Check out

Blogs

How to Study a Psalm: 4 Keys to Interpretation | LogosTalk

Pokémon Go in a Fractured and Flattened world | TGC

Young Pastors & Fighting From Falling | The Cripplegate

The Danger of Disqualification — DASH/HOUSE

8 Reasons You’re Exhausted, Overwhelmed, and Unproductive – Michael Hyatt

How Should I Process the Current Tensions and Violence in Our Country? | TGC

The Heart of Hospitality | The Christward Collective

12 Marks of Excellent Pastoral Ministry | John Macarthur

Kindle Books

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Gamechangers: Key Figures in the Christian Church by Robert Letham $1.99.


Martyn Lloyd Jones (Trailblazer series) by Fred Catherwood $1.99.

The Defender’s Guide to Life’s Toughest Questions by Ray Comfort $2.99.


God’s Simple Filing System

I will say to them which were not my people, You are my people.— Hosea 2:23

When we look out on this world, we see innumerable differences between peoples and nations. We see different nations, different languages, different skin colors, different cultures, different clothing, etc. Who could possibly catalogue all these differences? Within one country or even one city, there are so many different personalities and characters. No two are alike and each one demands its own unique file.

When God looks out on the world, He sees more and He sees less. He sees more differences than we ever can, both national and individual differences. But, in some ways, He also sees less difference than we do. Because for all the incalculable variety, God sees just two people groups: “My people” and “not My people.” That’s it. As simple and stark as that. The Lord Jesus had a similar “filing system.” “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30).

When the Holy Spirit is working in your soul, you will begin to see the world as God sees it. You will get past all the many external differences in people and you will see that there are but two ultimate categories: “My people” and “Not my people.” When this crystallizes for you, alarm bells will begin to ring in your soul as you see that you are in the wrong group; you are not one of God’s people. God looks down on you and says, “Not my people.”

What must you do to be saved? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” He is the Passport to heavenly citizenship. He gives you title to belong to God’s people. When God looks down and sees Christ is your hope and sees Christ is in you, He re-classifies you: “My people.” “I will say to them which were not my people, you are my people, and they shall say, You are my God.”

Do you say this? If He owns you as His, will you be ashamed or hesitant to own Him as yours?


Check out

Blogs

The Three Verses that Kept Spurgeon from Quitting the Ministry | The Cripplegate
“Sometimes we treat Spurgeon and other heroes of the faith as super-human. But they were as vulnerable to despair as me and you. They wisely chose to think eternally in the midst of suffering. Eternal thoughts are the only thoughts that will give us comfort. We cannot hope in politics and we cannot hope in morality. We must focus instead on the day that Jesus will be exalted and when we will enjoy Him forever.”

Dallas Police Chief To Young Black Men: We’re Hiring
“Brown opened up about how he first got involved with law enforcement and why joining the police force is a more gratifying way to initiate change than just protesting.”

Credo Magazine » Check out the new issue of Credo Magazine: Prophet, Priest, King

How Broken Trust Regrows: 10 Stage Progression | Covenant Eyes
How does broken trust in a marriage regrow? Growth in trust will require your spouse personally investing in change and your willingness to take relational risks. Your spouse’s growth alone will not create trust without your willingness to take a relational risk. Your willingness to take a relational risk without your spouse’s growth will not produce lasting trust.

Kindle Books

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments $0.99.

The Gospel According to Daniel: A Christ-Centered Approach by Bryan Chapell $2.99.

The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias $1.99.

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Ed Welch $2.99.


Tear-drying, heart-rejoicing, dream-fulfilling words of hope

I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy.—Hosea 2:23

“I will not have mercy” are the most terrifying words a sinner can hear from the mouth of the Lord. These words will destroy the souls of the unrepentant sinner on the Day of Judgment. These words will echo round the chambers of hell forever: “I will not have mercy.” And who can argue with them?

Those who spend their earthly days saying, “I don’t want mercy,” can hardly complain when at the end of their days God grants them their request eternally, “You didn’t want mercy, and so you will not have mercy.” These words dash every dream and quash every hope, “I will not have mercy.” Oh, mercy-spurning sinner, will this be your death-sentence? Will you ever hear these “No Outlet” words?

Oh my soul, woe is me! Have I not rejected God’s offered mercy time and again? How many times I have whispered in my soul, “I will not have mercy.” How many times I have stubbornly insisted, “I want merit, not mercy. I want to be a creditor who is owed, not a debtor who can never repay.” And now, here I am hastening to judgment and eternity with neither merit nor mercy. Oh woe, woe is me!

But here is hope, despairing soul. Israel was just like you; she refused mercy time after time. She was judged by the removal of mercy in foreign exile (Hos. 1:6). But God looks down in pity on her merciless condition and says, “I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy.” What a turning point! What tear-drying, heart-rejoicing, dream-fulfilling words of hope!

