13 May 2016

This 'n' That

My cat has a toy fish pole (be patient, my lame illustration is going somewhere. At least, I'm going to try to make it go somewhere). This toy is simply a fiberglass rod with a string and a piece of fabric attached to the end of the string, but my cat loves that stupid fish pole. If he can find the fish pole, he'll sit and stare at it for what seems to be an interminable amount of time, intermittently also glancing over at me to see if I'll take the bait (pun intended) and pick it up to play with him.

Since it is difficult to refuse such a cute kitty, I'll often pick up the fish pole and dangle it for him to play. But...he doesn't play with it. He stares at it, then stares back at me, then gives me a look like I'm supposed to make the stupid fish pole do something more exciting than just dangle that piece of fabric. So while my cat knows by what means he may be entertained (i.e., by playing with the dangling fish pole), he often does not exert any effort of his own, and therefore he ends up not actually playing, even though he thinks he wants to (although, perhaps for him the real entertainment lies in watching me look a bit foolish, but that doesn't fit with this illustration...).

Isn't it sometimes like that with us? We know our Bible is sitting on our nightstand waiting to be read, and we know that reading it is the means by which we come to know God, to grow closer to Him, and to be challenged in obedience and our Christian walk, yet we do not appropriate those means as we should. We know that prayer is the means by which we talk to God, bringing Him our praise and thanksgiving, our confession and repentance, yet we do not appropriate the means of prayer as we should. Aren't there times—too many times—that we end up just sitting and staring at the "fish pole" of sanctification, expecting it to magically do its work without any effort of our own?

Now, to be clear, sanctification is a supernatural and sovereign work of God. At the same time, we as Christians are not to simply sit back and "let go, let God." No, the transforming effects of sanctification are wrought in us by various means, two of those being Scripture and prayer. These great gifts have been given to us as believers, but we must appropriate those means. We cannot just stare at them and hope they will do their work. Believer, are you working out your salvation with fear and trembling even as God works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13)?

Well, I'm not sure how sanctifying this weekly post is, but I hope it will at least give you a boost as you start your weekend. Without further ado, here is your week in review (kind of):
  • While we're on the topic, though I've mentioned it before, let me again commend to you Mike Riccardi's book, Sanctification.
  • Sometimes it's nice to see these types of human interest stories on the news.
  • Because I knew you'd want to know.
  • Yeah, and I'm sure they'd also be happy to plaster "Soli Deo gloria" on their buses, also right?
  • I am so thankful for the teaching and ministry of Phil Johnson. Do not miss this recent message he preached that was a survey of the book of Jeremiah.
  • Please be praying for my friend Lyndon and his family.
  • Look, if you want God to whisper to you, then read your Bible in a whisper. The canon is closed.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • It's fascinating to me that Steven Furtick won't answer these fairly easy questions.
  • An excellent sermon on Psalm 32 from Pastor Don Green.
  • Um...I feel like this is a problem
  • At the risk of being too blunt, this is dumb.
  • Christ among the candlesticks:


  1. Thank you very much for the link :) I hope you are doing well, Sister.

  2. Erin, thank you very much for including the links to these sermons! The late theologian, Dr. S. Lewis Johnson was a life-long close friend and former fellow Dallas Seminary student of our former late pastor. Dr. Johnson was also a friend, pastor, and Dallas Seminary instructor who helped train of our current pastor, so his godly influence lives on in many ways! I was privileged to hear Dr. Johnson preach in person many times because he came to Portland, Oregon every few years to preach at a spring or fall Bible Conference or at our summer church family camp. You can imagine what a blessing it was for me to hear his soothing voice again as I listened to him expound on Revelation 1, "Christ Amid the Candlesticks". Yesterday I listened to the other two sermons you included in this blog by Pastor Don Green and Pastor Phil Johnson as well. Again, thank you very much. Keep up the good work that others may hear such powerful sermons as well!


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