Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oh! The wonderful cross

Oh the wonderful cross
Oh the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die, and know that i
May truly live.

Oh the cross, where it all began and ended, where believers unite. There is no battle that Jesus has not won on the cross, no battle that He did not fight that needed fighting. It blows me away.
Oh that we may be blinded to the world by the glory of God radiating from the face of His Son, and not the other way around. Open the eyes of my heart Lord...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Devoid of elegance or eloquent plan

On one level i'm a bit worried this (HT: Ceryn) exists...on another, as i leave studentdom, i'm very glad it does...although obviously sunday morning is no good!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Alive in Christ.

These thoughs are taken from my notes on John Piper's 'How to kill sin' parts one and two. (HT Paul). Read my stuff if you want, but look at Romans 6:11-13, and listen to Piper, and glory, and live in the truth.

1. Christ died for your sins
. This is foundational stuff but we must not miss it. Thats why Paul waits until chapter six before talking about killing sin, because it means nothing without the truth about how we are justified. We are justified first, then, and only then can our sactification begin.

2. We died and rose with Him. IN HIM. In him. When God looked at Christ dieing and rising again he saw us, His people in union with Him. If thats not the case then the cross loses its power. We died with Christ, and we rose with Him, to new life.

3. God united us to Christ by faith. How are we in him? By faith, by beliving. We are justified by faith apart from the law. Isn't that the best thing? Everything that was needed was accomplished by Christ on the cross, and we are joined to Him by our faith. 1 Cortinthians 1:30 tells us that the Jesus is the foundation for our life, for everything we need.

4. Faith bring us our justification. God made Christ, who knew no sin, who never sinned, sin on our behalf. God made Christ sin on our behalf. He was punished and we get the reward. And the reward is the foundation of our joy. The reward being the union with can gave with God in Christ from the cross, the restored relationship with our Maker. The fulfilment of all our lostness and longing. Relationship with Jesus. YES!

5. Defeating sin is a mental and willing act. Look at Romans 6:11. CONSIDER YOURSELF. This is objective. This is a statement. This is not encouragement, us being dead to sin is an event that has happened. We must align ourselves with this truth. We must know this truth, and know ourselves by this truth. We need to learn to think this way, that we are alive in Christ Jesus, that we are dead to sin. THIS IS TRUE. This is the battle before the battle. This is verse 11, before sin comes tempting you with its lies and half truths. We must, as the Bible commands us consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

6. We must prefer another ruler. We must desire God. 'Just say no' theology is not Christian theology. There are five steps here before just say no, there are five chapters in Romans before even talking about how we say no. This is a real engagement of our will. Not to sin. Not to let it reign. To prefer God, to know He is better, His way, His will is THE way. Do not let it reign, choose not to. Don't just say no to sin, but say yes to being alive to God in Christ Jesus (v11).
So what is choosing? Choosing is preferring. We must prefer God, thats why we are dead in verse 11, because we prefer God, we choose God over sin. To live is Christ! Not sin.
Say yes to Christ, prefer Him, choose Him. Do net let sin reign in our bodies.
Christ is our life.

Friday, March 24, 2006

How you know you're back in Wycombe #36578

When you see someone washing his car, in the middle of a heavy rainstorm (oh yes!)
So back home for a week before heading off the Skegness, thats going be to excellent scenes. Its always nice, if a little weird to be back room needs a serious tidy.
Following on from my (very very exciting) trip to Guildford yesterday, it thought i'd big up some of the blogging community there.
Paul and Cat of course, if your not reading their blogs, then start now, and two more that i've found Liz, and Phil (who looks just like Jonny off of the OC). Any more i've missed?
Anyway, thats it for my 150th post (!) more profound stuff starting soon, including probably some thoughts on James 2 and hopefully some words about how amazing it is to belong to Jesus, to really belong to Him. I think He's been speaking to me a lot about that this week.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

BareFacts (feeling like a Fresher again)

Just back from tremendous times at Surrey. It'd be fair to say i 'stumbled across' the town and uni rather than 'found' it, but after some diversion related fun, and an argument with my radio on the way down, i got there just about in one piece...
I went through three fairly distinct stages while i was there, the first was 'feeling like a fresher, i'm shy, i'm chilled, yeh wassup' then we had 'please please please take me back to Reading and Fam and people to high five and laugh at my loser jokes' (there was at least once tonight when i was going to turn and look at Jess/Drew/Dave and share a joke...they weren't there) but then PRAISE GOD something changed in an instant, and i got talking to Phil and Ruth and Naomi and people and i got so excited about being there next year and serving with them and helping them, i pretty much would've started tomorrow. Woo hoo!
I'm very excited about the whole Relay thing, it all seems very real. Being where God wants you to be is the best, safest, most exciting place there is.

Paris Four Hundred

It seems that this is what my blog would look like if it were a t-shirt...hmm. Click me. (HT: Kath).
Although this is a much more fun way to waste time on the internet.

A study in scarlett

So Surrey it was and Surrey it is. I'm off there tonight to go to their last CU meeting of term and meet them. Its going to be cool.
Its the start of another page, somewhere else that i'd never thought i'd go. In some ways it'll be good to leave Reading, don't get me wrong i love it here, i wouldn't change anything about my time at Uni...i think, but come the end of June it'll be time to move on...
I'm gutted about having to leave Fam. I've only been there a year, and i love it so much, and i feel so part of things there, and now i'll have to settle into a new church, but its all good. Thats exciting in many ways. And i have to look for a house...crumbs! Still, i'm hoping God's going to bring me back to Reading and to Fam before too much time passes (please?!)
So i'll be in Guildford, Ceryn in Portsmouth and Jess in Chichester and Worthing. All new times, all exciting and challenging times. How great it is to know that we worship a God who is God everywhere, who holds us in His hands, who loves and will be guiding us and be with all the time. Its great to worship Him, to belong to Him, to treasure's the only way to live, i promise.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Surrey? Sho' Nuff!

I'm going to be working with these guys next year...HOW EXCITING!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Stuff i've read recently:

Bish begins to ready himself for Word Alive over at the (ever excellent) Bible and Coffee club.
Paul is looking at the Five English reformers.
While Al Mohler reminds us that people are still being executed today for their faith. (HT: Paul)
Kath ponders what it is to be made for an eternity of joy in and worship of our creator.
Lou finds God's grace in something that challenges me every time i'm in town and looks at how great the Gospel is (very).
While Kat is just glad to be home...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Are we ready?

How to make sense of death being gain in the mission field.

The promise is sure: Jesus does not lie. He said that all nations, all tribes, people groups and tongues would hear the Gospel. I recently watched a DVD about the Gospel being taken to some remote tribes in Indonesia, 2000 years after the cross. These tribesmen then left all they had to take the gospel other remote Indonesian villages. The promise is sure, all will hear the Gospel. We can either get on board and take part in the victory, or we can waste our lives. Thats the choice.

The price and means is suffering: Gologtha is not a suburb of Jerusalem. Jesus went outside the city gates on display to everyone to suffer and die. He says that anyone who would follow Him would take up their cross and follow Him. Ask yourself where Jesus was going when He was carrying His cross. Not to a retirement village on the south coast, not to a comfy job and life in the suburbs. In Colossians 1:24 Paul says that he is filling up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. Whatever can this mean? That somehow the shedding of divine blood wasn't enough? NO! Not for a second. What is lacking the sufferings of Jesus as far as the Colossians are concerned? A visual presentation of the sufferings of Jesus. They don't know Him or His life or His sufferings. This is what Paul does...he presents the sufferings of Jesus to the Collosians. This is what we must do.

