Sanctification in God’s Good Gifts

It is like the sweetness of honey that rolls over the rottenness of a cavity — the sweetness exposes my rottenness.

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The Many Medicines of the Lord

We are very much aware of the texts that speak of the meticulous and wise providences of God in brining about suffering, pain, and affliction for our good and God’s glory.  And we are keenly aware (hopefully) of the footing for these precious and very great promises:

  • Job 5:17-18, ““Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.
  • Hosea 6:1, “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
  • Lamentations 3:31-33, “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.”
  • Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (see also verse 67, 75).

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Basic Apologetics: the Resurrection

 If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then we must either come to him for life, or run from his judgement — but we mustn’t tarry.

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Saved to Display Christ

Christian, you were saved to display the excellency of Christ to a self-glorifying world.

We Live to Display

There is not a person in the world who does not display the worth of something.  We have this innate desire to make much of something greater than ourselves and that outside of ourselves.  “Did you see who made the playoffs?” “So, this weekend I went to…”  There must be something of value that we find our value in, that we desire to show as valuable, and something that we so desperately want to invite others in to enjoy it with us.

C.S. Lewis shows us this truth,

The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game — praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars…[then they] spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?”

Yet, the things we enjoy aren’t really that outstanding.  Get the new iPhone 8?  You’re going to be outdated with the 10.  Love your job?  It’ll get harder, and besides, your friend’s job is much more interesting.  This is an endless pursuit of self-glory, and nothing holds its luster.  By pointing to ourselves as supremely valuable, we let so many down.  When we tell others that this thing is deserving of the most praise, we lead them astray by overselling and under-delivering.  How sad, selfish, and sinful we are.  We have completely missed true value, ‘our desires are not too strong, but too weak.’

And why do we seek to display what we delight in?  Because we want to find what is most excellent and point others to glory in it with us.  What are we designed to display?  And how do we know?

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Weinstein, David, and the Gospel

Though he did not commit any sins, he was sent away with a death warrant for ours; Jesus bore our punishment for us.

Private Sins, Public Shame

The producer of Gangs of New York, Harvey Weinstein, is making newspaper and media headlines.  But sadly, not for another movie, but for multiple allegations and women coming forward to reveal that they have been sexually assaulted, groped, and raped by the director.  According to these women, they have been asked, forced, and paid to make sexual advances or to be alone with him in hotel rooms; they have been tricked into one-on-one meetings in offices or in buildings.  And in all of these horrendous and wicked acts of sexual sin, Weinstein remained in power over their word and fame as actresses.  These secret sins in the hidden areas of offices, closed doors, and hotel rooms have not been exposed for what they are: disturbing acts carried out by a human being with a heart of stone, full of sexual immorality, lust, falsehood, pride, and in the place of power to abuse and shame the opposite sex in the process.

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