Monday, January 25, 2016

Muslims Die For Christians Too!

With all of the fear regarding Islam and the violence of Muslim extremists I wanted to share this story and express two concerns.  One is simply to honor this man's heroic effort to love his fellow man and stand up against the evil that is prevelant in terrorism.  The other is to address concerns I have regarding certain persepctives on what determines our eternal destiny.  There is no greater issue to be clear about than this. 

According to an article from the BBC Kenyan Muslim named Salah Farah died January 19, 2016. He was injured in a terrorist attack on a bus in December. The terrorist group al-Shabab has connections with al-Qaeda and was responsible for this attack.

According to a BBC article written in April 2015,  Kenyan forces entered Somalia in October 2011 in order to confront militants who were coming into Kenya and kidnapping people.  This move provoked al-Shabab and they have been responsible for attacks in Kenya which have killed Muslims and Christians alike every since.  

There have been times when the group would separate Christians and Muslims and they would kill the Christians. The worst example of violence so far by al-Shabab which includes this practice of targeted killing happened in April in an attack on Garissa College in north-eastern Kenya.  At least 147 people were killed in that attack. The previous year a bus was attacked near Mandera by al-Shabab militants and 28 non-Muslims traveling to Nairobi for the Christmas holidays were killed. Because of some of these attacks, the north-eastern part of Kenya has lost some 2,000 teachers and health care professionals

So, when this terrorist group decided to attack a bus in Mandera, Kenya the Muslims on board decided they had had enough.  When instructed to separate, they decided they would shield the Christians instead.  They are tired of watching other people die because of religious differences. Two people died and now this Muslim teacher Salah Farah died in surgery for a bullet wound sustained in the attack. Farah like many, believed that "people should live peacefully together" recognizing their brotherhood as both Kenyan's and fellow human beings.  I completely agree.

Where Am I Going With This?

When Open Doors, a non-profit that focuses on supporting persecuted Christians shared the BBC article about this Muslim man's death on Facebook it got my attention. What a heroic, yet tragic sacrifice. What got my attention even more were the comments that followed the post.  

As far as I know, Open Doors is a solid Christian organization with a healthy biblical understanding of what it means to be a Christian.  They have been supporting the persecuted church for many years.  Some of the commentators on this post however, professed Christianity but clearly had a poor grasp on what provides eternal security to the damned soul. 

Comments such as:
"I am so sorry..I am a Christian and I am amazed at his love for his fellow man.. I pray that he is in the arms of God and with Jesus.. as the scripture says to love your neighbor as yourself and God bless him, he heart goes out to all of his family.  May they be greatly blessed."
"No greater love has he than him who gives up his life for another(NT).  The sacrifice this young man was ready to make was not in vain.  He may have died in another situation but his deeds have, under Christian understanding brought him straight to God....." 
then there was this sweet persons well meaning prayer:
"Heavenly Father please allow this man to be with you.  Le this death, martyr him and let his good deed be testimony to your love and mercy. He died protecting your children.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen"

Let me be clear, I do not disagree with the sentiment that appreciates this man's willingness to sacrifice his life for his fellow man.  It is very noble and complimentary to what some claim is a doctrine of the Quran which says, "He who takes a life kills the world, he who saves a life saves the world."  I only say "claim" because I have not read it myself.

The trouble is there are so many people, many of whom profess Christ or lend much credence to the teachings of the bible, who do not understand what scripture teaches about what is required for salvation.  As a result, they are misrepresenting the gospel and potentially misleading many regarding the truth.

There has been much discussion and debate of late about whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God. There are still those today in "Christian" sects who will suggest that God's mercy is so wide that maybe people who have loved "God" but not believed in Jesus will still go to heaven.  As if somehow, faith in God without a biblical concept of Jesus is enough.  

I do not intend to do a complete discussion on that now, but I do want to make it clear that Muslims who follow their faith do not go to heaven, no matter how many noble things they do.  Neither does anyone else who has not placed their faith in Jesus in this life.  No amount of sacrificial heroism or brotherly love will get anyone into heaven.  If anyone believes that something you do will gain you enough favor with God to get you entrance into heaven, you are in BIG trouble.  No amount of church going, tradition practicing, or prayer saying in any direction will put you in right standing before Holy God.  I say this out of love because I don't want anyone not to go to heaven.  Unfortunately, there are many for whom this will be the case.

