"A cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither." Mere Christianity, 95.
(HT: Ray Van Neste)
With what shall I come to the LORD
And bow myself before the God on high?
Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,
With yearling calves?
Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams,
In ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
And it came about on one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him.The gospel, according to I Corinthians 15:3, is the good news that God has reconciled sinners to Himself through the Scripture-fulfilling death of His Son, His burial, and His resurrection on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Thomas Vincent was born in May, 1634. Both his father and brother were prominent ministers. He graduated from Christ's Church, Oxford, and appears to have entered into the ministry very early. It was said of him that he had memorized the entire New Testament as well as the Psalms. (He died when he was 44 years old!) - Jacket Cover, The True Christian's Love to the Unseen Christ.One of the best 24-hour time periods of my life was spent on a church bus on the way to CO to go snowboarding. It was March 2004. I would read a little, then stare out the window and think and pray about wanting to love Jesus like Thomas Vincent loved (loves) Him. Then I would read some more and continue the pattern. Few books have left the sort of imprint on me as Vincent's, The True Christian's Love to the Unseen Christ.
The life of Christianity consists very much in our love to Christ. Without love to Christ, we are as much without spiritual life as a carcass when the soul is fled from it is without natural life. Faith without love to Christ is a dead faith, and a Christian without love to Christ is a dead Christian, dead in sins and trespasses. Without love to Christ we may have the name of Christians, but we are wholly withhout the nature. Vincent, 1.
[Now] to show why true Christians love Christ, whom they have never seen.
Reason 1. True Christians love Christ because of the need which they have of Him. Men love their necessary food, without which their bodies would starve with hunger; men love theiry necessary raiment and habitations, without which, in winter seasons, their bodies would starve with cold. Men love their necessary friends, upon whom (under God) they have their dependence, and from whom they have all their subsistence. But nothing in the world, no friend in the world, is as needful to the body as the Lord Jesus Christ is unto the soul. And, as the excellencies of the soul are far beyond the excellencies of the body, so the necessities of the soul are far beyond the necessities of the body; which necessities can be answered by non but Jesus Christ, and, therefore, true Christians love Him. Vincent, 14-15.
I come now to give directions how you may attain much of this love to Christ where you have it but in a low degree and weak measure. Would you attain much love to Christ? Direction 1. Be much in contemplation of Christ. Get often into the mount of divine contemplation, and there look upwards unto heaven and think with yourselves, "Yonder, yonder, above the shining sun, is the more glorious Sun of righteousness. There, at the righht hand of the throne of God, seated and, though He is so high above me, both in place and dignity, yet He thinks upon me, and pleads for me, and many a gift has He sent and, by His Spirit, conveyed unto me; and I can ask nothing of the Father in His name but, if it is really for my good, I have it by His means." O dear Jesus, how lovely are Thou in Thyself! The darling of heaven! The delight of the Father! The admiration of angels! O what brightness of glory, what shining luster are Thou arrayed with! Thou art clothed with most excellent majesty and honor! Thou art girded with infinite might and power! The beauty of Thy face is most wonderful! The smiles of Thy countenance are most sweet and delightful! And does this lovely fair one, this fairest of ten thousand, this most excellent and altogether lovely person bear a particular love to me? To such a vile worm as me? To such a dead dog as me? To such an undeserving, ill-deserving, hell-deserving sinner as me? O what marvelous kindness in this! What infinite riches of free grace! Vincent, 88-89.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him,
Strength and joy are in His place.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the LORD in holy array.
Tremble before Him, all the earth;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
And let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD;
For He is coming to judge the earth.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Then say, "Save us, O God of our salvation,
And gather us and deliver us from the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
And glory in Your praise."
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting
Then all the people said, "Amen," and praised the LORD.
- I Chronicles 16:24-31
Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity."
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
Before the LORD, for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth
He will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in His faithfulness.
- Psalm 96:10-13
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.James 1:27
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unelss they make someone stumble. - Proverbs 4:14-16
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unelss they make someone stumble. - Proverbs 4:14-16Walking the path of evil begins with one step. Don't go there! Cling to Jesus! Don't trust past experiences. Trust Him now. His atoning death on the cross, His resurrection, His reigning and ruling over the universe (even the wicked who lose sleep) is real! Trust Him. Hold to Him. Walk with Him. Rest in Jesus (That's the best sleep) now, and you'll rest forevermore. Until then, snatch others from the path of destruction!
Secondly, Christ is called the desire of all nations, plainly because of the sufficiency that is in him to supply the needs of the whole world. As the sun in the heavens suffices all nations for light and influence, so does the Sun of righteousness suffice for the redemption, justification, sanctification and salvation of the people of God all over the world; Isa 45:22, "Look to me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth."
Here are his 15 effects of superficial preaching:
Some time ago I hosted a discussion at the Expositors’ Institute, an annual small-group colloquium on preaching held at our church. In preparation for that seminar, I took a yellow legal pad and a pen and began listing the negative effects of the superficial brand of preaching that is so rife in modern evangelicalism.
I initially thought I might be able to identify about ten, but in the end I had jotted down a list of sixty-one devastating consequences. I’ve distilled them to fifteen by combining and eliminating all but the most crucial ones. I offer them as a warning against superficial, marginally-biblical preaching—both to those who stand behind the pulpit and to those who sit in the pew.
"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Thy name give glory because of Thy lovingkindness, because of Thy truth. Why should the nations say, "Where, now, is their God?" But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases" (Psalm 115:1-3).
Each Sunday evening, September 10 - October 29
5:00 - 7:00 PM
477 N. 5th
Memphis, TN 38105
The Interest Meetings are an eight week series of meetings designed to unfold the vision and values of Grace Church. Attendance at the Interest Meetings will not commit you to Grace Church, but should give you an informed way to pray about linking your life with the vision the Lord has birthed in our hearts.
All children five and older are invited to join the discussion. Please let us know if your child will be in the 4-yrs and under childcare. A reply email with children's names and ages will be sufficient. We want to make sure we have adequate staffing for your children. If you have further questions about the Interest Meetings feel free to contact us.
- September 10 - Why Plant Grace Church?
- September 17 - Essentials of a Healthy Church
- September 24 - Grace Church Core Beliefs
- October 1 - The Centrality of Christ
- October 8 - Vision & Mission of Grace Church
- October 15 - Membership Matters
- October 22 - Open Discussion & Prayer
- October 29 - The Church & God's Glory
Looking forward to seeing you on the 10th!
"For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His
children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled,
beyond the reach of change and decay!" 1 Peter 1:4
What does it really matter where we spend
the few years of our pilgrimage here below?
Life is short, vain, and transitory; and if I live
in comfort and wealth, or in comparative poverty,
it will matter little when I lie in my coffin!
This life is soon passing away, and an eternal state
fast coming on! It will greatly matter whether . . .
our religion was natural or spiritual,
our faith human or divine,
our hope a heavenly gift or a spider's web!
But our blind, foolish hearts are so concerned about
things which are but the dust of the balance, and so
little anxious about our all in all.
There is no greater inheritance than to be a son or
daughter of the Lord Almighty. To have a saving
interest in . . .
the electing love of the Father,
the redeeming blood of the Son,
and the sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit,
is worth a million of worlds! Without such, we must
be eternally miserable; and with it eternally happy.
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love
5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight
9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him
11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 7:12We call it, "The Golden Rule." But what is the rule? In outline fashion, it would be something like this:
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 7:12What is, "The Law and the Prophets?"
The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!
This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.
The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification
Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.
By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at
the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.
NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN