Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our Lord's TendernessToward His Own

"Mindful of our human frailty
Is the God in whom we trust;
He whose years are everlasting.
He remembers we are dust."

"[T]he great Physician of souls knew how frail and how carnally minded [the disciples] were. He knew and understood all. Yet, he does not rebuke them; but in tender love he says, 'I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.'"

(From William Hendriksen's commentary on The Gospel of John. 16:12)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Praise God for His Heavenly Splendor and Glory

One of the daily devotionals that I use is Matthew Henry's "Method for Prayer." It is a method of praying that utilizes the language of the Bible, God's Word,  when we offer up to Him our ADORATION, CONFESSION, INTERCESSION, PETITION, AND THANKSGIVING. The program allows me to choose from a few different Bible translations and I can select whether I want to pray in "first person," as in private, or as speaking for a group. Here is today's prayer. For information on how to receive these devotionals by email, or how to obtain the book, click on the green Matthew Henry banner below the comment section. By the way, the scripture text here is from the New American Standard Bible.

I must give to God the praise of that splendor and glory wherein He is pleased to manifest Himself in the upper world.

You have established Your throne in the heavens, (Psalm 103:19) and it is a throne of glory, lofty and exalted; and before You the seraphim cover their faces. (Isaiah 6:1-2) And it is in compassion to Your people that You obscure the face of that throne and spread Your cloud over it. (Job 26:9)

You make Your angels spirits, and Your ministers flames of fire. ( Psalm 104:4) Thousands of thousands of them minister to You, and myriads of myriads stand before You, to do Your pleasure. (Revelation 5:11) They are mighty in strength, and obey the voice of Your word. (Psalm 103:20-21) And I have come by faith and hope and holy love into a spiritual communion with those myriads of angels and the spirits of the righteous made perfect, even to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, in the heavenly Jerusalem. (Hebrews 12:22-23)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Interesting connections

Two excerpts from Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis:

" answer. I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?"

"The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for His sake. And He was coming. The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Jonathan Edwards Believed About Coming to Christ for Salvation

Jonathan Edwards believed and taught that men will be saved the moment that they believe. He exhorted his hearers to "believe and be saved."

He that covereth his sins will not prosper;
But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
(Proverbs 28:13)

"God stands ready to forgive every sinner upon his hearty confessing and forsaking his sin."

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and my iniquity have not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
And let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him;
And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isa. 55:7)

"If we truly come to God for mercy, the greatness of our sin will be no impediment to pardon."

For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity; for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

In Edwards' sermon on Psa. 25:11, he shows the necessity of [sinners'] coming from a sense of their misery and as beggars; and they must come through Christ alone, acting upon his universal offer of the Gospel.

"If your souls be burdened and you are distressed for fear of hell, you need not bear that burden and distress any longer. If you are but willing you may freely come and unload yourselves and cast all your burdens on Christ and rest in Him ... If you can find it in your hearts to come to Christ, and close with Him, you will be accepted."

From Jonathan Edwards, Evangelist by John Gerstner. Soli Deo Gloria / Ligonier

Friday, September 17, 2010

John Calvin: On Evangelism

"Now we know that God prizes nothing above his honor, which lies mainly in men's knowing him and poor souls' being brought to salvation. So let us not be surprised if our Lord wants his gospel to be proclaimed with such diligence that nothing can hinder its course. For the only way men can come to salvation is through instruction in what the Bible teaches. Now since this is God's will, let us follow it."

"God invites all indiscriminately to salvation through the Gospel, but the ingratitude of the world is the reason why this grace, which is equally offered to all, is enjoyed by few." (Synoptic Gospels 1:116)

"We ought to pray that this and that and every man may be saved and so embrace the whole human race, because we cannot yet distinguish the elect from the reprobate. We pray for the salvation of all, whom we know to have been created in God's image and who have the same nature as ourselves; and we leave to God's judgment those whom He knows to be reprobate."

"[T]he godly will be filled with such an ardent desire to spread the doctrines of religion that [he] will desire to draw others along with him. And indeed nothing could be more inconsistent with the nature of faith than…to keep the light of knowledge choked up within [one’s] own breast." (Comment on Isaiah 2:3)

"It is true that the principle thing we have to look to is to show [men] the way of salvation.”