How Then Can Anyone Be Saved?

In Matthew 19:25-26, after hearing Jesus make a statement about the difficulty of a rich person to get into heaven the question was asked, "Who then can be saved?". Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."   

In John 14:5-6 Thomas asked Jesus, "Lord, we do not know where you are going.  Who can know the way?"  Jesus replied, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  Know man comes to the Father except through me."  

In John 3:3 Jesus instructs Nicodemus, "Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."  

Many think of Christianity as narrow minded and want to speak of Jesus as if he was the master of this all-inclusive faith.  Clearly, he thought there were some very specific requirements that were not so easy to master in order to enter heaven.

That's the beauty of Christianity.  You can never satisfy the requirements which God commands of you.  That is why Jesus came to do it for us.  All we ever need do is repent and believe the gospel.(Mark 1)

In John 1:12-13, John while speaking of Jesus states, "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.  Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

What About Love of Brother?

1John 2:9-10 says, "Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling."  He was loving his brother, was he not?  Isn't that good enough?

Sometimes I wish it were, then I realize that such a thought calls into question the very wisdom and justice of God and I realize I must repent of such thoughts. 

The trouble here is that any seemingly "righteous" act that is performed with any God in mind other than the God of the bible is worthless.  This is because it not done with the glory of the one and only God of the bible as the motivating factor.(Romans 3:9-20)  

No matter how desperately I may want to see someone come to faith or wish that someone had a chance after death to believe, I must trust my God.  He is far wiser in his infinite wisdom than I could ever be in my finite, sin-stained mind.

Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us, "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice.  A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he"

Pslam 145 is a wonderful Psalm declaring the goodness of God.  Verse 17 specifically tells us, "The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works."

Let's consider why "love of brother" which this Muslim man clearly demonstrated is not enough to save him.

Jesus Christ, Son of God

There are a couple of distinct differences betwee Islam and Christianity.  One is thier understanding of who God is. Without going into great depth it should be enough to state that Muslims believe in a monolithic God vs. a trinitarian God.  That is to say, they believe that the God of Abraham is one, i.e. God the Father is the only diety.  By contrast, Christianity believes that God the Father, God the Son(Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit are all One God in three distinct persons.  Here is a very brief article relating some of the distinct differences between Islam and Christianity as it relates to Christ as found in the Quran.  

You cannot believe that Jesus was just a man, a prophet or messenger of Allah created by Allah, certainly not God's son(Islam), a great teacher also not the incarnate Son(Jews), the angel Michael incarnate(Jehovah's Witness) or the spirit brother of Satan(Mormons)!   
If you do not believe in the second person of the Trinitarian Christian God, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, was fully God and fully man, was crucified, buried, and resurrected on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, You Are Not a Christian.
Works vs. Faith

Picture - Dome with Muslim star and crescent. Fotosearch - Search Stock Photos, Images, Print Photographs, and Photo Clip Art

The other issue here which is more pertinent to my concern at this point could apply to anyone however, it absolutely applies to the difference between Islam and Christianity. You see Allah is not known as a forgiving God.  Muslims have to hope that Allah will forgive them and allow them into heaven based on enough of their good works canceling out their bad works.  There is no redemption of sins provided of which Allah is the source.  

This,in contrast with Christianity, which believes that the penalty for our sins has been paid for by God himself.  This is known as atonement.  The blood shed on the cross by God's Son, Jesus, paid the price for the sins of everyone who puts their faith in Him.  Through His death and shed blood he "atoned" for our sins.  Because there is no such belief in Islam there is only hope for forgiveness based on Allah's assessment of the balance between their good and bad deeds, thoughts, etc.

In Ephesians 2:8-10 the Apostle Paul explains that "by grace we have been saved through faith, and this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast."  It is a beautiful truth which many lost souls need to hear.  

There is nothing we can do to earn salvation.  It is all of grace. In fact in Romans 5:8 we are told that, "God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  He did not wait for us to get good enough before dying for us.  In fact, he requires nothing of us until we place our trust in Him.  His requirement of obedience comes after he makes His goodness and grace clear to us, not before.


This is another distinct difference between Islam and Christianity.  Allah is not known as a relational God who loves people not based on their worth but on His, the triune God of the bible is.  It is a beautiful story to tell. Metaphorically speaking, all other religions function with a God who is up on a mountain and everyone is trying to get to him, usually in some meritorious form or fashion.  This is not true of Christianity.

The beauty of the gospel is that we are all dead in the grave.  We already have one foot in hell.  This God of grace loves us enough to come down and replace our stony hearts with a living one.  He breaths life into us when we could not even understand that we needed it, much less do anything about it.  No other religion can say that.

What's more, this God of the bible adopts us into His family(Romans 8:15).  When we place our faith in Christ, as John 1:12-13 says, we become children of God.  We do NOTHING to earn it, we can do NOTHING to loose it.

Know His Story, Tell His Story

If you consider yourself a Christian I beg of you, PLEASE have a proper understanding of the gospel. If someone has died who clearly was not a Christian, please don't speak as if there is some chance they could ever be in heaven.  If they are still alive and do not profess Christ, don't give them false hope about eternity.  Keep the story of redemption clear.  Don't hide the truth or make it fuzzy because you think that it is more loving to do so or you don't want to offend.  We do no one any favors when we do that.

Watering down the gospel sets no one free.  The gospel is supposed to be offensive to those who do not know Christ however, when the Spirit of God opens their eyes it is the most freeing good news in the world.(1 Corinthians 1:18)  

Trust the word of God to do what it promises to do. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Isaiah 55:10-11 tells us that we can count on God's word to do what God intends it to do.

The Good News

Well. I've been talking about it for the last two sections of this post.  However, I want to make clear that God is good and wants to see many, many Muslims come to saving faith in Christ.  Why, because they are no different than any other rebellious sinner in need of a Savior.  I need Him, you need Him, we all need Him.  I am not writing this because I take for granted the heroic efforts of Mr. Salah Farah.  I also do not relish or celebrate the idea that if he remained a Muslim until his death that he is will spend the rest of his eternity in eternal, conscious torment, separated from the love of God.

What I do celebrate is that this man's efforts were valiant and that God used them to save many Christians from probable death in this life and God will be glorified for that.  I also celebrate the fact that perhaps his death could be an opportunity for many other Muslims to come to saving faith in Christ if we as Christians do not steal that opportunity by making less of the situation than what the reality is.  

Perhaps, some who think themselves Christians will even realize that they are not actually Christians but will hear the truth and come to true faith in Christ.  

I pray for the peace, comfort, and salvation of Mr. Farah's family.  I pray for the people of Kenya, Muslim and Christian alike.  Persecution is one thing but no one should have to deal with terrorism. However, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.  To the Jew first and then to the Greek(Romans 1:16).  

I cannot apologize for it's power or it's offense.  I pray you will not either.  Be compassionate.  Let your heart break for the lost.  Pray without ceasing and always be prepared to defend the legitimacy of your faith.  But please don't ever change the message.  That is the most unloving thing you can do for someone who does not know the truth.

May it be so in Jesus name.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Leading Your Family in Spiritual Growth in 2016

Hello All,

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is excited about a new year with all kinds of goals and hope for the future.  As many of you know, I hunger to lead my family into a greater knowledge and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in 2016.  It is no secret that I love to encourage others to do the same.   I have written in the past regarding prayer, bible reading, and especially scripture memory.  Some have been positively influenced by this, others could care less;   Both are ok by me.  

It is a blessing for me to write and bring encouragement and challenge because as I encourage and challenge others, I am encouraged and challenged myself.  If my thoughts impact even one person to come into the kingdom or become more effective for the kingdom, then it has been worth the effort.  

As we begin the New Year, I thought I would simply share some of the ideas that my family and idea are striving to successfully implement and execute in 2016.  If any of these ideas are inspiring to you then borrow away.  

A Few Thoughts On Our Hearts As Spiritual Leaders In The Home

If you are a father, this role should be yours primarily.  The bible places the spiritual leadership of the home squarely on your shoulders.  However, if you are a single mom or a wife and mother who's husband is not a believer, then that role falls to you until such a time as you get married to a believing spouse or your spouse becomes a believer.  

