Friday, 26 June 2009

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: #26

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

If you think about it, why would you do anything to make yourself feel miserable by shaking your assurance?
Be careful here though, that I do not think Edwards is talking about your feeling of assurance only, as if he would avoid thinking about whether he was saved or not in case he would feel nervous about his salvation. That is not what Edwards would say or do. If in doubt, read the Religious Affections. He would think hard about whether he was saved or not quite a lot even knowing that he might feel nervous about his salvation and abate his assurance. But that's the point. He will figure out what is making him feel nervous about his salvation, usually some kind of repeating sins I bet, and he will do his utmost to get rid of those sins. See, it's about feelings, but not just feelings, it's a logical self assessment that he is trying to do, so that he can be more assured of God's salvation, not only in his feelings, but more importantly to be sure of with his mind, that he is standing on the solid Rock, whether he feels it or not right at that moment.

(Source: A Puritan's Mind)

[Note: blogspot's scheduled posting doesn't seem to be working properly. I planned to post this up last week, but didn't get posted automatically, so I'm doing it now.]

[Edit: added the source.]

Friday, 19 June 2009

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: #24, #25

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

It would be profitable for us to fight our sins. But fighting them at a wrong level will get us nowhere. Worse still, it can even deceive us to build up our pride while outwardly actions can be morally acceptable in everyone's view.

(Source: A Puritan's Mind)

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: #23

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God's glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

I'm feeling light-hearted today, and so, this resolution seems a bit too fierce for me. But then, maybe there's something I need to learn from it precisely because it's so fierce. Why would I not give my whole even when I feel less inclined to, if my Lord is indeed worthy of my all, everything?

For resolution #4, see it here.

(Source: A Puritan's Mind)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Book Review: Unpacking Forgiveness

Finished reading "Unpacking Forgiveness" by Chris Brauns. I'm not going to write a book review on this even though my title says Book Review. I cannot simply "review" this book for I am too deeply affected by it. As I read through the book, there were moments where my heart cried out to God for justice. No, more like vengeance. I argued with Him that it was too much not to seek revenge on at least some of the offences committed in this world. I argued that the only thing evil needs to thrive is the idleness and silence of the good. But deep down, I had to agree with what the author was saying, for he was merely reflecting what God had said in His word. (And by the way, the author was not saying that we should let the evil have its way, nor does the bible says so. But that's another blog post for another time.)

Eventually I realised how unforgiving I was, how much I was brooding inside with vengeance, and I still am. So I realised how much more I needed God's forgiveness and reforming of my mind and heart. And as I lift my eyes off my sinful self to the holy and righteous God, I am comforted and strengthened. I can hope in God whose words are sure and whose works are perfect. My cry for justice is silenced by the hope I have in God's vengeance. My petition for mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation is overwhelmed by the hope I have in God's sovereign grace. God is sufficient.

I am searching for a better phrase, but I can't, so I'm just going to use the cliché. This book is a must read.

You can get this book from Amazon, or Koorong.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Whatever God laid out for our lives

"Whatever God laid out for our lives, we were taking it," she told the Sunday Express newspaper.
- "Sextuplets 'are a gift from God'" from BBC news

I don't know if she's a Christian, but I sure do want that line to be my confession too.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: #22

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

Comment #1: Okay, I'm returning to reading through the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards.

Comment #2: I want to be like Edwards. Giving everything, fighting violently and fiercely, because of the eternity in view.

(Source: A Puritan's Mind)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

God, my exceeding joy.

Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!

The I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Psalm 43:3-5

God doesn't just give me joy, He IS my joy, my exceeding joy.

God is not just the saviour who saves me, but He IS the salvation.

Being saved does not just mean that you are forgiven of hating and ignoring God, but it also means that you are now given a new heart that loves and honours God.