Manuscript due to go to publishers today.
Many think that loving and serving and obeying God is a chore, a restriction on enjoying life, something to be avoided at all costs. Nothing could be further from the truth. To love and serve God is life as it was meant to be, abundant life, eternal life, the life enjoyed by the first humans in Eden. Any other way is death and separation now and for ever from the ONE who is the fount of all good. Repent and believe the Gospel, for the glory of God AND your own good!
12 And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
13 To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
This is too much!
(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)
Only to be permitted to contemplate such a being as Jehovah . . .…
to ponder goodness, holiness, justice, mercy, patience and sovereignty–personified and condensed;
to ponder them united with eternity, infinite power, unerring wisdom, omnipresence, and all sufficiency;
to ponder all these natural and moral perfections indissolubly united and blended in sweet harmony–in one pure, spiritual being, and that being placed on the throne of the universe
–to ponder this would be happiness enough to fill the mind of any creature in existence!
But in addition to this,
to have this ineffable Being for my God, my portion, my all;
to be permitted to say, “This God is my God forever and ever!”
to have His resplendent countenance smile upon me;
to be encircled in His everlasting arms of power and faithfulness and love;
to hear His voice saying to me, “I am yours–and you are Mine! Nothing shall ever pluck you from My hands, or separate you from My love–but you shall be with Me where I am, behold My glory, and live to reign with Me forever and ever!”
This is too much! It is honor, it is glory–it is happiness too overwhelming, too transporting for mortal minds to conceive, or for mortal frames to support!
In Heaven, the saints will be entirely lost and swallowed up in God, and their minds will be so completely absorbed in the contemplation of His ineffable, infinite, uncreated glories!
Oh, then, what must it be, to escape forever from error and ignorance and darkness and sin–into the region of bright, unclouded, eternal day!
What must it be, to behold your God and Redeemer face to face!
What must it be, to continually to contemplate, with immortal strength–glories so dazzlingly bright, that one moment’s view of them would now, like a stream of lightning, turn your frail bodies into dust!
What must it be to to see the eternal volume of the divine counsels, the mighty map of the divine mind, unfolded to your eager, piercing gaze!
What must it be to to explore the heights and depths, the lengths and breadths of the Redeemer’s love–and still to see new wonders, glories, and beauties pouring upon your minds in constant, endless succession, calling forth new songs of praise–songs in which you will unite with the innumerable choirs of angels, with the countless myriads of the redeemed, all shouting with a voice like the voice of many waters, “Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns!”
The Land (2)
Sung Psalm 105:6-12
Read Genesis 15
Note v19 where God for the first time is called “possessor of heaven and earth”, hence he is the dispenser of it. The geography is delineated─from Wadi-el-Arish? to the Euphrates.
Three great promises of the covenant:
Hence all of grace according to the will of the testator.
God unilaterally and unconditionally makes this covenant and will keep it, on pain of death (cut pieces).
The programme is laid out:
- The people (seed) will be strangers
- They will be slaves
- The nation who enslaves will be judged
- There will be an exodus
- There will be plunder
Why the delay (over 400 years)? Because Abraham’s seed must multiply and the inhabitants of the land must be ripe for judgment. Promise renewed (17:8).
In chapters 18 and 19 Sodom and Gomorrah are ripe for (miraculous) judgment c.f. II Peter 2:6
Lessons from Lot’s departure (from God):
- Left true church (Abraham)
- Loved money
- Fell grievously
- Was chastised severely-lost his family and the children of incest were ancestors of enemies of the church (Moab and Ammon v Israel).
Rev. Martyn McGeown
Whether we agree with predestination or not, it is the Bible’s teaching. Whether we react in a positive or negative way emotionally to this teaching, it is the truth of God’s Word. When God’s Word offends our sensibilities—and it often will because we are sinners—we must learn to submit to its teaching.
But before we react emotionally, we need to make sure that we understand the teaching. Often, we react emotionally to a misunderstanding.
First, predestination means God’s determination beforehand (pre) of the eternal destiny (destination) of His rational and moral creatures. Since God is God, He has the right to do this. Paul reminds us of our place before God: “Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay? (Romans 9:20-21). How absurd it would be for a creature to complain to the Creator!
Second, God’s predestinating choice is unconditional. We know what a conditional choice means—we make conditional choices every day. Why do you choose one breakfast cereal over another, or why do you choose eggs or toast (or whatever) for breakfast? Because of some quality in the food—that choice is conditional. An unconditional choice is one where the choice is not determined by any quality in the thing chosen. It is almost impossible for a human being to make such an unconditional choice. Things always influence us. God chooses His people unconditionally—He finds no attractive quality in them; they are not better, greater or nicer than anyone else. God does not even choose them because He foresees that there will be some good quality in them. God explains this to Moses: “The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you [for such and such a reason], but because the LORD loved you” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). The verdict—God loved His people simply because He loved them! There is no reason in us!
Third, God’s choice of His people is eternal and therefore unchangeable. God did not wait and see how history and His people would turn out before He made His choice. It was before the foundation of the world, or, as Paul writes, “the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that purpose of God according to election might stand” (Romans 9:11).
That is humbling—salvation is not our choice; it is the Lord’s.
But where better place for salvation to be than in the wise hands of the almighty, always good God!
I should add that notwithstanding the decree of predestination every human being because of their sin in Adam AND their own rebellion against the most high God deserves eternal hell, and will rightly suffer that judgment unless by God’s grace they believe in Christ—JK
In one of best ever Parkruns this year (73.2% age-graded Age Grade explained), I did the 5K (3 miles) in 22mins 42 secs– just down on my best this year and less than a minute down on pre-hip replacement. It was down to prayer for God’s enabling, quality training, a good night’s sleep, rest day from running yesterday, light racing shoes and pushing myself as hard as I could even though I was in “no man’s land” with no runners ahead to chase or behind to keep ahead of. Thankful. Citius-Altius-Fortius…Faster-Higher-Stronger even at my age!
“He gives us habitual grace; — a principle of grace, opposed to the principle of lust that is
in us by nature. This is the grace that dwells in us, makes its abode with us; which, according to
the distinct faculties of our souls wherein it is, or the distinct objects about which it is exercised,
receiveth various appellation, being indeed all but one new principle of life. In the understanding,
it is light; in the will, obedience; in the affections, love; in all, faith. So, also, it is differences in
respect of its operations. When it carries out the soul to rest on Christ, it is faith; when to delight
in him, it is love; but still one and the same habit of grace. ” Owen in Communion with God.
” And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.” John 11:14-15
Do you realise who this man was who rode into Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday” nearly 2,000 years ago? God says he is a king. King of the Jews. And who is a Jew? Not someone descended from Abraham physically, but a believer, someone who acknowledges Jesus Christ as King, King over all things and their King. The King who suffered and died to win his Kingdom. The King who one day will make heaven and earth new as rightly his. Is he your King? He is also appointed to judge all me when he comes again. Will you be able to say on that day, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”?
New Bible Study topic for Mens’ group at CPRC.
First meeting Saturday March 25th 2017 session 1.
Below you will find links to Study Guide and the first chapter only of the book.
Cross training could include gym/weights, walking, rowing or cycling
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