Keep Yourselves From Idols

O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.

–Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)

I started memorizing Psalm 63 yesterday.  I’ve loved this passage for many years, and it’s been on my list of passages to memorize for quite a while.  As I was meditating on the first verse while walking Buster early yesterday evening, I realized that there’s another way to look at that verse.  No doubt David was drawing upon his circumstances and compared His longing for God to being in the arid wilderness to which he had been forced to flee – and in that comparison, he paints a very clear picture of the desire of a man after God’s own heart.  And with that picture in the background, whenever I have pondered this passage, I have mostly thought: “Someday, I’ll long for God in that way.  Someday I’ll seek after Him like I would for a drop of water after being stranded in a desert for a few days.”  Because, if I’m honest, I don’t often feel that kind of urgency in my pursuit of God.

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Gospel-Driven Sanctification

I haven’t read all of the articles here (there are quite a few!), but the ones I’ve read are excellent: Gospel-Driven Sanctification by Jerry Bridges, The Difference Between Legal and Gospel Mortification by Ralph Erskine, and The Anatomy of Backsliding, which is one of John Piper’s sermons (see the link to “Sanctification and Growth”).

Here’s the quote from Sinclair Ferguson that introduces these articles:

This first thing to remember, of course, is that we must never separate the benefits (regeneration, justification, sanctification) from the Benefactor (Jesus Christ). The Christians who are most focused on their own spirituality may give the impression of being the most spiritual … but from the New Testament’s point of view, those who have almost forgotten about their own spirituality because their focus is so exclusively on their union with Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished are those who are growing and exhibiting fruitfulness. Historically speaking, whenever the piety of a particular group is focused on OUR spirituality that piety will eventually exhaust itself on its own resources. Only where our piety forgets about ourself and focuses on Jesus Christ will our piety nourished by the ongoing resources the Spirit brings to us from the source of all true piety, our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Sinclair Ferguson

Hat tip to Bob Anderson at WHCC for the pointer to Gospel-Driven Sanctification by Jerry Bridges, which resulted in my finding the collection of articles!

Nearness Is Likeness

I finally started reading Tozer recently. I’ve wanted to read some of his books for a long time – so when I found an old copy of The Best of A.W. Tozer earlier this year, I figured that would be a great place to start. Let me tell you – it is! It’s a compilation of 52 chapters (drawn from a dozen of Tozer’s books) which Warren Wiersbe put together. If I can find some more time, I’ll post some more quotes sometime soon; for now, here’s some of Nearness Is Likeness: Continue reading

Spurgeon on godly sorrow

Spurgeon’s sermon on 2 Cor. 7:10 is well worth the read. Here’s a small excerpt:

I. First, then, I want to try to REMOVE CERTAIN ERRONEOUS IDEAS WITH REGARD TO SORROW FOR SIN. Continue reading

Thoughts on Isaiah 61:1-4

This morning I read Isaiah 61, which contains the famous verses (1-2a) which Christ quotes in Luke 4:18-19. I’ve seen both passages (well, the one passage) quoted quite a bit recently, but I haven’t looked at the larger context in some time, so it was great to do that this morning: Continue reading

Groaning over sinfulness

For those of you who don’t already read Danny’s blog, he wrote a great post today about groaning over sinfulness.

A matter of the heart

Driving home from visiting with family over Thanksgiving (yes, I started this post over a week ago and am just now getting around to finishing it), I was thinking about Ps. 119:1-2 and 36-37, which I memorized a couple of months ago:

1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart! (NKJV)

36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way. (NKJV)

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