Friday, March 30, 2012

Re-post: A personal favorite from 2 years ago

"I Never Knew Jesus Was So Wonderful"

As a student pastor, Dr. McGee's first church was located on a red clay hill in Midway Georgia. It was there that he received his greatest compliment: "It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted out, 'I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!' He started to say more but choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the field, I prayed, 'Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said, I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.'"

From Dr. J. Vernon McGee's bio at Thru the Bible's web site.

The Believer's Union With Christ

As this is Friday, the eve of the weekend that begins Holy Week, I thought it appropriate to post C.H. Spurgeon's morning devotional for today, the 30th of March, from the devotional, "Morning and Evening."


"He was numbered with the transgressors."-Isaiah 53:12
    Why did Jesus suffer Himself to be enrolled amongst sinners? This wonderful condescension was justified by many powerful reasons. In such a character He could the better become their advocate. In some trials there is an identification of the counsellor with the client, nor can they be looked upon in the eye of the law as apart from one another. Now, when the sinner is brought to the bar, Jesus appears there Himself. He stands to answer the accusation. He points to His side, His hands, His feet, and challenges Justice to bring anything against the sinners whom He represents; He pleads His blood, and pleads so triumphantly, being numbered with them and having a part with them, that the Judge proclaims, "Let them go their way; deliver them from going down into the pit, for He hath found a ransom."

Our Lord Jesus was numbered with the transgressors in order that they might feel their hearts drawn towards Him. Who can be afraid of one who is written in the same list with us? Surely we may come boldly to Him, and confess our guilt. He who is numbered with us cannot condemn us. Was He not put down in the transgressor's list that we might be written in the red roll of the saints? He was holy, and written among the holy; we were guilty, and numbered among the guilty; He transfers His name from yonder list to this black indictment, and our names are taken from the indictment and written in the roll of acceptance, for there is a complete transfer made between Jesus and His people. All our estate of misery and sin Jesus has taken; and all that Jesus has comes to us. His righteousness, His blood, and everything that He hath He gives us as our dowry.

Rejoice, believer, in your union to Him who was numbered among the transgressors; and prove that you are truly saved by being manifestly numbered with those who are new creatures in Him.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

San Diego's Floral Beauty

This is one of three new photographs on Joseph Boyd's blog, Photography by Joseph. Please click the link to see more; and don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


The Collect

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought into the glory of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

For The Epistle

Isa 7:10-15
Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.12But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
13And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

The Gospel

Luke 1:26-38
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.


The Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary
Pen and Ink

"The story of Jesus of Nazareth is one that has been told and retold from generation to subsequent generation. So often has it been recounted, that for many its meaning has been obscured. And yet, the story of Jesus is one endued with an undying power to transform; able to soften the most cynical heart, and rekindle the forgotten flame of the spirit.
To those who hear it for the first time, it is like a sudden spring of cool water springing up in a barren desert. It all begins with an angel's message to a young Jewish girl in the city of Nazareth.

To Mary first, came the good news."

Saturday, March 17, 2012


.                                                                                                       .
"Sure, Charlie Brown. I can tell you what St. Patrick's Day is all about. _ Lights please."

"Before his passion, Jesus prayed to his Father concerning his disciples, "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." And, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.'

"To his disciples Jesus showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, ...and said that they shall witnesses unto him ... unto the uttermost part of the earth."

"Now, about four centuries later, in Britain, a young man, by the name of Patrick, was kidnapped, and sold into slavery in northern Ireland. Patrick later wrote of his conversion as taking place during this time. 'The Lord opened to me the sense of my unbelief that I might remember my sins and that I might return with my whole heart to the Lord my God'  _ In six years time, he escaped his captivity, and returned home.

"Some time later, a night vision called Patrick back to Ireland, where he traveled, and preached the gospel of Christ for the next thirty years. This is how God, through Saint Patrick, established His church in this uttermost part of the world."

"That's what Saint Patrick's Day is all about, Charlie Brown."

Friday, March 9, 2012


From a sermon by J.C. Ryle

"These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them. They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more; neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Revelation 7:14-17

...Around that throne you would find many who used to be the vilest of the vile.  Go up, and ask them, everyone, "How did you come here?  Where did you get that white robe?"  They will answer you, "We were once without God in the world—without light and without hope.  We cared for nothing but fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, we were known as drunkards and revelers and fornicators.  Many a time we hardened our hearts against advice.  Many a careless neighbor did we follow to the grave, and tempted God to cut us off by continued impenitence!  But at last our conscience spoke so loudly that we dared no longer delay.  We tried to keep God's law—but we could not answer it one in a thousand, it brought us to flat despair.  We made a great profession, and men said we were converted—but it would not do—sin lay upon us like a mountain, all unatoned for, and we were miserable.  But we heard a voice, saying, 'If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink!'  'He who believes on Me, though he were dead yet shall he live!'  'Come unto Me and I will give you rest!'  And when we heard it, we went at once to the Lord Jesus Christ, we waited for nothing, we laid all our sorrows and all our wickedness before Him, and, behold, that very day we were healed and made whole, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing!"  Such is the answer you would get from many in that company which the apostle saw.

This is the way you must walk in, if you would ever stand with them in glory.  You must lay aside all pride and self-dependence, you must use the tax collector's prayer, you must believe yourself a miserable undeserving sinner, you must lay hold on the cross of Christ with a simple childlike faith, and pray that you may be washed in His blood and pardoned for His name's sake.  Show me another way of salvation which will bring you peace at the last; I cannot find one in the Bible.  I hear of men who live on many a long year without a thought about this precious washing in Christ's blood, this precious garment of Christ's righteousness, and yet can tell us they trust it will be all right with them at last.  But if the Bible is true—this is impossible.  I see many who profess a belief in their need of this fountain for sin and uncleanness—but I fear they do no more than talk about it, they do not count all things loss until they are forgiven.  But whether men will receive the doctrine or not, the foundation of God stands sure, and though the saints of God form a multitude which none can number—I cannot read of one who had not washed his robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

See here for the entire sermon.