Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spurgeon on Grace and Faith

I thought I would share with you some Spurgeon this morning. I've been reading his little book All of Grace which can be found at this infamous Spurgeon Archive. If you've never read Spurgeon before, you should. He was a Baptist minister in London at the Metropolitan Tabernacle during the middle of the 19th Century. Here are his thoughts on grace and faith:

Faith occupies the position of a channel or conduit pipe. Grace is the fountain and the stream; faith is the aqueduct along which the flood of mercy flows down to refresh the thirsty sons of men.

Still, I again remind you that faith is only the channel or aqueduct, and not the fountainhead, and we must not look so much to it as to exalt it above the divine source of all blessing which lies in the grace of God. Never make a Christ out of your faith, nor think of as if it were the independent source of your salvation. Our life is found in "looking unto Jesus," not in looking to our own faith. By faith all things become possible to us; yet the power is not in the faith, but in the God upon whom faith relies. Grace is the powerful engine, and faith is the chain by which the carriage of the soul is attached to the great motive power. The righteousness of faith is not the moral excellence of faith, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ which faith grasps and appropriates. The peace within the soul is not derived from the contemplation of our own faith; but it comes to us from Him who is our peace, the hem of whose garment faith touches, and virtue comes out of Him into the soul.

See then, dear friend, that the weakness of your faith will not destroy you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift. The Lord's salvation can come to us though we have only faith as a grain of mustard seed. The power lies in the grace of God, and not in our faith. Great messages can be sent along slender wires, and the peace-giving witness of the Holy Spirit can reach the heart by means of a thread-like faith which seems almost unable to sustain its own weight. Think more of Him to whom you look than of the look itself. You must look away even from your own looking, and see nothing but Jesus, and the grace of God revealed in Him.

Friday, July 25, 2008

God is utterly in control and it is good

This week I have been meditating on God's sovereignty over his creation and his goodness towards us. This morning I was thinking through the last part of Romans 8.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things."

The context for this passage is God's promise that he will "work all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose." It is truly astonishing to hear the bluntness of Paul in making this assertion: "What, you don't think God has your good in mind? He didn't even spare his own son for you. In fact, his son took your place!" It gives me joy to no end to know God's love for me in the gospel .

As Asaph says in Psalm 73:25,26, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2 Short-term teams in Kiev this week

This week SPRC(Solomensky Presbyterian Reformed Church) is hosting 2 short-term teams from the State's. One team is doing a family and relationship seminar and the other an English camp focusing on reaching out to new university students. If you could pray that both of these week-long events would build up the Church and that many would come. Below are some pictures from a previous English Camp, 2005 I think.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"It's Not Broke, So Fix It"

I read an article by Collin Hansen this morning about the Evangelical Free Church of America's new statement of faith. It's encouraging to see their desire to preserve orthodoxy and guide their Churches with a new statement of faith that exalts the great truths of God's wonderful grace!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Sovereign God

This morning I've been reading and studying on God's providence and sovereignty. Here is question 27 & 28 of the Heidelberg Catechism. It gives me such joy to know that I worship and serve the living God!

Question 27: What do you mean by the providence of God?

Answer: The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.

Question 28: What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things?

Answer: That we may be patient in adversity; thankful in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Everything is Illuminated

So Kristen and I watched a movie the other night called Everything is Illuminated. It takes place in Ukraine and is about an American who travels to Ukraine to learn about his family (from Ukrainian origin). What's so great about this movie is how they portray the cultural differences between Ukraine and America. Kristen and I laughed, alot!