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The Potter's Clay

Scripture, Theology, the Christian worldview, and other ramblings.

24 February 2006

The most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts

--Jonathan Edwards, "Directions How to Conduct Yourself
in Your Christian Course"--A letter addressed to a young
lady in the year 1741

"To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride,
evil conduct, and perverse speech." (Proverbs 8:13)

Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in
the heart, the greatest disturber of the souls peace,
and of sweet communion with Christ. Pride . . .
was the first sin committed,
lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building,
and is with the greatest difficulty rooted out.

Pride is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all
lusts--and often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion,
even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself!

15 February 2006

My Sheep

J. C. Ryle, "The Privileges of the True Christian"

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and
they follow Me." (John 10:27)

This verse gives the character of true Christians.

1. God's children, His real believing people, are compared
to sheep, because they are gentle, quiet, harmless and
inoffensive; because they are useful and do good to all
around them; because they love to be together, and
dislike separation; and because they are very helpless
and wandering and liable to stray.

2. Jesus calls them "My sheep," as if they were His
peculiar property. "Mine," He would have us know, by
election; "Mine" by purchase; and "Mine" by adoption.

3. Christ's sheep hear His voice, they listen humbly to
His teaching, they take His word for their rule and guide.

4. Christ's sheep follow Him, they walk in the narrow
path He has marked out, they do not refuse because it
is sometimes steep and narrow--but wherever the line
of duty lies they go forward without doubting.

09 February 2006

Precious Lord Jesus,

--A Puritan Prayer

Precious Lord Jesus,
Give me faith to behold . . .
my name engraved in Your hand,
my soul and body redeemed by Your blood,
my sinfulness covered by Your life of pure obedience.

May . . .
Your comforts cheer me in my sorrows,
Your strength sustain me in my trials,
Your blessings revive me in my weariness,
Your presence render me a fruitful tree of holiness,
Your promises establish me in peace and joy,
Your revivings kindle in me undying devotion.

Search my heart. Show me more of my
corruptions and helplessness, that I may . . .
flee to You,
cling to You,
rest in You,
as the beginning and end of my salvation.

May I never vex You by my indifference and
waywardness; or grieve You by my cold welcome.

Answer my prayers, O Lord, for Your great name's sake.

Lead me to the cross

- A Puritan Prayer

O Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on me. Move, I beg You, upon my
disordered heart. Take away the infirmities of
unruly desires and hateful lusts. Lift the mists
and darkness of unbelief. Brighten my soul with
the pure light of truth. Make my soul . . .
as fragrant as the garden of paradise,
rich with every goodly fruit,
beautiful with heavenly grace,
radiant with rays of divine light.

Be my comforter, light, guide, sanctifier.

Take of the things of Christ and show them
to my soul. Teach me more of His . . .

Lead me to the cross and show me . . .
His wounds,
the hateful nature of sin,
the power of Satan.

May I there see my sins as . . .
the nails which transfixed Him,
the cords which bound Him,
the thorns which tore Him,
the sword which pierced Him.

Help me to see in His death, the reality
and immensity of His love. Increase my
faith in the clear knowledge of . . .
atonement achieved,
expiation completed,
satisfaction for sin made,
guilt done away.

03 February 2006

See this sad sight

by Charles Spurgeon

"The iniquity of the holy things." Exodus 28:38

What a veil is lifted up by these words--and what a
disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable
for us to pause awhile--and see this sad sight!

The iniquities of our public worship--its hypocrisy,
formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of
heart and forgetfulness of God--what a full measure
have we there!

Our work for the Lord--its envious rivalry,
selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief
--what a mass of defilement is there!

Our private devotions--their laxity, coldness,
neglect, sleepiness, and vanity--what a mountain
of dead earth is there!

If we looked more carefully, we would find this iniquity in
our holy things, to be far greater than appears at first sight!

Edward Payson, writing to his brother, says, "My parish,
as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of
the sluggard. And what is worse, I find that very many
of my desires for the betterment of both, proceed either
from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds
which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest
wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts
the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself,
'In what fine order is my garden kept!' This is pride! Or,
it may be that my neighbors may look over the fence and
say, 'How finely your garden flourishes!' This is vanity!
Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because
I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence!"

So even our desires after holiness may be polluted by
sinful motives. Under the greenest sods, 'worms' hide
themselves--we need not look long to discover them.

How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest
bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow
the words, "Holiness to the Lord" (Exod 28:36) and even
so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents before His Father's
face not our unholiness--but His own holiness! O for grace
to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!

02 February 2006

Infra, Supra and others...

The good folks at Fide-O have a helpful post on the logical order of the decrees of God. I think this is a very helpful post, as well as the excellent chart by B.B. Warfield. You want to start an interesting debate at church on Sunday? Bring up this topic. :-)

More Da Vinci...

Jollyblogger has a thought provoking post about the effects of The Da Vinci Code on America, and especially on evangelism. Worth the time to read.