Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Doctrine of the Trinity

Many Christians admit to being confused when it comes to understanding the doctrine of the Trinity - that our God is one God in three persons. Kevin DeYoung has written a short piece explaining the doctrine of the Trinity and why it is so significant. He says:
If any doctrine makes Christianity Christian, then surely it is the doctrine of the Trinity. The three great ecumenical creeds—the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed—are all structured around our three in one God, underlying the essential importance of Trinitarian theology. Augustine once commented about the Trinity that “in no other subject is error more dangerous, or inquiry more laborious, or the discovery of truth more profitable.” More recently, Sinclair Ferguson has reflected on “the rather obvious thought that when his disciples were about to have the world collapse in on them, our Lord spent so much time in the Upper Room speaking to them about the mystery of the Trinity. If anything could underline the necessity of Trinitarianism for practical Christianity, that must surely be it!”

Yet, when it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity, most Christians are poor in their understanding, poorer in their articulation, and poorest of all in seeing any way in which the doctrine matters in real life.
DeYoung goes on to explore the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity under three headings:
  • What does the doctrine mean?
  • Where is it found in the Bible?
  • Why does any of this matter?
You can read the whole article here.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

"Behold the Cross of Christ"

Here are some more helpful thoughts from J. C. Ryle on suffering, and how the gospel of Christ crucified comforts the suffering believer:
Are you a distressed believer? Is your heart pressed down with sickness, tried with disappointments, overburdened with cares? To you I say this day, “Behold the cross of Christ.” Think whose hand it is that chastens you; think whose hand is measuring to you the cup of bitterness which you are now drinking. It is the hand of Him who was crucified! It is the same hand which, in love to your soul, was nailed to the accursed tree. Surely that thought should comfort and hearten you. Surely you should say to yourself, “A crucified Savior will never lay upon me anything that is not for my good. There is a needs be. It must be well.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ministering to the Sick and Dying

Over at the Gospel Coalition Kevin DeYoung has written a few very helpful points on ministering to the sick and dying. This is a very helpful read, whether you're in full time gospel ministry or not. All of us at some time will find ourselves with someone who is sick or dying, whether a family member, friend or a brother or sister in our church. It is worth taking the time to read through DeYoung's few thoughts. You can read it by clicking here.

Tuesday Teaching| Philippians 4:10-23

We come to the final sermon in this Tuesday Teaching Series in the book of Philippians with Mark Driscoll, entitled The Rebel's Guide to Joy. This week we're in Philippians 4:10-23. We'll be back next with a new Tuesday Teaching Series.


Monday, 26 September 2011

"For Every Storm"

Getting our expectations right in the Christian life is crucial. This is especially the case when the storm hits. When pain, sickness, loss, bereveament or some other calamity hits, if our expectaions are wonky, then we could be on our way to a shipwreck.

J. C. Ryle has some helpful words to remember when the storm breaks:
If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other people. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory to the end – all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that.

By affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which without it we should never learn. By affliction He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world and makes us long for heaven. In the resurrection morning we shall all say, ‘it is good for me that I was afflicted.’ [Psalm 119:71] We shall thank God for every storm.
Jesus has not promised us an easy life now. In fact, we are promised exactly the opposite, we are told that "through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22). The Christian can be sure of this that the Christian life is not a straight and easy line to glory, but they shall get there - God makes sure of this. When we stand in glory we shall look back on every storm and we shall praise Him all the more. Not only because God has preserved us in Christ through every overwhelming wave, but also for the unnumberable blessings that He has brought to us by each and every wave. Therefore, even though we may not see it now, let us look by faith and learn to say "it is good for me that I was afflicted."

Friday, 23 September 2011

Gospel Ministry and Physical Exercise

Recently John Piper wrote a helpful short two part series entitled Physical Exercise: What I do and Why. Piper has kept up a life-long commitment to regular physical exercise in the context of a huge amount of other things demanding his time. In this little series he has some very helpful things to say on the purpose of exercise in the Christian life, and especially in the life of those in Christian ministry. I've rethought how and what I do for physical exercise as a result of reading this. You can view the articles by clicking the links below:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Between A Rock and Quicksand

What is it that you trust for your standing before God?
"That's obvious" Most of us will shout back. We know the right answer: "My trust is in Jesus."

So, let me ask the question again. What is it that you trust for your standing before God? The right answer is not "My trust is in Jesus" but "My trust is in Jesus alone." There is a world of difference between the two. Thomas Chalmers say this:
The foundation of your trust before God, must be either your own righteousness out and out, or the righteousness of Christ out and out. . . If you are to lean upon your own merit, lean upon it wholly — if you are to lean upon Christ, lean upon him wholly. The two will not amalgamate together, and it is the attempt to do so, which keeps many a weary and heavy-laden inquirer at a distance from rest, and at a distance from the truth of the gospel. Maintain a clear and consistent posture. Stand not before God with one foot upon a rock and the other upon a treacherous quicksand…We call upon you not to lean so much as the weight of one grain or scruple of your confidence upon your own doings — to leave this ground entirely, and to come over entirely to the ground of a Redeemer’s blood and a Redeemer’s righteousness.
If we lean on anything besides Christ, and Him alone, we are building on quicksand - and we all know what happens when you try to build on quicksand. There is a big difference between saying that we trust in Jesus, and that we trust in Jesus alone. If we are trusting in anything alongside Jesus, we are not trusting in Jesus. Instead we are dishonouring Him by failing to recognise that He alone in the all-sufficient Saviour; that His righteousness alone is the ground of our confidence before God; that His work is a full, complete and finished work.

Therefore, let us be those who are genuinely able to sing:
My hope is built on nothing less,
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
No merit of my own I claim,
but wholly trust in Jesus' name.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tuesday Teaching| Philippians 4:2-9

We come to the penultimate sermon in this Tuesday Teaching series from the book of Philippians. This week we're in Philippians 4:2-9, where we see 'Joy in Anxiety'.

Monday, 19 September 2011


What do we do when we face disappointment? All of us will face it. Even the most secure career will fail us; even the most godly husband, wife or friend will let us down; even the most carefully detailed plans will not work out as we wish.

J. C. Ryle helps us to get our perspective right when disappointment comes our way:
Oh, you who want unfailing comfort, I commend you to Christ! In Him alone there is no failure. Rich men are disappointed in their treasures. Learned men are disappointed in their books. Husbands are disappointed in their wives. Wives are disappointed in their husbands. Parents are disappointed in their children. Statesmen are disappointed when, after many a struggle, they attain place and power. They find out, to their cost, that it is more pain than pleasure, – that it is disappointment, annoyance, incessant trouble, worry, vanity, and frustration of spirit. But no man was ever disappointed in Christ.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Dissatisfied Satisfaction

The Christian life is one of dissatisifed satisfaction. On the one hand we ought to recognise that we have everything in Jesus, and rest satisfied in Him. However, on the other hand, since we are not yet in glory, we do not love Him, desire Him or delight in him as we ought. Our Christian life is lived out in a tension between the now and the not yet. This is a tension that John Newton, author of  the hymn Amazing Grace, recognised. In a letter to a friend he says:
I know what I ought to desire, and what I do desire. I point him out to others as the All-in-all; I esteem him as such in my own judgment; but, alas! my experience abounds with complaints. He is my sun; but clouds, and sometimes walls, intercept him from my view. He is my strength; yet I am prone to lean upon reeds. He is my friend; but on my part there is such coldness and ingratitude, as no other friend could bear. But still He is gracious, and shames me with his repeated multiplied goodness. Oh for a warmer heart, a more simple dependence, a more active zeal, a more sensible deliverance from the effects of this body of sin and death! He helps me in my endeavours to keep the vineyards of others! but, alas! my own does not seem to flourish as some do around me. However, though I cannot say I labour more abundantly than they all, I have reason to say with thankfulness, By the grace of God I am what I am. My poor story would soon be much worse, did not He support, restrain, and watch over me every minute.
Therefore, as we wrestle with a dissatisfied satisfaction, as we wrestle with how little our love for Jesus is, let us look back in thankfulness and say "By the grace of God I am what I am", and look forward in thankful longing to what we will be one day when we see Jesus face to face.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Two Ways to Waste Your Singleness| Part 2

In the first post in this series we examined one way to waste our singleness. This was to believe that life ends when you get married, because personal freedom has become our idol, and my singleness has become all about me living for me.

