Monday, August 17, 2009

Infinite Grace

Elisabeth Elliot has lost two husbands. Jim Elliot was martyred in Ecuador in 1956 while seeking to make contact with the Auca (now known as Huaorani). Her second husband, Addison Leitch, died of cancer in 1973. During his illness, he struggled with depression and guilt. She ministered to him by reminding him of God's amazing grace. Here are her reflections:
When my husband was near death from cancer, depression often seemed to overwhelm him like great black waves, and he was at times convinced (we know the source of this conviction) that his sins were unforgivable.

"Do you really think God can forgive my sins?" he would ask, for he felt that his sins were out of all proportion to the light that had been given him as a Christian (a Christian home, a Christian education, a wide sphere of Christian service).

The popular notion of somehow "balancing" our good deeds against our sins will not hold much reassurance for any of us when we face the final truth. Then we need grace, infinite grace, and plenty of it.

It is there for us--mighty waves, deeper and stronger than our blackest despair.

I had to remind my husband of what he knew very well intellectually: that his particular sins could not possibly exhaust the grace of God.

"God's act of grace is out of all proportion" to our wrongdoing (Rom 5:15 NEB).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Preach Christ or Go Home

Darryl Dash passed on this advice from Spurgeon:

Of all I would wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, PREACH CHRIST, always and evermore. He is the whole gospel. His person, offices, and work must be our great, all-comprehending theme. The world needs to be told of its Savior, and of the way to reach him…Blessed is the ministry of which CHRIST IS ALL.

This advice shouldn’t be necessary. What else is there to preach about? To quote Spurgeon again, “No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Fellow Missionary

On Sunday, we had the privilege of having John Grotenhuis in our home. John serves with Middle East Reformed Fellowship in Eritrea. His work there amazes me. Before he was deported, he cared for a household of 15. On many days he would spend 6-8 hours gathering (begging for) food for them. Usually he would bring back bread. An egg was a treat. He left behind a fledgling church that is still meeting in the house. He asked us to pray that the Holy Spirit would do his work of grace in the hearts of those new to the gospel and that God would provide their daily bread.