Paul in the parallel passage in the fourth chapter of Galatians says: ‘God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts’ – the Spirit of His own Son. Do we realize that as Christians we have within us the self-same Holy Spirit that was in the Son of God when He was here on earth? The Father gives the Spirit and it is the same Spirit that was in the Son that is given to us. The Spirit that enabled Him will enable us.
– Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Spiritual Depression (Grand Rapids, Mi: Eerdmans), 171.
I must share with you some of the blessings God has given me this summer! He has been so kind to me…
- Time With My Nieces. This summer I was able to spend a huge amount of time with my two five month-old nieces. Which is cool because I probably won’t get to see them very frequently for a large amount of time.
- Time With My Sister and Brother (in-law). I spent much of the summer with my sister and brother (in-law) as well, this is also very cool because I generally don’t get to see them much either.
- Generous Employers. God blessed me with two generous employers, one of them providing me with food, shelter and a car; the other paying me at an incredibly high rate for jobs that deserved much lower pay.
- Financial Provision. From these two jobs God provided me with all of the finances I need to pay for my fall semester at Moody Bible Institute! God is good!
- Financial Provision in Spite of My Laziness. Furthermore, I didn’t do any planning entering into this summer – but God provided in spite of my lack of preparation!
- Andy Hunter – Christian DJ. I was officially introduced to Andy Hunter, the master of Christian dance/dj/electronic music.
- Grace Bible Presbyterian Church. I was able to attend a church whose vision of God is big.
- Multi-generational Prayer Meetings. At this church I was able to participate in prayer meetings which were attended by elderly people as well as younger kids – how cool is that!?
- Sunday School. The Sunday school was also excellent at GraceBPC. Being able to contemplate God with people who have a far greater ability to read and understand Scripture than I was such a joy.
- Hospitality Outside of Church. Eating lunch with two families from GBPC in the home of one of those families was awesome. Experiencing genuine Christian hospitality is truly a blessing.
- The One True God. Earlier this summer I was given multiple booklets along with The One True God (a workbook on the Doctrine of God); these have been wonderful to read and go through as they have given me a greater understanding of God.
And this merely scratches the surface of God’s inscrutable goodness! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever (Romans 11:36)!
If God saw it fitting that His own beloved Son, the One with whom He is well pleased (Matthew 3:17), be made perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10) then why would we who are being conformed to His Son’s image (Romans 8:29), expect to be made perfect through a different means?
Should we not also, like Jesus, expect to be made perfect through suffering?
photo by Resclassic2
A quick glance at the news will demonstrate that there is no shortage of people who are willing to do bad things.
For example, after watching only a few minutes of yesterday’s evening news I was confronted by multiple stories with headlines like: 2 [teen guys] Accused of Taking $7,000 in Cash at Gunpoint, Man Accused Of Luring Girl Into Home, Raping Her and Prosecutor: Pediatrician Took Photos of Players’ Crotches. It almost seems surprising that so many people would engage themselves in exploits of this sort. What is it that causes people, who are just like you and me, to do these atrocious deeds?
Is it their circumstances that cause them to commit these actions? Perhaps the guys in the first story needed money? Maybe there was some sort of demonic presence influencing the men in the other two stories to indulge in their respective sexual sins? It is reasonable to think that circumstances play a role in causing people to do evil things. But Jesus pinpoints the main cause of such sins – and it is not external.
In Matthew 15:19-20 Jesus says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.”
Why do people do bad things? People do bad things because people are bad. Every person has a corrupt heart, and corrupt hearts love to do bad things. The origin of the desire to do evil does not come from some external force (like one’s circumstances). The desire to do bad things – which leads to the consummation of an evil act – originates in the human heart (James 1:14-15).
Indeed, the God who sees all has said that every intention of the thoughts of the human heart are only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Would we not expect those whose hearts are bad to do bad things (Jeremiah 13:23).
photo by catikaoe
The cover story of this months Christianity Today was a good article by Mark Regnerus titled The Case for Early Marriage. As pointed out by Albert Mohler, in his article on marrying early, Regnerus’ main assertion is forceful and shocking, yet much needed in a society where a majority of men and women are marrying later and later. Regnerus says,
Evangelicals tend to marry slightly earlier than other Americans, but not by much. Many of them plan to marry in their mid-20s. Yet waiting for sex until then feels far too long to most of them. And I am suggesting that when people wait until their mid-to-late 20s to marry, it is unreasonable to expect them to refrain from sex. It’s battling our Creator’s reproductive designs.
You can read Dr. Regnerus’ article, Dr. Mohler’s article on the subject and listen to Dr. Mohler talk more about this issue in his recent radio program.