Friday Devotional

I will be as the dew to Israel – Hosea 14:5

Dry, dry, dry. Have you felt like that? Has your soul ever seemed like a desert? You look at the wastelands within your soul and you can’t find any bud or blossom, never mind any fruit. There is no refreshing, encouraging oasis anywhere. It wasn’t always like that. You can remember a time when there was bud, blossom, and fruit everywhere. There was a little oasis here and a little stream there. Spiritual life and liveliness flowed in your blood and all was well with your soul. What happened? Well, many things happened, didn’t they? But the more important question is, how do you get out of this? We turn to Hosea to find the answer.

God gave Israel the land of Canaan as promised, a land which flowed with milk and honey. Under His blessing, they had known many years of fruitfulness and fertility. However, their disobedience had brought them and their land under the divinely promised curse. God withheld water from the land and the result was desert-dryness everywhere.

But, when this divine chastisement had humbled Israel and brought her to see her need of the Lord, He promised He would return with His dew. “I will be as the dew to Israel.” This is sovereign dew; God creates it, send it, and controls it. This is softening dew; it soaks into the hardest soul and breaks the hardest clods. It is stimulating dew. It refreshes and invigorates. It is saving dew; it is God Himself who will be the dew. “I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”

So, dry soul, look up. It is the Lord alone who can refresh you and reinvigorate you. He can make the desert sand blossom into a rose. Each of His three Persons can drench you with dew. Even one of His attributes can saturate your soul. Just one of His words can break the hardest clod. “Lord, come and beautify and fructify me with Thyself.”

– Taken from Milk and Honey

 

Coming this August

True%20Christian-frontThe True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ

Thomas Vincent

Hardcover, 144 pages

Retail Price: $25.00/ Our Price: $19.00

Available: August 4, 2015

Love to Christ is essential to true Christianity. Without love, faith lies dead, like a body without a soul. While many claim to be Christians, their lack of love for Christ proves that they know nothing of Christianity’s true nature. Therefore Christ demands love from all His disciples, knowing the transforming power it has over the souls of men.

In The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ, Thomas Vincent endeavors to excite and provoke Christians to a lively and vigorous exercise of love toward Jesus. With pastoral affection, Vincent delivers a variety of arguments and motivations to stir us up to love. He also provides a number of wise directions for how to warm and enflame one’s heart with a love for Christ. A devotional classic, this specimen of practical Christianity is full of biblical application and encouragement.

This volume also includes a biographical sketch of the author and appended sermon concerning Christ’s manifestation of Himself to those who love Him.

Foreword written by John MacArthur.

Author

Thomas Vincent (1634–1678) was born in 1634 in Hertford, England. He was the second son of John Vincent and the elder brother of Nathaniel Vincent. He was educated first at Westminster School, then at Felsted School, Great Dunmow, Essex, an institution of strong Puritan convictions. In 1648 he was elected to Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1652 and a master of arts degree in 1654. Leaving Oxford, he served as chaplain to Robert Sidney, Second Earl of Leicester. In 1657, Vincent succeeded Thomas Case as rector of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, London, where he remained until he was ejected for nonconformity in 1662.

Between his ejection and the Great Plague of 1665, Vincent assisted Thomas Doolittle in educating children at Doolittle’s nonconformist academy at Islington. During the plague of 1665, Vincent showed great courage and godly zeal by serving the sick left behind by the conformist ministers who fled the city.

For the last twelve years of his life, Vincent preached to a large congregation gathered at Hand Alley, off Bishopsgate Street. He was fined and probably imprisoned at least once during those years. He devoted himself extensively to educating young people. Vincent died in 1678, survived by his wife, Mary, and at least four children.

Endorsement

“Secular history generally paints Puritanism as a rather unsophisticated form of religion. Puritans are usually caricatured as cold, austere, and simplistic, devoid of any appreciation for love and beauty, obsessed with law and judgment. This book surely debunks that myth. It reveals the Puritan passion for ‘joy inexpressible and full of glory,’ which grows out of a warm-hearted, fervent love for Christ.”—John MacArthur, from the foreword

The Minor Prophets – Dr. Michael Barrett

Dr. Michael P.V. Barrett seeks to address the propensity of Christians to avoid certain seemingly less applicable portions of scripture – especially of the often ignored Minor Prophets. Taken from his newly released book The Next to Last Word: Service, Hope, and Revival in the Postexilic Prophets.