Go to the Lord and say, “I have not obtained mercy because I did not need nor want mercy. But now I desperately need it and earnestly want it. I abandon all my imagined merit. Oh Lord, be merciful to me, the sinner.” And wait, what do you hear? Can it be, “I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy”?

And dear Christian of many years, recall what turned your life around. It wasn’t your merit or will; it was God’s mercy and God’s will. It was when He said—oh, blessed moment—“I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy.”


Check out

Blogs

Is Racial Harmony a Black Issue? | Trillia Newbell
Here’s a wise voice I’ve been listening to and learning from for a long time:

“These shootings have left us asking the same questions I believe we’ve been asking over the past few years, but this time something has changed. What has typically been a discussion predominantly among African Americans has now found an increasing amount of white voices speaking out—it’s not enough, but it’s a start.”

Di-ver-si-ty: Overcoming Homogeneity in Our Churches |  Ed Stetzer
“In living out these five truths of diversity, our churches will reflect more of the eschatological kingdom of God in the here and now!”

Gay Political Power Reaching Record as U.S. Attitudes Shift } Bloomberg Politics
“The gay power base has never been stronger. Maloney is one of seven openly gay U.S. lawmakers — the most ever — and membership in the House LGBT Equality Caucus has surged 58 percent this session. There are about 500 LGBT politicians serving in elected office at all levels of U.S. government and almost 200 more running for office this year, including 11 for Congress, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports those candidates.”

The Peculiar Nature of Christian Longings |Right With God
“The fundamental thing about christian longings is that the enjoyment of these longings does not depend on the fulfillment of them.”

BBC Radio 4 – A Point of View, After the Vote, Onora O’Neill
This short reflection on the Brexit debate has important lessons for the USA too especially about how to repair the democratic deficit.

Fighting for Faith in a Fostering Family
“Providing a haven of consistent, safe days is the role of foster care. The attachment we built with Casey lays a foundation for his life. It allowed for his brain to develop, and for him to build skills and personality. He learned the basics of trusting relationships in a stable, safe, and loving environment. Success is not based on “us together.” Success is based on Casey’s thriving. The separation we experienced no doubt caused trauma for him, just as it did for us. But the roots he grew while starting in a loving family will keep him from withering by God’s grace.”

How We Rewrote Our Company’s Mental Health Policy | Harvard Business Review
I wish our churches were leading the way here rather than bringing up the rear.

“Regardless of whether you acknowledge it, at least one person on your team is living with a mental illness right now. And as someone with a family history of mental illness, I can tell you that while it’s an inherently personal battle, mental illness’s effects aren’t limited to your employees’ personal lives. In fact, the World Health Organization found that without improved treatment, the world will lose 12 billion workdays by 2030 to depression and anxiety disorders alone.”

New Book

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Rod Dreher gave this his highest commendation recently, as a book that gives essential insights into an increasingly alienated and forgotten part of our society.

Kindle Books

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Jock Talk: Five Communication Principles for Leaders from Legends in the Sports World $0.99.

 Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard $2.99.

Family Worship: In the Bible, in History, and in your Home by Don Whitney $3.99

Video

Dallas Police Chief Testifies to God’s Grace and his Sweet Tender Mercies
I wish this man was running for President.


Heavenly Argriculture

I will sow her for myself in the earth.— Hosea 2:23

What’s the point of a land full of fruit if there are no people to eat it? Having promised to fructify the land in the previous verses, God now promises to populate it. He will not only sow corn, wine, and oil, but people.

Because of sin, Israel’s fields and towns lie empty and still. But that barren and empty land will be filled with produce and people by God’s great “I will.” He will take the remaining seed of His people—few and weak as they are—and sow them in the land again.

Onlookers might scoff at the dim prospects for such a seed in such a land. But in God’s time and with His blessing, that handful of seed will flourish and fill the land again to the astonishment of all. “Look!” says the now startled scoffer. “Look at what God has produced! What a farmer!”

Weak seed plus almighty sowing results in glory for the Sower rather than the seed. I will sow her “for myself” in the earth. When the Lord sows, it is for Himself, it is to His praise and honor.

Barren soul, frail seed of humanity, the divine “I will sow her for myself” is your great and only hope. Plead with the heavenly Agriculturalist to sow you to Him and for Him in the earth. You look at yourself and see deadness and dryness, and you conclude that God can find better seed to work with. This is true. But He is looking for weak and worthless seed. That should be your hope, not your despair.

Reverently argue your poor condition with Him: “Lord, I am poor and needy. Many scoff at me. I scoff at myself. For I am truly hopeless and helpless. But if you will sow me in the earth, all scoffing will be silenced. Think of what they and I will say if you will sow me in the earth with your divine benediction. No more will they mockingly say, ‘What pathetic seed!’ But, rather, ‘What a great Sower!’ O sow me for yourself in the earth. Make me an exhibit of what divine sowing can accomplish with the least promising of materials.”

God always rises to the challenge of this persuasive argument.