Henri Blocher On the Cross: Evil, Lordship, and Goodness

From Jonathan Parnell In Evil and the Cross, Henri Blocher writes about the tension that exists for the Christian regarding the existence of evil: The evil of evil, the lordship of the Lord, the goodness of God: these three immovable propositions stand together as the basis of biblical doctrine. We can picture them as a capital T: the sovereignty of God forms the stem, the two branches being the denunciation of evil and the praise of God in his goodness. But the great difficulty lies in holding all three together (100). Blocher then considers the cross of Jesus Christ: In the light of the cross, how could there be any doubt about the three propositions at the heart of the Christian position? The sheer and utter evilness of evil is demonstrated there: as hatred in the mockery of the criminals who also hung there; as hateful in the weight of guilt which could be removed only by the sacrifice of the Lamb of

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Pray for Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada will be undergoing surgery for breast cancer, according to this press release: “Joni is to undergo several more tests, followed by surgery within the week,” said Mazza. “The extent of the cancer will not be determined until the procedure.” Ken Tada, Joni’s husband of nearly 28 years, is very hopeful. “The doctors have assured us that more advancements have been made in the last five years in treating breast cancer then in the last 150 years,” he said. “We are confident Joni is in very good hands.” Joni echoed Ken’s sentiments. “I’ve often said that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, who loves us and wants what is best for us. So, although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me,” she said. “Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this

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What is sin?

What is sin? The Glory of God not honored. The Holiness of God not reverenced. The Greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The Truth of God not sought. The Wisdom of God not Esteemed. The Beauty of God not treasured. The Goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The Commandments of God not obeyed. The Justice of God not respected. The Wrath of God not feared. The Grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized The person of God not loved. That is sin. – John Piper

Action Steps For Anxiety

Paul Tripp’s six action steps for anxiety: Remind Yourself That God Is In Control: When you convince yourself that your world is out of control, you are on the verge of paralysis. Watch your self-talk. Are you saying to yourself: “God is in control of this circumstance, He is my Father, and He is ruling this for my benefit”? Accept Confusion: Believing in God’s sovereignty doesn’t mean life will make sense. Believing in God’s sovereignty is needed because life doesn’t make sense. Your rest is not in figuring out your circumstances–your rest is in the God behind the circumstances. Don’t Allow Emotions To Rule: As much as the emotions you experience will be right, good, and appropriate, don’t let them set the agenda. There is a temptation to do that, but allowing yourself to be pulled away by the emotions of the moment could cause you to regret your decisions later. Distinguish Needs From Wants: Be very careful what you put

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The Loving Meaning of the Leftovers

I love this from John Piper: After Jesus had fed both the 5,000 and the 4,000 with only a few loaves and fish, the disciples got in a boat without enough bread for themselves. When they began to discuss their plight, Jesus said, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand?” (Mark 8:17). What didn’t they understand? They did not understand the meaning of the leftovers, namely, that Jesus will take care of them when they take care of others. Jesus said: “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” Understand what? The leftovers. The leftovers were for

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Oh to love, to believe, to hope, to delight in God!

“Oh to love the Saviour with a passion that can never cool; Oh to believe in God with a confidence that can never stagger!  Oh, to hope with an expectation that can never be dim!  Oh, to delight in God with a holy over-flowing rejoicing that can never be stopped, so that we might live to glorify God at the highest bent of our powers, living with enthusiasm, burning, blazing, being consumed with the indwelling God who worketh all things in us according to His will! Thus, Lord, would we praise and pray at the same time, confess and acknowledge our responsibilities, but also bless the free, the sovereign grace that makes us what we are.  Oh God of the eternal choice, O God of the ransom purchased on the tree, O God of the effectual call, Father, Son and Spirit, our adoration rises to heaven like the smoke from the altar of incense.  Glory and honour and majesty and power and dominion and

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Come to me… and I will give you rest

