<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d10922553\x26blogName\x3dThe+Potter\x27s+Clay\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://loughery.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://loughery.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3204682309607792502', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

The Potter's Clay

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

24 November 2006

The royal gate


by Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

A man may always pray habitually; he may
have his heart in a praying disposition in all
states and conditions--
in prosperity and adversity,
in health and sickness,
in strength and weakness,
in wealth and wants,
in life and death.

The Christian needs . . .
divine mercy to pardon him,
divine grace to purify him,
divine balm to heal him,
divine favor to comfort him,
divine power to support him,
divine wisdom to counsel him,
divine goodness to satisfy him.

Our daily weaknesses,
our daily needs,
our daily fears,
our daily dangers,
our daily temptations,
call for our daily prayers.

Prayer is the royal gate by which
the Lord enters into the heart--
comforting,
quieting,
strengthening,
quickening, and
upholding it.

By prayer--
faith is increased,
hope strengthened,
the spirit exhilarated,
the heart pacified,
the conscience purified,
temptations vanquished,
corruptions weakened,
the affections inflamed,
the will more renewed, and
the whole man more advantaged.

Labels:

23 November 2006

God's Chain & God's Plan


By William S. Plumer...

God's ways are unsearchable.

God's judgments are past finding out.

God's compassions are infinite.

God's power is almighty.

God's wisdom is unerring.

"I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours
can be thwarted." Job 42:2

Providences are long chains with many links in them.
If one link were missing, the event would fail. But it
is God's chain and God's plan. The thing is fixed.
The outcome is not doubtful.

"My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have
planned, that will I do." Isaiah 46:10-11

"The plan of Him who works out everything in conformity
with the purpose of His will." Ephesians 1:11

"This is the plan determined for the whole world."
Isaiah 14:26

Labels:

08 November 2006

The marks of a true shepherd


by Arthur Pink, Studies in the Scriptures, May, 1939

How diligently should they scrutinize their motives, who think of entering the ministry; for thousands have abused this Divine institution through love of ease, desire for authority and reputation, or love of money--and brought upon themselves "greater damnation" (James 3:1). Thousands have invaded the pastoral office in an unauthorized manner, to fleece sheep rather than feed them, robbing Christ of His honor and starving His people.

Solemn beyond words is it to observe how sternly our Lord denounced these false shepherds of His day. (Matthew 23) As J. C. Ryle rightly said, "Nothing seemed so offensive to Christ as a false teacher of religion, a false prophet, or a false shepherd. Nothing ought to be so much feared by the Church, be so plainly rebuked, opposed and exposed."

What are the marks of a true shepherd, how are God’s people to identify those called and qualified by Him to minister unto His people?

First, the genuine pastor has the doctrine of Christ on his LIPS. The ministers of the new covenant are described as those who had "renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness." Christendom today is infested with men who are full of deceit and hypocrisy, trimming their sails according to whatever direction the breeze of public opinion is blowing.

"We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God." (2 Cor. 4:2). The true servant of Christ holds back nothing which is profitable, no matter how unpalatable it may be unto his hearers. He is one who magnifies not himself, nor his denomination, but Christ--His wondrous Person, His atoning blood, His exacting claims.

Second, the genuine pastor has the Spirit of Christ in his HEART. It is the Spirit who opens to him the mysteries of the Gospel, so that he is "the faithful and wise servant" (Matt. 24:45). It is the Spirit of Christ who gives him a love for His sheep, so that it is his greatest delight to lead them into the green pastures of His Word. It is the Spirit of Christ who enables him to use "great boldness of speech" (2 Cor. 3:12), so that he shuns not to declare all the counsel of God. It is the Spirit of Christ who makes him to be "prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim. 4:2). It is the Spirit of Christ who gives efficacy to his ministry, making it fruitful according to the sovereign pleasure of God.

Third, the genuine pastor has the example of Christ in his LIFE, which is a conforming of him to the image of his Master. It is true, sadly true, that there is not one of them who does not fall far short both of the inward and outward image of Christ. Yet there are some faint tracings of His image visible in all His true servants. The image of Christ is seen in their words, spirit, actions; otherwise we have no warrant to receive them as God’s servants.

Find a man (no easy task today!) who has the doctrine of Christ on his lips, the Spirit of Christ in his heart, and the example of Christ in his life--and you find one of His genuine ministers--all others are but "thieves and robbers."

Labels: