He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again. - Annie Flint
My installation service is online at the Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church website. You can find the installation proceedings here (charges by Bebo Elkin and Rob Hill, installation prayer by my father in law Ken Smith, installation questions propounded Dr. John Kwasny). The Scripture reading by Scott Phillips and the sermon by Dr. Ligon Duncan (he preaches on I Tim. 1:3-5) is here. It was a glorious event. One of these days I’d love to transcribe this…
Philip Schaffer gives a wonderful rationale for knowing history, especially church history: “How shall we labor with any effect to build up the Church if we have no thorough knowledge of her history, or fail to apprehend it from the proper point of observation? History is, and must ever continue to be, next to God’s Word, the richest fountain of wisdom, and the surest guide to all successful practical activity.” (HT: John Kwasny)
The Lord Jesus died not only to be His people’s substitute but to be our example as well – we are to love one another even as He loved us, by giving Himself up for us. He came as one who served, and calls us to take the same posture (Luke 22:26-27). Some people say Jesus is only a good example, and so lose the gospel of a substitutionary atonement; others, to guard the gospel, are afraid to say “Be like Jesus.” Jesus had no problem telling His people to imitate Him. Let us trust in His merits and sacrifice alone for salvation, and seek to love as He loved this day.
“The great folly of even good men is that too often they forsake the rock of their salvation; they rely on works, so that the law with its sharp, flaming, two-edged sword must be called in to slay legal hopes as often as they revive. Whenever believers go to Sinai for salvation, its words of terror, its thundering and lightnings must be let loose upon them; if they cannot be drawn thence, hope will die within them, and terrors will consume them. Mount Sinai is far from Jerusalem; but Mount Calvary is hard by [very near] it. Ministers whose preaching discourages a law-work in the soul, are not wise; those, who have been the most soundly troubled in conscience, commonly cleave most closely to the gospel method of mercy. The law is still a schoolmaster to bring men to Christ; the nearer we are to the law as a covenant, the farther are we from Christ, from deliverance.”
“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul…Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For the sake of Your name revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble” (Ps. 143:8, 10-11).
David desires to experience God’s steadfast love anew each day; he confesses that God is his hope and trust; he postures himself as a disciple/learner/padawan, as one willing to be led; he commits himself to the Lord; he acknowledges the covenant of grace; he prays for revival and to be brought out of trouble. In this same psalm he declares himself to be sinful and worthy of judgment (143:2), and he proclaims his desire for the Lord Himself (143:6). He entrusts his enemies/trouble to the Lord (143:3-4, 7, 9, 11-12). May the Lord shape our prayers according to His word.
If you’re interested in C. S. Lewis and live in the Cookeville, TN, area, then you won’t want to miss this lecture on Lewis’ apologetic – it’s entitled “C. S. Lewis, Watchful Dragons, and the Baptized Imagination”.