I find it a great encouragement to look into the lives and preaching and teaching of faithful men! My favorite is Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and I am slowly working through a biography on his life and ministry, plus listening to a sermon of his at least once a week. Every morning, as Kim and I prepare for our day, we listen for about 25 minutes to R.C. Sproul from Ligonier Ministries. It has been a blessing recently to do this together.
Lately too I have been slowly reading the e-book of "Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching", where we find some magnificent authors/preachers. In particular I have been fascinated by the writing and preaching of James Montgomery Boice. Boice was used of the Lord to make a formidable contribution to the church and its position on the inerrancy of Scripture. This was through the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy in 1977.
Rather than take too much space here to share my insights, I decided to seek out a blog post to link to. I found it through Tim Challies' well known ministry blog. My prayer is that others will be encouraged by the life of James Montgomery Boice as his legacy of solid biblical preaching and teaching lives on even though Boice is with the Lord since the year 2000. Dr. John MacArthur once essentially said of Boice's passing that the church has lost a blessing. Yet, via his preaching and writing we continue to be inspired by one of the defenders of the faith and God's Word, James Montgomery Boice. Click on the quote below to read more and be encouraged! May the Lord richly bless you!
Here in the Philippines they don't really celebrate Thanksgiving as we do in America. However, some churches like our Emmanuel Baptist Church in Taytay (East Manila), is an exception as they schedule something for Thanksgiving every year on Sunday.
Since Thanksgiving Day here is a work day just like any other, I find myself pressed for time. So, I found what is clearly a solid blog post about giving thanks and its greatness, especially as it pertains to God's Word. I thank the Lord for the people he has placed in my life over time and regularly, like family! I thank the Lord for my precious and beautiful wife and children. Also for those who are faithful friends and give me encouragement along the way.
Here is a link to a post on TGC (The Gospel Coalition)), written by Dr. Kevin DeYoung. It was a good reminder for me. I hope you will enjoy it! Click on the image to go to it.
I remember my first exposure to Eric Liddell's testimony and life was when, as a college student, I saw the movie "Chariots of Fire". It was an amazing story of triumph in competition, but also, and more importantly, a testimony that exalts Christ's work through His obedient and faithful servant.
I remember what stuck with my mind and heart was that here was a man with great talent and greater faith and convictions. When the clash of those two came during the 1924 Olympics he stayed on a course that brought him persecution, ridicule and prejudice, but a course of obedience to His Lord and Savior. No compromise was on his mind and heart. I remember that this had a deep impact on my young life as a follower of Christ. Fortunately, the Lord provided a solution so that Eric could compete while remaining true to his convictions of not running and competing on Sunday. Yet, ultimately this was not what Liddell believed he was called upon by God to do with his life. He believed that God made him for China.
I am presently working through Eric Liddell's devotional, "The Disciplines of the Christian Life". In the introductory chapters, written by men who knew Liddell very well, we find that during an extremely difficult moment in his life, he and another were trying to save the lives of men who were in the resistance organization in occupied China and were hidden and injured, Liddell was particularly helped along, while trying to decide to embark on the dangerous rescue, by Luke 16:10, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much."
I have provided a link to an extremely rich blog entry by Dr. Al Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which I hope will be an encouragement to you as much as it has been to me. In it he provides some of the details of the life of Liddell after the Olympic glory days.
With the ranks of career missionaries from America diminishing more and more, my hope and prayer here too is that the Lord will do with a new generation of believers what He did with Eric Liddell (and what He did with myself and my wife). Namely, that a new generation of missionaries will be called to give their life to serve long-term and career in the spread of the gospel and God's love. I suppose a challenging question at this point might be...What has God called you for? Maybe it is or maybe it isn't China, but it could be for somewhere. The missionary force needs missionaries "on the ground" with a presence among the people of a country for long-term influence. I hope you will enjoy this blog article by Dr. Mohler on the rest of the Eric Liddell story! May the Lord richly bless you as you serve Him. Click on the picture/quote below to go to the blog entry.
Yesterday, October 31st, marked the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg castle door. It was meant as a way to bring about serious debate over many errors in the church compared to the standard of the Scriptures, especially concerning salvation and justification by faith alone. It was not taken well by the RCC leaders, BUT the 95 Theses were spread far and wide by the timely invention of the Gutenberg printing press (their version of social media & internet 500 years ago!). It caught on with those who had ears to hear and hearts that were receptive. In honor of Luther's obedient and faithful act, I offer this quote on some very practical ways of fighting the good fight and maintaining a walk of holiness and faith:
"When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.”
Posts related to this title will consist of quotes on various topics and themes from God's servants through either written or spoken sources. They are offered as a means to inspire, influence and impact our lives that we may thrive as His obedient and faithful servants:
"Reformation doesn't mean scrapping the role of the Bible and putting up your own ideas and theories. It means the exact opposite. It means returning to the Bible...every reformation has been a return to the New Testament...that is the only hope tonight and in this present age." ~ Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Every year, on October 31st, Halloween gets top billing. Which is rather sad since there is nothing but darkness and death associated with it.
We in the church have a different reason for celebrating on October 31st and it is not simply an alternative to Halloween. In fact, we are remembering a very special event when an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther, recently born-again through personal preparation and study in Romans and Galatians, when the Holy Spirit revealed to him and he realized that nobody is capable of attaining enough righteousness points with God to achieve salvation.
Luther came to realize that only by Christ's work on the cross and the grace we don't deserve and the free gift of faith we are given can we be justified and forgiven. By faith alone are we justified and thus, Christ's innocent sacrifice on the cross accomplished what no man could ever do. An amazing and supernatural transaction takes place as Jesus' righteousness is imputed to us (ie: credited to us). Our guilt, through sin, is imputed on to Christ, even though He didn't deserve it. He took the penalty in our place. What an amazing gift of love God has done!
This same message of love and hope is needed even now. This message of justification by faith alone is desperately needed today. God's Word and the message of justification by faith alone is still being used to transform hearts and lives, just as it was used by God to transform Luther into an obedient and faithful preacher who could write, "Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it".
The message of the Reformation still matters today...nothing has changed. I invite you to click on the picture below and read the blog article from Ligonier Ministries to read more about this topic, "Why the Reformation Still Matters".
Check back to this blog regularly for other posts focused upon how we might thrive as his servants!
Robert Thomas Clark, M.Div.
Follower of Christ