Monday Meditations – More Love – 2 Timothy 2:3

Monday Meditations

More Love
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” -2 Timothy 2:3

Those who have work to do for God must stir up themselves to do it, and strengthen themselves for it. Being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus may be understood in opposition to the weakness of grace. Where there is the truth of grace there must be a laboring after the strength of grace. As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. This is opposed to our being strong in our own strength. All Christians, but especially ministers, must be faithful to their Captain, and resolute in his cause. The great care of a Christian must be to please Christ. We are to strive to get the mastery of our lusts and corruptions, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe the laws. We must take care that we do good in a right manner, that our good may not be spoken evil of. Some who are active, spend their zeal about outward forms and doubtful disputations. But those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last. If we would partake the fruits, we must labor; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and stir them up to consider what they hear or read.

*Excerpted from Matthew Henry Daily Readings (Christian Heritage, 2009).

Matthew HenryAbout Matthew Henry:
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) is highly-valued by contemporary preachers and Bible users. He was the son of a Puritan pastor who had been silenced by the government of the time. Although it was difficult to find suitable ministerial training, Matthew Henry eventually studied for the ministry. With government opposition relaxing, he became a Presbyterian pastor in Chester in 1687 and later in London from 1712. It is astonishing to note the amount of preaching and writing that he accomplished despite suffering from ill-health and knowing intense sorrow in his family life.

Where to Buy:
Matthew Henry Daily Readings by Randall J. Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Matthew Henry (Daily Readings) Buy Now:

 

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Christian Focus Across the Web – December 12, 2014

This week’s highlights are below:

Leadership Journal Interviews Josh Moody: Many thanks to Daniel Darling for taking the time to interview Christian Focus author Josh Moody. Read the interview here: Preaching to the Affections: An Interview with Josh Moody

Adrian Warnock and Tope Koleoso talk ‘Hope Reborn’ on TBN’s Praise the Lord:

Remembering John and Betty Stam: This past Monday marked the 80th anniversary of the martyrdom of John and Betty Stam. Read Vance Christie’s article Triumph through Tragedy – The martyrdom of John & Betty Stam.

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Tune in today at 5:00 PM Eastern to hear Peter Mead on In the Market with Janet Parshall

Peter MeadChristian Focus author Peter Mead will be interviewed live Monday December 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM Eastern on In the Market with Janet Parshall to discuss his book Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation. You can listen to the live broadcast at MoodyRadio.org.

About the Book:
At the centre of heaven is Christ, lovingly adored as the forever Lord of all. At the centre of Christmas is Christ, frail and cradled in the tender arms of a young mother. How can the two be put together? Heavenly glory and human frailty? That is the real wonder of Christmas.Pleased to Dwell is an energetic biblical introduction to Christmas. It is an invitation to ponder the Incarnation, and a God who was pleased to dwell with us.

Building anticipation with the great themes of the Old Testament, enjoying the remarkably distinct birth narratives of Matthew, then Luke, before surveying some great New Testament passages, Pleased to Dwell is an engaging introduction to the wonder of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. This book offers a wealth of ideas for preachers, an easy access mini-reference tool for Bible students, and an enjoyable cover-to-cover read for everyone. Twenty-four short chapters would make a great advent devotional, but this book is not just for Christmas. God’s Son stepped into our world and that changes every day of the year!

Praise for Pleased to Dwell:

“This book is perfect food for the heart for all of us who long for a richer understanding of the birth of The King!”
-Joseph M. Stowell ~ President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“What a really useful resource! As I read through it, I found that ideas for carol service talks just kept leaping off its pages.”
-Rico Tice ~ Author, Christianity Explored & Associate Minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London

About Peter Mead:
Peter Mead is director of Cor Deo, a mentored ministry training programme based in Chippenham, England. He is on the leadership team of a church plant and leads the Bible Teachers & Preachers Networks at the European Leadership Forum. He studied at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Connect with Peter on the web:

Where to Buy:
Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation by Peter Mead is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Pleased to Dwell  Buy Now:

