• 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.

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  • February 2013
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Nations and Individuals are in the Hands of God

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner:

It is to be remembered that those who receive … gifts, whether spiritual or temporal, receive them through pure grace, while in regard to the others God simply withholds those gifts, which He was under no obligation to bestow. Nations, as well as individuals, are thus in the hands of God, who appoints the bounds of their habitation, and controls their destiny. He controls them as absolutely as a man controls a rod or a staff. They are in His hands, and He employs them to accomplish His purposes. He breaks them in pieces as a potter’s vessel, or He exalts them to greatness, according to His good pleasure. He gives peace and fruitful seasons, property and happiness, or He sends the desolations of war, famine, drought and pestilence. All of these things are of His disposing, and are designed for intelligent ends under His universal providence. God is no mere spectator of the universe He has made, but is everywhere present and active, the all-sustaining ground, and all-governing power of all that is. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

The Teacher Who has Influenced You Most

The Pursuit of HolinessWho has been your most influential teacher (excluding Jesus, Paul, and the Holy Spirit of course) in helping you to understand how to live the Christian life? This could be a Pastor, Teacher, Author, family or friend.

For instance: I think Jerry Bridges has probably helped me in this area more than others (but among many). He is the author of The Pursuit of Holiness. This book has had a tremendous impact on my Christian life.

So, please share with us that person who has most influenced your Christian life. I would really like to know and I’m sure others would too.

Samuel at Gilgal

The Soul that sees God

Jonathan EdwardsThe soul that sees God delights in His Glory. This is the most noble and exalted worship of which man is capable. The soul that has pleasure and joy in seeing God is truly blessed. Jonathan Edwards writes:

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

The pleasure which the soul has in seeing God is not only its delight, but it is at the same time its highest perfection and excellency. Man’s true happiness is his perfection and true excellency. When any reasonable creature finds that his excellency and his joy are the same thing, then he is come to right and real happiness, and not before. If a man enjoys any kind of pleasure and lives in it, how much so ever he may be taken with what he enjoys, yet if he be not the more excellent for his pleasures, it is a certain sign that he is not a truly happy man. There are many pleasures that men are wont violently to pursue, which are no part of their dignity or perfection, but which, on the contrary, debase the man and make him vile. Instead of rendering the mind beautiful and lovely, they only serve to pollute it. Instead of exalting its nature, they make it more akin to that of beasts.

But it is quite the contrary with the pleasure that is to be enjoyed in seeing God. To see God is the highest honor and dignity to which the human nature can attain. That intellectual beholding of him is itself the highest excellency of the understanding. The great part of the excellency of man is his knowledge and understanding. But the knowledge of God is the most excellent and noble kind of knowledge.

The delight and joy of the soul in that sight are the highest excellency of the other faculty, viz. the will. The heart of man cannot be brought to a higher excellency than to have delight in God, and complacency in the divine excellency and glory. (“The Pure in Heart Blessed”)

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