As I reflect upon the past couple of weeks I was drawn to think about the weather? I recall a particular afternoon when I was hustling around trying to get lunch made before I headed out the door to attend to other matters. I sat down and prepared to eat when the skies opened up and a stead rain began to fall. The windows were open and a cool breeze filled the room. I stopped and soaked in the moment. Nothing marvelous about it, no bright light from heaven accompanied by angels sing. However, this moment reminded me of God's absolute control and power over all things. I began to thank the Lord for the beauty of this day. However it was not the day itself that I found to be most beautiful. As I gloried in this day I was reminded that the true beauty the beauty that I longed for was to be found in Christ. In his gospel, his atoning sacrifice, in his divine nature, in his obedience to the Father, in his glorious resurrection, and his promise to return. It is Christ himself who truly is beautiful and worthy of my praise and adoration. Yet time and time again we try and find fulfillment in our own lusts and idols and after we have bowed down to them they leave us feeling dirty, naked, and alone. If only we could find our complete satisfaction in Christ and him alone. How true Jeremiah 2:13 is of every man, "for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water." What must we do? We must repent of our idols, we must break our cisterns, and we must see Christ as beautiful. We find must find him alone to be most satisfying. With the apostle Paul we must pray that all things in life become rubbish except for knowing Christ the Lord.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I found the quote listed below very insightful from Martin Luther on the nature of motives. This comes from "A Sermon on the Three Kinds of Good Life."
He who seeks nothing other than holiness is the one who seeks God himself, and he will find him. He who seeks reward, however, and avoids pain, never finds him at all and makes reward his God. Whatever it is that makes a man do something, that motive is his god.
Posted by Travis McGowen at 4:03 PM
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I am currently reading the works of Martin Luther, the great reformer. I have enjoyed much of what I have read and have not enjoyed some other things. Listed below is a quote from the 95 Theses on what the Christian life is to be about: repentance. You can read the entire document here.
Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ... willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
-- Martin Luther 1517
Posted by Travis McGowen at 3:45 PM
Sunday, August 23, 2009
For some time now I have been ulitizing written prayers as a spring board and as my own prayer for the day. William Carson has written a brief word on the written prayers and the Puritans thoughts on them. I often use the prayers from the Valley of Vision and I would commend them to you.
Posted by Travis McGowen at 5:23 PM
Friday, August 07, 2009
A number of years ago, one of my mentors, Charles Draper, said that the unregenerate man's will is like water traveling down a hill. It travels freely and yet it is bound by something, gravity. I found this illustration illumanting and very helpful. Walter Chantry has written an article that demonstrates the validity of this illustration from the Bible.
Posted by Travis McGowen at 12:01 PM
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Here is a quote that I have found helpful on the work of the Spirit in the conversion of sinners. I think that it is easy for preachers to think that if people are not immediately responding to their sermons, it must mean that something is wrong with their delivery. Owen provides a helpful reminder...
...The real effectiveness of preaching does not lie in the clever oratorical ability of men, nor in the ability to back up the preaching by doing miracles. It lies in the following two things. Firstly, the preaching must have been instituted by God. He has appointed the preaching of his Word to be the only outward means for the conversion of the souls of men (1 Cor 1:17-20 Mark 16:15, 16; Rom 1:16). Secondly, the power that makes preaching effective in the hearts of men for their salvation is in God’s hands alone. To some, preaching is made effective for salvation, to others for damnation. God also gives his appointed preachers special spiritual gifts and abilities to preach his Word (Eph 4:11-13). So the power to persuade a person to repent and believe the gospel by preaching lies in the sovereign will of God.
You can read the entire thing here.
Posted by Travis McGowen at 6:16 PM