Monday, 13 April 2015

How do we prepare for death, and die, as Christians?

In the end, the whole Christian life may be seen as an extensive preparation for death. We trust Christ to forgive our sins; likewise, we trust him to bring us through the doorway of death safely. We trust Christ with a million things everyday of our lives as we move through this danger-filled world; likewise, we trust him to bring us through the passageway that leads from this world to the next. The way to die as a Christian is to live as Christian: We entrust ourselves into the loving embrace of our Savior, confident that he is with us and will protect us in life and in death, in history and in eternity, in this world and in the world to come. He is our comfort, our joy, our salvation. He is the Resurrection and the Life. His death does not exempt us from the burden of having to die, but it does transform our death. Because he died for us, we shall live in him. Because he died for us, even in the moment of our death we are victorious.

Via Rich Lusk on a post covering death and resurrection before the fall, 'death' and resurrection in the Trinity, how Christians can view death as an friend and the place of anointing the sick in evangelical piety. There is material here to meditate on for a lifetime!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Is this why there are few men as missionaries?

Hudson Taylor, the founder of Overseas Mission Fellowship (formerly of China Inland Mission) once described missionary work as follows:
The work of a true missionary is work indeed, often very monotonous, apparently not very successful, and carried on through great and varied but unceasing difficulties

Is this why there are very few men as missionaries? The 2 mission agencies (British) that I am familiar with have a ratio of about 3 women for each man. I am sure there are many other reasons for that but I wonder if one of the major ones is the male aversion to hard work? Speaking as a man (and from my experience as a pastor) I can say that men sadly are often more willing to let someone else fulfil their spiritual responsibilities, whether it be their wives, their mothers, their children (!) or their government. How very different to the Real and True Man who never shirked back from hard work

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How to improve your mind

Acquaint yourself with your own ignorance. Impress your mind with a deep and painful sense of the low and imperfect degrees of your present knowledge that you may be incited to labour and activity to pursue after greater measures.

— Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind (published 1741)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Spare me from strange sins

A good penitential prayer (prayer of confession) from St Augustine:

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to You?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare Your servant from strange sins.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Lloyd Jones' key evangelistic strategy

Image result for martyn lloyd jonesThe glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first.

—D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972), 28.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Most disagreements do not require division, they require vision

Praise the Lord for Toby Sumpter who repeatedly comes up with such wonderful insights as this one:

Of course there are disagreements that sometimes require division, but most disagreements do not require division, they require vision. They require a renewed vision of the big picture, the death and resurrection of Jesus, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins, the Church triumphant marching gloriously through history – when you step back and catch a glimpse of this vision, joy wells up inside you and when you glance back at your differences, those differences seem small and insignificant.

Praise the Lord indeed.