Lo, I am with you…

The NationsEveryone loves the promise of Jesus to those who follow him, “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b).  And so we should, for it is a great source of comfort, and strength.

But we must not forget that this promise is conditioned by what comes before it,Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

As William Carey rightly said,

“we claim our share in His promise: ‘Lo! I am with you.’ We have no right to the promise unless we observe the command.  The one conditions the other.  To neglect His commission is to forfeit His benediction.”

May we be found obeying our Master’s commission, and finding great peace in his benediction.


Some Interesting Car Facts

Ever wonder if certain cars (or drivers in certain cars) draw more tickets than others?  Well here are the facts:

What’s radar bait (and isn’t):**
Most-ticketed* Rate Least-ticketed* Rate
Hummer H2/H3 463% Jaguar XJ sedan 11%
Scion tC 460% Chevrolet Suburban 16%
Scion XB 403% Chevrolet Tahoe 21%
Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG 397% Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500 pickup 28%
Toyota Solara Coupe 306% Buick Park Avenue 32%
Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG 276% Mazda6 34%
Scion XA 275% Buick Rainier 37%
Subaru Outback 266% Oldsmobile Silhouette 37%
Audi A4 264% Buick Lucerne 40%
Toyota Matrix 264% GMC Sierra C1500 pickup 40%

*Violations per 100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

**Taken from MSN Money

Musings on a Sermon by Iain H. Murray

Iain Murray spoke to us in chapel this morning and gave a biographical sketch of Andrew Bonar.  And in concluding he spoke of how Bonar never thought himself a great preacher, and complained greatly of his inconsistent communion with Christ and then said something like this:

The less we know Christ the easier it seems to us to preach Christ.  But the more we know Christ the more difficult preaching seems, for we cannot give Him what is due, we are but dust.

May the day never come when we think it easy to preach Christ, but may we always, because of our communion with Him, be aware of our utter dependence on Him to grant fruit in the foolishness of preaching.

Is the New Testament “God-Breathed”?

When you first read 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” you probably thought “Scripture” was both the Old and New Testaments.  But, if your experience is anything like mine, one day, someone told you it actually referrs only to the Old Testament, because the New Testament was not completed, and was not collected until the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D. (or something like that).

But something was pointed out to me in my New Testament Introduction class this week that I actually had not seen before.

Read 1 Timothy 5:18

For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

The first quote is from Deuteronomy 25:4 but the second quote is actually from Luke 10:7.

So the Apostle Paul’s understanding of what Scripture was actually included some of the New Testament (at least those portions he knew about that had been written by the time he wrote 1 Timothy).

I thought that was the clearest evidence I had seen in a while that the New Testament testifies of itself as Scripture, that is inspired or “God-breathed.”

Another important Scripture is 2 Peter 3:15-16

What an amazing God we have – that He would speak to us, in human language, that we might know Him and Him who He sent.

“ALL Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

John Newton’s Reminder

Heard a great quote today, which to many of you is probably not new, but I thought I would share.  John Newton, near the end of his life, with his health failing said this:

“My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”

—John Newton, quoted in Jonathan Aitken, John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007), 347

I pray that as followers of Christ, we will always remember that truth, especially in the good times.

A Missions Method Study of Paul – Mission to Cyprus (Acts 13:4-13)

Mission to Cyprus

Mission to Cyprus

First, the obvious must be stated: we are not the Apostle Paul, neither are we apostles.  And so in looking at what the Apostle Paul did as recorded for us in God’s Word we seek not to do exactly as he did, but rather learn the basic, timeless principles and practices revealed to us regarding Paul’s missionary service (I owe a great deal to my professor Dr. William Barrick for suggesting this study as well as providing his own outlines of Acts for my use).

Mission to Cyprus (Acts 13:4-13)

Paul and Barnabas were sent by the Holy Spirit (13:4) to a work that had already been started by believers who had been scattered because of persecution (11:19-20).  The team assembled by the Holy Spirit included a national, for Barnabas himself was a Cyprian (4:36).  Barnabas’s cousin, John Mark also accompanied them on the journey as a helper (13:5; Col. 4:10).  Their mission was focused on two major cities that were connected by a major highway.  Salamis was a port and also a mercantile center, while Paphos was the city of residence for the Roman governor.  Paul received an invitation (possibly a summons?) from the Roman governor, Sergius Paulus (13:7).  Sergius was outside the target group, being that he was not a Cyprian, but rather from Pisidian Antioch.  There is no indication that a church was planted in Cyprus, though tradition holds that a church was started both in Salamis and Paphos.  There is also a later mention of a disciple from Cyprus who may date from this missionary journey (21:16) . It was at this time that John Mark abandoned the mission for Jerusalem (13:13), which later caused sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabas as to who should be allowed to accompany them on a future mission (15:37-39 – almost like modern missionary policies, Paul and Barnabas’s differed).  This disagreement led to the split up of Paul and Barnabas, when Barnabas took his cousin back to Cyprus to follow-up (15:36-39) and Paul left for Syria and Cilicia with Silas (Acts 15:40-41).  No farther biblical record exists about Cypriote Christianity outside that which is found in 15:37-39 and 21:16.