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Triumph through Tragedy – The Martyrdom of John & Betty Stam

John and Betty Stam

John and Betty Stam

Today marks the eightieth anniversary of the martyrdom of John and Betty Stam on December 8, 1934. John and Betty, respectively, served as missionaries in China for only two and three years. They were viewed as ideal young missionaries in many ways and as having excellent potential for a long career of fruitful service. Just two weeks after assuming charge of a fledgling work in southern Anhwei Province (in east-central China), they were taken captive by rebel Communist soldiers. Two days later, on Saturday, December 8, they were executed by decapitation because they were Christians and foreigners. John and Betty were only 27 and 28 years of age at the time of their death.

Even in and through such tragic developments God worked in a number of ways that brought glory to Himself and advanced His Kingdom work. Here are some of the ways He did that:

John closed the short letter he penned to China Inland Mission (CIM) officials, informing them that Betty and he were in the hands of rebels, “The Lord bless and guide you, and as for us, may God be glorified whether by life or by death.” When a Chinese postmaster asked John where the soldiers were taking them, he responded optimistically, “We do no know where they are going, but we are going to heaven.” Faithful Chinese Christians who recovered the lifeless bodies of the martyred missionaries testified that John’s face bore an expression of unmistakable joy while Betty’s facial expression reflected complete serenity.

One of those Chinese believers bore this witness to the crowd that had gathered to watch the recovery of the slain couple: “You have seen these wounded bodies, and you pity these foreigners for their suffering and death. But you should know that they are children of God. Their spirits are unharmed and at this minute are in the presence of God. They came to China … not for themselves but for you, to tell you about God and His love, that you might believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved eternally.”

Helen Priscilla Stam - The Miracle Baby

Helen Priscilla Stam – The Miracle Baby

John and Betty’s three-month-old daughter, Helen Priscilla, was left abandoned in a house when her parents were taken from it to be executed. Learning of the infant’s whereabouts a full twenty-four hours later, a Christian Chinese couple retrieved her. After undertaking an arduous overland journey on foot, they delivered Helen six days later to the closest CIM missionaries. Of the baby’s deliverance Betty’s mother commented: “To me it is nothing less than a miracle that Baby Helen Priscilla has been spared. My husband said this morning, ‘All the hordes of wicked Communists couldn’t harm that helpless babe, if it were the Lord’s purpose to have her live to glorify His name and show His power.’ We know that even more He could have delivered Betty and John from their captors, had that been His will for them.”

Both John’s and Betty’s parents bore remarkable testimonies of unshakable trust and commitment in the midst of their unspeakable loss. John’s father, Peter, wrote in part: “It was our desire that he, as well as we, would serve the Lord, and if that could be better done by death than by life, we would have it so. The sacrifice may seem great now, but no sacrifice is too great to make for Him who gave himself for us. We are earnestly praying that it will all be for God’s glory and the salvation of souls. … How glad we shall be if many dear Christian young people shall be inspired to give themselves to the Lord as never before, for a life of sacrifice and service!”

Several memorial services were held in China and the United States to honor John and Betty and to praise God for their lives of consecrated service. At two such services, 700 Moody Bible Institute students and 200 Wheaton College students stood to dedicate their lives to missionary service wherever the Lord might lead. Literally thousands of Christians around the world were challenged and encouraged to serve Christ with greater consecration and courage.

Hundreds of secular newspapers across the globe carried full accounts of John and Betty’s martyrdom, faith and dedication. Some were thus drawn to salvation.

A tribute in the February 1935 edition of the CIM’s periodical China’s Millions stated: “It has been a long time since any event connected with the mission fields has made so wide and profound an impression in this country. We believe that John and Betty Stam may by their death have spoken even more loudly than by their brief lives of devoted service. Let no one call this ending of their career a tragedy, for in reality it is a triumph.”

*          *          *

John And Betty Stam: Missionary Martyrs by Vance Christie In the eight decades since their deaths, the story of John and Betty’s service to Christ and their martyrdom for their faith in Him has continued to inspire and strengthen countless Christians in their own devotion to the Lord. You can read their full story in my book John and Betty Stam, Missionary Martyrs.

