Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

The Decalogue. The Ten Commandments to most of us, should scream out "INABILITY" to all who take the time to read and consider them. Most end up looking at them and saying something to the effect of "at least I haven't done the worst of them." What is the purpose of the law, though? Is it to measure ourselves against other mortals, using it as the mediator between ourselves and them? "Although I've lied, I have not murdered, and so and so has killed someone; therefore all is well with me." Is it to actually help us live moral lives? After all, there are those who would say that because they try to live out the 10 commandments that they are "good people." Well, none of the above is correct. The first is not correct because the commandments put on display GOD's standard of perfection as it relates to ME. Yeah, the bad news is God doesn't look at my having kept more of the commandments than my neighbor as having any merit at all (Romans 14:12). In fact, my thinking in that direction is an affront to God. Everyone finds themselves in the middle when comparing self to others. Who doesn't know someone "worse" or "better?" The second is not correct because God's Word says that if you're guilty of breaking one aspect of the law, you're guilty of it all (James 2:10). So one lie constitutes my guilt as a law breaker. Wow, you mean then, God's law (as expressed in the Decalogue) doesn't help me at all? No, it doesn't. It does, however, show you you're helpless and leads you rightly to the only help available. That is, Christ Jesus. It is in this way that the law is a schoolmaster, to lead to Christ (Galatians 3:24). God's standard is perfection. We all fall short, so we are all guilty. What can we do about this guilt? Trust the only one who fulfilled this standard perfectly, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Spurgeon says this:

The Purpose of the Law
The business of the Law is first to teach us our obligations to God. Let us ask ourselves if we have ever heard the Law teaching us in that way. Brethren, read the Law of Ten Commandments, and study each separate precept, and you will find that in those ten short precepts you have all the moral virtues, the full compass of your accountability to God, and of your relationship to your fellowmen. It is a wonderful condensation of morals. The essence of all just decrees and statutes lies there. Perfection is there photographed, and holiness mapped out. No one has ever been able to add to it without creating an excrescence, not a word could be taken from it without causing a serious omission. It is the perfect Law of God, and tells us exactly what we ought to be; if we are in any degree deficient, we are to that extent guilty before God. Now, when the Law comes to a man's conscience, it reveals to him the divine standard of right -holds it up before him - makes him look at it - and apprises him that the Commandments do not merely refer to acts and deeds, but with equal force to the words and thoughts from whence they proceed.-Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from "Spurgeon Gold"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

Today, I'm gonna do something a little bit different.  Happy Friday, by the way!  Well, each Friday obviously, we've been visiting a writing of Charles Spurgeon from "Spurgeon Gold."  Once we even got a treat from his "Morning by Morning" devotion book.  Now I like treats and surprises, so today I have one for you.  Lampmode Recording artist shai linne (he prefers his name in all lowercase letters) has an album out now called Storiez, and it is one of the most phenomenal pieces of Christ-centered art I've heard. On this album, shai does a magnificent job with a song called "Spurgeon." What I want to do is allow you a listen, as well as print the lyrics here for your Friday morning pleasure.  Enjoy, and let's praise God for not only Spurgeon, but all those He has graciously given us as examples in various areas of Christian living.  Let's Grow!!! Grace and Peace.

Spurgeon I'm not sure if you need to sign up for Imeem for this to play, but click for the song.
Here are the lyrics:
written by s. linne
Verse 1

Let me make this plain kids- God is the greatest

He never changes- His ways are blameless

For His own glory and at different stages

He raises up servants to make His name famous

I’ll highlight one particular servant for

The purpose of encouraging your worship to the Lord

Furthermore, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born

On the outskirts of London- 1834

His dad and his grandpa were both in the ministry

His mother was praying for his soul since his infancy

Naturally intelligent, rapidly developing

But lacking Jesus’ fellowship, that would be irrelevant

The God of his mother unknown

Though Christ was up in his home, the faith just wasn’t his own

The Lord answered prayer when at the age of 10

Young Charles became convinced of the wages of sin

For the next five years, the Spirit brought conviction

Terrors and affliction, aware of his condition

One Sunday morning though- the stormiest snow

Kept Charles from going in the church he’d normally go

Randomly stepped into a church

Heard the words “Look to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth”

And though only heaven knows the name of the preacher

That’s the day that Spurgeon became a believer

Verse 2

The Lord is so merciful, always so purposeful

Those whom He draws find His call irreversible

Immediately after Spurgeon’s conversion

Obediently, he was earnest to serve Him

The Lord poured His Spirit on Spurgeon abundantly

Anyone could see that he spoke with profundity

Extraordinary giftedness seen

Proclaiming God’s mysteries at the age of fifteen

In a place called Waterbeach graced with the sort of speech

That even made the old folks say, “This boy can preach!”

In fact he was so crafted after the Master

A Baptist church snatched him and asked him to pastor

At the time, He was seventeen years old

On fire for the King who redeemed his soul

People flocked from everywhere- it was quite a scene

Called to a church in London at the age of nineteen

He was more than ready- to his Lord he was dedicated

Even though he was never formally educated

If you would have scratched him, he would bleed Bible

A rich prayer life was his means of survival

Amount that he read was truly mind-blowing

Steeped in the writings of dudes like John Owen

And by God’s grace He fed the sheep new manna

In London met his wife, her name was Susannah
Verse 3

Behold the grace of God- stand to the side

The Spirit exalting the Lamb who has died

It can’t be denied- this man we describe

Was simply a tool in the hand of his God

To observe this servant’s extremely instructive

One word about Spurgeon is he was productive

Preached Jesus- no speakers- loudly he’d shout it

Each week packed houses of crowds in the thousands

His sermons were published- sixty-two volumes

He worked almost like he just knew he would die soon

Made mad disciples, passed on his knowledge

Established a school to train pastors in college

Sold out to the Lord Jehovah, his portion

Also he built two homes for the orphans

A monthly magazine, plus he wasn’t too busy

to write books- about a hundred and fifty

God’s grace in Spurgeon was manifest

But remember, the best man is a man at best

Yes, he struggled with depression- consistently sick, kid

Both he and Susannah physically afflicted

He experienced as a servant of Jesus

The power of God made perfect in weakness

Later on comes complications

His stands for orthodoxy got him shunned by his denomination

But through all the hardship and all the controversy

He never stopped relying on the sovereign God of mercy

And when he had finished pressing towards the goal

He entered into heaven at the age of fifty-seven

His life is a case of God’s grace effectively

At work in sinners to leave a great legacy

The proof is many years later in your speakers

We’re praising Jesus for raising up the "prince of preachers"




Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Hard Not To, Ain't It?

Philippians 2:14,15

 14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  [emphasis mine]

Yes, I'm talking about grumbling, murmuring and complaining.  In the world, we expect to hear unbelievers complain like it's nobody's business.  They don't depend on the Lord and His goodness, nor trust in His Sovereignty to cause all things to work together for good.  It's tough to be content under those circumstances I'd imagine. They don't have the benefit of being taught from the Bible of the sufferings of the Saints before us; they don't have the benefit of seeing the suffering of Christ in relation to their own "suffering."  Unbelievers compare their suffering, for the most part, to what they feel they deserve.  Yet, they're unaware that we all deserve Hell.  Believers should not be so unaware.  Paul tells us in Philippians that he learned contentment, and that contentment he learned was solid in WHATEVER state he found himself.
Saying that just gave me two points that should really cause believers to at least hesitate before freely offering up joy-killing complaints:
1. God is good and can be depended on-Complaining undermines faith and thanksgiving.  Can one complain and be thankful at the same time?  Yeah, if that one has a forked tongue and a double mind.  It sounds like this, "I'm thankful that God gave me this job, BUT.........." Uh Oh, dear believer.  You should probably really think twice about continuing that statement.  True thankfulness doesn't have a but.  
2.God is Sovereign-Romans 8:28 says that if you belong to the Lord, He is working everything out to your good and for His glory.  Where can we find space to complain in light of that? Is there ANY circumstance that is not under the authority of the Creator of the World?  Is your situation outside the scope of God's Sovereignty?  All things work together for the good of the believer because God orchestrates these situations for the sanctification of His children.  That is, the aim is Christlikeness-Trust the Lord that He's accomplishing that in you through this light affliction.  
Listen, I'm talking to myself just as much as anyone here.  I find myself at times complaining about the most trivial things.  Once I stop and listen to myself, I realize I'm being a kill joy to whoever's lucky enough to have to listen to my murmuring.  Complaining is a sin, plain and simple.  If I continue to let this little fox get into the garden of my Christian growth, it will spoil the vine of evangelism, peace (external), and joy in my life.  All because I think more highly than myself and my trials then I ought.  Sad shame that would be.  
I know this is Drops of Thought, and I'm supposed to be brief, so I'll just leave you with some wisdom from the Word of God:
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Rejoice in the Lord always. Phil. 4:4; Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2  (Joy in trial, not complaint)
Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Lamentations 3:39 Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3 (We all deserve Hell, so anything short of that should cause us to rejoice not complain)
The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:19 (Basically, in light of eternity and God's sanctification of His own, all affliction should be endured without complaint)
Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Genesis 18:25 (Sometimes we believe that something is not right with our situation.  Like, "how could I be going through this," as if God does anything other than that which is right. Even the smallest complaint (I don't like this food) wreaks of ungratefulness and a sense of entitlement that runs counter the tenor of the Whole Bible.)
My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (I think that says enough) Look at the context in which the Lord says this to Paul........
Finally, who of us has gone through that which our Savior has?  Have I been beaten beyond recognition, spit upon, pierced with a spear, hated, ridiculed, mocked, and murdered? No, but I'm upset because things aren't going my way and I have to do something I don't want to. I hereby resolve to put away all complaining in my life by God's grace. I repent of the ease with which I complained up till now too.  If I have brought you down, or provoked complaint in you by my complaints, I apologize.  If you are an unbeliever that I have shared the Gospel with, and I tainted my testimony through complaint, I apologize; and although that won't amount to a good excuse for you on judgement day, I promise I realize the hindrance that could've been.  Please forgive me and obey the Gospel.  If you are a friend of mine who I've told to trust God during one of your afflictions and you've heard me complain as if I don't heed my own advice, I apologize and ask your forgiveness.  
Lastly I'd like to say Praise God for the mirror of His word, His grace to show us us, and the enablement and motivation He gives to turn from sin and to Him. 
Grace and Peace.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

ESV Study Bible Giveaway Winner

Here at Streams of Thought, we had our first giveaway drawing (of many to come) yesterday.  The drawing was conducted as my daughter (2 year-old Amaya) was headed out the door with my wife and other kids on a trip.  I interrupted her doing her version of the "perfect pushup" to ask her to complete the task of picking Daddy's winner.  At first, she had no idea what I wanted her to actually do.  She'd never been honored to pick a name from among 14 post-it notes folded in a skull cap.  Finally, sucess and Ttate came out the winner~  Congratulations!!  We pray the new Bible is a blessing to you.  
Coming up in March is going to be another giveaway that we pray you'll love.  Again, congrats to Ttate, and thank you for all the new subsribers/followers.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter too!  A link can be found to do so over to the left under "Streams of Twitter."
Grace and Peace!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

I'm reading through Colossians this month, and therefore decided on this from Spurgeon.  Now I know I said I'd be using "Spurgeon Gold" as my source for the Friday theme, but I had to switch it up this week.  I have "Morning by Morning," which is a devotional written by Spurgeon.  I actually just picked it up to read yesterday, and found there to be some rich observations that could help provoke us to deeper study.  That's always a good thing.  Now today's Friday with Spurgeon is meant as an encouragement.  An encouragement to those who are in Christ.  Because of the righteousness of our Savior, we are accounted as righteous.  This alien righteousness allows us to stand before a perfect God, Holy and majestic, and offer prayers that are actually heard.  As often as we are reminded (daily) of our imperfection and wretchedness, I thought it a good time to remind the believer of the Gospel.  The Gospel that both saves AND sustains us!!  Take a moment today to reflect on the Gospel, and the benefits of Justification to the believer.  It is so AWESOME and MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS of a God who owes man nothing to draw us, clean us from within, and declare us not guilty on the merits of His perfect Son.  Rejoice with me today for the greatness of Justification in Christ!!  May we be encouraged and motivated to share this rich Gospel with the lost. Soli Deo Gloria!!!