This role is not for the faint of heart.  The last thing Satan wants is a famiy who is being trained up to be in the Lord's army.  He will do everything he can to bring distraction, division and discouragement into this process.  You must be prayed up, prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually and ahead of those you are leading in the disciplines which you are leading them into.  

This is not a job to be taken lightly, but it is worth every bit of time and effort that you invest.  There is nothing more than seeeing God glorified because your family is growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus and knowing you had something to do with that.  

Last but not least, remember Psalm 127:1, "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it".  This cannot be done successfully on your own.  It must be a partnership with God in which he is the dominant shareholder.  You will need His grace and empowerment to endure the challenges that will come and to successfully set the example by actually striving to live out what you are teaching.  Your example is a huge part of this.

Now on to the ideas.

Bible Reading

Every year, thousands of Christians resolve to try reading through the bible in a year.  Some make it. I would wager that most do not.  I just read a post from a ministry site stating that there are many bible students and preachers whom have not read the bible all the way through.  I confess that I have been through much of it, but never the whole thing.  Reading through the bible in a year is a noble idea and one that should be pursued however, sometimes it is the time frame that is the problem.  We forget that we don't have to read throught the bible in a year.  We can do it in two years or 18 months or three.  What is most important is that we do it.  

Courtesy of Melissa Kruger at The Gospel Coalition I have discovered a bible reading plan that I am really excited about.  She discusses it in detail here.  Suffice it to say that I like it because it is only 5-days a week and you can use the same plan to read the whole bible or only the New Testament.  The other characteristic that I like is that some chronological aspects to the way the OT and the NT are arrnaged for reading.  The bible is not altogether layed out so much by time frame.  For instance, in the NT, the book of Acts is the major history book about the New Testament church.  A chronological plan will help you  read some of the letters in conjunction with how the authors of those letters are developed in the book of Acts.  Or, the Gospel of John and all of his letters, including Revelation are grouped together.

Here is an example of what it looks like.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 1.56.39 PM

If you go to the article that I linked to above, you will find a downloadable PDF so that you can have access to the whole thing and print it off.   I am striving to do the whole bible this year.  After some discussion, we decided, as a family, to only read throug the New Testament.  That will be good for them.

Scripture Memory

As for scripture memory, if you have followed my writing recently, you have seen plenty about my thoughts on that.  Here are links to a couple of the blogs that I have written on that subject: Fighter VersesSuccesses and Failures in Scripture MemoryScripture Memory for the New Year.  

In the first link, you will find some suggestions for extended memory of longer passages.  There is also a link to the Fighter Verses website where you can find all kinds of resources including blogs about the verse, charts for keeping up with the verses you are memorizing and charts  for committing the verses to your deep memory where they much harder to forget.

Take my word for it.  This can and should be done.  Like anything, it does not come easily.  However, like any discipline, it is easier the more you do it.  I am working on the basic Fighter Verse set with my kids.  This week we are memorizing Deuternomy 7:9.  The extended memory set for 2016 involves memorizing all four chapters of Philippians.  I am doing that with some of my siblings and at least one spouse.  

This is such an invaluable Spiritual Discipline to practice.  I just cannot emphasize it enough. For the spiritual well-being of you and your family and the church as a whole, it is important that people do this.

Prayer, Theology, and Doctrine

I will be brief here, not because these are not important, but because I have less resources to recommend.  Regarding prayer, I will say that teaching your children to pray and demonstrating it is of utmost importance as well and is something that most individuals and families struggle to do consistently, myself included.  I have written a little something about it in a blog post entitled A Simple Way To Pray.  The best advice I can give is don't give up.  Persevere, one day at a time.  Prayer is our communion with God.  It will enhance every area of your life.

Regarding theology, that is a word that scares people. They think of it as purely academic.  So is the word doctrine.  Theology and doctrine are simply words that describe what it is to study about God and to have categories for what you understand and believe.  Everyone does theology and has doctrine on some level but many don't even realize it.  

