Sunday, August 26, 2012

Indelible Grace

From The Trinity Hymnal, 1990:
A Debtor to Mercy Alone 
1 A debtor to mercy alone,Of covenant mercy I sing;Nor fear, with thy righteousness on,My person and off'ring to bring.The terrors of law and of GodWith me can have nothing to do;My Saviour's obedience and bloodHide all my transgressions from view. 
2 The work which his goodness began,The arm of his strength will complete;His promise is Yea and Amen,And never was forfeited yet.Things future, nor things that are now,Nor all things below or above,Can make him his purpose forgo,Or sever my soul from his love. 
3 My name from the palms of his handsEternity will not erase;Impressed on his heart it remains,In marks of indelible grace.Yes, I to the end shall endure,As sure as the earnest is giv'n;More happy, but not more secure,The glorified spirits in heav'n. 
Written by Augustus Montague Toplady, 1740-1778

Notice the first stanza shows the imputed righteousness of Christ to us. Stanza two shows the Godward side of our security in Him and stanza three shows based on the truths of the first two stanzas, we will endure to the end. 
What a beautiful and comforting hymn!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sovereign Election in Psalms

Out of the mass of sinful humanity, God has set apart a chosen people for Himself. Each of these elect individuals will become increasingly godly:
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lordhears when I call to him. —Psalm 4:3
David teaches here that God “sets apart” the godly, an act that is synonymous with divine election. This choice was made before time began, and guarantees that all God’s chosen ones will be sanctified and become godly within time. God does not elect a person because he or she is godly, but in order that the person might become godly.
imgSpurgeon comments upon this verse, “The godly are the chosen of God, and are, by distinguishing grace, set apart and separated from among men. Election is a doctrine which unrenewed men cannot endure, but nevertheless, it is a glorious and well-attested truth, and one which should comfort the tempted believer. Election is the guarantee of complete salvation, and an argument for success at the throne of grace. He who chose us for Himself will surely hear our prayers.”
—Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 144.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Words of Jesus. The Good Shepherd.

The Words of Jesus is a 31 day devotional I am attempting to read daily. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.
The Good Shepherd
"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep — and My sheep know Me." — John 10:14
"The Good Shepherd" — well can the sheep who know His voice, attest the truthfulness and faithfulness of this endearing name and word. Where would they have been through eternity — had He not left His throne of light and glory, traveling down to this dark valley of the curse, and giving His life a ransom for them? Think of His love to each separate member of the flock — wandering over pathless wilds with unwearied patience and unquenchable ardor, ceasing not the pursuit — until He finds it. 
Think of His love now — "I AM the Good Shepherd." Still that tender eye of watchfulness following the guilty wanderers — the glories of Heaven and the songs of angels unable to dim or alter His affection — the music of the words, at this moment coming as sweetly from His lips as when first He uttered them, "I know My sheep." Every individual believer — the weakest, the weariest, the faintest — claims His attention. His loving eye follows me day by day out to the wilderness — marks out my pasture, studies my needs, and trials, and sorrows, and perplexities — every steep ascent, every brook, every winding path, every thorny thicket! 
"He goes before them." It is not rough driving — but gentle guiding. He does not take them over an unknown road; He Himself has trodden it before. He has drunk of every "brook by the way;" He Himself has "suffered being tempted;" He is "able to support those who are tempted." He seems to say, "Fear not! I cannot lead you wrong; follow Me in the bleak wasteland, the blackened wilderness — as well as by the green pastures and the still waters. Do you ask why I have left the sunny side of the valley — carpeted with flowers, and bathed in sunshine — leading you to some high mountain alone, some cheerless spot of sorrow? Trust Me! I will lead you by paths you have not known — but they are all known to Me, and selected by Me — Follow Me!" 
"My sheep know Me!" Reader! can you subscribe to these closing words of this gracious utterance? Do you "know" Him in all the glories of His person — in all the completeness of His finished work — in all the tenderness and unutterable love of His every dealing towards you? 
It has been remarked by Palestine travelers, that not only do the sheep there follow the guiding shepherd — but even while eating the herbage as they go along, they look wistfully up to see that they are near him. Is this your attitude — "looking unto Jesus?" "In all your ways acknowledge Him — and He will direct your paths." Leave the future — to His providing. "The Lord is my Shepherd — I shall not lack." I shall not lack! — it has been beautifully called "the bleating of Messiah's sheep." Take it as your watchword during your wilderness wanderings, until grace is perfected in glory. Let this be the record of your simple faith and unwavering trust, "These are those who follow — wherever He sees fit to guide them." "His sheep follow Him — for they know His voice."

