A few weeks ago I had more good stuff than I could cram into a sermon. Here are some leftover quotes I would have used if the sermon had lasted 2 hours!
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in this psalm] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.’” Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1965), 20.
“If I have observed anything by experience, it is this: a man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace according to his thoughts and meditations upon the person of Christ, and the glory of Christ’s Kingdom, and of His love.” - John Owen
“Sin is therefore fundamentally opposition to God, rebellion against God, which roots in hatred of God.” – Anthony Hoekema
“Reminding ourselves of the Gospel is the most important daily habit we can establish. If the Gospel is the most vital news in the world, and if salvation by grace is the defining truth of our existence, we should create ways to immerse ourselves in these truths every day. No days off allowed. . .Your audience is your own heart. And the message is simple: Christ died for you sins. It’s a matter of sitting down, grabbing your own attention, and telling yourself, “Hey, listen up! This is what matters most: You’re forgiven! You have hope! Your hope is based on the sacrifice of Jesus. So lets’ not view this day any other way. Let today be governed by this one defining truth.” (Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney pg. 132‐133).
“God did not give us His Gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness... We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the Gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do.” (The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent pg 5).
“My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, He is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me.” (Morning and Evening‐Sept 25 by C.H. Spurgeon)
"There is simply no other way to compete with foreboding of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the Gospel.” (The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent, p. 14)
“You are loved and accepted by God through the merit of Jesus, and you are blessed by God through the merit of Jesus. Nothing you ever do will cause Him to love you any more or any less. (Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges, p 73)
“Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee‐it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee‐it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument‐it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to they faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.” (Morning and Evening‐ June 28 by C.H. Spurgeon.)
“Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him and say, ‘Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You took on you what was mine; yet set on me what was yours. You became what you were not, that I might become what I was not’.” (Martin Luther)
“There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live... it is always on His ‘blood and righteousness’ alone that we can rest.” (B.B. Warfield)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I don't know if you have ever wondered if you have received grace from God that will save you. I know I've had that question. I have counseled many people who wonder if they are truly saved. This morning the Lord laid a few of them on my heart to pray for specifically...and the very next thing I read was this hymn by John Newton, hymn #119 in the Olney Hymnal, called Lovest Thou Me? I hope it encrouages you.
’Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought;
Do I love the LORD, or no?
Am I his, or am I not?
If I love, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
Who have never heard his name!
Could my heart so hard remain,
Prayer a task and burden prove;
Every trifle give me pain,
If I knew a Savior’s love?
When I turn my eyes within,
All is dark, and vain, and wild;
Filled with unbelief and sin,
Can I deem myself a child?
If I pray, or hear, or read,
Sin is mixed with all I do;
You that love the LORD indeed,
Tell me, Is it thus with you?
Yet I mourn my stubborn will,
Find my sin, a grief, and thrall;
Should I grieve for what I feel,
If I did not love at all?
Could I joy his saints to meet,
Choose the ways I once abhorred,
Find, at times, the promise sweet,
If I did not love the LORD?
Lord decide the doubtful case!
Thou who art thy people’s sun;
Shine upon thy work of grace,
If it be indeed begun.
Let me love thee more and more,
If I love at all, I pray;
If I have not loved before,
Help me to begin today.
Monday, May 03, 2010
I read the following prayer in church yesterday and had people request a copy. Here it is. My attempt to preach the gospel to myself as I pray.
Glorious God of Eternity, open my eyes to the grandeur of your throne. Remind me of the myriads that attend you, of the glory of your kingdom, of your infinite, unmatched and unstoppable power. Not that I may be frightened away, but that I might be the more certain that you are able to accomplish that which concerns me.
Convince me anew of your love for me. Remind my soul of the humility of the incarnation, the inhumanity of the trial, the agony of the cross. I want to know again, that you demonstrated your love in this, that while I was a sinner Christ died for me. I want to rest in the certainty that if you did not spare him, how will you not care for me in more minor details.
And, glory, you are wise beyond words. Your understanding has no limits.
You love me and are disposed to my best interest. You are completely beyond opposition and able to act in my best interest. And, you know, in every possible situation, what that best interest will be.
Cause me to humble myself before an awesome God whose desire for my good has no reservations. Why would I rebel against such a king as this? Why would I not surrender completely to Him? Oh God, let me be completely yours. Make my thoughts, words, actions and beliefs match what I know to be true about you and the gospel!