“Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.” —Psalm 26:8-11
One recent Sunday morning, during a church service Scripture reading, Psalm 26 was read aloud. The closing verses above struck a particular chord with us. Finding ourselves in the midst of a worldwide political conflagration, with America—and indeed the world—in the throes of severe chastening by an angry God, we couldn’t help but ask ourselves… will the LORD destroy our nation to the uttermost or will He be discriminating in His judgments? With our increasingly rapid decent into tyranny, anarchy and insanity (see Deut 28:28), the theme of our prayers over the past 18 months has been mercy—that He will not “gather our souls with sinners” but extend special graces to His saints. In so many ways, that has already been true, but it remains our most fervent prayer that He might spare those who have—albeit with hands and feet of clay—striven to walk in integrity and have loved the place where His “honour dwelleth”.
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” —Psalm 85:9-11
Mercy is thy name; by mercy shalt thou be sustained
Drawing further inspiration from our favorite book of all time—The Pilgrim’s Progress—which we just read again as a family this year for the younger ones that missed it last time, we delighted in the blessing that Old Mr. Honest pronounced over a faithful daughter of the King:
“Then they told him of Mercy and how she had left her town and her kindred to come along with Christiana and her sons. At that the honest man said, Mercy is thy name; by mercy shalt thou be sustained, and carried through all those difficulties that shall assault thee in thy way, till thou shalt come thither, where thou shalt look the Fountain of Mercy in the face with comfort.”
More on mercy to His saints
“Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart…” —I Kings 8:23
“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” —Psalm 25:10
“Lael” (pronounced lay-elle)—a Hebrew name meaning “belonging to God”—when coupled with “Mercy”, gives her name the joint meaning consistent with our prayer in this season: God, even in judgment, please grant mercy to Your people.
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” —Psalm 12:6
“Hac ut luce tuas dispergam Roma tenebras sponte extorris ero sponte sacrificium.”
Hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London, a portrait of William Tyndale features a paper ribbon on his desk which is adorned with the Latin phrase above, the approximate translation of which is:
“To scatter Roman darkness by this light, the loss of land and life I’ll reckon slight.”
William Tyndale (1494-1536), Protestant Reformer and Bible Translator
Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet (Psalm 119:105)
Illuminating a dark world with the light of the Gospel was the singular focus and driving life passion of the man known as “God’s outlaw”. Born in Gloucester County, England just two years after Columbus’s famous voyage, William Tyndale (1494-1536) is best known for his translation of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament into English. His translation differed from and is superior to John Wycliffe’s (1320-1384) earlier translation into English in the mid 1300s in that it was produced directly from the original Greek and Hebrew texts.
The Word of God to the Common Man
In his Book of Martyrs, reformer John Foxe (1517-1587) records the following account which occurred in 1522 when Tyndale was 28 years old:
“Not long after, Master Tyndale happened to be in the company of a certain divine, recounted for a learned man, and, in communing and disputing with him, he drove him to that issue, that the said great doctor burst out into these blasphemous words: ‘We were better to be without God’s Laws than the Pope’s.’ Master Tyndale, hearing this, full of godly zeal, and not bearing that blasphemous saying, replied, ‘I defy the Pope and all his laws. . . . If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scripture than thou dost.'”1
In time, Tyndale’s dream of supplying the common people with the Word of God in their own language was realized—but it was to cost him his life. During his martyrdom, Tyndale famously cried out to God, pleading that the Lord might “open the King of England’s eyes!” Within just a few years, King Henry VIII authorized the production of four English translations of the Bible in England, all of which were based on Tyndale’s work.
Tyndale’s efforts resulted in the first English translation to take advantage of the printing press, and the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. Later, in 1611, the translators of the King James Bible leaned heavily on Tyndale’s work. In fact, it is estimated that as much as 83% of the New Testament and 76% of the Old Testament in the King James Version is Tyndale’s work.
“With his New Testament, William Tyndale became the father of the Modern English language. He shaped the syntax, grammar, and vocabulary of the English language more than any man who ever lived… more than the author Geoffrey Chaucer, and more even than the playwright William Shakespeare.” —Steven Lawson2
During family reading time over the course of the last year and a half, our children (and we ourselves) have been inspired by accounts of various Reformers and missionaries who risked everything to translate and bring the Gospel to the darkest corners of the globe. Books such as Taking the World for Jesus and The Story of the Bible left us all energized for Kingdom work and piqued the children’s interest especially with all things linguistic, and ever since that time, our house has been littered with myriads of Bible translation segments. Unlike William Tyndale, however, the children have had the benefit of having access to Google Translate 🙂 Our prayer is that Tyndale Sterling would, like William Tyndale, grow to be a man of God, wholly devoted to Him and delighting in Him and His Word above all else.