This is probably the most recognisable way that people waste their singleness. But I want to suggest that there is another equally singleness-wasting syndrome. Often in response to The 'Life Ends' Syndrome people will respond by swinging towards The 'Life Begins' Syndrome. In other words, in response to those who undervalue marriage, many swing the pendulum and overvalue marriage, thus undervaluing singleness. I want to argue that this is another way to waste our singleness, one which is just as much a waste as the first. However, I suspect that this syndrome is a lot harder to spot. It is probably a lot closer to home for many of us as Christians. It may well be something that we're more prone to and are unaware of.

The 'Life Begins' Syndrome
A second way to waste your singleness is to believe that life only really begins when you get married. The soil in which this mindset grows is a worldview that has a high view of God's gift of marriage. Therefore, people in this camp are extremely keen to pursue marriage, and often have a negative view of singleness. This is the mindset that plays 'the waiting game', seeing singleness as something merely to be endured while we wait for a husband or wife to come along.

This mindset can show itself in a number of ways. It can be seen in the ways that single people look at their singleness. They can find themselves becoming anxious that a marriage partner may never come along, terrified of the thought of being 'left on the shelf'. All their thoughts about, and planning for, the future can begin to revolve around 'when I get married', even though there may not be any potential spouse on the scene. They can begin to entertain thoughts that they have no part to play in serving in the church, or are not fully part of the church, until they get married. Therefore they drift more and more towards the fringes of church life.

This syndrome can also be seen in the ways that others, often married people, relate to those who are unmarried. Single people can find themselves stereotyped as immature and irresponsible, and are urged to 'grow up' and get married. Singles can be viewed suspiciously, thinking that there is something wrong with them if they have not married by the time they are in their thirties, perhaps supposing that they are homosexual, dysfunctional or just being ungodly.

The reason that we begin to think that life only really begins at marriage is because we are making marriage and family into our god. It has become our idol. Marriage has become an ultimate thing, something we need in order to truly have life.

When we worship marriage and family, the purpose of my life revolves around my marital status. This becomes the relationship that defines me, not my relationship with Christ. As a single person it will consume our future, all our energies will be used up in hunting for a marriage partner. It will also begin to distort the way we relate to others. We will stop relating to others as those made in the image of God, or as brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead we will begin to view them through the lens of whether they are a potential marriage partner or not, or as a means to finding a marriage partner.

This is a way to waste your singleness. It is a denial both of the purpose of marriage and of singleness. It denies God's purpose for marriage, making it something that it is not. It makes marriage an ultimate thing, which it is not. Marriage is a temporary relationship which points to an ultimate relationship. Marriage is only permanent until 'death us do part' (Romans 7:1-2). It is there to point us the eternal relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22-33)- this is the ultimate relationship. Marriage is also a temporary institution, in the new creation we will "neither marry nor be given in marriage" (Mark 12:25). This is because when Christ comes to consummate the relationship between Him and His church we will have the reality in all its fullness, so we will not need what points to it. When we say that life only really begins at marriage we are putting marriage in the place of what it points to, we have made it the ultimate relationship instead of our relationship with Jesus. This degrades Jesus' honour. It says that He is not sufficient, that He is not enough, that we need something besides Him to have fullness of blessing. It denies the truth of Ephesians 1:3 that fullness of life and blessing comes from Christ alone. If we are joined to Him by faith we have all we need, we have everything. This is the ultimate relationship - if we do not have Christ we have nothing, but if we do have Him we have everything.

The 'Life Begins' Syndrome also denies the fact that our singleness is a gift from God (1 Corinthians 7:7). Just as marriage is a gift from God, so also is singleness. Our position in life and our marital state is not an accident, behind it stands a God who is in control of all things. He has given us our singleness as a gift, and we ought to recieve it with thankfulness, seek to be content with it (1 Corinthians 7:17-24, Philippians 4:11), and use it for His glory and the good of others. If we think that singleness is merely something to be endured while we wait for marriage, we deny the goodness of God's gift.

