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Showing posts from April, 2009
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." (John 5:39, 40)

"The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth." - John Calvin

Dear Lord, I pray...

Give me freedom to open the sorrows of thy people,and to set before them comforting considerations. Attend with power the truth preached,and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May thy people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,and help me use the strongest argumentsdrawn from Christ's incarnation and sufferings,
that men might be made holy.

I myself need thy support, comfort, strength, holiness,that I might be a pure channel of thy grace,and be able to do something for thee;

Give me then refreshment among thy people,and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a Redeemer,
or be harsh in treating of Christ's death,its design and end, from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with thee as I do this work.

[Bennett, Arthur G. The Valley of Vision A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.
Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2003, 348-349.]

"...flowered skirts. sipping tea, and never speaking up."

One verse that is often quoted to women is in the closing commendation of Proverbs 31: "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised" (Pr. 31:30). As it most often gets quoted in the context of messages on beauty or modesty, I think most of us can mentally emphasize the first part of the verse and neglect to ponder the second part — "yeah, yeah, outer beauty fades, Christian women are supposed to have inner beauty, blah, blah, blah." But how often are we aware of the snare of the fear of man that trips us up in cultivating the fear of the Lord?

It's not accidental that Scripture pits the lure of physical beauty and all the praise it can elicit against the fear of the Lord. Physical attraction gets a lot of attention and praise — from other human beings. But that's not what our Creator praises us for. He will not praise us for the superficial, but for the eternal — our qualities and virtues that, by His grace, reflec…

With Every Single Breath

Enraptured by His Precious love
I feel my love so small.
And yet He bids me grace and peace,
His Patience doth enthrall.

Oh, for a heart to give to Him
With every single breath,
The glory due His Precious Name,
The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

I dare not trust one single thought
Of all that I might give,
For nothing LORD compares to You,
In love with You, we live.

What great affections You doth stir,
In this poor faltering mind,
Through blessed servants of Your grace,
In love with You we find;

All hail the Pow'r of Jesus Name,
We at Your feet doth fall,
And humbled by Your matchless love
With strength from You we call--

Oh, give to us more love For Thee,
In every word and deed,
To walk in every grace You give,
To meet our every need.

With joy we press more upward still,
In light and love we stand;
Provoke to all Your Immanence,
To dwell in Canaan's land.

(Jer.23:23,24 ; Col. 1:17)

Michael E. Wood

A "Blog" Vacation

For anyone who may check in from time to time--I will be spending more of my free time in the Word and in Prayer over the next 3 months and will probably not post very often.

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
D.L. Kane

Two precious jewels glittering side by side in a setting of gold!

"Delight yourself in the Lord." Psalm 37:4

The teaching of these words must seem very surprising to those who are strangers to vital godliness. But to the sincere believer, it is only the inculcation of a recognized truth. The life of the believer is here described as a delight in God--and we are thus certified of the great fact--that true religion overflows with happiness and joy.

Ungodly people and mere professors never look upon piety as a joyful thing; to them it is dreary service, duty, or necessity--but never a pleasure or delight. The thought of delight in Christ is so strange to most people, that no two words in their language stand further apart than "holiness" and "delight."

But believers who know Christ, understand that delight and holiness are so blessedly united, that the gates of hell cannot prevail to separate them. Those who love Christ with all their hearts, find that all His ways are ways of pleasantness; and all His paths are peace.Christi…

"What would Spurgeon say?"

It is a wonderful thing, they way in which the Spirit of God brings such clarity at times to unit the minds of men (and women). I had concerns about a statement made by a well-known, highly respected, and hugely followed, pastor/teacher and shared my concerns on this blog. Just this morning, I read this (not looking for it) which echos the very concerns that I expressed

The statement made that concerned me was "Those who don’t know what the Bible teaches about salvation cannot be saved. " Listen to this warning by C.H. Spurgeon:

"Again, am I asked what it is to preach the gospel? I answer to preach the gospel is to exalt Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is the best answer that I could give. I am very sorry to see very often how little the gospel is understood even by some of the best Christians. Some time ago there was a young woman under great distress of soul; she came to a very pious Christian man, who said "My dear girl, you must go home and pray."

Well I thoug…

"The Rape of Solomon's Song"

This is so unbelievable to me that I can hardly take it in. There is a current discussion going on at the "Pulpit Magazine" regarding an article John MacArthur has written, entitled "The Rape of Solomon's Song" criticizing Mark Driscoll's teaching on the "Song of Solomon". Comments are ablaze. The sad part in all this, is that both MacArthur and Driscoll interpret this book in exactly the same way; the only difference being how "crude" or "refined" it should be taught.

