Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Enchantment Dissolved - A Poem by John Newton

I recently ran across this poem by John Newton. It's well worth a careful reading.

"The Enchantment Dissolved"
Blinded in youth by Satan's arts,
The world to our unpractised hearts
A flattering prospect shows;
Our fancy forms a thousand schemes
Of gay delights, and golden dreams,
And undisturbed repose.

So in the desert's dreary waste,
By magic power produced in haste,
(As ancient fables say)
Castles, and groves, and music sweet,
The senses of the traveller meet,
And stop him in his way.

But while he listens with surprise,
The charm dissolves, the vision dies,
'Twas but enchanted ground:
Thus if the Lord our spirits touch,
The world, which promised us so much,
A wilderness is found.

At first we start, and feel distressed,
Convinced we never can have rest
In such a wretched place;
But he whose mercy breaks the charm,
Reveals his own almighty arm,
And bids us seek his face.

Then we begin to live indeed,
When from our sin and bondage freed
By this beloved Friend;
We follow him from day to day,
Assured of grace through all the way,
And glory at the end.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Quotes from this past Sunday

In case you want to ponder these a bit more:

The word “doubt” is an uncomfortable one in most Christian circles. It’s something that is frowned upon or even condemned in many church circles. But that doesn’t stop us from doubting; it just makes doubting shameful for many of us. We don’t know what to do with it, who to talk to about it, or how to talk about it. We just know that our questions feel like they are pulling us away from God.
But what if they aren’t? What if doubt isn’t inherently wrong? And what if doubt is something that doesn’t necessarily undermine our faith but can actually lead us deeper into faith? How we respond when we doubt determines whether it is “unbelieving doubt” (that which leads us away from faith) or “believing doubt” (that which leads us to deeper faith).
Here are four ways to distinguish unbelieving doubt from believing doubt.
  1. Unbelieving doubt asks questions in order to challenge. Believing doubt asks questions in order to learn.
  2. Unbelieving doubt takes questions to anyone but Jesus. Believing doubt takes questions directly to Jesus.
  3. Unbelieving doubt questions God’s character because He is beyond our understanding. Believing doubt trusts in God’s character because He is beyond our understanding.
  4. Unbelieving doubt says, “not Your will, but mine be done.” Believing doubt says, “not my will, but Yours be done.”
You can read how Barnabas unpacks each of these four points by reading the whole thing HERE.

    Ray Ortlund, “Never give up. Someone else needs you. They need your weakness, anguish, bewilderment. They need to see a buffeted Christian go to Christ and hang on for dear life and make it through. They need that from you today, and they will need the memory of it years from now. Hang on!”

    1)    I am a child of God.
    2)    God is my Father.
    3)    Heaven is my home.
    4)    Every day is one day nearer.
    5)    My Savior is my brother.
    6)    Every Christian is my brother too.
    “Say it over and over to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, as your wait for the bus, any time your mind is free, and ask that you may be enabled to live as one who knows it is all utterly and completely true.”

    And one last quote, from J.I. Packer, The Christian’s motto should not be ‘Let go and let God’ but ‘Trust God and get going.’

    He Will Hold Me Fast

    "He Will Hold Me Fast" has been something of a theme song for our "Perseverance of the Savior and His Saints" series.

    You can read a little of the story behind the song HERE and HERE.

    And here are a few great renditions: