Glory for the Newborn Child of God

Source

Monday the 10th of December

in Meditations I

Psalm 63:11

    A beautiful truth that a born again child of God can and will sing is stated in these words (PRC Psalter):

    My Savior ‘neath Thy sheltering wings,
    My soul delights to dwell;
    Still closer to Thy side I press,
    For near Thee all is well.
    My soul shall conquer every foe,
    Upholden by Thy hand;
    Thy people shall rejoice in God,
    Thy saints in glory stand.

    This is the versification of Psalm 63:11. In this verse David wrote: But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

    We should note two elements here. The born again child of God will “rejoice in God” and “shall glory.” For the last step in the work of salvation for the child of God is that God glorifies him and gives him the heavenly joy of a covenant life of fellowship with God.

    Now glory is the radiation, the shining forth of virtue. That lies ahead for every child of God. Not only will he receive a glorified body, like that of Christ, wherein his new man in Christ shall have a life of bliss, but he will rejoice in fellowship with God.

    Glory makes us rejoice. The curse brings us tears and sorrow. That will all be behind us when we reach the glory promised us. Now already we have protection. As David wrote in verse 7: “Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” Satan and his servants cannot keep the reborn child of God from reaching that heavenly glory. And reaching that glory with both body and soul, he will have an endless life of heavenly bliss.

    Our new life wants that covenant fellowship with God. That is the blessedness that every reborn child of God hopes to obtain. That he will reach, and then he will rejoice in the Lord and shall have glory that never fades.

    What a work of salvation it is then that God wrought in Christ! What a great praise and thanksgiving we owe Him and will in that glory be able to bring to Him!

Read: Psalm 63
Psalter versification: #163:3

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter #21
Why not sing along??

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Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Amos 1 ; Amos 2 ; Amos 3:1-15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20 
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Quote for Reflection:

How sweet is it to godly minds to be assured, not only by word, but by sight, that they obtain so much favour with the Heavenly Father that their offspring are within His care?” ~ John Calvin

Prayer

A. W. Pink, “…what is now being taught on the subject of prayer, and the deplorable thing is that scarcely a voice is lifted in protest. To say that “human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man” is rank infidelity—that is the only proper term for it. Should any one challenge this classification, we would ask them whether they can find an infidel anywhere who would dissent from such a statement, and we are confident that such an one could not be found. To say that “God has ordained that human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man”, is absolutely untrue. “Human destiny” is settled not by “the will of man,” but by the will of God. That which determines human destiny is whether or not a man has been born again, for it is written, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. And as to whose will, whether God’s or man’s, is responsible for the new birth is settled, unequivocally, by John 1:13—”Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD”. To say that “human destiny” may be changed by the will of man, is to make the creature’s will supreme, and that is, virtually, to dethrone God. But what saith the Scriptures? Let the Book answer: “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” (1 Sam. 2:6-8). Link

John Gill provides a proper theological background to prayer, “…it should be said that God’s will is immutable, and cannot be altered by our crying. When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and importunate prayers of those who have the greatest interest in Him—”Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth” (Jer. 15:1). The prayers of Moses to enter the promised land is a parallel case.

Our views respecting prayer need to be revised and brought into harmony with the teaching of Scripture on the subject. The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No; prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. This makes my will subject to His, instead of, as in the former case, seeking to bring His will into subjection to mine. No prayer is pleasing to God unless the spirit actuating it is, “not my will, but thine be done”.

“When God bestows blessings on a praying people, it is not for the sake of their prayers, as if He was inclined and turned by them; but it is for His own sake, and of His own sovereign will and pleasure. Should it be said, to what purpose then is prayer? it is answered, This is the way and means God has appointed, for the communication of the blessing of His goodness to His people. For though He has purposed, provided, and promised them, yet He will be sought unto, to give them, and it is a duty and privilege to ask. When they are blessed with a spirit of prayer, it forebodes well, and looks as if God intended to bestow the good things asked, which should be asked always with submission to the will of God, saying, Not my will but Thine be done

Request for prayer

TBS posted the following prayer request October 19th. Please offer prayer for the Trinitarian Bible Society who remains a consistent witness to the word of God. For many of us Reformed folks who hold to the old Reformed confessions, the Protestant Bible, especially the Authorized Version holds a special place in our churches.

