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Monday, December 22, 2008

Only Jesus

My wife, Amy, has always had a time sitting still. Her active mind is always buzzing about something. Even in church she tends to need to occupy herself with something as she listens and participates with the congregation. This past Sunday night as we were all celebrating Christmas together, Amy was jotting down some of the thoughts that were pouring through her brain. She shared them with our congregation just before I got up to preach. I thought they are an excellent summation of why only Jesus is worthy of all praise!

Here is what she wrote:

Only Jesus

Only Jesus can be our Great High Priest

And our sacrifice

Only Jesus can be our judge

And our advocate

Only Jesus can be born

Of his own creation

Only Jesus can be humble enough

To be highly exalted

Only Jesus can be seated at the right hand of the Father

And be with us always

Only Jesus can be the hearer of all our cries

And cry out in intercession

Only Jesus can be the alpha

And the omega

Only Jesus can be the Lion

And the lamb

Only Jesus can say “It is Finished”

And “I am completing a good work in you”

Only Jesus can be feared

And calm our every fear

Only Jesus could have nothing in his appearance that we would desire him

And be the joy of man’s desire

Only Jesus can be despised and rejected

And draw all men unto himself

Only Jesus can exist before time

And appear when the time had fully come

Only Jesus could empty himself

And be the fullness of God in bodily form

Only Jesus

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love for Jesus

The following is from (Theodore Cuyler, "Wayside Springsfrom the Fountain of Life" 1883). I borrowed it from, a fine organization that is a treasure trove of great quotations, books and sermons from the rich heritage of our Christian past. I highly recommend it -- not just the website, but the passion producing power that flows down to us from faithful men and women in our past who faithfully served Christ. They have much to teach us.

"The love of Christ constrains us."
2 Corinthians 5:14

Love of Jesus is essential to Christianity.
No privations can starve it, and no burdens
can break it down. It is the core of all true
piety. It is the only cure of the reigning
worldliness and covetousness and fashion
, which have made such havoc in
too many churches.

There is only one way to be a steadfast
Christian--it is to get the heart so full of love
to Jesus--that the world, and the lusts of
the flesh, and the devil can get no foothold.

A true Christian life is the continual
consecration of our bodily powers, of our
energies, our affections, our resources,
and our influence--to Him who bought
us with His precious blood.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of
God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living
, holy and pleasing to God--this is
your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas, Depravity and Why We Need a Savior

"For from within, out of the heart of men,proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
Mark 7:21-23

“‘Tis the Season!” And in all honesty I must confess that I’m a sucker for this time of year. I love the sights and smells and traditions. I like to hear the carols and watch It’s a Wonderful Life and The Muppet’s Christmas Carol at least once during December. I can’t help myself. I really do just love it.

And yet, despite all the talk of “peace on earth and good will toward men, ” I am forced to admit that Christmas, like everything else, brings out the best and the worst in people. We are, after all, such depraved creatures, you and I (Rm 3:10f). When push comes to shove, we shove back and find a way to turn even the greatest of all God’s gifts into a reason to display the selfishness of man.

We, sadly, saw a terrible example of this last week when 34 year old Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death in a Long Island, New York Wal-mart as Black Friday shoppers pushed and shoved their way past his broken body in their rush to claim their Christmas deals. And so the birth of the One given as the result of the greatest of all loves, became an excuse to kill a man in the selfish desire of a crowd to satisfy it’s lust for things.

Certainly I know this is an extreme case, but doesn’t it reveal something about the true nature of the human heart. Jesus said that it is from within, out of the heart that such evil flows (see Mark 7:21-23 above). That is the true condition of every man and woman apart from the grace of God. That is the root of our problem. Not what other people do, but what I myself am capable of doing and will do in my selfish rush to satisfy me! That, my friends, is why we need a Savior, and why I celebrate God’s gracious gift of Christ for a sinner like me!

To Him Be the Glory Forever!