Because of Easter… I Can Wait

 

Albrecht Dürer, The Entombment (1504)

 “But God works in surprising ways, and sometimes he demonstrates his love by delay.” D.A. Carson, Scandalous (p. 121)

Whenever I read of the days between the death of our Lord and His resurrection, I find it easy to understand the weariness and disappointment in the hearts of the disciples. How many times we have been there, between the promise and the fulfillment of it? The waiting, the days in between, when heaven seems closed and we just don’t know where to turn because all the roads seem closed and all hopes appear to lie dead behind huge rocks. In those days of waiting we must not despair as if we didn’t know that our Lord lives, that His promise to conquer death and sin was fulfilled on an Easter Morning.

Continue reading at Desiring Virtue…

Becky

From My Reading Corner – The One Wrong Thing to Say-

 

Reformation Heritage Books

What a great book Jessalyn chose this month for the book club at Desiring Virtue. I don’t want to put it down!

Here is a good quote that got me thinking…

“We live in an age where the one wrong thing to say is that somebody else is wrong. One of the impacts of postmodern epistemology is that we all have our own independent points of view, and we look at things from the perspective of our own small interpretive communities. What is sin to one group is not sin to another group. But not only does the Bible insist that there is such a thing as sin, it insists that the heart of its ugly offensiveness is its horrible odiousness to God—how it offends God.

And this other one is powerful too:

 “The cross spectacularly displays God’s love, but it also displays God’s wrath against sin; it massively underscores God’s condemnation of sin…We are all guilty before God, and the cross is our only hope.”

Maybe you would like to join us at the book club this month as we dig deeper into the powerful message of the Cross and the Resurrection of our Lord. We would love to see you there.

Under His sun and by His grace,

Becky

The Giving of Thanks and My Obedience

@Jim LePage Crux Sola Project

The giving of thanks can only begin when the gift of the divine Word is acknowledged; indeed, only when I am immersed in the study of the divine Word. How could one begin to give thanks to God and not concern oneself with his Word? What kind of thanks would it be to receive the gifts but refuse the required obedience to the giver? It would be a pagan thanksgiving, which is indeed widely practiced.
That is not a giving of thanks to the Lord God, but rather to an impersonal fate or fortune to which I am in no way obligated. Thanks to God that does not proceed from an obedient heart is presumption and falsehood. Only when God’s revealed Word has made our heart want to obey him can we thank God for earthly and heavenly gifts… 

I thank God because I want to learn and know what he requires of me, but I thank him as one who is still only learning, who still lacks everything when measured by God’s righteous judgments. So thanksgiving leads me back to the giving God and then forward to the commanding God, in order finally to find in him his righteousness, which I experience anew as righteousness given to me. “Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:24).”

Bonhoeffer, Meditating on the Word (emphasis mine)

Today as I fix my heart on the Cross, and I am drawn to give Him thanks -over and over again- for His perfect sacrifice, for His atonement, I am also drawn to pray, “Lord, help me to show you my gratitude through my love and obedience to your Word.”

Becky

>A Word of Forgiveness -On the Lord’s Day-

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This Lent season I am reading the book, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by Arthur W. Pink and on this Lord’s Day I would like to invite you consider with me what these words teach us.

“In praying for His enemies, not only did Christ set before us a perfect example of how we should treat those who wrong and hate us, but He also taught us never to regard any as beyond the reach of prayer. If Christ prayed for His murderers, then surely we have encouragement to pray now for the very chief of sinners! Christian reader, never lose hope… Learn, then, not to look on any as beyond the reach of prayer”

“That Christ should make intercession for His enemies was one of the items of the wonderful prophecy found in Isaiah 53. This chapter tells us at least ten things about the humiliation and suffering of the Redeemer. It declared that He should be despised and rejected of men; that He should be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; that He should be wounded, bruised, and chastised; that He should be led, unresistingly, to slaughter; that He should be dumb before His shearers; that He should not only suffer at the hands of man but also be bruised by the Lord; that He should pour out His soul unto death; that He should be buried in a rich man’s tomb; and then it was added, that He would be numbered with transgressors; and finally, that He should make intercession for the transgressors. Here then was the prophecy-“and made intercession for the transgressors”; there was the fulfillment of it-“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” He thought of His murderers; He pleaded for His crucifiers; He made intercession for their forgiveness.”

