TCT Network & DG Conference

28 09 2007

Along with four brothers whom I love–Nathan Kyzar, Jim Suggs, Jonathan Hopper, and Gary Hair–I am in MN today for the TCT Network meeting, and this weekend for the DG National Conference.

We will appreciate your prayers as we are already absorbing much from the LORD!
JT





Dealing Responsibly With Anxious Souls-#2

27 09 2007

When a young lady came inquiring to Robert Murray McCheyene, he dealt–as we now invite you to read–carefully, responsibly, and biblically with her soul. As the GC blog now turns the next six posts in this ‘DRWAS’ series over to Rev. McCheyene, we share two words of counsel:

  1. Consider your own soul. Have you closed with Christ?
  2. Consider that evangelism–which has suffered much in our culture from slick programization–is truly nothing less than giving Christ to others.

Now, Rev. McCheyene:

______________

Letters to a soul seeking Jesus – No. 1

Seek to know your corruption

Dundee, 1841.

Dear friend,

According to promise, I sit down to talk with you a little concerning the great things of an eternal world. How kind it is in God that He has given us such an easy way of communicating our thoughts, even at a distance!

My only reason for writing to you is, that I may direct your soul to Jesus, the sinner’s friend. “This man receiveth sinners.” I would wish much to know that you were truly united to Christ, and then, come life, come death, you will be truly and eternally happy.

Do you think you have been convinced of sin? This is the Holy Spirit’s work, and His first work upon the soul (John xvi. 8; Acts ii. 37, xxi. 29, 30). If you did not know your body was dangerously ill, you would never have sent for your physician; and so you will never go to Christ, the heavenly Physician, unless you feel that your soul is sick even unto death. Oh, pray for deep discoveries of your real state by nature and by practice! The world will say you are an innocent and harmless girl; do not believe them. The world is a liar. Pray to see yourself exactly as God sees you; pray to know the worth of your soul. Have you seen yourself vile, as Job saw himself? (Isa vi. 1, 5). Have you experienced anything like Ps. li? I do not wish you to feign humility before God, nor to use expressions of self-abhorrence, which you do not feel; but oh, pray that the Holy Spirit may let you see the very reality of your natural condition before God!

I seldom get more than a glance at the true state of my soul in its naked self. But when I do, then I see that I am wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev. iii. 17). I believe ever member of our body has been a servant of sin (Rom. Iii. 13, 18)—throat, tongue, lips, mouth, feet, eyes. Every faculty of our mind is polluted (Gen. vi. 5).

Besides, you have long neglected the great salvation; you have been gainsaying and disobedient. Oh that you were brought to pass sentence on yourself, guilty of all! Hear what a dear believer writes of himself: “My wickedness, as I am in myself, has long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and swallowing up all thought and imagination, like an infinite deluge, or mountains over my head. I know not how to express better what my sins appear to me to be, than by heaping infinite upon infinite, and multiplying infinite by infinite. When I look into my heart and take a view of my wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitely deep, and yet it seems to me that my conviction of sin is exceeding small and faint.”

Perhaps you will ask, Why do you wish me to have such a discovery of my lost condition? I answer, that you may be broken off from all schemes of self-righteousness; that you may never look into your poor guilty soul to recommend you to God; and that you may joyfully accept of the Lord Jesus Christ, who obeyed and died for sinners. Oh that your heart may cleave to Christ! May you forsake all, and follow Jesus Christ. Count everything loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.

You never will stand righteous before God in yourself. You are welcome this day to stand righteous before God in Jesus. Pray over Phil. iii. 7, 9. I will try and pray for you. Grace be with you.—Your friend in Jesus, etc.

Memoir and Remains, pp. 296-7.





Dealing Responsibly With Anxious Souls-#1

26 09 2007
This new series of posts is dedicated to Christ Jesus, the only Lord and Savior. In these posts, I hope to inspire thought, discussion, and practice around responsible evangelistic soul-care. We all know that leading a thirsty man to a dry riverbed could never satisfy his thirst. But, leading him to the never-failing “Fountain of living waters” will eternally quench his parched soul. So for you, which source will it be? The empty riverbed of man-centered tactics, or the saving oasis of Jesus Christ?

Complaining is easy. Finding solutions is more difficult. This is true even for (especially for?) Christians who are thinking about conversion counseling (i.e. witnessing). Have believers not become notorious for identifying the problems of decisionistic, ‘I-can-do-it’, Christianity? And rightfully so! Why is it then that guidance for those wanting to faithfully present the gospel, and represent the God of the gospel, have little help on which to lean?

It is one thing to lament the the erroneous theology of easy-believism that has been sweeping our land for quite some time. It is another thing altogether to seek the Lord’s counsel in His Word in order to realize His revealed will for dealing responsibly with those whose souls are anxious for a remedy for their sin problem.

Too many are stating man’s solution; “Repeat this prayer and you will be saved.” Too few are stating God’s solution; “Turn to GOD and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for He is GOD and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).

