Links & Quotes

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“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” —C.S. Lewis

“Jesus spilled His blood for you. You can spill your heart before God.” —Max Lucado

“Too often, when issues of sexual abuse come up, the Church simply stays silent. But a Gospel-centered response to sexual violation of anyone at any age begins with understanding that silence is not an option.” Read more in The Scandal Of Silence.

An abortion clinic in Michigan was shut down for numerous health and safety violations, but now it appears it may re-open.

[VIDEO] Here’s the truth of what abortion providers do—

Eric Metaxas shares the really cool story behind the Navy Hymn.

“You can be saved, Spirit-filled, and walking holy before God, yet still be guilty of unbelief. You may think, ‘I don’t have any unbelief.’ But do you get upset when things go wrong? Are you fearful of failing God? Are you restless, afraid of the future? The believer who has unconditional faith in God’s promise enjoys complete rest. What characterizes this rest? A full, complete confidence in God’s Word, and a total dependence on His faithfulness to that Word. Indeed, rest is the evidence of faith.” —David Wilkerson

Seth Godin discusses what starts to happen when our expectations slip.

 

Poetry Saturday―And Can It Be Said That I Should Gain

Charles WesleyAnd can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain―
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace―
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray―
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. —Charles Wesley

Poetry Saturday―There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood

William CowperThere is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine. —William Cowper

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Who is GodPastor Tom Kaastra continued our series The Carols Of Christmas by looking at the well-known Christmas hymn O Come, All Ye Faithful. The line he especially highlighted comes from the third stanza—Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

It is so vital that we keep both of those aspects of Jesus Christ in mind: He is both the Word of the Father and the Word become flesh. As Tom pointed out, this fact helps us answer the two most vital questions that humans have:

  • Who is God?
  • Who am I?

I can learn more about who I am when I know more clearly Who God is. And when I know this, I can more fully—as the song says—come and adore Christ the Lord.

Jesus is fully God:

Jesus revealed to us the Father’s love; after all, God is love (1 John 4:16). Jesus came to show us the love of God.

Jesus is fully Man:

  • He got tired and hungry (John 4:6)
  • He limited Himself to do only what the Father told Him to do (John 5:19-20)
  • He limited Himself to say only what the Father told Him to say (John 12:49)
  • He felt anguish and pain (Luke 22:44)

As C.S. Lewis said, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” And as sons of God, we have access to the Heavenly Father—

Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, “Abba! My Father! (Romans 8:14-15)

Word of the Father now in flesh appearing is cause for adoration because Jesus has made it possible for us to become sons and daughters of God!

O come let us adore Him!!

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

AdventWe began our series on The Carols Of Christmas by looking at the poem written by Charles Wesley in 1744: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus. As far as I can find, Wesley never shared where he got his inspiration for this prose, but I have a hunch that it might be from a song in the Bible called The Benedictus.

Zechariah had been unable to speak for nearly a year because of his doubt over the message God sent him through the angel (see Luke 1:5-20). When his son was born and Zechariah named him John, his tongue was loosed and he “was filled with the Holy Spirit” and burst into song (Luke 1:67-79). The first word of his song in Latin is benedictus, from which the name is derived.

Here’s what I love about both Zechariah’s and Wesley’s songs—they both look forward to Chris’t first Advent and His second Advent. Mary was still pregnant with Jesus when Zechariah sang his song, but his lyrics reflect the Redemption story that Jesus would fulfill as Emmanuel, God with us. Charles Wesley picks up this same theme, rejoicing over Christ’s birth and His imminent return.

In fact, that’s exactly the point! We aren’t celebrating Christmas as much as we are celebrating Advent. Jesus was born “when the time had fully come” for His first Advent (Galatians 4:4-5), and “this same Jesus, Who has been taken from you into Heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). That’s the message that should encourage us (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Check out the remarkable parallels between the Benedictus and Wesley’s hymn—

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus & Benedictus

 

If you’d like to download a PDF of this side-by-side comparison, here it is → Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus & Benedictus ←

We are continuing our series on the rich, meaningful messages in the familiar Christmas carols next Sunday, and I’d love to have you join us!

Poetry Saturday—Moment By Moment

It was during the great World’s Fair evangelistic campaign. Dwight Moody and his workers were gathered at the close of the day, as their custom was, in the evangelist’s room, for a word of prayer together. The hymn I Need Thee Every Hour had been selected. When they finished singing, Henry Varley, the English evangelist, said: “I’m not sure that I can subscribe heartily to that sentiment. I feel that I need Christ moment by moment.” That thought impressed Major D.W. Whittle, and after the prayer meeting he went to his room, and, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he wrote and rewrote and wrote again until 2 o’clock in the morning when he completed his song Moment By Moment.

Major D.W. WhittleDying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine,
Living with Jesus a new life divine,
Looking to Jesus ‘til glory doth shine,—
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love,
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus ‘till glory doth shine.
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,—
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.

Never a heartache and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger, but there on the throne,
Moment by moment, He thinks of His own.

Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus, my Savior, abides with me still. —Major D.W. Whittle

 

Poetry Saturday—There Is A Safe & Secret Place

Henry Francis LyteThere is a safe and secret place,
Beneath the wings Divine,
Reserved for all the heirs of grace;
O be that refuge mine!

The least and feeblest there may bide,
Uninjured and unawed;
While thousands fall on every side
He rests secure in God.

He feeds in pastures, large and fair,
Of love and truth Divine;
O child of God, O glory’s heir,
How rich a lot is thine.

A hand almighty to defend,
An ear for every call,
An honored life, a peaceful end,
And heaven to crown it all! —Henry Francis Lyte

 

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