Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
My talented wife is a fine musician, and teaches piano at a studio and at home. She received an oboe scholarship to attend college. She also has a sense of humor. Here are some tidbits I picked up from her that she picked up in her music circles.
And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.—Genesis 7:24
While the ark bobbed around on the waters like a cork the size of a stadium, the waters were doing something. What were they doing? They were “prevailing.”
The text doesn’t explicitly catalog what was included in the “prevailing,” but we can infer …
- God knows what we need before we ask. (Matthew 6:8)
- God works all things together for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
- God will graciously give all things to the same people to whom he has given his Son. (Romans 8:32)
- God will not allow us to be tempted beyond the grace to endure and escape. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- God is able to do far more than we ask. (Ephesians 3:20)
- God’s peace will guard our hearts. (Philippians 4:5–7)
- God will supply everything we need. (Philippians 4:19)
- God will never abandon us.
I recently reread Calvin Miller’s 1967 book (I was a high school junior) Once Upon a Tree, in which Miller says, “History is nailed together! Literally it is!” He means that everything that came prior to the cross and everything that comes after are given their meaning and significance by the cross.
Our God is both transcendent and immanent. That is, he is above creation, yet has condescended to be present in creation. Throughout Scripture, the Lord is present in creation in different ways at different times. He can be present to bless, or curse. When God’s favor is upon you, being in the presence of the Lord is something that lands on the blessing side of the ledger. Consider the following passages of Scripture:
Douglas Wilson’s book Easy Chairs, Hard Words contains “Conversations on the Liberty of God,” presented as a series of fictional conversations between a curious young Christian and a seasoned pastor. Here are 10 excerpts.
Salvation is not a personal possession of ours, like car keys, which can be misplaced by us.
In salvation, Christ does not become our property; we become his.
Paul David Tripp authored 52 meditations on the Psalm 27. Here are 10 excerpts.
Why would I pray to be taught again and again and again by the Lord? Because his wisdom is just that deep and vast.
You and I will never understand and celebrate the magnitude of God’s transforming grace until we understand the deep damage that sin does to the human heart. Its effect is so pervasive and so comprehensive that it influences everything we do and everything we say.
That’s the title of Joe Thorn’s small volume containing forty-eight chapters, each a succinct two pages long. Here are ten excerpts.
I recently said to a teacher, “I’m not as concerned with your students getting it ALL, just so they don’t get it WRONG.”
In other words, I am less interested in pursuing exhaustive knowledge than I am in ensuring that students don’t go away believing things that are false.
Desiring God board member Peter Hedstrom at the recent board meeting prayed, “Lord, go to the library of my heart, and clear off the shelves where I have volumes of bitterness (etc.) so that I do not go back to them. Purge the library of my soul.”