Odds & Ends: January 2018
R.C. Sproul quotes:
- We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us.
- We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what the Christian life is all about.
- When there’s something in the Word of God that I don’t like, the problem is not with the Word of God. It’s with me.
- No matter how much injustice I have suffered from the hands of other people, I have never suffered the slightest injustice from the hand of God.
- God doesn’t want me to play with religion. He doesn’t want me to dabble in church. He wants me—body and soul.
- The grounds of your justification are the perfect works of Jesus Christ. We’re saved by works, but they’re not our own.
- We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.
The power of weakness
In Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom describes traveling to Russia during the Cold War — when Christians were being persecuted — to thank an old woman who’d been secretly translating Christian books (including ten Boom’s). Ravaged by multiple sclerosis, the woman could move only an index finger. Yet with it she typed constantly, translating words while praying for people who would eventually read them.
Ten Boom’s reaction was, “Oh Lord, why don’t you heal her?” But the woman’s husband said God had a purpose in his wife’s suffering. Although the secret police closely watched other Christians, they left this woman alone, assuming she couldn’t accomplish anything.
Jesus works through our weaknesses, making his power perfect in them (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). He doesn’t ask if we’re capable — only if we’re willing.
Pastor Cosand: December 2017
FROM THE DAYS OF ETERNITY
meditation on Micah 5:1-5
Ever since Adam deliberately rebelled against God's command and sin was introduced into the world, life has been harder and darker and more discouraging than it ever was in the garden of Eden. Every generation has its own burdens, but they are fundamentally the same burdens. The troubles of our world in the 21st century are only variations of troubles that have plagued every century. But the troubles today are complicated by an international community and multiplied by the number of people in the world today.
The Christmas season is wonderful, not because it offers an escape from the turmoil all around us, in every corner of the world, but because it reminds us about a man who is the answer to the troubles of our world, and the troubles of our country, and the troubles of our hearts. The description of Jesus Christ in Micah 5 is a description of someone whom the world needs and whom our souls long for … someone to bring peace to our globe and peace to our hearts.
The fulfillment of Micah 5 is shown in Matthew 2 when Herod was searching for a child whom many were saying was the King of the Jews, the promised Messiah. Herod inquired of the Jewish priests concerning where this Messiah was to be born. They told him that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and they quoted Micah 5:2 as the source of this idea.
Missions Update: December 2017
Stephen & Ginger Jordan
On Home Assignment from the Philippines
With the fall season come and almost gone, we want to take this opportunity to share some of the highlights of the last couple of months:
- Rebekah has moved and begun her studies at college.
- Luke joined a football team and then broke his wrist just prior to the first game. Even with a broken wrist, he continued to practice with the team with the goal of playing in the final game of the season, which he was able to do.
- Abigail began voice lessons and has been able to participate with the youth choir at our home church.
- With Abigail’s desire to pursue Interior Designing, Abigail and Stephen had a couple of dates looking at some homes that were part of the Parade of Homes in our area.
- The whole family spent a day at a local farm: picking apples, going through a corn maze, eating pumpkin donuts, and more.
- Ginger was able to plan and purchase supplies she needs for the next two years of cards.
- Abigail was able to complete her Segment 2 classes for driver’s training, and is continuing to log in driving hours with the goal of obtaining her license before we return to the Philippines.
- Luke and Abigail have enjoyed many activities with the youth group of our home church, often doing something twice a week.
- We enjoyed having Rebekah home for her fall break.
Joe Teisan: December 2017
NOT “HAPPY HOLIDAY”, RATHER
“HAVE A BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
MAY THE JOYS OF JESUS CHRIST BE YOURS THIS CHRISTMAS!
Moved by the eternal, sovereign God, the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, ruler of the known world, issued his royal and earth-shaking decree. Augustus ordered all Roman subjects to return to their ancestral home-town to be enrolled for census and taxation (Luke 2). Thus God, working through Augustus, set in motion the most thrilling, joyful, miraculous, and greatest event in all history. Unknown to Augustus, he opened the curtain to the sublime and historical drama of human redemption. Joseph and Mary who are in the royal family of David the King, journey to Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2. Mary is pregnant, “for that which is conceived in her is of (from out of) the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 1:20, Amp.).
On the first Christmas the unseen Jehovah God stepped out of the Old and into the New Testament wrapped in the small body of a Man. To avoid the wicked depravity of Adam’s fallen nature, Christ is virgin born and sinless. How are the glorious names of our Savior, Lord and King, explaining His character and identity? Jesus means Jehovah the Savior, and Christ is The Anointed One. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6). “His name Emmanuel … is God with us” (Mt. 1:23). “I am (Myself) the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live” (Jn. 11:25, Amp.). “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Me” (Jn. 14:6).
Odds & Ends: December 2017
Thoughts on true humility
“The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.”
—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away… To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.”