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Thursday
Jan222015

Thankful Thursday

This week I’ve been thankful for 

  • fresh snow and a son to shovel some of it for me. We got lots—eight or so inches at my house—and it’s not as light and fluffy as typical Yukon snow. But it is beautiful.
  • a walk in the woods with my granddaughters in the middle of yesterday’s snowstorm. Everything is more fun when you experience it with a couple of little ones. 
  • winter tires and traction control. Because otherwise, I’d be going nowhere. It’ll be a few days or more before they plow my street.
  • a little January quiet time to read and study.
  • Jesus’s promise that we will be with him forever.

Also thankful today:

What are you thankful for? 

Wednesday
Jan212015

Getting What We Want - 2

When God rewards those who seek Him, it is not with wealth or power or privilege but with the very thing that they were searching for in the first place—Himself.

—Hannah Anderson in Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image, p. 27.

Tuesday
Jan202015

Theological Term of the Week

anthropology
The branch of theology that studies what the Bible teaches about humanity. 

  • One key biblical passage for the study of anthropology: 

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 ESV)

  • From the Belgic Confession:
  • Chapter 14 We believe that God created man from the dust of the earth and made and formed him in his image and likeness— good, just, and holy; able by his own will to conform in all things to the will of God.

    But when he was in honor he did not understand it and did not recognize his excellence. But he subjected himself willingly to sin and consequently to death and the curse, lending his ear to the word of the devil.

    For he transgressed the commandment of life, which he had received, and by his sin he separated himself from God, who was his true life, having corrupted his entire nature.

    So he made himself guilty and subject to physical and spiritual death, having become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all his ways. He lost all his excellent gifts which he had received from God, and he retained none of them except for small traces which are enough to make him inexcusable.

    Moreover, all the light in us is turned to darkness, as the Scripture teaches us: “The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not receive it.” Here John calls men “darkness.”

    Therefore we reject everything taught to the contrary concerning man’s free will, since man is nothing but the slave of sin and cannot do a thing unless it is “given him from heaven.”

    For who can boast of being able to do anything good by himself, since Christ says, “No one can come to me unless my Father who sent me draws him”?

    Who can glory in his own will when he understands that “the mind of the flesh is enmity against God”? Who can speak of his own knowledge in view of the fact that “the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God”?

    In short, who can produce a single thought, since he knows that we are “not able to think a thing” about ourselves, by ourselves, but that “our ability is from God”?

    And therefore, what the apostle says ought rightly to stand fixed and firm: “God works within us both to will and to do according to his good pleasure.”

    For there is no understanding nor will conforming to God’s understanding and will apart from Christ’s involvement, as he teaches us when he says, “Without me you can do nothing.”

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Monday
Jan192015

Getting What We Want - 1

Hearts on earth say in the course of a joyful experience, 

“I don’t want this ever to end.” But it invariably does.

The hearts of those in heaven say,

“I want this to go on forever.” And it will.

—J. I. Packer in Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs, p. 266.

Monday
Jan192015

Heidelberg Catechism

Question 71. Where does Christ promise that we are washed with his blood and Spirit as surely as we are washed with the water of baptism?

Answer: In the institution of baptism where he says:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (a)

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (b)

This promise is repeated where Scripture calls baptism the washing of rebirth (c) and the washing away of sins. (d)

(Scriptural proofs after the fold.)

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