“We must have zeal and burning desire that everyone be brought to the knowledge of God for his forgiveness and for salvation."  …"We must do everything we possibly can to draw people to God."

“The salvation of souls…is more precious than the whole world.”


Quotes excerpted from: Commentaries on Acts 1-7;  on the Synoptic Gospels;  on the Gospel of John; on Isaiah; Sermons on Ephesians; and Treatise: "On Scandals" Source: Words of Calvin, the Soul Winner  ("Evangelism"  page on

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Alternative to Personal Evangelism

The cartoon is by Richard Gunther, and posted here with his permission (and an "OK" by Ray Comfort). See more neat things from Richard on his online magazine: Mighty Mag.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Puritan Quote: Thomas Boston

"O the love of God to poor sinners of mankind! John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The greatest work that ever God did was for their salvation. He made the world for man and gave it to him, Psalm 115:16, and the visible heavens, too, Genesis 1:17. Yes, the highest heavens also He made for them and gives to them in His Son, Matthew 25:34. But a greater work than all these He did for them when He did this miracle of the incarnation of His own Son for them, and gave Him, an incarnate Redeemer, to them. O how can we escape the most fearful doom if we neglect this great salvation! How worthy are they to perish who will not be saved when God has wrought this greatest miracle to save them?"
__From "Christ's Name, Wonderful" by Thomas Boston

Monday, September 13, 2010


Part 2 of James Montgomery Boice on Personal Evangelism

If we spend time with Jesus, then the other matters -- knowing we are not the light, pointing to the light, desiring men and women to believe -- these will come naturally. And we will find ourselves increasingly used of God as He sends revival to our land.

Andrew put himself second in order to bring others to Jesus. We do not know a great deal about Andrew. In the New Testament he is usually introduced as Simon Peter's brother. ... Yet, Andrew was constantly introducing others to Jesus. There are only three stories in the Gospels in which Andrew plays a significant role. There is the story recorded here [in John 1:40-42]. There was the time he brought Jesus the lad with five loaves of bread and two fish (John 6:8-9). There is the incident in which the Greeks were brought to Jesus (John 12:22). In each case Andrew put himself second in order to introduce others to the Savior.

How are we to become charged, as Andrew was? Andrew and the other disciples became witnesses after they had first spent time with Jesus. John tells us that the place where Jesus was staying at about the tenth hour - that is, about about four o'clock in the afternoon - and that they spent the night there. What do you suppose they talked about until nightfall? We are not told, but the story reminds us of the story in Luke in which Christ spoke to the Emmaus disciples, showing them from the Old Testament how it was necessary for Him "to suffer these things and then enter His glory," after which they confessed, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:26, 32). After such time spent with Jesus, when the heart burns, one is constrained to go out and find his brother.

Do you spend time with Jesus? Nothing can be a substitute for that. Only if you do that will you begin to show something of the character, particularly the love, of Him with whom you are spending time.

(emphasis added)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

James Montgomery Boice: Three Points on Personal Evangelism

“In the first chapter of John’s gospel we have an outline of what our witness must be if we are to become ’informal missionaries.’ The outline is given to us in verses 6-9: ‘There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.’ If we outline these verses, we find that they contain three statements about John the Baptist’s testimony: 1) he was not the light, but 2) was sent to bear witness to that light, in order that 3) all men through him might believe.”

“…I believe that if only these three points are followed, the witness of any Christian, no matter how halting or weak it may be, will be effective. First, the believer must recognize in the depths of his being that he is not the answer to men’s problems, that he is not the light. Second, he must know that Jesus is the light and must point men to Him. Third, he must do it all with the express intention of having men and women believe.”

[1] “If we are to witness for Jesus Christ, we must first of all forget ourselves… and we must think first of the other person and of his need for the Savior. What is it that will make a person forget himself in order to point to Jesus? Only an awareness of Jesus’ worth and glory!”

[2] “We must know something about Him. We must have a message. The major parts suggested in our story …are: a) who Jesus Christ is, and b) what He has done. … (a) “I have seen, and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34) (b) The focus of Christ’s work is to be found in His death on the cross. Hence, we want to share the meaning of His death when we try to tell others about Him.”

[3] “John bore witness to Jesus, not to unload a certain amount of information…but to lead others to believe in Jesus personally. This means that he had their life and destiny in view when he was witnessing.”

