On this date in 1973, the US Supreme Court made a horrific decision to legalize abortion throughout the country. Since that date, the consequences of Roe v. Wade are 49,551,703 children killed in the womb. More info here.
We do thank God that the annual number of abortions has declined in recent years, but abortion remains an evil stain upon our land. Let us pray and work to undo this wretched legal situation, and protect and sanctify life in the womb.
Dr Derek Thomas recently wrote of his love for the church – I couldn’t agree more! Ponder his warm, even passionate words…
“Love me, love my dog,” they say, and my poor dog has been sick all summer and continues to be in bad shape. But it is not dogs I am writing about here; it is the church. Jesus seems to say, again and again: “Love me, love my church.”
Something is terribly wrong when professing Christians do not identify with the church and love being a part of her. Something is wrong when professing Christians fail to be passionate about every aspect of the church and long to invest themselves in her, taking all that the church represents and does to heart. Listen, for example, to the way Paul instructs the Ephesians: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
I fell in love with the church the moment I was converted as a freshman in college in 1971. Having never attended any church until then, I discovered a community that was, to me, like a family: caring, loving, and nourishing. The church I found was able to tell me that I was wrong about some things without driving me away. I knew that I was loved. The church showed me acts of kindness and fellowship that I recall with affection to this day. I was introduced to expository preaching from the start – a style of preaching that puts the Bible above the personality and idiosyncrasies of the preacher. I discovered communal prayer times, and joyful singing, all of which have been the mainstay of my Christian life ever since. True, I have had my share of worship wars, when Christians disagree over important things and sometimes trivial things; but for all that, I have taken delight in her rituals of song and sacrament, prayer and proclamation, more times than I can relate. I love the church. I fully endorse Calvin’s way of putting it (and the shadow of Cyprian that lies behind it): “For there is no other way to enter into life unless this mother conceive us in her womb, give us birth, nourish us at her breast, and lastly, unless she keep us under her care and guidance until, putting off mortal flesh, we become like the angels” (Inst. 4.1.4). In the church, I have discovered saints and angels (though not, as far as I know, real angels). I have witnessed deeds of extraordinary kindness done to myself and to others, and I have been the beneficiary of kindnesses done to me by those who remained anonymous.
Yes, there is a dark side to the church as there is to all things in this fallen world. The church is not perfect. It has her share of malcontents and killjoys, her energy-sapping attention-getters and despondent hearts. Adullam’s cave has nothing on some churches I have seen, but none of this robs me of my love for the church. Even at her most eccentric – the King James Version’s rendition of 1 Peter 2:9 as “ye are … a peculiar people” is painfully accurate, if quaint — she is still Christ’s body. “Love me, love my church” is what Jesus seems to say in the Bible. I would not have it any other way. Would you?
“It is not only an affront put upon God, but also a great wrong, to neglect the word of God, and the way He prescribes, and to seek blessedness in temporal things,” says puritan Thomas Manton while preaching on Psalm 119:12.
In an extended “Tuesday with Thomas Manton” let me share all three points he gives to this heading, as he asserts “…the true way to blessedness [is] set down in God’s statutes; but in outward things there wants [lacks] fulness, sincerity, eternity.”
Continue reading “Manton: choose eternal things over temporal…”
When did the first woman of the Bible receive her name? I can tell you that when she is named, it is for theologically rich reasons!
Adam gets his name first, from the Hebrew word for man (adam), which is also the generic term used for mankind (both male & female, as in Genesis 1:26-27). So, in Gen. 2:20, and 3:17 God calls him by the proper name, Adam. But up to that point the woman was simply called “female” (1:27), a “helper” (2:18), a “woman” (2:22-23), and a “wife” (2:24-25). Continue reading “Eve, the Mother of All Living”
How are you doing this fine spring evening? I hope this post finds you satisfied after a good day’s work, and fed, and well.
But how is our attitude when things are not well, or when you’ve just received seriously bad news — possibly about yourself?
At the beginning of 2006 Pastor John Piper of Minneapolis was diagnosed with prostrate cancer (a very early stage of it). On Feb 14th, he underwent successful surgery, and is well recovered. In the midst of that trial, he wrote about “not wasting” his cancer — a strange expression to our ears.
Just the other day the major newspaper of the Twin Cities metro area ran the essence of his writing on this subject. The web link below should take you there. I suggest you read it. You do NOT need to have cancer to profit from such thinking. Perhaps something else is shaking you and your world. The principles transfer well.
Let’s learn to think and act ‘christianly’ in this broken old world — to the praise and glory of our heavenly Father!
Yours by divine mercy,
Here’s the link to the newspaper article:
StarTribune Piper article
More Piper info from his ministry website…
Do you remember the Sago, West Virginia Mining disaster in January, that cost 12 men their lives? It was an especially awful event because of the false report of survivors, followed some hours later by the harsh reality of all but one lost.
It is now being reported that one of the miners who perished, Jackie Weaver, had an interesting practice each day he entered the mine — including that day he did not walk out. Mr Weaver would write a simple two word sentence in the coal dust each and every day….
Why in the coal dust? Well, it certainly was the commodity at hand at a coal mine. But perhaps the fact that dust is so fleeting and temporal, was part of his message — a message to himself and to others. Perhaps it was a message to put this very hard work into perspective, or perhaps it was a reminder of the temporal nature of human life.
He would do it every day we’re told. Repetition for emphasis? Repetition as a personal re-affirmation of his own beliefs? Repetition because others had yet to get his message? Probably all these reasons I suspect.
When I first read about Mr Weaver’s two word daily scribbling in the dust, my eyes welled up with emotion. As a pastor/theologian I saw the connection to one of the great and indisputable truths of the Bible: ashes to ashes, dust to dust — human beings’ bodies do not last forever, but die and decay.
Mr Weaver died that early January day after he wrote these two words one last time: Jesus saves.
If today was your final day (it could be, you know), what are you believing?
That event took 12 men back “to dust” — and at least one, I believe, to glory.