Bought by the Blood

December 5, 2009

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, – 1 Timothy 6:15

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

For God to be blessed means that He is infinitely happy. He is sovereign and all that He purposes is accomplished (Isaiah 46:9-10).  All that God does is for His pleasure and delight (Psalm 115:3).  Even if something He ordains does not seem like it would please Him we have to remember we only have a limited perspective and the  ultimate end that He has in mind will glorify Him.  God does not need you or I for Him to blessed, we are not a blessing to God, He has all He needs in the Godhead to be supremely happy for all eternity (Isaiah 42:1).

We call God blessedness because He is the greatest blessing that we have.  The greatest joy that we can have is to be found in God, no other joy compares to knowing Him.  He is our great reward and His love is better than life (Psalm 63:1).  There is no human being that has lived who was happier than Jesus.  Jesus gave us the description of happiness in the beatitudes when he said who the blessed are and only He has perfectly lived out the beatitudes.

Only through Jesus can we have joy and have it to the full.  James Montgomery Boice once stated, “The blessing of God in an individual life begins with the forgiveness of sin.”  The Gospel is the good news that Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, there is no more striving or work that we must do to earn God’s blessing, but it is freely given to us  (Romans 9:16).  The Gospel opens our blinded eyes so that we can see God as the jewel of great worth (Matthew 13:45-46).  The greatest good and highest enjoyment we can have is knowing God and this is only possible through Christ death bringing us near to God by His blood (Ephesians 2:13).

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November 30, 2009

Boice On The Church Today

Filed under: Boice,Repentance,salvation,sin — cubsfan1980 @ 9:29 pm
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Image courtesy of tenth.org

“The problem is that the evangelical movement in America today is shallow. It speaks of salvation, but it does not grapple with sin. And since it does not grapple with sin, there can be no true repentance.” James Montgomery Boice

 

November 15, 2009

Aspirations for Children

Filed under: Boice,Family,Hope,humility,worldliness — cubsfan1980 @ 10:21 am
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The question that every parents needs to ask is if they want their kids to be great in the world’s eyes or in God’s eyes.  That will dictate every aspect of how we parent and the direction that we set our kids on.

“We are highly impressed with what we imagine men and women can do, and we want to achieve greatness ourselves. But usually this is mere wishful thinking. Very few of us will be great in the world’s terms. And the greatness we do achieve, if we achieve it, soon passes away and we are forgotten like the builders of Babylon. It is different when God acts for us; then, the results are permanent, and the greatness he creates is true greatness.” James Montgomery Boice

November 1, 2009

Boice on God’s sovereignty in our failures

Filed under: Boice,God's providence,God's Sovereignty,Moses,Proverbs — cubsfan1980 @ 7:17 pm
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Image courtesy of Tenth Presbyterian Church

“We may not like to think so, but Christians do fail.  Through their failures they should learn to trust God in order that they might succeed in His service.  Another way of saying the same thing is that through failures they learn to follow God’s plans for their lives rather than their own…If a man can begin his career in such abject failure as Moses experienced and then rise to the heights he achieved, certainly we can rise from our early failures and ruined plans too.  If we do not – if we grieve over our plans that seemed good and even spiritual to us but which failed – then we do not understand God’s sovereignty.  We need to take our minds off our plans for a while and seek God…Only after we fail do we become aware that it is God and not ourselves who is working.  God’s plan will be accomplished. ‘There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand’ (Proverbs 19:21). This truth Moses came to know, and we must learn it also.  Someone has said, ‘Moses was 40 years in Egypt learning something; he was 40 years in the desert learning to be nothing; and he was 40 years in the wilderness proving God to be everything.'” James Montgomery Boice

October 31, 2009

Always Reformed, Always reforming

Filed under: Boice,Psalms,Reformation — cubsfan1980 @ 9:21 am
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“If there is to be a revival, it will not start with the liberal establishment. It will begin with us.” James Montgomery Boice

There is a famous reformation saying that states, “Always reformed, always reforming.”  I think that in today’s conservative circles, it is easy to look at the liberal churches and think that change need to starts there.  The place that change needs to happen is in the conserved reformed circles.  As long as we are pointing the finger at “them” and pointing to their errors, we will be a hindrance to revival and reform.  Instead, our attitude needs to be that of the Psalmist and we need to ask “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!.”  We must never be content with we are in the sanctification process, but continually seeking to grow in our passion for God.  As our desire for revival grows and Christ becomes more evident in us, then others will want to know what is different and want what we have.  Why would the liberal establishment want to change if they see nothing appealing in us or the way our lives are transformed by the gospel.  With another reformation day here, let us ponder what it means to seek for reformation in our own lives, in the lives of those we influence and our churches.

