Josh Harris, a pastor and evangelical Christian leader, posted a poem that a close friend of his wrote about Good Friday. As I read it to my wife, we were both moved to tears. It summed up that horrific day with beautiful clarity and artistry. I pray this blesses you as it did me.
How Awesome is That Day to Me
How awesome is that day to me-
O day of hallowed history!
Set time in God’s determined plan
To sacrifice the Son of Man.
What famous work that day was done
By Jesus Christ, His Perfect Son!
The Second Adam, sent to save,
Humbly obeying to the grave!
How savage is that day to me-
O day of pure brutality!
When Christ, the Son of God Most High,
Was fiercely whipped and hung to die.
And O the horror of my sin,
Seen there in His appalling skin!
For God struck down- as meant for me-
The sinless One, at Calvary.
How precious is that day to me-
O day of purchased liberty!
In Him, a freeman now I live;
My sins, through death, did God forgive.
No wrath at length looms o’er my head,
But lovingkindness there instead.
His righteousness, my guilt replaced,
And Love, this ransomed soul embraced!
O awesome, savage, precious day-
‘Tis God the Savior on display!
What peerless, holy, gracious Mind
Would fashion such a Grand Design?
By Kevin Hartnett, September 2001
I know it’s a few days late, but Happy New Year to all of you! I pray that it is a fruitful year for you – spiritually, emotionally, athletically, hypothetically, salvifically, and superfluously. Here is a great passage of scripture that I’ve been meditating on, and it is fitting for all of us as we start the year off. It’s the first chapter of the Psalms, and it should be the first chapter of our lives in 2010:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
May Christ richly dwell in you in 2010… God bless.
Each year at the SBC annual meeting, there is a Pastor’s Conference designed to strengthen and encourage those who are in shepherding roles in local churches. I tremendously appreciate our denomination for bringing gifted men of God to the pulpit of the Pastor’s Conference. In fact, some of the most renowned preachers in the world have been keynotes at this event.
This year’s Pastor’s Conference had some fresh, new faces that represented the up-and-coming generation of SBC pastors. While I am a Southern Baptist – both in theology and in mission – I have had my concerns with the future of our denomination. But at this year’s annual meeting it became clear to me that God is not sleeping, and He is definitely raising up a new generation of passionate preachers, teachers, and missionaries.
David Platt, the senior pastor at The Church at Brook Hills is one of the leaders of this younger generation of gifted SBC pastors. He is only 30 years old, but he is wise beyond his years and commands attention – even from those twice his age. He was privileged to preach at one of the main sessions at the conference, and he left a profound impact on those in attendance.
What I appreciate about David Platt is his combination of confidence and humility in his preaching. He is convinced of the reliability of the text and not his ability as an orator. Sadly, the opposite is true with many pastors, but that is a different discussion for a different day. Back to the message he preached at the conference…
With the foundation of Hebrews 13:11, he began with a question that struck at the core of every pastor in the room: “Are we going to die in our religion or are we going to die in our devotion?” He then followed with a great explanation of the text and a fantastic charge on missions and evangelism.
I pray that, if you choose to watch this, you will ask that of yourselves as well.
I was requested by SBC Tapes to remove the video of David Platt’s PC sermon. Apparently, they have the copyright privileges to all of the videos from the SBC Annual Meeting. As soon as they have the copyrighted version finished and up on the web, I’ll add a link to the page. It’s worth watching.
Ever meet someone from another country and wish you could give them Christian resources in their native tongue? Something that they could read and comprehend better than they could in English? Something that could make the gospel come alive in the language they think and dream in?
Look no further – Gospel Translations is here.
So what exactly is Gospel Translations?
It is a theologically sound, informative web-driven tool that has resources for sharing the Gospel, strengthening your walk with Christ, learning Biblical theology, and dozens of other topics. FREE OF CHARGE!
On their website, the founders of this organization say,
Gospel Translations is dedicated to making gospel-centered books and articles available to Christians all around the world for free. These books and articles are made available to us by Christian publishers, and are translated by teams of volunteers spread out all over the world.
The organization is still pretty new, but their heart is in the right place. Another quote from their website:
We’re still just getting started, but we hope what we have to offer so far helps to teach you about our great Savior, Jesus Christ, whose death on the cross has paid for all our sins and reconciled us to God.
Needless to say, it is one of the best kingdom-minded ideas I’ve seen in a long time. Here is a video that explains their services further:
This site can be especially helpful if you are planning a missions venture or actually preparing to be a missionary. But don’t write it off as just that.
There are millions of international citizens of the USA. We encounter people everyday that call another country their home. This website can be a huge bridge for the gospel with these people. I strongly encourage you to use it.
You can read the NEXT Conference webzine for a more detailed review of Gospel Translations here.
Visit the Gospel Translations website by clicking here.