Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carson's PDF books online

I found where all of Carson's publications are listed out in The Gospel Coalition website. Some of them are available in PDF form - you can recognise them by their url address as you mouse over the links.

Andy Naselli listed seven of the PDF links here. I have download both volumes of For the Love of God in PDF. Sweet!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Being confident, in whom?

The world speak of confidence in a very different way. When they speak of confidence, they speak of confidence in themselves and what they can do and how they portray themselves. We do that sometimes but when we talk about confidence, we are not to speak of it in ourselves but amazingly, our confidence is our fear and reverence of God.

Job 4:6
Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?

Proverbs 14:26
In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

Our fear of the Lord is our confidence. How can we be confident in ourselves? We are not perfect. But our perfection and righteousness is in heaven. Christ has clothed us, imputed us in righteousness.

Our righteousness is in heaven.
Our perfection is in heaven.
We are confident in our fear of God.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Comfort ye, my people

I have a set of classic choral CDs and I fell in love with this song sung by a brilliant tenor - comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God - such lovely and comforting words. And it was wonderful to hear the tenor singing in tandem with the violins that are almost echoing his very words.

I checked out the song online to find that it is a portion of none other than Handel's Messiah.

I found a comparable video here. Enjoy!

Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.
The voice of him that crieth the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert, a highway for our God."

Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, ev'ry mountain and hill made low,the crooked straight and the rough places plain.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Income Tax?

Did you know that you more or less work your first two months for the government, i.e. you pay the government the first two months of your salary in income tax?

I am not sure how I feel about that. For one, the money is needed for the country's development but I've seen too much unfairness and wastage. Hence, I'm not at all pleased to have to pay taxes for it to be wasted.

But I am being reminded what Jesus once said when he was being asked if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.

Matthew 22:17-21
"Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

I have to accept the fact that income tax is a part of life and it has to happen. The onus will be on the government to spend it wisely. I only need to do my part.

More than that, I also have to give to God what is his: in tithes, thanksgiving and offerings. He has provided and given us in the first place.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crafty but innocent?

As I was contemplating yesterday, I stopped at Matthew 10:16 -- I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (NIV)

Referring to other verses about the serpent, we find that serpents have the symbol of shrewdness and intellectual cunning.

Gen 3:1a
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD had made. (ESV)

Psa 58:4-5
They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear, so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or the cunning enchanter. (ESV)

Doves represents simple innocence, though Hosea does not paint a very good picture about it.

Hosea 7:11a
Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense. (ESV)

But can one have both shrewdness and innocence? ESV translated it as being crafty, which means being skilled in deception. But how can one deceive and yet be innocent? Is there a good kind of deception? NIV and NASB translated it as shrewd, KJV and RSV as wise.

I suppose we cannot just be innocent and not be crafty enough to realise underlying issues and motivation of other people. So I would take it as being wise, discerning but innocent. A very good combination of qualities to have for sure.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sending us out as sheep

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.
Matt 10:16-18

We live in an uncertain world. We live in a fallen world. And yet God send us out as sheep. Why? If you have a pack of wolves and you need to subdue them, won’t you send in something stronger? But God send us out as sheep. Why? The only answer I can think of is the fact that sheep needs a shepherd. Their lives are dependent on that one guide, leader and comforter. If we are being sent out as lions into the pack of wolves, we do not need anyone to help us; we are strong as we are. But no, we are dependent on the One Shepherd, who is our one true lead and guide in our lives.

But we are not to be dumb sheep though – we are to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves…now how can one do that while still being sheep?