God The All

Posted: 4 September, 2011 in Literature, Prayers, Theology, True worship, Worldview

O God whose will conquers all,

There is no comfort in anything

apart from enjoying thee

and being engaged in thy service;

Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me

thou makes them, and no more.

I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is,

or should be in all respects,

And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair

I would choose to refer all to thee,

for thou art infinitely wise and connote do amiss,

as I am in danger of doing.

I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,

and it delights me to leave them there.

Then prayer turns wholly into praise,

and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.

What shall I give thee for all thy benefits?

I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not what to do;

I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer,

and can only rejoice that thou doest all,

that none in heaven or on earth shares thy honour;

I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name,

but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee,

I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith,

that the whole work of redemption is thine alone,

that every good work or thought found in me

is the effect of thy power and grace,

that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do

is for thy good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much

about man’s creaturely power and goodness,

when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment,

we should be devils incarnate.

This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself.

THE VALLEY OF VISION

Advertisements
Exodus 3:13-14  Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 
'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' 
what shall I say to them?"  (14)  God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, 
"Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Joh 8:56-58  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was 
glad." (57)  So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you 
seen Abraham?" (58)  Jesus said to them, 
"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
Joh 4:25-26  The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming 
(he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things."  
(26)  Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Joh 5:37-40  And the Father who sent me has himself borne 
witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his 
form you have never seen,  (38)  and you do not have his 
word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom 
he has sent.  (39)  You search the Scriptures because you 
think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they 
that bear witness about me,  (40)  yet you refuse to come 
to me that you may have life.

Today I was privileged to attend the marriage of two of my friends. One, an old friend, and the other a newer one whom I look forward to getting to know better.

This wedding was singular, not only because it was the merging of two cultures, South African and Indian, or because there were 3 pastors and two pastoral students involved. It was unique because it was obvious that the couple had given much thought and prayer to making this wedding an earthly representation of the love Christ has for his bride, the church.

During the brief message, the pastor said that just as God had been faithful in countless other marriages, He would be faithful to theirs too. It suddenly struck me as odd that God would be faithful to two sinners, or to countless other godly marriages. It didnt add up. Who are we that God would help us? And who are we that God would sanctify us as the church to one day return and take us as his bride? Why would he want to do that at all, when he knows our hearts?

And so I was able to appreciate the atonement once again, in a very tangible way. Christ will be faithful to us, he will love us and return to us because He gave himself for us, and washed us with his blood. He took our sin upon himself, “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

“What a faithful God have we!”

The Case Against Abortion

Posted: 27 February, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2

The Christ embodies the Word and the law is therefore a reflection of the character of God.

I dont think its an overstatement to say that abortion is one of THE issues of our day, one of the defining characteristics of the 21st century. A time that will be remembered for bloodshed.

Thanks be to God that many of His people have seen abortion for what it really is – murder –  and are standing up against this evil. Paul says in Philippians 1:18  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. And likewise, I rejoice over the fact that many are speaking out against abortion, even unbelievers and Roman Catholics. However I think that it is important for Christians involved in anti-abortion work to keep a right focus in order to stay motivated and God-glorifying in all that we say and do. (Col 3:17)

Abortion is about the killing of the innocent. Or is it?

In Adam, the human race sinned and fell. David speaks of being conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5). Some might call this nitpicking over semantics, and whilst I understand what people mean when they speak about abortion work in terms of saving innocent lives, it is important to keep in mind that aborted humans are receiving no more than they deserve. Having said that though – saving a life, sinner or saint is a worthy goal.

Might I suggest that the real reason abortion is so terribly wicked is that it is a sin against God, an attack against His character. Every human bears the image of God, albeit marred by sin, and every murder is a direct offence against a holy God, the only giver of life, and herein should lie our primary focus. Yes, saving the life of the child for it’s own sake is a goal worthy of pursuit  but our primary motivation ought to be God’s glory. This should be the case for every work of mercy we do. This is what distinguishes us from any other philanthropist/humanitarian. Christians should be motivated by a desire to see God’s name being made much of in the world.

Saved children will live only to die a few years later, the hungry will survive to perish of old age and the homeless will find their dwelling in Sheol if all we care about is earthly comfort. On the other hand a real concern for God’s glory will result in a care for the material and earthly needs of those suffering in a fallen world.

This issue of abortion is a God-given opportunity for evangelism so lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater, but lets also not allow ourselves to forget our God amid sentimentality.

Lessons From the HI Virus

Posted: 20 February, 2011 in HIV/AIDS, Science

 

US National Institute of Health (redrawn by en:User:Carl Henderson) http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/howhiv.htm http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/graphics/howhiv.jpg

Last week I had a very interesting virology lecture on HIV. Most of the lecture was concerned with the science behind the disease, but the lecturer opened her class (in the interest of completeness and context I suppose) with some statistics on the epidemic along with a few choice comments stemming from her own worldview. Ideas such as homosexuality being “perfectly normal sexual behaviour” and predictions about our future progress in controlling and curing this terrible disease. The lecture left me saddened by sin and its effects and the rebellion of man.

But more than that – I realised something serious that this devastating little virus warns us of.

HIV is an extremely feared disease worldwide, and rightly so. But ultimately the same fate that awaits AIDS patients lies ahead of every human being. Certain death.

HIV and AIDS is an outpouring of the wrath of God against homosexuality, fornication and adultery. (See Romans 1 and 2) We fear AIDS, but we miss the God from whence it comes. We fear AIDS, but we do not fear God. If we did we would not rest. The Bible speaks very clearly about the fact that man has once to live, and then to die and then to face judgement. You may not be experiencing a foretaste of the wrath of God now, here on earth, but one day you will if you continue in your rebellion against Him. A rejection of God has serious consequences!

When you stand before God, you will be condemned to hell for your wickedness. God is holy and you are evil. God rightly and justly punishes sinners for exchanging his glory for the image of corruptible man. An eternity in hell is far worse than AIDS. Hell is a place completely devoid of God’s goodness and grace. There are no antiretrovirals there…

It is a wonder then that any of us live out relatively comfortable lives. Why do we not die the moment we sin?

Why does God allow a serial fornicator, HIV positive to live any longer?

Because there is hope – Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of His people when he died in their place on the cross. He bore the wrath meant for them and in return gave them his own righteousness.

God commands all men everywhere to repent – will you obey?