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Monday, December 31, 2012

Reading for Day 366, the last day of a Leap Year


PSALM 66

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honor of his name: make his praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. He rules by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holds our soul in life, and suffers not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:  But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

For This Cause Came I.....


And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.                     John 12:20-36

Monday, December 24, 2012

Texts from yesterday's message




And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.                                    Genesis 1:26-28




 Hebrews 
Chapter 1

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.  But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Psalm 51


Psalm 51

Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight-That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-These, O God, You will not despise. Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Hymn of the Month


This was our hymn for the month of November, great words and great truth, especially the fourth verse.



I GREET THEE, WHO MY SURE REDEEMER ART — TOULON




I greet thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
My only trust and Savior of my heart,
Who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray thee from our hearts all cares to take.

Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
Reigning omnipotent in every place:
So come, O King, and our whole being sway;
Shine on us with the light of thy pure day.

Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
And all our substance and our strength receive;
O comfort us in death's approaching hour,
Strong-hearted then to face it by thy pow'r.

Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast thou and no bitterness:
Make us to taste the sweet grace found in thee
And ever stay in thy sweet unity.

Our hope is in no other save in thee;
Our faith is built upon thy promise free;
O grant to us such stronger hope and sure
That we can boldly conquer and endure.




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 304 of 2012

Psalm 4


Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pray for believers in China

Earlier this week Michael Horton posted a brief blog regarding conditions of some of the believers in China, I've copied it below. I'm posting this in order to spread the request and opportunity to pray for our brothers and sisters in China.


Our readers may recall the overview I gave of my opportunity to teach a course in an underground seminary in China.  The school continues to attract growing numbers of aspiring pastors, teachers, and missionaries from all across China.  Our brother overseeing the seminary there has asked for prayer: for his health, but also for immediate concerns facing the churches (and seminaries) with the upcoming power-transfer in the nation’s leadership.  I told him that we would post this concern and I hope that you are able to take a moment to remember our brothers and sisters at this time.  I’ve removed any names that would identify the location:

As I am rehabbing my feet I have received an emergency news from China.  The entire district…is on high alert because of the transfer of power in China.  The Chinese model is “peace at all costs” during the transition of power to show that everything is calm and well, and this “peace” is created by a very strong-armed approach by the government, especially the police force that monitors all kinds of illegal activities.  Unfortunately, orthodox underground seminary is an illegal activity in China and the Church of…has received news that the police will have “major plans” to sweep through the area.  The Church, in emergency actions, has moved all of their training programs to remote locations, and that includes my seminary.  We have been moved to a very rural area where all you see is pretty much farmlands around us (but ironically with High Speed Bullet Train running right through the middle of it), and we are told we will stay here until the transition of power is done (which is towards the end of October.)  A couple of churches has already been swept by the police but praise the Lord the training programs have already moved and they have found nothing.
Also to be very safe we’ve decided to ask the non-Asian teachers to move their courses later, as there was a course that is going to be taught by a non-Asian, but was informed that the course will be move till later.  Another problem this has created is living and studying condition.  While we are able to move our student body over to a new church, but we are unable to move the library.  Also, the students are asked to sleep on the floor for the next two months.  One can imagine the tough physical strain this puts on the students, as well as the lack of resources for students to enhance their studies.  Please continue to pray for the safety of the school for the next two months, and that the students are able to adjust physically to a tough environment.



Yesterday Michael Horton posted this update.



UPDATE (9/28/12): I received this email from my contact in China.
Do continue to pray for the Seminary.  I was just informed that our new location was “searched and investigated” by the police.  Luckily, we did our homework and they didn’t find anything.  But I was told the police still think “something was fishy” about the place when they left, and who knows when the next surprise attack would come.  Needless to say, the students are all very shaken up and wonders if the school should shut down for awhile.  Church leaders and I will brainstorm on this, but in the mean time, please urgently pray for this new development.
Then, our original place was surrounded by police squad cars and when the church members there demand an official answer on why they had to search the Church in such a grand scale, the police told them that they are investigating “a murder”, yes, a murder, I kid you not.  And due to the seriousness of the investigation they had to surround the church and do a thorough investigation.  Again, thanks that we left so they didn’t find anything.
I am leaving soon for China, I am at peace, but I wanted all of us to pray for the students there as they are young and most of them haven’t personally experience persecutions like the Christians before them, and are pretty shaken up.
Please continue to pray for our friends who live and minister under the threat of persecution and death.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

a Quote

So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust.   Ps 81:12

It were better to be given up to lions than to our hearts' lusts.    C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, August 13, 2012

Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

The Church of Christ

by John Newton and Franz Josef Haydn


We sang this magnificent hymn yesterday, I thought I'd share it with you this evening.


Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God;
He whose word cannot be broken Formed thee for His own abode:
On the Rock of Ages founded, What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded, Thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

See, the streams of living waters, Springing from eternal love, 
Well supply thy sons and daughters, And all fear of want remove:
Who can faint, while such a river Ever flows their thirst t' assuage?
Grace which, like the Lord, the giver, Never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hov'ring, See the cloud and fire appear
For a glory and a cov'ring, Showing that the Lord is near:
Thus deriving from their banner Light by night and shade by day,
Safe they feed upon the manna Which he gives them when they pray.

Savior, if of Zion's city I, through grace, a member am,
Let the world deride or pity, I will glory in thy Name:
Fading is the worldling's pleasure, All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure None but Zion's children know. Amen.



But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.                Heb 12:22-29


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Re-Post

Anne Ross Cousin, inspired by Samuel Rutherford's letters, wrote a poem which later was compiled into this great hymn. While there are many great hymns that I love and warmly embrace, I believe this hymn may top them all. It seems, that no hymn warms my heart like this one. Through the years it has been sung sparingly, I must admit it's sound is a bit melancholy, but do not allow that to keep you from enjoying it. Its words and message are one of the sweetest I've ever read or sung. For the truth and sweetness of it, it is one of my favorites. I hope you will enjoy it.



The Sands of Time are Sinking

The Sands of Time are Sinking

The sands of time are sinking, The dawn of heaven breaks;
The summer morn I've sighed for- The fair sweet morn awakes;
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, But day-spring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth In Immanuel's land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, The deep, sweet well of love!
The streams on earth I've tasted More deep I'll drink above;
There to an ocean fulness His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth In Immanuel's land.

O I am my Beloved's, And my Beloved's mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner into His "house of wine".
I stand upon His merit- I know no other stand,
Not e'en where glory dwelleth In Immanuel's land.

The Bride eyes not her garment But her dear bridegrooms face;
I will not gaze at glory But on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth But on His pierced hand:
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scriptures and a few thoughts

A few scriptures that are working me over recently, and, I am thankful for the exercise!




O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.                    Psalm 43:3






 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.    Lev 1:4


The willing sinner, in a demonstration of faith, putting or leaning,  his hand on the animal's head from his flock(a male without blemish) and effectively transferring his sin and guilt to the animal that will shortly shed his blood in death. Doing all of this "before the Lord"! In light of that, Isaiah wrote "and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all".






It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.   Luke 1:3-4


Oh, did I instruct them the way I was suppose to instruct them? I don't know, I don't know.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Question 2 of The Heidelberg Catechism


Question 2. How many things are necessary for you to know, that you, enjoying this comfort, may live and die happily?

Answer: Three; (a) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; (b) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; (c) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance. (d)


Scripture support
(a) Matt.11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt.11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt.11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Tit.3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. Tit.3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit.3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; Tit.3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (b) John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. (c) John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 10:43 To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (d) Eph.5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph.5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Eph.5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Eph.5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1 Pet.2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Rom.6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom.6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom.6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom.6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Question 1 of The Heidelberg Catechism

I thought I'd share a few of these over the next several days. This catechism was originally written in 1563 in the language of German.


The scripture supports follow each Q&A.


The Heidelberg Catechism

 

Question 1. What is your only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yes, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j)

(a) Rom.14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Rom.14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. (b) 1 Cor.6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (c) 1 Cor.3:23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. Tit.2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (d) 1 Pet.1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1 Pet.1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. (e) Heb.2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (f) John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 2 Thess.3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 1 Pet.1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (g) Matt.10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Matt.10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matt.10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. (h) Rom.8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (i) 2 Cor.1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Cor.1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 2 Cor.1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 2 Cor.5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Eph.1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Eph.1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Rom.8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (j) Rom.8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.