Thursday, 24 April 2008

Morning Coffee

I recently experienced a coffee made using a Stove Top and was rather impressed with the more intense flavour it produced, compared to a filter coffee maker… so we went out and purchased one for ourselves at the weekend… and I'm loving it. A good strong coffee hit in the morning has been very welcome… and a nice smooth latte after work has been a great way to unwind with the wife…

But it's made me wonder… is my morning coffee my idol? I think it is…

I wake up in the morning with a longing to have that hit… my coffee drinking becomes a must priority before leaving the house in the morning… I feel that I simply "cannot function" without that caffeine beverage…

Does Psalm 119 read:
With my whole heart I seek my coffee? v10
I will delight in my coffee? v16
My soul is consumed for longing for my morning coffee? v20
I cling to my morning coffee? v31

Of course not!!!

It should be water that I really long for…
Isaiah 55: Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters… Incline your ear to me, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live!
John 4: Jesus says, "everyone who drinks of this water [from a well] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

The real satisfaction… the real thing for "get up and go"… a proper priority before leaving the house in the morning… a splash in living water… a look at God's Word!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Ryle ... just can't get enough

How quick I can be to think my heart can change by my own efforts and struggles.......

J C Ryle on Bible Reading

The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, is "the chief means by which men are built up and strengthened in the faith," after their conversion. It is able to make them pure, to sanctify them, to train them in righteousness, and to thoroughly equip them for every good work. (Psalm 119:9; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Spirit ordinarily does these things by the written Word; sometimes by the Word read, and sometimes by the Word preached, but seldom, if ever, without the Word. The Bible can show a believer how to walk in this world so as to please God. It can teach him how to glorify Christ in all the relationships of life, and can make him a good leader, employee, subordinate, husband, father, or son. It can enable him to bear misfortunes and loss without murmuring, and say, "It is well." It can enable him to look down into the grave, and say, "I will fear no evil" (Psalm 23:4). It can enable him to think about judgment and eternity, and not feel afraid. It can enable him to bear persecution without flinching and to give up liberty and life rather than deny Christ’s truth.

  • Is he weary in soul? It can awaken him.

  • Is he mourning? It can comfort him.

  • Is he erring? It can restore him.

  • Is he weak? It can make him strong.

  • Is he in the company of the unbeliever? It can keep him from evil.

  • Is he alone? It can talk with him. (Psalm 6:22).

All this the Bible can do for all believers—for the least as well as the greatest—for the richest as well as the poorest. It has done it for thousands already, and is doing it for thousands every day.The man who has the Bible, and the Holy Spirit in his heart, has everything which is absolutely necessary to make him spiritually wise. He needs no priest to break the bread of life for him. He needs no ancient traditions, no writings of the Fathers, no voice of the Church, to guide him into all truth. He has the well of truth open before him, and what more can he want?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Absence makes the heart... show its faults

Tonight has been a tough night. Adele is away all week with UCCF at New Word Alive. I am missing her terribly. Coming home to her, hearing about her day, eating with her, playing a game, reading or watching a DVD. I miss waking up next to her, and planning the weekend with her.

Don’t miss-hear me – I’m not getting all sentimental… or looking for the “husband of the year” award – far, far from it . In her absence I have realised how I have taken such things so quickly for granted. That sucks – and shows my lack of understanding of what marriage is all about.

It is the strong realisation once again that I am a selfish, sinful man – who looks far too quickly at his own desires and satisfaction… Imagine if Jesus had that attitude – he wouldn’t have hung around sinners like you and me, he wouldn’t have washed their feet, he wouldn’t have endured the cross for them – in fact, he wouldn’t have even given up the glory of heaven to take on flesh, yet alone in order to suffer and die…

That’s surely why the church is encouraged to look to the interests of others, to have the mind of Jesus Christ amongst us, “who, though he was God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” [Phil 2:4-8]

It’s a fair and right call to the church. But even more so, an imperative for husbands: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” [Ephesians 5:25]

The purpose of marriage is to reflect the Gospel, to reflect the love of God found in Christ Jesus [Ephesians 5:31-32]. That means serious action boys – to deny self, and give ourselves to our wives fully, entirely, and completely in absolute service of them… what a joy that should be for us! The things I mentioned first of all should be things that I long to do, to grow in relationship with my wife each day. To touch her mind and heart, before touching her body.

That’s the tagline to a great short book I’ve just finished reading called “Sex, Romance and the Glory of God” by C J Mahaney that a dear brother recommended to me. It’s only 100 pages – and a great help to be thinking through what marriage is all about, and how we can be working proactively as husbands. I recommend it, whether you’re a husband-of-years, or a husband-to-be. Its aim is to look at the intimacy and relationship that God intends for marriage, and how to work on that as guys, and therefore grow the marriage. Helpful stuff! A great chapter on ‘Romancing’ – which, lads, we need to work hard at, and C J offers some really helpful advice.

I can’t wait for my wife to return… and I thank the brothers that made tonight so much easier for me, even though they didn’t realise they had!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Christian! Are you lingering?

I have been reading JC Ryle's Holiness - slowly making my way through it... on the home straight now...

Anyhow - I found a link for one of the chapters I read a little while back... definitely worth a prayerful read! Gives a good feel for the book generally, too - so if you like the challenge of this chapter, go buy the book (I find a great resource for finding second hand/new books online)