I love this from Todd Pruitt: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.” – Isaiah 42:3 We all know what it is like to feel like a bruised reed and a smouldering wick. They are both images of weakness. Relationships, work, loss, and pain can all sap our strength and rob us of strength. It is in those times when we need to know the tender touch of God. I am tired today. Certain burdens are weighing especially heavy. Too often I depend on the approval of others which always results in wounds and disappointment. I am a sinful man and I live among other sinful men. The reality can be overwhelming. But what I need is not more approval or to work harder. What I need is Jesus. Thanks to Ray Ortland for the following post. I needed this today (and a lot of days for that matter). “Come to me,

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It Is Well With My Soul

My thanks to Erik Kowalker this: For those of you not familiar with the background of this famous hymn “It is well with my soul” by Horatio Spafford, take the next three minutes to listen and view the severely traumatic events that led Spafford to pen this influential hymn in 1873 that has stood the test of time. May God bring this powerful hymn to your remembrance when difficult seasons in your Christian walk come your way.

Your Father Knows What You Need

Time for one last post before I leave. I love this from John Piper. I needed this today! Jesus wants his followers to be free from worry. In Matthew 6:25-34 he gives at least seven arguments designed to take away our anxiety. One of them lists food and drink and clothing, and then says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:32). Do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (vv. 31-32). Jesus must mean that God’s knowing is accompanied by his desiring to meet our need. He is emphasizing we have a Father. And this Father is better than an earthly father. I have five children. I love to meet their needs. But my knowing falls short of God’s in at least three ways. Right now I

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Lloyd-Jones: Living Water

I’m just about to leave to preach in a friends church. My text is, 2Tim.1:6,7. My title is, ‘Fanning the flame’. I pray that preacher and people alike share this expectation and encounter described here by the Doctor. My thanks to Justin Taylor for posting this: Crossway has now published Living Water: Studies in John 4—56 previously unpublished sermons by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Here is an excerpt: Possibly one of the most devastating things that can happen to us as Christians is that we cease to expect anything to happen. I am not sure but that this is not one of our greatest troubles today. We come to our services and they are orderly, they are nice ‒ we come, we go ‒ and sometimes they are timed almost to the minute, and there it is. But that is not Christianity, my friend. Where is the Lord of glory? Where is the one sitting by the well? Are we expecting him?

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Without the New Birth…

Without the new birth, we won’t have saving faith, but only unbelief. (John 1:11-13; 1 John 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:3). Without the new birth, we won’t have justification, but only condemnation. (Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:17 Philippians 3:9). Without the new birth, we won’t be the children of God, but the children of the devil. (1 John 3:9-10). Without the new birth, we won’t bear the fruit of love by the Holy Spirit, but only bear the fruit of death. (Romans 6:20-21; 7:4-6; 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 3:14). Without the new birth, we won’t have eternal joy in fellowship with God, but only eternal misery with the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41; John 3:3; Romans 6:23; Revelation 2:11; 20:15). — John Piper,  Why Do We Need to Be Born Again? (Part 2) (HT: Adrian Warnock)

How God glorifies himself toward his creatures

Jonathan Edwards: “God is glorified within Himself these two ways: 1. By appearing..to Himself in His own perfect idea [of Himself], or in His Son, who is the brightness of His glory. 2. By enjoying and delighting in Himself, by flowing forth in infinite love and delight toward Himself, or in His Holy Spirit…. So God glorifies Himself toward the creatures in two ways: 1. By appearing to their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their heart, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestation which He makes of Himself… God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and the heart. God made the world that he might communicate, and the creature receive his glory; and that it

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The goodness of God

My thanks to Ray Ortlund for these Sibbes quotes: “There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” Richard Sibbes, Works, I:47. “Another way to love God is to consider his wonderful goodness. He is good and doth good. It is a communicative goodness. Let us think of his goodness and the streaming of it out to the creature. The whole earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. What are all the creatures but God’s goodness? We can see nothing but the goodness of God. What is all the creation but Deus explicatus, God unfolded to the senses? He offers himself to our bodies and souls; all is God’s goodness. . . . He hath fitted every part of us, soul and body, with goodness, all the senses with goodness. What do we see but goodness in colors? What do we hear but his good in those delights that come that way? We taste and feel his

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