Our only comfort today, tomorrow

Question:  What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer:  That I am not my own
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1.

Via Ray Ortlund

An Honest Heart

Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Psalm 32:2

We cannot deceive God. Twice in the Acts God is called “the Heartknower” (Acts 1:24; 15:8). But we can deceive ourselves. Here are four differences between deceit and honesty in our hearts.

One, a deceitful heart doesn’t know its sin because it doesn’t want to know. But an honest heart is saying, “Bring it on.”

Two, a deceitful heart notices how well a sermon applies to someone else. But an honest heart is too concerned about itself to judge another.

Three, a deceitful heart, when it isn’t growing, blames its inertia on hardship or its church or even on God himself. But an honest heart says, “It’s my fault. I need to get in gear.”

Four, a deceitful heart delays response. It says, “I’ll get around to it, even soon. But I can’t right now.” An honest heart puts God first. Delayed obedience is a way of saying, “I’m setting the terms. I am Lord.” But an honest heart says, “Lord, whatever you want – right now.” An honest heart says, with the old hymn,

The dearest idol I have known, whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne and worship only thee.

Reposted from Ray Ourtlun’s blog

 

Men with a whole heart

From Ray Ortlund

There is only one way to play football — 110% effort every play, all the way to the end of the fourth quarter.  You lay it all down on that field.  Then you crawl off the field after the final gun with nothing left to give.  Football must be played with wholehearted abandon.  It’s the nature of the game.  It prepares us for life.

If I could change the Bible, all I would do is add “play high school football” to the qualifications for elders.  Men who have experienced such intense effort, hurling themselves into every play, especially as a team sport — such men understand what ministry demands and how good it feels to give their all for a cause greater than self.

Of course, there are other ways God provides for men to punch through to the experience of total abandon.  Football is not the only way.  But every man needs some kind of experience like this, to become the warrior God wants him to be.

There is only one way to serve Christ — all-out passion.  Passive men don’t understand, men who are afraid they might get knocked down or hurt.  Christianity must be lived with wholehearted abandon.  It’s the nature of the faith.  It prepares us for eternity.

Men with a whole heart — joy awaits them!

“Blessed are those who seek Him with their whole heart.”  Psalm 119:2