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Things Unseen

Things Unseen is a podcast by Sinclair Ferguson. It is available on https://www.ligonier.org/.

1 Corinthians 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

There’s a theme each week.

Week 1 – Happy New Year

Began Jan. 2, 2023. – Covenant Renewal Service of the UMC. Commit ourselves to the Lord and pray for His help this new year. Wikipedia. Prayer found here.

Jan. 3, 2023 – Charles Wesley’s hymn, And are we yet alive. Grow in Love for the Church.

Jan. 4, 2023 – A Resolution for the Christian Life. Paul’s personal resolution. Phil 3:10-14. 1 thing. I’m [busy] doing 1 thing in many different ways.  🔹Getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ better; 🔹share His life, 🔹to become like Him. Translations vary. Good News Translation Phil 3:10
All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.

Jan. 5, 2023 – How to Be Happy. Hymn: A debtor to mercy alone.

Things future, nor things that are now,
Not all things below nor above
Can make Him His purpose forego,
Or sever my soul from His love.

Jan. 6, 2023 – A Life-Changing Experience. Isaiah 6. 🔸 awareness of his own sinfulness. Of unclean lips, in fact; and Isaiah was an elegant preacher. Previous he stated six woes. His own sinfulness was the seventh woe.🔸 God’s pardoning grace. 🔸 unreserved willingness to serve the Lord. *here am I, send me.”

Week 2 Revelation

Jan. 9, 2023 – Creation Reveals the Creator. Profound closing paragraph:

It’s in this way that the invisible God makes His invisible attributes known to us in visible things. And that’s revelation. But we’re blind to it because of our sin, and our eyes are opened to it by the grace of Jesus Christ. That’s why the hymn writer Anna Letitia Waring once wrote, “Something lives in every hue that Christless eyes have never seen.” As Christians, we certainly don’t know everything, but the great thing is we know something about everything. We know that it’s been made by God. We know that we are living in His world. And we know that we are secure with Him.

Jan. 10, 2023 – No Real Atheists. Actually, to the atheist, nothing makes sense, there is no foundation for rationality, And sooner or later they are driven to despair. 

4⭐️ Jan. 11, 2023 – Our Identity: The Image of God. Dutch theologian, Abraham Kuyper. Here’s a beautiful statement he makes in his encyclopedia of theology when he says, “If the cosmos is the theater of revelation, in this theater, man is both actor and spectator.” God made man in particular as His image in order to reflect Him and to imitate Him. St. Augustine said it best when He wrote, “Because you have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee.” (Like a homing pigeon, returning.) Unless we identify ourselves with God, we are lost.

Jan. 12, 2023 – Unbelief: A Moral Issue. Story: the Russian poet and playwright Yevgeny Yevtushenko met Sir Kingsley Amis. And he said to him, “Sir Kingsley, is it true what I hear about you, that you are an atheist?” – “Well, yes,” said Kingsley Amis, “It’s true I’m an atheist, but it’s more than that. You see, I hate Him.” This prompted laughter from those who were hearing the telling of the story. However, it is desperately sad. Paul said we are haters of God. It isn’t intellectual honesty, but unrighteousness. Atheists are inconsistent. God’s revelation is, in fact, inescapable. Atheists can dislike it, attempt to deny it, ignore it, hate it, and certainly not follow it, but can not actually escape the existence of God.

Jan. 13, 2023 – Eyes Opened to Christ. When you come to Christ as Savior, you discover that He is also the creator, and something lives in every hue that Christless eyes have never seen. I hope that’s true for you too. (Anna Letitia Waring)

Week 3 – Letters by John Newton.

Jan. 16, 2023 – The Faults We Fail to Notice. John Newton wrote many letters (that are still available to read). Like a blotch on a tie or noticeable and distracting scratch on a car, do you have a flaw in your character which distracts from your otherwise worthy attributes?

Jan. 17, 2023 – The Austere Christian. Mr. Austerus says he prizes the precepts of God’s Word, but there’s one thing he seems to have forgotten. He’s forgotten to be courteous and loving. And instead of having the gentleness of the Lord Jesus, there’s somethingabout him that seems to demand attention…And the problem with Mr. Austerusis that he doesn’t realize that his virtue has got twisted out of shape. It’s become disconnected from the other graces that are so vital to a Christlike life.