October 19, 2009

Trusting God with Finances

Filed under: Boice,Finances,Greed,Habbakuk,Matthew,Trusting God,Unbelief — cubsfan1980 @ 9:52 pm
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Below is a great quotes by James Montgomery Boice that was written over 20 years ago and still rings true today especially in light of today’s economic climae.  It is definitely an area that I am seeking to apply the truth of God’s word to in my own life.

Woe to him u who heaps up what is not his own—
for v how long?—
and w loads himself with pledges!”
7  Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8  Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and y violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them. – Habbakuk 2:6-8

Greed is a natural but destructive characteristic of the one who will not trust God.  If a person trusts God, he does not need to be covetous of more and more material possessions.  The Lord is the portion of the righteous.  Besides, the Lord amply supplies his need.  The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of God’s provision for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field and asked: ‘if that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?…Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matt.6:30, 33). If a person trusts God, he does not need to acquire more and more possessions, since he knows God will provide what he needs.  If he does not trust God, then the need for things becomes a burden.  This world is an insecure place, and the individual is insecure within it.  So he works to get more and more in the hope that if he only has a little more land or stocks or capital, he may get by…

In the beginning, the person who is trying to build security with things probably intends to be quite honest in doing it.  But, somehow, what is acquired is never enough, and he therefore finds himself resorting to questionable and eventually to dishonest practices in the quest for more.  The verses also talk about this person’s “debtors,” suggesting that a person like this easily overextends himself and eventually falls prey to the collectors.  This is quite contemporary.  The people of the Western World are more in debt than they have ever been, and many are losing houses or other tangibles to collectors.  Many are going into personal bankruptcy.  These facts are testimonies to the truthfulness of God’s Word and proof of what happens when a person or nation rejects God and lives without Him.

October 3, 2009

The Tapestry of Life

Filed under: Boice,Trusting God,Will of God — cubsfan1980 @ 9:08 pm
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“The patterns of God are often hard to detect in this life. Have you ever looked at a beautiful piece of tapestry from the wrong side? If you have, you know that the wrong side is a tangle of threads. At times a bit of the pattern can be traced, but it is largely unintelligible and confusing. Yet, when you turn the tapestry over, the pattern is beautiful and clearly apparent. In a similar way, life for us is often a tangle; we see it only from the wrong side. However, we are told that the day is coming when we shall see it from the right side – from God’s perspective – and that in the meantime we are trust Him to work out the pattern.” James Montgomery Boice

September 26, 2009

From Strength to Strength

Filed under: 1st Corinthians,Boice,Deliverance,temptation — cubsfan1980 @ 1:28 pm
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Image courtesy of Theopedia

Image courtesy of Theopedia

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

“The second thing that Paul says about temptation is that God always makes a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it.  The trouble with most of  us is that we do not look for the way to escape.  Instead we become fascinated  by the temptation,  like the bird fascinated by the snake that is about to devour it, and we fail to see God’s deliverance.  Do you do that?  If so, you need to get out of the habit.  Learn to look for God’s deliverance.  Then your life will go on from strength to strength, and you will realize that God is your shield against temptation also.” James Montgomery Boice

August 29, 2009

Boice on Prayer

Filed under: Boice,Prayer — cubsfan1980 @ 8:58 pm
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Image courtesy of Tenth Presbyterian Church

Image courtesy of Tenth Presbyterian Church

“In prayer the Christian can be absolutely certain that ohears and answers his requests so that whatever he asks he obtains, but with this qualification: that he prays not according to his own sinful wishes but rather according to what an all-wise, infinite, and holy God desires.” James Montgomery Boice

August 22, 2009

Boice on dreaming big dreams for God

Filed under: Boice,Daniel,Godly Ambition,Luke — cubsfan1980 @ 8:19 pm
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Image Courtesy of Theopedia

Image Courtesy of Theopedia

James Montgomery Boice is my theological hero.  Just as every Friday is dedicated to fathers, I want to make Saturdays dedicated to Dr. Boice.  Below is a quote from his commentary on Daniel about deciding to live for God.

“Most young people want their lives to count, and most Christian young people want their lives to count for God.  Youths dream big.  That is right.  You should dream big.  But youth is also often impatient and undisciplined, and young people are tempted to let the little things slide.  You must not do that if you are God’s young man or woman.  God will make your life count, but this will not happen unless you determine to live for him in the little things now.  You know what Jesus said: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).  Being wholly given over to God now is the essential and best possible preparation for future service.”

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