Mark 15:37 records the last breath of the one who breathed life into Adam.
It’s one of those short but utterly profound statements like ‘Jesus wept’.
The one who sustains creation breathed his last.
The one who all will bow to breathed his last.
And he did it that we might breathe deeply of the Spirit.
That we might breathe our first.
That we might breathe eternal life.
He breathed his last and we breathe our first.
In Matthew 10:1-4, Matthew records that Jesus gave authority to his twelve disciples to heal and cast out unclean spirits…and then Matthew lists the names of those twelve apostles (he switches from ‘disciples’ to ‘apostles’ without flinching)...and when he gets to himself, he writes ‘Matthew the tax collector’...insert ‘Matthew, the traitor who turned his back on his people and instead of looking on their plight under Roman rule and seeing their poverty, extorted money from them and helped their oppressors.’
What a great gospel we have that men and women want to be known by their most heinous crimes and shameful ways because it magnifies the mercies and worth of Christ!
I saw this quote in a post from a blog I read:
From Theodore Roosevelt (quoted in Built to Last):
And I read Nehemiah 6 this morning where the wall was rebuilt in 52 days even in spite of many internal enemies (the Jewish nobles were aligned with Tobiah the Ammonite through marriages of their children) and many external enemies (Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem to name a few). God strengthened the hands of Nehemiah and the others to complete the task because it was God’s will that it be rebuilt. The surrounding people were afraid as a result.
And then I asked myself this question:
What might God be calling me to undertake that might have both internal and external opposition?
(A word of caution…the Jewish nobles in this account had made evil alliances with God’s enemies…they weren’t the faithful in Israel…so if faithful brothers and sisters oppose you, don’t assume you’re having a Nehemiah moment…you might be having a David-being-confronted-by-the-prophet-Nathan moment! Let Scripture be your guide!)
“Because thou hast been my help.” Meditation had refreshed his memory and recalled to him his past deliverances. It were well if we oftener read our own diaries, especially noting the hand of the Lord in helping us in suffering, want, labour, or dilemma. This is the grand use of memory, to furnish us with proofs of the Lord’s faithfulness, and lead us onward to a growing confidence in him.
C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, Psalm 63:7a
A few quotes and Scriptures and comments forthcoming regarding hope for change that come from my journal at a time when I was discouraged about sin that remained. Here’s installment #1:
a bruised reed shall he not break,
and the smoking flax shall he not quench; Isaiah 42:3 KJV
“Truly I am also fit to be likened to ‘the smoking flax’ whose light is gone and only its smoke remains. I fear I am rather a nuisance than a benefit…Jesus will not quench me; therefore, I am hopeful.”
CH Spurgeon from Chequebook of the Bank of Faith September 8th entry
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.” Psalm 50:23
So often we are seeking our own glory. And do you know something? We hardly ever give thanks to God when we are seeking our own glory. They are contrary to one another.
The person that gives thanks to God is one that has a heart that overflows with a gratefulness for all that God has done. They want God to receive the glory he deserves.
The person who withholds thanks to God is one that has a heart that overflows with a desire to see their self glorified.
...believe that there is no God.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1
Now I don’t have explicit biblical testimony to back this up, but consider all the evil ways that come from not believing that there is a God who is holy and who will call each of us to give account on the last day. The awareness of the fierce love and fierce wrath of God drives out foolishness like nothing else.
Now for those of us who do believe in the God of the Bible, let that permeate every facet of your life—let the reality of God and his future return drive out foolishness from your life. Live as if God exists and that he is holy and loving and that he will one day return to judge and to rescue.
I just began reading through a new book of the Bible for my personal devotions: Romans!
My goal with the OT is to read through it once a year, but I approach the NT differently. I’ve adopted John MacArthur’s plan of reading small sections of Scripture for 30 days. So for Romans I’m going to read 3 chapters each day for 30 days until I’ve reached the end. I have found this method of reading to be particularly helpful in knowing and internalizing the Scriptures.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is personally walking me through the letter with his commentary set. He writes, “Romans has, possibly, played a more important and a more crucial part in the history of the church than any other single book in the whole of the Bible.” That’s a strong statement. He shows how it was instrumental in some of the giants of the faith: Augustine, Luther, Bunyan, and more. I would highly recommend you buy it here.
I want to know God better. He stands in a class by Himself. His beauty is irresistible. His grace is incomprehensible. His power is uncontainable. His love is unmistakable. His justice is unquestionable. He is God and He is the greatest reality there is. Do you know Him?
Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting to know God better with my wife and a number of guys in our ministry. It’s pretty simple. The goal is to grow in our knowledge of God by memorizing particular attributes of God. To this end we are memorizing definitions from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and some of the verses that have shaped these definitions.
This past week was the eternity of God: God does not have a beginning, end, or succession of moments in His own being. God sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time.
We memorized Psalm 90:2, Ex 3:14, 2 Peter 3:8, and Galatians 4:4-5.
The omnipresence of God is next and we’re going to memorize Psalm 139:7-10 and 1 Kings 8:27.
Look for more attributes here on the blog in the future.
24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26
When Satan’s will is thwarted we are doing spiritual warfare. Notice the methods given to us in this passage for spiritual warfare. Perhaps a bit different than we normally think of spiritual warfare! And it has to do with the liberating power of the truth…the Gospel!