Nov 30, 2007

You are greatly loved

By John Piper

Would you not love to hear the angel Gabriel say to you, “You are greatly loved”? Three times this happened to Daniel.

  • “At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved” (Dan. 9:23)
  • “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you” (Dan. 10:11)
  • “And he said, ‘O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage” (Dan. 10:19).

Take heart. If you have faith in Jesus, God himself says to you, “You are greatly loved.”

We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ . . . For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:3-5, 8).

This is better than an angel's voice. If you are “alive” you are greatly loved.

Nov 28, 2007

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

I am almost finished reading, "The Life and Diary of David Brainerd" (Edited by Jonathan Edwards). It has given me such a desire after spirituality and true communion with God. The Excellency of Christ is made manifest in his writing, surely inspired by Christ Himself.

David Brainerd was a missionary to the American Indians. Despite a language barrier, David was able, by the grace of God, to preach to the Indians the Gospel, which brought many to true repentance and salvation. From what I read, it was a remarkable awakening, done only by the work of the Holy Spirit. Brainerd himself said, "God seemed to be building up that congregation for Himself."

Brainerd suffered for many years with an ailing sickness that often left him feeling "useless" for the sake of God's glory. However, the everyday struggles he went through, sometimes feeling "dejected, melancholy and weak in body" he still persevered onward, for the sake of advancing the kingdom of God. God blessed him often with a refreshed soul, although his body was sickly.

Some of the many, many quotes that have effected me were:

"Oh! one hour with God infinitely exceeds all the pleasures and delights of this lower world."

"Yet after all my sorrows, I trust, through grace, this day and the exercises of it have been for my good, and taught me more of my corruption and weakness without Christ than I knew before."

"I wanted not the favor of man to lean upon; for I knew Christ's favor was infinitely better, and that it was no matter when, nor where, nor how Christ should send me, nor what trials He should still exercise with me, if I might be prepared for His work and will."

"I feel barren and empty, as though I could not live without more of God; I feel ashamed and guilty before Him. Oh! I see that "the law is spiritual, but I am carnal." I do not, I cannot live to God. Oh, for holiness! Oh, for more of God in my soul! Oh, this pleasing pain! It makes my soul press after God; the language of it is, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness"(Psalm 17:15); but never, never before. Consequently I am engaged to "press towards the mark," day by day. Oh, that I may feel this continual hunger, and not be retarded, but rather animated by every cluster from Canaan to reach forward in the narrow way, for the full enjoyment and possession of the heavenly inheritance! Oh, that I may never loiter in my heavenly journey!"

Nov 26, 2007


"Waiting on God isn't about the suspension of meaning and purpose.
It's part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn't to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn't simply about what I'll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I'll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He's promised. Through the wait He's changing me. By means of the wait He's altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He's causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands."

Paul Tripp (Meditation on Psalm 27)

Nov 20, 2007

Romans 6:1-2

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"

The arguments against "Perseverance of the Saints" should all come to a halt after reading this verse. A true believer cannot and will not continue in sin because Christ lives in Him.

In a real sense, every believer has died. We've been buried in baptism with Christ, and raised up to walk in newness of life. We are no longer the same people we once were: dead, enjoying our trespasses, enemies of God, children of evil, a people of darkness....

Now, a new person has emerged! And this new person hates the things that God hates and loves the things that God loves. Our desires are of those that please God! And more importantly, we hate sin. Many opponents of eternal security make it sound as if a true believer would become lazy and start enjoying sin, thinking that "Well, if I am saved, no matter what I do, I'll still go to heaven." But this is a lie. As Paul says, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"

Show me a man that continues in sin and loves it, and you'll have shown me an unregenerate person. Show me a man who sins, but hates his sin and runs to Christ for His strength, and you'll have shown me a true believer!

1 John 1:6-7
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

We can have security. And it is lovely to be known by God and to know Him. Once you have become a child of God, adopted into His family by Christ, then you can never, ever be separated from Him. As the days go by, I find myself enjoying God more and more. I am able to run to Him and say, "Abba! Father!" What a gift! What a privilege! What love!