Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Glories of Christ

He is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness; He is sufficient for creation, salvation, sanctification, and glorification; He is so pure that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, lying, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection; He is so complete that there is no other God besides Him; He is the only begotten Son; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him; the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him; He is heir of all things; He created all things and all things were made by him, through Him, and for Him; He upholds all things by the word of His power; He is the firstborn of all creation; He is the exact representation of God; He is the only Mediator between God and man; He is the Sun that enlightens; the Physician that heals; the Wall of Fire that defends; the Friend that comforts; the Pearl that enriches; the Ark that supports; the Rock to sustain under the heaviest of pressures; He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high; He is better than the angels; better than Moses; better than Aaron; beter than Joshua; better than Melchizedek; better than all the prophets; greater than Satan; and stronger than death; He has no beginning and no end; He is the spotless Lamb of God; He is our Peace; He is our Hope; He is our Life; He is the living and true Way; He is the Strength of Israel; He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star; He is Faithful and True; He is the Author and Finisher of our faith; He is the Captain of our Salvation; He is the Champion; He is the Elect One; He is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He is the Righteous Servant; He is the Lord of Hosts, the Redeemer-the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth; He is the Man of Sorrows; He is the Light; He is the Son of Man; He is the Vine; He is the Bread of Life; He is the Door; He is Lord; He is Prophet, Priest and King; He is our Sabbath rest; He is our Righteousness; He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; He is the Chief Shepherd; He is Lord God of hosts; He is Lord of the nations; He is the Lion of Judah; the Living Word; the Rock of Salvation; the Eternal Spirit; He is the Ancient of Days; Creator and Comforter; Messiah; and He is the great I AM.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

William Cowper's Hymn

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way
his wonders to perform;
He plants his footstpes in the sea,
and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs
and works his sovereign will.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
in blessings on your head.

His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
and scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,
and he will make it plain.

A call to faith and humility when God seems far from our hearts. (Psalm 40:1-3)

Monday, March 14, 2011

A good Reminder

John Piper's response when asked the question "Why should I want to be a Christian?"

"All of our wants are either toward something or away from something, aren't they?
In other words, I don't want pain and I do want pleasure. And those are just two words to use. You can use other words: discomfort, agony, horror. Or pick the pains that you don't like: loneliness, etc.
So there's a whole group of things that we don't want. And then there's a whole group of things that we do want: pleasure, delight, joy, satisfaction.
Christianity is Christ Jesus the Son of God, eternal, coming into the world to save sinners who have earned for themselves God's punishment because of our neglecting God, rebelling against God, ignoring God, despising God, refusing God, walking away from God, minimizing God.
Everybody has done this. Christians still do it, unbelievers do it. Nobody owns up to the value of God to the degree that we should. And God is infinitely valuable and infinitely worthy of our trust and our love. Yet nobody does it. Therefore we're all under his just judgment and we're going to be sentenced one day to a lake of fire called the second death or hell.
And to trust in Jesus' work on our behalf, when he died in our place, delivers us from the wrath to come.
So the first reason is the negative one: all those horrible things that will come upon us if we continue to rebel against God won't come upon us if we trust in Christ who offers himself to us as a way of escape.
So that's the negative side. But far more satisfying is, "Why would you want to get out of hell? Or why would you want to have your sins forgiven? Or why would you want to be reconciled with God?" And the answer to those questions is, "To have infinite satisfaction with God forever and ever."
A clean conscience? Yes. Forgiven sins? Yes. Out of hell? Yes. In heaven? Yes. New heavens and new earth? Yes. Lion lying down with the lamb? Yes. Restored with Mom and Dad who were Christians? Yes. But that's not the ultimate satisfaction.
The ultimate satisfaction is that you are going to be with Jesus. You're going to see infinite glory in Jesus.
So why should you want—want—to be a Christian? It's because you don't want eternal pain. You do want eternal pleasure.
Hell is eternal pain, and we're all going there without believing in Jesus. And God is eternal pleasure: "In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
So if you want full pleasures—that is, 100%, not 85% or 99%—and eternal pleasures—not just 80 years, but 80 ages of years—then become a Christian. That is, renounce self-reliance and embrace Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord and Treasure of your life. And you will have infinite pleasures in his presence forever.
I think that's a pretty good reason for wanting to be a Christian."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Like a Fetter

For the past few months, the old great hymn - "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" has been swirling around in my head. If you've been around me for any period of time, you've probably heard me humming, whistling, singing this tune. In fact, I even have three different versions of it on my Ipod. It has captured my heart in many ways.

