God himself is the great good of our redemption

The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. He is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ has purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honour and glory. They have none in heaven but God; he is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world. The Lord God, he is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem; and is the ‘the river of the water of life’ that runs, and the tree of life that grows, ‘in the midst of the paradise of God.’ The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what

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6 Traits of a Pastor in Awe of God

Paul Tripp: What traits does the awe of God produce in the heart of a pastor that are vital for an effective, God-honoring, and productive ministry? Here is a list of six. 1. Humility There is nothing like standing without defense before the awesome glory of God to put you in your place, correct a distorted view of yourself, yank you out of functional arrogance, and take the winds out of the sails of your self-righteousness. In the face of his glory I am left naked with no glory whatsoever left to hold before myself or anyone else. As long as I am comparing myself to others I can always find someone whose existence seems to make me look righteous by comparison. But if I compare my filthy rags to the pure and forever unstained linen of God’s righteousness, I want to run and hide in heart-breaking shame. This is what happened to Isaiah, recorded in chapter six. He stands

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Valuable for His Own Sake

Machen: We are subject to many pressing needs, and we are too much inclined to value God, not for His own sake, but only because He can satisfy those needs. . . . [Food, clothing, companionship, and inspiring work] are lofty desires. But there is one desire that is loftier still. It is the desire for God Himself. That desire, too often, we forget. We value God solely for the things He can do; we make of Him a mere means to an ulterior end. And God refuses to be treated so; such a religion always fails in the hour of need. If we have regarded religion merely as a means of getting things–even lofty and unselfish things–then when the things that have been gotten are destroyed, our faith will fail. When loved ones are taken away, when disappointment comes and failure, when noble ambitions are set at naught, then we turn away from God. We have tried religion, we

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God’s Great Grace

I’m preaching through Romans midweek, and Ephesians on Sundays for my friends at King’s Church, Southend. I like this from Justin Taylor: One of the beautiful things about the book of Ephesians is the way in which Paul celebrates God’s grace, power, might, wisdom, love, and glory. Follow the adjectives and superlatives to see an example of worshipful pastoral theology in action. We are saved “to the praise of God’s glorious grace” (Eph. 1:6) Our redemption and forgiveness through the cross is “according to theriches of his grace, which he lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:6-7). We are called to know “the riches of [God’s] glorious inheritance in the saints” and “the immeasurable greatness of his power . . . and his greatmight” (Eph. 1:18-19). Because God is “rich in mercy” and because of his “great love” toward us, we were saved” (Eph. 2:4). In the coming ages God will show us “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). Paul

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Higher Up and Further Back

From Tullian Tchividjian: In one of the most powerful and poetic paragraphs I’ve ever read on human yearning and the hope of the gospel, Cornelius Plantinga (President of Calvin Theological Seminary) writes: The truth is that nothing in this earth can finally satisfy us. Much can make us content for a time but nothing can fill us to the brim. The reason is that our final joy lies “beyond the walls of this world,” as J.R.R Tolkien put it. Ultimate beauty comes not from a lover or a landscape or a home, but only through them. These earthly things are solid goods, and we naturally relish them. But they are not our final good. They point to what is higher up and further back…Even if we fall deeply in love and marry another human being, we discover that our spiritual and sexual oneness isn’t final. It’s wonderful, but not final. It might even be as good as human oneness can be, but something in us

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Sunday morning…

“If God is not supreme in our preaching, where in this world will the people hear about the supremacy of God? If we do not spread a banquet of God’s beauty on Sunday morning, will not our people seek in vain to satisfy their inconsolable longing with the cotton candy pleasures of pastimes and religious hype? If the fountain of living water does not flow from the mountain of God’s sovereign grace on Sunday morning, will not the people hew for themselves cisterns on Monday, broken cisterns that can hold no water?” – John Piper (HT: Todd Pruitt)

9 Ways to Pray for Your Soul

. From John Piper: . Here are some ways to pray for yourself so that you’re praying in sync with the way God works. 1. For the desire of my heart to be toward God and his Word. Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to gain. (Psalm 119:36) 2. For the eyes of my heart to be opened. Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18) 3. For my heart to be enlightened with these “wonders.” [I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:18) 4. For my heart to be united, not divided, for God. O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:11) 5. For my heart to be satisfied with God and not with the world. O satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm

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Majestic God

From The Thirsty Theologian: I was reminded, as I read the passage that follows, of what David Wells has written on the imminence vs. the transcendence of God. That God is a personal, relational God is emphasized much these days. But what of his greatness and glory, his majesty? Majesty is a word which the Bible uses to express the thought of the greatness of God, our maker and our Lord. “The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty. . . . Your throne was established long ago” (Ps 93:1–2). They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works” (Ps145:5). Peter, recalling his vision of Christ’s royal glory at the transfiguration, says, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet 1:16). . In Hebrews, the phrase the majesty twice does duty for God; Christ, we are told, at his ascension sat down “at the right hand of the majesty in heaven”

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