Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Atheists, Africa and Almighty God (Don't go, Jonathan!)

Jonathan Hunt tells us that he's losing interest in blogging. One thing he's been good at, though, is pointing us to some interesting stories. Here's the latest - homosexual and atheistic Times sketchwriter Matthew Parris reluctantly admitting that the Christian gospel really does change hearts, and even that 'rebirth is real'. Congratulations to Parris once more on his clear sight. Don't go, Jonathan - where will I get the stories from?

Happy New Year to all my readers - seven so far...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Of whom the world is not worthy - a story of forgiveness in prospect

This morning I held my granddaughter in my arms again; she truly is beautiful. I'm awestruck every time I see her by the power of God.

Then, I read this story about forgiveness and I'm awestruck by the power of grace.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The mystery of preaching

[Thomas] Cook was an itinerant Methodist preacher who was much used of God in Britain and overseas. On one occasion he was to make a week-end visit to a church, and the Christian home where he was to be given hospitality was full of expectation. There was a maid servant in that house, however, who was not a Christian. She could not understand the fuss in preparation for the preacher, and on going to the butcher’s shop to collect the meat on the Saturday morning before his arrival, she declared to the butcher, ‘You would think that Jesus Christ was coming.’ That Sunday something happened to her under the preaching of this man. When she was in the shop again the next Tuesday, the butcher remembered her irreverence and asked light-heartedly if Jesus Christ had come. With great earnestness the girl replied, ‘Yes. He came.’

(Iain Murray, Lloyd-Jones Messenger of Grace, page 54)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Power of Preaching

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!" (1 Corinthians 14:24,25)

‘The most wonderful things that are now done on earth are wrought in the public ordinances. Here the dead hear the voice of the Son of God, and those that hear do live… Here he cures diseased souls with a word… Here he dispossesses Satan… Wonders these are, and would be so accounted, were they not the common work of the public ministry. It is true indeed, the Lord has not confined himself to work these wonderful things only in public; yet the public ministry is the only ordinary means whereby he works them.’ (David Clarkson, ‘Public Worship to be Preferred before Private.’)

This sermon of the Puritan David Clarkson is quoted by Jim Packer in the book ‘Preaching’ edited by Samuel T Logan. Packer continues ‘What Paul describes is rare in our time, no doubt…’