Links & Quotes

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Some great reading (and watching) from the past couple of days.

“This generation has yet to prove all that prayer can do for believing men and women.” —A.W. Tozer

Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds together, but the Lord can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail; and as He will not forsake me, neither will I forsake Him.” —Charles Spurgeon

[VIDEO] This is priceless! Watch as a young man with Down Syndrome reads a special letter.

John Piper shares The Greatest Prayer In The World.

Tim Elmore discussing Generation Y: The Inverse Relationship Between Empathy And Narcissism.

This is why I love loving on our missionaries: Home Without A Home.

Some powerful Good Friday quotes compiled by Chilly Chilton in his post Cross Walk.

“Right now you may feel abused and unloved. The devil would have you believe that God has left you to your own devices—that you deserve to suffer, that it’s all over for you, that there is no hope. Beloved, those are lies from hell. God wants more than anything else to rid you of your perverted concept of Him.” —David Wilkerson

The Horrors Of Crucifixion

Good FridayWilliam Barclay, in his commentary on the Gospel of John, wrote graphically about the horrors of crucifixion—

   There was no more terrible death than death by crucifixion. Even the Romans themselves regarded it with a shudder of horror. Cicero declared that it was “the most cruel and horrifying death.” Tacitus said that it was a “despicable death.” It was originally a Persian method of execution. It may have been used because, to the Persians, the earth was sacred, and they wished to avoid defiling it with the body of an evil-doer. So they nailed him to a cross and left him to die there, looking to the vultures and the carrion crows to complete the work. The Carthaginians took over crucifixion from the Persians; and the Romans learned it from the Carthaginians.

   Crucifixion was never used as a method of execution in the homeland, but only in the provinces, and there only in the case of slaves. It was unthinkable that a Roman citizen should die such a death. Cicero says: “It is a crime for a Roman citizen to be bound; it is a worse crime for him to be beaten; it is well nigh parricide for him to be killed; what am I to say if he be killed on a cross? A nefarious action such as that is incapable of description by any word, for there is none fit to describe it.” It was that death, the most dreaded in the ancient world, the death of slaves and criminals, that Jesus died.

   The routine of crucifixion was always the same. When the case had been heard and the criminal condemned, the judge uttered the fateful sentence: Ibis ad crucem, “You will go to the cross.” The verdict was carried out there and then. The condemned man was placed in the centre of a quaternion, a company of four Roman soldiers. His own cross was placed upon his shoulders. Scourging always preceded crucifixion and it is to be remembered how terrible scourging was. Often the criminal had to be lashed and goaded along the road, to keep him on his feet, as he staggered to the place of crucifixion. Before him walked an officer with a placard on which was written the crime for which he was to die and he was led through as many streets as possible on the way to execution. There was a double reason for that. There was the grim reason that as many as possible should see and take warning from his fate. But there was a merciful reason. The placard was carried before the condemned man and the long route was chosen, so that if anyone could still bear witness in his favor, he might come forward and do so. In such a case, the procession was halted and the case retried. (emphasis added)

Always remember that Jesus willingly went through this for you and me.

Surely He took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered Him punished by God,
    stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
    and by His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5, emphasis added)

Thursdays With Oswald—The Historicity Of The Cross

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

The Historicity Of The Cross 

     It is essential to have an historic basis for our Christian faith: our faith must be centered in the Life and Death of the historic Jesus. Why is it that that Life and Death have an importance out of all proportion to every other historic fact? Because there the Redemption is brought to a focus. 

     Jesus Christ was not a Man who twenty centuries ago lived on this earth for thirty-three years and was crucified; He was God Incarnate, manifested at one point of history. All before look forward to that point; all since look back to it. The presentation of this fact produces what no other fact in the whole of history ever could produce, viz.: the miracle of God at work in human souls. The death of Jesus was not the death of a martyr, it was the revelation of the Eternal heart of God. That is why the Cross is God’s last word….

From Conformed To His Image

This is the Fact of history—

For God loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17)

Links & Quotes

link quoteSome cool reading I came across today.

“We simply can’t change ourselves. Only the Spirit of God can conform us to the glorious image of Christ.” —David Wilkerson

Oh, that today my clothes may be vestments, my meals sacraments, my house a temple, my table an alter, my speech incense, and myself a priest!” —Charles Spurgeon

I like this: 8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do.

“Sound biblical and theological learning is useful for building the church when it is delivered with patience and gentleness by a loving shepherd.” —T.M. Moore

Earth Day And The Christian

Earth Day 2013Some Christians I know shy away from being involved with anything that’s even remotely related to Earth Day. They tell me that Earth Day seems too “earthy” or even “worldly” for them. I disagree. For the Christian, I believe there are a couple of principles that converge and therefore compel us to be involved.

The first principle is mankind’s original mandate. When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in His garden, He gave them the responsibility and privilege of caring for His creation. They were to care for both the plants and animals, making sure a healthy environment was maintained for them to be fruitful (see Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:15).

The second principle is Christ’s directive. Jesus told Christians to shine like lights and season like salt, “that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). Even Jesus Himself “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38).

So when there’s an opportunity to care for our environment by doing “good deeds,” I’m going to take advantage of that every single time!

Saturday, April 26, beginning at 10am, is the annual Earth Day and Cedar Creek cleanup in Cedar Springs. I will be there along with a number of other folks from Calvary Assembly of God. I encourage others in Cedar Springs to join us. If you live in a different community, find an activity in which you can get involved and let your light shine brightly and lovingly in your city.

10 Blessings From Doing Things God’s Way

10Solomon opens the third chapter of Proverbs with these words, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart.” Then he goes on to list the blessings that come from doing things God’s ways. Here they are—

  1. A prosperous, long life (v. 2)
  2. You will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man (v. 4)
  3. Straight paths (v. 6)
  4. Health to your body (v. 8)
  5. Overflowing success for your work (v. 10)
  6. God’s discipline—yes, His discipline is a blessing (v. 12)
  7. God takes you into His confidence (v. 32)
  8. God blesses your home (v. 33)
  9. He gives you grace (v. 34)
  10. He gives you honor (v. 35)

With a list of blessings like that, why would I ever want to try to do things my way?!

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I came across today.

I am so blessed to work at the En Gedi Youth Center every day. Here’s a great article on the youth center in Mlive.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Where Did Your Tax Money Go?

“Are you becoming more sweet-spirited, more like Jesus? Are you looking soberly in the mirror each day and praying, ‘Lord, I want to conform to Your image in every area of my life’? Or has your bitterness taken root, turning into rebellion and hardness of heart? Have you learned to shield yourself from the convicting voice of God’s Spirit?” —David Wilkerson

“Prayer at its holiest moment is the entering into God to a place of such blessed union as makes miracles seem tame and remarkable answers to prayer appear something very far short of wonderful by comparison.” —A.W. Tozer

“I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality (unless I watch myself very carefully) asking Him to do something quite different. I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me. But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing.” —C.S. Lewis

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