Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Poem on Missions from a Friend

Go to the people,
Live among them,
Learn from them,
Start with what they know,
Build on what they have.

But of the best leaders, when their work is done, the people will all remark,

"we have done it ourselves."

That sounds great. Pray with me that I might actually know how to do this through God's grace and enabling in my life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Excerpt on Edwards

The following excerpt is from Iain Murray's book, "Heroes".

"What Edwards Has Left Us"
#4. Edwards' great lesson is the call to cease looking to men and to live to honour God alone.

Ask Edwards what he considered is ever the first need of the church, and his answer is very definite. It is 'humility', for pride is the peril ever nearest to us. It was pride that brought down the Northampton church. It was pride that led the eighteenth century to glory in the delusion of its supposed 'Enlightenment'. And in the way it can turn even the best of things to its use, pride is the most subtle of temptations. Orthodox faith, good scholarship, able preachers, successful congregations - these are all desirable things, but pride can ruin them all.

We want revival, but revival where pride is not mortified will quench the Holy Spirit...

Pride is the cause of the idolatry that is hateful to God. Congregations can idolize preachers, preachers can idolize congregations. In Edwards' life we are taught not only by his words but by his history, that we are to 'cease from man'. The praise of man one day may turn to opposition the next. We are not to depend on human nature. 'Beware of man', is the injunction of Christ. And the warning is most needed when it seems least necessary.

To the Bible's question, 'What is man?' Edwards knew the right answer: man is 'a leaf driven of the wind, poor dust, a shadow, a nothing'. And of himself he says that he was empty, 'a helpless creature', of small account, and needing 'God's help in everything'.

There is one text more than any other to which the life of Jonathan Edwards leads us back. It is at the heart of the Resolutions he wrote as a young Christian; he preached it in Boston at the age of twenty-seven when he said, 'the creature is nothing, and God is all'; and he delighted in it the longer he lived. The text is 1 Corinthians 10:31: 'Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' To exalt man is to disown the purpose of God that 'no flesh should glory in his presence'. All good is given to believers - all grace, all revival, all redemption, all eternity - that we might be abased and find our all in God. Whatever the hardships, the persecution or the disappointments in things temporal, the churches brightest and happiest days are those in which she is learning to sing, 'Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory' (Psa. 115:1), for this is God's preparation for the world where all will say,
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen (Rev. 7:12)