The prize is satisfying: Until we truly rejoice when our belongings are ransacked for the Gospel (Heb 10:32-35), until we really know what Paul means when He says that death is gain (Phil 1:21) or that the steadfast love of the Lords better than life (Ps 63:3) we won't be willing to give up our lives for the sake of the Gospel. But look! The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life! And Jesus is life, life with Him is life itself! We need to grab onto these biblical promises. The prize of the Christian life is satisfying. Eternal life with Jesus, with no more longings or despair, or sin or death is the prize. That's why laying down our lives for the gospel is worth it. Because death is gain, because nothing we will ever lose is anything compared to that which we will gain.

Are we ready?

Dateline: Reading

So, as good as audio sermons, books and whatever else you might care to mention are, nothing comes close to the Word. I know thats not earth shattering, but sometimes getting things out of my head helps me to believe/understand them a little better.
So this morning, i was reading 2 Peter 3, and i thought i'd share some thoughts from it that struck me. Again, they're probably not particulaly profound, but i do like the Bible, so indulge me!

2 Peter: The Context: Peter is writing to 'those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours', ie, all believers. No actual place is mentioned. In the previous two chapters he has dealt with living in the light of our calling and election, how to be effective as Christians, and with false teachers.

V 1-3: Why and What?
Peter reminds his readers that this is the second letter he has written, and also why he has written it. He is trying to put beleivers on their gaurd against scoffers, whom the prophets warned would come.

V 4: The Scoff.
It seems as though people are dimissing Christianity on the basis that everything is continuing as it it has done for years (since our fathers fell asleep). Peter seems to be writing into an air of cynicism about the second coming, that its not going to happen. Perhaps even that the message that the apostles bought to them was not true in the first place. These are big claims.

V 5-7: The Defence.
'Things are continuing just as always' are they? Well, who created the earth? Who set things in motion? This is the key argument that Peter says the scoffers ignore. That the heavens and earth were formed long ago by the Word of God. Not by any other means. God isn't a gatecrasher, He's the creator. Not only that but also by the same Word that created the heavens, so they are held up, but on their way to being judged and the ungodly destroyed. So not only did God create, He maintains and He waits.

V 8-10: So What's He Waiting For?
God is outside time (v8), He is not bound by its rules as we are, He doesn't have to act within it as we expect Him to. God is much bigger and better than we can ever imagine. We may think He is being slow in fulfilling the promise of His return. This is not sloth, but mercy. God wants no one to be destroyed but is waiting until everyone has had the chance to be saved. In Revelation 6:11 the matyrs who wait for the second coming are told to rest until their number is complete, until everyone who is to hear has heard, and everyone who will be killed for Jesus name has gone to Heaven. So God know's when He is to return, He's just waiting for the time to pass.

V 11-15: So What For Us? What For Them?
Everything will be exposed on the day of the Lord. So live without spot or blemish. Live, as Peter writes in chapter 1, with love, godliness, brotherly affection, virtue, faith, knowledge and self control. Ignore the scoffers. Remember these words, and know that the day of the Lord will come, and that it will be fearful, and wonderful. The heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! Remember Peter's teachings, remember the Bible. Remember that the Lord is not slow, He is patient, He is mercyful, concerned with people's salvation for the glory of His name.

V 16-18 Peter And Paul.
The scriptues are hard in places. There is a lot in there that can be twisted, that can be used to people's advantage. Don't let that happen, don't do that yourself. 'Take care not to get carried away...and lose your stability' (v17). Grow in the knowledge of Christ and Christ alone, and give Him the glory...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

There are no closed countries.

Bish pointed me towards this last night 'Doing missions when death is gain'. Please don't think i'm banging some sort of John Piper drum here, i'm just trying to bang a Christ exulting truth drum.

It doesn't take much to fan my mission flame, this may just have poured petrol over it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

What makes Good News good? Part five

Concluding thoughts on John Piper's sermon 'What makes the Good News good?'

Patient teaching is called for.
2 Timothy 2:24-26.

So how does God use His people to do the work that only He can do, and carry the message that only He can explain. These verses in 2 Timothy seem to provide something of an answer. We have to be patient, and we have to teach. There is a great deal to be said for the good work that can be done for the Gospel through relationships, through always being there for a non Christian mate, for being someone they can trust and rely on. But this will only get the Gosple so far. Unless people here the Gospel they will nbot be saved. Unless people are told that the only way to bridge the gap created between them and God by their sin is through Jesus on the cross, they will not be saved. So, as it says in 2 Timothy, we must teach. We must be kind, and we must be patient. We must plug away at teaching the Gospel, being faithful in the oppotunites the Lord gives us to talk about Him. As important as being kind and patient is, there must be room for correction. If someone tells you they believe Jesus to be the reincarnation of a cat, then they must be corrected! And why? Why must we teach with kindness and patience? So that 'God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth'. We must teach, so that people may be saved.

God will grant them repentance...grant them a change of mind about Him and who He is. A repentance that leads to a knowledge of the truth. Now, this knowledge of the truth must be something more than knowing the Gospel, because how can someone be saved if He doesn't know the Gospel. This is more than the knowledge that the Devil has of God and His Gospel. This is, this must be, the ever growing knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4-6), which is what saved them in the first place. The more we see of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the more we'll love and want to honour and glory God and His name. This knowledge is really knowing it. Really knowing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the knowledge that saves us, that keeps us, that grows us. Lostness is blindness to this glory. This knowledge allows us to escape the snare of the Devil. We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We repent because of it. We are counted as righteous through are repentance and subsequent faith.

This is a challenging message for me. Too often i'm happy to try and be a good guy in my house, on my course, to my family. And while yes, of course that is called for, no one will be saved by me empyting the dishwasher (profound words eh?) Teach teach teach. Always with kindness, always with gentleness, always with the focus on God. Then perhaps He may grant people the repentance that leads to knowledge of His glory, His glory shown to us in the face of Jesus Christ.

If you haven't yet listened to this sermon, and i haven't put you off please do! The message, the way is taught, the beauty of the truth in it is amazing. Paul's linked to two more sermons by John Piper here, i'll be tucking into those soon hopefully.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Safe in sound

I had my last uni lecture today (just as my sister headed off to an interview at Royal Holloway). Three years at Reading pretty much over then. It's funny, it doesn't seem like a moment ago that my parents dropped me off as a scared little fresher at Whiteknights in September 2003, but in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago. God's taught me so much, and shown me so much, and (i'd like to think) used me so much. So tomorrow i head off to Winchester with Jess for my Relay interview, which i'm pretty scared about. Although i know there's no reason to be really...

So there it is, one chapter of my life pretty much over, and another one possibly about to begin. It's great to be in a situation like this knowing that God is good, and that He's totally soveriegn over everything that might happen tomorrow, every decision that needs to be made about next year, and over the rest of my life. God is good, God is soveriegn, thats all i need to know really. He's far more concerned with His glory in my life than i am, and thats a great assurance to have...

Monday, March 13, 2006

The greatest dichotomy of them all?

The thing is, this world will never be enough. The more we see of Jesus, the more we see His glory, the more we'll realise that this world will never be enough.
The more we see and taste of our ultimate fulfillment, which, THANK GOD is real and tangible and on its way, the less we'll feel fulfilled in this life...
The only answer, the only way to deal with this, to live in this paradox, is to focus on Jesus. Always. He is our answer, our righteousness, our fulfillment, He is our all. He is awesome.

