Week 6

Our outstanding study of 1 John continues this week with a look at 2:29 through 3:10.

02 November 2010

01 November 2010

The First Drink....

“How is it that the first drink from a tankard tastes best? Perhaps it’s on account of sin, because our flesh and our lips are sinful.” - Martin Luther