“Sin is always sin in the sight of God, whether we are conscious of it or not. Sins of ignorance need atonement just as truly as do conscious sins. God is Holy, and He will not lower His standard of righteousness to the level of our ignorance. Ignorance is not innocence. As a matter of fact, ignorance is more culpable now than it was in the days of Moses. We have no excuse for our ignorance. God has clearly and fully revealed His will. The Bible is in our hands, and we cannot plead ignorance of its contents except to condemn our laziness. God has spoken, and by His Word we shall be judged… And yet the fact remains that we are ignorant of many things, and the fault and blame are ours. And this does not minimize the enormity of our guilt. Sins of ignorance need the divine forgiveness as our Lord’s prayer here plainly shows. Learn, then, how high is God’s standard, how great is our need, and praise Him for an atonement of infinite sufficiency, which cleanseth from all sin.”

May God help us to forgive and pray and never lose hope.

Read over at my photography blog today about The Key to Bible Study

Over at Rebecca Writes, you will find every Sunday great hymns, sermon notes and prayers.

And some words worth reading today… Let Every Man be Slow to Tweet. (HT. Hiraeth)

A Prayer for a Gospel Saturated Lent by Scotty Smith -and some resources-

 

     Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. Mark 2:19-20

“Dear Jesus, it’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. For the next forty days we have the privilege of surveying your cross and preparing for the greatest of all celebrations—Easter Sunday, the foundation of our hope and the fountain of eternal joy.

For your glory and our growth, we ask you to inundate us with fresh grace in the coming weeks. We don’t want an ordinary Lenten season, Jesus. Saturate it with the gospel. It’s all about you, Jesus. It is all about you what you’ve done for us, not what we promise to do for you.

Sadly, I used to dread Lent like late summer football practice. A lot of striving and sweat mixed in with much uncertainty and fear. “What’s the coach think about my performance? Am I doomed to sit on the bench? Will I even make the team this year?” What a misuse of the season of Lent. What a complete misrepresentation of the gospel. What a dismal way to live the Christian life. We’re your betrothed bride, not a beleaguered people.

Indeed, Jesus, we begin Lent today anticipating our wedding, not our funeral. Jesus, for you’re the loving Bridegroom who died to make us your cherished bride. The work’s already done; the dowry has been pain in full; the wedding dress of your righteousness is already our; the invitations have been sent out; the date has been secured; you’ll not change your mind! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Over these next 40 days intensify our hunger, assurance, and longing for the Day of your return—the Day of consummate joy, the wedding feast of the Lamb. In light of that banquet, we choose to deny ourselves (fast) certain pleasures for this brief season. But we’re not looking to get one thing from you, Jesus, just more of you. Fill our hearts with your beauty and bounty, so very Amen, we pray, in your holy and loving name.”

Scotty Smith

 

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Our family meditates on the doctrine of the Incarnation during the Christmas season, and we set this time to meditate on the Cross and the Resurrection of our Lord.

Some books I love to study on this topic, and I would like to recommend you are:

Monergism

 

Monergism

 

Monergism
Monergism

 

Monergism

 

Monergism
Monergism

May we set a time apart to examine our heart who is deceitful above all things…

Under His shadow,

 

A quote from an interesting article by Douglas Wilson,

“God wants us to give certain things up too — things like sin, and self-righteousness, and superstition, and a number of other things that begin with s. He does not want us to give up chocolate, which begins with a c…

So beware. The devil loves it when he is the god of Lent, or of the sabbath, or of anything else we think we are offering to God.”

>A Manger and a Cross

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You laid aside your crown, and your royalty, O King, O Jesus.
You came to save. You did not have to come, yet you came.
The manger, and the nativity set; 
the Advent and the carols; 
the gifts and lights and Christmas trees and Posadas are without meaning if we do not raise our eyes.
You came as a baby but you came to grow and obey; heal and love; restore and touch; serve and die.
You came to die, to pay a price, to fulfill an eternal purpose, to redeem your own people.
You came to die a painful death. You came and my sins you bore on that cross.
You died and rose again victoriously.
A baby in a manger is the beginning of a love story. 
It doesn’t end there. 
Let us raise our eyes and see the cross and an empty tomb.

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
I Corinthians 15: 14

We now decorate a tree to remember that you came as a baby, 
help me now see beyond the beautiful lights…
You were nailed to a wooden cross, a raw tree. 
A tree that you, the Word, created. 
A death tree which held your broken body.
Lord, help me learn that you have called me to die. 
Die to myself, die to the sins that still want to rule over me. 
Die in order to live. 
Help me walk beyond the manger to the cross and then see You sitted at the right hand of God.
I long for that day. 
Face to face.
Show me how to live dying. How to serve and serve and serve.
Let this Christmas be a time of change.
 Let the change start within me.

Image found @ My Daily Journey -through my lens.