Round Up

Logic On Fire – Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks this question, “What is preaching?”  I’m looking forward to this documentary.

What the Cross Says – The cross speaks of benediction, of pardon, joy and peace with God. It tells you that God is ready to forgive you. It says, listen to me, your sin has been punished. I am here because this is the punishment of sin.

Vague Pastors – When you don’t preach on something, you are preaching on that thing. You are just saying what you think won’t be as controversial or the thing that won’t lose you your following.

Upon This Rock – Jesus said to Simon, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Sinners in the Hands of a Patient God – Finding Jonathan Edwards.

Quote:

The emanation or communication of the divine fullness, consisting in the knowledge of God, to love him, and joy in him, has relation to God as its fountain, as the thing communicated is something of its internal fullness. The warm stream is something of the fountain; and the beams of sun are something of the sun. (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World)

Iain Murray and the Evangelical Discontentment

Iain Murray writes:  “An invariable characteristic of true preaching has been the assurance that the proclamation of the gospel is the divinely ordained means for the conviction and conversion of sinners.  ‘It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe’ (1 Corinthians 1:21), and in accordance with this persuasion evangelicals have never been content to preach the Word without seeing any change wrought in their hearers” (The Invitation System, pg 1).

As I read this earlier this morning, I was struck by the stark nature and realization that the evangelical church today is absolutely focused and dedicated to seeing results.  Many pastors of today’s mega-churches seem to insinuate that if your church is not growing and experiencing phenomenal “spontaneous” baptisms, well, then you are part of a dead, failing church.   But, what is worse is that pastors who are faithful to the Word of God, faithful to their congregation, faithful in their walk before the Lord, find themselves dealing with all the negativity and thoughts of failure that are projected on them by the evangelical, results oriented, culture we live in.

I find it fascinating that the writer of Hebrews, in the 11th chapter talks about Noah.  If the Bible were being written today (and in many ways it is being rewritten, and not for the better), Noah would not get any mention at all.  Yet the writer of Hebrews states that Noah “condemned the world” by his faithful obedience to his reverent fear of what God had revealed to him.  Peter even calls Noah a “herald of righteousness” (2 Pet 2:5).  Yet, only 6 people besides Noah entered the ark before “the Lord shut [them] in” (Gen 7:16).  By today’s pragmatic standards, Noah would be a colossal failure since he only “reached” 6 people in 120 years.

I write this as an encouragement to all of you pastors out there who don’t preach to 15000 people every Sunday, don’t have a staff of 50, don’t deal with a budget of millions; but constantly struggle with the bills every month, wonder if 20 people will show up to hear your sermon, and haven’t seen a baptism in a year.  Stay faithful!  The work is the Lords.  He is the one that is faithful to bring about His will, for His glory.  As I read His Word, I seem to find that God doesn’t “need” our help, matter of fact, if God needs anything, then He isn’t God at all.  The amazing thing is that He uses us as a means of bringing His good and perfect will to pass.

Daily Roundup

Buckle Up: The Culture Wars Are Only Heating Up –  Owen Strachan takes a look at the coming culture wars surrounding marriage.

Union With Christ:  One of the Secrets of Sanctification – An excerpt from a J I Packer interview.

A Morning and Evening Prayer – The authors and composers of our original church songbooks often included example prayers to instruct the people.

Studies in Sanctification:  A 9-Part Lecture Series – Check out this series by Sinclair Ferguson.

Why Should a Pastor Preach Through Whole Books of the Bible? – Brian Croft blesses us with more of his pastoral wisdom.

The (Legalistic?) Gospel According to Peter – Marc Cortez asks if Peter was a legalist.