As the Westminster and Second London Baptist Confessions so clearly state,

“immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.” (article 1:8)

TBS

At the time of writing the Lord has not yet seen fit in His infinite wisdom to send a tenant for the Society’s investment property, John Wycliffe House, after nearly a year of advertising. This matter is becoming an increasing concern because the Society is around £210,000 per annum worse off without a tenant, meaning the Society’s General Fund budget will be significantly impacted in 2019.  We seek your prayers that a suitable tenant may be provided, but if it is not His will to do so that the General Committee and Senior Management would be given much wisdom to know what to do.

In addition, the Society in the UK is facing another significant financial challenge: whereas historically legacy income has averaged around £400,000 per annum, there has been an almost complete absence of legacy income in 2018. Normally this income would have been carried forward and used to support the 2019 budget. This, combined with the matter of John Wycliffe House, has left us with severe challenges in reaching a sustainable budget for 2019. We seek your urgent prayers that the Lord would appear for us financially once again, and also that He would grant much wisdom to the Society’s Trustees and Senior Management.

Wandering Thoughts

How the mind causes our thoughts to wander:mind

The arrogance of the mind alienates us from the life of God, and from communion with him. When a present and appropriate petition or instruction is conveyed through the ear into the understanding, it shamelessly plays therewith, and takes occasion to run out on some contiguous notion; and from that to another and at length rests and dwells on some strange and unusual point, till the gates of good Spirit, and the present matter has ended. And thus by a default in the understanding, we seek not God, Psalm 53.2[i], nor find him as we might; and that excellent faculty, which would penetrate into the divine mysteries, and should guide the will and heart unto God, by the deceptiveness of its unmortified vanity, mislead us from the chief good, and entangles us in distractions. We read of a “defilement of body and spirit,” 2 Corinthians 7.1[ii], whereof surely this is a part, and must be cleansed in them that will “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” – Rev. Richard Steele (I’ve updated the language. Any words in italics have been altered.)

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[i] “God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.”

[ii] “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. “

Who Are These Anglicans in TGC?

A quote from the article:cropped-crosses3.jpg

“Many have rediscovered the beauty of Anglican worship and been surprised by the strong Reformation doctrines that permeate the Book of Common Prayer and its Thirty-Nine Articles. The Anglican Reformers of the 16th century were closely linked with the continental Reformers, and Thomas Cranmer—martyr and author of the first Anglican prayer book—was not only greatly influenced by Calvin and Bucer, but also married the niece of Luther’s disciple Osiander.”

Read the rest here.

Spiritual Formation & Discipline

Some encouragement I found on a forum. tornbible

  • Prayer (Matthew 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; Acts 6:4)
  • Meditation (Philippians 4:8; Psalms 119:97; Psalms 1:2; Joshua 1:8)
  • Fasting (Matthew 6:16-18; Luke 5:35)
  • Study (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Scripture Memorization (Colossians 3:16; Psalms 119:11; Psalms 119:16)
  • Simplicity (1 Thessalonians 4:11; Philippians 4:11; Matthew 6:33)
  • Silence (Psalms 62:5; Psalms 46:10; James 1:19)
  • Solitude (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Mark 6:31; Luke 5:15)
  • Submission (Ephesians 5:21; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 22:42)
  • Service (Mark 10:45; John 13:12-17; 1 Peter 4:10)
  • Giving (Matthew 5:42; Matthew 6:19-21; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Deuteronomy 16:17)
  • Fellowship (Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:26)
  • Celebration (John 15:11; Philippians 4:4)
  • Worship (Matthew 4:10; John 4:23-24)

Union with God

red maple

“The soul cannot live unless it is ineffably and without confusion united to God, who is truly the life eternal (1 John 5:20). Before this union in knowledge, vision, and perception it is dead, even though it is endowed with intellect and is by nature immortal…” Symeon the New Theologian (949 – 1022)

Detachment, Reconstruction & Purity

mystic

When I preach, I usually speak of detachment and say that a man should be empty of self and all things; and secondly, that he should be reconstructed in the simple good that God is; and thirdly, that he should consider the great aristocracy which God has set up in the soul, such that by means of it man may wonderfully attain to God; and fourthly, of the purity of the divine nature. – Meister Eckhart

In Motion

My uniform is on.

Belt is tied.

The room is full of people busy performing different Karate kata, punching and kicking, kiai! Shouts fill the room.