What makes Good News good? Part four

Continuing thoughts on John Piper's sermon 'What makes the Good News good?'
God uses people to bring His light to others.
Acts 26:17-18

At the end of the last section we were left with an apparent contradiction. If God alone can take away the darkness and shine light, what is our role in evangelism? Why are we told to Go! at the end of Matthew? In Acts 16:17-18 Paul says that he has been sent to the gentiles to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God. So it seems that God uses human messengers to do what only He can do.
I have never come away from sharing the gospel with someone feeling like a did a good job. I've always felt like i've put my foot in it somehow, or said the wrong thing, or not enough, or too much. I feel helpless. And i am. But God has appointed us as agents of His message, so we must therefore go with confidence that every authority on Heaven and Earth has been given to Him. Every authority. So we have nothing to fear. This is why 2 Corinthians 4:7 comes right after 4:6. Because its true. We are weak, we are, on our own, as useless as a broken clay pot. And yet, inside us we have an uncountable and insurmountable treasure. The light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The sweetest and best light there is.
Yes, only God can replace darkness with light. But yes, we have a responsibility to be His messengers, to go and tell people. This is why we are like clay pots. Because God wants all the glory due His name. God makes it so that we have to rely on Him in evangelism, in the business of helping people see His light because that's how it should be. Only God has the power to take away the darkness, and so He should be treated and revered as such. God wants the glory. Acts 26:17-18 tell us that we must be part of this, that we have to tell people, that we have a part to play in opening people's eyes. And what an honour it is to play that part, to be with people as their eyes open for the first time.
So what role do we have to play as messengers? That question is what Piper deals with next.

Friday, March 10, 2006

RUCU Committee 06/07

A top photo of top people!
Shame only one of them's got a blog...

What makes Good News good? Part three

Continuing thought on John Piper's sermon 'What makes the Good News good?'
God Alone gives light and takes blindness.
2 Cor 4:6

There's a link between this verse (2 Cor 4:6) and Genesis 1. Both times God gives light. In Genesis God speaks light into nothingness. God commands and nothingness obeys. There is hope here. At beggining of time God spoke into darkness and there was why not into people's hearts? In fact, not just 'why not' but this is the only way that people will be saved. The only way. There was darkness in our hearts before we were saved, just as there was darkness in the world. 2 Corinthians 4:6 makes the link between the darkness in people's hearts and the darkness in the world. If you are a Christian you were saved. This was an event that happened, God shone His light into out hearts. Where there was dark: light, where there was blindness:
vision, where there was lostness: foundness (?!).
He shone His light into our hearts by His grace and mercy. No Christian thinks he saved himself. Blind people can not make themselves see, dead people can not become alive under their own steam. No. God is the only one who can shine light into our dark hearts, into anyone's dark hearts. He saved us, He shone His light when we were in total rebellion to Him and His ways. What an awesome, merciful, gracious God! Salvation comes when God speaks light into our hearts. Salvation comes when we see the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. When we see that Jesus is God.
Thats why lostness is blindness to glory.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What makes Good News good? Part two

Lostness is blindness to glory.
Continuing thoughts on 'What makes the Good News good', sermon by John Piper.
2 Cor 4:4.

What does it mean to be lost? Lost people are people blind to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. That's how we get saved, when God graciously shines His glory in the face of Jesus Christ into our hearts and minds. When we see that glory we are saved, so it follows that people are lost when they don't see that glory. Everyone knows people like that, and later on in this sermon Piper comes back to how to deal with that. But for now, we look at the story of Jesus taking a child into His arms. Jesus picks this kid up and tells His disciples that whoever receives Him like He received the child receives the Father also. That we must be like children. And this is our God. HE OWNS THE WORLD, HE HOLDS IT UP BY HIS WORD., and yet he is like like this with children. And you tell people this, and we try and we try, and we show Jesus to them in all His glory, and, as Piper puts it, they look at us like we're talking Swahili. Nothing. To be lost is to be blind to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we were like this once. So lets not scoff or belittle people who don't believe. It is only by God's immense grace and mercy that we believe. Lets hope and yearn and long and suffer that they might be unblinded. How? How will they be able to see? How will they cease to be blind?
Piper deals with this next.

What makes Good News good? Part one

So last Friday I mentioned how i'd listened to this sermon, and how much of God's glory in the Gospel i'd heard through it. I'm going to try now to blog some thoughts on it, broken up into five chunks, as Piper preached it.