But one particular verse has stood out to me. Its the final verse, and it goes like this:

O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above.

Its a great verse, and I have been chewing on it for a while. But I wonder, how often do we pray like the hymn writer does here? "Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee." This folks, is what a fetter looks like. An image of bondage, submission, surrender.

My wandering, prideful heart will immediately get its first thought out: "Don't listen to this. You don't need this. You deserve to be free! You can do this on your own. Live for yourself. Forget everything else." But never, will my heart be free. I was created to worship. The question is, what will be the object of my worship?

Every person is a worshipper of something. But is what we're worshipping worthy? What we worship is what we plan our lives around - our time, our future, our actions, our relationships, our finances, our thoughts. If you're a pervert, you worship sex. If you're greedy, you worship money. If you're a glutton, you worship food. The list goes on and on: success, fame, the big house, the new car, you name it. Is it worth it? These things aren't bad, but when we start worshipping creation instead of Creator, our object of worship will ultimately fail us.

That is why the hymn writer can confidently pray like he does in this final verse. And that is why I have started praying like this. Because I know, without a doubt, that if God didn't chain me, like a fetter; if he didn't bind my wandering heart; if he didn't seal my heart for the courts above, that I would leave Him in a second. My heart would run, and pervert the act of worship I was made to partake in.

And when we run, we miss out on the fulness of God' beautiful promises.
Jeremiah 32:38-41 "And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul."

So I pray. And I encourage you as well. For the Christian and non-Christian alike, stop running from the God who longs with all His heart and all His soul to do you good. In Him is all that we were made to worship. Is He worth it? Incomparably so, He is worth it. 

Above all else, to the God who sent His son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of man, for this alone You are worthy of all praise. 

Let us embrace the God who saved us from our sins. Let Him become our most valued treasure. O God, let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.

To express these thoughts far better than I ever could:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meditations of Econ 270

During environmental economics class...

Where, O' Joy, are Thee to find?

Of no glory I deserve -
Running from my God and Father.
Bound by idols I hate to serve,
Of His love I payed no bother.
But He from whom all blessing flow,
Who loved me 'fore I e'er had breath,
With all patience forever He'll show -
He shall save me from final death.
Conquering Lion who's Kingdom reigns -
My life I give to spread thy fame.
Because the Lamb by the cross was slain,
No longer I live in sin and shame.
Where, O' Joy, are Thee to find?
From you, O' God, my Joy will shine.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Life

So it begins...the infamous tool of blogging to express opinions, vent thoughts, and to get your "two cents" in. What shall I say? Should I state the typical "Well, I never though I'd start one of these." so common of the first timer? Or shall I dive right in, telling people what's on my mind, what grinds my gears, boils my oil, moves my heart?

But rather, I feel an explanation is due. For most of my life, I would have hated the idea of blogging. Expressing my thoughts and opinions for everyone to read? Absurd. Terrifying. Ludicrous. My book was closed, and no one was going to crack it open.

That is, until half way through my senior year of high school when Jesus Christ forced his way into my life one January night in 2009. The suffocating presence of His unconditional love, the beautiful callings of His amazing grace, and the overwhelming weight of my sinful life led me to surrender the battle I wasn't going to win.

Jesus wrote me in his book and he took my book and wrote his name in it too. He took my life and gave me forgiveness, gave me purpose, gave me redemption, gave me hope, and gave me joy. A new story was being written in my book, and the author was Jesus Christ. He gave me a New Life.

And that is why this blog exists. Jesus Christ gave me a story to tell and I can't help but share it. Because He is my treasure and joy, I live for Him. He is my God, my Savior, my Friend, my King. He is alive, reigning now and will reign forever more. And I seek to live in never ending awe before Him, Before the Throne.