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The Believer’s Happiness
The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
Here is a reference to the first and to the second coming of Christ: God has fixed the day of both. Those who do wickedly, who do not fear God’s anger, shall feel it. It is certainly to be applied to the Day of Judgment, when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire; to execute judgment on the proud, and all that do wickedly. In both, Christ is a rejoicing Light to those who serve him faithfully. By the Sun of Righteousness we understand Jesus Christ. Through him believers are justified and sanctified, and so are brought to see light. His influences render the sinner holy, joyful, and fruitful. It is applicable to the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit, brought into the souls of men. Christ gave the Spirit to those who are his, to shine in their hearts, and to be a Comforter to them, a Sun and a Shield. That day which to the wicked will burn as an oven, will to the righteous be bright as the morning; it is what they wait for, more than those that wait for the morning. Christ came as the Sun, to bring, not only light to a dark world, but health to a distempered world. Souls shall increase in knowledge and spiritual strength. Their growth is as that of calves of the stall, not as the flower of the field, which is slender and weak, and soon withers. The saints’ triumphs are all owing to God’s victories; it is not they that do this, but God who does it for them … How great then the happiness of the believer, when he goes from the darkness and misery of this world, to rejoice in the Lord for evermore!
*Excerpted from Matthew Henry Daily Readings (Christian Heritage, 2009).
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:
There are a lot of articles about suicide and depression surfacing at the moment due to the suicide of the comedian Robin Williams. Last month I was at the Churchill Exhibition at Blenheim Palace – he also struggled with depression, calling it ‘The Black Dog’. And one of my friends on face book today referred to her own struggles with this particular animal but stating how she had him tied up and muzzled at the moment. Well there are a lot of Christians out there who struggle with depression, some have come through, some haven’t. Here are a few books to take a look at that may be helpful to sufferers, friends and family.
We can be in danger of no longer really understanding the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer simply because it is heard and spoken so often. Edgar illustrates the depth of the prayer as he shows it in the original context, and shows what that means for us in our context today and in the future. The Lord’s Prayer defines our faith and defines the Biblical worldview.
Praise for A Transforming Vision:
“The multi-faceted Word of God never ceases to amaze in its ability to give wisdom and understanding; the Lord’s Prayer is no exception. It has always been an important part of the tapestry of a walk with God, yet Dr. William Edgar has opened up new and life changing dimensions of this familiar passage. Approaching this prayer as an “apologetic for the biblical worldview” puts this book in a class by itself. Without a doubt, A Transforming Vision will prove to be a pivotal and treasured book in the life of the church.”
-Carl Ellis Jr. ~ Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas
“Unpacks the Lord’s Prayer in order to teach you your faith and change how you pray.”
-David Powlison ~ CCEF Executive Director, Senior Editor, Journal of Biblical Counseling
About the Author:
William Edgar is Professor of Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and an accomplished jazz pianist. He is married to Barbara and they have two children, William and Deborah.
Where to Buy:
A Transforming Vision: The Lord’s Prayer as a Lens for Life by William Edgar 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:
To Raise our Faith and Hope
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” -2 Chronicles 16:9
He is such a Father as is not ignorant of our wants. The care of His providence is over all the creatures He has made. God has an inspection over them, to provide necessaries for them; much more over His people. His eyes run to and fro, to find them out in all the places of their dispersion; and He does exercise His power for their relief. Now this thought should be rooted in our hearts when we come to pray to God: I go to a Father, which hath found me out in the throng of His creatures, and knows what is good for me. This is a great ground why we should not use an abundance of words, because God knows what my needs are. Words are not required for God’s sake, but for ours; not to inform God, but that we may perform our duty the better. So far as they are useful, so they should be used to warm our affections and to strengthen our faith. Words at first are vent to affection, but afterwards they continue to increase the affection; as a hearth is first warmed by the fire, and then it serves to keep in the fire. And they conduce to strengthen our faith while we plead promises in God’s hearing. We wrestle with God that we may catch a heat ourselves. And therefore words should be only used as they conduce to the strengthening our faith, or continuing our affection to God; longer than they serve that end in prayer, they are babbling and vain repetitions, and much speaking, which Christ forbids. There is not a change in God, but a change in us, wrought by prayer. It is neither to give information to God, that He may know our meaning, nor to move Him and persuade Him to be willing by our much speaking, but only to raise up our own faith and hope towards God.
