Archive for the ‘god's sovereignty’ Category

There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty

October 8, 2011

There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a foot-ball, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow him to be in his almonry to dispense his alms and bestow his bounties. They will allow him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends his throne, his creatures then gnash their teeth; and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and his right to do as he wills with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on his throne is not the God they love. They love him anywhere better than they do when he sits with his sceptre in his hand and his crown upon his head. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon his throne whom we trust.

 

Charles Spurgeon

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A Safe Stronghold Our God is Still

September 1, 2011

And though they take our life,

Goods, honor, children, wife,

Yet is their profit small;

These things shall vanish all:

The City of God remaineth

Martin Luther, A Safe Stronghold Our God is Still

When Luther wrote these things the Pope had issued a bull providing absolution to any who would take his life, goods, honor, children, wife etc. These were not pieties written from a  place of comfort and safety such as a modern, western Christian enjoys.

The rest of the hymn demonstrates faith that Christ’s church will prevail though hell (through the agency of Antichrist Rome) furiously assail it.

A safe stronghold our God is still,
a trusty shield and weapon;
he’ll keep us clear from all the ill
that hath us now o’ertaken.
The ancient prince of hell
hath risen with purpose fell;
strong mail of craft and power
he weareth in this hour;
on earth is not his fellow.

With force of arms we nothing can,
full soon were we down-ridden;
but for us fights the proper Man,
whom God himself hath bidden.
Ask ye, who is this same?
Christ Jesus is his name,
the Lord Sabaoth’s Son;
he, and no other one,
shall conquer in the battle.

And were this world all devils o’er,
and watching to devour us,
we lay it not to heart so sore;
nor they can overpower us.
And let the prince of ill
look grim as e’er he will,
he harms us not a whit;
for why?–his doom is writ;
a word shall quickly slay him.

God’s word, for all their craft and force,
one moment will not linger,
but, spite of hell, shall have its course;
’tis written by his finger.
And though they take our life,
goods, honor, children, wife,
yet is their profit small;
these things shall vanish all:
the City of God remaineth!

Everybody wants to rule the world

October 16, 2009

Everybody wants to rule the world.

Tears for Fears

The problem with the world.

Satan… can do nothing without the command of God, to whose dominion he is subject

October 4, 2009

Satan… can do nothing without the command of God, to whose dominion he is subject.

Calvin

The Purpose of Companies

September 21, 2009

Companies have a purpose. Some of these purposes are public knowledge.

Cargill: to improve the standard of living around the world.
Fannie Mae (!): to strengthen the social fabric by continually democratizing home ownership.
Hewlett-Packard: to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity.
Lost Arrow Corporation: to be a role model and tool for social change.
Pacific Theaters: to provide a place for people to flourish and to enhance the
community.
Mary Kay Cosmetics: to give unlimited opportunity to women.
McKinsey & Company: to help leading corporations and government be more
successful.
Merck: to preserve and improve human life.
Nike: to experience the emotion of competition; winning; and crushing competitors.
Sony: to experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public.
Telecare Corporations: to help people with mental impairments realize their full potential.
Wal-Mart: to give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.
Walt Disney: to make people happy.

from Charles Handy, The Hungry Spirit, p.78

NB God has purposes for His church and His people. Those purposes are found revealed in His Word, not through aping the culture.

I would rather die than deny Christ!

September 21, 2009

Pastor Li from Shanghai was arrested during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. in refusing to deny Christ he said, ‘I would rather die than deny Christ!’

His captor said, ‘Alright, you shall die!’

A date was set for his execution. Li, however, has a sense he was not going to dies and that the Lord would spare him. But in the evening he was approached by a guard who told him he was lucky. A great flood meant all prison staff had to deal with this emergency.

A second date was set. But this day, Zhou Enlai died*. A criminal cannot be executed on the same day as  State flags flying at half mast because they then share the glory of the honoured dead.

So a third day was set. This time Chairman Mao died on that very day.

When his file was taken to the prison governor to set a new date, his hands trembled. Li was sent to Xinjiang Province instead of death.

Pastor Li still lives in Shanghai (this was told me in 2004).

*Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976.

When prayer is the source of faith’s power

September 18, 2009

When prayer is the source of faith’s power and the means of its strength, God’s sovereignty is its only restriction.

Wm. L. Lane, Gospel Acording to Mark, p.410 (on Mk.11.23-24)

The Myth of Sisyphus

September 9, 2009

According to Greek mythology Sisyphus was given an exemplary punishment by the Judges of the Dead. They showed him a huge block of stone and ordered him to roll it up the hill and place it at the top of the mountain. He never succeeded in doing so, for as soon as he almost reaches the top, he is forced back by the weight of the stone, which moves the stone down to the bottom of the mountain once more. Sisyphus is forced to begin all over again, “though sweat bathes his limbs, and a cloud of dust rises above his head

Robert Graves, Greek Myths, p.218

Unless history is going towards some goal, then all human effort is as Sisyphus’. Unless my efforts can be part of a lasting work, they are ultimately like his too.

None can call our power to account?

September 2, 2009

After inciting her husband to murder king Duncan, Lady Macbeth is tormented with guilt (she talks in her sleep) and argues with herself, ‘What need we fear who knows it, when ‘

Macbeth, Act V, Scene 1

Even though Macbeth is brought to human account in the play, had he not been there is a power above every earthly sovereign.

History – Is it leading anywhere?

August 26, 2009

History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.

Edward Gibbon

Which would mean life is meaningless in any ultimate sense.

History is linear means that the actions of p e o p l e – as confusing and chaotic as they appear-are nonetheless part of a meaningful sequence that has a beginning, a middle and an end. History is not reversible, not repeatable, not cyclic; history is not meaningless. Rather, history is teleological, going somewhere, directed toward a known end. The God who
knows the end from the beginning is aware of and sovereign over the progress actions of mankind.

James Sire, Universe Next Door, p.41