Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let all men tremble before their God and Maker

Deuteronomy 32:39-42 [39] 'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand. [40] For I raise My hand to heaven, And say, "As I live forever, [41] If I whet My glittering sword, And My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me. [42] I will make My arrows drunk with blood, And My sword shall devour flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the heads of the leaders of the enemy." '

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fathers: Commend and Praise, Don't Just Reprove and Correct

Matthew Henry in A Church in the House said this in 1704:

Encourage everything that is good and praise-worthy in your children and servants. It is as much your duty to commend and encourage those in your family that do well, as to reprove and admonish those that do amiss; and if you take delight only in blaming that which is culpable, you are not doing your whole duty. When we are slow to praise that which is laudable, we give occasion to suspect something of an ill nature not becoming a good man, much less a good Christian. It should be a trouble to us when we have only reproofs to give, but no expressions of pleasure toward our children. We ought to be able to say with the apostle, "Now I praise you (1 Corinthians 11:2)."

Most people will be easier led than driven, and we all love to be appreciated. When you see any thing that is hopeful and promising in your family, any thing of a promising and responsive disposition, much more any thing of a pious affection to the things of God, you should therefore do your best to encourage it.

Smile upon them when you see them set their faces heavenwards, and take the first opportunity to let them know you observe it, and are well pleased with it, and do not despise the day of small things. This will quicken them to continue and abound in that which is good. It will hearten them against the difficulties they see in their way, and perhaps may turn the wavering, trembling scale the right way, and effectually encourage their resolutions to cleave to the Lord.

When you set them forward to come to family-worship, attentive to the Word, devout in prayer, industrious to get knowledge, afraid of sin, and careful to do their duty, let them have the praise of it, for you have the comfort of it, and God must have all the glory.

Draw them with the cords of a man, and hold them with the bands of love. This way, your rebukes, when they are necessary, will be more acceptable and effective. The great shepherd gathers the lambs in His arms, and carries them in His bosom, and gently leads them, and so should you.

Fathers - meditate on these things and make them your own.

Are Love and Wrath Contradictory?

John Murray, in His Collected Writings said:

Love and wrath are not contradictory. They can coexist in their greatest intensity in the same person at the same time. Wrath is not to be equated with hate. Failure to recognize this simple truth... is the capital error of those who make the objection concerned. It is an incomprehensible error. Because of the compatibility of love and wrath as coexisting, the wrath-bearing of the Son of God, pre-eminently upon the accursed tree, the vicarious infliction of the wrath of God against those whom the Father invincibly loves, is not only comprehensible, but belongs to the essence of the doctrine that Christ bore our sins in his own body upon the tree as the supreme manifestation of the Father's love. God's glory is not only love. It is also holiness. and because he is holiness, his holy jealousy burns against sin, and therefore against sinners. For only as characterizing sinners does sin exist. The propitiation which God made his own Son is the provision of the Father's love, to the end that holiness may be vindicated and its demands satisfied. Thus, and only thus, could the purpose and urge of his love be realized in a way compatible with, and to the glory of the manifold perfections of his character.... And so we must say that this love of the Father was at no point more intensely in exercise than when the Son was actively drinking the cup of unrelieved damnation, than when he was enduring as substitute the full toll of the Father's wrath.... What love for men that the Father should execute upon his own Son the full toll of holy wrath, so that we should never taste it!

Monday, August 9, 2010