Saturday, January 16, 2016

God vs Self

What, exactly, is your foundation?
The saint's affections begin with God; and self-love has a hand in these affections consequentially, and secondarily only. On the contrary, those false affections begin with self, and an acknowledgment of an excellency in God, and an affectedness with it, is only consequential and dependent. In the love of the true saint God is the lowest foundation; the love of the excellency of his nature is the foundation of all the affections which come afterwards wherein self-love is concerned as a handmaid: on the contrary, the hypocrite lays himself at the bottom of all, as the first foundation, and lays on God as the superstructure; and even his acknowledgment of God's glory itself depends on his regard to his private interest.
Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Comparison

Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.

Proverbs 14:9 ESV


For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 

1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Self-Sufficient Glory of God

Jonathan Edwards, from A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections:
The first objective ground of gracious affections, is the transcendently excellent and amiable nature of divine things as they are themselves; and not any conceived relation they bear to self, or self-interest.
There is a huge difference between being able to say "God is excellent" and "God is excellent to me." Edwards refers to the God-given revelation that God is and would continue to be excellent even if I did not exist, or the creation itself did not exist. God's glory, beauty, holiness, and joy are not contingent upon anything He has created.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ruth and Orpah

A beautiful devotion from the pen of Charles Spurgeon (emphasis added by me):

Morning, Dec 15 

Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. — Ruth 1:14

Both of them had an affection for Naomi, and therefore set out with her upon her return to the land of Judah. But the hour of test came; Naomi most unselfishly set before each of them the trials which awaited them, and bade them if they cared for ease and comfort to return to their Moabitish friends. At first both of them declared that they would cast in their lot with the Lord’s people; but upon still further consideration Orpah with much grief and a respectful kiss left her mother in law, and her people, and her God, and went back to her idolatrous friends, while Ruth with all her heart gave herself up to the God of her mother in law. It is one thing to love the ways of the Lord when all is fair, and quite another to cleave to them under all discouragements and difficulties. The kiss of outward profession is very cheap and easy, but the practical cleaving to the Lord, which must show itself in holy decision for truth and holiness, is not so small a matter. How stands the case with us, is our heart fixed upon Jesus, is the sacrifice bound with cords to the horns of the altar? Have we counted the cost, and are we solemnly ready to suffer all worldly loss for the Master’s sake? The after gain will be an abundant recompense, for Egypt’s treasures are not to be compared with the glory to be revealed. Orpah is heard of no more; in glorious ease and idolatrous pleasure her life melts into the gloom of death; but Ruth lives in history and in heaven, for grace has placed her in the noble line whence sprung the King of kings. Blessed among women shall those be who for Christ’s sake can renounce all; but forgotten and worse than forgotten shall those be who in the hour of temptation do violence to conscience and turn back unto the world. O that this morning we may not be content with the form of devotion, which may be no better than Orpah’s kiss, but may the Holy Spirit work in us a cleaving of our whole heart to our Lord Jesus.

Monday, December 14, 2015

"For" vs "To"

Sinclair Ferguson on an incredibly important distinction:
There is a difference between going to a service 'for the worship' and going to a service 'to worship the Lord.' The distinction appears to be a minor one, but it may imply the difference between the worship of God and the worship of music!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Drawn Together

Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, from an article written after the formation of what was then called the National Presbyterian Church, soon renamed the Presbyterian Church in America.
If Christ does not come back within the next few years, I could visualize the possibility of a new alignment. Those standing for the total authority of all Scripture and for the principle of the practice of the purity of the visible Church would draw together and away from relativism, which surrounds us in the total culture and which has infiltrated the Church.
And this continues apace.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

True vs Counterfeit Love

From A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards:
As from true divine love flow all Christian affections, so from a counterfeit love in like manner naturally flow other false affections. In both cases, love is the fountain, and the other affections are the streams.