Almighty God, our only confidence is in thee; in ourselves we have no trust, for we have proved ourselves, and know that in us—that is, in our flesh—there is no good thing. But thou wilt accomplish thine own work; we will not interfere with God, or seek to hinder Him, or to counsel the omniscient; we will put ourselves into thine hands, saying only, Thy will be done. How thou art to make of us saints in Christ Jesus, we cannot tell; how thou art to work out the miracle of our perfect redemption, we know not; we fall back so much, we are so ignorant, so feeble, so inconstant, we cannot dream how wondrously thou shalt bring on the topstone; but thou wilt surely do so, thy work shall not be surrendered because of want of strength; thou dost not begin except that thou mayest conclude. Inasmuch as thou hast called us thou hast sanctified us; the call is the proof of the redemption; that we are at the altar at all is our confidence and our joy, that we shall ascend, little by little it may be, but with the certainty of thy decree, to all that is meant by heaven. Surely thou hast never forsaken us; we have not had one day’s experience of orphanhood; we have always known how near thou art and how good; if for a small moment thou didst seem to have forsaken us, we have lost the painful memory in the everlasting kindness with which thou hast gathered us. We will speak aloud of thy goodness; we shall not be ashamed of the Lord’s name; we shall ascribe unto thee honour and power and glory world without end; but, more than this, we shall ascribe to thee the glory of having redeemed us, though our unworthiness is unspeakable. All this thou hast done in thy Son Christ Jesus; without him is not anything done that is done; by him were all things made, and for him and to him shall be their final glory and their eternal praise. Such words thou hast taught us; such thoughts thou hast inspired in our minds; such visions thou hast spread out before our imagination. Enable us to walk according to thy law and commandment; may thy love not be a license to us but a discipline; may the mercy of the Lord not encourage our presumption, but deepen our humility and our thankfulness! Let the Lord’s light be round about us like a blessing and delight. Let the Lord’s grace be in our hearts like the warmth of summer. Amen.
Good Saturday morning to you! I hope and pray you have had a great week and are ready to worship our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ corporately tomorrow with your church family. This week’s list begins and ends with posts by Dr. Churck Lawless. I try not to put two posts by the same site or author, but with my mind being focused on pastoral ministry this week, it seemed appropriate and good to share these two practical and helpful posts. There is also a post by a Daniel Dickard on evangelistic preaching that is also well worth your time. In between are posts dealing with politics, preaching memorial services and how to reach and keep millennials. And, since this was Valentine’s Week there is a post on defining love that you’ll want to check out. As always, just because a post is found here doesn’t mean that I endorse anything or everything about the post or its author. I share these because they grabbed my attention and I believe they will be helpful in your life and walk as a Christian. Have a great Saturday and make sure to be in your small group and worship tomorrow!
- 6 Tough Things That Might Be On Your Pastor’s Mind Today
- 4 Reasons You Need To Visit The Land Of Israel
- Is Christ-centered Preaching Evangelistic?
- 6 Tips From Harvard Psychologists Who Studied What It Takes To Raise “Good” Kids
- 59 Percent Of Millenials Raise In A Church Have Dropped Out – And They’re Trying To Tell Us Why
- Seven Steps To Getting The Unchurches Interested In Your Church
- Defining “Love”
- The Politically Illiterate And Why We Need To Be Involved
- 3 Principles To Follow When You Preach A Memorial Service
- When You’ve Lost Your Vision For Your Church Or Ministry
Almighty God, we rejoice that thou art light. Of light, thou art the fountain and the centre. God said, Let there be light; and there was light,—himself shone upon the brooding darkness. Shine in our hearts; be the morning of our lives; be the summer of our souls. Jesus Christ thy Son is the Light of the world. As long as he is in the world he is the Light of the world; he abideth with us for ever, therefore are we living in the day of light and in the presence of light: may we answer light by light, and thus may thy creation be full of glory. They that are of the darkness love the things that are evil; may we be children of the morning and not of the night, rejoicing in all things pure, beautiful, true, and lovely. If thou wilt answer this prayer for us at the Cross, we shall know that the blood of Jesus Christ thy Son cleanseth from all sin; we shall know that we have God in us as the light abounds in our whole thought and purpose. Chase away the last shadow; break up the evil empire of night; and bring in the sovereignty of divine effulgence. We bless thee for a religion that is full of light; we thank thee that we are called to fellowship one with another in the full light of day. Thy Church always meets at midday; it is the child of the noon; there is in it no love of darkness, no trace of mystery or secrecy that is corrupt; the Lord help us to realize our call into light, and may we be found in loving obedience serving the altar of the Cross. Amen.
– The People’s Bible
It’s an exciting weekend here at the Whitt house! I’m looking forward to introducing our prospective Associate Pastor of Education, Outreach & Growth to my Abilene family. I’m trusting that the Lord will use this young man and his gifts to help us in our task of connecting people to Jesus, His church, our community, and the world. Take a few minutes today and peruse this week’s Worth the Read list. There is quite a bit of hubbub over immigration, and that’s represented in several articles below. There are also several other posts that deal with issues facing the church today. As always, read through the articles and pick out the bones. I don’t endorse every writer or what they’ve written. These posts are listed here to help you walk wisely as you sojourn this fallen world. Enjoy and be equipped!
Bonus: Does the sound of someone sitting next to you eating send you over the edge? Here’s why – http://time.com/4659308/misophonia-noisy-eating-science/
– Worth the Read
Almighty God, do thou teach us that thou hast thyself appointed the bounds of our habitation. Show us that there is nothing that thou dost not know, and if we be obedient unto thee there is nothing that thou wilt not appoint for us. Thou sayest, this is your house and, this is not your habitation;—this is the way, walk ye in it and, this is not the way, avoid it. May we hear thy voice, and obey it with all diligence and love. Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father; the very hairs of our head are all numbered; he will not suffer any of our steps to slide. Oh, that we had hearkened unto his law and kept all his statutes! Then had we never wandered, but our road had led straight into heaven’s own city. We have done the things we ought not to have done, we have left undone the things we ought to have done; we can but bow our heads and rend our hearts, and cry, God be merciful unto us sinners! Thou hast made all things contribute to our growth, if we so use them; even the devil himself may be made an instrument of God; if we resist the devil he will flee from us; if we answer him in thine own words he cannot return to us with any deadly effect. Thou dost train us by perils, difficulties, trials of every name and every degree; may we not repine, and resent, and moan over these, but accept them as part of our education, as signs of thy providential reign; and may we answer all the appeals of heaven with glowing love, so that thy statutes shall become our songs in the house of our pilgrimage. Thou hast shown some men great and sore affliction; say to them in their heart-break and darkness and blinding sorrow, Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, and thus may scourging be made a means of grace, may loss be made the beginning of gain. All these things thou wilt teach us in the school of Christ, the blessed Christ, the dying, rising, interceding Christ, who made all things, without whom nothing was made that is made, Lord of all, because Saviour of all, may we find our rest in Christ’s Cross; may we find the answer to sin in the atonement of the Son of God. Without inventions of our own may we accept the sanctuary of thy purpose and sovereignty and love, and be at rest in the heart of Christ. Stop us in all evil ways; may a lion meet us at every turn and affright us until we come back again to the line of duty and righteousness. When the enemy is strong upon us, may thy grace abound over all his pleading. When we are tempted to despair and to say that heaven is empty and God has gone, then shine upon us with a light above the brightness of the sun. Amen.
– The People’s Bible
It’s Saturday again, and I know that you’ve likely had a very busy week. Now is the time to take a break and enjoy a little reading that will help you understand a lot of what had happened in the world this week and how you can make the most of your time, life and ministry. This week’s first post deal with deacons and the important and invaluable role they plan in the life of a pastor and church. The last post gives some very practical ideas on how to plan the best vacation ever. Don’t miss that one. It’s a keeper! In between are some unexpected posts and a few to help you gain perspective as a Christian passing through this world. I pray you are edified and equipped by this week’s post, though I don’t endorse every author or everything they have written.