Every single person commenting has missed the real problem. Here was what the Lord laid on my heart tonight:

Does it matter to anyone that MacArthur's interpretation (and obviously Driscoll's, as well) of this book differs from many great men of God, down through the centuries--i.e., many of the Puritans, Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, Lloyd-Jones and many, many more and that MacArthur states (in his Daily Bible) that their interpretations are misleading ideas?

Why do…

Careless Words...

“Those who don’t know what the Bible teaches about salvation cannot be saved.”

That statement was made by a very well-known, highly respected, hugely followed, pastor/teacher. Laypersons and unlearned baby Christians, who respect this man, will misunderstand and mimic that statement. The implication of such a statement and the propensity for misunderstanding, is huge; and, in my opinion, dangerous.

Imagine this played out in real life:

Someone comes to you and tells you, "The most wonderful thing has happened. A man shared the gospel with me at Starbucks and for the first time in my life, I believe! I finally understand that I am a sinner and that Christ died for my sins and was raised so that all who believe on Him will have their sins forgiven and they will be reconciled to God through Christ. I was broken by that message and have bowed down to Christ as my Lord and Savior and my only desire, from this point forward, is to love Him and follow Him for the rest of my life!&qu…

On such a Glorious day...

My hopes were high, as I awoke
On such a Glorious day--
Your Victory to celebrate
The Truth, The Life, The Way!

I looked around with hope to find
A light, a spark, a glimmer
But all I saw were lifeless forms
O’ could it get much dimmer?

Apathy has filled Your house;
But, I will worship You
Blank, bored faces and empty stares—
In almost every pew.

I often wonder, “Why do they come?”
“Why do they sit for an hour?
Is it because they like the form of God
But have never felt Your power?

Why do you come? Why not stay home?
Is this a wasted hour?
What should be sweet, to your soul
Just seems to leave you sour.

Protect me from the awful plague
Don’t let my heart succumb
The world, the flesh, the dull routine
Is that what makes them numb?

Forgive me Lord, if I am wrong
Dead bones is all I see.
O’ breath Your life into those bones
And set the captives free.

Apathy has filled Your house;
O’ shake it with Your might
So when we gather in Your Name
There is Joy, and Love and Light.


D.L. Kane (Easter Sunday 2009)

Then Bursting forth in Glorious Day.....

Now this is a day to celebrate! What beauty! What power! What joy fills my soul!

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! Who took on flesh,
fulness of God in helpless babe!
This Gift of love and righteousness,
scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
the wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid;
here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day,
up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
sin'…

Love

"Blessed Jesus! Your love, like Your agonies, is an unknown and unfathomable depth! It passes knowledge. Let it rise and expand before me, until it fills the entire scope of my soul's vision; occupies every niche of my heart; and bears me onward by its all commanding, all constraining influence, in the path of a holy loving obedience and surrender."

Oh! wonderful thought, everlasting love! Who can comprehend the import of these words– everlasting love? Christ loves us, and His love is everlasting. Yes, dear believer, Christ loved you before the world was created; before you had an existence. From all eternity He thought upon your lost condition by nature; and oh! how willingly, how gladly, He left the throne of glory to bring salvation to you.

His love never had a beginning. "This river of love began to flow before the world was; from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth was. Christ's love to us is as old as the Father's love to the Son. T…

Behold the Man

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr’s, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

What has God done?

For some people, the notion of substitutionary death is morally wrong. To explain many misconceptions, in his book The Cross, Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:

To them, the idea that one man should be punished for other people’s sin is immoral. The whole notion is quite unthinkable. A man bears his own punishment. This idea that somebody else comes along who is absolutely innocent, and that you put your guilt on him and that he then bears the punishment - the thing is quite immoral. They say they cannot believe in a God who does a thing like that, a God who can punish his own Son, cause his death, in order to forgive others. It is not justice.

They say that it violates their sense of justice and of morality. Have you not heard that? Perhaps you have thought it? If you have, the cross is an offence, because the essence of this doctrine is subsitution.

It teaches that Chrst is the Lamb of God ‘that taketh away the sins of the world’; that our sins are transferred to him, are imputed to him, and p…

More Meditations from Michael

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Psalm 27:8

Do you know what happens when we abide in Him and in His Word? Do you know what happens when we seek His face? This is what happens!

At 7:37 am this morning, this is what the Lord gave to Michael as he was meditating on the Word of God. This is being "filled with the Spirit"" What precious gifts He gives those who seek His face.

How oft we feel the weight of all
The frailties of our flesh;
The need for God to come and take
The burden from our breast.

