Turning Back the Darkness
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When we talk about reformation, most of us think immediately of the events that took place in sixteenth-century Europe. Though the word reformation does indeed belong within the realm of church history, it is more importantly a biblical concept--a mandate, even--that still needs our attention today. ^Richard Phillips examines the vital crossroads and turning points for the people of God in both the Old and New Testaments, demonstrating that in the flow of redemptive history there is a definite pattern of formation, deformation, and reformation. It's a pattern no less evident in our own times, and it gives us a lens through which to view ourselves, our thoughts, and our plans. As Phillips explains the biblical mandate for reformation and sets forth God's principles that shape this call, you will be encouraged and emboldened toward a more confident application of these truths.
rs"Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer Thought it scarcely worth his while To waste much time on the old violin, But he held it up with a smile. "What am I bidden, good folk?" he cried, "Whors"ll start the bidding for me? "A dollar-a dollar-then two, only two- "Two dollars, and whors"ll make it three? "Going for three"-but no- From the room far back, a gray-haired man Came forward and picked up the bow, Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening the loosened strings, He played a melody pure and sweet As a caroling angel sings.The music ceased, and the auctioneer, With a voice that was quiet and low, Said, "Now what am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow. "A thousand dollars-and whors"ll make it two? "Two thousand-and whors"ll make it three? "Three thousand once-three thousand twice- "And going-and gone," cried he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not understand. "What changed its worth?" Quick came the reply, "The touch of the Masterrs"s hand."And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scarred with sin, Is auctioned cheap, to a thoughtless crowd, Much like the old violin. A "mess of pottage"-a glass of wine, A game-and he travels on: He is going once-and going twice- Hers"s going-and almost gone! But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd Never can quite understand The worth of a soul and the change thatrs"s wrought By the touch of the Masterrs"s hand.By Myra BrooksThe Masterrs"s hand is the only hand that can transform the soul. This very moment the Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to turn your darkness into day, your sorrow into joy.Hear His call: "Come now, and let us reason together... though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18).Have more wonderful words ever been spoken? God wants to cleanse your life from sin and give you a new life of hope and joy. He does not ask you to change your life yourself. He asks you to come to Him just as you are. His Word promises: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).But first you must trust totally upon Godrs"s mercy. You cannot depend on your "good works" to gain entrance into Heaven. For before God we are all sinners. "There is none righteous, no, not one... For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:10, 23).There is only one way, one door through which we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus said: "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (John 10:9).Jesus made the way for you and me by dying on the cross for our sins: "He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). You can receive the risen, victorious Lord Jesus Christ by faith now.Why hold back any longer? Come to the Master today.
Rev. Richard D. Phillips, Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville. He earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business and a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He served in the United States Army for thirteen years as a combat officer, was assistant professor of leadership and organizational studies at West Point, and is a management consultant and frequent seminar speaker on the topic of leadership and organization. He has authored Zechariah; Galatians and Hebrews (Reformed Expository Commentary); Encounters with Jesus: When Ordinary People Met the Savior; Turning Your World Upside Down: Kingdom Priorities in the Parables of Jesus and Chosen in Christ: The Glory of Grace in Ephesians 1
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