seeking the truth in love

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NIV)

Monday, August 8

Back to the Word

"This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." - Isaiah 66:2 (NIV)


Thursday, August 4

Rekindle Heart Work

This is no unusual occurrence; it is the general rule of the moral universe that those men prosper who do their work with all their hearts, while those are almost certain to fail who go to their labour leaving half their hearts behind them. God does not give harvests to idle men, except harvests of thistles, nor is he pleased to send wealth to those who will not dig in the field to find its hid treasure.

It is universally confessed that if a man would prosper, he must be diligent in business. It is the same in religion as it is in other things. If you would prosper in your work for Jesus, let it be heart work, and let it be done with all your heart.

- Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." - Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)


Saturday, July 30

Patience and Perseverance

*From Nicky's blog*

We must not murmur, we must not complain - but patiently follow wherever the Lord leads, and quietly bear whatever the Lord lays on us. He will not lay on us more than we are able to bear; but with every temptation He will make a way for our escape, that we may be able to bear it.

Patience must calm the spirit, quiet the heart, and close the mouth. Then shall we say with the Psalmist, "I was silent, I opened not my mouth, because You are the One who has done this!" Had it been man - it might have been wrong. Had it been chance - it might have been injurious. But it was You - and, therefore, it must be wise, holy, and kind.

We are required quietly to persevere, to go on, though the way is rugged, though the thorns pierce our feet, though we cannot see one step before us. We must walk by faith, not by sight, believing that we are safe - in the midst of danger; that we are right - though everything is perplexing; and that all will end well - for "We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28.

- James Smith, Perplexity


Tuesday, July 26

Household of Faith

So a local congregation, then, is a community of people who trust God like this. It's not even that we understand everything He does. In all of our lives there are mysterious providences. And brother and sister, if you are here today at this meeting, in one of those times when you feel you're under a mysterious frown of God, oh I beg you as a brother-in-Christ, trust Him. He is a faithful God.

There are times in the past when you saw that clearly. There will be a time in the future where you see that again. And you will bring Him glory by continuing to put one foot in front of another and following Him even through the hardest of times. Trusting - gambling as it may even feel to you - on His faithfulness, because He will prove good and true to His Word.

We are a community of people who do that. We don't always understand everything He's doing but we trust His character. You realise, don't you, that our fears about the future are rooted in those places where our will differs from God's will.

- Mark Dever, The Church is the Gospel Made Visible (on Caleb's recommendation)


Monday, July 25

O Church Arise

" of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water." - John 19:34 (NIV)

The piercing of Jesus confirmed that Jesus was indeed dead (and hence that the Mosaic covenant was broken) as He hung on the cross. Jesus became a curse for us by hanging on the cross and broke the curse of the law by dying (and being raised to life).

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."" - Galatians 3:13 (NIV)

"So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." - Romans 7:4 (NIV)

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." - 1 Corinthians 15:17 (NIV)

More than that, the piercing of Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.

"These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."" - John 19:36-37 (NIV)

One might even say that Jesus' death (and resurrection) gave birth to the church.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." - John 12:24 (NIV)

The piercing of Jesus, which confirmed His death, brings us new and eternal life.

" of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water." - John 19:34 (NIV)

"This is the one who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement." - 1 John 5:6-8 (NIV)

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." - Leviticus 17:11 (NIV)

First and Last Adam

Eve was born out of Adam's flesh and became one flesh with Adam in the first Eden.

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

- Genesis 2:21-24 (NIV)

Likewise, the church was born out of Christ's death (and resurrection) and will become one flesh with Christ in the new Eden.

""For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church." - Ephesians 5:31-32 (NIV)

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."" - Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV)

When Adam awoke from his deep sleep (a kind of death), he was united with his wife.

"Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." - Song of Songs 8:4 (NIV)

When Christ was raised from the dead, He established a new covenant with His bride and (like a Jewish groom) returned to His Father's house to prepare a place for her.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." - John 14:1-4 (NIV)

"This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." - Acts 1:11 (NIV)

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." - Romans 6:4-7 (NIV)

When we are raised from the dead, we will be united with Christ till death us do part for eternity.

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."" - 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 (NIV)


Sunday, July 24

How Can I Keep From Singing

Saturday, July 23

May the Peace of God

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13 (NIV)

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." - 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." - Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)


Friday, July 22

Inquiring of the LORD

I attended a friend's cell group this evening and was reminded of the following verse:

"The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD." - Joshua 9:14 (NIV)

How about us? Do we inquire of the LORD?

"The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered." - Jeremiah 10:21 (NIV)

"Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse." - 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 (NIV)

"I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem. I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests - those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and who also swear by Molech, those who turn back from following the LORD and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him." - Zephaniah 1:4-6 (NIV)


" first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:33 (NIV)


Thursday, July 21

Trusting God

"...allows for gratitude in prosperity and patience in adversity." - John Calvin


Sunday, July 17


Today I was telling someone about the purposes of imprisonment (according to the SPS Business Framework) - P.R.I.DE: Punishment, Reformation, Incapacitation and DEterrence - and he suggested that E should stand for Enlightenment.