On the Eve of the Sabbath – a Meditation

O Lord My Lord,
This is the day, the heavenly ordinance of rest,
the open door of worship,
the record of Jesus’ resurrection,
the seal of the Sabbath to come,
the day when saints militant and triumphant
unite in endless song.

I bless thee for the throne of grace,
that here free favour reigns;
that open access to it is through the blood of Jesus;
that the veil is torn aside and I can enter the holiest
and find thee ready to hear,
waiting to be gracious,
inviting me to pour out my needs,
promising to give more than I ask or think.

But while I bless thee, shame and confusion are mine:
I remember my past misuse of sacred things,
my irreverent worship,
my base ingratitude,
my cold, dull praise.

Sprinkle all my past Sabbaths with the cleansing blood of Jesus,
And may this day witness deep improvement in me.

Give me in rich abundance the blessings the Lord’s Day was designed to impart;

May my heart be fast bound against worldly thoughts or cares;

Flood my mind with peace beyond understanding;
may my meditations be sweet,
my acts of worship life, liberty, joy,
my drink the streams that flow from thy throne,
my food the precious Word,
my defence the shield of faith
and may my heart be more knit to Jesus.

Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennet (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 354-355

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A Beautiful Baptismal Covenant

Here is the baptismal covenant that Matthew Henry’s children memorized,

I take God the Father to by my chiefest good and Highest end. I take God the Son to be my Prince and Savior. I take God the Holy Ghost to be my sanctifier, teacher, guide and comforter. I take the Word of God to be my rule in all my actions. And the people of God to be my people in all conditions. And this I do deliberately, sincerely, and freely and forever."

A Church in the House, by Matthew Henry, p21
 

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The Surprising Offense of God’s Love – A New and Important Book

Jonathan Leeman has written a ground breaking book, The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love  that may serve to break up the fallow ground of churches that listen.  This book shows how the very structure and nature of the church promotes love, but not in the way we normally think of it. Click here to listen to a roundtable discussion with Mark Dever and others.  Leeman writes,

"The world thinks it understands love, just like it thinks it loves God. Yet it doesn’t. It only understands idolatrous phantoms or fabrications of them, shadows that bear some of the shape but little of the substance. The local church, therefore, is called to be a three-dimensional display of true love. And the practices of church membership and discipline are precisely what help to make the local church visible and clear. They demonstrate love’s demands. They help us to know, in the apostle John’s phrase, who are the children of God and who are the children of the Devil (see 1 John 3:10). "

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Adoption as Sons

http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr175/HonorforONEFIlms/IMG_0070.jpgThe Bible makes it clear that God goes to great lengths to adopt children. In Galatians 3-4 Paul tells the Galatians that God gave the law to convict them of their sins and in so doing, lead them to trust in the sufficiency of Christ.  He gave so many laws. Why?  In order to show us our sins and how much we need His mercies and His parenting. Facing the realities of orphans in Haiti, now reminds us afresh of how little children without parents cry out for gospel love and they throw us back on the words of Paul to the Galatians 4:4-7,

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

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Heartbreaking Story

There is a heartbreaking story coming out of the earthquake in Haiti. A couple from the Netherlands waited five years to adopt a young boy. They arrived on the day of the earthquake, were introduced to their new son, went to their hotel to await their departure. Only four hours after their meeting, all of them died together in the hotel. Their dead bodies were found clutching one another in the rubble.

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Haiti Update – Sharing the Gospel

 

Peter Bradrick shares the gospel with men who thronged around him pleading for jobs in front of the ruined Haitian Capital.

Not only are we experiencing the sheer destruction and ruin surrounding us, but also the permeating disorder and instability that shackles the Haitian culture. These people need Christ, more than anything. Please join me in begging the Lord that He will use the heartbreaking situation here in Haiti to drive these people to their knees and show them their great need for a Savior. Revival and reformation would be the greatest rebuilding that could take place here in Haiti and would be the one thing that could turn the greatest devastation into the greatest opportunity for Haiti.

I am staggered as I see grief, despair, filth, and chaos everywhere here, and consider Christ’s amazing patience and love toward me as I understand on a whole new level what it means to be a filthy, poor, and wretched sinner before an all holy God.

 

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Snow Days in North Carolina

We have had lots of snow here and in NC, locals hole up both in and outside

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Childless by Choice

More couples are going “Childless by Choice”

msnbc.com reports on a rising phenomena – people who are decidedly against having children for personal reasons. It shows an alarming departure from the biblical idea that “children are a blessing from the Lord.” Whatever logical and personal perspectives it promotes, it is an idea that departs significantly from Christian thinking on the matter. Let me suggest that this is reflective of the church which has rejected the sufficiency of scripture for the building of christian culture. When the church rejects scripture, it loses its saltiness and thereby emboldens the wider culture to do what is right in its own eyes. The article reports that that here is a growing number of couples who do not want children. One woman explains an aspect of why she takes this position,

“Like many of the decisions we make in life, my decision to remain childless was motivated in part by fear—fear of regret. I was afraid to take the risk that I might be a bitter, unhappy, or regretful mom. Given my disinterest in the role of parent, this was a real possibility—particularly when I started hearing from parents who felt compelled to speak out, saying things like “You’re lucky not to have kids. They will break your heart.”

She declares how clearly she understood her desires for a “childfree” life.

“The assumptions people often make about the voluntarily childless troubled me because they didn’t come close to capturing my complex motives. I was not motivated to remain childless because I didn’t like kids or because I wanted to spend my money on cars and diamonds instead of cribs and diapers. I was motivated to be childfree because there was so much about my life that I enjoyed and so much that I still wanted to do, experiences that I felt I would have to delay or forgo if I had children. I remained childless because I valued my freedom to do the things I thought I could do well and happily, things I had dreamed of doing all my life.”

This of course is a direct assault against the biblical idea that calls mankind to, “be fruitful and multiply.”

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Peter Bradrick in Haiti for the NCFIC Contacting Churches and Pastors

 

The NCFIC has sent Peter Bradrick to report from Haiti on the situation as we seek work through churches in the country. We will be trying to follow his footsteps during this time. Please pray for him as he travels with Doug Phillips. They will be flying out early in the morning on Saturday and will return in six days. We will be providing updates from Peter on this blog as we get them. We plan to have a period of evaluation and then later in the year send teams there to work and preach the gospel, working through churches.

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My New Grandson – Loyal Cromwell Bradrick

 

 

I am delighted to report that my grandson, Loyal is home from the hospital and making all kinds of waves in our world. Peter and Kelly, Loyal’s parents, are like Moses and Zipporah who named their children, Gershom and Eliezer for specific godly purposes (Gen 18:3-4). What a blessing it is to have a “Loyal Cromwell” in the family.

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Verses on the Sweet Sovereignty of God

This will do your heart good. Here are lots of verses on the Sovereignty of God

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On Preaching to Children

Our church in Wake Forest consists of approximately 70% children. I like what Luther and D. Martin Lloyd-Jones says about this,

Martin Luther: “A preacher should have the skill to teach the unlearned simply, roundly, and plainly; for teaching is of more importance than exhorting…When I preach I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom I have above forty in the congregation. I have all my eyes on the servant maids and the children. And if the learned men are not well pleased with what they hear, well, the door is one.”

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones: “the wise preacher keeps his eye on the simple and the children. If a great and learned man feels that he does not get anything out of the message he is condemning himself. He is condemning himself in the sense that he is not spiritually minded, that he is not able to receive spiritual truth. He is so ‘puffed up’ and blown up with his head knowledge that he has forgotten that he has a heart and a soul. He condemns himself, and if he walks out, well, he is the loser.”

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Don’t Get Caught Doing Well On What Should Not Be Done At All

It matters where you put your energy, and modern churches expend enormous energy trying to make Sunday schools and youth programs work. Here are two thoughts about this. First, a proposition to ponder: the practice of comprehensive age segregation is not found anywhere in scripture. Second, a principle to consider:

Don’t get caught doing well that which should not be done at all.

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Expository Listening on the Lord’s Day

Here is a helpful piece on Tim Challies Blog that may help you tomorrow on the Lord’s Day in your local church

Richard Baxter:

Remember that all these…sermons must be reviewed, and you must answer for all that you have heard, whether you heard it…with diligent attention or with carelessness; and the word which you hear shall judge you at the last day. Hear therefore as those that are going to judgment to give account of their hearing and obeying.

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Come to the Family Economics Conference – March 5-6

 

 

Use the discount code NCFIC and you will receive a $50.00 discount.

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