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Jesu, Juva

Archive for November 2006

Reflections Of An Octogenarian

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Notes on John Stott’s lecture Reflections of an Octogenarian, q.v..

A conviction about priorities

Stott recommends one day a month of solitude.

A conviction about people

  • How can you continue to love people who do not immediately appear to be lovable? Stott recommends Richard Baxter’s The Reformed Pastor.
  • Acts 20:28 — “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” He purchased these people with his own blood.
  • The only way to persevere in care is to “remember who they are, and how precious they are in the sight of God.” All three persons of the Trinity are dedicated to their welfare.
  • How small is our labor in comparison with Christ’s labor for his church?

A conviction about relevance

  • “the task of christian communicator, which is not to make Jesus Christ relevant but to demonstrate his relevance to the modern world.”
  • “in this simple, maybe rather elementary . . . diagram, evangelicals are biblical but not contemporary, liberals are contemporary but not biblical, and almost nobody is building bridges.”
  • “we have to struggle to be as relevant as we are biblical”

A conviction about study

  • “In our busy lives, study is usually the first thing to be dropped.”
  • Lloyd-Jones: “you will always find that the men whom God has used signally have been those who have studied most, known their scriptures best, and given time to preparation.”
  • Stott recommends one hour of study per day, one 4-hour session every week, one day every month, and one reading week every year.
  • We have to study on both sides of the divide… students of scripture, but we need also to be students of the modern world.

A conviction about obedience

  • John 14:21 — Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.
  • Jesus will reveal himself to his lovers; his lovers are proved not by their words but by their obedience.
  • “The test of love is obedience, and the reward of love is the self-manifestation of Christ.”

A conviction about humility

  • “insidious temptation to pride”
  • “humility is not a synonym for hypocrisy; humility is a synonym for honesty”
  • Michael Ramsey, ”Sermons addressed to young men on the eve of their ordination”
    • “thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow”
    • “take care about the confession of your sins”
    • “be ready to accept humiliations, they can hurt terribly but they help you to be humble . . . these are opportunities to be a little nearer to our humble and crucified Lord”
    • “do not worry about status; there is only one status that our Lord bids us be concerned with, and that is the status of proximity to himself.”
    • “use your sense of humor; laugh about things. laugh at the absurdities of life; laugh about yourself and about your own absurdity . . . you have to be serious of course, but never be solemn, because if you are solemn about anything, there is a danger of your becoming solemn about yourself”
    • “it is at the foot of the cross that humility finally grows”

      Galatians 6:14 — But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Written by Scott Moonen

November 8, 2006 at 10:34 am

Adoption

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You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase, if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the holy Creator. In the same way, you sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. “Father” is the Christian name for God.

J. I. Packer, Knowing God, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993; p. 201.

Written by Scott Moonen

November 7, 2006 at 5:14 am

The Apostles' Creed

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I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Amen.

See other forms at CRTA, CCEL, Wikipedia.

Written by Scott Moonen

November 5, 2006 at 1:51 pm

The ideal woman

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“I think [Ruth] is a picture of the ideal woman in the Old Testament. Four things characterize the ideal woman. Faith in God that goes beyond and sees beyond the present bitter experiences with God. Freedom, secondly, from securities and comforts of home and family and this life. Third, courage to venture into the unknown and into the strange. And fourth, radical commitment in the relationships that God has appointed.” — John Piper

Written by Scott Moonen

November 2, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Quotations

God moves in a mysterious way

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God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

— William Cowper

This great poem also serves as a hymn; see the music at the Cyber Hymnal.

Written by Scott Moonen

November 1, 2006 at 7:03 am

Posted in Hymns, Poetry