For me today, and really every day, this is the challenge: "Is this your attitude — "looking unto Jesus?" "In all your ways acknowledge Him — and He will direct your paths." Leave the future — to His providing."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Words of Jesus. The Tender Solicitude.

The Words of Jesus is a 31 day devotional I am attempting to read daily. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.

The Tender Solicitude

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"The very hairs of your head are all numbered!" — Matthew 10:30

What a "word" is this! All that befalls you, to the very numbering of your hairs — is known to God! Nothing can happen by accident or chance. Nothing can elude His inspection. The fall of the forest leaf — the fluttering of the insect — the waving of the angel's wing — the annihilation of a world — all are equally noted by Him! Man speaks of great things and small things — but God knows no such distinction.

How especially comforting to think of this tender solicitude with reference to His own covenant people — that He metes out all their joys — and all theirsorrows! Every sweet--and every bitter--is ordained by Him. Even "wearisome nights" are "appointed." Not a pang I feel, not a tear I shed — but is known to Him. What are called "dark dealings," are the ordinations of undeviating faithfulness. Man may err — his ways are often crooked; "but as for God — His way is perfect!" He puts my tears into His bottle. Every moment His everlasting arms are underneath and around me. He keeps me "as the apple of His eye." He "bears" me as a man bears his own son!

Do I look to the FUTURE? Is there much of uncertainty and mystery hanging over it? It may be, much foreboding of evil. Trust Him. All is marked out for me. Dangers will be averted; bewildering mazes will show themselves to be interlaced and interweaved with mercy. "He keeps the feet of His saints." Not a hair of their head will be touched.

He leads sometimes darkly, sometimes sorrowfully; most frequently by cross and circuitous ways, which we ourselves would not have chosen; but alwayswisely, always tenderly. With all its mazy windings and turnings, its roughness and ruggedness — the believer's is not only a right way — but the right way — the best which covenant love and wisdom could select.

"Nothing," says Jeremy Taylor, "does so establish the mind amid the rollings and turbulence of present things — as both a look above them and a look beyond them; above them — to the steady and loving hand by which they are ruled; and beyond them — to the sweet and beautiful end to which, by that hand, they will be brought." "The Great Counselor," says Thomas Brooks, "puts clouds and darkness round about Him, bidding us follow at His beck through the cloud, promising an eternal and uninterrupted sunshine on the other side." On that "other side" we shall see how every apparent rough blast has been hastening our boats nearer the desired haven.

Well may I commit the keeping of my soul to Jesus in well-doing — as unto a faithful Creator. He gave Himself for me. This transcendent pledge of love — is the guarantee for the bestowment of every other needed blessing. Oh, blessed thought! my sorrows are numbered--by the Man of Sorrows; my tears are counted--by Him who shed first His tears, and then His blood for me! He will impose no needless burden, and exact no unnecessary sacrifice. There was no unnecessary drop in the cup of His own sufferings; neither will there be in that of His people. "Though He slays me — yet will I trust in Him!" "Therefore comfort one another with these words."

What an amazing little phrase by Jesus. And Macduff's comments are so helpful and encouraging. I especially am comforted by these words: "He puts my tears into His bottle. Every moment His everlasting arms are underneath and around me. He keeps me "as the apple of His eye." He "bears" me as a man bears his own son!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Words of Jesus. The Father Glorified.

The Words of Jesus is a 31 day devotional I am attempting to read daily. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.

The Father Glorified

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"Herein is My Father glorified — that you bear much fruit; showing yourselves to be My disciples." — John 15:8

When surveying the boundless ocean of covenant mercy — every wave chiming, "God is Love!" does
the thought ever present itself, "What can I do for this great Being who has done so much for me?" Recompense, I cannot! No more can my purest services add one iota to His un-derived glory, than the tiny candle can add to the blaze of the sun at noonday, or a drop of water to the boundless ocean. Yet, wondrous thought! from this worthless soul of mine there may roll in a revenue of glory which He who loves the broken and contrite spirit will "not despise." "Herein is My Father glorified — that you bear much fruit."

Reader! are you a fruit-bearer in your Lord's vineyard? Are you seeking to make life one grand act of consecration to His glory — one thank-offering for His unmerited love? You may be unable to exhibit much fruit in the eye of the world. Your circumstances and position in life may forbid you to point to any splendid services, or laborious and imposing efforts in the cause of God. It matters not. It is often those fruits that are unseen and unknown to man, ripening in seclusion — that He values most — the quiet, lowly walk — patience and submission — gentleness and humility — putting yourself unreservedly in His hands — willing to be led by Him even in darkness — saying, Not my will — but Your will — the unselfish spirit, the meek bearing of an injury, the unostentatious kindness; these are some of the "fruits" which your Heavenly Father loves, and by which He is glorified.

Perchance it may be with you the season of trial, the chamber of protracted sickness, the time of desolating bereavement, some furnace seven times heated. Herein, too, you may sweetly glorify your God. Never is your Heavenly Father more glorified by His children on earth, than when, in the midst of these furnace-fires, He listens to nothing but the gentle breathings of confiding faith and love, "Let Him do what seems good unto Him." Yes — you can, there in the furnace, glorify Him in a way which angels cannot do in a world where they have no trials. They can glorify God only with the crown; you can glorify Him with the cross and the prospect of the crown together! Ah, if He is dealing severely with you — if He, as the Great Gardener, is pruning His vines, loppingtheir boughs, and stripping off their luxuriant branches — remember the end! "He prunes it — that it may bring forth more fruit," and "Herein is My Father glorified!"

Be it yours to lie passive in His hands, saying in unmurmuring resignation, "Father, glorify Your name! Glorify Yourself, whether by giving — or taking, filling my cup — or "emptying me from vessel to vessel! Let me know no will but Yours!" Angels possess no higher honor and privilege than glorifying the God before whom they cast their crowns. How blessed to be able thus to claim brotherhood with the spirits in the upper sanctuary! No, more, to be associated with the Savior Himself in the theme of His own exalted joy, when He said, "I have glorified You on earth!" "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Words of Jesus. The Unveiled Dealings.

The Words of Jesus is a 31 day devotional I am attempting to read daily. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.

The Unveiled Dealings

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"You do not realize now what I am doing — but later you will understand." — John 13:7

O blessed day, when the long sealed book of mystery shall be unfolded, when the "fountains of the great deep shall be broken up," "the channels of the waters seen," and all discovered to be one vast revelation of unerring wisdom and ineffable love! Here we are often baffled at the Lord's dispensations; we cannot fathom His ways — like the well of Sychar — they are deep, and we have nothing to draw with. But soon the "mystery of God will be finished;" the enigmatical "seals," with all their inner meanings, opened. When that "morning without clouds" shall break, each soul will be like the angel standing in the sun — there will be no shadow; all will be perfect day!

Believer, be still! The dealings of your Heavenly Father may seem dark to you; there may seem now to be no golden fringe, no "bright light in the clouds;" but a day of disclosures is at hand. "Take it on trust a little while." An earthly child takes on trust what his father tells him: when he reaches maturity, much that was baffling to his infant comprehension is then explained. You are in this world in the childhood of your being — Eternity is the soul's immortal manhood. There, every dealing will be vindicated. It will lose all its "darkness" when bathed in floods "of the excellent glory!"

Ah! instead of thus being as weaned children, how apt are we to exercise ourselves in matters too high for us! not content with knowing that our Father wills it — but presumptuously seeking to know how it is, and why it is. If it is unfair to pronounce on theunfinished and incomplete works of man; if the painter, or sculptor, or artificer, would shrink from having his labors judged of when in a rough, unpolished, immature state — how much more so with the works of God! How we should honor Him by a simple, confiding, unreserved submission to His will — contented patiently to wait the fulfillment of this "later" promise, when all the lights and shadows in the now half-finished picture will be blended and melted into one harmonious whole — when all the now disjointed stones in the temple will be seen to fit into their appointed place — giving unity, and symmetry, and compactness to all the building.

And who is it that speaks these living "words," "What I am doing?" It is He who died for us! who now lives for us! Blessed Jesus! You may do much that our blind hearts would like undone — "terrible things in righteousness which we looked not for." The heaviest (what we may be tempted to call the severest) cross You can lay upon us we shall regard as only the apparent severity of unutterable and unalterable love. Eternity will unfold how all — all was needed; that nothing else, nothing less, could have done! If not now, at least then — the verdict on a calm retrospect of life will be this, "The Word of the Lord is right, and all His works are done in truth."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Smart-Ass Pastors

Smart-Ass, according to the Free Dictionary online, "n. Slang. A smart aleck." Ok. So then over to "smart aleck." It says, "smart aleck" or "smart arse."

There is no real definition, just some synonyms. Like...

The Words of Jesus. The Power of Prayer.

The Words of Jesus is a 31 day devotional I am attempting to read daily. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.

The Power of Prayer
"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"

"Whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do — that the Father may be glorified in the Son." — John 14:13

Blessed Jesus! it is You who has unlocked to Your people the gates of prayer. Without You, they must have been shut forever. It was Your atoning merit on earth that first opened them; it is Your intercessory work in Heaven that keeps them open still.

How unlimited the promise — "Whatever you shall ask!" It is the pledge of all that the needy sinner requires — all that an Omnipotent Savior can bestow! As the great Steward of the mysteries of grace, He seems to say to His faithful servants, "Take your request, and under this, My superscription, write what you please." And then, when the blank is filled up, He further endorses each petition with the words, "I WILL do it!"

He further encourages us to ask "in His name." In the case of an earthly petitioner there are some pleas more influential in obtaining a benefit than others. Jesus speaks of this as forming the key to the heart of God. As David loved the helpless cripple of Saul's house "for Jonathan's sake," so will the Father, by virtue of our covenant relationship to the true Jonathan (lit., "the gift of God"), delight in giving us even "exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think."

Reader, do you know the blessedness of confiding your every need and every care — your every sorrow and every cross — into the ear of the Savior? He is the "Wonderful Counselor." With an exquisitely tender sympathy, He can enter into the innermost depths of your need. That need may be great — but the everlasting arms are underneath it all. Think of Him now, at this moment — the great Angel of the Covenant, with the censer full of much incense, in which are placed your feeblest aspirations, your most burdened sighs — the odor-breathing cloud ascending with acceptance before the Father's throne. The answer may tarry — these your supplications may seem to be kept long on the wing, hovering around the mercy-seat. A gracious God sometimes sees it fitting thus to test the faith and patience of His people. He delights to hear the music of their importunate pleadings — to see them undeterred by difficulties — unrepelled by apparent forgetfulness and neglect. But He will come at last — the pent-up fountain of love and mercy will at length burst out — the soothing accents will in His own good time be heard, "Be it unto you according to your word!"

Soldier of Christ! with all your other armor, do not forget the weapon, "All-prayer." It is that which keeps bright and shining "the whole armor of God." While yet out in the night of a dark world — while still camping in an enemy's country — kindle your watch-fires at the altar of incense. You must be Moses — pleading on the Mount; if you would be Joshua — victorious in the world's daily battle. Confide your cause to this waiting Redeemer. You cannot weary Him with your importunity. He delights in hearing. He is glorified in giving. The memorable Bethany-utterance remains unaltered and unrepealed, "I know that You hear Me always." He is still the "Prince that has power with God and prevails" — He still promises and pleads — he still He lives and loves!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Intinction. Should We?