God has given us our singleness for a purpose and we ought not to waste it. Paul is deeply concerned that the Corinthians give themselves in "undivided devotion to the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:35) This, he says, is to be the priority, whether married or single. Our singleness is given to us so that we might be undividedly devoted to Jesus in the service of the gospel, not undividedly devoted to seeking a marriage partner. Our relationship with Jesus is our highest allegience, the work of His kingdom is to be our chief focus. In many ways, Paul says, it is easier to live in undivided devotion to Jesus as a single person (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Not that a married person cannot be undividedly devoted to Jesus or that they have somehow settled for a spiritual second best (Paul is quite clear that it is a perfectly godly thing to get married, in verse 36 he says that "it is no sin" to get married). Rather, what Paul is saying is that life gets a lot more complicated with marriage, our "interests are divided" (verse 34) because we now have spouse and children to care for (and rightly so). Undivided devotion is easier for the single man or woman, because they do not have the pressures that a married person who is genuinely serious about being a godly husband or wife will have.

Therefore, we are to see our singleness as a privelege. God has given it to us as a gift,and we are to use it to serve Him in undivided devotion. This means that we are to rejoice in the freedoms that come with being unmarried, and use those freedoms for the glory of God and the service of others. We have more time to give ourselves to prayer and dilligent study of the Bible, than a mother of three young children will have. Don't waste that freedom. We have more time to give to serving in the church, whether it be teaching in the youth group or leading a Bible study or doing the important jobs behind the scenes. We are more flexible with our time and so can more easily drop everything to go and care for that Christian brother or sister in need. We are more mobile, so we can more easily give ourselves to missionary service (whether short or long term). Don't waste your singleness by playing the waiting game, get on with serving Jesus now, in the context you find yourself in. He has given it to us for a reason, and we are to glorify Him in whatever situation you find yourself.

The only waiting game we are to play with our singleness is to wait for our real wedding day, that day when Jesus shall return to take His bride, the church, to be with Him forever. Whilst we wait, we are not to mess around playing games with our singleness, rather we are to give ourselves to faithful undivided service to the one who has "loved the church and gave himself up for her." (Ephesians 5:25)

Previous Posts in this Series:

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Words are Never Neutral

Possibly one of the most neglected areas of the Christian life is our tongues. That is, what we do with words. Our words have power and are never neutral. Therefore, we need to think carefully about what we're doing with them. Paul David Tripp says this, drawn from the book of Proverbs:

The book of Proverbs is, in ways, a treatise on talk. I would summarize it this way: words give life; words bring death – you choose. What does this mean? It means you have never spoken a neutral word in your life. Your words have direction to them. If your words are moving in the life direction, they will be words of encouragement, hope, love, peace, unity, instruction, wisdom, and correction. But if your words are moving in a death direction, they will be words of anger, malice, slander, jealousy, gossip, division, contempt, racism, violence, judgment, and condemnation. Your words have direction to them. When you hear the word talk you ought to hear something that is high and holy and significant and important. May God help us never to look at talk as something that doesn’t matter.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tuesday Teaching| Philippians 3:12-4:1

This week in The Rebel's Guide to Joy, Mark Driscoll's series in Philippians, we see 'Joy in Exhaustion' from Philippians 3:12-4:1. Enjoy.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Reading the Bible Stupidly

"How are your quiet times?" A question that often strikes dread into the heart of its hearers! Ask almost any Christian and they will say that their times of personal Bible reading and prayer is not what they'd like it to be. Keeping our quiet times fresh comes as a great challenge to many of us.

In a sermon preached in 1867, Charles Spurgeon cautions his hearers against reading the Bible stupidly. What he says, if taken to heart, would benefit us greatly as we strive to keep our quiet times from going stodgy. He says:
You are retired for your private devotions; you have opened the Bible, and you begin to read.
Now, do not be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter. Some people thoughtlessly read through two or three chapters—stupid people for doing such a thing!

It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word.

For you might as well read the alphabet backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning.

Merely to read words is nothing: the letter kills.

The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of your word, while it lies open before me; apply your word with power to my soul, threatening or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be; lead me into the soul and marrow of your word.”

