J.C. Ryle on Three Rules for Marriage

J.C. Ryle offers some excellent thoughts on good marriages in his commentary on Mark. He gives three rules that will help in marriage:

The first is to marry only in the LORD, and after prayer for God’s approval and blessing. The second is not to expect too much from their partners, and to remember that marriage is, after all, the union of two sinners, and not of two angels. The third rule is to strive first and foremost for one another’s sanctification. The more holy married people are, the happier they are. “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it” (Eph. V. 25, 26).

The Simple Thread

Life really is held by a thread. Not something we control, but something that is completely under the control of the Holy Spirit and God’s sovereign hand, but atlas, I repeat myself.

If we have good things, those good things are from the LORD. If calamity finds us, that is from His loving hand. If we find our way through that calamity, it is because He has directed our path. If we have avoided calamity, it is because He had decreed good things for us. We can claim nothing but His glory in all things. Both in riches and poverty, good things and bad, peace or chaos, it is all from His hand for His glory and our good.

Our job in the midst of it all, is to simply remain faithful and trust Him for the outcome, especially when that outcome is full of toil and trouble. We are to trust in Him, Jesus Christ our LORD, for all things. It is by faith. We walk by faith. We trust by faith. Knowing that He will work all these things together for good, to those who love Him.

And those who love Him? They are His children by faith. They are those who know they have nothing in themselves but sin to bring to God. They are those who are trusting in Him for reconciliation with the Father and deliverance from the power of sin and death. Those who trust in Him, ultimately, trust in little else.

It’s a simple thread. Trust in Him for all things.

Bad Golf, Good Dishes

Actually, it was an injured arm that lead to the pursuit of more dishes for my lovely bride. I wanted to golf at a course in Canton, TX, home of the First Monday’s Trade Days (the largest flea market this side of the Mississippi). It’s also home to the Canton Dish Barn. For those who are into Fiesta Dinnerware, the Canton Dish Barn is the place to shop.

My wife and I appreciate Fiesta Ware. We like the color. We like the solid feel of the plates. We like the way the plates keep our food off the table, as plates are designed to do. Yes, the simplicity of the plates and the bright colors remind me of… kindergarten, when things were simpler. No confusing patterns. Just simply, color, roundness of plates, and thickness, giving a senses of durability.

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5 Things I’m Not Commenting On!

Well, maybe a little.

  • Bill O’Reilly: Won’t miss him, didn’t watch him.
  • Aaron Hernandez: Not a stellar character, no surprise there.
  • North Korea: Can’t we just invade, and set up a puppet government?
  • Supreme Court: Justices come and go.
  • Hank Hanegraff becoming Greek Orthodox: he wasn’t all that orthodox to begin with, so adding “Greek” to his description doesn’t help matters at all.

Thoughts?

Tell-tale Signs of Obsession

OK, I think I’m becoming a bit obsessed. No, it’s nothing real serious. I’m not obsessed with, say, sports, or alcohol, or some tawdry exploit of mankind. I’m obsessed with working in my yard. When we moved here, there was nothing but dirt. As you can see from the picture above, it’s all green. But what you don’t see, is that it’s not grass. That green is nothing but weeds. I do have grass in my backyard, just not in the picture.

On a whim last fall, I bought a bag of fescue, which is any of a genus (Festuca) of tufted perennial grasses with panicled spikelets. Don’t worry. I didn’t rattle that off the top of my head, I got it from the fine gentlemen at Merrian Webster, who now what to charge me $1.99 for such tantalizing information. But I’m now into grass… not words so much. I know, what about the blog? What about my great discourses on the roles of women in the church? What about the need for more Christians honoring the LORD’s day? I know the score. My wonderful readers will glance at it, think Timothy is on his high pachyderm, and won’t give it another thought. However, if I write something simple, like a post about, say, honoring those women who do stay at home to glorify God, and you will be on my like sprinkles on a donut.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Unity in the Church

Taken from The Church and the Last Things:

Now here, surely, certain things can be said without any fear of contradiction. If we are to be guided by the scriptural teaching, then we must agree at once that the unity that the Scripture is interested in is spiritual unity. How often John 17 is misquoted! People just tear a phrase right out of its context. ‘That they all may be one,’ they say quoting verse 12, and they leave it at that. They insist also that division in the Church is the greatest sin of all. Now, of course, we all agree that division is regrettable; schism is certainly sin. Yes, but when that is interpreted as meaning that anybody who calls himself a Christian, no matter what the shape or form, is someone with whom we would be in absolute unity in every respect, then that is a contradiction of what John 17 teaches.

John 17 surely makes the character of this unity quite plain and clear. Our Lord’s terms are these: ‘As thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us… And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one’ (vv. 21-22). That is all spiritual. Our Lord is talking of the relationship between the Father and the Son, and those who are in Christ, who are in the Father and the Son, and He has already told us certain things about these people. He says, ‘For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out of thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me’ (v.8).  So our Lord’s words about unity are only applicable to people who believe that particular doctrine, and if people tell me that they are Christians but say that Jesus was only a man, then I have no unity with them. I do not belong to them. They may call themselves Christians, but if they have not believed and accepted this, there is no basis for unity. It is spiritual unity.

It always helps to look as Scripture in context.

 

5 Things Every Pastor Needs to Remember When He Steps into the Pulpit

I know this will not go over well in our hyper-egalitarian society, but there is no greater privilege for a man other than to stand in the pulpit and declare God’s truth to God’s people. To do so faithfully is to imitate Christ to the utmost, for in doing so, the faithful preacher is allowing the people of Christ to hear from Him in a spiritual sense. The faithful preacher who declares the full counsel of God’s word is feeding the flock. He is building them up, encouraging them, and allowing God’s word to work in their lives toward sanctification.

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Understanding Legalism: Its Nature and Sinfulness

In Mark’s account of Christ, Jesus takes on the sin of legalism when He attacks the Pharisees for their man-made traditions. We all have our man-made traditions that we need to examine in order to see if we should hold to them or not. I would say that most of our traditions should be booted because legalism is clearly a sin, according to Christ’s description of it.(See Mark 7:1-23).

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A Nice Quote From Luther

The Pulpit & Pen has an excellent article entitled The Crass, Intolerant Polemicist Who Loved Jesus & The Gospel, which helps us see just how much division Christ brought to earth. He did not come to bring unity, peace, love, puppy dog stories from the pulpit, but the gospel. And He even raised up men like Martin Luther, who would not be allowed to preach in many of the pulpits across America, because of his blunt attacks on the opponents of the gospel. In fact, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of his nailing of the 95 Thesis on the Wittenberg door, I wonder how many churches that make a big to-do over the anniversary, would ever tolerate a man like Luther in their midst. Better yet, he would probably not tolerate many of them.

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