We feel the smallness of our own
Puny, paltry, quest;
Those things that once did satisfy—
No longer tops our list.

We're drawn to things that are above;
The quiet, peace, and rest.
We struggle through our own hearts lust
By grace, we're given this.

Secured by sovereign mercy still;
With bands of love He calls;
Our Father's everlasting love,
Recalls us to the Cross.

Humbled by the death He died—
Our strength for flight renewed;
Encoura…

Whatever you do....

One of the massive differences between life with God in the Old Testament and life with God in the New Testament is that in the New Testament all our conscious glorifying of God should be "through Jesus Christ."

". . . to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1:25)

". . . that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ." (1Peter 4:11)

". . . to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen." (Romans 16:27)

". . . filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:11)

With every thought about God and every affection for God, we should be mindful of Jesus Christ. God-consciousness should be Christ-consciousness.

"I thank my God through Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:8).

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Chris…

The Romance of Christ

We most often think of Christ as our Lord, Savior, King, Priest and Prophet; but He is also our bridegroom. How a woman will prepare for her wedding. Are you preparing for yours? There is a wedding day coming, where all of those that were given to Him by the Father, will be joined to Christ and the eternal marriage will be consummated. What a glorious day that will be!

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready"

Rise up My love, My beautiful one--and come away!

"My Beloved spoke and said to me--Rise up My love, My beautiful one--and come away!" Song of Solomon 2:10

Lo, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! He bids me "Rise up!" and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. Why should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations--I would rise towards Him.

He calls me by the sweet title of "My lo…

Did he really mean what he said?

I regularly read the Shepherd's Fellowship blog and have found many of the articles edifying. In addition, I have read almost every book ever written by John MacArthur and often refer to his commentaries when studying the scriptures. Over the past 10 years, I can safely say that I have listened to well over 1,000 of his sermons on CD or MP3. However, over the past few years, I have observed a change that concerns me. That concern was re-ignited this morning, while reading the April 1st post on the Shepherd's Fellowship Blog entitled, "What Does It Mean "to Me"?

Let me preface the following by saying that I am pretty confident that this was a case of being careless with words and that he did not mean what he said, when he said what he said. I would very much like to know, however, exactly what he did mean.

Here is the paragraph that appeared towards the end of the article. Perhaps on face value, you will not see the problem.

"Those who don’t know what the Bible…

God's Will?

What a topic! Have you known people who say that are praying for God's will as to whether or not to take a particular job; or, whether or not to get a degree in a particular subject versus a different subject? Just what do they actually think He will reveal to them?

First of all, they need to ask God to reveal their motivation behind taking a particular job or getting a degree in a particular subject. Does their desire stem from greed, covetousness, pride, worldly success? If so, it's not God's will, it is their own and they are looking for justification to act on their own will. Secondly, God has revealed His "will" for us in His word. It is God's will for all of us to be:

Saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9)
Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:17-18)
Sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)
Submissive (1 Peter 2:13-15)
Suffering ( Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12)

If all those things are true in your life (Are they?), you may do whatever you desire. God's Word tells us so. T…

Profundity, Passion, Persistence

Sometimes, someone writes something that so echoes the burden of my heart, that it brings tears to my eyes and yet it fills me with joy at the same time. The following brings sorrow because of the reality of the consequences of the truth it contains; and, yet brings me joy, in that it clearly indicates that there are some of His out there (it was written by a 30 something young man) who have the same burden as He has placed on my heart and they are proclaiming it for His glory; for the sake of His name; and for the salvation of others. Here are the thoughts that echo my heart.

"There are things that can be mistaken that have little to no consequence, but conversion is not one of them. You can be mistaken by the color of your socks while getting ready in the morning. You can be mistaken by how well your digestive system can process “authentic” Chinese and Mexican food. You be mistaken by the person you saw across the department store that looks exactly like an old friend but turns …

On Evangelism...

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."

Revelation?

I realize that (at times) I can be too analytical. And everyone who knows me just said, "At times?" I also happen to love music. There is a contemporary Christian song by Third Day called Revelation, and whenever I happen to have the radio on in the car and that song comes on, I crank it up because I love the music. But, the lyrics bother me. That is the overly analytical side of me coming out. The singer is asking for Revelation "Give me Revelation" and I just cringe because 1) He has given us His revelation (The Word of God) and it is the best and most complete revelation that we need if we would simply spend time reading it; and 2) There is a dangerous false teaching in the church that makes people think that God can reveal things to them personally that are even contrary to His Word; i.e. "new revelation".

So, I decided to write different lyrics for the song so that when it comes on I can enjoy it 100%--both the music and the words. I have copied my ne…