The Valley of Vision: Resurrection

Jesus is Risen from the Grave

O GOD OF MY EXODUS,

Great was the joy of Israel’s sons
    when Egypt died upon the shore,

Far greater the joy
    when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed in the dust.

Jesus strides forth as the victor,
    conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing might;

He bursts the bands of death,
    tramples the powers of darkness down,
    and lives for ever.

He, my gracious surety,
    apprehended for payment of my debt,
    comes forth from the prison house of the grave
    free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.

Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering is accepted,
    that the claims of justice are satisfied,
    that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
    that his wrongful throne is levelled.

Give me the assurance that in Christ I died, in Him I rose,
    in His life I live, in His victory I triumph,
    in His ascension I shall be glorified.

Adorable Redeemer,
    Thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
    art ascended to highest heaven.

Thou, who as man of sorrows wast crowned with thorns,
    art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.

Once, no shame more deep than Thine,
    no agony more bitter, no death more cruel.

Now, no exaltation more high,
    no life more glorious, no advocate more effective.

Thou art in the triumph car leading captive Thine enemies behind Thee.

What more could be done than Thou hast done!
    Thy death is my life, 
    Thy resurrection my peace,
    Thy ascension my hope, 
    Thy prayers my comfort.

Resource

The Valley of Vision, Resurrection, 86-87 (leather edition edition)

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God and Christians, What is Their Relationship Like?

Have you every wondered what type of fellowship Christians have with God on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice? Have you been looking for motivation to pray throughout the day?

I have been reading a book entitled Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer. This weekend I came across a list by Matthew Henry explaining the availability of God to the Christian, which occurs on the basis of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

Read along as we explore the nature of the relationship Christians have with God through Christ.

Christians enjoy:

(1) A companion ready in all their solitudes, so that they are never less alone than when alone. Do we need better society than fellowship with the Father?

(2) A counsellor ready in all their doubts,…a guide (Ps. 73:24), who has promised to direct with his eye, to lead us in the way wherein we should go.

(3) A comforter ready in all their sorrows…[to] support sinking spirits, and be the strength of a fainting heart.

(4) A supply ready in all their wants. They that have access to God have access to a full fountain, an inexhaustible treasure, a rich mine.

(5) A support ready under all their burdens. They have access to him as Adonai [my Lord], my stay and the strength of my heart (Ps. 73:26).

(6) A shelter ready in all their dangers, a city of refuge near at hand. The name of the Lord is a strong tower (Prov. 18:10).

(7) Strength ready for all their performances in doing work, fighting work. He is their arm every morning (Isa. 33:2).

(8) Salvation insured by a sweet and undeceiving earnest…If he thus guides us by his counsel he will receive us to glory.

Application

As you can see, God is fully available to us as Christians. God’s availability and the nature of our relationship with Him should drive us to pray to Him. We should go to God everyday, seeking His strength, shelter, support, supply, comfort, counsel, and companionship.

Resource

Joel R. Beeke and Brian Najapfour, Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer, 143-44.

John Calvin on Prayer

I was recently given a book on prayer at The Gospel Coalition Conference, which is entitled Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer. The book surveys many of the Reformers and Puritans ideas on prayer. Calvin’s idea of prayer was particularly notable and worth sharing.

Joel Beeke provides us with Calvin’s words:

Prayer is an emotion of the heart within, which is poured out and laid open before God. In prayer we both communicate and commune with our Father in heaven, feeling our transparency in His presence. Like Christ in Gethsemane, we cast our desires, sighs, anxieties, fears, hopes, and joys into the lap of God.

Through prayer, a Christian puts his worries bit by bit on God. We are permitted to pour into God’s bosom the difficulties which torment us, in order that He may loosen the knots which we cannot untie. Prayer is the outpouring of the soul, the deepest root of piety, the bedrock of assurance. Prayer is the most important part of the Christian life; it is the lifeblood of every true believer [1].

I believe Calvin’s words should not go unheeded. Prayer is indeed the lifeblood of every true believer. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross opened the throne room of God, and we should run into it seeking to commune with God (Heb 10:19-23).

Charge

Do not neglect your communion with God. Seek His face daily in prayer. Pour out your heart to Him, casting all your desires, sighs, anxieties, fears, hopes, joys into the lap of God.

Resources

1. Joel Beeke and Brian Najapfour, Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer, 29.