Friday, November 02, 2018

Good Point

“R. T. France observes: ‘It is important to observe here that it is not the amount of faith which brings the impossible within reach, but the power of God, which is available even to the smallest faith.’”

—Craig Blomberg re: Matthew 17:20 in The New American Commentary: Matthew

Saturday, September 29, 2018

What is the furnace of fire in Matthew 13:42?

“Whatever ‘the furnace of fire’ may mean here … this at all events is certain, that they point to some doom so intolerable that the Son of God came down from heaven and tasted all the bitterness of death that he might deliver us from ever knowing the secrets of anguish, which … are shut up in these terrible words, ‘there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth’ (22:13).”

Trench quoted by R. C. H. Lenski in Interpration of St. Matthew's Gospel

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When Your Walls Come Tumbling Down

Words: Andy Rupert - Music: Per-Olov Kindgren

When your faith has been tested
When your confidence fails
When you can't seem to accomplish anything
When you finally realize that you cannot succeed
When your walls come tumbling down

When your life's big ambition
When the things that you've planned
When the goals you have worked for all your life
When you suddenly realize that the end might be near
When your walls come tumbling down

CHORUS:
It is there at that moment
When you cry out to God
As you search in the Scriptures for relief
Then with His new perspective
You find peace amidst the pain
You find hope that helps you to stand
When your walls come tumbling down

When your life's close companion
When the dearest of friends
When the one who has loved you all your life
When that one is taken from you and the tears begin to flow
When your walls come tumbling down

Hymn: Master the Tempest is Raging

Words: Mary A. Baker -- Music: Horatius R. Palmer

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o'er-shadowed with blackness;
No shelter or help is nigh.
"Carest Thou not that we perish?"
How canst Thou lie asleep
When each moment so madly is threat'ning
A grave in the angry deep?

CHORUS:
The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will;
Peace,(peace,be still)be still(peace, be still)
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons, or men, or what-ever it be,
No water can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies:
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will;
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will;
Peace, peace, be still!

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled;
O waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o'er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master;
O hasten, and take control.

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven's within my breast,
Linger, O blessed Redeemer, Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Quote of the Day

"The flip side of encouraging bold testimony under persecution when one has no alternative is the command to flee hostility whenever possible. Jesus calls his followers to bravery but not foolishness. Believers must not seek out persecution. God's word can go forth powerfully through the unspoken testimony of martyrdom, but it is often better for people to remain alive to speak it aloud."

—Craig Blomberg re: Matthew 10:23

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Hymn: Sometimes a Light Surprises

Words: William Cowper

Sometime a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
it is the Lord who rises with healing in His wings;
when comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
a season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation, we sweetly then pursue
the theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
“E'en let the unknown morrow bring with it what it may.”

"It can bring with it nothing, but He will bear us through;
who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people, too;
beneath the spreading heavens no creature but is fed;
and He who feeds the ravens will give His children bread."

Though vine nor fig tree neither their wonted fruit should bear,
though all the field should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there,
yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice;
for while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

How successful is our ministry from God's perspective?

"Christians who judge successful ministries by external statistics such as attendance figures, membership, baptisms, and offerings should seriously rethink their criteria in light of Jesus’ words here. God judges the greatness of his servants by searching their hearts, examining their inner attitudes, and seeing deeds done in secret. Doubtless, his evaluations of who most honors him will invert a substantial majority of his people's evaluations."

Craig L. Blomberg, Matthew, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992, p. 122.