New Resources Available

The newsletter for July will (hopefully) be up this weekend, but the news of our newest resources can’t wait! Dominoes: A Dynamic Commentary on Jude has been released in print. It is available from retailers such as Amazon and it is also available in digital form for the Kindle.  Just as exciting is the news that Dominoes is under production in audio form. When completed, it will become available on iTunes and Audible.com.

On another note, The 180 Project is underway and while the project will take a while to complete, we believe it will be a valuable resource on the subject of biblical repentance. Stay tuned for more information of upcoming events and grab yourself a copy of our commentary on Jude.

Zacchaeus and Transformation

Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see

These opening lines to the children’s song Zacchaeus are, unfortunately, the only thing many Christians know about this man. “Oh yeah, he was short and climbed a tree to see Jesus.” What so many fail to realize is that he is one of the supreme examples in Scripture on the issue of repentance and transformation. His turning from a life of skimming extra money from his job to repaying four times the amount he had stolen is unparalleled. The transformation from a despicable tax collector to a disciple is as complete as it is unexpected.

As we continue work on The 180° Project, Ta Ethne hopes to introduce the reader to the awesome power of God demonstrated in many lives, including Zacchaeus. Repentance is such a crucial component to the gospel that we feel compelled to bring resources that will help the Christian church worldwide both understand it better and proclaim it more. Join in prayer with us about this exciting project and if you have any powerful stories about repentance, please share them with us at taethne@outlook.com

 

The 180 project

Ta Ethne is in the process of developing our newest resource, tentatively named the 180 project. This resource will focus on the concept of repentance. Plans are being drawn up for a book, study guide and supplemental lessons. Also being developed is a seminar/conference on this concept as well. The premise for all of these resources is built on the biblical definition of repentance. Repentance is much more than feeling remorse or sorrow over an action. It is much more than just stopping sinful behaviors. It includes replacing those behaviors with godly actions. Simply to stop doing wrong is only a 90 degree change. Replacing, for example, foul language with edifying language is a 180 degree shift.
Pray for us to finish the current project on Jude and to begin work on this exciting new venture.

Disturbing Trends

Here at Ta Ethne we are very bothered by recent trends in our country. In the past week alone, we have had rulings in different states that undermine basic biblical and moral values. Sadly, these decisions are being applauded. One such ruling is that by Massachusetts on allowing students at school to pick whatever gender they want to be identified as and catering to their every whim. You can read more here: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/students-who-refuse-to-affirm-transgender-classmates-face-punishment.html
Another is the ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court who refused to allow prosecution of a mother who abused cocaine while pregnant and gave birth to an addicted child. Here at Ta Ethne, we have adopted such a child, one born in California hooked on so many drugs at birth a tox screen only turned up 3 NOT in her system. Such a ruling is absurdity at its highest point.
Even more upsetting, the fact that the current presidential administration is even considering helping overturn a California law describing marriage as between a man and a woman is beyond comprehension.
Our country is so far post-Christian that I believe God is going to judge her soon. The Church fell asleep decades ago and now has compromised to the point that the majority of her members are lost. Her influence has waned to the point where most Americans think of both the Church and her God as completely irrelevant. They are not atheists in the sense that they do not believe in a God, they simply have never even considered seriously whether there is or isn’t one.
The time has come for the remaining disciples of Jesus Christ to stand up, speak up and seek to overcome darkness with the light of truth. When we begin to fear God and His holiness more than the ridicule and persecution of unbelievers we might start to have an impact on our society. When we stop coddling fence straddlers and confront people with the need for repentance and holy living we might have a church Jesus is not ashamed to call His own. That is Ta Ethne’s stance — what’s yours?

Thoughts on Repentance

Many times repentance is illustrated by having a person walk in one direction and then turn around and walk in the opposite direction. The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines “repent” as “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life”. Repentance is a change of mind and attitude that involves a conscious turning away from wrong actions, attitudes, thoughts and habits that conflict with a Godly lifestyle and biblical commands, and an intentional turning toward doing that which the Bible says pleases God.
As I reflect upon this, I find that many people do not do a 180 degree turn-around so much as they stop at 90 degrees. By this I mean that they stop doing what is wrong but do not replace it with what is right. One only needs to read the words of John the Baptist or the Apostle Paul to see how incomplete that is. The one who steals is to steal no longer but also to work and earn what he needs. Even more, he is to earn enough so that he has excess in order that he can give to those without so that they no longer are tempted to steal. One is to stop talking with a filthy mouth and bless and edify people instead. We are commanded to not only forgive our enemies but to pray that God blesses them, while blessing them ourselves.
In order to tell is a person is truly repentant, John the Baptist gives the definitive proof – do good works (produce fruit) in keeping with that repentance. Talk is cheap. One can pray seeking forgiveness for one’s wrongdoing but never obtain it because they have no intention of repenting. Repentance is often the forgotten aspect of salvation, in that we are not forgiven by God unless we come to Him with a repentant heart.
I.C. Herendeen says is well, when he states, ” For salvation, “repentance unto life” is just as necessary as is faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. No sinner was ever pardoned while he remained impenitent, while he remained in rebellion against God and His authority, and without submitting himself whole-heartedly to His Lordship. This involves the realization in his heart, wrought therein by the Holy Spirit, of “the sinfulness of sin” (Rom 7:13), of the awfulness of ignoring the claims of God and of defying His authority. Repentance is a “holy horror and hatred of sin, a deep sorrow for it, a contrite acknowledgment of it before God, and a complete hear forsaking of it.To exhort sinners to be saved by “Accepting Christ as their Saviour” without pressing upon them the imperative necessity of repentance is dishonest, and is to falsify God’s terms of salvation, for “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 17:3) is the Divine dictum. The sinner must either repent or perish, there is no other alternative. And since “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) all therefore need to “repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15) else they will be “punished with everlasting destruction” (2Thess. 1:9). To delay repentance then is most perilous.”
I end these thoughts with the words of Charles Hodge, a great man of God. He says, “The sure test of the quality of any supposed change of heart will be found in its permanent effects. Whatever, therefore, may have been our inward experience, whatever joy or sorrow we may have felt, unless we bring forth fruits meet for repentance, our experience will profit us nothing. Repentance is incomplete unless it leads to confession and restitution in cases of injury; unless it causes us to forsake not merely outward sins, which others notice, but those which lie concealed in the heart; unless it makes us choose the service of God and live not for ourselves but for Him. There is no duty, which is either more obvious in itself, or more frequently asserted in the Word of God, than that of repentance.”
Let us take heed of the words of John the Baptist and truly repent of sin in our life.

Hymn Devotions Day 31 – Kneel At The Cross

DAY 31 – KNEEL AT THE CROSS

What a joy to know that when we come in repentance to Him, Jesus is faithful to meet us. How great it is, to know that He is there when we need Him. How marvelous to know that He offers us a new life, in exchange for our old one. Do you hear Him calling to you, telling you that His yoke is easy and His burden is light? Do you hear Him calling upon you to repent of your sins and to turn your life over to Him?

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, your race, creed, color or economic status, there is only one way to eternal life – through Jesus Christ. There is room for all who believe. The ground is equal at the foot of the cross, all must enter the same way, through the only Mediator between God and man,  Jesus Christ.

Amazingly, He offers to share His glory with us. To all who believe on Him, God offers not only new life, but to make us co-heirs with Jesus. This is unbelievable. Not only are we pardoned, cleansed and offered a new life forever, but also we are made to share in the blessings and the glory of His Son. What a great God!

What has this life to offer that could possibly compare to sharing in the inheritance of Jesus? Look not to things of this world, look to Jesus alone and find joy unspeakable and full of glory. Find Jesus and find everything.

Lord, help us look only to You. We pray, also, for our friends and family who do not yet know You. Call to them, show them Your glory, draw them to You so they may kneel at the cross in repentance and find remission for their sin.

KNEEL AT THE CROSS – Charles Moody

Kneel at the cross

Christ will meet you there

Come while He waits for you

List to His voice

Leave with Him your care

And begin life anew

Kneel at the cross

There is room for all

Who would His glory share?