Disclaimer: everything that Piper said was, i believe, gold. Any heresy or half truth you read in the following post is totally of my own making.

What is the highest, best, final good of the Good News?
2 Cor 3:17-4:7
Gospel means good news. But why? What is the good part of the Good News? Is it justification by faith? That's pretty cool, pretty good news. Something we could never earn given to us because of our faith, that we are counted as part of the promise to Abraham because of our faith. Or maybe forgiveness or the removal of God's wrath against us? You'd have to admit that's good news? Sure. But the best, final 'good'? Salvation from Hell? Eternal life in Heaven? All these things are good. All of them are wonderful Gospel truths. But are they the ultimate good of the Good News? Or do they simply point us toward something else? Some better, higher good? Man, there's a lot of questions there eh?

Well, i think that it makes sense to say that surely there is something good, beyond those pieces of good news that makes them good. That is to say, that those things are means to an end, and the end is the only thing that makes sense of the means.

Piper then takes us to 2 Cor 4:4 and 6 for the answer. There are several parallels between these two verses that seem to paint for us a picture of the ultimate good of the Good News. The first one of these is the mention of light in both verse, light in verse 4 corresponds with light in verse 6. The second is knowledge and gospel. This is why we must teach, why we must proclaim. Without teaching there will be no knowledge, without knowledge of the Gospel, how will anyone be saved? The third is the glory of Christ, and the glory of God. So the Gospel, knowing the Gospel, hearing it, learning it enables us to see the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. Isn't that great! That's what the gospel does...helps us to see God in the face of Jesus. That's when people get saved, when they see that glory in the face of Christ, when they see that He reflects the glory of the Father. Isn't that great? And that's what we have. Talk about treasure in jars of clay!

So how does this fit in with the earlier claim that the Good News of the Gospel is something else other than justification or forgiveness or anything else one might care to mention. Because the glory of God satisfies us. Nothing else. We were made for a perfect relationship with Him. Unless we are justified, we can not see the glory of God in Heaven which will satisfy us forever. Unless God's wrath is removed, we will not be able to enter that perfect relationship with Him for which we were created. Jesus will satisfy all our desires. He will fill our every hole when we see Him on glory. But the only way we will see Him in glory is if we are forgiven, and justified. That's why Christ had to die, to give us the best thing he possibly could...HIMSELF! Without the good things mentioned earlier we would never be able to come into a relationship with Him, and without Him at the end of them, nothing of the other good things would make sense. Heaven isn't just a continuation of life on earth with no end. It's not just a place for Christians to hang out. John 17:3 tells us that eternal life is knowing Christ. So it would make no sense for Christ to die for anything else except for the gift of Himself.

And that is what i believe makes the Good News good. That because of our forgiveness etc we can have an eternal relationship seeing and savouring Christ, and that Christs gift of Himself is the only logical conclusion to the other great gifts of the Cross.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The good the bad and the utterly glorious

It struck me tonight at Church Cell, that one of the lies the enemy tells us to get at us is pretty pathetic really. He tells us we're not good enough. He makes us look at our sins, our way of life, our thought pattern and tells us, nudges us, that we are not good enough to be a Christian.
Well here's a thing. He's absolutly right. The cross tells us that eh? The cross is surely all the we need to see that we will never be good enough for a restored relationship with the Father, but that in the same breath that its not about being good enough. If any of us could be good enough, if any of us could be justified by the law, if we could redeem ourselves in any way, God would not have sent His son to die on the cross. Jesus would not have claimed to be the only way to heaven. Because the cross would be unneccesary and Jesus' claims of exclusivity would be untrue.

But our pride condemns us. Our pride, ably pushed on by the Devils tells us we won't and can;t be good enough, and that we should just give up. But the cross tells us something different. The cross tells us that we won't and can't be 'good enough', so come to Jesus and receive new life. Which do you prefer.

