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Jesus (RE)Centered
  1. A Larger Christian Life Expanding Your Spiritual Horizons
  2. More Books by A. B. Simpson
  3. A Larger Christian Life - Albert B. Simpson - Google книги
  4. A.B. Simpson's Large Christian Life

If we needed extra reasons to hate prosperity teaching, this would be one: It has retroactively rendered some of the greatest preaching of the nineteenth century unintelligible. It is as odd a book, and as emotionally stirring, as you would expect if you try to imagine a Simpson biography by Tozer. Simple truth requires us to state that A. Simpson does not rate high as a writer of hymns. The effort on the part of some of his admirers to place him along with Watts and Wesley is simply absurd.

The central idea might be poetic, but his craftsmanship was not equal to the task of expressing it. His singing heart sometimes betrayed him into attempting to sing things that simply were not lyrical and could not be sung. The virtue of brevity was also lacking in most of his songs. He sometimes rambled on into eight and ten verses… With few exceptions his songs are simply sermons in verse… A few of his compositions can be sung, but the most of them can be negotiated by none except trained singers… There can be no doubt about it, Mr. Simpson wrote too much poetry, or at least too much of it has been published.

Yet it is my sober judgment that Simpson has put into a few of his songs more of awful longing, of tender love, of radiant trust, of hope and worship and triumph than can be found in all the popular gospel songs of the last hundred years put together. Humility is absolutely essential for the living of the Christian life. If you haven't cultivated gospel humility, you haven't cultivated the queen of all gospel graces; for the sure mark that the Holy Spirit has done a work in your heart is in the production in you of gospel humility.

Without humility, we can't forgive one another, because we're proud and we don't want to admit that we've done something wrong. And it prevents us from giving forgiveness, for what enables the believer to forgive others who have wounded him or her is not that those people are worthy of forgiveness; it's that you are the recipient of an undeserved forgiveness yourself. God has forgiven you when you didn't deserve it, and so it makes the heart large and generous in forgiving others who don't deserve forgiveness.

And only the humble heart is able to forgive in that way, because only the humble heart has experienced its need and the surprising, gracious forgiveness of God to that need in the gospel. Well, Mary manifests humility, and we need to grow in humility. But she's also grateful. She's thankful. Did you notice that? Look at verses 46 The whole section oozes gratitude:.

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She's the mother of Jesus! She's the only one. She's the only woman in all the world that God has called to be the mother of Jesus. Of course she's grateful! Have you thought about the danger that Mary is in? She's a young teenage girl in a culture where people who commit adultery get stoned to death.

And she is betrothed…she's engaged, but she's not yet married. And she's expecting.

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It should not escape you that she's not in her home town right now. She has packed up and moved away for three months. Now I think even in our culture we understand that. Women don't pack up and leave their parents and their family and their dearest friends during their first trimester unless something's up. And that's exactly what she's done. She has left her parents and her family and her friends, and she's gone way far away from Galilee to her cousin Elizabeth. And she's there for three months. And it may well indicate, among other things, that there would have been problems in Nazareth had she stayed.

She faced at least ostracism, if not personal danger. But more than the cultural or social danger that she faced, think about the danger from the assaults of Satan, when we know what Satan has attempted to do all throughout the Old Testament to God's seed to try to keep the seed, the Messiah, from coming into this world. She is now Ground Zero in the bull's eye of Satan's sights.

And what's more, as Elizabeth has already predicted, because she is to be the mother of a boy who was born to die, in the midst of her immense joy, she is going to bear the sharpest of sorrows — all her life. Dear sisters in Christ, if God were to announce to you today that He was entrusting into your care for a brief time a young man who was destined to go and die for his country in Iraq or Afghanistan or in some other field of battle, that as a very young man he would die…and not only that, but you would see him die with your own eyes…and you were told this from before he was born.

Wouldn't there — in the midst of your deep love for that son and your deep joy at his birth and your delight in the role that he would play for his people — would there not be a tremendous burden of sorrow to bear as well? And yet Mary is grateful.

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Now every single one of us has things that we can gripe about…complaints that we have about life, or maybe even with God. I doubt many of us have the burden to bear that Mary had to bear, because most of us aren't told ahead of time what's going to happen to us or to our children. And she had to bear that knowledge ahead of time, all her life.

A Larger Christian Life Expanding Your Spiritual Horizons

And yet she's grateful. Does that not tell us something about our gratitude? You may be in a vulnerable place right now. You may even be in a dangerous place right now. And you may be tempted to respond to that vulnerability or to that danger with complaint and with bitterness. But Mary responds with gratitude. The Christian life is healthiest that is characterized by gratitude, and Mary just shows us how it's done, right here. Fourth, Mary, even in this song in which she acknowledges this unique thing that God is doing in her life and this unique thing that He's going to do in the life of her son, is all about God's people and the larger plan of God in the history of His people.

More Books by A. B. Simpson

Do you notice this? Look especially at verses , and zero in especially on verse 50, and then 54 and This isn't just about Mary. This is about God's faithfulness from generation to generation. This goes all the way back to the beginning of God's dealings with His people. Mary realizes that this is not all about her. Of course it's about Jesus. But it's about God's total plan with His people that stretches into history past and is much larger than just His dealings with her.

In other words, Mary views herself in light of the larger reality of God's people and God's plan.

A Larger Christian Life - Albert B. Simpson - Google книги

And, my friends, the Christian life is healthiest that is anchored in our understanding that there is something bigger than just us: God's plan. And it's more than about just us individually; it's about all of God's people. But when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we're brought into a family and we're part of a story about that family. And Mary reminds us that we need to view ourselves as a part of God's people and a part of what God has been doing in the past, and a part of God's work in the history of redemption, and a part of a destiny that all of us will share together.

And Mary is far from self-centered here. She's centered on the church and on God's plan. It's a good thing to remember in the Christian life. Mary understood that, and she gave vent to it in the prayer. Fifth, look at verses again. Notice how Mary takes you right back to the covenant of grace with Abraham and to God's fulfilling of the promises that He had made to Abraham:. She takes you right back to God's promise to Abraham which was secured and assured in the covenant of grace in Genesis 12 and 15 and 17, and she says this promise is being fulfilled before our very eyes in the sending of the Messiah into the world, and she announces this believing God's promise.

And in doing so, she reminds us that the Christian life is healthiest that is most trusting of God's promises.

A.B. Simpson's Large Christian Life

Mary understands the promise of God and she believes it, and isn't that what faith is about? It's about taking God at His word and believing His promise, and Mary does that. Now, I understand that Mary has a unique role. I mean, not all of us were born at the time that the Messiah was come into the world, but do you understand that every time we see a Gentile converted to Jesus Christ, or every time we see someone who is literally ethnically descended from Abraham himself come to faith in Christ, that we are seeing God's promise to Abraham fulfilled before our very eyes?