Sacred Marriage

“A magnificent marriage begins not with knowing one another but with knowing God.”

“Think of the impact if the first thing radical feminists thought of when the conversation turned to evangelical men was that they had the best reputation for keeping their marriage vows and serving their wives in the costly fashion of Jesus at the cross.”

-Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0037YLBNQ/ref=r_soa_po_i

All to Bring You Glory

A morning sun
Paints the day,
The waiting shore
Welcomes the waves,
The wind and trees
New songs create.
All to bring You glory.
 
The Autumn cool
Turns the leaves,
The river runs 
To join the sea,
The lily blooms,
The sparrow sings.
All to bring You glory.
 
A promise kept
To Abraham,
A sea that turned
Into dry land,
The prophet’s word
Revealed Your plan,
All to bring You glory.
 
Across the world
The nations sing,
By mercy healed,
By grace set free.
All for You,
Beautiful King.
All to bring You glory
 
So, how much more can I
Tell of who You are.
Jealously You sought me out
And won my heart.
And now by love, redeemed,
I tell my story
All to bring You glory.
 
-Ronnie Freeman & Sue C. Smith
2010 New Spring, Lehajoes Music, Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing, CCTB Music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW0d03aOo8s

The Happy Walk

“Believers, if you would have an increase of happiness in Christ’s service, labor every year to grow in grace. Beware of standing still. The holiest men are always the happiest. Let your aim be every year to be more holy–to know more, to feel more, to see more of the fullness of Christ. Do not rest on old grace: do not be content with the degree of Christianity which you have attained. Search the Scriptures more earnestly; pray more fervently; hate sin more; mortify self-will more; become more humble the nearer you draw to your end; seek more direct personal communion with the Lord Jesus; strive to be more like Enoch– daily walking with God; keep your conscience clear of little sins; grieve not the Spirit; avoid arguments and disputes about the lesser matters of religion: lay more firm hold upon those great truths, without which no man can be saved. Remember and practice these things, and you will be more happy.”

-J.C. Ryle

Practical Religion, “Happiness”, 259.

http://jcrylequotes.com/2011/07/29/the-secret-of-the-happy-christian/

In the Cross Alone I Glory

In the cross alone I glory
Recognition laying down
Greatest treasures count as worthless
Standing next to Heaven’s crowns
Standing next to Heaven’s crowns

In the cross alone I glory
Ever reaching for the prize
Pressing on and laying hold of
That for which my savior died
That for which my savior died

In the cross alone I glory
Nothing of my own to give
Only that which Christ has offered
For my soul that I may live
For my soul that I may live

In the cross alone I glory
Holding fast the word of life
Toiling not in vain but being
Poured out as a sacrifice
Poured out as a sacrifice

Never will I seek the glory
That was never meant for me
Always heavenward refl ecting
All to Jesus to receive
All to Jesus to receive
All to Jesus to receive

-Brian Petak, Galatians 6:14, Phil. 3:3
Copyright © 2005 worshiptogether.com
Songs/ASCAP (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing)

Our Role in the World

“While it is true that we live and minister within a cultural setting, there will inevitably be certain aspects of the culture that we cannot embrace or celebrate. We are called to be in the world, but not ofthe world.

Though we make every effort to present the gospel message with excellence and effectiveness to the world around us, we should be careful to do so in a way that both stays true to the biblical gospel and stays within the biblical boundaries of moral propriety. Catch-words like “relevance” and “contextualization” are not a valid justification for condoning coarse speech or morally-questionable behavior in order to identify with certain youth subcultures….”

“…an emphasis on personal holiness and moral separateness in the midst of secular culture is not legalistic. It’s biblical.

Over and over again the New Testament calls Christians to stand out as lights to the world. We don’t reach the darkness by becoming like the darkness; we reach the darkness by shining brighter and brighter in contrast to the darkness of the sinful world around us.”

-Nate Busenitz, Accommodation or Separation?,

http://thecripplegate.com/accommodation-or-separation/

In Awe of God

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard

Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

-Mark Altrogge

Greatest Evangelism Tool

“The critics of Christianity are many. And the point of our greatest vulnerability and the point of their greatest accusation is what we do. It is the scandalous conduct of Christians that fuels the fires of critics. It is the purity and godliness and virtue and righteousness of Christians that silences the critics. And so again I say, the single greatest tool of evangelism we possess is doing right, living right.”

-John MacArthur

as quoted by Kevin A. Pierpont on February 1, 2004 in a sermon entitled Flee And Follow – 1 Timothy 6:11 given at Higgins Lake Baptist Church, Higgins Lake, Michigan

http://kevinpierpont.com/188/flee-and-follow-1-timothy-611/

Are you Young? Then Listen

Such a great post. This is why I believe my pastor is so beneficial to read and even more why we should listen to him and his preaching. His wisdom and skill with scripture is extremely rare.

“John MacArthur is in the midst of penning a series of articles that will address (and encourage and scold) the Young, Restless, Reformed movement—this thing they call the New Calvinism. I have one great concern about this. I will tell you what it is, but only after I give a brief overview of what MacArthur has said so far….”

“…If anyone has earned the right to speak to us; if anyone has earned the right to speak about us; if anyone has earned the right to be heard, it is Dr. MacArthur. We do not necessarily need to agree with him—he could be wrong!—but it would be the very height of arrogance and folly to not listen at all.”

-Tim Challies

http://challies.com/articles/john-macarthur-wants-us-to-grow-up

The Importance of Bible Study

“Before his conversion Ryle hardly ever opened his Bible, but after he became a Christian he formed the habit of daily Bible study, which continued without a break for more than a half a century. He rose early each morning so that he could study the Word without interruption. Words and verses of special significance to him were carefully underlined in his large black-bound Bible.

“Every page from Genesis to Revelation showed evidence of painstaking study. He often said there are ‘no gains without pains’. His parish visiting and conversations with people led him to conclude that there had been a serious decline in the practice of Bible reading in his day, so he preached and wrote tracts urging believers to read their Bibles, assuring them that ‘no book in existence contains such important matter as the Bible’. Moreover, ‘the man who has the Bible and the Holy Spirit in his heart, has everything which is absolutely needful to make him spiritually wise’.”

~ Eric Russell [Ryle’s Biographer]

J.C. Ryle: That Man of Granite with the Heart of a Child, [Ross-shire, UK:Christian Focus, 2001], 113.