Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Living Sacrifice

I first read this prayer in a book by Jerry Bridges. It helps me to obey Rom. 12:1, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."

Lord, I am willing

To receive what You give;

To lack what You withhold;

To relinquish what You take;

To suffer what You inflict;

To be what You require;

And to do what You send me to do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Only One Life

Only One Life

By C.T. Studd Missionary

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say ’twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Only Five Books?

Justin Childers wrote about a question he received from a missionary candidate on his blog:

"Lisa is packing and preparing for this trip [to be a missionary in Russia] and sent me an e-mail with this question: "I'm still wresting with book choices. If you only had five non-scholarly/non-commentary books with you during the next three years what would you choose?"

He has one assumption:
Assume that you have access to the ESV Study Bible online and all Piper books online (in other words, don't include these in your list).

Here is my list of non-scholarly/non-commentary books I would take:

1. The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes This is a refreshing and encouraging read when tempted to be discouraged in ministry. It is a great delight to remember that "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench" (Matt 12:20).

2. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges I go back to this book regularly when I am tempted to think that my acceptance before God is based on my works. This was such a category shifting book for me when I first read it that I find great delight in just browsing its pages.

3. To the Golden Shore (Biography of Adoniram Judson) by Courtney Anderson When I was in seminary, I would sneak down into the basement of the building and pick out an old copy of this book off the shelf when I started to lose my focus. The story is amazing and faith-building. I was moved every time I read it.

4. Knowing God by J.I. Packer The chapter "Sons of God" (chapter 19) is worth the price of this book- but every chapter is wonderful! This might be the one book I would choose if I could only choose one.

5. The Cross of Christ by John Stott I am listening to "The Cross of Christ" on my ipod as I work out and it is reminding me how weighty and helpful Stott's work is. It is not only encouraging, but it would serve as a helpful reference as well.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We can do all things through Him who gives us strength

Richard Sibbes, The Art of Contentment Works of Richard Sibbes Vol 5, p. 189

" All our comfort, and all our grace, it comes through Christ, who having taken our nature upon him, and having satisfied God, is fit to derive all grace and comfort to us. For he is near us, he is of our nature, and God in him is well pleased so as we may now go boldly to Christ; we are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. God himself out of Christ is a 'consuming fire.' Now, in Christ God favors man; he is gracious and lovely to us, and we to him; because Christ, his beloved son, hath took our nature upon him, and now in our nature he is in heaven... in him we do all things."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Poems on Ecclesiastes by John Newton

John Newton, a former slave trader who was converted and wrote Amazing Grace, also wrote a number of other hymns. Here are some stanzas about Ecclesiastes. (from volume 2 of his works, p.127)

Disease and pain invade our health,
and find an easy prey;
And oft, when least expected, wealth
takes wings and flies away

I pity those who seek no more
Than such a world can give;
Wretched they are, and blind and poor
And dying while they live

Since sin has fill’d the earth with woe,
And creatures fade and die;
Lord, wean our hearts from things below,
And fix our hopes on high.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mission Pioneer Ralph Winter (1924-2009)

This video is a wonderful tribute to how God uses an ordinary man to do extraordinary things. Ralph Winter, in 1974, was used by God to think of doing missions in terms of "people groups" not merely "countries" in need of the gospel. This understanding, along with the formation of the U.S. Center for World Mission has been a terrific resource for the church and springboard for the gospel spreading to people who have no witness among them.

Ralph D. Winter Tribute from U.S. Center for World Mission on Vimeo.

If you want to hear Dr. Winter talking about unreached people groups in his own words take a look at this video that was produced by Desiring God Ministries.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dying Daily

"I die every day!" -The Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 15:31

"No man would find it difficult to die who died every day. He would have practiced it so often, that he would only have to die but once more; like the singer who has been through his rehearsals, and is perfect in his part, and has but to pour forth the notes once for all, and have done. Happy are they who every morning go down to Jordan's brink, and wade into the stream in fellowship with Christ, dying in the Lord's death, being crucified on his cross, and raised in his resurrection. Then, when they shall climb their Pisgah, they shall behold nothing but what has been long familiar to them, as they have studied the map of death... God teach us this art, and he shall have the glory of it." -- C.H. Spurgeon

O God,
who for our redemption
gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of our enemy:

Grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

--The Book of Common Prayer