28 February 2011

Insights from the Book of Job

Mining for Wisdom: A Twenty-Eight-Day Devotional Based on the Book of Job
An insightful and simply wonderful book I have been enjoying lately is Mining for Wisdom: A Twenty-Eight Day Devotional Based on the Book of Job by Derek Thomas. This is an exceptional work that should be read by all and indeed by those who are hurting. Let me share just one excerpt we can all learn from:

...Every disciple of Jesus can expect to engage the implications of cross-bearing. Christians will suffer for no apparent reason. They can find themselves victimized or ridiculed on account of their holiness, rather than as a judgement due to their lack of it. The closer we are to the King, the more likely we are to the enemy's fire.

Job is only glimpsing it here from a distance here, and only for a brief moment. Quickly the light fades and darkness descends once more. Whatever hope there is lies in the future; the present is torture. His every conscious moment is filled with pain, and Job cannot escape the thought that Gods is unwilling to do anything about it. Slowly but surely, as water erodes stone, Job's hope fades away (14:19). He is left only with the nightmare of his pain.

...There is a loneliness to suffering that goes deeper than words. We were created for companionship and mutual support and when these things are gone, the chasm left is vast and daunting. It is the haunting cry that says, 'Nobody understands me. Nobody cares!'

...Have you ever felt like that? Perhaps you have not uttered it quite as starkly as Job does here; and perhaps you have. It is at such moments that we need to recall our Saviour's words:"My God, my God, what have you forsaken me?' (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). He too, experienced the abandonment of a suffering that, to all outward appearances, made no sense at all.

What was it that helped Jesus through the darkness of Gethsemane and the cross? What the book of Hebrews calls, 'the joy that was set before Him" (Heb. 12:2). Knowing that heaven awaits every child of God keeps us going through the darkest periods. (pgs. 84-85 emphasis mine.)

This book is just too good to pass up. We all need to understand how to get through those difficult periods of adversity in our lives and this work by Thomas helps us understand how the book of Job sheds light on those times.

26 February 2011

The Famous Painting

As I have this painting hanging proudly in my study (or man-cave as my wife calls it) I found the post on it's history by my good friend R. Andrew Myers quite interesting. Give it a read here.

Fair City of Perth

Good stuff from my friends at Rampant Scotland...

24 February 2011

Bonar on Justification

Hortius Bonar
 Man has always treated sin as a misfortune, not a crime; as disease, not guilt; as a case for the physician, not for the judge. Herein lies the essential faultiness of all mere human religions or theologies. They fail to acknowledge the judicial the aspect of the question, as that on which the real answer must hinge; and to recognize the guilt or criminality of the evil-doer as that which must first be dealt with before any real answer, or approximation to an answer, can be given. - From The Everlasting Righteousness; Or, How Shall Man Be Just with God? by Horatius Bonar

23 February 2011

Covenant Love 1 Samuel 20

Outstanding sermon on the friendship of David and Jonathan and how it foreshadows the work of Christ in the believer and the church.

22 February 2011

Use Those Scriptures

Jerry Bridges
...Let me emphasize that trusting God does not mean we do not experience pain. It means we believe God is at work through the occasion of our pain for our ultimate good. It means  we work back through the Scriptures regarding His sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness and ask Him to use those Scriptures to bring peace and comfort to our hearts. It means, above all, that we do not sin against God by allowing distrustful and hard thoughts about Him to hold sway in our minds. It will often mean that  we may have to say. "God I don't understand, but I trust You." - From Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.

What a comfort it is knowing God is in the midst of our pain and adversity. Indeed, He is behind it. We can have confidence that we are where we are by His merciful will.

16 February 2011

Are we ready?

Joel Osteen found himself forced to answer a question that every Christian — and certainly every Christian leader — will be forced to answer. When that moment comes, and come it will, those who express confidence in the Bible’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin will find themselves facing the same shock and censure from the very same quarters. - Al Mohler

Mohler nails when he states that we'll all have to answer tough questions some day. Sooner or later someone, knowing or not knowing of our faith, will ask, what do you think about __________? We are Biblically bound to answer. Are we ready?


To [Piers] Morgan, making any moral judgment amounts to judgmentalism. Of course, this leads logically to total moral insanity, since the only way to avoid being identified with judgmentalism is to make no moral judgments whatsoever — which no sane person can do.

Ever been accused of that? If not, you will be. So, let's be ready. Let's be armed with the Word of God and be ready to answer the world. Let's not shrink back from the attack for as Mohler concludes, "Most Christians will not face that question on national television, but on a college campus, in a family discussion, in the workplace, or in the heat of debate. But, whatever the circumstances, that moment will soon come."

15 February 2011

Historical Methodology

Carl Trueman
If you're in the mood for something juicy to sink your teeth into head over to Reformed Forum and listen to their interview with Carl Trueman on his latest book Histories and Fallacies. Trueman is always engaging and  the RF gang are great hosts. Have a listen here.

Joshua to Esther Survey Week 6

Our survey continues this week as begin to examine 1&2 Kings and 1&2 Chronicles.

12 February 2011

Never will I leave you

Jerry Bridges
We all struggle with difficult circumstances, with adversity and pain. Often it is for a short time but for some of us it can last for months or years. I have found Jerry Bridges' book Trusting God a wonderful and insightful encouragement for these times. I'll be posting some of the best he has to share in the coming weeks but one portion was so striking that I want to share it today. From his chapter, Choosing to Trust God:

We must lay hold of some of the great promises of His constant care for us. One such promise we will do well to store up in our hearts is Hebrews 13:5: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." The Puritan preacher Thomas Lye remarked that in this passage the Greek has five negatives and my thus be rendered, "I will not, not leave thee; neither will I not, not forsake thee." Five times God emphasized to us that He will not forsake us. He wants us to firmly grasp the truth that whatever circumstances may indicate, we must believe, on the basis of His promise that He has not forsaken us or left us to the mercy of those circumstances.

Let us praise God for His infinite wisdom and watchful care in our lives.

03 February 2011

Heidelberg or Westminster Catechism?

How about both:

Dr.Calhoun has many classes available on iTunes. Over the years I've listened to many and have learned much and benefited greatly. Take some time to review what is available from Covenant Seminary.