Monthly Archives: October 2019

October 31 End of Construction

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1–3

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:1

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.

In her book, Footprints of a Pilgrim, Ruth Bell Graham provides a suggested epitaph for herself: “End of construction. Thank you for your patience.”

Though humorous, her expression is based in truth. In Philippians 1:6, Paul placed his confidence in the fact that God will continue perfecting the good work He began in us until the day of Christ Jesus. This process of perfection began with sanctification—being set apart—and continues until the end of our lives. It is the period of progression between these two events that requires our full attention.

Once we have been born again, we should begin a life of progressive growth toward Christlikeness. We should seek to be conformed to the likeness of Christ in character, conversation, and conduct (Romans 12:1–2). We should also progress by allowing Christ to live out His life through us (Ephesians 4:1).

Of course, as Christians, we will all stumble and fall at times. However, as we understand more truth and apply it to our lives, we will be better equipped to avert the enemy’s fiery darts.

Examine your life in terms of spiritual growth and progress. Have you increased in biblical knowledge since your conversion? Are you experiencing new levels of intimacy with God? If not, begin moving forward today—away from complacency and toward perfection in Christ.

I know, Lord, that I am under construction and that I will only be completed when I go to be with You. Help me to be a willing participant in this process of sanctification.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 31 The Moments That Sustain You

Scripture Reading: Psalm 34

Key Verse: Psalm 34:5

They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.

You are made for fellowship with the Lord. Blaise Pascal said, “Happiness is neither within us only, or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God.” Though you may try to fill that void with busyness or a flurry of activity, your deep-rooted need for intimacy with God remains.

Do you set aside a specific time each day to come into His presence, pray, and meditate on His Word? Every area of your life feels the impact of the loss if you do not. That meeting time with God is worth protecting.

In his book Peaceful Living in a Stressful World, Ron Hutchcraft explains,

We’re built to begin our day with our Creator. It started with Adam who met “the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). Since then, men and women have been incomplete—whether they recognize it or not—without their morning walk with God.

David told us while literally running for his life, “Seek peace and pursue it.” With stress his constant pursuer, how could he be so preoccupied with peace? He explained: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant … Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:4–5, 8). David could then go on to “pursue peace” because he had found his quiet center. It came from his time with the Lord!

Dear heavenly Father, as I travel life’s pathway, let me never forget what sustains me and gives me strength for the journey—prayer, meditation, and the Word.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Happy 502nd Reformation Day — Pulpit & Pen

(Berean Nation) On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther, in an attempt to spark discussion among other religious scholars, posted a notice on the local bulletin board – the Castle Church door in Wittenburg, Germany.

A handful of printers (4 specifically we are told) with printing press technology found that notice, now known to history as the 95 theses, and literally spread that notice all over the countryside, without Luther’s knowledge or permission.

The reformation of God had begun in earnest. Even as the Roman “church” was selling Indulgences as a way to raise money, God was taking the ideas raised by these 95 theses and showing that not only was the Roman idea of purgatory a deadly false doctrine, but that in fact humankind would be saved through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone, seen in the Scriptures alone (as opposed to the traditions that were made up by the false religion of a false church), to the glory of God alone.

Luther was not a perfect man, but God used him by His grace to ignite a fire to know God and to return the real Gospel of Christ through His Word to prominence. Other reformers followed, namely Ulrich Zwingle, John Calvin, John Knox, and more began to study God again as He revealed Himself through the Scriptures.

Today, all of Protestant Christianity stands on the shoulders of this one monk turned minister of grace. Thank God for men like Luther, who with all of his imperfections, served Christ by Faith.

For more information about Luther, his life and ministry, for a limited time, you can see the documentary Luther in full for free on YouTube, courtesy of Ligonier Ministries.

[Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared at BereanNation.com and is used with full permission.]

via Happy 502nd Reformation Day — Pulpit & Pen

A Blind Man in a Bell Tower — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Martin Luther didn’t intend to start the Reformation. In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul explains how Luther’s 95 Theses spread across Germany and sparked a chain of events he never saw coming.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that today is the last day you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.

