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Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful for the fresh flowers beside me.

I’m thankful for hot water and, while I’m at it, clean water and running water. I’m thankful for the good gift of plumbing.

I’m thankful for God’s provision and protection through another year, a year that has at times been a difficult one, but also joyous.

And bear with me while I repeat myself: I’m thankful for good health. Not everyone reaches my age without major health problems. So yes, I’m thankful for another year of good health.

Come to think of it, not everyone reaches my age. I’m thankful for another year of life.

I’m thankful for promised cake yet to come. 

On Thursdays throughout this year, I plan to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.


Divine Reasons for Divine Doings

Another daily devotional from the little book Opened Treasures written by Frances Ridley Havergal.

And they shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 6:10).

It is one of the shining threads that run all through the Bible, a supply indeed for the heart’s desire of those who delight in the Lord. It is never long out of sight, judgments and mercies being alike sent for this great purpose. For this the waters of the Red Sea receded and returned again; for this the Jordan was dried up; for this Goliath was delivered into David’s hand; for this 185,000 of the Assyrians were smitten by God’s angel; and many more instances. Throughout Ezekiel it seems to be the very key-word, recurring seventy-five times as the divine reason of divine doings, that they may “know that I am the Lord.” Is there not a peculiar solace in this?


Round the Sphere Again

On the meaning of the cross

It Demonstrates Love and Justice (Update, March 11: and Wisdom)
Quoting Sinclair Ferguson at Pure Church.

  • God’s love

    When we think of Christ dying on the cross we are shown the lengths to which God’s love goes in order to win us back to himself.

  • God’s justice

    Sometimes when we explain the message of the gospel to others we say something like this: ‘God has laid aside his justice.  He no longer deals with us as sinners; he forgets our sin, and accepts us.’  But when we say this we distort the biblical teaching.

  • Update, March 11: God’s Wisdom

It Doesn’t Just Make Salvation Possible
But actually saves, effectually, particularly, and perfectly. (Kevin DeYoung)

It Was to Secure Forgiveness for Others
Lorraine Boettner on the significance of Christ’s death.

And There’s More
There’s no better time to read a book on the meaning of the cross than in the days leading up to the commemoration of Christ’s death and resurrection. Here are two that I’ve reviewed and recommended previously.

  • The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance by Leon Morris.
    I have a very short list of books that I’d put in the must-read category for every Christian, and this book is on it. Of course, there are many excellent books and many important books, but what sets The Atonement apart from many other worthwhile books is that I can recommend it to you and know that no matter who you are, you’ll learn something valuable from it, and at the same time, you won’t find it too difficult. 
    Read the whole review.

  • Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper.
    What John Piper has done in this book is take fifty of the results of Christ’s death given in scripture and listed them for us as fifty reasons why Jesus came to die. … I’d call Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die an introductory level book—there’s nothing difficult in it—and yet I’d say almost everyone will learn a thing of two from it. And who among us doesn’t need a reminder of the infinite wisdom of God in the cross of Christ? Read the whole review.

Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (RE: Lit)There’s also a new book on the cross of Christ by D. A. Carson. I haven’t read yet, but I’m betting Scandalous would make good pre-Easter reading, too. Update: John Bird recommends it.


Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate one of the year’s biggest holidays—and as author D. A. Carson writes, one of history’s biggest scandals. Nearly two thousand years ago, a Galilean hung on a cross, died, and rose from the dead three days later. In the midst of an event that may seem familiar, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus introduces the ironies and scandal involved, and its implications for those who follow Jesus.

They are letting us preview all of chapter 1 (pdf).