There are some wonderful resources out there.  It can be something as simple as learning the Lords Prayer as found in Matthew 6:9-13, or The Apostles Creed.  The Ten Commandments is another excellent totally biblical source of truth that should be learned and understood.  There are all kinds of catechisms and creeds out there.  One resource that I will share, which I am using this year with my family was given to our family by my sister for Christmas.  It is called The Ology.  
It is a very simple book which is designed to teach children how to understand the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.  At the link provided, you will find an interview with the author discussing the importance of this book.  I highly recommend it.


I am sure there is plenty more that could be said.  Let's face it, if we can do anything to increase the spiritual disciplines of bible reading, scripture memory, prayer, and knowledge more than we did the year befoe then we are doing something right.  We have as long as the Lord gives us to make it better and better.  In the mean time, we only need ensure that our desies and actions are driven by a desire to grow in relationship with the Lord and see His name exalted.  If we ae moving in the right direction, then there should be opportunities to be salt and light and bring glory to our God.

May it be so in 2016 in Jesus name,



Friday, January 1, 2016

From New Years Resolutions to Life Changing, Life Long Resolutions via Jonathan Edwards

Every year on January 1st, New Year's resolutions are the talk of many.  Resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, read the bible in a year and many more are made.  The trouble is that most of the time, they are broken, usually pretty quickly.  Then the default tends to be, oh well, guess I'll wait til next year.  This fact may not be universal but I have certainly done it and I have known others who have done it.  Personally, I am sick of it.  New Year's resolutions feel like a set up for failure.  I am ready for some resolutions which don't change from year to year and that, rather than resisting the idea of failure, fully embace it.

Enter Jonathan Edwards.  He is known as one of the greatest preachers and theologians in American history.  He has written many excellent and highly valued books on important theological topics and his sermons such as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God are the stuff legends are made of.  Contrary to the title, while he would certainly not shy away from preaching "Hellfire and Brimstone" sermons, he was not a hellfire and brimstone preacher. His tone was said to be fairly low key, but his sermons were brimming with truth so well layed out and descriptive, and accompanied by such power from the Holy Spirit that many were saved; and the revival of New England know as "The Great Awakening" was birthed in large part as a result of his ministry.  

However, long before he became "that" Jonathan Edwards, he was a young, well educated, nineteen year old pastor in New York city in 1722.  It was here, in the moments between 1722-1723 that he penned his seventy "Resolutions".  For more details surrounding that moment in time and how it developed, here is a very well written yet brief article on the subject. 

My goal in this post is primarily to list these resolutions and to say that they are resolutions which we can spend a lifetime contemplating and striving to apply.  All the while, knowing that, in the spirit of Resolution 56, failure is inevitable and to be expected at times, yet God's grace is sufficient to see us through to many successes even as we strive to succeed.  We don't ever have to think of these as "do overs".  They are simply "keep tryings", until the day Christ returns and we will have to try no more because we will be glorified into perfection in Christ. 

They have different focuses, but they are all based on biblical truths and intended to help keep Christ and His gospel as the central focus and foundation of all that we say and do.  I have a kindle edition of these that is wonderful however, the Desiring God website has a wonderful post which lists these resolutions in a more topical manner while keeping the numbering.  This is the list I will use because I find the subheadings useful and I hope you will as well.  Here goes! 

I hope they are a blessing to you.  Happy New Year!

 The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.
Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

Overall Life Mission1

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; “knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.” June 25and July 13, 1723.

Good Works

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don’t hinder.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.

Time Management

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.


14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
34. Resolved, in narration’s never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27,and July 13, 1723.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 2,and July 13.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.


9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin. June 9, and July 13, 1723.


8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, “A faithful man who can find?” may not be partly fulfilled in me.
47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. Jan. 14 and July 3, 1723.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

Spiritual Life

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
The Scriptures
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
64. Resolved, when I find those “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those “breakings of soul for the longing it hath,” of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear’, of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
The Lord’s Day
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
Vivification of Righteousness
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. Jan.12, 1723.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12-13, 1723.
Mortification of Sin and Self Examination
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4 and 13, 1723.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23 and August 10, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
Communion with God
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton’s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26 and Aug. 10, 1723.
Aug. 17, 1723
1 The subheadings and categorization are suggested by Matt Perman to increase the readability.