Also, it is not the form of prayer, but the spirit of prayer that shall truly benefit your souls.

That prayer has not benefited you, which is not the prayer of the soul.

You have need to say, “Lord, give me the spirit of prayer; now help me to feel my need deeply, to perceive your promises clearly, and to exercise faith upon them.”
In your private devotions, strive after vital godliness, real soul-work, the life-giving operation of the Spirit of God in your hearts.

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Constant View

If we are to grow in godliness, where must our focus be? Here are some helpful words from John Owen, to keep our eyes fixed in the right place:

Let us live in the constant contemplation of the glory of Christ, and virtue will proceed from him to repair all our decays, to renew a right spirit within us, and to cause us to abound in all duties of obedience. . .

It will fix the soul unto that object which is suited to give it delight, complacency, and satisfaction. . . when the mind is filled with thoughts of Christ and his glory, when the soul thereon cleaves unto him with intense affections, they will cast out, or not give admittance unto, those causes of spiritual weakness and indisposition. . .

And nothing will so much excite and encourage our souls hereunto as a constant view of Christ and his glory.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Two Ways To Waste Your Singleness| Part 1

As a single man it is very interesting the responses people make when they hear that I am not married. These responses largely fall into two groups. Some people (usually non-Christians) respond by saying something like, "It's nice that you're not tied down by a wife and children." Others (usually Christians), however, say something to the effect that "Have you thought about settling down and finding a wife and children?". These kinds of statements remind me a little of icebergs - there is a lot more to them than meets the eye, so watch out that they don't shipwreck you!

These two groups of statements reveal two ways of thinking about singleness, both of which, when lived out, are two ways to waste your singleness. Over a couple of posts I want to explore these two singleness-wasting opportunities, and how we can avoid them. In this post I shall look at the first way of thinking and living out our singleness, which I have called The 'Life Ends' Syndrome. In the second post I shall think about The 'Life Begins' Syndrome.

The 'Life Ends' Syndrome
One way to waste your singleness is to believe that life ends if you get married. This mindset grows up out of a worldview that has a low view of God's gift of marriage. Therefore, people in this camp are reluctant to pursue marriage. This is the mindset that sees the groom and his friends 'celebrate his last days of freedom' before the 'slavery' of marriage comes. At its most extreme this mindset produces men and women who are hostile to marriage, convinced that they will never 'be tied down' by getting married, and feel sorry for those who are married. However, we are much more likely to see it in people who simply put off marriage for the moment as something that will come later after they have 'experienced life'.

The reason that we begin to believe that life ends when we get married is that we are making an idol out of our personal freedom. This is revealed in setiments like: "I want to enjoy and experience life now while I have the chance." Which, when translated, says: "The only way I can make the most of life is by living how I want, with no regard to others, and no-one restricting me from doing what I want to do." This can be lived out in a number of ways: for some it will mean doing what I want by ensuring that I'm at every party or social event; for others it will mean spending lots on exotic trips all around the world to 'experience the world'; for still others it will mean devoting every waking hour to advancing my career. All of them are different expressions of living to do what I want and to serve myself.

When we worship at the altar of personal freedom, the purpose of my life becomes doing what I want without any regard to anyone else. Therefore, relationships with others become barriers to me really making the most of life, so I avoid committing to others in any meaningful way. When we apply this to singleness, it means that my singleness essentially boils down to a single person - me. I am here to serve me. Other people are just a nusciance that get in the way of me. Therefore, marriage becomes the end of real life, of really living, because then I'll have to start thinking about someone else and serve others besides myself.

This is a way to waste your singleness. It is a denial, not only of what our singleness is for, but also of what we're for. The whole duty and calling of every human being is to love God with heart, mind, soul and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37). An unwasted life is a life that is lived in a fiercely loyal love to God. This is our calling and duty whether we're old or young, married or unmarried, whatever nation, people group or background we come from: we must love God. However, when we let ourselves be shaped by the 'life ends' syndrome, this duty and calling is twisted to become: 'love myself with heart, mind, soul and strength.' This is blatant sin. The purpose of our singleness is not for us to be undividedly devoted to ourselves, but to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:35). It is a status in life that God has given to us so that we might bring Him glory by loving Him with all who we are, what we have, and what we do and think.

