29 April 2016

This 'n' That

Nothing whatever, whether great or small, can happen to a believer, without God’s ordering and permission.

The providential government of God over everything in this world is a truth of which the Greek and Roman philosophers had no conception. It is a truth which is specially revealed to us in the word of God. Just as the telescope and microscope show us that there is order and design in all the works of God’s hand, from the greatest planet down to the least insect, so does the Bible teach us that there is wisdom, order, and design in all the events of our daily life. There is no such thing as ‘chance,’ tu‘luck,’ or ‘ accident’ in the Christian’s journey through this world. All is arranged and appointed by God. And all things are ‘working together’ for the believer’s good. (Romans 8:28)

Let us seek to have an abiding sense of God’s hand in all that befalls us, if we profess to be believers in Jesus Christ. Let us strive to realize that a Father’s hand is measuring out our daily portion, and that our steps are ordered by Him. A daily practical faith of this kind, is one grand secret of happiness, and a mighty antidote against murmuring and discontent. We should try to feel in the day of trial and disappointment, that all is right and all is well done. We should try to feel on the bed of sickness that there must be a ‘needs be.’ We should say to ourselves, ‘God could keep away from me these things if He thought fit. But He does not do so, and therefore they must be for my advantage. I will lie still, and bear them patiently. I have ‘an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure.’ (2 Samuel 23:5) What pleases God shall please me.
J.C. Ryle 
Looks like there's no need for me to chime in further. With that, please take a few moments to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

27 April 2016

The Dividing Doctrines of Grace


Have you ever met a theological fence-sitter? These are those who like to have their proverbial cake and eat it too. They epitomize the old adage, "love the one you are with" so as not to anger any.

This phenomenon is found in various circles and even in many professing Christian circles, but the ones of whom I write today are those who waver with the wind in regard to their soteriological profession. One can almost imagine the Apostle Paul shaking his head at the mere thought.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

22 April 2016

This 'n' That

It's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Facebook. A primary reason for this disdain is the ease with which people can post—and gullible or naïve people can believe—nonsense. One article disseminates inaccurate information and others pounce on that information and accept it as truth just because someone from their favorite Facebook group provided it.

photo credit: Social Media via photopin (license)
This reliance on Facebook for health, news, and other information can be dangerous. For example, I recently saw an article making the rounds about the dangers of a particular medicine. The same article contained multiple typos, spelling errors (including misspelling the name of the product it was lambasting), and lacked links back to its original sources. Nevertheless, people were reading it, commenting on it, and accepting its truthfulness without investigating the actual source or some of its rather spurious claims.

This is a problem. It's as if we open up Facebook and lose our common sense. If it's on Facebook, it must be true. This mindset must be squelched. Let's read everything with discernment, not just theological articles. If folks had done their research on this particular article, they would see that it was reporting an event that occurred four years ago. In addition, the reported incident appears to have been adequately investigated and addressed by the appropriate authorities. In short, this poorly written, unsourced article should not be the primary source for one's decision to use or not use this particular drug.

We Christians love to talk about discernment, but sometimes we just need to exercise some good, old- fashioned common sense. If we would do this for practical and doctrinal matters we might not have to wade through so much social media sludge.

Of course, the best of us can still come across and share a less-than-adequate article, so let's also remember to have grace with one another. With that, please use that same common sense, discernment, and grace as you enjoy your week in review ( kind of):

17 April 2016

Equipping Eve: Healing Photos


A recent article in Christianity Today discusses the alleged “healing” nature of boudoir photography. In this episode of Equipping Eve, we’ll see what God’s Word has to say about this disturbing new trend.

Click here to listen to this most recent episode of Equipping Eve.

This episode discusses the following article: "Finding Healing in Front of the Camera."

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: Selfie Righteousness
Equipping Eve: Crayolas and Quiet Time
Equipping Eve: Perfect Perspicuity

Sunday Morning Praise

Jesus Paid It All

15 April 2016

This 'n' That

I have some shocking news for you. Those with food allergies, beware.

If you look at the photos to the right you will notice something very peculiar. Are you ready? A bag of cashews contains...are you ready for it? CASHEWS! Oh, horror of allergen horrors! Who would have ever suspected such a thing?

Is this what we've come to in our society? Have we taken food allergy paranoia to such an extreme that we have to warn people that a bag of cashews contains cashews? What is wrong with us? When did common sense become so rare?

As someone who does have some food allergies and/or sensitivities, I get it. I appreciate knowing what a product contains so that I don't chow down and then keel over in pain 30 minutes later. Still, we have to be honest and realize that our society has made an idol out of so-called "healthy eating." We are obsessed with it and at times I wonder if many (not all) of these allergies or sensitivities are either exaggerated, self-induced, or made up entirely. The result? Ridiculous warnings that a bag of cashews contains cashews.

We often hear admonitions against making idols out of things such as power, wealth, or material possessions, but do we realize that we can idolize so much more?

Of course, ultimately, the problem is not food, or fame, or money. It is pride and/or a desire for control. It is sin and none of us are exempt even from the sin of idolatry. May we earnestly pray that God would strip away this sin as He grows and sanctifies us to look more like His Son, our precious Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh well, the good news is that this blog is entirely free of all of the most common allergens. With that in mind, now you can breathe easy as you sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

08 April 2016

This 'n' That

Now, let me say a word or two in reply to certain questions. But must not a man repent as well as believe? Reply: No man ever believed but what he repented at the same time. Faith and repentance go together. they must. If I trust Christ to save me from sin, I am at the same time repenting of sin, and my mind is changed in relation to sin, and everything else that has to do with its state. All the fruits meet for repentance are contained in faith itself. You will never find that a man who trusts Christ remains an enemy of God, or a lover of sin. The fact that he accepts the atonement provided is proof positive that he loathes sin, and that his mind is thoroughly changed in reference to God. 
Moreover, as to all the graces which are produced in the Christian afterwards, are they not all to be found in embryo in faith? "Only believe, and you shall be save," is the cry which many sneer at, and others misunderstand; but do you know what "only believe" means? Do you know what a world of meaning lies in that word? Read that famous chapter to the Hebrews, and see what faith has done and is still able to do, and you will see that it is no trifle. Wherever there is faith in a man let it but develop itself and there will be a purging of himself from sin, a separating himself from the world, a conflict with evil, and a warring for the glory of Christ, which nothing else could produce. 
Faith is in itself one of the noblest of graces; it is the compendium of all virtues; and as sometimes there will lie within one single ear enough seed to make a whole garden fertile, so, within that one word "faith," there lies enough of virtue to make earth blessed; enough of grace, if the Spirit make it to grow, to turn the fallen into the perfect. Faith is not the easy and light thing men think. Far are we from ascribing salvation to the profession of a mere creed, we loathe the idea; neither do we ascribe salvation to a fond persuasion, but we do ascribe salvation to Jesus Christ, and the obtaining of it to that simple, child like confidence which lovingly casts itself into the arms of him who gave both his hands to the nail and suffered to the death for the sins of his people. He who believes, then, is saved—rest assured of that. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."
—Charles Spurgeon, "Faith and Regeneration
Sometimes you just need a little Spurgeon, am I right? It just seemed like one of those days. So now that I've let Spurgeon do the important talking, while you reflect on his words why not take some time to enjoy your week in review (kind of):