Transcript

The 95 Theses were written in Latin. That’s a key point. Because when he attached them to the church door at Wittenburg, he wasn’t doing violence to the church. That was the bulletin board where announcements were made, and invitations were given to the faculty for academic discussions among themselves. So what Luther was proposing was a serious scholarly discussion about the whole structure of the indulgence system. What happened without Luther’s permission and without his knowledge, some students say the 95 Theses translated them into German and took advantage of the printing press. And within two weeks they were in every village and hamlet throughout Germany, and this huge uproar took place. Karl Barth makes the observation that Luther, when he posted the 95 Theses, was like a blind man climbing a tower in the church, in the bell tower. He began to lose his balance, and he reached out to grab something to stabilize himself but what he grabbed in his blindness was the rope for the church bell and accidentally awakened the whole town by the ringing of the bells.

via A Blind Man in a Bell Tower — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Lesser-Known Protestant Leaders to Remember on Reformation Day — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

A view of the Reformation Wall with statues of William (Guillaume) Farel, John (Jean) Calvin, Theodore de Beze, and John Knox, from left to right, at Bastion Park in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, June 19, 2009. The commemorations of the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth has started in Geneva. Calvin was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. | (Photo: AP / KEYSTONE / Salvatore Di Nolfi)

When one thinks about the Protestant Reformation and its leadership, names like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli often come to mind.

While these figures were prominent, the sixteenth century spanned much of Europe and included many other figures including theologians, clergy, and academics.

As with their more famous contemporaries, these individuals were part of the Reformation and oftentimes experienced intense backlash from Catholic authorities. Here are five such people.

Guillaume Farel (1489-1565)

Guillaume Farel (1489-1565), a French Protestant Reformation preacher and writer who was a contemporary of John Calvin. Wikimedia Commons

Reformer and preacher Guillaume Farel is often credited with introducing the Reformation to the French-speaking population of Switzerland.

A native of France, Farel was raised in a devout Catholic home. He graduated from the University of Paris in 1517 and became a supporter of the Reformation soon after.

A preacher known for being confrontational, he moved to Geneva and famously convinced John Calvin to do the same in order to establish a strict Protestant society.

“As lion-like and controversial as Farel could be, he was committed to the spiritual vitality of the French-speaking people,” wrote Johnathon Bowers for DesiringGod.org.

“He produced some of the first Reformation works available in French, writing a commentary on the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer in 1524 and a summary of Reformed teaching in 1529.”

Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489-1561)

Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489-1561), a Polish Protestant Reformation leader of German ancestry. Wikimedia Commons

Born into a noble family in what is now Poland, Caspar Schwenckfeld was a royal court advisor when the Reformation began in 1517. He immediately offered his support for the movement.

After failing to fully join Luther’s movement in 1526, Schwenckfeld developed a following of his own, called the “Confessors of the Glory of Christ” or simply “Schwenkfelders.

Schwenckfeld often found himself at odds with both the Catholic Church and many of his fellow Protestants and spent his remaining years in hiding from both groups.

Due to frequent persecution, most of his followers eventually migrated to colonial Pennsylvania in 1734, where their communities exist to the present day.

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562)

Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562), Italian leader in the Protestant Reformation. Public Domain

Peter Martyr Vermigli was a native of Florence, Italy and the son of a shoemaker. He was ordained a priest in 1525, but by the 1540s he had come to support the Reformation.

After being exiled from his home in Italy, he traveled to the Central European city of Strassburg in the 1540s and then taught at Oxford in England beginning in 1547.

Vermigli was again forced to flee persecution from Catholic authorities when Queen Mary took power in England, eventually returning to Strassburg.

“Peter Martyr is little remembered today, but in his day he was widely recognized for his brilliance, his learning, his piety and his influence,” wrote W. Robert Godfrey of Westminster Seminary California in 1999.

“Excerpts from his writings circulated widely as Loci Communes published in Latin in 1576 and in English in 1583. Josiah Simler who preached a funeral oration for him aptly named him ‘an ambassador of Jesus Christ, to divers cities and nations.’”

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Source: Christian Post

via Lesser-Known Protestant Leaders to Remember on Reformation Day — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network