• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,396,282 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,269 other subscribers
  • December 2009
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Is Christ A Part Of Your Christmas?

Rebecca Hagelin writes:

It’s the greatest news the world has ever known, that God came to Earth in the form of a little baby and grew and faced the same human challenges as do we. I find it unfathomable that he loves me so much that he bore the suffering of the guilt of my sin. He did that for you too – and everyone you know. Yet, our “celebration” of his love has been reduced to focusing on the glitz and merriment of the “holiday” – with scarcely a mention of who it is we are celebrating.

When we as a nation collectively reject the deep spiritual offering that Christ makes and at the same time seize the chance to party, open gifts and take time off from work, a national and personal emptiness results. Yes, there is beauty and joy in celebrating our love for family and friends, but human love can only go so far. It is imperfect and fleeting, and even when it seems as close to pure as possible, it still cannot fill that hole in our souls that is meant for God.

Because we have successfully removed Christ from the Christmas season, many who might otherwise come to know him through the attention he should be getting will pass through just another holiday season as the proud owners of a few trinkets that will eventually tarnish, wear out and break. They will also enter the new year the same as they left the old one – searching, hoping, longing for something more.

Continue reading. . . .

Providence And Evil

Quoting John Piper:

Not until recently had I ever felt the weight of the fact that those outside Christ have no defense against the devil. God can restrain the devil from doing his maximum worst. But the world cannot. They are helpless before Satan’s supernatural power. They are utterly in his sway, except for God’s restraining providence.

This should make us tremble for the hopelessness of the world and marvel at the magnitude of God’s power and grace to keep the world from being ten thousand times more violent and miserable than it is. . . .

Nevertheless, the world is not nearly as vicious and wretched as it could be. Millions of unbelievers are civil and courteous and honest and kind. How can this be, if they are defenseless against the supernatural power of the most wicked being in the universe? The answer is that God restrains the evil one and uses many natural means to prompt unbelievers toward outward conformity to his laws. . . .

Read more. . . .

Reagan On Freedom

Quoting President Ronald Reagan:

“Our struggle for nationhood, our unrelenting fight for freedom, our very existence — these have all rested on the assurance that you must be free to shape your life as you are best able to, that no one can stop you from reaching higher or take from you the creativity that has made America the envy of mankind.”

God’s Secrets

From the pen of Eric Rauch:

Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that “the secret things belong to the Lord.” This passage has been used countless times by pastors and teachers to try and wiggle out of interpretive difficulties in the Scriptures. In his second epistle, the apostle Peter admits that some things in Paul’s letters are “hard to understand.” He further informs his readers that “the ignorant and unstable twist [Paul’s words] to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:15-16). In this passage, Peter is warning his readers of the very real danger of improper hermeneutics. He tells them that misinterpreting Scripture can actually lead to destruction. This is why James soberly advises his readers to carefully think about becoming a teacher: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1). If God places such a price on His truth, and knowing that the “secret things” belong to Him, how can we know anything? The rest of Deuteronomy 29:29—the part that most pastors do not quote when they appeal to this verse—gives the answer: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

The canon of Scripture—the completed, inspired and infallible word of God—is the Bible. The Bible is God’s revelation to His people, His instructions to them. What Deuteronomy 29:29 is actually teaching is that the things which God has NOT revealed—things like how He can be One and Three, or how He can be omnipresent, or why He elected some and not others—are not for us to understand, they are “secret.” However, the things that God HAS revealed, which is to say everything in the Bible, are meant to be understood and obeyed. . . .

Read more of this article. . . .

%d bloggers like this: