Why I Write These:
These are written in honor of my grandfather, Leon Milton Buttermore, who has a memory that I am envious of, and I hope that by doing this I am able to be the kind of man who starts to treasure the things given him.
Godly thought of the day:
Acts 17:11;18 says: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptues every day to see if what Paul said was true… A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “he seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection”
I love the versatility of the Gospel put on display on here. Same message, but able to be spoken to different groups in different ways.
To the Bereans, Paul points them to Scripture and they pore over it to see that what he says is true. This is effective.
But to the philosophers, he quotes famous philosophers in verse 28 to show how what was true about Zeus was truly in reference to an ‘unknown’ God. It is a good example of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:19 and Colossians 4:6. Paul becomes whatever Paul must become in order to win as many as possible and so that he can respond to any with salt in his speech. Really incredible work that Paul does here, and very audacious to do this!
Mostly, my practical application of this is to be one who is well read. Both in the Scriptures, but also to understand local contexts. Paul clearly had not only studied the Scriptures, but also had spent some time mastering at least some popular philosophy in the Greek & Roman world that so this “babbler” could prove an effective discourser for God’s kingdom. God’s people should read, but not just to read. We should read to understand and so that, ultimately, our reading leads us to effective witness. Paul puts this prominently on display and we would do well to imitate him as he imitates Christ, who also knew the Scriptures in such a breathtaking way that his local context could not deny his authority.
Favorite meeting of the day:
Got a 2-hour breakfast with Scott Bielinski today. It was very good to catch up and spend time chatting.
Hardest part of my day:
Just a bit of a slow and lonely day. This was both the best and hardest part of my day. I’ll get to how it was good in a moment, but I was by myself most the day and I don’t like that. Lol. I’m an extrovert, I suppose. I wanted to get out and go, but don’t know exactly what to do with myself by myself.
Favorite moment of the day:
The good part about it being slow was that I slept from 11AM-3PM today! That was so nice. I needed a long nap to help me feel rested. I’m glad for the time the Lord afforded me to spend time in dedicated rest.
What was the weather like today?:
Sunny and warm! I went outside and did some agility ladder drills and took off my shirt. My pale skin doesn’t like the sun, so I try to give it small doses so I can get a bit of a tan. I hope it helps!
Most unfaithful moment of my day:
Nothing big crosses my mind. Honestly, I barely did anything all day. I’m sure there were thoughts and actions that were lazy. Nothing I do matches up to God’s perfect standard. But I also don’t look upon a series of thoughts or actions that really stick out.
What am I currently reading?:
Daily Bible Reading – 1 Chronicles 16-18
Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp – Finished this. He didn’t say too much new. A few good quotes. I most appreciated quote he had that referenced the idea that if we only rest content in Christ when we fully understand what he’s doing, we will hardly ever rest. That’s very true and a good thought to digest, especially after apathetic, ungrateful heart earlier this week.
All in all, I’m glad to wrap this book up and maybe open up more reading time for other things. I have a lot of books on the coffee table I need to get to.
Church History by Eusebius – No reading for this today.
Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch – I liked that he talked about how the Fear of the Lord is something that moves us to action. The fear of the Lord is displayed in motion because we are in reverence of God and this reverence of God, this vision of him is so big that it overcomes all obstacles. He brought up Isaiah, who would not have liked the personal danger of his ministry, except that his vision of God was so big that he could not help but say, “Send me.” We need to see God as big, as one to be revered, or else we’ll be rendered ineffective.
I did somewhat disagree with him on the nature of addictions. He says that all addictions happen when we feel that we have a private life that God does not see. I think this is true often, but I also think that there are some people who just don’t appreciate the sovereignty of God or else don’t see the significance of sin and don’t understand how much of a price grace comes to us at. Sure, grace doesn’t come to us at our cost, but that should never lead us to believe it doesn’t come to us at a cost. TANSTAAFL.
I appreciated where he was going and think this is a good thought, but also think he maybe painted a bit too broad with his brush on that point.
No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? by David F. Wells – No reading for this tonight.
On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther – No reading for this today.
Holiness by J.C. Ryle – Man, he laid on some thick stuff today in his chapter on sanctification. I didn’t finish all of it as I want to digest it.
But his most convicting moment was when he said that we, as agents of Christ, are responsible when we don’t give ourselves over to our sanctification. Who is at fault when we fail to live holy lives? Us. It is none other than ourselves who hinders us from being holy. This was convicting, and utterly true. I get in my own way and when I sin, I should not blame circumstances or other people or some unfortunate mishap. I should look at myself honestly and soberly and realize, that was me. I’m a sinner. A devilish chap. I need more sanctification.
He also said that the turmoil arising from sanctification, the conflict in our mind is not evidence of the lack of justification, but rather the opposite. It is not the dead who know what it feels like not to breathe, but only those who are alive. So that feeling of sin tearing at us and sometimes holding our head underwater and the panic it may ensue in believers is not evidence they are lost. It is a miracle of God to feel that, and we should encourage people that they feel this at all! That is not to say we should encourage sin, but that we should point people to the fact that this turmoil, if properly harnessed, leads to Godly grief and repentance, which is the most valuable feeling one can ever have in their life.
I also thought that he brought up two more interesting points. One, that God is a God of means and those means are, most broadly, God’s word, prayer, and the gathering of the saints. He boldly asserted that he has yet to witness someone being sanctified without giving themselves wholeheartedly to at least 2 of these 3, although he really seems to suggest that all 3 of them are necessary for the greatest level of sanctification. Off the top of my head, I cannot disagree with him. Think of, as he would say, the most eminent saints we can picture and they all had robust lives in studying Scripture, prayer, and their local churches. To ignore these things is to ignore sanctification!
But I also appreciated how he said sanctification is a way to prepare us for heaven. Without it, we would not know what to do with heaven. If we were only justified, we’d get to heaven and not have the nature to enjoy holiness. Christ would be a savior of us in that he eliminated guilt, but he would not be a savior who brings with him joy and promise of peace and blessing for eternity. So to deny the process of sanctification in one’s live is to either assume that somehow we have Christ’s perfectly sanctified live imputed to us, which is untenable in Scripture and experience, or is to say that Christ is only a savior in so far as he covers over guilt and it functionally denies us our readiness for heaven. I liked that idea. It helps me understand why I am disciplined in this life by God better. It helps me understand why I toil a bit more. I’d never thought about it that way so succinctly. He said that no creature enjoys being out of its element. So man must be prepared for the element that they will live in and is opposite to all they have known on this world, and he said quite cheekily that he would not reconsider this thought until, among other things, a fish had been proven to enjoy living on land.
What was for dinner?:
Kielbasa skillet! I decided that I wanted to cook for the week ahead so made a big pot of that so I’d have a few meals this week! Yum!
Song of the day:
Tis So Sweet by Jadon Ladvik – In a week where I have not always been perfect, it has been amazing how the Lord has restored me and brought joy once more even in the midst of sin. This song is my cry. I pray for grace to trust him more and he has proved himself over and over, even when I have no right to expect it of him. Yet there he is.
Quote of the day:
“The heart of the best Christian, even at his best, is a field occupied by two rival camps.” — J.C. Ryle
This he had in common with Paul Tripp at the end of his book. We are in the midst of a war, the greatest war we’ve ever been in. Yes, it is with an enemy who is defeated. But what a terrible enemy he must have been that, even in defeat, he torments us so. Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking that my enemy, Satan, and I were almost evenly matched and Jesus just tipped the scales in my favor. But Satan is not like that. I was fighting way out of my weight class and Jesus didn’t tip the scales in my favor. He came in and broke the scale and told the accuser, “the debt is paid! Be gone, serpent!” What a gift! I’m not the right one on my side. Jesus Christ, though, he is. And in him, and only him, I boast.
Prayer of the day:
Lord, you are big! You are the right man! You are the one who delivered me from this body of death! Lord, you have dealt a blow and paid a debt that I was not even close to being ready to do myself. Help me then, oh God, to season my speech with salt as Paul did so that I might be able to help people hear of your life, death, and resurrection. Help me to know those things I ought to so that I can speak with grace and authority in such a way that your Holy Spirit can convict people of their sin and they may be saved. I am yours, God. I deserve to be dead after my many ungrateful grumblings this week and rebellions I stirred up in my own heart. Yet you have saved me many times over this week. May you, the God of holiness, continue to sanctify me. Lord, thank you for being one who I can confidently look to as faithul and know you will do this thing, you will sanctify me so that I may enjoy eternity with you. You are good, Lord. May I see the train of your robe filling my life with glory and say, “Send me.”