barrettCreed and custom often conflict. What is confessed to be truth does not always translate into practice. This is true for all too many Christians and regarding all too many aspects of Christian faith. Tragically, it is true at the most foundational level of Christianity, the Bible, which is the bedrock for faith. There is frequently a disconnect between what Christians believe about the Bible and what Christians do with the Bible. Even though they confess the importance of Scripture, Christians often relegate it to the fringes of life. Certainly conservative and confessing believers would be alarmed if Scripture reading and exposition were omitted from the liturgy of worship— and well they should be. Certainly evangelical Christians would be up in arms if the state confiscated personal copies of the Scriptures—and well they should be. But the tragedy is that certain portions or even whole books of many of those personal copies could be excised surreptitiously, and many Christians would not miss them—and that would be a shame.

With some exceptions, the Old Testament suffers more from this neglect than the New. Some of the Old Testament narratives are well known and used frequently for moral lessons or warnings. Proverbs, with pithy advice touching on life’s situations, is a favorite of many, and blessing comes easily from the Psalms. But much of the Old Testament is a closed book to so many. Admittedly, some surface issues account for this. How can something that was written so long ago to one group of people living in a relatively small bend of the globe address the needs and concerns of the modern world? Culture has changed; technology has advanced; the affairs of life must certainly be more complex. Some portions of the Old Testament seem to have no apparent value or purpose, such as the endless genealogies in Chronicles. Other passages seem to be completely outdated, such as the Levitical instructions concerning garments and grooming (Lev. 19:19, 27). Yet others appear to some to be outright offensive, such as the command to exterminate the Canaanites. The tension between the Old Testament’s “then” and the current “now” has caused many, at least in practice, to adopt a hands-off policy regarding much of the Old Testament.

For various reasons, among the most ignored portions of the Old Testament are the Minor Prophets. Apart from Jonah’s ordeal in the belly of the fish, some life-long churchgoers admit that they have never heard a sermon from the Minor Prophets, at least one that contextually and systematically deals with the particular prophet’s unique message. Never hearing from the Minor Prophets from the pulpit increases the temptation to skip them in private reading and study as well. Consequently, the Minor Prophets remain virtually unknown. As a preacher, I always love to hear the rustling of Bible pages as the congregation turns to the text for exposition. However, there have been times when I’ve announced a text from the Minor Prophets, and the rustling goes on far too long. On occasion I’ve had to direct people to go to Matthew and then back up from there, or I have referred them to the table of contents. I’ve never had to do that when preaching from Romans.

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Book Review

Spiritual_Warfare_front__52078.1388506494.1280.1280(Review of Spiritual Warfare by David McKay – Covenanter Witness)

There is much confusion among Christians on the subject of spiritual warfare, with plenty of books recommending practices which are totally foreign to Scripture or which misunderstand biblical texts. A straightforward, sane, biblical treatment of spiritual warfare is thus a welcome publication. Borgman and Ventura have written a clear and careful study of Paul’s treatment of the subject in Ephesians 6. They rightly strike a balance between the extremes of treating spiritual warfare as a trivial issue and reading everything about the Christian life through the lens of warfare with the powers of evil. After considering Paul’s opening exhortations to ‘be strong in the Lord’ and ‘put on the full armour of God’, the authors examine each element of God’s provision for his people, including a useful treatment of the relationship between prayer and gospel proclamation. Three helpful appendices round off the book, on the sovereignty of God in relation to Satan, on whether a Christian can be demon possessed and on the need for Christians to pray for their pastors. The chapters are short and readable, and a wide range of readers should profit from this helpful popular exposition of Paul’s teaching on spiritual warfare.

Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

A former tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University, she converted to Christ in 1999 in what she describes as a train wreck. Her memoir The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert chronicles that difficult journey. Rosaria is married to Kent, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina, and is a home school mother, pastor’s wife, author, and speaker.

 

By the Author:

 

secretThe Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith (Expanded Edition)

Paperback, 191 pages

Retail Price: $12.00/ Sales Price: $10.00

“Conversion put me in a complicated and comprehensive chaos. I sometimes wonder, when I hear other Christians pray for the salvation of the “lost,” if they realize that this comprehensive chaos is the desired end of such prayers. Often, people asked me to describe the “lessons” that I learned from this experience. I can’t. It was too traumatic. Sometimes in crisis, we don’t really learn lessons. Sometimes the result is simpler and more profound: sometimes our character is simply transformed.” -Rosaria Butterfield

Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department’s curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a “train wreck” at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.