What is a child of God to do if he or she wants to lead someone else to faith in Jesus Christ (And every true Christian does desire to be used of God to do lead others to Christ!)? What are we to say in the ‘moment of truth’ when a soul is desiring to press into the kingdom of Christ, forsake sin and self, and rest in the Savior? What are we to do in that moment? To be certain, it is not the slickness of our words, or the winsomeness of our appeal that saves a soul. Yes, but in evangelism words are necessary. And the blame for wrong words is appropriately laid at our doorstep.

Some who become aware of our God-given responsibility to represent Him faithfully with our words will shrink back from being evangelistic at all for fear they may say the wrong thing. Silence, however, would be a greater crime.

With that, I invite you to join us in letting the hard work begin (er…continue) of finding God-pleasing solutions for our day’s man-centered soteriological dilemma.

________________________

First things first: We at Grace Church don’t presume to have responsible soul-care figured out. But we are desiring to always be praying and laboring to become better soul-physicians. And God forbid that any of us cop-out of our evangelistic responsibility by employing the ‘magic prayer’ either to expedite the process, or because we are unwilling to seek counsel from God, His Word, and other faithful soul-physicians.

________________________

The next six posts in this series will come from Robert Murray McCheyne (pictured). And, Oh friend does he ever have God-centered biblical help to offer!

“And this is eternal life, that they know Thee, the only true GOD and JESUS CHRIST whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).





Would You Consider Skipping Eating Out One Time for Christ and His Kingdom? (or more?)

25 09 2007

Would you consider it?





"God will not allow his Word to rest lightly on the heart of one who longs to experience its life-changing, sin-killing, Christ-exalting power"

25 09 2007

If you want to enjoy the Bible’s life-altering affect of Christ-centeredness, then meditate on Scripture, don’t speed read!

The following quotation is well worth our attention.
(Taken from pp 199-201 in Signs of the Spirit. I have noted which of the quotes are from Edwards, and which are from Storms.)

“I had then, and at other times, the greatest delight in the holy Scriptures, of any book whatsoever. Oftentimes in reading it, every word seemed to touch my heart. I felt a harmony between something in my heart, and those sweet and powerful words. I seemed often to see so much light exhibited by every sentence, and such a refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading; often dwelling long on one sentence, to see the wonders contained in it; and yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders.” (J. Edwards)

“And I have sometimes had an affecting sense of the excellency of the word of God, as a word of life; as the light of life; a sweet, excellent life-giving word; accompanied with a thirsting after that word, that it might dwell richly in my heart.” (J. Edwards)

“Do you dwell ‘long on one sentence’ or skim quickly with only a cursory glance at words on a page? The greatest profit that I gain from Scripture is when I pause to take a word or phrase or sentence and turn it over and over again in my mind, speaking it aloud, perhaps even singing it unto the Lord. Memorize it. Muse on it. Ruminate. Reflect. Cry out to the Spirit for light of understanding. Evaluate your soul and mind and life and leisure time in the light of its truth. Place your thoughts and deeds and desires and daydreams under its authority.” (Sam Storms)

“In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches” (Psalm 119:14).

“I will delight in your statutes” (v. 16).

“My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times” (v. 20).

“Behold, I long for your precepts” (v. 40).

“For I find my delight in your commandments, which I love” (v. 47).

“The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (v. 72).

“Oh how I love your law” (v. 97).

“Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (v. 111).

“Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold” (v. 127).

“I rejoice at the word like one who finds great spoil” (v. 162).

“My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly” (v. 167).

“Those incredible statements from Psalm 119 should never be read in isolation from the rest of the psalm. The reason God’s Word resonated with such sweet savor in the soul of the psalmist is because he was committed to seeking the Lord with his “whole heart” (Ps. 119:2, 10) and to meditating on his precepts (119:15) and to fixing his eyes on God’s “ways” (119:15). His resolve was to “keep God’s law continually, forever and ever” (1198:44). Listen to the psalmist’s prayer, repeated over and again: (S. Storms)

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (v. 18).

“Teach me your statutes!” (vv. 26, 68, 124, 135).

“Make me understand the way of your precepts” (v. 27).

“Graciously teach me Your law!” (v. 29).

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes” (v. 33).

“Give me understanding that I may learn your commandments” (v. 73; see also vv. 34, 125, 144, 169).

“Teach me your rules” (v. 108).

“If this were our prayer, perhaps then, like Edwards, we would begin to feel ‘a harmony’ between our hearts and ‘those sweet and powerful words’ and taste ‘a refreshing food’ in God’s Word and see the ‘wonders contained in it.’ Rest assured of this: God will not allow his Word to rest lightly on the heart of one who longs to experience its life-changing, sin-killing, Christ-exalting power.” (S. Storms).





By The Strength of His Might Not One of Them is Missing

24 09 2007

You’ve probably seen these images before…but its worth another jaw-drop.






Worship Preparation | Our Living GOD

21 09 2007
Exodus 3, is our sermon text for Sunday, and as you know, is the “burning bush” or “calling of Moses” chapter. And, as you also know, it is about so much more than that–namely the God-initiated revealation of the Name and Character of God (as YHWH).

As you ready your heart for Sunday at Grace, consider the remainder of the Exodus account (all the way through Joshua!), and that the God who reveals Himself, and makes covenant promises to deliver His people from bondage, is the God who sovereignly accomplishes all that He said He would do! Consider most of all our Passover Lamb!