Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What A Legacy!

WOW! I love Jonathan Edwards. Look at the legacy he and his lovely wife Sarah has left.....eleven children all grown up to be lovers of Jesus. 3 Sons and 8 daughters....all of the Sons became involved in the church; the eldest became a pastor. I have seen in Jonathan Edwards' life story a truth that is a biblical truth that I have only recently come to comprehend, namely, that God primarily works within FAMILIES as his primarily vehicle to bring his elect to faith. Do we realize this? Do we believe this? We must! Because if we focused more of our evangelistic efforts into making fathers into Biblical head-of-households that love God and rear their children in the Lord, then we would produce Christian peoples and nations throughout the whole earth. However, we have neglected the family and destroyed God's ordained family headship through the likes of feminism and "western" freedom culture and look where we are now! Families are broken, fathers are worthless, mothers are alone, and our society is crumbling. OH How I desire to return the hearts of the fathers to God, so that they can return their hearts to their children with a Godly fervent passion for the Glory of God.

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I found a letter from Edwards to his child:

Dear Child:
Though you are a great way off from us, yet you are not out of our minds: I am full of concern for you, often think of you, and often pray for you. Though you are at so great a distance from us, and from your all your relations, yet this is a comfort to us, that the same God that is here as also at Onohoquaha and that though you are out of our sight, and out of our reach, you are always in God's hands, who is infinitely gracious; and we can go to Him, and commit you to His care and mercy. Take heed that you don't forget or neglect Him. Always set God before your eyes, and live in His fear, and seek Him every day with all diligence: for He, and He only can make you happy or miserable as He pleases; and your Life and Health, and the eternal salvation of your soul and your all in this life and that which is to come depends on His will and pleasure.
The week before last, on Thursday, David died; whom you knew and used to play with, and who used to live at our house. His soul is gone into the eternal world. Whether he was prepared for death, we don't know. This is a loud call of God to you to prepare for death. You see that they that are young die, as well as those that are old; David was not very much older than you. Remember what Christ said, that you must be born again, or you never can see the Kingdom of God. Never give yourself any rest unless you have good evidence that you are converted and become a new creature.
We hope that God will preserve your life and health, and return you to Stockbridge again in safety; but always remember that life is uncertain; you know not how soon you must die, and therefore had need to be always ready. We have very lately heard from your brothers and sisters at Northhampton and at Newark, that they are well. Your aged grandfather and grandmother, when I was at Windsor gave their love to you. We here all do the same.

I am, your tender and affectionate father,

Jonathan Edwards

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I need to be the father that Edwards' was. I need to be the father that God is.

Look at how faithful our God is....he truly does remain faithful to those who love him for a thousand generations (Psalm 105:8-9, Gen. 17)....and truly the covenant promises are to believers AND their children....and this is why I will baptize my children....But look at this Timothy Dwight....He was Edwards' grandson...the passion for the glorious name of Jesus Christ began at least with Edwards' father and has been a legacy even 3 generations later....WHAT A BEAUTIFUL thing that God works and saves people primarily through Godly families! Truly he seeks a Godly seed (Malachi 2:15).

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I LOVE THY KINGDOM, LORD!
Timothy Dwight, 1752–1817

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24, 25)

God honored the tears, prayers, and work of the distinguished president of Yale University, Timothy Dwight, to bring to that campus in 1795 a startling spiritual revival. It soon spread to other nearby universities as well. Prior to his administration, most of the students at Yale and other eastern schools had been infected with the “free thought” of Thomas Paine, Rousseau, and the French Revolution.
Timothy Dwight, grandson of the brilliant and powerful American preacher, Jonathan Edwards, was an unusually successful and distinguished person in many areas. A graduate of Yale University at 17, he was a chaplain in the American Revolution, a Congregational minister, a prosperous farmer, a member of the Connecticut state legislature, a faculty member at Yale and eventually president of the university. Timothy Dwight also wrote a number of scholarly books, authored thirty-three hymn texts, and revised the hymnbook used by New England Congregational and Presbyterian churches for 30 years.
In Dwight’s text, the term kingdom suggests three different levels of Christ’s church:
• The Church Personal— “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
• The Church Local— individual congregations (Matthew 11:28, 29)
• The Church Universal— believers of every age, race and culture (Revelation 7:9)
The kingdom of God is a living body, not merely an organization. Its purpose is to extend Christ’s influence, build up the members of His body, and glorify His name. The promise of Christ is that nothing, not even the gates of hell, will ever triumph over His Church (Matthew 16:18).
I love Thy kingdom, Lord! The house of Thine abode—The Church our blest Redeemer saved with His own precious blood.
I love Thy Church, O God! Her walls before Thee stand, dear as the apple of Thine eye and graven on Thy hand.
Beyond my highest joy I prize her heav’nly ways—Her sweet communion, solemn vows, her hymns of love and praise.
Sure as Thy truth shall last, to Zion shall be giv’n the brightest glories earth can yield, and brighter bliss of heav’n.
For Today: Matthew 16:15–18; Ephesians 2:19, 21, 22; 5:23–27
Ask yourself if you are as joyful and enthusiastic about Christ’s kingdom and its mission on earth as you should be. Allow this hymn to renew your vision—

Osbeck, Kenneth W.: Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Kregel Publications, 1990, S. 265

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