Bliss there awaits

Harm can ne’er befall

Those who are anchored there

Kneel at the cross

Give your idols up

Look unto realms above

Turn not away

To life’s sparkling cup

Trust only in His love

REFRAIN

Kneel at the cross

Leave every care

Kneel at the cross

Jesus will meet you there

Hymn Devotions Day 25 – O For A Thousands Tongues

 

DAY 25 – O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES

               For this day, I have chosen to include all the verses that Charles Wesley wrote. This song was his celebration of the one year anniversary of his salvation, and what a great tribute to the Lord it is.

I know that not all of us remember the date of our salvation, but why not make it a practice to designate one day a year (if you do remember the date, use it) to write a poem of thanks to the Lord for His great salvation?

If  you cannot write a poem, maybe a prayer or a song or draw a picture of thanks would be possible. Take some time studying Wesley’s poem for inspiration.

Since we don’t have a thousand tongues to sing with, why not use the one we have in a thousand ways? Join with brothers and sisters and together we can raise hundreds of thousands of tongues in harmony to praise the King of Kings.

I particularly love the verse that talks about how Jesus’ blood makes even the foulest sinner clean, even me. When I reflect on my numerous sins, I am amazed that God would want to save me. I am so grateful that His mercy and grace was given to me, the most undeserving person I know. Wesley puts it so well toward the end of his poem – harlots, publicans, thieves – saved is the sinner that believes from crimes as great as mine. Their sins are no worse than mine, their punishment is the same, eternal damnation unless they, just like I, repent and throw ourselves on the mercy of Jesus. How wonderful to know He forgives sins and pardons the sinner.

 

Lord, help me to use the tongue I have to always praise Your name. Help me use it to witness for You, witness of You, and testify of Your great mercy and forgiveness. Help me to proclaim Your salvation to all.

O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES – Charles Wesley

 

O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God, Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice, New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice, The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come, And leap, ye lame, for joy.

In Christ your Head, you then shall know, Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below, And own that love is heaven.

Glory to God, and praise and love Be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above, The church in earth and heaven.

On this glad day the glorious Sun Of Righteousness arose;
On my benighted soul He shone And filled it with repose.

Sudden expired the legal strife, ’Twas then I ceased to grieve;
My second, real, living life I then began to live.

Then with my heart I first believed, Believed with faith divine,
Power with the Holy Ghost received To call the Savior mine.

I felt my Lord’s atoning blood Close to my soul applied;
Me, me He loved, the Son of God, For me, for me He died!

I found and owned His promise true, Ascertained of my part,
My pardon passed in heaven I knew  When written on my heart.

Look unto Him, ye nations, own Your God, ye fallen race;
Look, and be saved through faith alone, Be justified by grace.

See all your sins on Jesus laid: The Lamb of God was slain,
His soul was once an offering made For every soul of man.

Awake from guilty nature’s sleep, And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep, And wash the Æthiop white.

Harlots and publicans and thieves In holy triumph join!
Saved is the sinner that believes From crimes as great as mine.

Murderers and all ye hellish crew In holy triumph join!
Believe the Savior died for you; For me the Savior died.

With me, your chief, ye then shall know, Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below, And own that love is heaven.

 

 

Great Quotes From Ages Past #11

The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from Hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.

A.W. Pink

Great Quotes From Ages Past #9

Here is a great quote from the “Prince of Preachers”

If you have been truly born again you have a new and holy nature, and you are no longer moved towards sinful objects as you were before. The things that you once loved you now hate, and therefore you will not run after them.  You can hardly understand it but so it is that your thoughts and tastes are radically changed. You long for that very holiness which once it was irksome to hear of; and you loathe those vain pursuits which were once your delights. The man who puts his trust in the Lord sees the pleasures of sin in a new light.  For he sees the evil which follows them by noting the agonies which they brought upon our Lord when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Without faith a man says to himself, “This sin is a very pleasant thing, why should I not enjoy it? Surely I may eat this fruit, which looks so charming and is so much to be desired.” The flesh sees honey in the drink, but faith at once perceives that there is poison in the cup. Faith spies the snake in the grass and gives warning of it. Faith remembers death, judgment, the great reward, the just punishment and that dread word, eternity.

C.H. Spurgeon