Thoughts on the Way Home

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Iain Murray on the Love of God in the Gospel

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No subject places higher demands upon the gospel preacher than the subject of the love of God. If the cross is the pulpit from which the love of God is made known, why is it not more widely heard among us? Has our emphasis moved from the apostolic center? Sometimes a lack of concentration on the love of God is justified by the argument that love is too prominent in the false religion of our times. It is true that speaking of the love of God apart from Christ is a false gospel. But the prevalence of the false ought to make us the more ready to preach the true. The confidence which non-Christians sometimes say they have in divine love is not the love of God at all.

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The source of our weakness as evangelists is that we are not living close enough to the fountainhead of love. Faithfulness and conscientiousness may be enough to enable us to say something on the law and judgment of God, but we cannot speak well of the love of God to sinners unless we are personally familiar with it and persuaded of it. What is at the forefront of our experience is going to be at the forefront of our preaching . . . of all the graces needed to make Christ known, the greatest is love. The preachers who have had much of this grace of love, even though sometimes deficient in other respects, have been those used of God to a remarkable degree.

-Iain Murray


HT: Mack T
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Handcrafted by Grace

"By the grace of God I am what I am..." - 1 Corinthians 15:10


It is liberating to realize you don't have to be anything other than what you are. Every gift and ability you possess is handcrafted by grace to bring God pleasure. The Church doesn't need you to preach like Piper or think like Edwards or labor like Carey - the church needs exactly what God has given you, no more and no less.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hard Thoughts of God

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John Owen:

Flesh and blood is apt to have very hard thoughts of him — to think he is always angry, yea, implacable; that it is not for poor creatures to draw nigh to him. . .

Many saints have no greater burden in their lives than that their hearts do not come clearly and fully up, constantly to delight and rejoice in God — that there is still an indisposedness [unwillingness] of spirit unto close walking with him.

What is at the bottom of this distemper?

Is it not their unskillfulness in or neglect of this duty, even of holding communion with the Father in love?

So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more.

Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from him; but if the heart be once much taken up with this the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto him.

This, if anything, will work upon us to make our abode with him.

If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will?

Put, then, this to the venture: exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father, and see if your hearts be not wrought upon to delight in him. I dare boldly say: believers will find it as thriving a course as ever they pitched on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a further discovery of the sweetness of the streams. You who have run from him, will not be able, after a while, to keep at a distance for a moment.

John Owen, Communion with the Triune God, pp. 126, 128.

HT: JT

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Some Proven Weapons in the Fight for Holiness

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When Paul says to put to death the deeds of the body “by the Spirit” (Romans 8:13), I take him to mean that we should use the one weapon in the Spirit’s armor that is used to kill. Namely, the sword. Which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
So when the body is about to be led into a sinful action by some fear or craving, we are to take the sword of the Spirit and kill that fear and that craving. In my experience that means mainly severing the root of sin’s promise by the power of a superior promise.
So, for example, when I begin to crave some illicit sexual pleasure, the sword-swing that has often severed the root of this promised pleasure is: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). I recall the pleasures I have tasted of seeing God more clearly from an undefiled conscience; and I recall the brevity and superficiality and oppressive aftertaste of sin’s pleasures, and with that, God has killed the conquering power of sin.
It is a beautiful thing to be the instrument of God’s word-wielding power to kill sin.
Having promises at hand that suit the temptation of the hour is one key to successful warfare against sin. But there are times when we don’t have a perfectly suited word from God in our minds. And there is no time to look through the Bible for a tailor-made promise.
So we all need to have a small arsenal of general promises ready to use whenever fear or craving threaten to lead us astray.
Here are a few of my most proven weapons . . .

Read the rest HERE.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

A Living Savior

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Christianity is all centered in a person. Conversion is not a mere change of human opinion; it is the devotion of our heart to a person. A converted man is not a man who just changes his views concerning certain facts, or theories, or doctrines--but he is a man whose heart has become devoted to a living Christ. All of your religion, if it is worth anything, will just be centered in a living personal Jesus.

- Archibald Brown

HT: Mack T

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A Truly Fragrant Life

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"A truly fragrant life is the one who is living in unbroken fellowship with Christ, under the influence of His presence, and with the inspiration of His love and grace."

-J. R. Miller

HT: Mack T

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