It confounds me when some Christians complain about hearing 'another sermon on the cross'...why would you ever want to hear or speak on anything else? The cross is where it all begins and ends. Sure, there are other things that are good to be taught on, to feed on and glorify God for, but none of those things work unless viewed through a cross shaped prism. I think Michael Ramsden summed it up for me perfectly at the pre mission 2005 meeting when he said something along the lines of 'on monday i'll be talking on love, and we'll go to the cross from there, on tuesday i'll be talking about hope, and we'll go to the cross from there, on wednesday the future, and we'll go to the cross from there etc'. Top!

So keep your eyes looking at the cross, and look at everything else through those cross shaped glasses. It really is all we've got, as soon as we lose our cross focus, we're in a lot of trouble...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Psalm 3:5

I lay down and slept;
i woke up again for the Lord sustained me

I've been very taken with this verse since Joe sent it to me in a text the other week.It's simple, short and sweet, but i think it tells us a lot about our God, and i just want to reflect on that.

1) 'I lay down and slept'. We need to sleep, even David, when he's on the run from Absalom, presumeably fearing for his life, he still needed to sleep. We can't do it all by ourselves, we can't even sustains ourselves for very much time, let alone a lifetime or an eternity, we need someone who can.

2) 'The Lord sustained me'. Who can sustain us? The Lord. Now, that might seem fairly obvious, but why should He sustain us? God can not bear to be near our sin, He hates it with an all consuming fire, with a holy passion, with feelings that we can not understand and with a hatred that would destroy us in an instance if we came into contact with it. And yet, 'the Lord sustained me'. David can write these words knowing their true. Knowing that the Lord has sustained him through the night. So why? Because of His great love and mercy. Because of His concern for His glory. Something especially evident in David. If the Lord hadn't sustained him through that particular night, or indeed any night, the promise He made to Abraham would be under serious threat. But our God doesn't break His promises, He can't, He won't. But then, what is man that the Lord is mindful of him. Lets take a second to look at that. It says in Colossians 1:17 that 'in Him, all things hold together'. All things. All things. The millions of chemical reactions needed to get the suns heat from the depths of space to us. About 400,000,000 tonnes of hydrogen are being turned into helium every single second in our sun. 400,000,000 tonnes! Every second! And ours isn't the only big star in the universe! And yet He chooses to sustain us through the night! Wow...what an amazing God we worship!

3) Genesis 2:2 tells us that when He had finished creation, God rested. Hebrews 4:1-6 tells us that entering this rest is the point of our salvation. Entering into rest with God, on the seventh day which never ended. But God never sleeps. We need sleep because we are not God, but God, who is working far harder than anyone never sleeps, is omnipresent and omnipotent. So He will always sustain us in times of trouble, times which David was going through when He wrote this. While David slept the Lord kept a watchful and protective eye over him, confounding his enemies and keeping His servant safe. So, not only will God sustain me tonight, on a level which i need it when i sleep safe in my warm, lovely double bed in Reading, He will also sustain those who are under attack, who are not safe or warm. I don't think David is talking about simple nutritional sustainment here, as much as the protection he needed to be sustained from his enemies during the night. So as God sustains the billions of chemical reactions needed to get the universe through another day, so also He will sustain those who are in peril, those who are under attack for His name, and those who love Him but tonight, for the time being are neither of those things.

What a wonderful, powerful, loving God we worship. What an assurance that is. Praise the LORD!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday night doesn't get any better

Work done, room tidied, phone off, msn on busy...John Piper on audio

Please listen to this sermon. It's nearly three quarters of an hour but it'll fly by. I've never heard someone so consumed, so eaten up by a passion for God's glory. It nearly bought me to tears, it had be punching in the air, but most of all it had me praising God for His power and awe...

I've got a copy of John Piper's 'God is the Gospel', which is the book based on this sermon. It's not doing much good sitting on my shelf so if you want to read it, let me know.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

And the beat goes on

Ceryn's made us wait for her latest post, but it's sure been worth it.

Read me.