*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:
This week’s highlights are below:
Recent interviews with A Student’s Guide Authors – Brian Cosby and Aaron Little have been busy promoting their new books in our A Student’s Guide series on the airwaves. You can stream or download their interviews via the links below:
John Crotts reviews Return of the White Book – Author John Crotts shares his thoughts on Rebecca Davis’ recent book Return of the White Book from our Hidden Heroes series. Here’s what he had to say:
The Hidden Heroes series by Rebecca Davis has been consistently excellent. Her books have delighted each member of our family (four children aged 8-18). Each chapter contains a wonderful story, which can be easily read during Family Devotions. In Return of the White Book, readers are inspired to learn of the salvation of many of the Karen people group in Burma. While the more famous missionary Adoniram Judson does make a cameo, these amazing accounts, although beginning at the same time as Judson’s ministry, are about missionaries and converted Karens much less known. Highly recommended.
Now the gospel signifies good news and glad tidings: “Behold I bring you,” said the angel, “glad tidings of great joy.” Mean and contemptible as the office of a preacher may be thought now, the angels were glad of the commission to preach this gospel. Thomas Goodwin, that learned pious soul, says in his familiar way that God has but one Son and made a minister of him. And I add, he made an itinerant minister of him too. Some say that you must not preach the law. But you cannot preach the gospel without preaching the law; for you shall find, by and by, we are to preach something that the people must be saved by: it is impossible to tell them how they are to be saved, unless we tell them what they are to be saved from. The way the Spirit of God takes, is like that we take in preparing the ground. Do you think any farmers would have a crop of corn next year unless they plough now? You may as well expect a crop of corn on unploughed ground, as a crop of grace, until the soul is convinced of its being undone without a Savior … They serve Christ as the young man served the Jews that laid hold of him, who, when he found he was to be a prisoner for following Christ, left his garments; and so some people leave their profession. That makes me so cautious now, which I was not thirty years ago, of dubbing people converts so soon. I love now to wait a little, and see if people bring forth fruit; for there are so many blossoms which March winds you know blow away, that I cannot believe they are converts till I see fruit brought forth.
*Excerpted from George Whitefield Daily Readings, p. 224 (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:
This week’s highlights are below:
Carrie Sandom Interviewed on Knowing the Truth with Kevin Boling – Listen to Carrie Sandom’s recent interview on Knowing the Truth with Kevin Boling discussing her book Different by Design: God’s Blueprint for Men and Women. The interview is available to stream or download here: LINK
Graham Veale on Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley – Graham Veale and Rory Fenton debate the use of parody and balancing free speech and religious sensibilities on Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley. Their discussion is available to stream or download here: LINK
Danika Cooley reviews John Newton: A Slave Set Free – Last week Danika Cooley continued her series of reviews focused on CF4K’s Trailblazers series. Here’s what she had to say about John Newton: A Slave Set Free by Irene Howat. Here’s a bit of what Danika shared in her review:
“As I read John Newton, I had to wonder what terrible sin in my life people would be shaking their heads over if someone wrote a biography on me. That won’t happen, but I can hazard a few guesses at my pet sins. And how arrogant it would be if I was to regard the sin of slavery as greater than the sin in my own life. These are all discussions we can have with our children. Right after we that, we can feel free to discuss how slavery is abhorrent and disgusting. It’s amazing that a man with a conscience so hardened that he could participate in the brutal harm of innocents would one day contend for their freedom. That, my friends, is grace.”
Read the full review at thinkingkidsblog.org.
Christian Focus author Graham Veale will be interviewed live Thursday July 31, 2014 at 3:00 PM ET on The Janet Mefferd Show to discuss his book New Atheism: A Survival Guide. You can listen to the live broadcast at janetmefferd.com.
The archive of this interview is now available to stream or download: LINK.
About the Book:
This summary of the arguments that dominate the current scene of thought unravels the philosophies behind modern popular and academic culture. Veale, a high school teacher, uses these arguments to motivate readers to stop and to think about their own direction and purpose, and ultimately, through consideration of the crucial questions, to find the vital answers.
About the Author:
Graham Veale is the head of the Religious Education department at the City of Armagh High School, Armagh, Northern Ireland and co-founded saintsandsceptics.org, a web ministry for apologetics. Graham has been married to Nicola for fifteen years and they have two children, Ben and Rebekah. They worship at Richhill Presbyterian Church in County Armagh.
Where to Buy:
New Atheism: A Survival Guide by Graham Veale 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: