Winter 2015 RSS feed for this section

Well Placed Loves

Solomon was given the gift of wisdom, but he misused it. God has given us the ability to love, but we often misuse it. As we saw in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the last days are perilous times when professing Christians love self, money and pleasure instead of God. When these misplaced loves are no longer outside, but within, times are dangerous for the church.

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Needed Negatives for the New Year

Many years ago there was a popular song which had as its main theme, “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” Make no mistake about it, in true Christianity the accent is definitely on the positive, and this is where it belongs in the believer’s daily life, but the negative cannot be eliminated. It is part and parcel of God’s holy Word. For example, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is gloriously positive in the avalanche of truth it unfolds to the enlightened heart, yet the negative is by no means eliminated as highlighted by several practical exhortations in 4:17-32 (eg. “walk not as other Gentiles walk,” (vs. 17); “be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (vs. 26); “let him that stole steal no more” (vs. 28); “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (vs. 29;) “and grieve not the Holy Spirit” (vs. 30)

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New Year

Dear Master, for this coming year

Just one request I bring:

I do not pray for happiness,

Or any earthly thing-

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Prayer for Humility

Humble, Lord, my haughty spirit, Bid my swelling thoughts subside; Strip me of my fancied merit: What have I to do with pride? Was my Saviour meek and lowly? And shall such a worm as I,

Weak, and earthly, and unholy, Dare to lift my head on high?

Teach me, Lord, my true condition; Bring me childlike to thy knee; Stripped of every low ambition, Willing to be led by thee.

Guide me by thy Holy Spirit Feed me from thy blessed word: All my wisdom, all my merit, Borrowed from thyself, O Lord!

Like a little babe, confiding, Simple, docile, let me be; Trusting still to thy providing, Willing to be led by thee.
Thus my all to thee submitting, I am thine and not my own; And when earthly hopes are flitting,

Rest secure on God alone.

 

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Heaven

People often mention the word ‘Heaven’ in their conversation, but it is usually in connection with expressions of surprise or exclamations of disbelief as in, for example, Heavens above’, ‘Good heavens’, ‘Heaven forbid’, ‘For heaven’s sake’, or ‘Heaven knows’. Again, it may be used as an adjective to describe something excellent or wonderful like, ‘That piece of cake was heavenly’. But ask them to tell you something about Heaven and it is unlikely they will be able to do so without lapsing into fantasy. Even Christians have difficulty in articulating their thoughts! Their idea of Heaven is perhaps rather vague.

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Holy Ambition

In Philippians chapter three Paul frames life in terms of winning and losing. ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,…’ 3:7-8. In fact the idea looms large in his thinking as seen by his statement in chapter 1 and verse 21 ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ 

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What is the meaning of the Heart in the Scriptures?

When David Livingston died on May 1, 1873 his heart was removed and buried in the African soil. He was so beloved that the Africans wanted his heart to remain in their land. His body was prepared and shipped back to England. There he was interned in Westminster Abbey.

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The Biblical Doctrine of Hell

C. S. Lewis once listened to a young preacher conclude his sermon with the words that Christ rejecters would suffer “grave eschatological ramifications”. He asked him afterwards if he meant people would go to Hell. “Precisely” the preacher replied, “Then say so”, said Lewis. Yet we understand the reluctance of that speaker and today it might be more difficult than ever to present this topic seriously.

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Preach The Word 2 Tim. 4. 1-5

’Preach the Word’ was the subject of brother Burnett’s ministry at the Ontario Worker’s and Elder’s Conference 2014. This message has been transcribed, and edited for publication in Counsel as follows.

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