"Perfect in Christ Jesus." --Colossians 1:28 

Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps "imperfection"; every harsh word which proceeds from your lip, mutters "imperfection." You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection 
in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you--you are "perfect in Christ Jesus."In God's sight, you are "complete in Him;" even now you are "accepted in the Beloved." But there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, which is sure to all the seed. Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing? The Church of Christ then will be so pure, that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so glorious, that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said--
            "With my Saviour's garments on,             Holy as the Holy One." 
Then shall we know, and taste, and feel the happiness of this vast but short sentence, "Complete in Christ." Not till then shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the salvation of Jesus. Doth not thy heart leap for joy at the thought of it? Black as thou art, thou shalt be white one day; filthy as thou art, thou shalt be clean. Oh, it is a marvellous salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel; Christ takes a black and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire this blessed truth of perfection in Christ.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday with Spurgeon

Reminding Men of Death
Men have been helped to live by remembering that they must die.

Today's reflection on this entry from "Spurgeon Gold" is to shine light on the truth of this quote. Really when we think about it, folks have been able to lead normal lives with no thought of the death that lies ahead for all men. Lack of thought of one's own mortality does not help as much as it hurts. Particularly the unsaved, as their death is a passing to another death, as it were.
Yesterday I was talking to a guy and he informed me that a young lady we both knew had died. She was young (27), and I followed the normal path of someone such informed. I came with the classic follow-up of "wow, how did she die?" I was told that it was due to a wreckless lifestyle that had lead to a particular disease that eventually killed her. Nothing really noteworthy about the conversation thus far. Here's the kicker though: The gentleman then (seemingly without knowing) compared her situation that lead to death to his own situation that, since different, should NOT lead to death. He was saying how glad he was that he had changed his own lifestyle, and proceeded to tell me what that change looked like. I thought to myself, "does he (and do we) assume that because a person died from something that we no longer do (or something we don't have), we're somehow safe?"
I mean, think about it: when we hear that a person died in a car accident, it seems our default is to think of how safely we drive. If we hear a person died from a drug overdose, it's almost like "whew, I'm so glad I don't do drugs." We think in these ways as if everyone who dies around us proves our exemption from death. It's like a response that helps us to avoid the contemplation of our own deaths. If you're a person who has not been born again, this is actually understandable. Hell awaits if you die in your sins outside of Christ. Generally, since there is no avoidance of death, there need not be avoidance of the thought of death. Namely, your own death. Now I'm not be macabre here by saying one should contemplate their own death as a normal course of action. I'm simply saying that our understanding of our own mortality plays out in the way we live. To the unbeliever, (and believer alike-just in a different way) here's the message of God's Word: It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this comes the judgement (Hebrews 10:27). Appointed: whether by car accident, drug overdose, natural causes or whatever. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that face the judgement of a righteous and Holy God. I once heard man's core problem summed up like this: "God is Holy, you are not; what are you going to do about it?" This will be an unavoidable issue at the judgement in view within the Hebrews text. The perfection of Christ is the only remedy to this "issue." Issue, in fact, is an understatement. Looking back at Spurgeon's quote think, "how can my thinking about death help me to live?"
If you feel up to it, I'd love to see comments reflecting your thoughts. I'll start by listing 1 way thinking about my own death will help me to live.
1. Thinking about my death helps me to keep in perspective my need to prepare. Paramount in that preparation is Spiritual preparation. Since I am but the air within my nostrils, I must depend wholly on God for any sustenance whatsoever. It's difficult to view myself rightly before God when I think I'm invincible.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Launch of "Drops of Thought"

Just a quick note in the spirit of my new blog called, "Drops of Thought."  It's up now, and can be accessed at  
Check it out; trust me, it'll only take a minute :)