Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
How Long is the Love of Christ?
“Sometimes a man of God is, as he apprehends, so far off from God, that He can neither help him nor hear him. . . . He thinks himself beyond the reach of His mercy. In answer to this conceit, the LORD asks, ‘Is My arm too short to ransom you?’ (Isaiah 50:2).”
David had times when he supposed that for and by sin he was driven from God’s love: ‘O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.’ (Psalm 38:21). Yet, the great shepherd king came to know the infinite presence of his God: ‘If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.’ (Psalm 139:9-10).
“O the length of the saving arm of God! . . . do not even attempt to compare arms with God . . . I mean, do not conclude that, because you cannot reach God with your short stump, therefore He cannot reach you with His long arm. Look again! Do you have an arm like God, an arm like His for length and strength? It is good for you, when you cannot perceive that God is within the reach of your arm, then to believe that you are within the reach of His; for it is long, and no one knows how long.”Excerpts from John Bunyan’s All Loves Excelling.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The smoking flax is a picture of God's grace mingled with our own corruption. With a little bit of God's grace there may be much personal corruption. There are, in the best saints, interweavings of sin and grace: dark side with the light; much pride mixed with humility; much earthliness with heavenliness. No, in many of the regenerate there is more corruption than grace. Nevertheless, He will not snuff out His gracious work in our lives. That little spark in the smoking flax is a ray and beam of God's own glory. And He will fan that spark into a flame until it prevails over the corruption and reveals His glory.
There are two enemies of God's grace: the malice of Satan and the world of corruption in our hearts. The devil, with the wind of temptation, tries to blow out the spark of grace in our hearts. The heart swarms with sin. Grace conflicting with sin and temptation is like a ship tossed and beaten by the waves, yet it weathers the storm and at last gets to the desired haven. How? By the mighty working of the Spirit of God. He is at work in the believer every day! He is the ballast in the hull of the ship and the Captain who navigates the storm. Our ship will surely arrive at His desire destination.
The flame of God will not be quenched, but we must blow it up with the breath of our effort. What I have written is to encourage faith, not to indulge sloth. Do not think God will do our work for us while we sit still. Love God! Seek Him with all the grace that is in you! (Psalm 31:23). How God's people should long for heaven, when it will be their constant work to breath out love and sound out praise.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Originally uploaded by paul&denisedegraaf
We never know what challenges each day holds in store for us. We are constantly faced with a series of incredible opportunities brilliantly disguised as impoosible situations. Here's what's happened to us the the past four days summarized in two photos. This is the old. Denise has a new handle: DWM (Dances With Moose).
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Enduring Loss and Difficulty
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The Fear of God
In his work, The Great Gain of Godliness, Thomas Watson defines the fear of God as “the reverencing and adoring of God’s holiness, and the setting of ourselves always under His sacred inspection.” Then he adds, “The infinite distance between God and us causes this fear.”
He answers the question, “How may we know whether we have the fear of God implanted in our hearts?”
1. 1. The fear of God will make a man fear sin (Genesis 39:9; Romans 14:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
2. 2. He who fears God lives by the truth rather than example (Isaiah 8:20). Example is, for the most part, corrupt. A God-fearer directs the rudder of his life according to the compass of the Word.
3. 3. He who fears God keeps His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13) A gracious soul crosses his own will to fulfill God’s. A holy heart knows that there is nothing lost by obedience.
4. 4. He who fears God is consistent in every area of life. He who reverences God is, simper idem, alike good in all places.
5. 5. He who fears God is good in the position where God has set him (Genesis 42:18). A good man makes his family palaestra pietatis, a training ground of piety (Psalm 102:1).
6. 6. He who fears God dares not neglect family or private prayer (Psalm 109:4).
7. 7. He who fears God will not oppress his neighbor (Leviticus 25:17). How can he be holy who is not just?
8. 8. He who fears God is given to works of mercy (James 1:27). Grace may have a trembling hand, but it does not have a withered hand; it stretches itself out to relieve the needy.
9. 9. He who fears God would rather displease man than God (Exodus 1:17; Daniel 3:18).
10. 10. He who fears God will fear these six things: Satan’s snares (2 Corinthians 2:11); his own heart (Jeremiah 17:9) (this section is full of wise insights about the danger of self-flattery and pride); death; judgment (Psalm 96:13; James 5:9); Hell (Matthew 13:6); Heaven (Hebrews 4:1).
How shall we gain this fear? First, let us always set God before us; study His immensity (Genesis17:1). The reason people do not fear God is because they entertain slight thoughts of Him (Psalm 50:21). Second, let us pray for this fear of God, which is the root of all holiness, and the mother of all wisdom (Psalm 86:11). The Lord has promised to put this fear in our heart (Jeremiah 32:40). Let us pray over this promise: while some pray for riches, and others for children, let us pray for a heart to fear God.