Tag Archives: ray ortlund

Scripture at Sunrise 4.25.2019


“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…” 1 Peter 3:18

Scripture at Sunrise 6.19.2013

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. -Malachi 3:6

November 6, 1777

My dear Sir,

You say you are more disposed to cry miserere than hallelujah.  Why not both together?  When the treble is praise, and heart humiliation for the bass, the melody is pleasant, and the harmony good.  However, if not both together, we must have them alternately: not all singing, not all sighing, but an interchange and balance, that we may be neither lifted up too high nor cast down too low, which would be the case if we were very comfortable or very sorrowful for a long continuance.  But though we change, the Savior changes not.

All our concerns are in his hands, and therefore safe.  His path is in the deep waters; his thoughts and methods of conduct are as high above ours as the heavens are high above the earth; and he often takes a course for accomplishing his purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe.  He wounds, in order to heal; kills, that he may make alive; casts down, when he designs to raise; brings a death upon our feelings, wishes and prospects, when he is about to give us the desire of our hearts.  These things he does to prove us; but he himself knows, and has determined beforehand, what he will do.

The proof indeed usually turns out to our shame.  Impatience and unbelief show their heads, and prompt us to suppose this and the other thing, yes, perhaps all things, are against us; to question whether he be with us and for us, or not.  But it issues likewise in the praise of his goodness, when we find that, in spite of all our unkind complaints and suspicions, he is still working wonderfully for us, causing light to shine out of darkness and doing us good in defiance of ourselves.

I am, etc.

John Newton

[Doing us good in defiance of ourselves, a post from Ray Ortlund]


Scripture at Sunrise 3.9.2010

“He will subdue our iniquities”  -Micah 7:19

“A besetting sin is a sin that sometimes surprises a man, and then he ought to show fight and drive the besetting sin away.  If I were to walk over the common every night, arm in arm with a fellow who picked my pocket, I should not say that the man ‘beset’ me.  No, he and I are friends, and the robbery is only a little dodge of our own.  If you go willfully into sin, or tolerate it, and say you cannot help it — well, you have to help it or you will be lost.  One thing is certain — either you must conquer sin or sin will conquer you, and to be conquered by sin is everlasting death.

Well, what is to be done?  Fall back upon this gracious promise: ‘He will subdue our iniquities.’  They have to be subdued; Jesus will do the deed, and in his name will we overcome.  If we are slothful, we will in God’s strength do ten times as much as we should have done had we been naturally of an active turn. . . . Up!  Slay this Agag that you thought to spare [1 Samuel 15:32-33].  Hew him in pieces before the Lord, or else the Lord will hew you in pieces one of these days.
God give you grace to get the victory.”

—-C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Old Testament (London, n.d.), IV:687.

[Hew him in pieces is a post from: Ray Ortlund]

Scripture at Sunrise 9.3.09

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”  -Proverbs 15:13

“Gospel humility frees you from the need to posture and pose and calculate what others think, so that you are free to laugh at what is really funny with the biggest belly laugh. Proud people don’t really let themselves go in laughter. They don’t get red in the face and fall off chairs and twist their faces into the contortions of real free laughter. Proud people need to keep their dignity. The humble are free to howl with laughter.”

Dr. John Piper, quoted by Justin Taylor
[HT: Ray Ortlund]

Scripture at Sunrise 3.25.09

“…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift…this was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  -Romans 3 excerpts

“Man cannot be righteous in God’s sight until he repents of his own expectation that he can be righteous in his own sight. God is not mighty toward man until man is weak toward God.”

Edward John Carnell, Christian Commitment, page 302.

[Originally posted by Ray Ortlund, Jr.]

Am I a Soldier of the Cross? (or am I just a sojourner on the earth?)

I sat down a few minutes ago to play through a few songs on the piano.  I enjoy just sitting down and playing through old hymnals.  The last song I played was one that John Piper quoted in his T4G message this year.  The second verse will still not get out of my head…it is a very haunting thought. 
Well, I came to check my e-mail and my GoogleReader, only to find a blogpost that fits very well with those words I’ve been pondering. 

Ray Ortlund just posted this today:

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3

Timothy was Paul’s son in the Lord. Paul called him “my child” (2 Timothy 2:1). How did this spiritual father raise his fine young son? Not for ease, but for hardship. And Timothy was ready to face the future, come what may.

Paul looked his beloved child right in the eyes and said, “This world is mobilized in total war against the Lord Jesus. Look around you. You see the brutality everywhere. This is why. But our Savior is committed to an all-out campaign of liberation, and we are in his army now. He will deploy you in battle. You will suffer. Don’t run from it. Accept it. When this war is finally over and we all go home, we will live on with no regrets. We will live forever with the satisfaction of having fought in the greatest conflict in the universe, and we didn’t turn tail and run. We followed orders and pleased our Commander (2 Timothy 2:4). He will be so pleased to pin those medals on your chest. He will be so pleased to toast you at his victory banquet. Think about it, son.”

On this Father’s Day, may all Christian fathers say to their sons and daughters the things that must be said, to raise up the next generation of steady, rugged, joyful soldiers for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is the song I played.  


Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.

(You can hear the song here).