A Godly Person is a Thankful Person: The Godly Man’s Picture

The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil by Thomas Watson

“Praise and thanksgiving is the work of heaven and he begins that work here which he will always be doing in heaven…None but the godly can praise God aright.”

 

WATSON-Thomas
A painting of Watson by Gustavus Ellinthorpe Sintzenich

The Puritan preacher/writer Thomas Watson (1620-1686) is considered one of our church’s honorary elders (in absentia), since we enjoy reading and referencing his books and sermons so much. A few years ago, we went through his book The Godly Man’s Picture at our monthly ladies’ breakfasts at my church, because of course the term “godly man” in the book’s title doesn’t refer just to the male species but is relevant to women as well. The book was very profitable and stimulated good group discussion about what it means to be a godly person. Although written some 350 years ago, the topic and illustrations are still quite valid and applicable to the Christian life today. Watson is a master illustrator, and as the title of the book states, he uses the Word of God to draw in some detail a portrait of what a godly person looks like, as well as what he or she is not like. Continue reading “A Godly Person is a Thankful Person: The Godly Man’s Picture”

God Preserving and Governing: The Mystery of Providence

The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel

“The greatness of God is a glorious and unsearchable mystery. The condescension of the most high God to men is also a profound mystery. But when both these meet together, as they do in Psalm 57:2, they make up a matchless mystery. Here we find the most high God performing all things for a poor distressed creature.

“O how ravishing and delectable a sight will it be to behold at one view the whole design of Providence, and the proper place and use of every single act, which we could not understand in this world!”

I’ve had The Mystery of Providence (1678) on my list of books to be read for quite a while, and with all the crazy stuff that has taken place in 2020, the time seemed right to read it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve thought a lot about the sovereignty and providence of God over the past year. Providence is defined in the Westminster Shorter Catechism as God’s “most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions.” This statement presupposes that God is the Creator of all things, and as such, has the prerogative to do whatever He wishes with it. A pastor friend of mine recently shared this definition of the word “providence” from the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms:

The vigilant care which God exercises in relation to all the works of his hand in their preservation and government. God has not merely created all things, but he continues to uphold them, and all his attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, justice, goodness, faithfulness, etc. are continually illustrated in his providential control.

Continue reading “God Preserving and Governing: The Mystery of Providence”

Everything Happens for a Reason: All Things for Good

All Things for Good by Thomas Watson

“God does not deal alike with all; He has trials for the strong and cordials for the weak…If God does not give you that which you like, He will give you that which you need.”


With a full-time, M-F job, I really value my Saturdays to get stuff done. Today was one of those Saturdays for which I had plans that included helping my husband paint a bedroom and running three miles. But as the saying goes, “Man proposes, but God disposes,” and I somehow managed to throw my back out early in the day such that I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do some of the things I intended to. But it occurred to me that instead I could write and publish a review this weekend, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while, so apparently “everything happens for a purpose,”as they say. Continue reading “Everything Happens for a Reason: All Things for Good”

A Godly Person is a Thankful Person: The Godly Man’s Picture

The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil by Thomas Watson

“Praise and thanksgiving is the work of heaven and he begins that work here which he will always be doing in heaven…None but the godly can praise God aright.”

 

WATSON-Thomas
A painting of Watson by Gustavus Ellinthorpe Sintzenich

The Puritan preacher/writer Thomas Watson (1620-1686) is considered one of our church’s honorary elders (in absentia), since we enjoy reading and referencing his books and sermons so much. A few years ago, we went through his book The Godly Man’s Picture at our monthly ladies’ breakfasts at my church, because of course the term “godly man” in the book’s title doesn’t refer just to the male species but is relevant to women as well. The book was very profitable and stimulated good group discussion about what it means to be a godly person. Although written some 350 years ago, the topic and illustrations are still quite valid and applicable to the Christian life today. Watson is a master illustrator, and as the title of the book states, he uses the Word of God to draw in some detail a portrait of what a godly person looks like, as well as what he or she is not like. Continue reading “A Godly Person is a Thankful Person: The Godly Man’s Picture”

The Life of the Pilgrim behind Pilgrim’s Progress

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Grace AboundingOr a brief relation of the exceeding mercy of God in Christ to him, to His poor servant, John Bunyan

John Bunyan was a non-conformist English pastor who lived from 1628-1688. During his years of ministry, he spent sapproximately 14 years in prison for preaching without a legal license as required by England at the time. Bunyan’s best known work is certainly The Pilgrim’s Progress, a book that I feel every Christian should read. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners is Bunyan’s autobiographical account, which he wrote in 1666 while in prison primarily for the benefit of the people under his ministry.

Here is a synopsis of Bunyan’s journey to faith, repentance and godliness, as he describes it: Continue reading “The Life of the Pilgrim behind Pilgrim’s Progress”

Resolving to Kill Sin, Part One: The Who and Why of Mortification

The Mortification of Sin by John Owen

“The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business, all their days, to mortify the indwelling power of sin.”

A new year often inspires people to start fresh by making resolutions and setting goals for themselves – things they want to experience or accomplish, and often changes they determine to make for the better, such as breaking bad habits. In the past, I have challenged readers to consider reading through the entire Bible in the coming year, and I encourage you to do so again. This year I’d like to encourage you to consider developing another habit, if you haven’t done so: killing sin in your life. With that in mind, let me commend to you John Owen’s masterful, convicting, and helpful work, The Mortification of Sin.

Continue reading “Resolving to Kill Sin, Part One: The Who and Why of Mortification”