Apr 6, 2017
“Pessimism about the real, palpable, and demonstrable transforming power of the Gospel in history ultimately engenders doubt in the whole of the culture. It is a doubt that has its naissance in over-spiritualizing the church but that has its renaissance in under-spiritualizing the society.”
“The way of the world tends to be a harried frenzy while the way of the Kingdom is a busy purposefulness; at first glance there is but little difference, nevertheless the difference is quite profound, substantial, and effectual.” Thomas Chalmers “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward.” 2 Peter 3:8-9 1517: Martin Luther’s 95 Theses 1519: Ulrich Zwingli’s Lectio Continua 1520: Martin Luther’s On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church 1521: Diet of Worms; Henry VIII, “Defender of the Faith” 1522: Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament in vernacular German 1526: William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament in vernacular English 1529: Marburg Colloquy 1530: Philip Melanchthon’s Augsburg Confession 1533: Thomas Cranmer’s Decree of Annulment; Luther is excommunicated 1536: First edition of John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion 1540: Final dissolution of the monasteries in England 1541: John Calvin recalled to Geneva to begin the work of Reformation there 1545: Council of Trent begins deliberations 1549: Martin Bucer and Thomas Cranmer, The Book of Common Prayer 1555: Peace of Augsburg 1560: John Knox begins the work of Reformation in Scotland 1563: The 39 Articles 1611: King James Version Bible 1618: The Synod of Dort For Further Reading and Study: For Further Study: Church History 101, Sinclair Ferguson, Joel Beeke, and Michael Haykin Let Christ Be Magnified, Merle d’Aubigne Zeal without Burnout, Christopher Ash Going Deeper #6 Balancing Urgency and Patience J.R.R. Tolkien asserted that, “In life, as in literature, most shortcuts actually turn out to be long cuts.” Faithful disciples are those who simply stay on task even when persistent distractions are clamoring for attention. The urgent things constantly threatened to crowd out the important things. Promises of quick fixes, silver bullets, and magic wands are everywhere. Learning how to filter out the white noise of life is one of the greatest spiritual disciplines we could ever develop. “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” Gretchen Rubin Where do we start? How do we keep going? Will it ever be possible for us to read all that we ought to read, do all that we ought to do, teach all that we ought to teach, and still have time for the "ordinary" tasks of life? How can we build into our lives habits of holiness, patterns for sustainable sacrifice, and steps for enduring effectiveness, fruitfulness, and joy? Virtually, every Biblical injunction about the Biblical use of time underlines the importance of each moment that passes. We are admonished to "make the most of our time" (Eph 5:15). We are to "redeem the time" (Col 4:5). We are to utilize "every day to the utmost" (Heb 3:13). In short, we are to sanctify the time (Eccl 3:1-8). Our time is not our own. It is not ours to dispose of as we choose. We have been "bought with a price" (1 Cor 6:20). Therefore we are to set our days, weeks, and years apart to the Lord for His glory (Rom 14:6-12). This necessarily means that we are to be patient in hope (Rom 8:5). We are to be patient in affliction (Rom 12:12). We are to be patient in our preaching (2 Tim 4:2). We are to clothe ourselves in patience (Col 3:12). And we are to endure in patience (Rev 3:12). The Scriptures abound in admonitions to trust the Lord with all patience: “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret it leads only to evil doing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity” (Ps 37:7-11). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and better a patient man that a warrior who captures the city” (Prov 16:32). “Wisdom makes a man patient” (Prov 19:11). “The end of a matter is better than its beginning; patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools. Do not say: Why is it that the former days were better than these? For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Wisdom along with an inheritance is good and an advantage to those who see the sun” (Eccl 7:8-11). “By patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone” (Proverbs 25:15).