Octavius Winslow – Go and Tell Jesus

“And his disciples came and took up the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:12

As if to illustrate the nature and test the efficacy of His great and gracious expedient of saving sinners, it pleased the redeeming God that the first subject of death should be a believer in the Lord Jesus. Scarcely had the righteous Abel laid his bleeding lamb upon the altar — that altar and that lamb all expressive of the truth, and radiant with the glory of the person and work of the coming Savior — ere he was called to seal with his blood the faith in Christ he had professed. But if the first victim, he was also the first victor. He fell by death, but he fell a conqueror of death. He lost the victory, but he won the battle. Thus was the “last enemy” foiled in his very first assault upon our race. The point of his lance was then turned, the venom of his sting was then impaired, and, robbed of his prey, he saw in the pale and gory form his shaft had laid low the first one of that glorious race of confessors, that “noble army of martyrs,” who in all succeeding ages should overcome sin, hell, and death, by the blood of the Lamb.

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Derek Thomas – God’s Sovereignty and Our Responsibility

God is sovereign in creation, providence, redemption, and judgment. That is a central assertion of Christian belief and especially in Reformed theology. God is King and Lord of all. To put this another way: nothing happens without God’s willing it to happen, willing it to happen before it happens, and willing it to happen in the way that it happens. Put this way, it seems to say something that is expressly Reformed in doctrine. But at its heart, it is saying nothing different from the assertion of the Nicene Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty.” To say that God is sovereign is to express His almightiness in every area.

God is sovereign in creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Apart from God, there was nothing. And then there was something: matter, space, time, energy. And these came into being ex nihilo—out of nothing. The will to create was entirely God’s. The execution was entirely His. There was no metaphysical “necessity” to create; it was a free action of God.

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Brad Archer – What Is Biblical Meditation?

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

What is meditation?

The concept has been corrupted in modern thought. In the minds of many Christians, meditation is associated with eastern religions, like Hinduism and Buddhism – belief systems that don’t acknowledge God as Father or Jesus as Savior and Lord. This association leads many to believe that meditation in any form opens the mind to evil spirits or untrue teaching.

But that robs us of an important way of interacting with Scripture.

When I began staying home with my kids, I was overwhelmed. While I suspected such an endeavor would be hard, I wasn’t prepared for the ways it challenged me. My daily time in the Bible kept me rooted in Christ; my weekly Bible study kept me digging into Scripture; but the thing that reassured me that I was in Jesus’ hands was meditation on his holy Word.

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Nick Batzig – What Are You Waiting For?

One of the downsides of living in the technological age is that we are constantly overwhelmed with what we allow to stream into our minds and hearts from our newsfeeds, social media debates, conversations about world affairs, social agendas, personal opinions and every sort of religious and political ideology. All of this, in turn, has the propensity to animate anxiety, depression, fear, anger, hatred and misplaced zeal in our hearts. People are crying out for change without recognizing that there is only one remedy for all of the social ills–and for the burdens of our own lives.

J.C. Ryle, the great 19th Century Anglican Calvinistic pastor/theologian, would walk to the window of his study every morning, and–looking up–would say, “Maybe today, Lord, maybe today!” Ryle was longing for the coming of Christ. This is one of the definitive marks of every true believer. The Apostle Paul declared that his greatest inner desire was “to depart and be with Christ” (Phil. 1:23). The better part of the New Testament focus on the return of Christ; and, in doing so, links our sanctification in the present to the hope we have of His coming in the future. In short, this teaches us that our actions are directly correlated to the hope that we have in our hearts to see Christ and to be with Him.

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A. W. Pink – Salvation from the Pleasure of Sin

It is here that God begins His actual application of salvation unto His elect. God saves us from the pleasure or love of sin before He delivers us from the penalty or punishment of sin. Necessarily so, for it would be neither an act of holiness nor of righteousness were He to grant full pardon to one who was still a rebel against Him, loving that which He hates. God is a God of order throughout, and nothing ever more evidences the perfections of His works than the orderliness of them. And how does God save His people from the pleasure of sin? The answer is, “By imparting to them a nature which hates evil and loves holiness.” This takes place when they are born again, so that actual salvation begins with regeneration. Of course it does: where else could it commence? Fallen man can never perceive his desperate need of salvation nor come to Christ for it, till he has been renewed by the Holy Spirit.

To continue reading A. W. Pink’s article, click here.

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Paul Carter – 10 Parenting Imperatives from the Book of Proverbs

Parenting is sacred, smelly, exciting, crushing, frustrating and expensive. It’s the most important thing that people ever do and to be completely honest with you, it scares the life out of me.

