Going home

“Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2

Jesus is heard to say “you will be going home.” The spiritual author Octavius Winslow reflects on these verses in his Morning & Evening Thoughts for December 31st….
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GOING home! what a soothing reflection! what an ecstatic prospect! The heart throbs quicker—the eye beams brighter—the spirit grows elastic—the whole soul uplifts its soaring pinion, eager for its flight, at the very thought of heaven. “I go to prepare a place for you,” was one of the last and sweetest assurances that breathed from the lips of the departing Savior; and though uttered eighteen hundred years ago, those words come stealing upon the memory like the echoes of by-gone music, thrilling the heart with holy and indescribable transport. Yes! He has passed within the veil as our Forerunner; He has prepared heaven for us, and by His gentle, wise, and loving discipline He is preparing us for heaven.”

Enough that God is my Father, my Sun, and Shield; that He will give grace and glory, and will withhold no good and needed thing. Enough that Christ is my Portion, my Advocate, my Friend, and that, whatever else may pass away, His sympathy will not cease, His sufficiency will not fail, nor His love die. Enough that the everlasting covenant is mine, and that that covenant, made with me, is ordered in all things, and sure. Enough that heaven is my rest, that towards it I am journeying, and that I am one year nearer its blessed and endless enjoyment.”

Excerpt From: “The Works of Octavius Winslow” iBooks (ePub) edition*

*Available free (on 12/31/13) in ePub or .mobi formats at Monergism.

Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is alive!

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Gospel of Matthew, 28, Crossway Bibles (2009). ESV Study Bible.

The Return of Jesus Christ!

God’s Word, the Bible, clearly says that no man knows the time of the return of Jesus (verses below, linked to their ESV context). Thus it is folly, rebellion and sin to declare a date for the Second Coming of Jesus. I fear the shameful pronouncements of men who set dates will only serve to increase the skepticism of unbelievers, seduce (and later shame) those who are duped, and, discourage many Christians striving to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus.

But TRUTH will prevail. It is not derailed by mischievous men. THE TRUTH: Jesus will return. The Bible clearly says (for all to read, without secret formulas), that the same Jesus who once walked this earth will return here, as King and Lord of all. And every knee will bow to Him.

But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only…. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. — Jesus, in Matthew 24:36, 44

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.Acts 1:7

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.1 Thess. 4:16

…so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:28

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14

While on this day, May 21st, I shake my head in sadness, my heart is steadfast in the truth. And I long for Jesus to return, end the folly and sin — and then make all things new! If you are a true Christian, one who loves Jesus and His Word, then you too must long for that day, though we know not its date.

~ pdb

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” (Mark 16, esv)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise!

Praise the one true and living God with me today!

One of my favorite hymns is Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, with lyrics by Walter Chalmers Smith, and music (a Welsh melody) from John Roberts.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee.

Thou reignest in glory; Thou dwellest in light;
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.

Languish no more

For a week or two now, a cold has been dampening my spirits (especially in the mornings). Yet, thankfully, in this morning’s devotional reading I was reminded how the redeeming work of the Lord is a great source of inner joy for His people, regardless of external circumstances. And so it is! My heart warms at the remembrance of what the Lord has done for me! Joy comes again!

Look with me at Jeremiah 31 (emphasis added) — 

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ 11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more. 13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 14 I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” (esv)

Do you know this joy of redemption? Has the Lord drawn you to Himself in a saving way? Then a response of praise should flow from your heart at the thought of all He has done for you!

pdb

‘tweeting’ truth….

I have a Twitter account (“dbissett”), and enjoy catching those little updates (only a sentence or two) from family and friends around the country. One fellow I follow is Paul David Tripp. His brief “tweets” are potent little messengers of truth! Let me share a few here, and (hopefully) in the future. You can follow him for yourself (“PaulTripp” on twitter).

You are in desperate need of help today. Grace guarantees you a Helper, who’s never unfaithful, weary, impatient, irritated, or hopeless.

In the face of inescapable sin, unrelenting grace is our only place of help, hope, courage, comfort, rest, and lasting peace.

Whenever you argue for your righteousness you deny both the diagnostic accuracy and curative potency of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For the guilt of sin, Jesus is the Lamb. For the inability of sin, Jesus in the Victor. For the foolishness of sin, Jesus is Wisdom.

Prayer calls me to abandon the present as my only lens on life and to commit to look at life from the perspective of eternity.