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Monday
Sep152014

Heidelberg Catechism

Question 53. What do you believe concerning the Holy Spirit?

Answer: First, that he is true and coeternal God with the Father and the Son. (a) Second, that he is also given to me, (b) to make me by true faith to share in Christ and all his benefits, (c) and that he may comfort me (d) and remain with me forever. (e)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep132014

Sunday's Hymn: A Debtor to Mercy Alone

A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with thy righteousness on,
My person and off’ring to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do;
My Saviour’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which his goodness began,
The arm of his strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Nor all things below or above,
Can make him his purpose forgo,
Or sever my soul from his love.

My name from the palms of his hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on his heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heav’n.

—Augustus Toplady

Other hymns, worship songs, prayers, sermons excerpts, or quotes posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.

Friday
Sep122014

Linked Together: Etymology

Two suggestions for your weekend reading.

Hacking History
How old is the word cough? What about *cough*? Which other words have been used for cough? All your coughing questions answered. (OxfordWords Blog).

Changing Names
If you read Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, you will find numerous examples of people who have one name in one book, and another name in another book. Jesse Johnson gives us the two main reasons for this (The Cripplegate).

Thursday
Sep112014

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful 

  • for a little sunshine. All the rain we’ve had lately makes me appreciate what a good gift any sunshine is.

  • for red heather on the mountains and yellow-leaved trees lining my walking trails. 

  • for orchard run apples and Yukon grown vegetables.

  • for my home. I spend too much time thinking about the work that needs to be done on it and not enough time thanking God for it. Despite it’s flaws, it serves me well, and that’s a good gift.

  • that God has sustained and helped me through the past thirteen years, from the time my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer to today. 

  • that I can trust that God is still ruling and unfolding his perfect plan even when everything seems out of control.

  • that the ascended Jesus intercedes for me, bringing my requests to the Father.

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment with your thanksgiving, post your thanksgiving on your blog, or tweet it. Give me the link by email or in a comment and I’ll add your thanksgiving to the list in the post.

Wednesday
Sep102014

The Building, the Body, the Bride

Ephesians, writes J. I. Packer, uses “three basic images, or analogies, each illustrating some ongoing aspect” of the church: the building, the body, and the bride.

The Building

On the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with the Lord Jesus as the cornerstone, Gentile and Jewish believers are being built together, as so many building blocks or shapes stones laid side by side, to become “a holy temple in the Lord … a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (2:20-22). As in Old Testament times the temple was where God made people most vividly aware of his self-revealed reality and teaching, and where they in turn knew themselves closest to him (see the Psalms), so it is and will ever be in the church. That is a fact that all Christians should face, and celebrate joyfully from the heart. 

The Body

The church

which is one body under Christ its Head, grows and upbuilds itself in faith and love through the harmonious operation of each particular body part. That is to say, as each believer seeks to attain total Christlikeness, and as the Holy Spirit of Christ prompts each to cooperative work and service out of love to God, to neighbors, and to the body of Christ as such, the church moves forward into “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God … to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” 4:1-16, esp. 13). The vision is of divinely managed coordination of the body, and of developing discernment of the truth and wisdom of God by the body corporately.

The Bride

As the bride is prepared by willing helpers for her wedding day, so Christ himself, the church’s Bridegroom, works to prepare the church, the object of his love, for the glory that he has in view for her—“that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle of any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (5:25-27). Ongoing sanctification for all Christians, separately and together, through a vast variety of events, circumstances, and conflicts, is accordingly the church’s present experience, while the approaching consummation of fellowship with Jesus is the church’s abiding hope, and the assurance of Jesus’s unfailing love remains its constant support. That is an outlook, and an upward and forward look, that all Christians should cherish and keep intact. 

Quoting from Taking God Seriously: Vital Things We Need to Know (pages 90-91).