Trying to see if feedly updates
Last week, I posted a quote from Bishop J.C. Ryle. I have now finished the chapter on the duties of parents. His eleventh “hint” speaks to the necessity of training our children “to a habit of always redeeming the time”. He says, “And man, weak, sinful man, must have something to do, or else his soul will soon get into an unhealthy state.”
Very well put, I say. Indeed, he follows this with examples, both Biblical and agrarian, that drive his point home even further. But his turn of phrase reminded me of one of my favorite hymns from the hymnal our church uses in our worship. It is, Through Every Age, Eternal God, with words by Isaac Watts and the tune, AMANDA, in long meter, composed by Justin Morgan.
( verse 3)
“But man, weak man, is born to die,/Made up of guilt and vanity:/
Thy dreadful sentence, LORD, was just–/
‘Return, ye sinners, to your dust’”.
The words are based upon Psalm 90, and are both instructive and haunting. The tune is as ethereal as an October wind, and both tune and text stay with me long after the last echo of the last dying pitch.
“See to it, too, if it can so be arranged, that your children go with you to church, and sit near you when they are there. To go to church is one thing, but to behave well at church is quite another. And believe me, there is no security for good behavior like that of having them under your own eye.”
“The minds of young people are easily drawn aside, and their attention lost, and every possible means should be used to counteract this. I do not like to see them coming to church by themselves, — they often get into bad company by the way, and so learn more evil on the Lord’s day than in all the rest of the week. Neither do I like to see what I call a ‘young people’s corner’ in a church. They often catch habits of inattention and irreverence there, which it takes years to unlearn, if ever they are unlearned at all. What I like to see is a whole family sitting together, old and young, side by side, — men, women, and children, serving God according to their households.
–Bishop J.C. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool (1880-1900), in The Upper Room, p.296-297, originally published in 1888 by Wm. Hunt and Co., and republished in 1970 by Banner of Truth Trust.
We have studied some statements by Shai Linne and boiled them down to four propositions.
1) Rap is a medium.
2) Media are morally neutral until informed by content.
3) Christ's act of redemption means that even media formerly used for evil can now be used for God's glory.
4) This is what Shai Linne is doing with rap.
We have considered the first two, and now we turn our attention to the last two.
This is only one thought among many concerning human affections, and it is a brief post because of my impending obligations of the day. I was just thinking, though, how once one has developed an affection, a true affection, and not merely a passing fancy, for an object, for an idea, for a kind of entertainment, for a particular food or drink, or for a person, or kind of person, how difficult it is to become disaffected with the object of our affection, no matter how bad for us (and in the case of people, how also bad for them) that affection is.
Today is a day of firsts. It is the first day of 2012. It is the first day of the week. This is my first blog post of the year. And there are other firsts. Some of them are known to me. Some of them are not.
For the year ahead, we all have gifts.Three gifts we all have been given. One is time. The second is money. The third gift is knowledge. The phrase, “to whom much is given, much is required”, comes to mind. It is good to remind ourselves, that all of us, under common grace, receive these gifts each year, and each day, in some measure. And there are other gifts that vary according to God’s design. Some have the gift of singleness. Some have the gift of marriage. Some have the gift of children. Then we all have a diversity of natural abilities and developed skills. We all are responsible to Almighty God for what we do with all of our gifts.
The first responsibility, perhaps, that we have toward God, in the use of our gifts, is thankfulness (Romans 1:21) for what, and Who (in the Person of Jesus Christ), He has given. May we begin with this responsibility.
The second responsibility we have, it seems, is faithfulness. “Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (First Corinthians 4:1) I think no further elaboration is needed.
Let this, then, be my prayer today. “O God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that I be thankful to thee, and faithful to thee, and to what thou hast give me to do and to use. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Righteous, and for thy glory, Amen.”
“What is needed is this: that we who would speak for Christ, should pray constantly that God will put and keep in our hearts a sense of His goodness and glory, and of the joy of fellowship with Him, and of the dreadfulness of spending time and eternity without him; and then that God will enable us to speak honestly, straightforwardly, and just as we feel about these matters. Then we shall be really natural in presenting the gospel– and really serious, too.”–J.I.Packer, Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God, (Inter-Varsity Press, Chicago, Illinois. 1961) p.90
I thank my pastor for the gift of this little book. It is very enjoyable, and helps the reader see the plain sense of two important thoughts that are only apparently in conflict. Those ideas are the command that we MUST share the gospel of Jesus Christ and the recognition that God is the one who saves; we are not.
Furthermore, Packer reminds the reader both what the gospel is not, and what it is. Often times, in our modern era, there is confusion about this, and people either take away essentials, or load on amenities. Either of these approaches creates “another gospel”.