So calm.

"You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you.

He wants you as you are; he does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; he wants you alone… .

You can hide nothing from God.

The mask you wear before men will do you no good before him.

He wants to see you as you are, he wants to be gracious to you.”

—Dietrich, Bonhoeffer

"We are the same in how we talk: the petty subjects of conversation, the toxic cynicism lacing our speech, the obscene language, the general negativity … same.

We are the same in the way we dress, the way we drink, the way we smoke, the movies and TV we watch, the music we listen to, the pop culture we consume, and the way we cordon off “spirituality” in a manner that keeps it from interfering with our pursuits of pleasure.

We are the same (maybe worse) in the way we shred each other to pieces in the blogosphere, caddily gossip about each others’ social media posts, and jump to complaining before we think about complementing.

It’s all the same… And we wonder why so few bother with Christianity anymore. By the looks of many Christians, it offers nothing radically different or new.”

—Brett McCracken

"Brothers and sisters, we must be more vigilant. With our kids, with our families, with our Facebook accounts, with our texts, with our tweets, with our own eyes and hearts. Are we any differ­ent than the culture? Have we made a false peace with ourselves whereby we have said, we won’t do the things you do or be as sensual as you are, but we will gladly watch you do them for us? The kinds of things

Paul wouldn’t even mention, the sort of sins he wouldn’t dare joke about, the behaviors too shameful to even name—we hear about them in almost every sitcom and see them on screens bigger than our homes. Here is worldliness as much as anywhere in the Christian life.”

—Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness

I hate porn because it is a perversion of what God created in man and woman.

I hate porn because it exploits women made in the image of God into an image made for a man’s lust.

I hate porn because it objectifies women into a consumable product instead of a glorious image-bearing creature of God.

I hate porn because I love women — in particular my wife and three daughters.

I hate porn because it takes the soul satisfying experience of sex with a covenantally-committed spouse and turns it into a twisted soul shrinking experience of self-sex.

I hate porn because it turns sons and daughters of God into slaves of sex.

I hate porn because it turns potential missionaries into impotent Christians.

I hate porn because it destroys marriage, many before they even begin.

I hate porn because it extends adolescence and keeps men boys.

I hate porn because it lies to men about beauty and leads men to look for a porn star instead of a woman who fears the Lord.

I hate porn because it robs men and women of the full joy of obedience.

I hate porn because it fractures trust between a husband and wife.

I hate porn because it is a diabolical, satanic activity that is subtly leading thousands upon thousands to hell.

I hate porn because it leads to disqualified pastors and impotent churches. (Pastors, if you are addicted to porn, you are disqualified, and you are killing your church!)

I hate porn because I suspect it’s the most significant reason we are not planting more churches and sending more missionaries.

I hate porn because it disqualifies gospel preachers who could fill the empty church buildings in my city and so many others.

I hate porn because of the disappointment children have to go through when their dad tells them why they lost their job or opportunity to lead in the church.

I hate porn because it teaches a distorted view of sex to children before it can be explained by loving parents.

I hate porn because I am tired of sitting in my living room with sobbing, confused, devastated wives and broken, embarrassed, condemned men who got caught.

I hate porn because it leads to rape, molestation, and perversion that can devastate people for the rest of their lives.

I hate porn because it turns men inward and suffocates a man’s ambition to make God’s name hallowed.

I hate porn because it says sin, Satan, and the world are more satisfying than our Triune God and his grace.

I hate porn because I hate ungodly guilt and condemnation.

I hate porn for the fear it induces in the hearts of parents everywhere that their child could stumble upon a sight and get addicted.

//

But I love Jesus.

I love Jesus because he loves people with porn problems.

I love Jesus because he is powerful to free porn-enslaved hearts.

He who knew no porn addiction became porn addiction so the porn addict might become the righteousness of God in him.

He who had no sin became sin for you so that you may become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In that one brilliant sentence, Paul puts an end to the porn problem.

Friend, you are no longer in Adam but in Jesus. Jesus became a substitute. It was as if he became the porn addict, by receiving the just penalty due for our perversion, and you became the righteous son or daughter of God with all its benefits.

Friend, in one act of Love and Justice, in the cross-work of Jesus, through faith in him, you are now clean, holy, accepted, forgiven and free. Let me say it again … free!

I love Jesus.

On Abiding in Christ

Let us all seek to “abide in Christ” more thoroughly than we have hitherto. Christ is the true spring of life in every believer’s soul, the head on which every member depends, the corner stone of all real sanctification. Whenever I see a child of God becoming less holy than he was, I know the secret of it — he is clinging less firmly to Christ than he did. Our root must be right, if our fruit is to abound.

Brethren, let us strive after close union and communion with Christ. Let us go to Him oftener, speak with Him more frequently, trust Him more wholly, look to Him more constantly, lean upon Him more entirely. This is the way to go through the wilderness without fainting, and to run the race set before us with patience. Let us live the life of faith in the Son of God. He is the vine, and we are the branches; let all our strength be drawn from Him — separate from Him we can do nothing. He is the Sun of righteousness — let us seek our comfort in Him, and not in our own frames and feelings.

JC Ryle

A Puritan Prayer

To the Great I AM:

I need healing,
Good Physician, come and manifest Your power.

I need faith,
You who have given it to me,
maintain, strengthen, increase it.
Center it upon the Savior’s work,
upon the majesty of the Father,
upon the operations of the Spirit.

Work it in me now that I may never doubt You
as the truthful, mighty, faithful God.

Then I can bring my heart to You
full of love, gratitude, hope, joy.

May I lay at Your feet these fruits grown in Your garden,
love You with a passion that can never cool,
believe in You with a confidence that never staggers,
hope in You with an expectation that can never be dim,
delight in You with a rejoicing that cannot be stifled,
glorify You with the highest of my powers,
burning, blazing, glowing, radiating, as from Your own glory.

Tags: God Prayer Faith

From John Stott

If we have resisted the missionary dimension of the church’s life, or dismissed it as if it were dispensable, or patronized it reluctantly with a few perfunctory prayers and grudging coins, or become preoccupied with our own narrow-minded, parochial concerns, we need to repent, that is, change our mind and attitude.

Do we profess to believe in God? He’s a missionary God.

Do we say we are committed to Christ? He’s a missionary Christ.

Do we claim to be filled with the Spirit? He’s a missionary Spirit.

Do we delight in belonging to the church? It’s a missionary society.

Do we hope to go heaven when we die? It’s a heaven filled with the fruits of the missionary enterprise.

It is not possible to avoid these things.

And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

—Charles Wesley

God is there and He is too good

As this year ends, the question I am asking is: Where was God when so many good things happened this past year?

How can God be a God of justice,
yet allow so much good to happen to people who dishonor him
by disbelieving in him,
or giving lip service to his existence, or paying no more attention to him than the carpet in their den,
or rejecting the kingship of his Son, or scorning his word,
or preferring a hundred pleasures before him?

How can God be righteous
and do so much good to us
who are so unrighteous?

—John Piper, Where was God in all the Goodness of 2012?