Friends


Scripture teaches us to view the relationship between our present sufferings and our future glory as analogous to childbirth (e.g Rom.8:22-23). If an expectant mother thinks of nothing but the pending pains of labour, she will lose heart and be overtaken with dread and apprehension. But which expectant mother forgets the wonderful prospect of having a baby? To the contrary, she is filled with hope and expectancy! Which mother would say after the birth that the (transitory through real) pain of labour outweighs the (lasting and momentous) joy of now having a baby? Or, that she would now rather not have experienced the pain in order to have become a mother? Undoubtedly childbirth is full of pain; but in comparison to the joy of motherhood, it’s agony seems now to be of little consequence.

Our Lord endured the unspeakable agonies and shame of the cross by fixing His eyes on “the joy that was set before Him” (Heb:12 :2).
 

*We know that the natural trend of our feelings is to be grieved and saddened by any kind of temptation. Nor can any of us entirely escape the instinct to break down and cry, when trouble comes; but this does not prevent God’s children from rising above fleshly pains, under the guidance of the Spirit. By this means, they may continue to rejoice, even in the midst of sorrow.

* John Calvin, Clavin’s New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989 vol.3, p.262.)

Advertisements

I cannot share the details of the source of this quote, but what a wonderful description of God’s electing love for us.

The Lord knew you thoroughly when He first set His love upon you. Be sure to try to grasp hold of this! The Strength of Israel will never discover something ‘new’ about you which will then cause or incline Him to withdraw His lovingkindness and abandon you. How unlike the behaviour of men and women! Sometimes we learn a previously unknown detail about a friend which consequently diminished our estimation of them; our affection towards them is tarnished by the unearthing of this new fact; the bond of friendship is marred. However, the everlasting God already knew the worst about us before choosing to set His love upon us in eternity past. This is what A.W Pink wrote of this amazing truth: ‘The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet He fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him! The gospel of God comes to us in full view of ugliness of our sin. It was ‘while we were still sinners’ that Christ died for us.
Spend time rehearsing in your mind and heart the truth that God sees, with perfect clarity of sight and understanding, all that He is doing un this fallen and sin-ravaged world. He knows the end from the beginning. Every event in life is the unfolding of His grand scheme of redemption. Speaking of the difficulty which we have in understanding the tumultuous circumstances and events of our small lives, John Owen* perceptively observed: ‘We are like unskilful men, who going to the house of some curious artist, so long as he is about his work, despise it as confused; but when it is finished, admire it as excellent: – whilst the passages of providence are on us, all is confusion: but when he fabric is reared, glorious. And so, when the fabric is reared of the great tapestry-work which God is weaving and sowing in history – about which He knows fully, but most of which is at present hidden away from our dull eyes – how we shall rejoice and exult in our Lord! At that time, all will be made new which at present is crooked; all will be made clear which at present is obscured; and all which we trust now by faith we will see then by sight.

* The works of John Owen
(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1991), vol.8, p.18

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

Words: George Ma­the­son

We’d just like to say a very huge

 Congratulations! 

 

 

To J and M as they step out and tie the knot tomorrow in California! May the Lord bless you abundantly in this new era of your lives!

(Practically half of our congregation are in California at present!)

Our thoughts and prayers are with you both and with Mum and Dad, K and F!!

I know the last thing you’ll be doing is checking our blog, but just to wish you all the best!

Pastor P.W. – we will be anxiously waiting to see photos of this WHITE Jacket!

Naomi and Tim, with Bethan, Jacob, Cameron and baby Rhiannon xo.

Kim from Hiraeth, my Chicagoland friend has tagged me with the five things you want to do before you die…based on the movie ‘The Bucket list’ (I don’t know it either!)

So here goes…I would love to….

1. See my children converted and walking with the Lord.

2. See them all happily married to Godly husbands and wives. (To edit – if it is God’s will they are married… of course…)

3. (Copying Kim here – but it’s a must) Face my death having that ‘peace which passes all understanding.’

4. Become more like my Saviour each and every day….which includes becoming a more Godly wife and example to my children and others around me…

5.  Just a little hope….that one day I might visit USA to see family and friends and meet KIM! for one of those coffees you mentioned somewhere on your blog recently(!! :0), Canada, New Zealand, and ok, maybe go to Lake Garda with my family…

N

fruitsofthespirit.jpg

Check over to Home but not alone for yet another bloggy giveaway!

This time Mummymac is offering the chance to win ‘The fruits of the Spirit’ game from Mustard Seed Games which she has reviewed on her blog….so to be in with a chance leave a comment, and if you have a blog, do a similar post to this one for even more chances to win!

N

Kim over at Hiraeth is giving away one of her beautiful bookmarks to anyone with a blog who sends her the most referrals. (One can only try!)

I really hope she doesn’t mind me using one of her photo’s of her bookmarks, but my absolute favourite has to be this one, Bilbo’s Song from the much-loved fictional book, The Hobbit!

bilbo_s_song_wtrmk.jpg

Exquisitely done – don’t you agree?

To view all her other bookmarks, which include quotes by Dickens, verses from Scripture and poems by the likes of Tennyson check over here.

If you are a blog-owner, and you promote her bookmarks with a promotional post, she will add your name and will then count the referrals. See Kim’s Bookmark Promotion post for more details.

N