God is both the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He Who began the good work of salvation in us has also promised to bring our salvation to completion—purifying, sanctifying, and refining us all along the way much like silver is purified.
“…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 1:6, nasb
“… [H]e is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” —Malachi 3:2-3
“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” —Proverbs 25:4
It is often through trials that the Almighty chooses to draw us closer to Himself, crafting us evermore into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” —James 1:2-4
We thank God for those trials which, in His tender Fatherly care and infinite wisdom, He sends or permits to attend us, knowing that “…the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb. 12:6). We pray that He will allow us to view the refining process with an eternal perspective and to “consider it all joy” as He continues to “…work [all things] together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Our prayer is that Tyndale Sterling would be a man of great purity and holiness, refined by his Maker into useful service for the Kingdom.
During at-home worship time, one song we have grown especially fond of which expresses similar sentiments is “Refiner’s Fire”. Have a listen to this lovely rendition.
Purify my heart Let me be as gold and precious silver Purify my heart Let me be as gold, pure gold
Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire Is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord I choose to be holy, set apart for You, my Master Ready to do Your will
Happy Brothers and Sisters!
1. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Hendrickson Christian Classics
2. The Daring Mission of William Tyndale, by Steven J. Lawson
We are thrilled to welcome into the world and introduce to you our newest addition! Please see below for pics and name announcement…
“…that… we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” —Hebrews 6:18,19
Confidence in a future event;
the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good;
as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises.
—Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
In a tempestuous world tossed about by the waves of confusion and despair, chaos and uncertainty, and void of all true hope, we cling humbly yet confidently to Christ our Anchor and the promise that the souls of those whom He came to save are eternally secure (John 6:39); that His Word goes forth, not returning void, but accomplishing that which it set out to perform (Isaiah 55:11); and that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to be complete it (Philippians 1:6).
It is the Divine gift of hope which gives the Christian the constancy and the steadfastness of confidence that many will long for but never obtain apart from Christ. It is this gift of hope that imparts the expectation of eternal victory (Romans 8:37) and grants the strength to persevere when “a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand” (Psalm 91:7). Though he may survey the wreckage all about him caused by sin, yet he remembers that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the unrelenting onslaught of the Church (Matt 16:18) and he thus smiles at the future (Prov 31:25, nasb).
History Teaches Us to Hope
“I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done… that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; —excerpts from Psalm 78:2-7
Nothing infuses hope into the lives of Believers more than recounting God’s past faithfulness to His people. Whether it be those peculiar providences in the life of the individual or the more broad “march of providence” which we witness unfolding upon us corporately over the ages, for a forgetful people, the cure for what ails us is well captured in the verses from Psalm 78 above. It’s also captured well—and almost poetically—in the comments below from one of American history’s most beloved figures:
“My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them nor indisposed me to serve them; nor in spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair of the future. The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope. —Letter from Robert E. Lee to Lt. Col. Charles Marshall, September 1870
May God, in His grace, be pleased to make our hopeconstant and make us, in that hope, constant in Him.
Hope with biggest brother, Calvin
Hope with big brother, Christian
Hope with big sister, Shiloh
Hope with “big” sister, Genesis
More on Hope
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” —Romans 15:4
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” —Romans 12:12
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. —Romans 15:3
These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman. —Abigail Adams to her son, John Quincy Adams
By admin|2017-02-22T16:44:03+00:00December 26th, 2015|Quotes|
As a Christian father on the lookout for ways to inspire my sons to godliness and principled living, I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the Ted Cruz rally in Trussville, Alabama with my family. I had no idea, however, that we would end up meeting him face to face and my boys would have the chance to talk with him and shake his hand. Calvin in particular was on cloud nine, and I have a feeling he’ll look back on that experience as one which holds special significance to him in a way that prompts him towards excellence.
Calvin thrilled to see Ted Cruz at the Trussville rally
Calvin and Christian meet their own Texas Senator, Ted Cruz
“What beautiful blue eyes you have, Genesis,” commented Senator Cruz
It’s not everyday you get to play with presidential candidates’ children!
Back home and inspired—unprompted, Calvin breaks out the Ted Cruz biography