Monday, December 9, 2019

How Should We Deal with Adiaphora (Matters Indifferent)?

Over at Purely Presbyterian there's an excellent article, drawing on wise pastors' Scriptural counsel, reasoning through some principles for handling issues to which Scripture speaks less directly or less obviously. In short: aiming at God's glory, in love for the whole church, and in maintenance of the clearest possible conscience.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Glory of Advent Season

Heaven has come down to earth. But let those who love this glorious reality learn to love another marvelously glorious reality: on the first day of each week, the ascended Lord calls an assembly on earth to come up to Heaven! This weekly celebration is Christ's own way of celebrating His advent.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:21-29

Friday, December 6, 2019

191206FW Proverbs 6:16-19 - "What Does God Hate?"

A family worship lesson in the "Proverb of the day." Scripture tells us what God hates, so that we will take it seriously and hate it too. What does God hate?

Friday, July 12, 2019

2019.07.12 Family Friday - Holy Vision for Family Life (Gouge), pp51-131

On these Family Fridays, we are reading A Holy Vision for Family Life by William Gouge. Over the last several weeks, we covered pp51-131, with the following scribbled notes:

and the following select quotes:

from p88 on how Christ's purpose toward perfecting us as His bride should both establish perfection as the standard at which we aim, and also banish from us all discouragement at our falling short, since Christ will in fact accomplish it.

from p108 on how, since Christ cherishes us as His own body, all of His care--even disciplining care--toward us is exercised in the most affectionate love.

from p110 on how, since Christ can never starve His own body but only always provides for it what is best, we can know that even if we should die for lack of outward means, that is His way of bringing us into our final and most perfect provision.

from p117 on the fact that being made into the very body of our Lord Himself has raised us much higher than anything which Adam had before the Fall.

from p124 on how one of the most needful responses to having Christ Himself as our own head is that--having such an One as Himself to depend upon in this way, we refuse that wicked dishonoring of Him that would occur if we depended upon anything else.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2019.06.12 Worship Wednesday - Gospel Worship (Burroughs), pp67-110

On these Worship Wednesdays, we are reading Gospel Worship by Jeremiah Burroughs. Over the last several weeks, we covered pp67-110, with the following scribbled notes:

and the following select quotes:

from p78 on how an unbeliever can never worship from pure motives

from p81 on how the only way to sanctify God's name in worship is by the power of the Spirit and union with Christ

from p84 on how the only right worship is worship that comes from truly regenerate affections

from p86 on how a true apprehension of God's glory is what produces true zeal in worship

from p89 on how worship must be done chiefly from a genuine desire that God would be honored, not any other reason

from p92 on how worshiping from a desire for God's honor means that we will love even that right worship from which we perceive no benefit to ourselves

from p96 on how the one who truly fears God will fear Him most when closest to Him in worship

from p97 on the greatness of the vileness of allowing ourselves to be distracted in worship

from p99 on how the best way to resist distractions in worship is to stir up fervor toward the Lord Himself

from p100 on the necessity of giving all of one's strength to God's worship

from p102 on the complete impropriety of ever being impressed with our worship

from p104 on how right worship is not only worship that is only according to God's Word in Scripture, but also only that worship that is done in and through us by God's Spirit

from p106 on how worship that is done merely out of a sense of duty cannot genuinely gladden the heart

from p108 on how right worship is only that worship that is done in union with Christ and offered by Him to God on our behalf

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

190605FW Judg 3:12-31 - The Lord Who Saves in the Icky Details of Life

Family Worship teaching time in Judges 3:12-31, following up upon the Old Testament reading from Lord's Day morning worship on June 2, 2019. Israel is still being Israel--wicked. And the Lord is still being the Lord--showing patience and mercy and saving them. How does He do it? Even in some of the icky little details of life. This encourages us that the Lord is working, and saving, even in such details. But, we ultimately come away longing for the Lord's deliverer who can do something about our internal filthiness. That deliverer can only be the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

190604FW Prov 4:14-19 - The Paths of the Wicked and the Righteous

Family Worship teaching time in the "Proverb of the Day." The wicked and righteous are on two completely different paths. To one, wickedness is as natural as eating bread and drinking wine, and it will destroy them. To the other, righteousness is a glory in the infancy of its dawning, and a guarantee that it will be completed, because that righteousness can genuinely exist only in Christ!

190604FW Heb 2:10-18 - Knowing and Experiencing Jesus's Likeness to His Brethren

Family Worship teaching time in Hebrews 2:10-18, following up upon the text that formed the first portion of the Lord's Day morning worship service. God gave His own Son to be our Trailblazer--the One who cleared a path that could and would never have to be cleared again, with a suffering of a kind that we will never have to endure. Indeed, we who follow after Him in suffering do so by His attendant help, rejoicing that we are taking the same route that He has cleared for us. God is "bringing many sons to glory," in all of our sufferings, and He gives us a weekly taste of that when we are gathered into Heaven in our Captain Who has gone before us!

2019.06.04 Timeless Tuesday - Letters of Samuel Rutherford, pp150-166

On these "Timeless Tuesdays," we are reading through the full Banner of Truth edition of Letters of Samuel Rutherford. Today, we covered pp150-166, with the following scribbled notes:

And the following choice quotes:

from p154 on the grief of failing to be weaned from this world by our trials

from p154 on how Christ is better than the rest of heaven itself

from p161 on the blessedness of the trials that fit us for glory 

from p162 on how finding Christ Himself sweeter is itself a reward of infinite value for our trials

from p163 on regret over not having made better use of opportunities to preach