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is set to decide whether to ban the practice used by some churches known as intinction. Intinction is where the communicant dips the bread into the wine and then eats (thus not truly drinking). The PCA presbyteries will be voting,
"...on whether to amend BCO 58-5 by adding this sentence: “As Christ has instituted the Lord’s Supper in two sacramental actions, the communicants are to eat the bread and drink the cup in separate actions.”
If approved by 2/3 of the presbyteries, intinction will be banned. D. Clair Davis, a PCA Teaching Elder, former professor of church history at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia and now a Professor and Chaplain at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas, has written about this issue. Dr. Davis writes in part,
I appreciate this ‘decent and orderly’ process.  When all presbyteries consider changes to our Constitution, it is bound to bring more biblical wisdom to bear than when the GA alone with its limited time issues an opinion.  And as we consider to what extent GA ‘in thesi’ pronouncements are binding upon us, it can help to just avoid that issue and instead point to our Constitution, as amended.
Then, Dr. Davis concludes, 
A common identity is a wonderful thing, a true gift of the Holy Spirit.  It seems to me that supplementing PCA identity with a ban on intinction is disproportionate, divisive, and radically unwise.  I hope all our Presbyteries agree.
I don't have a strong opinion on intinction. I've been in churches where it is practiced. Seemed fine for me. We shall see what the PCA decides.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Words of Jesus. The Comforting Assurance.

The Words of Jesus is a 31 day devotional I am attempting to read daily. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.
The Comforting Assurance 
Acts 20:35, "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said,"
"Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things." — Matthew 6:32
Though spoken originally by Jesus regarding temporal things, this may be taken as a motto for the child of God amid all the changing vicissitudes of his changing history. How it should lull all misgivings; silence all murmurings; lead to lowly, unquestioning submissiveness, "My Heavenly Father knows that I have need of all these things!" 
Where can a child be safer or better — than in a father's hand? Where can the believer be better — than in the hands of his God? We are poor judges of what is best for us. We are under safe guidance with infallible wisdom. If we are tempted in a moment of rash presumption to say, "All these things are against me!" let this "word" rebuke the hasty and unworthy surmise. Unerring wisdom and Fatherly love, have pronounced all to be "needful." 
My soul, is there anything that is disturbing your peace? Are providences dark, or crosses heavy? Are spiritual props removed, creature comforts curtailed, gourds smitten and withered like grass? Write on each, "Your Father knows that you have need of all these things!" It was He who increased your burden. Why? "It was needed." It was He who crossed your worldly schemes, marred your cherished hopes. Why? "It was needed." A pleasant flower in the coveted path — it was supplanting Himself — He had to remove it! There was some higher spiritual blessing in communion with God. 
Seek to cherish a spirit of more childlike confidence in your Heavenly Father's will. You are not left unfriended and alone to buffet the storms of the wilderness. Your Marahs as well as your Elims are appointed by Him. A gracious pillar-cloud is before you. Follow it through sunshine and storm. He may "lead you about," but He will not lead you wrong. Unutterable tenderness is the characteristic of all His dealings. "Blessed be His name," says a tried believer, "He makes my feet like hinds' feet" (literally,"equals" them), "He equals them for every precipice, every ascent, every leap." 
And who is it that speaks this quieting word? It is He who Himself felt the preciousness of the assurance during His own awful sufferings, that all were needed, and all appointed; that from Bethlehem's cradle to Calvary's Cross — there was not an unnecessary thorn in the crown of sorrow which He, the Man of Sorrows, bore. Every drop in His bitter cup was mingled by His Father: "This cup which You give Me to drink, shall I not drink it?" Oh, if He could extract comfort in this hour of inconceivable agony, in the thought that a Father's hand lighted the fearful furnace-fires — what strong consolation is there is the same truth to all His suffering people! 
What! one superfluous drop! one unessential pang! one unneeded cross! Hush the secret atheism! He gave His Son for you! He calls Himself "your Father!" Whatever be the trial under which you are now smarting, let the word of a gracious Savior be "like oil thrown on the fretful sea;" let it dry every rebellious tear-drop. "He, your unerring Parent, knows that you have need of this as well as all these things."
These comments serve to remind me in life's storms, raging all around me, that there is no better place for me than in His providential care. Things that I see as obstacles and hardships are but His tender care, seeking to "some higher spiritual blessing in communion with God."

May I learn!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Words of Jesus. The Gracious Invitation.

The Words of Jesus, a 31 day devotional I am beginning today. It is based on John Macduff. Macduff was a Scottish preacher who lived from 1818-1895. Thanks to Grace Gems for making this available.

