J.C. Ryle on Parenting

February 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

A true Christian must be no slave to fashion, if he would train his child for heaven. He must not be content to do things merely because they are the custom of the world; – to teach them and instruct him in certain ways, merely because it is usual; – to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them (insert any other activity); – to let them form habits of the doubtful tendency, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and strange. What if it is? The time is short – the fashion of this world passes away. He that has trained his children for heaven rather than for earth, – for God rather than for man, – he is the parent that will be called wise at the last.

* Italics and the comment in parentheses are mine

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Parenting

February 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

“One father, looking at the parenting process in retrospect, said this: ‘if I were starting my family again, I would love my wife more in front of my children. I would laugh with my children more at our mistakes and our joys. I would listen to my children more, even to the littlest one. I would be more honest about my weaknesses and not pretend perfection. I would pray differently for my family. Rather than focusing on them, I’d focus on me. I would do more things with my children. I would do more encouraging. I would bestow more praise. I would pay more attention to little things. I would speak about God more intimately. Out of every ordinary thing of every ordinary day I would point them to God.'”

The above quotation is from Being a Dad Who Leads, John MacArthur

J. I. Packer on Prayer

January 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

“I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face.”

Putting to Death the Deeds of the Flesh

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sinclair Ferguson gives a good reminder on our need to kill sin, and a biblical blueprint  on how to give fatal blows to this deceptive enemy. Click Here

Don’t Let the Main things Become the Only Things

December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

The church needs no less talk about the main things, but sure could start talking a little more about the other things.

Are You Traveling Down the Wrong Road: The Stench of Pharisaism

February 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mark 7:6-8
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

This morning I spent a few minutes meditating on the words of Christ to the Pharisees of his day. It caused me to consider the Pharisaical tendencies of the church. Certainly many things characterize the Pharisees, but here what surfaces is their commitment to the precepts of men (which they sincerely believe to be worship that is pleasing to God) instead of their commitment to the will of God.

At the outset let me first say that you are not a Pharisee if you are meticulous and scrupulous in the keeping of the law of God. Obedience to every command and the strictest adherence to God’s law is not Pharisaism. Actually, the lackadaisical, take it or leave it, indolent attitude towards God’s word is the very thing that Christ is condemning in the Pharisees. Leniency is never encouraged! Obedience is always demanded! Christ is not condemning strictly regulated obedience, non-negotiable law-keeping, or no-nonsense  devotion! He is condemning compliance to precepts in the place of God’s word and the care-free neglect of God’s word. Specifically, He hates the traditions of men being elevated to the level of and taking precedence over the will of His Father. Christ isn’t just concerned with sincerity. If He was, the Pharisees wouldn’t be condemned, but commended for doing a great job. He is concerned about sincere obedience to His Father’s will, and having all the precepts of man submitting to that will.

There is the sort of tradition that has a history of 200 years and there is the sort of tradition of that has a history of 20 years, and even the sort of tradition that is just minutes old. In other words, there is ancient tradition and modern tradition. One is not less of a tradition just because it doesn’t have as long of a record. The relative span of a tradition’s life does not determine its validity. When the precepts of man (no matter their age) become acknowledged (even unconsciously) beside the word of God and upheld before the word of God it is a thing to be despised. The church of today decries tradition. Yet, ironically, much of the pragmatism of the modern church (which claims to hate tradition and be free from it) is Pharisaical. What God has prescribed in His word for worship and missions is shunned because more enjoyable and/or pragmatic traditions are preferred. For most of us, with many of our traditions (a word we would never assign to them), we would never actually claim that they are more important than the words of God. Our precepts are certainly often carried out with the sincerest of desires, but in reality our adherence to them demonstrates the elevated preeminence we have assigned them. There are certainly many churches that hold “old traditionalism” higher than God’s word, and they ought to repent. Likewise, I have been in churches that do not have a hint of “old traditionalism” (that is to say, they don’t appear very traditional), but they are crowded with pragmatic traditions that supplant God’s word. Pharisaism is a two lane road! You are either in the right lane of traditionalism or the left lane of pragmatism. The left lane is no better than the right lane! They are both headed the same direction on the road of Pharisaism to the destination of “My Way or the Highway,” which is the capitol of the kingdom of “I don’t care about God’s way”! Make sure you find the next exit!

You can trace this through your own heart and ask the question: “What tradition, old or new, in my life do I prefer to the word of God?” I am sure you will find at least one. Oh, and be careful; you might even find a particular sin as one of your traditions!

The Best Place On Earth!

February 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Above all, we must prize the blessing of corporate worship. The church of the Lord, gathered for worship, marks the pinnacle of our fellowship with the Lord and with one another. The church is the people of God, the new humanity, the beginning of the new creation, a colony of heaven …. In corporate worship we experience the meaning of union with Christ.” – Edmund P. Clowney

In addition, go over to Main Things and read this brief post.