Who is sufficient for these things?

What should I be teaching my kids? What guidance should I be giving? Where do I go to learn how to raise and disciple sons and daughters of the King?

There is really only one place I can think of. The Book of Proverbs is presented as the counsel and wisdom of a royal couple to their son. “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8 ESV).

It is an entire God-breathed and Divinely authorized manual on how to raise little kings and queens.

It is well worth reading from start to finish. Until you get a chance to do that, here are 10 things that the King and Queen in Proverbs say to their child that you should say to yours.

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Scott Slayton – Five Areas in Which Husbands Must Grow

Like most things in life, marriages are not static. It may feel like there are times when we settle into comfortable seasons, but marriages aren’t like McDonalds’ chicken nuggets. If we ignore them for a week, they will not look the same when we come back. Every marriage is growing stronger or weakening. There is no exception.

Marriages grow because the husband and wife are growing. Our marriages don’t exist in some strange limbo where they aren’t affected by our character, spiritual growth, and emotional maturity.

Husbands Must Grow in Their Walk with Jesus

A man’s walk with King Jesus sets the direction for everything else in his life. It does not guarantee that you will have a great marriage, but it will be the foundation upon which all of your growth will be built. When you have a growing walk with Jesus, you will be actively putting to death. Your sin is not only a dishonor to your Lord and a hindrance to your walk, but it also has negative consequences in your marriage. Therefore, a growing Christian man repents and seeks to cut the things out of his life that don’t look like Jesus.

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George Swinnock – A Husband’s Prayer

I pray that my love to my wife may be like Christ’s to His church, as well in its goodness as in its greatness; I mean, that my chiefest endeavor may be that she may be sanctified and cleansed and at last be presented to the blessed and beautiful bridegroom, a gracious and glorious spouse without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

Oh, how industriously did my Redeemer endeavor His church’s renovation and sanctity! How affectionately doth He beseech her to be holy! How fervently doth He beg of His Father to make her holy! How willingly did He broach His heart and pour out His blood to wash her from her unholiness! How plentifully doth He pour down His Spirit to work her to holiness! His birth was that she might be born again, and born holy; His life was to set her a copy of holiness; His death was to purchase for her a new stock of holiness. He gave Himself for her that He might redeem her from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. His precepts, His prayers, His tears, His blood, His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, His intercession are all for her holiness and purity. His name is called Jesus because He saves His people, not in, but from, their sins and unholiness. He doth not think Himself [complete] until His body [the church] be in heaven.

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Christina Fox – Biblical Encouragement

“How are you doing? Really doing? How are you handling your hard week?” she asked. Then she followed those questions up with, “Can I pray for you right now?”

Encouragement–we would recognize it anywhere. It’s like a gentle push forward when we’ve run out of energy. It’s like seeing the familiar shape of home when we’ve been gone far too long. It’s like sitting down to a nourishing meal after a hard day’s work. It’s like seeing the sun after hours of pouring rain.

When someone encourages us, we stand straighter. We feel reinvigorated. We move with purpose and meaning. We are strengthened and ready for what lies ahead.

In our world, encouragement often looks like fans in the stands watching a sports game. They cheer and shout. They might say, “You’ve got this!” “You can do it!” “Go, go, go!” And while such statements are invigorating, they are different than the encouragement we see in the Bible. Biblical encouragement is more than just saying nice things to someone. Its purpose is deeper than boosting someone’s self-esteem by telling them, “You can do it!” And it’s not like an inspiring message from the coach to rally the team before the big game.

To continue reading Christina Fox’s article, click here.

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Charles Spurgeon – The Master’s Example

Husbands, love your wives. Ephesians 5:25

What a golden example Christ gives to His disciples! There are few masters who could venture to say, “If you would practice my teaching, imitate my life.” But the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, and therefore He can point to Himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it.

The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace that was in Christ Jesus. Even as a husband, which is a relationship that the Christian sustains in common with the rest of men, he is to look upon Christ Jesus as being set before him as the picture, and he is to paint according to that copy. Christ Himself being the bridegroom of the church, the true Christian is to seek to be such a husband as Christ was to His spouse…Let the Christian then aspire to be like unto his Lord, Who is the Author and Finisher of his faith. And let him, as he runs the heavenly race, look unto Jesus and make the Apostle and High Priest of his profession (Heb. 3:1) his continual study, and aim to be changed into His image from glory unto glory (2 Cor 3:18).

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