“The [three-point] witness-giving of John was immediately picked up by those who believed, so that Andrew and Phillip, an unnamed disciple (probably John the evangelist), Peter and Nathaniel became the next witnesses. [And] they followed the same pattern of witnessing that John the Baptist had followed. That is:

1) They did not attract attention to themselves,

2) They bore a verbal witness to Jesus, and

3) They did so in order that those to whom they were speaking might also believe in Him.”

NEXT:  James M. Boice on: The Secret of All Effectual Witnessing!

Excerpts from an article by Dr. Boice titled, "Witnessing: The Progress of Revival" in Reformation and Revival - a Quarterly Journal for Church Leadership. Vol.2, Number 3 - Summer 1993

Thursday, September 9, 2010


"...[T]he most important thing for us to do is point people to the Scriptures. The best reasons we can give people for our hope in Christ are biblical reasons; the clearest answers we can give to their question about God are biblical answers. The Holy Spirit will use the true words of God to do His spiritual work in people’s lives. God has not promised to use our personal testimonies to bring people to Christ. No matter how eloquently or persuasively we speak, our words in themselves do not have the power to give people spiritual life. What God has promised to use in a saving and sanctifying way are His own words — the words we read in the Bible and understand by the help of the Spirit. God’s Word always does God’s work (see Isa. 55:10–11).

"The Word of God even has the power to save atheists, changing the minds and hearts of people who say they do not believe in God. The real truth, of course, is that even the most hardened atheist actually does believe in God, he just works very hard to deny it. In order to maintain a consistently atheistic point of view, unbelievers must actively suppress what they know to be true about the existence of God. Deep down, everyone knows there is a God (see Rom. 1:21).

"The inescapable reality of God’s power should give us tremendous confidence for personal evangelism. Although we may not have very much confidence in ourselves, or in our ability to respond to every objection an unbeliever may raise against the Gospel, we ought to have every confidence in the goodness of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Bible confronts every person’s conscience, testifying that the God who is really there speaks to people today. Whether we are fully prepared to give an answer or not, God is always ready and able to save people by His mighty Word."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"Somebody said once that evangelism, true evangelism, is only this - one beggar telling another beggar how to find bread. There's nothing that should make me boastful about my faith. I recognize that my faith is the result of the grace of God. And so we must understand that when we're talking to people, we're called to be gracious and kind. The fruit of the Spirit that the New Testament calls us to exhibit includes gentleness, meekness, patience, and love. That's the spirit in which we are called to communicate to people. 

"Even though we are gracious, kind, patient, friendly, and sensitive to people's dignity, we cannot remove altogether what the New Testament calls the offense of the gospel because the gospel does call people to repentance, and people are threatened by that.  But it is important that we not add unnecessarily to the offence that built into the message of sin and redemption. Sometimes people reject us and what we say because they're rejecting Christ - and we suffer unjustly. But many more times people get angry not because they're offended by Christ but they're offended by our insensitivity toward them as people."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"Aim at the glory of God in the person's salvation. Do it not to get a name or esteem to yourself, or to bring men to depend upon you, or to get yourself followers; but in obedience to Christ, in imitation of him, and tender love to men's souls."

"Lay aside excuses...and all lesser business, and, 'exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day, lest any be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.' (Hebrews 3:13) Let your exhortation be from compassion and love. To jeer and scoff, to rail and vilify, is not a likely way to reform men, or convert them to God. Go to poor sinners with tears in your eyes, that they may see you believe them to be [in a miserable state], and that you unfeignedly pity their case. Deal with them with earnest, humble entreaties. Let them perceive it is the desire of your heart to do them good; that you have no other end but their everlasting happiness; and that it is your sense of their danger, and your love for their souls, that forces you to speak; even because you, 'know the terrors of the Lord,' (2 Corinthians 5:11) and for the fear that you shall see them in eternal torments.

Say to them, 'Friend, you know I seek no advantage of my own; the method to please you and keep your friendship would be to [affirm] you in your [present circumstances] or to leave you alone; but love will not [allow] me to see you perish, and be silent. I seek nothing from [you] but that which is necessary to your own happiness. It is yourself that will have the gain and comfort if you come to Christ.'"

From The Saints' Everlasting Rest. Some words and phrases modernized. C.B.