Archive for September, 2010

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 30th September

September 30, 2010

Needs to Open Our Mouths
 
Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Psalm 81:10)

What an encouragement to pray! The Lord would have us request great blessings. When a man is earnest he opens his mouth wide, and our text urges us to be fervent in our supplications.

Yet it also means that we may make bold with God and ask many and large blessings at His hands. Read the whole verse, and see the argument: “I am the LORD, thy God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Because the Lord has given us so much, He invites us to ask for more, yea, to expect more.

See how the little birds in their nests seem to be all mouth when the mother comes to feed them. Let it be the same with us. God is ready to fill us if we are only ready to be filled. The opened mouth shall be filled by the Lord Himself. So be it unto us, O Lord, this day.

Public Event: Michael Green – Why I Am A Christian

September 29, 2010

The Announcement

One of the greatest challenges many Christians experience is how to talk openly and honestly about our faith. We may find it difficult to articulate what we believe, and we may be afraid of facing ridicule from others. Perhaps, in our ‘consumer choice’ society, …we are no longer even sure of what sets Christianity apart from the many other spiritualities on offer. In the final of our ‘Why I Am…’ series, CIEF is delighted to welcome Revd Canon Dr Michael Green to help us tackle this challenge. Michael Green is a highly acclaimed evangelist and author. Currently a lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, he is also a former advisor on evangelism to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Michael Green is gifted in equipping Christians in their grasp of the gospel message, and to then have confidence to converse with others about faith matters. So whether you are a Christian who struggles to share your faith, a sceptic who is puzzled by the claims of Christianity, or a seeker who wants to know more about the Christian faith, this event is for you.

We look forward to welcoming you to what promises to be a fascinating and encouraging evening. http://www.cief.net

Friday 1st October: 20:00 – 22:00
@ Church of the Resurrection, Elmwood Avenue, Belfast

If anyone else in cyberspace is going as well, give me a shout either here or on facebook!

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 29th September

September 29, 2010

To Glorify Christ Jesus

He shall glorify me: for he shall take what is mine, and declare it to you. (John 16:14)

The Holy Ghost Himself cannot better glorify the Lord Jesus than by showing to us Christ’s own things. Jesus is His own best commendation. There is no adorning Him except with his own gold.

The Comforter shows us that which He has received of our Lord Jesus. He has a way of opening our minds and of opening the Scriptures, and by this double process He sets forth our Lord to us. He shows us the things themselves and this is a great privilege.

Let us seek the illumination of the Spirit; not to gratify our curiosity, nor even to bring us personal comfort, but to glorify the Lord Jesus. Oh, to have worthy ideas of Him; to have such vivid impressions of His person, and work, and glory that we may with heart and soul cry out to His praise! Where there is a heart enriched by the Holy Ghost’s teaching there will be a Saviour glorified beyond expression. Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly light, and show us Jesus our Lord!

Book Give Away

September 28, 2010

Brian, Robert and JohnDave at Near Emmaus are giving away a copy of Fred Sanders’ book on the Trinity. Check it out!

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 28th September

September 28, 2010

Work is Done; Rest in Him

There remains, therefore, a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)

God has provided a Sabbath, and it remains for the people of God to enter into it.

Come, then, let us labour to enter into this rest. Let us cease from our own works, as God did from His. Let us find solace in the finished work of our Lord Jesus. Everything is fully done: justice demands no more. Great peace is our portion in Christ Jesus.

As to the work of grace in the soul, and the work of the Lord in the souls of others, let us cast these burdens upon the Lord and rest in Him. When the Lord gives us a yoke to bear, He does so that by taking it up we may find rest. By faith we labour to enter into the rest of God, and we renounce all rest in self-satisfaction or indolence. Jesus Himself is perfect rest, and we are filled to the brim in Him.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 27th September

September 28, 2010

The Divine Light in Darkness

For you will light my candle. (Psalm 18:28)

It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light. But God can enlighten my darkness and at once light my candle. Even though I may be surrounded by a “darkness which might be felt,” yet He can break the gloom and make it bright around me.

The mercy is that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out of itself through the lapse of hours. The lights which the Lord kindled in the beginning are shining still.

Let me, then, like the nightingale sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune. Whatever has made my darkness now; God will bring the light. My eyes are unto Him alone. I shall soon have the candles of the Lord shining about me. Hallelujah!

“Not many people know that.”

September 26, 2010

 

Well, last night (Saturday), I was at home and extremely bored after circumstances conspired against me and my plans fell through. So, while doing some mindless surfing on t’internet, I came across someone else’s “Little Known Facts..” type of post. Given the acute state of my tedium and being willing to do almost anything to alleviate my suffering, I wrote up my own list (though forgot to post it).

Jonathan:

  1. Wishes he was a better Christian.
  2. Absolutely hated school. Couldn’t wait to leave and didn’t remotely try while there. Only began to try when he got to the university stage (where he discovered a brain and love of learning).
  3. Went through a skin-tight-black-jeans and leather-jacket-wearing, heavy-metal period in his teens in which he listened to lots of angry music about how miserable the world was. (He must have been a horror)
  4. Secretly still goes onto youtube and listens to metal once in a while.
  5. In his late teens/early 20’s and out-partying phase, had a barrage of the most awful chat-up lines known to man.
  6. Has two, very flat, left feet and couldn’t dance to save his life – though that hasn’t stopped him in the past.
  7. Used to do jujitsu and judo in his teens until a rather unpleasant knee injury (it still hurts) ended his hopes of becoming the next Bruce Lee.
  8. Loves music, pretty much everything from Mozart to Metallica (though reggae is surely a bridge too far).
  9. Was a child singer, and sang in front of thousands of people once.
  10. Sadly, his voice didn’t break – it shattered.
  11. Is always singing/humming around the house (mercifully, only to himself)
  12. Would love to be a classically-trained tenor (but see 10.)
  13. Was on local television because of his involvement in a local schools project on the Titanic.
  14. Is a complete bibliophile.
  15. Lost count of the number of books he owns once it reached 3000+.
  16. Doesn’t know what on earth to do with said books when he  moves house at some point in the future and won’t have space for them.
  17. Prefers dogs to cats.
  18. Has a long-standing passion for Curly Wurlys.
  19. Loves ice-cream.
  20. Can’t eat spicy food of any kind, and has a very plain palate, sadly.
  21. First car was a 1979 Ford Fiesta which was two-tone: brown and “oyster gold” (my friends affectionately called it “the Brown bomber”… ahem). It also had orange, furry seat-covers and flooded when it rained (a few holes were drilled into the floor which sorted that problem out). It had a dodgy starting-motor which meant that every now and then it would freeze – the only solution was to put the car into gear and get out and rock it (which happened while on a date outside a well-to-do girl’s home with her mother looking on – cringe).
  22. Read the Lord of the Rings trilogy over a fortnight.
  23. Has the box-set of series 1-3 of the Big Bang Theory coming in the post and may not surface for air until he’s watched the lot next week.
  24. Is often taken as being very serious, but is known to his family as ‘the giggler’.
  25. Is intensely private and will probably never give out this much personal information on the blog again!

Today’s Lectionary Reading

September 26, 2010

This just goes to show that Paul isn’t always a grumpy sod, he says things well worth taking to heart.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 26th September

September 26, 2010

Among the Redeemed
 
Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. (Numbers 23:9)

Who would wish to dwell among the nations and to be numbered with them?

The Lord would have His people follow a separate path as to the world. We are set apart by the divine decree, purchase, and calling, and our inward experience has made us greatly to differ from men of the world; and therefore, our place is not with them, but in the narrow way where all true pilgrims must follow their Lord.

This may not only reconcile us to the world’s cold shoulder and sneers, but our names are not in the same book; we are not of the same seed; we are not bound for the same place; neither are we trusting to the same guide.

Therefore, it is well that we are not of their number. Only let us be found in the number of the redeemed, and we are content to be off and solitary to the end of the chapter.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 25th September

September 25, 2010

The Sacrifice Has Been Accepted

If the Lord had desired to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would he have shown us all these things. (Judges 13:23)

This is a sort of promise deduced by logic. It was not likely that the Lord had revealed to Manoah and his wife that a son would be born to them, and yet had it in His heart to destroy them. Let us, too, follow this line of argument.

The Father has accepted the great sacrifice of Calvary and has declared Himself well pleased. The Lord has shown us our election, our adoption, our union to Christ, our marriage to the Well-beloved: how can He now destroy us?

The promises are loaded with blessings, which necessitate our being preserved unto eternal life. It is not possible for the Lord to cast us away and yet fulfill His covenant. The past assures us, and the future reassures us.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 24th September

September 24, 2010

The Life-Giving Stream

And it shall come to pass, that every thing that lives, which moves, wherever the rivers shall go, shall live. (Ezekiel 47:9)

The living waters, in the prophet’s vision, flowed into the Dead Sea and carried life with them, even into that stagnant lake. Where grace goes, spiritual life is the immediate and the everlasting consequence. Grace proceeds sovereignly according to the will of God, even as a river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its own quickening flow.

Lord, let the living water flow to my family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I desire to bathe in it, to swim in it. O my Savior, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active. Living God, I pray Thee, fill me with Thine own life, that, like Aaron’s rod, I may bud and blossom and bring forth fruit unto Thy glory.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 23rd September

September 23, 2010

Deliverance from Dust and Chaff

Surely I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. (Amos 9:9)

The sifting process is going on still. Wherever we go, we are still being winnowed and sifted. God’s people are being tried “as corn is sifted in a sieve.” Sometimes the devil holds the sieve and tosses us up and down with the earnest desire to get rid of us forever. The world lends a willing hand at the same process and shakes us to the right and to the left with great vigor.

Well, let it go on. Thus is the chaff severed from the wheat. Thus is the wheat delivered from dust and chaff. And how great is the mercy which comes to us in the text, “Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth”! All shall be preserved that is good, true, gracious. Not one of the least of believers will be lost; neither shall any believer lose anything worth calling a loss.