Copyright 2014 by Vance E. Christie

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Monday Meditations: God’s Wisdom – Thomas Watson

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans
“Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?” -Job 38:36

Meditate on the wisdom of God. He is called “the only wise God” (1 Tim. 1:17). His wisdom shines forth in the works of providence; He sits at the helm guiding all things regularly and harmoniously; He brings light out of darkness; He can strike a straight stroke by a crooked stick; He can make use of the injustice of men to do that which is just; He is infinitely wise, He breaks us by afflictions, and upon these broken pieces of the ship, brings us safely to shore; meditate on the wisdom of God. Meditation on God’s wisdom will sweetly calm our hearts when we see things go badly in the public. The all-wise God holds the reins of government in His hand; and whoever the earthly ruler—God over-rules; He knows how to turn all to good; His work will be beautiful in its season. When things go badly with us in particular, the meditation on God’s wisdom will rock our hearts quiet. The wise God has set me in this condition, and whether health or sickness, His wisdom will order it for the best. God will make a golden cordial from poison, all things shall be beneficial and medicinal to me; either the Lord will expel some sin, or exercise some grace. Meditation on this will silence murmuring.

Thomas WatsonAbout Thomas Watson:
Thomas Watson (d. 1686) is one of the most prolific and most beloved Puritans. Little is known about his early life other than that he entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1635, a prominent Puritan institution at the time. He graduated B.A. (1639) and M.A. (1642), and served as chap- lain to the Puritan Lady Vere. In 1646 he was at the City church of St. Stephen Walbrook. He was implicated in the plot to restore Charles II (Love’s Plot) and was thus impris- oned. Later he returned to St. Stephen’s in 1652. He likely became rector of St. Stephen’s in 1655 or 1656, succeeding the famed Puritan Ralph Robinson, and was ejected from the parish in 1662. He preached in various places until his death in 1686. Watson’s books went into many editions in his own century and were popular well into the nineteenth; his magnum opus was his mammoth A Body of Practical Di- vinity, published posthumously in 1692, which consisted of sermons on the shorter catechism of the Westminster Assem- bly. The selections for this month are taken from Watson’s A Christian on the Mount (1657).

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

Where to Buy:
Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Daily Readings - the Puritans - Edited by Randall Pederson Buy Now:

 

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Tune in today at 1:30 PM Central to hear Peter Mead on The Janet Mefferd Show

Peter MeadChristian Focus author Peter Mead will be interviewed live Friday December 5, 2014 at 1:30 PM Central on The Janet Mefferd Show to discuss his book Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation. You can listen to the live broadcast at janetmefferd.com.

The archive of this interview is available to stream or download here: LINK.

About the Book:
At the centre of heaven is Christ, lovingly adored as the forever Lord of all. At the centre of Christmas is Christ, frail and cradled in the tender arms of a young mother. How can the two be put together? Heavenly glory and human frailty? That is the real wonder of Christmas.Pleased to Dwell is an energetic biblical introduction to Christmas. It is an invitation to ponder the Incarnation, and a God who was pleased to dwell with us.

Building anticipation with the great themes of the Old Testament, enjoying the remarkably distinct birth narratives of Matthew, then Luke, before surveying some great New Testament passages, Pleased to Dwell is an engaging introduction to the wonder of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. This book offers a wealth of ideas for preachers, an easy access mini-reference tool for Bible students, and an enjoyable cover-to-cover read for everyone. Twenty-four short chapters would make a great advent devotional, but this book is not just for Christmas. God’s Son stepped into our world and that changes every day of the year!

Praise for Pleased to Dwell:

“This book is perfect food for the heart for all of us who long for a richer understanding of the birth of The King!”
-Joseph M. Stowell ~ President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“What a really useful resource! As I read through it, I found that ideas for carol service talks just kept leaping off its pages.”
-Rico Tice ~ Author, Christianity Explored & Associate Minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London

About Peter Mead:
Peter Mead is director of Cor Deo, a mentored ministry training programme based in Chippenham, England. He is on the leadership team of a church plant and leads the Bible Teachers & Preachers Networks at the European Leadership Forum. He studied at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Connect with Peter on the web:

Where to Buy:
Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation by Peter Mead is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Pleased to Dwell  Buy Now:

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Filed under Christmas, Interview, Janet Mefferd, Radio Interview

New from Mentor: Unashamed Workmen: How Expositors Prepare and Preach by Rhett Dodson (Editor)

Unashamed WorkmenUnashamed Workman brings together some of the finest preachers of our day,  focusing on the methods they use to prepare their sermons. You will find a variety of approaches and styles but they all share a passion for the Word of God to be explained and applied clearly.

Contributors include:

  • Peter Adam
  • Rhett Dodson
  • Iain Duguid
  • Ajith Fernando
  • David Jackman
  • Simon Manchester
  • David Meredith
  • Josh Moody
  • Douglas Sean O’Donnell
  • Richard D. Phillips.

Praise for Unashamed Workmen:

“…a tour of the workshops of talented preachers, enabling us to look over the shoulders of these master craftsmen of proclaimed truth in order to learn how we might produce messages reflecting the beauty and utility of their sermons.”
-Bryan Chapell, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

“This is a great book. It brings together diverse and complementary voices from experienced expository preachers who are thoroughly committed to the Gospel. It is not a textbook. Its strength and freshness depend on the sweep of voices.”
-D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois

“…remarkably helpful and practical. Prepare to be inspired, challenged, and exhorted.”
-Jason Helopoulos, Assistant Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

Rhett DodsonAbout Rhett Dodson:
Rhett Dodson is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Hudson, Ohio.

Where to Buy:
Unashamed Workmen: How Expositors Prepare and Preach by Rhett Dodson (Editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Unashamed Workmen  Buy Now:

 

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Monday Meditations: Victory Over Satan – George Whitefield

Monday Meditations - George Whitefield

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” -Romans 16:20

During Christ’s temptation by Satan, Satan said, “All these things (a mighty all indeed – a mere imaginary bubble!) will I give you, if you fall down and worship me.” This was indeed a desperate parting stroke. It is now high time for you, Satan, O you enemy of souls, to be commanded to depart! Filled with a holy resentment at such hellish treatment, and impatient of the very thought of alienating the least part of his heart and affections from his Father, or dividing them between his God and the world, Jesus said to him, “Get away you Satan, you grand adversary; for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ This is the great commandment of the law, the commandment my Father gave unto his Israel of old, and would thou have me, who came to fulfill the law and the prophets, thus shamefully to be a transgressor of it? Get away you – I will bear your insolence no longer. Your other temptations were hellish, like yourself, but this intolerably so. Get you therefore away, Satan; my heavenly Father is the Lord my God, and him only will I serve.” And now the battle is over; the important combat is ended; Jesus has won the field. Satan is routed, and totally put to flight. Then, when the devil found that Jesus could withstand even the golden bait, the lust of the eye and pride of life, in the two last, as well as the lust of the flesh in the first temptation, despairing of the least success, and quite stunned with that all-powerful “Get you away, Satan,” he left him. Praise God for Christ’s resounding victory over Satan!

*Excerpted from George Whitefield Daily Readings, p. 346 (Christian Heritage, 2010).

Where to Buy:
George Whitefield Daily Readings by Randall J. Pederson (editor) is available at any good  Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

George Whitefield (Daily Readings) Buy Now:

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving
We wanted to take a moment to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers. We pray that you have a wonderful time feasting and giving thanks with your friends and family today.

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Ebooks On Sale Through December 4th

Below is our current selection of ebooks on sale through December 4, 2014.

A Christian's Pocket Guide to Baptism by Robert Letham Sale Price: $2.99/£1.97

Coping With Change - Ecclesiastes Sale Price: $2.99/£1.97

 The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life by Dale Ralph Davis Sale Price: $3.99/£2.63

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