Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quote of the Day #215 - F. W. Krummacher

A quote from F. W. Krummacher:
Above all things, therefore, let us draw nigh to Jesus as our sole and everlasting High Priest, as our Mediator, Surety, and Ransom. "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." The saints above "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." O delay no longer, therefore, to follow their example! Jesus, in His crown of thorns and bleeding wounds, must be the object of your love and the ground of your hope, or else He is nothing to you, and you are in danger of eternal perdition.
~F. W. Krummacher (The Suffering Saviour, Chapter 2)

This quote was taken from Samuel Jackson's translation of F. W. Krummacher's book The Suffering Saviour: Meditations On The Last Days Of Christ.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jesus, Led By The Spirit Into The Wilderness - Matthew 4:1 Bible Commentary

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1)
When John raised Jesus out of the Jordan River, Jesus' ministry began. There was the voice from the Father in heaven, and there was the Spirit, descending like a dove. What happened next, however, isn't necessarily what would be expected. After this magnificent revelation of all three Persons of the the Godhead, Jesus was led by the Spirit, not to the shepherdless people of Israel, but into the wilderness.

There, Jesus' obedience to the Father was put to the test— a trial that was dwarfed only by the blood-filled anguish of Gethsemane. In this trial, Jesus was tempted by the head of the kingdom of darkness, Satan. Long ago, Satan had rebelled against the Lord, taking many of the angels with Him. Now, in the wilderness, the serpent had the opportunity to battle the Second Adam face to face.

This Second Adam, the Messiah, the incarnate Son of God— He is the very one who was prophesied in Genesis 3:15. He is the seed of the woman that would bruise the head of the serpent.

In this encounter between Satan and Jesus Christ, we can learn how we ought to battle temptation. Each of Jesus' three temptations show us the importance of knowing Scripture and keeping our eyes fixed on God.

As is evident from this first verse, a glorious moment is no sign that a trial isn't just around the corner. Jesus heard the Father's voice, and the Spirit descended upon Him. But then the Spirit immediately drove Him into the wilderness to be tempted. Take warning, then, from this event in our Saviour's history. Just because you are enjoying sweet communion with the Father today doesn't mean you will not face the severest of trials tomorrow.

While you are on this earth, you will be tempted to let your guard down when you experience a "glorious moment". Resist this temptation. Keep your eyes fixed on God, not on yourself. For though the Spirit Himself may lead you into a trial, it is for your benefit. It is so that you might look only to God for your strength— the one who provides for all your needs— the one who is your protector, who alone is worthy of worship, even in the midst of the hardest of tests.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

If The Angels Say: Do Not Be Afraid... - The Gospel (Part 11 of ∞)

Our culture's modern, marketed version of an angel does not resemble the angels described in Scripture. Angels are frightening creatures. This is because they belong to a different, supernatural realm. Only a few people have had the privilege of seeing an angel, and I doubt any of them forgot the sight. Would you? If you, like Elisha's servant (2 Kings 6:17), saw an angelic battalion destroy an entire army coming to kill you, would you forget?

When angels appear in Scripture, they almost always preface their message with the words, "Do not be afraid!" As humans, we don't like to do or see things out of the ordinary. While it's true that some people are more adventurous than others, there's a point in which something becomes so unexpected that anyone would recoil in fear.

If a spaceship full of martians landed tomorrow, everyone would be freaking out. No one in their right minds would walk up to the new arrivals, shake their hands (if they had any), and give them a warm welcome. Instead, a few, carefully selected, heavily trained people would make an extremely cautious approach. Why? Because that's how people react when they face the unknown— they're terrified.

Angels, however, aren't just different— they're glorious. In this present age they are, as far as we know, the closest beings to God. The angel Gabriel, after identifying himself, told Zechariah, "I stand in the presence of God" (Luke 1:19). Angels reflect God's holiness and justice. It is the overwhelming purity of angels in combination with their differences from the natural realm that makes them so fearsome.

Consider this then: if angels are so fearsome that they must say "Do not be afraid," what is Christ like in all His glory? What is it like to see Christ unveiled, seated at the right hand of the Father?

Jesus Christ must be the most fearsome of sights. Daniel fell down at the sight of Christ (Daniel 8:18), so did the apostle John (Revelation 1:17). If it were not for Christ's own righteousness that clothes us and makes us pure, how much more terrifying would the sight of Him be! Let us always be aware of Christ's fearsome glory, always looking to Him in eager, awed anticipation. For one day, we will be with Him. One day, we will be like Him, and we will reign with Him forever and ever!

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Quote of the Day #214 - William Gurnall

A quote from William Gurnall:
A beautiful person without true grace is like a pretty weed - It looks best if you see it from a distance.
~William Gurnall (The Christian in Complete Armour Volume 2, Chapter 1, Part 2).

This quote was taken from the book The Christian in Complete Armour Volume 2 - A modernized abridgement of the Puritan Classic by William Gurnall, published by Banner Of Truth.

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