Monday, July 30, 2012

Prone to wander

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

 - (from "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Robert Robinson)

[In a blog post that claims our christian hearts are NOT prone to wander, a commenter disagrees:]

I will have to put my two cents in as a minority. That's one of my favorite lines. I never saw it from the angle you (and others) do. My heart knows that it is God himself who keeps me faithful and walking with him with any degree of steadfastness. I think it's a matter of the author saying that we have an old nature still within us, and an enemy outside of us that are bent on steering us away from our beloved. So I tear up whenever I sing that line, as I HAVE wandered, and am prone to, but He keeps me til the end. So...the loss of that line would be sorely me. 

--PjB, a comment to a blog post: here

Thursday, July 26, 2012

We fix our eyes on ... ? (be honest)

There is nothing in the gospel that encourages us to focus on ourselves. Nothing! It's never honoring to God when we take our eyes off of Christ. Never! In fact, the whole point of the gospel is to get us out of ourselves and to "fix our eyes on Christ" (Heb. 12:2). The truest measure of Christian growth, therefore, is when we stop spiritually rationalizing the reasons why we're taking our eyes off of Jesus to focus on ourselves.

It's sin that turns us inward. The gospel turns us outward. Martin Luther argued that sin actually bends or curves us in on ourselves. Any version of "the gospel," therefore, that places you at the center is detrimental to your faith—whether it's your failures or your successes, your good works or bad works, your strengths or weaknesses, your obedience or disobedience.


Maturity is not becoming stronger and stronger, more and more competent. Christian growth is marked by a growing realization of just how weak and incompetent we are, and how strong and competent Jesus is on our behalf. Spiritual maturity is not our growing independence. Rather, it's our growing dependence on Christ.


The focus of the Bible is not the work of the redeemed but the work of the Redeemer. The Good News is his victory for us, not our "victorious Christian life." The gospel declares that God's final word over Christians has already been spoken: "Paid in full." Therefore, we now live with confidence that "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).

--Tullian Tchividjian
from an article entitled: Blessed Self-Forgetfulness

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wash me, Saviour... Decisions, Decisons

[The] term ‘decide’ has always seemed to me to be quite wrong…A sinner does not ‘decide’ for Christ; the sinner ‘flies’ to Christ in utter helplessness and despair saying —

Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

No man truly comes to Christ unless he flies to Him as his only refuge and hope, his only way of escape from the accusations of conscience and the condemnation of God’s holy law.

... The convicted sinner no more ‘decides’ for Christ than the poor drowning man ‘decides’ to take hold of that rope that is thrown to him and suddenly provides him with the only means of escape. The term is entirely inappropriate.

--D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
taken from: Preaching and Preachers, Zondervan, 1972, pp. 279-280.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Are you processing whether you are fit for His mercy?

That which He wrought out in His heart's blood, would He barter it with us for our tears, and vows, ...and feelings and works?  He is not reduced to make a market of Himself.  He will give freely, as beseems His royal love.

But he that offereth a price to Him knows not with whom he is dealing, nor how grievously he vexes His free Spirit.  Empty-handed sinners may freely have what they will.  All that they can possibly need is in Jesus, and he gives it for the asking.

But we must believe that He is all in all, and we must not dare to breathe a word about completing what he has finished, or fitting ourselves for what He freely gives to us as undeserving sinners.
-- Charles Spurgeon, from, "Around the Wicket Gate"

God, the great Father, must not be so dishonored in your thoughts as to be conceived of as requiring a price of you!  You displease Him when you think that you are to do something or feel something or bring something in your hands as a recommendation to Him.
-- Charles Spurgeon, sermon, "Without money and without price."

Friday, July 13, 2012

We do not pry salvation from His hands

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way.” (John 14:1-6a)

Jesus does not just tell us about the Father’s house – he reserves a room for us. It’s a gift. And it grieves his Spirit that we assume we’ll have to pry it from his hands. All along, it’s been his good pleasure to tell us the way home!

--John Dink
The beginning of a longer and thoughtful blog post: here

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Discipleship: Paying more attention

The central reality for Christians is the personal, unalterable, persevering commitment that God makes to us. Perseverance is not the result of our determination, it is the result of God’s faithfulness. We survive in the way of faith not because we have extraordinary stamina but because God is righteous. Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own; finding the meaning of our lives not by probing our moods and motives and morals but by believing in God’s will and purposes; making a map of the faithfulness of God, not charting the rise and fall of our enthusiasm.

- Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, 128-129