What the Complex Emotions of Jack Harbaugh Can Teach Us

Jack Harbaugh has two sons playing against each other tonight: John and Jim. So father will watch his sons battle it out. At the end, one son will be a winner. The other son will have Super Bowl loser on his resume.

But what will be going on in the heart of Jack Harbaugh during the game? Cheering for one son while agonizing for the other? And what about afterward in the locker room when one is jubilant? And the other is deathly quiet?

I think this analogy can begin to help me understand the complex emotions of God. The following paragraph from John Piper helps my small mind grasp the deep things of God and keeps me from overemphasizing one emotion of God without thinking of the other.  I pray this paragraph would help you the same way that it has helped me.

God’s emotional life is infinitely complex beyond our ability to fully comprehend.  For example, who can comprehend that the Lord hears in one moment of time the prayers of 10 million Christians around the world, and sympathizes with each one personally and individually as a caring Father (as Hebrews 4:15 says), even though among those 10 million prayers some are broken-hearted and some are bursting with joy?  How can God weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice when they are both coming to him at the same time–in fact are always coming to him with no break at all?  Or who can comprehend that God is angry at the sin of the world every day (Psalm 7:11), and yet every day, every moment, he is rejoicing with tremendous joy because somewhere in the world a sinner is repenting (Luke 15:7, 10, 23)?  Who can comprehend that God continually burns with hot anger at the rebellion of  the wicked and grieves over the unholy speech of his people (Ephesians 4:29-30), yet takes pleasure in them daily (Psalm 149:4), and ceaselessly makes merry over penitent prodigals who come home?  Who of us could dare say what complex of emotions is not possible for God?  All we have to go on here is what he has chosen to tell us in the Bible.  And what he has told us is that there is a sense in which he does not experience pleasure in the judgment of the wicked, and there is a sense in which he does. (The Pleasures of God, p.66)


Thoughts on Meditation from Spurgeon and the Puritans

From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

“I will meditate in thy precepts.” — Psalms 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the bunches, or else the juice will not flow; and they must well tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we would get the wine of consolation therefrom.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.

Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this morning, “I will meditate in thy precepts.”


And Tim Challies interviewed Joel Beeke on this subject here. This paragraph was particularly helpful to me:

Here is a method for meditation based on Puritan writings.
First, pray for the power to focus your mind on the Word with faith.
Second, read the Bible and select a verse or two.
Third, repeat those verses to yourself in order to memorize them.
Fourth, think about what those verses say and imply, probing the book of Scripture (other verses on the same topic), the book of conscience (how you have believed or disbelieved, obeyed or disobeyed), and the book of nature (how this truth appears in experience and the world).
Fifth, stir up your affections unto love, desire, grief, hope, zeal, and joy as appropriate. Preach the text to yourself with powerful application.
Sixth, arouse your soul to the specific duty which the text requires, making holy resolutions for the glory of God.
Seventh, conclude with prayers for divine assistance, thanksgiving for graces given, and singing psalms of praise to God.

Very helpful for parent, child, anyone. We encounter God through his word. Let’s meditate on it.

Power of the Word, Quotes|

Where Are Those Who Will Hold Their Lives Cheap

“Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap and be faithful even unto death? Where are those who will lose their lives for Christ’s sake, flinging them away for love of him? Where are those who will live dangerously and be reckless in his service? Where are his lovers, those who love him and the souls of men more than their own reputations or comfort or very life?

Where are the men who say ‘no’ to self, who take up Christ’s cross to bear it after him, who are willing to be nailed to it in college or office, home or mission field, who are willing, if need be, to bleed, to suffer and to die on it?

Where are the adventurers, the explorers, the buccaneers for God, who count one human soul of far greater value than the rise or fall of an empire? Where are the men who are willing to pay the price of vision?

Where are the men of prayer?

Where are God’s men in this day of God’s power?”

Howard Guinness, Sacrifice (Chicago, 1947), pages 59-60.

Power of Purpose, Quotes|

Tedd Tripp – Dazzled by Idols or Dazzled by God?

iStock_000006568553Medium Thoughtful Boy

Our teenagers go into the world every single day to find things to marvel at. They are on the lookout to be impressed by something. They love to be dazzled by things in their surroundings.

But not only our teens, we were all made to be dazzled. We’re made to stand back and gape, to wonder and be overwhelmed by the glory and goodness and greatness of God. We’re uniquely designed to respond to this awesome glory with worship, adoration, reverence, and being awestruck with God’s glory.

We’re made for worship.

What happens when people who are instinctively and compulsively worshipers fail to worship God? We simply worship something else in His place. We get impressed by things, people, and experiences in creation. We get dazzled by idols. But the glory of God is displayed through the things God has made. People–teens included–are without excuse when they exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:19-21). They honor, praise, and marvel at created things rather than the Creator.

They (and we) worship idols instead of the one true God.”

Tedd Tripp, “Dazzle Your Teen”, The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Summer 2007, p.7.


Pithy Sayings That Might Stick With Your Child

Fun, pithy sayings that might stick with you or your child. From Pyromaniacs

  1. Folks who are full of themselves don’t leave much room for anyone else.
  2. Don’t be shocked when unbelievers act like unbelievers.
  3. Do be shocked when believers act like unbelievers. Especially when it’s you.
  4. Men shouldn’t let our eyes rest anywhere our hands shouldn’t.
  5. If nobody else has ever seen what you’re seeing in the Bible, that’s probably because it isn’t there.
  6. The world is far better at being the world than the church ever could be, so don’t even try.
  7. Excelling at anything is a matter of wisely investing odd moments.

See what fun “proverbs” you can come up with to help wisdom stick with your children (and your own soul).


Your Delusions of Strength Get in Your Way

Remember, it is not your weaknesses that will get in the way of God’s working through you, but your delusions of strength. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Point to his strength by being willing to admit your weakness.

Paul Tripp in Age of Opportunity, p. 189.


He Loves to Be Consulted – Wise Counsel from Charles Bridges

From a previous post,

Charles Bridges on Proverbs 3:5-6

Always plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel. He loves to be consulted. Therefore take all the difficulties to be resolved by Him. Be in the habit of going to him in the first place — before self-will, self-pleasing, self-wisdom, human friends, convenience, expediency. Before any of these have been consulted go to God. Consider no circumstances too clear to need his directions. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative, temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme.

A very good word for the day!


People Do Not Drift Toward Holiness – D. A. Carson

People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. —D.A. Carson

The Greatest Lack in the Religion of Children…

The greatest lack in the religion of children is generally a sufficient sense of sin. Robert Murray M’Cheyene via John Piper

Hmmm. Do I believe that? Do you? Are we speaking law and grace?

Our Children Are Never Too Young – Part II – JC Ryle

One again, we are minded it is never too soon!  HT: Ryle Quotes

We must labor to do good to our children even from their earliest years. If Satan begins so early to do them harm, we must not be behind him in diligence to lead them to God. How soon in life a child becomes responsible and accountable, is a difficult question to solve. Perhaps far sooner than many of us suppose. One thing, at all events, is very clear–it is never too soon to strive and pray for the salvation of the souls of children–never too soon to speak to them as moral beings, and tell them of God, Christ, right and wrong. The devil, we may be quite sure, loses no time in endeavoring to influence the minds of young people. He begins with them even from childhood. Let us work hard to counteract him.~ J.C. Ryle

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark, [Carlisle, PA:Banner of Truth, 1985], 182. {Mark 9:14-29}