Monday, May 28, 2012

Am I Called

When my wife saw this on my desk she commented, "Isn't it a bit late to be reading that."  Am I called is written by Dave Harvey from the Sovereign Grace Ministries stable.  Anyone considering pastoral ministry needs to read this.  If Carl Trueman and Tim Challies write in support of it that is good enough for me.  The book comprises three main parts: Approaching the call; Diagnosing the call and Waiting.
Each of the 10 chapters is well written and flows in Harvey's unique and readable style.  As well as thorough Biblical reasoning for each point being discussed the author has also forwarded many of the chapters with biographical material from some of the giants of ministry.  For these notes alone the book is worth the read.  This is not a heavy read but a thought provoking and enjoyable one.  I wish I had had such a book 25 years ago as I struggled with my call to the ministry.  Reading this has confirmed to me - stick at it!
From now on this will be my standard text for giving to young men both to persuade and dissuade regarding gospel ministry.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let the Nations be Glad, John Piper

Every now and then you read a book and the instant thought is, Everyone needs to read this.  Well this is one of those books.  This volume by John Piper is all about mission and why mission should be the passion of every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The basic thesis of the book is that mission is all about making God supreme.  The book divides into three main parts:  The purpose, power and price; The necessity and nature of the task; and The practical outworking of compassion and worship.  In typical Piper mode it is saturated with Scripture and well endowed with suitable quotes from the giants of past generations.
If this book is not on every seminary reading list for evangelism then it ought to be.  Not that you will agree with all that you read.  It is a volume to ignite the heart.  It should come with a warning though - "This book might seriously change the direction of your life."  And isn't that what we are looking for.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Man United - No Cup but a message of Hope

Since I can remember I have only supported one team - Man U.  For nearly 50 years I have checked the results and delighted in every win.  Yesterday Man U didn't make it.  Pipped at the post by City.  Although it is hard to stomach I see something bigger - the love and mercy of the living God. Yesterday when City got the winner in extra time against the ten man QPR it was the love of God to the estimated 1.6 billion Man U followers across the world.  Every dreary eyed worshipped of the Reds is learning something new today - that the team that they hoped in for joy and satisfaction simply can't produce the goods.  Though the loyal fans across the world have given homage all season to their mighty men they wake this morning with a terrible ache - we didn't do it.  A dream unfulfilled. A satisfaction never provided.  And it is the love of God to show men and women the world over that no mere man, team or thing can satisfy the ache of the human heart for joy, satisfaction and fulfilment.
God caused City to win yesterday so Man U supporters who have worshipped their team so faithfully might look up and find the One who never disappoints, always produces the goods, satisfies with ultimate victory over our sin that would condemn us to hell if He had not taken the hell that we deserved.  When the final whistle blew yesterday God was declaring - come unto Me, worship Me, follow Me and you will have total joy.  If you are a Man U fan your sad heart at losing is God saying - stop worshipping your idol and turn to My Son Jesus and trust in Him.  If you are a City fan - when your gloating is over so will be your pleasure and you too must turn to Christ, repent of your sin for worshipping anything but the living God.  If you are a Christian use the epic end to the season to speak of the Ultimate winner who never lets His fans down - Jesus Christ.