Not Possible: a Racist Christian

“I show [my wife] I love her by also loving what she creates. So it is with God. We can’t say we love him if we don’t also love what he has created. This applies to people of different races, cultures, and countries. Since everyone is made in the image of God, everyone has worth and everyone has dignity. You want to radically change how you see others? See them as fellow image bearers—broken just like you, but image bearers nonetheless.

We love God by loving his people.”

-Jefferson Bethke, Jesus > Religion (Thomas Nelson, 2013), 158

The Proof of God’s Love

“The love of God towards the world is not a vague, abstract idea of mercy, which we are obliged to take on trust, without any proof that it is true. It is a love which has been manifested by a mighty gift. It is a love which has been put before us in a plain, unmistakable, tangible form. God the Father was not content to sit in heaven, idly pitying and loving His fallen creatures on earth. He has given the mightiest evidence of His love towards us by a gift of unspeakable value. He has “not spared His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all.” (Rom. 8:32). He has so loved us that He has given us His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! A higher proof of the Father’s love could not have been given.”

-J.C. Ryle, Tract: Faith

True Faith Requires Compassion

“We ought to feel compassion when we think of the wretched state of unconverted souls, and the misery of all men and women who live and die without Christ. No poverty like this poverty! No disease like this disease! No slavery like this slavery! No death like this: death in idolatry, false religion, and sin!

Ask ourselves this: Where is the mind of Christ, if we do not feel for the lost? I lay it down boldly, as a great principle, that the Christianity which does not make a person feel for the state of unconverted people is not the Christianity which came down from heaven hundreds of years ago, and is embalmed in the New Testament. It is a mere empty name.”

-J.C. Ryle, Tract: Athens; http://jcrylequotes.com/2012/03/05/possessing-compassion-for-the-unconverted/ Read the full tract here: http://www.reformedsermonarchives.com/ryle39.htm

Total Depravity: The Great Equalizer

“Total Depravity is the great equalizer, for it shows that the best and worst of men, are all equally corrupt in light of God’s perfect standard. “The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:23)…“Total depravity is both the nastiest and loveliest of truths, because it’s only by seeing exactly what I was that I can understand what has been done for me. Knowing the depth of God’s love comes only as I fathom how far he had to stoop to grasp me.” Amen.”

Tim Challies, 02-10-2005,  Full article: http://www.challies.com/articles/total-depravity-the-great-equalizer

What I Pray My Children Say About Their Parents And Their Home

Jesus was worshipped.

I had a great childhood.

Dad was crazy about mom.

My dad was the same at home as he was at church.

I can’t believe how patient my parents were.

The Gospel was preached.

My parents did not assume I understood the Gospel. Ever.

We prayed often… even when meals weren’t involved.

We laughed… a lot.

My parents loved Jesus.

My parents treated me with respect.

My parents’ love was unconditional.

My parents were servants.

There was wisdom.

My dad asked for my forgiveness… more than once.

I know I was… but I can’t remember being spanked.

My parents loved the church.

My dad preferred me over his ministry.

My parents weren’t perfect, but they were broken.

I was prepared for life.

The standard was sincerity and not behavior.

I was encouraged to be myself.

I learned what it meant to love my spouse by watching mom and dad.

Grace, not law was the means of correction.

My parents listened.

I was free to make mistakes.

There was unending forgiveness.

My parents were my friends.

My parents insisted I know they love me.

-Byron Yawn, 01-31-12

Posted here: http://thetrajectory.org/some-of-what-i-pray-my-children-say-about-their-parents-and-their-home

My Eternal King

My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for Heav’n thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
Must die eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.

And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony;
E’en death itself; and all for man
Who was Thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning Heaven,
Nor of escaping hell.

Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O everlasting Lord!

E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing,
Solely because Thou art my God,
And my Eternal King.

-17th century Latin text, Attributed to Fran­cis Xavier, Translated by Edward Caswall 

My God, I love Thee;

Of the Father’s Love

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd; He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam’s children doomed by law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and perish
In the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessèd, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

This is He Whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long expected,
Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!

Righteous judge of souls departed, righteous King of them that live,
On the Father’s throne exalted none in might with Thee may strive;
Who at last in vengeance coming
Sinners from Thy face shalt drive, evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

-Aurelius Prudentius, (348-413), Corde natus ex parentis,
Translated by John M. Neale and Henry W. Baker

We Come, O Christ to You

“We come, O Christ to you, true Son of God and man,
By whom all things consist, in whom all life began:
In you alone we live and move, and have our being in your love.

You are the Way to God, your blood our ransom paid;
In you we face our Judge and Maker unafraid.
Before the throne absolved we stand, your love has met your law’s demand.

You are the living Truth! All wisdom dwells in you,
the Source of every skill, the one eternal true!
O great I AM! In you we rest, sure answer to our every quest.

You only are true Life, to know you is to live
The more abundant life that earth can never give:
O risen Lord! We live in you: in us each day your life renew!

We worship you, Lord Christ, our Savior and our King,
To you our youth and strength adoringly we bring:
So fill our hearts, that all may view your life in us, and turn to you.”

-E. Margaret Clarkson, 1957

Come Down, O Love Divine

Come down, O love divine, seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing.
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear,
And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far out-pass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.

-Bianco De Siena (d. 1434), edited by T. Bini and translated by Richard F. Littledale

 

My Savior’s Love

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean. 
 
Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!
 
For me it was in the garden
He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.
 
In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my soul that night.
 
He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered and died alone.
 
When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.
 
-Charles H. Gabriel, 1905