Day 1: The Gracious Invitation
"Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." —Matthew 11:28.
Gracious "word" of a gracious Savior, on which the soul may confidingly repose, and be at peace forever! It is a present rest—the rest of grace as well as the rest of glory. Not only are there signals of peace hung out from the walls of heaven—the lights of Home glimmering in the distance to cheer our footsteps; but we have the "shadow" of this "great Rock!" in a present "weary land." Before the Throne alone is there "the sea of glass," without one rippling wave; but there is a haven even on earth for the tempest-tossed—"We who have believed DO enter into rest."
Reader, have you found this blessed repose in the blood and work of Immanuel? Long going about "seeking rest and finding none," does this "word" sound like music in your ears—"Come unto Me"? All other peace is counterfeit, shadowy, unreal. The eagle spurns the gilded cage as a poor equivalent for his free-born soarings. The soul's immortal aspirations can be satisfied with nothing short of the possession of God's favor and love in Jesus.
How unqualified is the invitation! If there had been one condition in entering this covenant Ark, we must have been through eternity at the mercy of the storm. But all are alike warranted and welcome, and none more warranted than welcome. For the weak, the weary, the sin-burdened and sorrow-burdened, there is an open door of grace.
Return, then, unto your rest, O my soul! Let the sweet cadence of this "word of Jesus" steal on you amid the disquietudes of earth. Sheltered in Him, you are safe for time, safe for eternity! There may be, and will be, temporary tossings, fears, and misgivings—manifestations of inward corruption; but these will only be like the surface-heavings of the ocean, while underneath there is a deep, settled calm. "You will keep him in perfect peace" (lit. peace, peace) "whose mind is stayed on You." In the world it is care on care, trouble on trouble, sin on sin, but every wave that breaks on the believer's soul seems sweetly to murmur, "Peace, peace!"
And if the foretaste of this rest be precious, what must be the glorious consummation? Awaking in the morning of immortality, with the unquiet dream of earth over—faith lost in sight, and hope in fruition—no more any bias to sin—no more latent principles of evil—nothing to disturb the spirit's deep, everlasting tranquility—the trembling magnet of the heart reposing, where alone it can confidingly and permanently rest, in the enjoyment of the Infinite God. "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace."
I love this: "For the weak, the weary, the sin-burdened and sorrow-burdened, there is an open door of grace."

The Contraceptive-Abortifacient Mandate. FAQs

The Gospel Coalition has some very helpful information in the form of FAQs on the Obamacare's controversial contraceptive-abortifacient mandate which went into effect August 1.

Among the many FAQs they cover, this one is perhaps the most important one:
I don't oppose contraceptives, so why should I care about this issue? 
There are two reasons that all Christians, regardless of their view on contraceptives, should be concerned about this mandate. 
The first is because it forces Christians to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. The policy currently requires coverage of Ulipristal ("Ella"), which is chemically similar to the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone) and has the same effect (to prevent embryos from being implanted or, if already implanted, to die from lack of nutrition). Additionally, RU-486 is also being tested for possible use as an "emergency contraceptive." If the FDA approves it for that purpose, it will automatically be included under the mandate. 
The second is that it restricts religious liberty by forcing religious institutions to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients even if the employer has a religious or moral objection to such practices.
Click over and read the rest.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Your Good Things Are All Yet to Come!

I needed this today from J.C. Ryle.

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God!" Hebrews 12:1-2 

We must run with perseverance--or we shall never obtain. There may be many things we cannot understand, much that the flesh could perhaps wish otherwise--but let us endure unto the end, and all shall be made clear, and God's arrangements shall be proved best. Think not to have your reward on earth--do not draw back, becauseyour good things are all yet to come
Today is the cross--but tomorrow is the crown. 
Today is the labor--but tomorrow are the wages. 
Today is the sowing--but tomorrow is the harvest. 
Today is the battle--but tomorrow is the rest. 
Today is the weeping--but tomorrow is the joy.

And what is today, when compared to tomorrow? 
Today is but seventy years--but tomorrow is eternity! 

"Run in such a way as to get the prize!" 1 Corinthians 9:24

From J.C. Ryle

'Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee

Great hymn. Check out these words:

1. 'Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
But Thou hast chosen me;
Thou from the sin that stained me,
Hast cleansed and set me free,
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.
2. 'Twas sov'reign mercy called me,
And taught my op'ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heav'nly glories blind;
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have love me first.

Trinity Hymnal #471