The way this love for God is expressed and worked out in daily life is in love for others. When Jesus summarises the law He says "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus is not saying that these are two parallel commandments that somehow we have to keep in balance. No. Rather, the second is a practical expression of the first. Therefore, as an expression of my love for God I will love my neighbour. The way I love others is obviously going to take a different shape as a single person, than as a married person, but I am called to glorify God by loving others in sacrificial service nonetheless.

This means that my single life is not to be one where I live to please myself and therefore relationships are shallow and commitment to others is often avoided. Rather, my single life (whether I am only single for the next year, or for ninety years) is to be a life committed to glorifying God in the sacraficial service of others. Our single lives ought to be filled with deep and committed relationships, relationships where we are constantly seeking the eternal good of others. There are many ways in which singles can do this that married folk cannot, just as there are many opportunities for married people to live out this other-personed love that single people cannot.

We need to remember that this transformation is not something that we can do for ourselves. We cannot just roll up our sleeves and try to love God better. Our hearts are naturally sinful and curved in on ourselves. It is only the gospel of God's grace that can transform us. It is in the gospel that we see the ultimate lover of God and lover of others. Jesus, who never married, did not waste His life, rather He gladly laid down His life in sacrificial service of others to secure their eternal good (Philippians 2:6-11). It is to Him that we must look to be transformed into lovers of God, and therefore lovers of others.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Tuesday Teaching| Philippians 3:1-11

It's Tuesday again, which means another Tuesday Teaching post. Before we took a short break over the last couple of weeks we were working through the book of Philippians with Mark Driscoll. This week we pick up the series where we left off before the break - we're now in chapter 3:1-11 where we see 'Joy in Conflict'.

Monday, 5 September 2011

"I Could Not Endure Existence..."

Henry Martyn (1781-1812) was a missionary to India and Persia. Martyn devoted his life to translating the Bible into Urdu, Persian ans Arabic, and to proclaiming and defending the gospel. Whilst travelling through Persia he caught a fever and, unable to recieve adequate medical treatment, he died aged 31. In a journal entry written nine months before he died, we catch a glimpse of what drove him, and made him willing to make such huge sacrifices for the sake of the gospel. He recalls an incident that took place while he was working at his Bible translation in Persia amongst the muslims:
Jan. 16. [1812] - "Mirza Seid Ali told me accidentally, to-day, of a distich [a short poem] made by his friend Mirza Koochut, at  Teheran, in honour of a victory obtained by Prince Abbas Mirza over the Russians. The sentiment was, that he had killed so many of the Christians, that Christ, from the fourth heaven, took hold of Mahomet's skirt to entreat him to desist. I was cut to the soul at this blasphemy. In prayer I could think of nothing else but that great day when the Son of God shall come in the clouds of heaven, taking venegance on them that know not God, and convincing men of all their hard speeches which they have spoken against Him. 
Mirza Seid Ali percieved that I was considerably disordered, and was sorry for having repeated the verse; but asked what it was that was so offensive. I told him that 'I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; -it would be hell to me, if He were to be always thus dishonoured.' He was astonished, and again asked, why? 'If any one pluck out your eyes,' I replied, 'there is no saying why you feel pain; -it is feeling. It is because I am one with Christ that I am thus dreadfully wounded.' On his again apologizing, I told him that 'I rejoiced at what had happened, inasmuch as it made me feel nearer the Lord than ever. It is when the head or heart is struck, that every member feels its membership.' This conversation took place while we were translating."
Martyn could not bear to see Jesus dishonoured. He was driven by a passionate desire to see Jesus glorified. He loved Jesus so deeply, and was so aware of his being united to Him by faith, that when Jesus was honoured he was full of joy and when He was dishonoured he was deeply grieved.

Martyn's zeal for Jesus' glory stands as a huge challenge to us today. Do we love Jesus so deeply that the tears well up in our eyes as we look on a world where He is not honoured as He should be? Do we long so heartily for Jesus to be glorified that it pains us to hear of Him being dishonoured?