Endorsement

“Dr. Butterfield’s story is honest, glorious, wise, and a punch in the gut.”- Kirk Blankenship

 

opennessOpenness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ

Paperback, 205 pages

Retail Price: $13.00/ Our Price: $10.00

Terms like same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gay Christian are part of daily discourse; yet enormous controversy surrounds them. They are the stuff of news headlines and vitriolic social media posts. But they also reflect stirrings of the heart in real people with real questions and concerns.

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, once a leftist professor in a committed lesbian relationship and now a confessional Christian, but always the thoughtful and compassionate professor, has written a followup to The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. This book answers many of the questions people pose when she speaks at universities and churches, questions not only about her unlikely conversion to Christ but about personal struggles that the ques­tioners only dare to ask someone else who has traveled a long and painful journey.

Dr. Butterfield not only goes to great lengths to clarify some of today’s key controversies, she also traces their history and defines the terms that have become second nature today-even going back to God’s original design for marriage and sexuality as found in the Bible. She cuts to the heart of the problems and points the way to the solution, which includes a challenge to the church to be all that God intended it to be, and for each person to find the true freedom that is found in Christ.

Chapters include:

  • Conversion: the Spark of a New Identity
  • Identity: the Flame of Our Union in Christ
  • Repentance: the Threshold to God and the Answer to Shame, Temptation, and Sin
  • Sexual Orientation: Freud’s 19th Century Category Mistake
  • Self-Representation: What Does It Mean to Be “gay”?
  • Conflict: When Sisters Disagree
  • Community: Representing Christ to the World

Endorsements

“King Jesus knows just what the church and the world need, and just when we need it. When we needed a Pascal; behold, there was Pascal. When we needed Spurgeon, there he was. In his wisdom, Jesus knew that we would need the gift, right now, of Rosaria Butterfield. This book deals with some of the most difficult and incendiary questions with wit, joy, maturity, and, above all, radiating love.

If you are struggling with sexual sin, this book will help you. If you are gripped with guilt from your past, this book will strengthen you. If you don’t know how to love or bear witness to your neighbors, this book will equip you. Like Jael of old, Rosaria Butterfield wields the tent peg of the gospel against deception and accusation. And, with this book, she nails it.” – Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Friday Devotional

August 29

He took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. – Mark 10:16

There are some dignified and religious persons in this world who appear to have no interest in children. Such was not our Lord Jesus Christ. It is possible that the disciples imagined Jesus to be above showing affection to mere children. At least, we read here, they ‘rebuked’ the people who brought young children to Him. But, if so, they were entirely mistaken. He was ‘much displeased’ with those who sought to stop children being brought to Him

The behavior of Jesus Christ should be an example to us all. Children are quick to realize when they are loved and welcomed, or when they are not. As Christians we wish to show love to children so as to win them to listen to the gospel which we believe.

What more perfect example of love to children could we ask for than this, in which we read that our Lord took them up in His arms and laid His hand on their head to bless them? “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not,” says this gracious Savior.

Our Lord’s example and His words are the only warrant we need to encourage us to do all in our power to lead, teach, and instruct children and young people towards a real faith in God and in the gospel.

Our Savior goes even further. He says of the little children: “Of such is the kingdom of God.” These words of our Lord surely mean that children, even at a young age, may become, by God’s grace, true and sincere believers and members of God’s spiritual kingdom. Further, Christ’s words also surely teach that a childlike spirit is a gospel spirit. All true Christians are childlike in that they, with a humble believing faith, have received the gift of forgiveness and everlasting life, while the haughty and high-minded utterly fail to get these gifts because of their pride.

If you are not a child of God, you need to humble yourself. Those who get into heaven must all be of a childlike spirit. Those who exalt themselves will sooner or later be humbled by God. But those who humble themselves will in the end be exalted. Happy are they who cultivate a child-like, self-effacing spirit!

