Thursday, 2 August 2012


Psalm 141:3
“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD:
keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Before speaking, ask yourself the following questions:
T - Is it true?
H - Is it helpful?
I - Is it inspiring?
N - Is it necessary?
K - Is it kind?
Sharon Collins sent me this - it is excellent.

The Need of Reconciliation

James Denney's wise words are always deeply appreciated.  On the need for reconciliation with God, he explains that it is mankind's guilt before God that gives it is power.  It is our "guilt that alienates us from God, and it is in virtue of this alienation that sin reigns in us.  Hence to be reconciled to God is the sinner's primary need."

This is the message the world needs to hear and the church needs to preach.  Sadly, this is the message that the world is not hearing because the church is not proclaiming it.  You will find pockets here and there where the message of reconciliation is preached with passion, and not as a dry academic lecture.

Man without the Bible, to borrow Schaeffer's memorable phrase, must be confronted directly yet lovingly with the truth that he is under divine wrath.  He stands in dire and urgent need of being reconciled with God.  And how can he hear without a preacher? asks Paul.  And how can he preach unless he is sent?  he continues.  Is the reason why there is so little true and engaging Gospel the fact that many of those who have taken up "holy orders" to use an old expression, were never called to this work and therefore were never sent?  How dangerous a position it is to be in if a man has neither been called by God not sent to preach the Gospel!  What eternal danger such a man is doing to the souls under his charge.  They are wolves in sheep's clothing, false prophets, men who serve their in interests rather than God's.  How blessed a thing it would be for the church to be rid of such men. 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Worship - Keswick at Portstewart-style.

Another bizarre thing that struck me at the Keswick at Portstewart convention this year was when the 'worship leader' said abut half way through the service, "We will now worship God...."  For her, worship was nothing more than singing or praise.

But the service started the moment the minister called the congregation to worship the Lord.  And it ended when he pronounced the benediction.  Everything that was done between these two pivotal points was worship.

The "worship leader" and "worship group leader" requires training on what it is that constitutes true worship.  Or better still, and in true reformed practice, this must be in the control of the minister who conducts the service, not in the hands of the "worship leader."  There must be a move towards dignified and God-honouring praise, and singing songs of worship that are singable.

Sin Slain - C. H. Spurgeon

“And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.” Judges 4:22
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4

Rest not content till the blood of your enemy stains the ground, until he is crushed, and dead, and slain. Oh, sinner, I beseech you, never be content until grace reign in your heart, and sin is altogether subdued. Indeed, this is what every renewed soul longs for, and must long for, nor will it rest satisfied until all this shall be accomplished. There was a time when some of us thought we would slay our sins. We wanted to put them to death, and we thought we would drown them in floods of penitence. There was a time, too, when we thought we would starve our sins; we thought we would keep out of temptation, and not go and pander to our lusts, and then they would die; and some of us can recollect when we gagged our lusts, when we pinioned their arms, and put their feet in the stocks, and then thought that would deliver us. But brethren, all our ways of putting sin to death were not sufficient; we found the monster still alive, insatiate for his prey. We might rout his hired ruffians, but the monster was still our conqueror. We might put to flight our habits, but the nature of sin was still in us, and we could not overcome it. Yet did we groan and cry daily, “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” It is a cry to which we are accustomed even at this day, and which we shall never cease to utter, till we can say of our sins, “They are gone,” and of the very nature of sin, that it has been extinguished, and that we are pure and holy even as when the first Adam came from his Maker’s hands.

For meditation: We should never underestimate the power of sin, but we can never overestimate the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to conquer sin. Sin may remain, but it need not reign (Romans 6:12).
Sermon no. 337
30 July (Preached 29 July 1860)