Jan. 18, 2023 – Can You Keep a Secret? It’s a letter about people whose problem is really that they sing about amazing grace, but they haven’t themselves become amazingly gracious. Mr. Humanist had lost control of his tongue and he couldn’t keep a secret. Mr. Humanist had actually lost control of his heart because spiritually, the tongue is directly connected to the heart. Faithfulness isn’t really faithfulness unless it’s faithfulness in everything.

Jan. 19, 2023 – Loud Opinions and Little Prayer. Mr. Querulus, and perhaps Mrs. Querulus too. Always has an opinion, but doesn’t really do research-or prayer. Sinful conformity to this world.

Jan. 20, 2023 – Give Sin a Name. Principles. The first is this: whatever you come to realize is distorting the image of the Lord Jesus in you, be sure to give it a name. If we don’t have a clear sight of the target that we want to destroy in our lives, then we will miss it. Unless we confess to the Lord, “Lord, the blemish on my Christian character and walk is called (whatever it is),” it’s unlikely that we really will be delivered from it. So, we need to learn to name the distortion.

(2) Write down the name of the opposite grace of your blemish. And when you have done that, commit yourself before God to seeking it. We are not transformed merely by avoiding the works of the flesh. We need simultaneously to seek the fruit of the Spirit.

(3) We need to realize that the resources for lasting transformation are to be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray the simple prayer, “Lord God, make me more like my Lord Jesus Christ.”

PRAYER ANSWERED BY CROSSES | By John Newton hymn laments that prayers are not answered but trials continue. In the final verse and a half God replies,

“’Tis in this way,” the Lord reply’d, “I answer pray’r for grace and faith.

7 “These inward trials I employ,

“From self and pride to set thee free; “And break thy schemes of earthly joy, “That thou mayst seek thy all in me.”

Week 3 – things to Remember, from scripture

Jan. 23, 2023 – A Day to Remember. Sabbath. Stimulate memory banks. *Ex 20:8-11 remember the sabbath and keep it holy-reflect. Stop, shut down, unplug, reboot.

Jan. 24, 2023 – Lest You Forget the Lord. “take care lest you forget the LORD” (Deut. 6:12). But if we have forgotten Him, the first step of recovery is this: to say out loud, “But you, Lord. Ps 102:12.

Jan. 25, 2023 – Storing Up Scripture in Our Hearts. We desperately need to sow the seeds of the Word of God in our hearts.

Jan. 26, 2023 – Remembering the Covenant. “Take care, says the Lord, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God” (Deut. 4:23). And the word “Lord” there, as you may know, is Yahweh, the covenant name of God. [We are in the New Covenant– via Christ.] Isaiah 50:4: “Morning by morning, the Lord awakens. He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” TheLord helps us to remember it. Every time we come to the Lord’s Table. God, through his son Jesus, did the overwhelming majority of the work, through his sacrifice on the cross, in setting up the covenant with us, with each of us.

Jan. 27, 2023 – I Will Remember Their Sins No More. Don’t be haunted by past sins. When Satan tempts to sin, he tells us, “This isn’t such a big deal.” But then when we fail and fall, he capitalizes on our sin; he emphasizes our guilt. He comes to us, and he almost seems to screw into us our deep incapacity, and as John Calvin once said, seeks to drive us to despair. We can be paralyzed with shame.

Week 4 –

Jan. 30, 2023 – Scripture: The Mouth of God. Therefore, the authority and reliability of the Bible. In Hebrews, he doesn’t say, “This is what God said.” He says, “This is what our heavenly Father is saying to us.” He is now, through the Scriptures, addressing us as sons. I think we need to recover that sense of the amazing privilege we have in possessing the Bible.

Jan. 31, 2023 – God’s Word at Work in Us. Bible gives us/teaches God’s promises, God’s will, and God’s son. It’s given to us chiefly in order to make us like Jesus. We need to be convinced of the authority of scripture. Paul was speaking about when he wrote to the Thessalonians and said, “I’m so glad that you received the word of God not as the word of men, although it had come through men, but as it really is: the word of God.” And then he added something I think is very significant. He said, “You received it as the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” And that’s the big difference. The Bible is not just an information source but working in us. It works in us. It transforms us. It shapes us to be more like Jesus.

Feb. 1, 2023 – Teaching and Reproof. God says that the Word that goes out of His mouth will not return to Him empty. Isaiah 55:11. Teaching/transformation of our minds. And reproof-And that’s the kind of healing that causes pain before it brings cure. So, God’s Word can hurt in order to heal. That’s why when you’re reading the Bible, you should always hold it up as a mirror of your own soul and ask yourself, “Is there something amiss?