Taken from Milk and Honey by Joel Beeke

Ebooks on the Holy Spirit Discount

preaching-front__77645_zoomPreaching in the Holy Spirit – EBOOK

Albert N. Martin

Regular Price: $3.99/ Sale Price: $0.99

Amazon.com

Heritagebooks.org

Good pastors pray for the Holy Spirit’s help in preparing biblical sermons that will adequately feed God’s sheep. They also hope for the Spirit’s work in the hearts of the hearers so that they effectively receive the preached Word. But are these the only ways that preachers must depend on the Spirit in their preaching? In this book, Albert N. Martin reminds gospel ministers of their need to rely on the Holy Spirit as they proclaim God’s Word. He explains the necessity of the agency and operations of the Holy Spirit, describes its specific manifestations, and discusses ways it is restrained or diminished. Here is a prophetic call to reliance on God in the very act of proclaiming His Word.

Author   Albert N. Martin served as a pastor of Trinity Baptist Church of Montville, New Jersey for forty-six years. He now resides in western Michigan with his wife, Dorothy.

Endorsement   “Who better to write a book on preaching in the Holy Spirit than Albert N. Martin? This gifted preacher, long-known for his own passionate expositions, has provided us with this insightful book that details the hallmarks of Spirit-energized preaching. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in expository preaching, but much of it has produced little more than dry, lifeless, tame lecturing. But true preaching, Martin argues, is quite different. Spirit-empowered preaching is delivered with penetrating insight, enlarged affections, deeper certainty, and fervent zeal. Every preacher should periodically read this book on Saturday night before entering the pulpit on Sunday morning.” — Steven J. Lawson, Senior Pastor Christ Fellowship Baptist Church Mobile, Alabama

Holy-Spirit-3DThe Holy Spirit – EBOOK

Geoffrey Thomas

Regular Price: $9.99/ Our Price: $2.99

Amazon.com

Heritagebooks.org

The Holy Spirit is often treated as either a dry doctrine for our mouths to recite or raw power to ignite our emotions. Geoff Thomas shows us that the Holy Spirit is both infinitely glorious and intensely personal. Neither a theory nor a force, the Spirit is God and acts as our God in gathering a people to Himself. This book follows the scriptural revelation of the Spirit from Genesis to Pentecost to today, covering such topics as His personality and Deity, His inspiration and anointing in the Old Testament, His conviction and regeneration, the spiritual gifts, putting to death sinful deeds by the Spirit, His sealing, and spiritual revival. It will help believers to know how much the Spirit of God loves them, and will help them to love the Spirit with all their hearts—and with Him, the whole Triune God. It may also help unbelievers to begin to thirst for the living water which they desperately need.

Endorsement   “Dr. Geoff Thomas has here given us a book on the theme of the Holy Spirit, which, unlike so many recent books on this subject, can be trusted. As a pastor of many years experience he brings the subject to his readers with vivacity, illustration, and attention to theological accuracy. It will show us what our churches today need and yet not do so by glamorizing the past. It deserves to be widely read.” – Maurice Roberts, emeritus pastor in the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) “Jonathan Edwards rightly believed that the Father’s great gift to the Church is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of His beloved Son. How sad then that many sectors of professing Christianity failed to understand Him in the past century: liberals because they no longer believed the truth about God; Pentecostals and charismatics because they forgot that the coming of the Spirit ever sheds light in the mind; and evangelicals and reformed believers because they feared to be accused of fanaticism. For a variety of reasons, this situation with regards to evangelical and Reformed Christians is changing for the better and that partly because of solid biblical reflection on the blessed Holy Spirit like this new work by the Welsh pastor Geoff Thomas. Pastor Thomas comes from a tradition that has always honored the Spirit and longed for His power. Pastor Thomas, though, is also deeply rooted in biblical truth and rightly wary of experience that is not infrangibly tied to the Bible, which, it goes without saying, is the creation of the Spirit Himself. I hope this important meditation on the Spirit gets a wide hearing, for there is much biblical wisdom here.” – Michael A. G. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

holy spiritThe Holy Spirit and Reformed Spirituality: A Tribute to Geoffrey Thomas – EBOOK

Joel R. Beeke and Derek W. H. Thomas

Regular Price: $9.99/ Our Price: $2.99

Amazon.com

Heritagebooks.org

How does God bring His Word into our lives? The answer is: by the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit the Word was revealed and written. By the Spirit the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. By the Spirit the Word roots itself in the hearts of sinners and produces fruit. Calvin recognized long ago that the Holy Spirit is the bond of union between believers and Christ. Jonathan Edwards said that the Spirit is the sum of all Christ bought for His people with His precious blood. How precious then is the Spirit, and how important to know Him and His ways! In this book, a team of pastor-theologians uncover the rich biblical teachings about the work of the Holy Spirit. How was the Spirit involved in the human life of Jesus Christ? What is a spiritual person? How does the Spirit open the mind of sinners to trust in Christ? What does it mean to serve God in the power of the Spirit? How does the Spirit’s sovereign work relate to our responsibility in evangelism? These questions and more are addressed in this book.

Endorsements  “Geoffrey Thomas is known and respected far and wide for his love for the doctrines of grace and warm-heartedness as a pastor. I am grateful to have known him over the years and to be invited now to commend this festschrift with its helpful essays illustrating the importance of the Holy Spirit’s work in saving sinners, in promoting their holiness and spiritual growth, and in supplying biblical preaching past and present.”  — Maurice Roberts

“Geoff Thomas is a Reformed statesman—one of the remarkable figures in the modern church who is truly committed to Reformed ecumenicity. For that reason alone, this tribute is appropriate. You will note that men from a number of church backgrounds (both credo-Baptist and paedo-Baptist) have contributed to this birthday present. Those readers who know Geoff have found much pleasure and edification in his company, and all who read these articles will find the same.” —Joseph Pipa, president, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Taylors, South Carolina

“What better way to give thanks to God for the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in and through a dear father and brother in Christ than by directing hearts and minds to grow in delight in and reverence for the Holy Spirit? This diverse collection of essays challenges us to search the Scriptures to know the Spirit, see His work, and stand in wonder and worship before the triune God.” — William VanDoodewaard, associate professor of church history, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Durand – Review

durandReviews of Marie Durand by Simonetta Carr taken from ‘Cross Focused Reviews Blog Tour’.

“As a historian, I love these books for how they draw young people in to history and make it come alive! As a homeschooling mom, I love using these because they point out the sources they come from and encourage the kids that are reading them to delve in more to the time by giving them a brief bit of information on either side of the time they feature. As a reader myself, I enjoy being able to sit down for an hour or less and dig in myself and learn something new!” – Reviewer: Wendi Bevitt

“I’ve read and reviewed several children’s biographies by Simonetta Carr, but Marie Durand is my favorite thus far. The story of this ordinary believer’s perseverance is very powerful. I’m thankful it is being told.” – Reviewer: Persis Lorenti

“This is one of those books that is a pleasure to read aloud with someone else… History tied to a person is much more memorable than straight facts. For this reason this makes an excellent book for teaching history to young children.” – Reviewer: William Perkins

“It is written in a way that children can understand, and is still interesting for adults as well! I found myself wanting to read more about the life of Marie Durand!” – Reviewer: Heidi Smith

“Marie Durand is the beautiful story of the faith of a young woman who continued to live faithfully to what God had called her, even in the face of persecution… This is a hardcovered book with pages beautifully printed, making this a wonderful book to gift to any child or school library.” – Reviewer: Joanne Viola

“I thoroughly enjoyed Marie Durand, and cannot recommend it, and the other books in the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series, highly enough. Ideal for reading as a family, it would also be a helpful addition to homeschool curriculum, or a wonderful introduction for those new to the story of Marie Durand. I would give the book an “A”.” – Reviewer: Amanda Cain

“I recommend this book to anyone interested in women of the church, French church history, and young girls looking for examples of Godly women.” – Reviewer: Kenneth Clayton

Learning about Christ from His Miracles

This extract is taken from the recently published book Mercy Revealed: A Cross-Centered Look at Christ’s Miracles by Gerald M. Bilkes

Christ’s miracles are not the only ones recorded in Scripture. We are given detailed accounts of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha. The opening pages of the New Testament also record miracles such as the birth of John the Baptist and the conception of Jesus Christ. After Christ’s ascension, His disciples performed many notable miracles. Miracles were not something that occurred only during biblical times. Christ still performs miracles both as He saves sinners and sustains His people every day. As He carries them, heals them, restores them, and delivers them from their fears, He is working our His perfect plan, filled as it is with countless miracles. However, the miracles Christ performed Himself while He walked this earth are perhaps the most well known and beloved by Christians.

Miracles are valuable because of what they teach us about Christ. Peter made an important point about these miracles on the day of Pentecost: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22). The miracles magnify Christ’s glory, pointing to Him as one approved by God. If Christ has His Father’s approval, how can He not be worthy of ours?

Defining Miracles

The miracles of Christ were special signs that He performed during His public ministry. He did things that others could not do – things that proved that God was with Him, as Nicodemus noted (John 3:2). These events ran counter to expected natural processes.

In a certain sense, everything God does is a miracle. For example, many miracles were involved in His creation of heaven and earth in six days. God’s upholding everything by His providence is a miracle. The sunshine and rain, the springtime and harvest, and many other natural phenomena point to the might and power of God, who works in ways we cannot trace (Eccl. 11:5). Yet the Bible speaks specifically of miracles and, in doing so, refers to events that distinguish themselves from normal and expected processes.

The Bible uses three main words for miracles. Each one emphasizes a certain aspect of the miraculous character of an event. In many instances, only one of three words is used in a narrative.

  • The first word used is dunamis, or ‘powerful deed.’ This word stresses the might or power required for the performance of a miracle. For example, Christ used this word when He said, “If the might works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented” (Luke 10:13).
  • Teras, or ‘wonder,’ is the second word that is used. It emphasizes the response required by or expected from the miracle. A person witnessing or hearing about the event ought to be amazed. This word is used in John 4:48: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”
  • Third, is semeion or ‘sign.’ In other words, the miracle serves as a signal or signpost, pointing the person who sees it or hears of it to something else. This word is used in John 20:30: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples.”

The Kinds of Miracles

Biblical scholars have attempted to categorize the miracles into groups. One common method classifies them according to who or what is involved, as follows:

  • Miracles involving human beings: This is the most common kind of miracle in the Gospels. Christ cured people with diseases and even brought the dead back to life. Some were healed with a touch, others from a distance. In each case, it was clear that Christ was the source of healing. Miracles involving demon-possessed people could be included as a subcategory within the group.
  • Miracles involving creation or nature: The well-known miracles in which there is a calming of the sea, walking on water, or multiplying of loaves and fishes are included in this group. Something within the created order was being acted upon and became subservient to its Creator in a new and incredible way.

The Purposes of the Miracles

Why did Christ perform miracles on earth?

  • To announce the arrival of the kingdom of grace in Christ’s coming, in accordance with prophecy (see, for example, Isa. 35:3-6)
  • To illustrate Christ’s teaching of redemption by grace and the turning back of the consequences of the fall into sin
  • To foreshadow the benefits Christ would accomplish in His work of redemption on the cross
  • To show forth Christ’s glory as the Son of God

The Christ of the Miracles

Is it any wonder that Christ performed miracles when He is such an extraordinary person? He was both perfectly human and perfectly divine. While on earth, He was unique from any other human being.

When we study the miracles, we should never lose sight of the glorious and magnificent Christ who performed them. If you have been brought from darkness to light, He has performed such a miracle in your heart. He has regenerated you, justified you and reconciled you unto God. These things should astound us no less than the miracles He did when He was on earth.

Ultimately, all the miracles should led us to Calvary and the empty tomb, where we see the most miraculous event of all. On the cross and in the empty grave, we see how God brought life and immortality to light in the gospel through the death of a sinless Surety. Our focus should not be on the miracles themselves, but on the triune God who purposed and performed them and who applies their truth to the hearts of those who are spiritually blind, lame, leprous, and dead.

Journibles – Back in Print!

1 timothy1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Hebrews

Hardcover, 224 pages

Retail Price: $14.00/ Our Price: $10.00

Why the 17:18 series?

In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the “scroll publishing house,” but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are “discovering” that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also. From such understanding came the conception of this series of books.

jamesJames, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude

Hardcover, 192 pages

Retail Price: $14.00/ Our Price: $10.00

How to Use These Books

Each book is organized so that you can write out your very own copy of Scripture. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.

Endorsements  “There is an old proverb that says ‘Thoughts disentangle themselves when passing over the lips and through the finger tips.’ The 17:18 Series which encourages us to actually write out the words of Scripture will be a tremendous tool in putting that proverb into action in our daily lives. I am happy to commend this project.” -Jerry Bridges

“Rob Wynalda’s The 17:18 Series encapsulates the biblical mandate to write Scripture on the tables of our hearts. By writing out Scripture ourselves and buttressing that with answering questions and taking notes about the texts, we will grow immensely in hiding the Word in our hearts and exemplifying it in our lives. This series of books is suitable for children and adults, for lay people and ministers, for Bible study classes and private devotions. Try a volume yourself. By the Spirit’s grace, your soul will prosper, and you will want to write out the whole of Scripture.” -Joel Beeke

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