I work through my kata once.

Twice.

Three times.

Over and over again.

With each repetition I pick up speed and use more power. I torque my hips and use my stances to create more and more power.

My body is full of adrenaline.

Each kiai comes from deep down inside and echos through my body and the room.

Sweat is dripping off my brow. My breathing heavy but steady. Again and again I repeat the same movements. The same kata.

The kiai comes again and again and I feel the power course through my body.

I stop to catch my breath.

I can’t stop for too long or the momentum will slowly fade – I start again.

The next repetition I’m going to focus on making each movement aiming at perfect technique.

The same kata, the same movements over and over again. I’ve been practicing this kata for over 20 years. The kata is not perfect and never will be but I continue to practice.

The next repetition of this kata I’m focusing on fluidity, I want to move like a drop of dew falling from a petal of a flower…and then it happens.

The world around me fades away.

I hear the noises of Karate around me but they seem distant…but not apart from me. Like I’m submerged into warm water.

Everything is muffled but connected.

My movements through the kata are strong and fluid.

I feel buzzy or high, but not ill or overheated, just that the repetitions of the kata are making me one.Hildegard_von_Bingen_Liber_Divinorum_Operum

One with everything.

One.

For a few brief moments I experience the essential oneness of life, a fullness without thought or division. I don’t know exactly how to describe the experience, kensho, an epiphany or henosis?

For a fleeting moment reality all becomes one. My breathing, body and movements all sync and I forget “self.” I’m not looking for this experience but it finds me and fills me.

What is Maundy Thursday?

maundy thursday

Source: https://www.epiphanysry.org/

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the three most important days in the life of the Church. In the days ahead we run the full gamut of emotions, from the intimacy and joy of a shared meal (Communion) to the loneliness of watching in the Garden of Gethsemane. We wait at the foot of the cross where Jesus our Savior dies, and experience the emptiness and loss of his precious life. And at the end of three days there is the light and joy and new life of Easter.

Holy Thursday; Maundy Thursday. Jesus gathered with his disciples and friends to share the Passover. It was an intimate group who had (we assume) met each Passover to share the meal that Jews had shared every year since the exodus from Egypt. They celebrated (and still do so today) God’s faithfulness and steadfastness in their lives … God’s promise to be with the people and care for them on their journey through life. Today we enter into the same relationship, trusting God to walk with us and be with us in life as it continues.

Footwashing: It was the custom for a servant to wash the feet of guests at a meal. Jesus turned that concept on its head, because as the host he became the servant to his beloved friends. On this night our clergy, too, wash and dry the feet of the congregation. It is a reminder that they are servants as well as leaders within this community; we do it because Jesus gave us that example and we do it to remind each other that in life, and especially in the life of the Church, we are all called to be servants to one another and at times to be served, too.

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Eucharist: As Jesus first shared bread and wine with his friends we will also share the bread and wine of Eucharist (which itself means “thanksgiving”) to demonstrate our love for Jesus Christ, to recognize and celebrate that through bread and wine that he is present and active in our lives. Tonight we especially recall and celebrate again the simple meal of bread and wine that joined the disciples and others to Jesus in love and service.

After Jesus gathered and shared bread and wine with his disciples and friends, their lives were changed. And so it is for us: each and every time we eat the bread of life and drink the cup of salvation our lives are changed as once again we share in the body of Christ.

Stripping of the Altar: At the end of the service this evening the Church is stripped down to its bare wood. Why do we do this?

The candles are extinguished and removed. Candles represent Christ’s light: “I am the light of the world”. In recognition of the darkness following the death of Jesus on the cross, the candles are removed from our presence.

The communion elements are removed. Jesus’ body and blood have been given to us, have been shed for us, and are given to us in the form of the bread and wine. Just as He was removed from us in the grave, so too the elements and the vessels of the Holy Eucharist are removed from our presence.

The altar itself is in the form of a table. This is the place where Christ serves us as both host and meal at his banquet feast. The altar is dressed in fine linens, coverings and paraments fitting and deserving of such a holy meal, and in the presence of the King of Kings. And just as Jesus’ body was stripped of its coverings, so we too, strip the coverings from this altar.

There is no benediction… there is no postlude, no closing hymn… because the service is not over.  It will continue on Good Friday, and on Easter morning we will celebrate again the Risen Lord.