Though it be a deep sorrow for sin that God requires as  necessary to salvation, yet the very nature of it necessarily implies delight. Repentance from sin is a sorrow arising from the sight of God’s excellency and mercy, but the apprehension of excellency or mercy must necessarily and unavoidably beget pleasure in the mind of the beholder… How much soever of a paradox it may seem, it is a true that repentance  is a sweet sorrow, so that the more of this sorrow, the more pleasure.”Jonathan Edwards

Oh that we would have this pleasant pain. The pain of sorrow woven together with the greatest joy of knowing and treasuring Jesus!

Today we got mail… Yes I am a big fan of going through the mail even if most of the time it’s only advertisements for mattress sales or coupons for the grocery store… Today’s mail included a letter from Desiring God Ministries along with the water bill. Okay, the water bill wasn’t too exciting, though it was 79 cents less than what I budgeted for. The letter from DGM however contained a very interesting article written by Jon Bloom.

It was all about God’s sovereign love in carrying out His will in His people’s lives. He shared about Joseph (Jesus’ earthly dad) and all stress, anxiety, and worry that he must have faced through the first few years of Jesus’ life. Traveling a 100 miles to Bethlehem on foot with pregnant Mary all because of a stupid census; Escaping to Egypt under the threat of the baby Messiah’s execution; Coming back to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem; always on the run, not being able to settle anywhere. He probably struggled to find work, and probably struggled to support his new family. Life was chaotic. All these things however fit perfectly into God’s sovereign plan of redemption. Prophesies were fulfilled, and nothing took God by surprise.

Bloom brings encouragement to his readers by saying,

The unplanned, inefficient detours of our lives are planned by God. They are common for disciples, and they commonly don’t make sense for the moment. But God’s ways are not our ways because our lives are about Him, not about us. He is orchestrating far more than we know in every unexpected event and delay… So when you find yourselves suddenly in a direction you had not planned, take heart, hold tight, and trust God’s navigation.”

I like that, “But God’s way’s are not our ways because our lives are about Him, not about us.” What comfort there is to be grasped knowing that God is in control of our lives and He will use us to glorify His name through any twist and turn in this life.

Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps”

J. C. Hahne

Well here we go. I just came across a new blog of and old friend. No Bill, I’m not calling you old… our friendship is old. Bill and his family left to go onto the mission field I believe in 1996, the same year that I left for Romania and so we share a special bond in the experience of missions. However the bond I feel that I have with him is more than just missions, it is a Christ centered preaching; rejoicing in the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Footes moved back to California a few years ago and now has started a new church in Mission Viejo, Ca. For a sample of his preaching , writing, and his thoughts check out his blog entitled “Foote Notes”. Here now is a short video of him preaching and you’ll understand why I recommend you further checking out his blog.

Here’s some more good stuff from Walter Marshall on the powerlessness of the unregenerate, gospel-less man:

We are alll by nature, void of strength and ability to perform acceptably that holiness and righteousness which the law requireth, and are dead in trespasses and sins, and children of wrath, by the sin of our first father, Adam… This doctrine of original sin, which Protestants generally profess, is a firm basis and ground-work to the assertion now to be proved, and to many other assertions in this whole discourse. If we believe it to be true, we cannot rationally encourage ourselves to attempt an holy practice, until we are acquanted with some powerful and effectual means to enable us to do it. While man continued upright, in the image of God, as he was first created, he could do the will of God sincerely, as soon as he knew it; but, when he was fallen, he was quickly afraid, because of his nakedness; but could not help it at all, until God discovered to him the means of restoration (Gen 3:10,15). Say to a strong healthy servant, Go, and he goeth; Come, and he cometh; Do this, and he doth it: but a bed-ridden servant must know first how he may be enabled.”

It is the Gospel that frees us, that regenerates, justifies, sanctifies and glorifies us. Apart from the gospel there is no power to perform the acts of holiness which God requires us to fulfill. “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” – Galatians 2:21

One of the gravest mistakes of the church today and throughout the ages is the command to fulfill the command of God without giving the means to do so. Even as God gave the law through Moses to his people he gave them the means through the Gospel. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Exodus 20:2. Here we see both the Gospel, and the helplessness of their state. God rescues them from slavery, and then proceeds to call them to holiness. Oh, how often do we forget the means to to the end.

Marshall says once again in his book The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification:

Men show themselves strangely forgetful, or hypocritical, in professing original sin in their prayers, catechisms, and confessions of faith; and yet urging upon themselves and others the practice of the law, without the consideration of any strengthening, enlivening means; as if there were no want of ability, but only of activity.”

May we continually feed on the means of grace.

momHello all!!! Well, I just thought today I’d give you something else to read. I came across an excellent article entitle “What’s wrong with having a normal life?” written by none other than my mother, Krista Hahne. Okay, even if I’m a little biased, I still think it’s a great read and though a little long, (that’s just how my momma is) it’s worth your time…. I guarantee!!!!

So anyway, CLICK HERE!!!

ThegospelmysteryA new book that I started reading is The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by puritain Walter Marshall. I picked it up thinking that any book dealing with the subject of sanctification  powered by the Gospel must be a keeper. Of course I haven’t been disappointed in my expectations though I am still just in the introduction. The book is divided into 14 different directions to the reader focusing on the sanctification through our unity to Christ.

Here’s a quote from his 7th direction as he lays down the foundation:

We are not to imagine that our hearts and lives be changed from sin to holiness in any measure, before we may safely venture to trust on Christ for the sure enjoyment of Himself, and His salvation.”

He continues on explaining:

To try to make ourselves fit for Christ is to be led away from Christ by a satanic delusion.”

Indeed we are not saved by our repentance or our good works. Those are the overflow of faith; The free gift of God. We simply come as broken sinners. Joel Beeke adds on in his Introduction to Marshall’s work:

Such people become spiritually distressed when they think they must have more love for God, more godliness of heart, more thoughts of God’s attributes, more victory over lusts, more cleansing of their hearts, more impressions of the wrath of God, more confession of sin, and more heart-felt prayer and praise before they trust in Christ for their salvation. Such erroneous ideas only keep people away from Christ.”

and again Marshall says:

While we endeavor to prepare our way to Christ by holy qualifications, we do ratheer fill it with stumbling blocks, and deep pits, whereby our souls are hindered from ever attaining to salvation of Christ.”

We cannot be sanctified before we are justified, for sanctification comes as we are united to Christ. Come to Christ broken as that taxcollector did, who would not dare raise his eyes to the heavens but beat his breast and cried out for mercy. I tell you, this man went to his house justified.

J. C. Hahne