(Matthew Henry- Complete Commentary on the Bible)
(Matthew Henry- Complete Commentary on the Bible)
Infinite, and an infant—
eternal, and yet born of a woman—
Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast—
supporting the universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms—
king of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph—
heir of all things and yet the carpenter’s despised son.
The Word became flesh!
God became human!
the invisible became visible!
the untouchable became touchable!
eternal life experienced temporal death!
the transcendent one descended and drew near!
the unlimited became limited!
the infinite became finite!
the immutable became mutable!
the unbreakable became fragile!
spirit became matter!
eternity entered time!
the independent became dependent!
the almighty became weak!
the loved became the hated!
the exalted was humbled!
glory was subjected to shame!
fame turned into obscurity!
from inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief!
from a throne to a cross!
from ruler to being ruled!
from power to weakness!
The eyes of the world will turn to South Africa today as Holland and Spain battle to be crowned world champions. It's been interesting to see so much of the television coverage devoted to the politics and history of South Africa, and so I was fascinated to listen to this sermon from PJ Smyth. It's entitled 'What would God say to president Zuma', apparently with Zuma in attendance.
HT- Mark Driscoll
You're either going to go out like Judas or Jesus—that's how your life is going to end. You're going to go out like Jesus, faithful to the end, whatever the cost, or you're going to go out like Judas, prematurely, tragically, rebelliously, shamefully. I want you to keep your boots on, finish strong, run your race, see it through to the end, be a completer, a finisher, a closer of the things God has given you to do.
Only when we ask why Christ has appointed a Gospel ministry can we begin to appreciate what the call to the ministry is. Then, having been called to the greatest office in the world, how can a man stoop to become a king?
None of us takes to the cross naturally. Sacrifice hurts, and the hurt is real. But there is a deeper desire in us than that of simply avoiding pain. We want to do the will of God…
… Many people do not think about suffering when they think of Christian service. This is a big mistake. All through the New Testament we are told that if we are faithful to God, we will suffer. When we do Christian ministry, we take on the mantle of Jesus, the suffering servant. The long list of of his sufferings for Christ that Paul gives in his epistles are very vivid. In fact, he describes his personal sufferings as Christ’s own sufferings (Phil 3:10, Col 1:24-25) indicating that suffering was an aspect of his union with Christ. IF we do not anticipate suffering, we could be disillusioned when it comes or try to avoid it through disobedience.
But suffering is not easy. Those who make love their goal in life are going to hurt deeply when they are rejected, unappreciated, exploited, or opposed by the very people they seek to love. But that is the lot of God’s servants.
However as we face the prospect of suffering, God will remind us that, just as Christ’s sufferings produced great glory, our sufferings will also bring great glory to God.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
In my Go for the Guys Sunday Action Plan, I advocate a one-point sermon, ten minutes in length, built around an object lesson.
I see several species of pride in my soul that, while they may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry, grieve me, and have taken a toll on my relationship with Noël and others who are dear to me. How do I apologize to you, not for a specific deed, but for ongoing character flaws, and their effects on everybody? I’ll say it now, and no doubt will say it again, I’m sorry. Since I don’t have just one deed to point to, I simply ask for a spirit of forgiveness; and I give you as much assurance as I can that I am not making peace, but war, with my own sins.
A heaven-sent revival will only come when Scripture is enthroned once again in the pulpit. There must be the clarion declaration of the Bible, the kind of preaching that gives a clear explanation of a biblical text with compelling application, exhortation, and appeal.
Every preacher must confine himself to the truths of Scripture. When the Bible speaks, God speaks. The man of God has nothing to say apart from the Bible. He must not parade his personal opinions in the pulpit. Nor may he expound worldly philosophies. The preacher is limited to one task — preach the Word...
...May a new generation of strong men step forward and speak up, and may they do so loud and clear. As the pulpit goes, so goes the church.
Had the privilege of attending the 9 Marks Conference at Charlotte Chapel last week. Found it challenging, stimulating and encouraging in equal measure. The talks and Q&A sessions are now available for download at Charlotte Chapel's website here. Details below.
• Session 1 - A Theological Vision - Churches that Display God's Glory + Slides + Q&A
• Session 2 - Preaching and Biblical Theology + Q&A
• Session 3 - Gospel, Conversion and Evangelism + Q&A
• Session 4 - Membership, Discipline and Discipleship + Q&A
• Session 5 - Leadership + Q&A
• Session 6 - Covenanting Together + Q&A