All affliction is “to their profit and advantage”

“All the afflictions that attend the people of God turn out to their profit and advantage. They are God’s furnace to cleanse and preserve his people. Saints thrive most internally when they are most afflicted. Afflictions lift up the soul to a fuller enjoyment of God… they keep the heart humble and tender… The more saints are beaten with the hammer of affliction, the more they trumpet God’s praises.”

– Thomas Brooks, Works of Thomas Brooks (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001), Volume 1: 47-54; as quoted by David P. Herding in Counseling the Depressed Person: The Puritan Alternative to Secular Psychology, 64-65.

photo: Lunchbox Photography

Unsystematic Theology

“The only alternative [to systematic theology]…  is to form our opinions haphazardly from a general impression of what we feel to be a ‘biblical’ position on each subject, or perhaps to buttress our positions with careful analysis of one or two relevant texts, yet with no guarantee that those texts present a balanced view of ‘the whole counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27) on the subject being considered. In fact this approach – one all to common in evangelical circles today – could, I suppose, be called ‘unsystematic theology’ or even ‘disorderly and random theology’!”

– Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 32.

photo: EvelynGiggles

Current Studies = Future Character

“Remember you are now forming the character of your future ministry in great measure, if God spare you. If you acquire slovenly or sleepy habits of study now, you will never get the better of it. Do everything in its own time. Do everything in earnest; if it is worth doing, then do it with all your might. Above all, keep much in the presence of God. Never see the face of man till you have seen his face who is our life, our all. Pray for others; pray for your teachers, fellow-students,”

– Robert Murray M’Cheyne, The Biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Kindle edition, locations 436-50.

photo: alamosbasement

Gospel Encouragement for Saturday Afternoon

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

– Ephesians 2:1-7

Grace

“But grace is wild. Grace unsettles everything. Grace overflows the banks. Grace messes up your hair. Grace is not tame. Grace makes the pious begin to fear the evils of antinomianism. And this is an ungrounded fear, but unless we are making the devout nervous, we are not preaching grace as we ought… If we fear the Lord, we will listen to His Word. And when we listen, we hear words of grace.”

– Doug Wilson in Bones and Silicon (it’s worth reading the whole thing)

Grace Agenda Conference Trailer from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

Gospel Encouragement for Friday Night

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

– Titus 2:11-14

“We cannot say that the gospel is the power of God and have very little fruitfulness!”

“We cannot say that the gospel is the power of God and have very little fruitfulness! We cannot say that the tomb is empty and we don’t expect anything to happen! We cannot say the Holy Spirit is the power of God to appoint and anoint the church for the work of Jesus and just sit in our study and read the footnotes and be glad with fruitlessness! We can’t!”

– Mark Driscoll in The Spirit-Filled Missional Ministry of Jesus