Ian Stamps – The Final Countdown: The 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, and 7 Bowls
Dave Jenkins – The Safest Place in the Whole World (John 14:1-3)
Sinclair Ferguson – The Puritans
We need daily pardon and daily protection as well as daily provision. So after Jesus taught us to pray, “give us today our daily bread,” He also taught us to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:12–13).
These petitions are for fallen sinners — for people who are often tempted to sin, and sometimes give in. Even before we face these temptations, we should ask God to keep us safe from what John Calvin called in his Institutes “the violent assaults of Satan.” In asking not to be led into temptation, we are not requesting that we will never be tempted at all, but that when we are tempted God will deliver us from Satan’s deadly attacks.
To continue reading Philip Ryken’s article, click here.
Whenever speakers or expositors read the passage in Judges 19:1-30, they invariably take great care to caution their listeners about the horrific events contained therein. Such is the depth of the concubine’s suffering, degradation, and circumstances of depravity. At the end of the chapter, even the author declares:
All who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!” (Judges 19:30, New American Standard Bible).
Placing the Judges 19 account within the larger context of the book of Judges brings out the doctrine of the depravity of man and the wretched state of the culture in those days, whereby everyone did what was right in his or her own eyes, because there was no king to rule (Judges 17:6, 19-1, 21-25).
To continue reading Deb Welch’s article, click here.
After great convictions of sin, and great denunciations of judgments against Israel, in the preceding part of the chapter, the Lord here, in the close, remembers mercy in the midst of wrath, and ends all his sad and heavy words with a sweet nevertheless, (v 60). And, indeed, mercy must begin on God’s side: “Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth; and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.” And what will be the effect of this, we see in verse 61, “Then shalt thou remember thy ways and be ashamed.” It is worthy our observation, that when God says, “I will remember my covenant,” then he adds, “Thou shalt remember thy sins.” Hence it is evident, that never a good thought, never a penitent thought would have come into our hearts, had not some thoughts of peace and good-will come into God’s heart. When he remembers his covenant of mercy for us, so as not to remember our sins against us, then we remember our sins against ourselves with shame.
To continue reading Ralph Erskine’s article, click here.
H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, The War of the Worlds opens with these words:
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied… With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs … Yet across the gulf of space… intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”
This is an apt description of the threat faced by many Christians in the 21st century, especially concerning the area of sexual morality and sin. We are busying ourselves, serene in the assurance we are masters over ourselves, without giving too much thought to the fact that another world is examining us, drawing its plans against us, seeking to overcome us and ultimately destroy us.
To continue reading Matthew Holst’s article, click here.
When was the last time someone sat you down to tell you that you were wrong?
These have been some of the most memorable and important conversations in my life, the conversations when someone I loved — father, mother, mentor, pastor, roommate, friend, wife — had the compassion and courage to tell me when I was out of line. However I felt in those difficult (and often painful) moments, I now treasure those memories — the kind confrontations, the caring corrections, the loving rebukes.
We all need a steady diet of friendly course correction, because our hearts — even our new hearts in Christ — are still susceptible to sin (Hebrews 3:13; Jeremiah 17:9). Do you value the hard conversations that keep you from making more mistakes, and guard you against slowly wandering away from Jesus?
To continue reading the rest of Marshall Segal’s article, click here.
“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the LORD. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Colossians 3:20-21
This is a topic in which we all need serious instruction repeatedly. I intend to show the duties of both children and parents from Scripture, and how to fulfill these duties. In the first two main points, I shall 1) expound the text and then 2) exhort you to fulfill it. Under the third point I shall give further directions as to how you may be godly children and parents.
The Doctrine: God’s pleasure and children’s encouragement should move Christian children to obedience, and parents to moderate control, in all things.
I. The Duty of Children
A. The Duty Itself
First, the duty itself: “Obey your parents.” This means a humble subjection to their authority and control, with a ready performance of what they require. It is the same as giving “honor” to your parents (Exo 20:12), which connotes valuing highly and revering one’s parents. “Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father” (Lev. 19:3). The disposition of a godly child is a combination of love and fear that moves him to obedience. We may further describe four elements. The first three are active obedience, while the fourth is passive obedience.
To continue reading Richard Adam’s book, click here.
Four friends of mine have recently deleted their social media accounts. No more Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. They’re done. Of course, they continue to read and write blogs, answer email, and engage online here and there. But they’ve come to believe their use of social media hinders their spiritual growth.
Whenever someone tells me they’re cutting out social media for spiritual reasons, I applaud. The cultivation of personal virtue matters far more than the cultivation of a public platform.
Still, we recognize that the people leaving the world of social media are far fewer in number than the people joining every week. Our generation and the next will be increasingly formed — for good or for ill — by this constant connectivity.
To continue reading the rest of Trevin Wax’s article, click here.
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me” Jer. 32:40
LAST Sabbath morning we were called to deep searching of heart.* It was a very painful discourse to the preacher, and it was not less so to many of his hearers. Some of us will never forget that fig tree, covered with untimely leaves, which yielded no fruit, and was condemned to stand a beacon to the unfruitful of all ages. I felt that I was in the surgery, using the knife: I felt great tenderness, and the operation was grievous to my soul. When the winnowing fan was used to chase away the chaff, some of the wheat felt that it was none too heavy: the wind stirred it in its place, so as to make it fear that it would be carried into the fire. To-day, I trust we shall see that, despite all sifting, not one true grain shall be lost.
May the King himself come near and feast his saints to-day! May the Comforter who convinced of sin now come to cheer us with the promise! We noticed concerning the fig tree, that it was confirmed in its barrenness: it had borne no fruit, though it made large professions of doing so, and it was made to abide as it was. Let us consider another form of confirmation: not the curse of continuance in the rooted habit of evil; but the blessing of perseverance in a settled way of grace. May the Lord show us how he establishes his saints in righteousness, and makes the works which he has begun in them to abide, and remain, and even to go onward towards perfection, so that they shall not be ashamed in the day of his appearing!
To continue reading Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, click here.
It’s the time of year when my Bible-reading plan takes me through the book of Proverbs. There’s something almost absurd about reading this book at a pace of three chapters per day. That’s like quickly crunching through a whole bag of peppermints rather than slowly savoring each one. Yet reading the proverbs in great swaths does make it easier to identify its themes. Just as we can miss the forest for the trees, we can miss the themes for the maxims. But what might be difficult to see at a meditative pace has a way of standing out when read quickly.
As I work my way through the proverbs, I see anger everywhere. I see the folly of anger, the danger of anger, the sinfulness of anger. I see that the godly learn to control their anger while the fools let it rage. The godly allow themselves to be offended while the fools demand satisfaction for every little slight. The godly draw people into close relationship while the fools destroy friendship. There’s a high cost to all this anger.
To continue reading Tim Challies’ article, click here.