Thursday, May 29, 2014

John Piper on Good Eloquence

"God's design, both in the cross and in election is that 'no human being might boast in the presence of God' (I Corinthians 1:29). That is the first criterion of good eloquence: It does not come from pride or feed boasting. It does not come from an ego in search of exaltation through clever speech. ... So the second criterion of good eloquence is that it exalts Christ - especially the crucified Christ."
- John Piper, Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully, pages 25 and 26

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

God's Word is Precious

I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors. Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me. My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:121-124, ESV)

Christ is my Redeemer, my Surety. He has paid the price for all my sin; I stand in Him complete. As Boaz redeemed Ruth, so Christ has redeemed me. And as much as Boaz was a gentleman (and literally a gentle man), Christ is so much more so.

I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken. Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:125-128, ESV)

I am only God's servant. On my own, leaning on my own understanding, I cannot understand His word. I cannot understand truth, for His word testifies of truth. Because of my inadequacy, I must turn to Him and ask Him to give me His understanding, His sight, so that I might see truth. In contrast to the unrighteous, the child of God should love God's commandments more than gold. He should walk uprightly. He should walk according to all of God's precepts. He should hate each path of untruth.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

God's Word, My Hope

I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! (Psalm 119:113-116, ESV)

God's word - my hope, my hiding place, my shield. When the unrighteous are all around, God's word still holds. When they mock, God's word still holds. It is my source of life and hope, my source of comfort. Trust His word.

Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments. (Psalm 119:117-120, ESV)

God punishes the wicked as they err from His word. He also punishes His people who err from His word so that He may separate the dross from the pure metal. Hold to God's word, and you will be the pure metal that He desires.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Ghosts of Yesteryear

The Ghosts of Yesteryear

It is strange being here --
among the ghosts of yesteryear.
A place, a town I still know so well
and yet, there's been change -- what -- I cannot tell.
I think it must be I.

I glance around and it seems to me --
surely, it cannot be!
And yet, skipping along among the other ghosts,
I see the ghost of me.
I smile, a twing of sadness. No, more
melancholy -- I've changed, yes, I've changed.

For the better or for the worse?
The better, I think.

Home, but not home.
Familiar, yet foreign.
No, I no longer belong.
My ghost, yes, my ghost belongs.
But not I, among the ghosts of yesteryear.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cling to God's Word

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your rules. (Psalm 119:105-108, ESV)

God's word is a guide to my life. It is righteous. It is a quickening power, restoring those who are afflicted. God's word is that which I must learn.

I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end. (Psalm 119:109-112, ESV)

No matter how bleak your world, cling to God's word. It cannot fail, for it is the true word, inspired by the Everlasting One. It is an instrument panel manufactured by a perfect Manufacturer. Cling to God's word. Let it be the song of rejoicing in your heart and follow it always.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

God's Word, My Meditation

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. (Psalm 119:97-100, ESV)

Only in God's word is true wisdom found. Meditate on it all day long, and you will be wiser than your enemies, your teachers, and even wise people themselves. Saturate yourself with His word so that it dominates your thoughts, so that you may have the mind of Christ.

I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:101-104, ESV)

Don't even let yourself get into situations where you might be tempted to sin. Flee evil and live a life of integrity. Hold to God's word and you cannot go wrong. His word is the source of understanding.

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